Small steps

This morning I rolled out of bed with a definite spring in my step. I had to pick up Poem by 9am. I grabbed some breakfast and set off. Such a beautiful sunny day. I plugged my phone into the car played Mallory Knox all the way up the motorway, singing my heart out. 

Poem was having her breakfast when I got there. I only had to wait a short time. We jumped in the car and decided on Catfish and the Bottlemen album. I asked Poem how she was getting on and it was the usual response of “I’m fine”.  It very difficult to know if to continue questioning incase Poem gets upset. Today I did though and to my surprise she really opened up. I suggested we could write her worries down and give them to the staff when we get back to the unit. 

On a Sunday Poem has mid morning snack at 10.30am, main meal at 12.30 and mid afternoon snack at 15.45. 

When we got home we had twenty minutes until mid morning snack. I popped the chicken in the oven for the 12.30 roast and we sat in the garden in the sunshine and painted our nails. Snack is 3 biscuits and 250 mls of milk. Once snack has been eaten Poem has to sit for half an hour. Dinner is less than an hour away. We decide on a gentle game of badminton in the garden. Just tapping it to one another with Skater and Lake. 

The roast went well. No real problems other than Poem trying to cut her portion size. With gentle persuasion she accepted the plate. After the main meal it’s an hour of relaxation. 

At 2pm we decided to tye dye. What fun the four of us had.

   

 

Lake submerged his hands and rubber gloves in the dye and ended up having to scrub his hand for twenty minutes. Poem joked that Lake looked like a smurf. 

We played snakes and ladders until 3.45 snack time. Whilst we all played I wrote down Poem’s worries that we had spoken about in the morning. 

Her main worry was that she had gained 2 kilos. She cannot cope with gaining weight. So many times we have been here before. The conversation normally entails me explaining that’s what has to happen and Poem normally says she knows and closes down. Today she explained why. She gave me a reason. She linked it to a fear from when she was 8 years old. For me this is massive. It certainly won’t change things dramatically but is  a small significant step. We need those. 

Mid afternoon snack is a Nutrigrain bar and an apple. As soon as this was finished it was time to leave. 

When we arrived back I passed the notes to Poem’s primary nurse and we said our goodbyes. 

We left as always with a mix of feelings but today with chink more understanding. The sun was still shining on the way home, as it should. 

#beatfred #anawarrior #edrecovery 

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Crashing. 

I haven’t written anything for awhile and its hard for me to be honest and say I have crashed and burned. That I’m not quite coping as I would like.  Having  a daughter so unwell with anorexia is the hardest thing to deal with. 

I wanted this blog to help find hope and support, be uplifting to others but to also convey the reality of the illness on family life. So here it is…….

When Poem went back to hospital this time I was adamant I would be stronger. I was for a while. Life tends to chip away though when it senses all is not as it was intended to be. The lack of sleep allows tiredness to creep in to your normal day and not deal with situations as emotionally soundly as you once would. The anxiety starts, tightening your chest and throat. Your mood begins to sink deeper and deeper. 

The boys were at their dads house this evening and I just felt like I needed space so I started walking. I was out for hours pounding away. Not taking a blind bit of notice of my immediate surroundings. I guess trying to find answers to questions that just aren’t there. I found myself at a friends front door eventually. The distraction was what I needed. 

There are days when Fred tries his best to beat us all. He won’t. We are all fighting him. We are strong. 

#beatfred #anawarrior #edrecovery

Eat my words! 

So I guess I should introduce my family. I will use names that symbolise my children rather than their real names. I have three children. My girl is 17 and I think the name Poem symbolises her perfectly.  There is her brother who is 12 he loves going over the park with his skate board so Skater fits him well. Then there is Poems youngest brother who is 8. He loves nothing more than to go fishing, so we all decided Lake would be best for his name. 

There is also Fred. Our unwanted addition to the family. Fred came about as we needed to externalise the anorexia from Poem. I will explain another time how Fred affects the mind of a person when in full starvation mode and by externalising helped Poem to separate herself from the eating disorder. 

Poem is beautiful, intelligent and funny. She managed to get amazing grades in her GCSE’s even though she had not studied for 7 months, was in a hospital 80 miles from home and battling the voice in her head, Fred. She is an outstanding artist of which now helps portray what’s going on in her mind. 

Skater is the quietest in nature. He smiles and takes everything in his stride. He finds it difficult to understand Fred and tends to offer Poem food all of the time. I imagine that he’s waiting for the day she accepts his offerings. 

Lake is a full on character. Super confident, noisy and hardly ever stops smiling. 

Lake has an understanding of Fred and believes he has come up with a solution to cure Poem of Fred if only she would accept. It was an incredibly difficult evening in our house. Poem had been curled up in a ball, crying, desperate for some release from Fred for over an hour. She had eaten a cracker for the whole day. I had tried my best to coerce her at dinner but this only led to anger and frustration for Poem. I was sat beside Poem talking calmly and reassuringly that will beat this when Lake said he had the solution. “I know Fred hates chocolate and sweets if you just eat all these Poem, I know Fred will go away for good” he’d gathered all his and Skaters sweets and chocolate. It was such an innocent view on the situation that it broke Poem from the dark place she was in and made her smile for the first time in days. 

#beatfred #anawarrior #anarecovery

Eat my words! 

This is the first day my girl and Fred are in hospital once more. Recovery starts again. This is their second time there but Fred did not give up the ghost as hoped last time. I wish he would push off.  Fred is anorexia. He was born about three years ago. Silently growing strong.  He has hijacked my girl, emaciated her, thinned her bones, most likely stolen the chance of her ever starting a family, excluded her from a life which she deserves.   My hope is that we beat Fred and my girl shines once more.  #anawarrior #anarecovery  #beatfred