Watching Ben leaping along the beach in South Devon last Saturday, a massive, genuine smile on his face, I suddenly realised that it's the first time that all three of us have been to a beach since 'that day' in summer 2010 when Ben almost got carried off by the currents, as described in my book Please eat.
Sunday, 29 June 2014
I've come to the end of my therapy for post-trauma stress - for 2 reasons: firstly, the cost (private treatment); and secondly, because I can probably do just as well with self-help books, etc from now onwards - plus the techniques I learned from the therapy sessions and the general overall awareness of why the mind and body responds to trauma in the way it does. Knowing that I am 'normal' and not going totally bonkers is a massive help!
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
I found it really helpful to have it explained to me why I've been feeling as I have, and how the brain reacts to trauma. Even more helpful was being told that this is NORMAL. That this is the way the brain deals with things. Also, that some parts of the brain are different from others. Like the hippocampus, the part of the brain that's largely responsible for 'being stuck' and causing me to respond to dozens of triggers as if the danger were still present.
Friday, 6 June 2014
Thank you to Magenta Eel for her comment on yesterday's post about burnout and whether I should leave the world of eating disorders behind. i.e. Do I really want to return to the world of eating disorders? Would I risk allowing it to possibly define me as a person in my future? Wouldn't it be better to just move on? I totally agree that, yes, it would, in a way - a way that feels natural and comfortable for me. And here's why...
Wednesday, 4 June 2014
For months I couldn't even click onto this blog, let alone write it. I couldn't face eating disorders. I steered clear of my Facebook page and anything else to do with eating disorders. Meanwhile I drowned my sorrows in psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and other self-soothing activities. Perhaps they've been helpful because this is the first time for months when I've felt perfectly happy to click onto this blog and write something. As I sit here in bed, coughing up nasty green stuff and feeling physically shattered, I feel incredibly positive inside my head. After going through a very tricky time, Bev's-head-wise, over the past 6 months or so, that has to be Good News all round.
I'm sorry to say the surfing didn't quite go as planned. Apart from being far, far, far more strenuous than I ever imagined, I spent the first day with a monster of a sore throat. By the next day it had developed into sweats, a hacking cough and an even worse sore throat. By the afternoon I was in bed - and the next day I made the immediate decision to come home while I still felt safe to drive. I have been here, in bed, ever since!
Sunday, 11 May 2014
For a couple of months I couldn't actually write anything. I couldn't face my Facebook page either - or indeed anything to do with eating disorders and my experience of getting my (now) 20-year old son through anorexia and back into the Land of the Normal. Here's why...
Friday, 21 March 2014
The other day I emailed Charlotte Oakley, Clinical Lead, Connect-Eating Disorders, Glasgow & Clyde, Scotland, for more information on Family Based Treatment for eating disorders being rolled out across Scotland. I am immensely grateful to her for taking the time and trouble to reply at length, for allowing me to post the following info and for clarifying the situation which will hopefully help my blog followers to understand what is being done in Scotland - and why. Or at least in Greater Glasgow & Clyde - because, as Charlotte says, she "cannot speak for all of Scotland" although she suspects that other areas are "likely to be the same".
Friday, 14 March 2014
Please eat...: A mother's struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia. Daniel has been working on the English version since the middle of last year. He also arranged for German proof-readers to check it through and provide feedback. We are both thrilled that the Kindle version of Bitte iss wieder... Eine Mutter kämpft, um ihren Teenagersohn von der Magersucht zu befreien has now been published - and the paperback edition will follow in the next few days. Thank you again, Daniel, for all your help and for believing in my message strongly enough to offer to spend months translating it into German so more families can read our story.
Thursday, 6 March 2014
... which is why I do, in the main, agree with Cathy's comment to yesterday's post (which I really appreciate). Here are my thoughts...
Please eat...: A mother's struggle to free her teenage son from anorexia into German so families in Germany can read our story. It's been been given the thumbs up by the German proof-readers and is almost ready to be published - in paperback and as a Kindle download. This guy has generously spent hours and hours carefully translating my words (at his own suggestion) and we've finally managed to find German equivalents for all the British slang. (For example, where is Planet Zorg located? ;) Watch this space for more news!
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
"Okay, it's wonderful knowing that young people in Scotland are being given a better chance of recovery, and sustained recovery, from their eating disorders - but where does this leave us? How does it help us?" asked my husband.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
No-one is claiming that FBT (Family Based Treatment) for eating disorders has a 100% success rate, nor that it works as effectively for adults with eating disorders as it does with adolescents. There are families where FBT has failed to help their child recover; indeed I know of some personally. But the reason why it is being rolled out across Scotland for families that request it is that studies and clinical trials have proven that it is significantly more effective in achieving a faster and more sustained recovery for adolescents than when alternative methods are used. And that, in my opinion, is as good a reason as any for everyone, wherever they live, to be permitted access to FBT.
This, it appears, is what The System is like in England (I know Wales is different). Things are so very, very complicated in England that it's almost impossible to explain. (Thanks Marcella for doing your level best to attempt to do so, though...) This, essentially, is almost certainly why FBT (Family Based Treatment) for eating disorders in adolescents is not being rolled out across England as it is in Scotland (which has a far, far simpler political system by the sound of things). Meanwhile young lives are being lost. Like the young man and women I learned about at the weekend - both university students who lost their lives to their eating disorder.
Gotta rush out, only got back late last night, so this is a copy of what I've just posted on the ATDT forum - will talk A LOT MORE when I get back. I have SO MUCH TO SAY I think I'm going to EXPLODE!!!!!!! Here it is...
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week and, already, I've come across several references to eating disorders as illnesses that affect girls and young women. No mention of boys. Or, if there is a mention, it's only a passing reference. But, you know what? (And I know that most of my readers DO know, especially Sam Thomas of Men Get Eating Disorders Too who spends most of his waking hours trying to raise awareness of this inescapable and stark fact.) BOYS AND MEN GET EATING DISORDERS TOO!
Monday, 24 February 2014
It's Eating Disorders Awareness Week. So the media have dragged in various 'experts' to spout their stuff about what 'causes' eating disorders and how they might be prevented. It's a shame that, in some instances, these 'experts' aren't better informed. Indeed my network of parents (from the F.E.A.S.T. community) seem to know more about the ins and outs of eating disorders than they do.
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Prof James Lock (co-author of the very excellent and informative book Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder) is in Glasgow a week today for an information and discussion session on Family Based Treatment (FBT) for Eating Disorders - and I will be in the audience.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
During that critical period between year 11 and year 13 at high-school, Ben missed a heck of a lot of school. During year 11 he was plummeting into anorexia and ended up studying for his GCSEs at home while battling with this terrifying descent into a serious eating disorder. He never, ever managed to get back into school full-time. In an ideal world Ben - a highly articulate and intelligent young man - was predicted to get AAA at A-level. In the event, he got BBB plus an A in his Extended Project Qualification. Considering what he'd been through, this was an amazing feat and one that Sheffield University obviously recognised as they pointed us towards their Disrupted Studies scheme which is aimed at people who, like Ben, "have experienced issues of a personal, social or domestic nature that have affected either your post-16 studies, or any GCSE subjects that cited in our course entry requirements". We supplied all the relevant information and Ben won a place at Sheffield, a 'Russell Group' University like Leeds University.