I've just been through my proposed revised Recovery Contract with Ben and he is happy with it. We also had a long and very fruitful chat, using my newly acquired (but still fledgling) "motivational interviewing" techniques learned from the New Maudsley Approach website. Really and truly this is THE MOST AWESOME way to discuss eating disorder / recovery related things with your child.
The upshot is that Ben feels massively better than he felt a couple of weeks ago when he told me he felt suicidal and we had that dreadful meeting with the private psychologist when Ben was effing and blinding throughout.
He does wonder whether the severe dip in mood had something to do with the way he suddenly came off his medication (Prozac) when you're suppose to wean yourself off it slowly.
I also wonder, as you know, whether it could be something to do with a diet that is too low in essential fats, which is why we are beginning the brief "fats experiment" tomorrow.
He's not too keen on doing that, mainly because it takes him back to minutiae which he is trying to break free from. "I can really see why this may seem like a problem to you - not ideal, and all that," I said. "But you can see why it needs to be done, at least for a few days, just so we can check we're on track." I told him I'd do all the counting; he doesn't need to be involved.
"Thank you for sharing your emotions and thoughts with me recently," I told him. "Telling me you felt really down couldn't have been easy for you. But, as I am sure you can see, it's the only way I can know what''s going on in your head and help you. So, thank you, I really appreciate it."
I told him that, ultimately, he is at the helm of his recovery and I am just here to support him when he needs it.
It was a really good conversation. Really positive. Which is why, despite the recent dips, I am convinced that he is doing just fine on the road to recovery. Maybe recovery isn't happening as quickly as I would have liked or anticipated at the start of 2011 one year ago, but we are still facing in the right direction and mutually happy to continue to move along this road together as a close-knit team.