Mood-wise, today is 'one of those days' as Ben miserably slouches around the house as the 'anorexia demon' tries to muscle its way back in. I can always tell because some of the old, familiar comments return like: "I feel as if I'm just living to eat, existing from one meal to the next" and "I feel useless" and so on. All afternoon I've felt my own old anxiety levels rising, yet trying to appear calm, positive and in control. At least he's responding when I give him a cuddle; often in the past he'd just stand cold and emotionless, arms by his side. He also wants to "help me cook tea" which, in the old days, meant "checking and freaking out at the fat content going into the meal", so I'll be keeping a very watchful eye. And I need to query the list he's made of the food he's consumed today because I'm not entirely convinced the calories add up... (Yesterday they did, by the way.)
It could just be me being paranoid, but it's definitely a 'rocky road' day. It would be unrealistic to assume that, in the journey to recovery, there aren't 'glitches' along the way. The trick is to keep your eye firmly on the ball, all the time.
Funny how I recognise when it's the anorexia speaking and not the new confident, positive Ben. But I am always on the alert for the anorexia 'demon' trying to muscle its way back in as it's prone to do. 'Ed' the eating disorder / anorexia demon doesn't give up easily.
One trigger could be that Ben has set himself a week of challenges. Every single meal is a challenge, starting with the fish'n'chip supper on Saturday through to the creamy chicken stew with potato dauphinoise yesterday - and the sardine pasta today. Then tomorrow it's shepherd's pie with the dreaded "horribly high in fat" lamb mince. And of course, this week he's having to eat 100 extra calories every single day...
Typically all this has come on a day when I'm up to my eyeballs in work and when my husband has finally received his redundancy notice.
Ah well, no-one ever said it would be an easy road... But you have to plough on regardless; as the parent of an anorexia sufferer you can never give up. And each day is a new day - one more day towards recovery.