Thursday 26 May 2011

Delegating and talking...

Thanks for the lovely feedback re. my "cry for help" the other day! Ben offered to clean the house yesterday afternoon in exchange for some new shoes he wanted, so that's sorted for a while. My sis has been visiting my Dad and is going again tonight, so I won't need to go until tomorrow. As you'll see from my other entry, my wonderful friend S has been brilliant; her cups of tea are positively soothing. And I had a word with Ben about his behaviour the other night...

I explained that, whereas we all know that anorexia can be an incredibly self-centered and selfish illness in that the behaviour often doesn't give a monkeys about how it's affecting other people, I believed Ben had arrived at a stage in recovery where he needed to be less self-centered and work at sometimes taking the focus off himself and his illness and onto other people who may also be experiencing issues. I explained that, although I am usually delighted to talk through any issues that are bothering him; sometimes, and especially with everything that's going on at the moment, it's difficult for me to be on top form. After all, I am only human.

I suggested we spend a bit of time over the weekend going through the Contract and updating it to be more helpful to whatever is bothering Ben at the moment. I suggested that maybe this week hadn't been as positive as other weeks and, at this stage in recovery, it's vital to address stumbling blocks to avoid landing back in the dreaded "Limbo Land".

I know for a fact that he's extremely anxious about getting weighed tomorrow at CAMHS. As you know, he wanted to be weighed last Friday, but the psych rightfully refused because we now only weigh every fortnight rather than every week (to avoid Ben getting obsessed with "numbers" which was causing knee-jerk reactions to the weekly weight and resulting in weight maintenance rather than gain).

Of course he's convinced he's put on a "hell of a lot of weight". Looking at him I know for a fact this isn't the case and yet again I reminded him that he'd have to put on a total of 2kg this Friday in order to average out at the NICE Guidelines' 0.5kg per week weight gain. Having been monitoring it and doing the Contract for 8 weeks now I reminded him that this is an excellent long term period to look at - we MUST look at weight gain over the long term because that gives us a far more accurate picture of what's going on. So I will be there with my figures and my calculator so I can dive in with facts the moment he starts to freak out because he's put on "loads of" weight.

And if he hasn't, he has (reluctantly) agreed to increase the calories by 100 a day for the next fortnight.

A lot of research and other people's experiences suggest strong evidence for the belief that, with true weight restoration comes mind healing. Many of the eating disorder behaviours evaporate away. Not immediately, but they do. But it's vital that an individual reaches their true natural weight with room on either side for weight fluctuation.

I am very frustrated that, after SO LONG of living with the eating disorder, Ben should still have such a powerful aversion to weight gain. He longs to recover, but he finds it extremely hard (impossible at times) to envisage that recovery in terms of being a higher, healthier, more natural weight because he is convinced he is OK as he is.

Oh, and tomorrow at CAMHS we're seeing the psych's assistant (psych is away), and I'll go crazy if she says anything whatsoever along the lines of "If you feel happy with your weight, Ben, you might find it easier to stick at that weight" kind of thing...


  1. Good luck with the weigh in tomorrow! I do hope everything goes okay. Give that assistant psychologist an extra evil glare of doom from me if she says anything of the sort.

    PS: I think adolescence is a self centred condition without complicating mental illnesses ;) my mum recently said to me that although it was terribly worrying to have me holed up in my room all the time when I was younger, it was actually easier to cope with than my completely normal and healthy 16 year old sister, who is utterly crazed with hormones half the time! You are a star to cope with not just any teenager, but such a stressed out and ill one.

  2. I made my parents' lives hell when I was a teenager so I guess I'm getting my 'comeuppance' now... ;)