... said the psychiatrist at CAMHS yesterday afternoon. Ben's mood was very low and he was extremely anxious. He admitted to being tempted to give in to the ED thoughts. "My mum told me that when I was recovered I'd feel better emotionally", he said with an accusing look, going on to imply that - because he felt cr*p - he might as well give in to the eating disorder. After all, he felt 'safe' there.
They say that you hurt the ones you love most, and Ben certainly succeeded in hurting me. The session was full of accusations along the lines of "My mum insists that xxxx is right" kind of thing and "I don't know who's right: the NHS for telling me it's OK to stick with 'good enough' and stay as I am - or the rest of the world that's telling me I must be properly 'weight restored' in order to recover".
"Well I'm more than happy to settle for 'good enough'", said the psychiatrist. "In an ideal world we'd love you to return to the weight and physique you were before the anorexia. But in many people this just isn't possible. They simply can't handle it. So we need to come to some sort of compromise and I'm happy for you to stay where you are. Yes, if you got freshers' flu or something else that results in weight loss you would be underweight because you don't have any 'buffer zone' at the moment. But I'm happy to settle for 'good enough' if you are."
Daggers look from Ben at Big Bad Mom who, I guess in his eyes, is trying to make him fat whereas the nice psychiatrist isn't. "My mum says if I lose weight I'd end up hospital and die" he said accusingly.
"No, I did not", I said. "I said that because you don't have any buffer zone, if you lost weight you could risk heading back into the 'danger zone' if you went too far. You and I have fought tooth and nail to get you to the stage you are now and I refuse to let you relapse. I refuse to go through all this again. Relapse does happen because I've seen it happen." I was referring to the various families I know who are having to deal with the eating disorder for a second or even third time - and the recovered anorexia sufferers I know who have had relapses and are well aware of the risks.
Ben feels "uncomfortable" now he's "put all this weight on". He feels like he "did before the anorexia" when he carried more weight. He talked as if he'd put on a tonne of weight recently rather than a couple of kilos.
And I could feel the eating disorder beckoning with Siren-like lures of comfort and security in its 'arms'.
Ben felt cr*p and he felt 'recovery' wasn't handing him the happiness and contentment he thought it would. He felt betrayed, and it was as if he was saying he might as well have stayed with theED.
So that kind of set the tone for the session and I came out of the session feeling horrified and defeated.
We didn't speak to each other on the way home.