So I subtly asked him what he felt about the two Prize Day awards and he said nothing about thinking it's peculiar or anything like that. And when I prompted him on how he felt about that particular award, he said he felt very touched by it and felt grateful to the school for recognising his fight to overcome the anorexia. Good. That put my mind at rest, so it's only me that's unsure how I feel about it. But what he did say was this...
"I know I should be thrilled and elated at getting these awards," he said. "I'd have been gutted if I hadn't got any at all. But the problem is I still feel that numbness. Whenever I should be happy or sad about anything, I just feel, well, completely numb. I know I SHOULD feel happy, sad or whatever, but I just can't feel anything at all. And I know the school is showing me that it really cares about me; I just wish I could feel thrilled about it."
This numbness is classic eating disorder. It happens to so many anorexia sufferers, but it's such a shame that Ben still feels this way, almost three years since he first developed his anorexia.
I suggested that some extra talking therapy might be useful. But he isn't interested.
"I'm sure things will improve once I'm out there doing the things I like with people that like the same things as me," he said. "Like Warhammer, when I go to Uni."
"Well as long as you DO get out there and get involved," I added.
But the good news is that he is actually quite pleased with these awards. Well, as pleased as he can be when he feels so numb.
And the other good news is that he is happy to continue with the new therapy sessions with U, our new dietitian.