Sunday 27 October 2013

How's Ben doing at university?

The Good News is that Ben's weight is up; he is successfully managing to eat more, which is so fantastically excellent, considering how easy it would be for him to give in to the lure of the former Anorexia Voice as he struggles to settle in at university. And it is a struggle for him. But, considering he missed out on years of social skills as the eating disorder kept him isolated at home, he is doing marvellously.

It is true that he is having problems on this front. He sees "everyone" around him, all milling around, having "made friends", while he still struggles. Yet I tell him over and over again that he won't be the only one that's finding it hard. I also say that I expect there are some students who have locked themselves away in their rooms since the beginning of term, and those who will already have left, like Ben did last year. Yet, despite his social anxiety, he has made himself get out there and socialise.

OK, it's not always been a success.

The Warhammer Group turned out to be a no-hoper; too many of what he refers to as "Power Gamers". In other words, ruthlessly ambitious people intent on winning the tabletop battles at any cost and who aren't interested in beautifully painting their models like he is and who don't thrive on the imagination side of the hobby.

The Christian Union turned out to be "like Sunday school", so that was a no-goer, too.

The Salsa Dancing evening was a nightmare for him as everyone paired off and he was left alone. In the end he fled.

But - despite an uninspiring meeting this past week - the role-playing society has come up trumps. Here Ben is meeting people who are on his wavelength, fellow "nerds" as he calls them. These are the kind of people that should be at the Warhammer Group, but aren't. Probably for the same reason that Ben isn't.

He gets on with a boy on his course, sits with him in lectures and has been to two student union quiz nights with him and the boy's flatmates. However he's worried that the boy's flatmates "ignore" him as if he's "not there".

And he seems to get on with some of the people in his seminar group.

So this is all Good News, considering what Ben has been through and could have done (ie. locked himselef in his room), but - to his credit - didn't.

But he is still coming home for long weekends. Four days on and three days off. I think this is his way of coping with it and, hopefully, one day he will stay for a weekend.

At the moment he has a heavy cold, which doesn't help his mood, which is on a bit of a downer along the lines of "not really liking uni life" and being "different" from "everyone" else - convinced he's a bit odd or that people don't or won't like him.

So, all in all, at the end of October, it's a mix of good and not-so-good news.

But, as I said above, the Good News is that Ben's weight is up and he's trying to make a go of it this time round. It's hard, but I trust he has what it takes to keep on trying until everything begins to fall into place.


  1. Yay for Ben! I'm a 15 year old Canadian girl fighting against anorexia. I have been supposed to be recovering for months, but only recently I decided that I don't want this disease to kill me, and I am actually putting in an effort now. It is so hard to tell the ED voice that it is wrong.... I have divorced parents, and while my mum is extremely supportive and helpful, my dad doesn't understand how to help me....(he has eating restrictions, himself, even...) I read this blog when I need to be reminded that recovery is possible, and I can relate with the exact same experiences as Ben faced. I have had the same meltdowns, panics, frantic texts to mum, and finally some of the same successes. Love and good wishes! Xoxoxoxo -Morag.

    1. Thank you for commenting, Morag, and I wish you all the best in your recovery! xxxx