Saturday 19 October 2013

Two weeks on - an update on university life

I've been AWOL for a bit, haven't I? It's now two weeks since I wrote about the Nando's visit, so here's an update on life at Sheffield University...

Ben has had a bit of a tricky time settling into uni, especially this week just gone which - at times - seemed as if things were about to go pear-shaped again. By this, I mean Ben leaving university again, like last September.

Thankfully, though, things improved in the second half of the week as Ben got to know people better and socialise successfully.

But, much of the time, his mood has been low, which had been stressful for everyone. And, to be truthful, I am pretty sure that the ED voice is knocking loudly at the door with its promises of helping Ben handle the anxiety and stress. This is another reason why I've been keeping a close eye on him and neglecting my blog.

So far, thank goodness, I believe he is managing to keep the 'anorexia demon' at bay - anorexia, which loves nothing better than to zoom in when its former host is vulnerable, with its Siren-like singing to lure Ben onto the Rocks of Relapse.

I know he's finding it tricky: to manage and handle the stress of university coupled with the stress and change of living away from home. Thankfully he can cater for himself and, so far, he has been eating properly, if a bit haphazardly which is part and parcel of university life with its timetable of lectures and seminars.

So he has been eating, which is good news.

The problem is that he isn't eating enough and his weight is still on the low side where it has remained for the past month. So far, he seems unable to get the weight back up again and I am keeping very close tabs on this, made easier by the fact that he is here at home at weekends for the time being.

But - all in all - he is doing so very well on every count (except weight gain). And the last few weeks really have been a 'baptism of fire' for Ben.

My advice to any family who is wondering whether their recovered son or daughter is ready for university is to really be aware of just how much of a shock to the system going away to university is - and how easy it can be to say yes to the soothing but false lure of the eating disorder voice. Which is why we are keeping such a very, very close eye on Ben over the coming days and weeks, primed to take immediate action if he finds he isn't strong enough to keep the anorexia voice at bay...

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