It went from Ben in pieces, rock-bottom depressed, about to quit Uni and hide himself away for the rest of his days... 36 hours ago... to a hopefully successful fix and a relatively relaxed and happier Ben. Thankfully no eating disorder was evident at any part of the proceedings; indeed he scoffed back 700 calories over lunch in Starbucks without batting an eyelid.
Yesterday was a nightmare all day long, with me rushing down to Sheffield to attempt to fix things and Ben in the least possible receptive frame of mind i.e. doom and gloom, nothing will work, woe, woe, doom, gloom, everyone hates me, I'm a failure at making friends, my life isn't worth living, and so on and so forth... And screaming that he hated uni, didn't know who he was or what he wanted to do with his life - if anything. OMG it was a nightmare.
Meanwhile I stayed totally calm and talked to him, even if he wasn't talking to me most of the time. Or to Sam, the lovely head residential mentoring lady who I managed to collar for an hour's meeting. Ben just sat there, in silence, in gloom, staring at the floor...
The deadline for quitting and paying no fees is Monday which means we were cutting it fine. So I immediately came up with a Plan A and a Plan B: A = quit now and take another year's Leave of Absence and try again next year. B = carry on BUT ON CONDITION that we set up a highly structured support package via Student Services that he MUST engage with.
The aim of said package would be to support him on every emotional level and help him manage his time without burning himself out with over-studying. And also to help him meet like-minded people and make friends.
And, most important of all, to be happy.
"Have I ever been wrong? Have my plans ever failed?" I kept saying, confidently.
And today we came back and had an hour's meeting with the truly awesome Emily of Student Services to set up a structured plan involving a number of people, groups and organisations as well as getting Ben a new, more sensitive personal tutor.
I knew I could count on her to come up trumps.
Now it's just a case of Ben engaging with the plan - and she made it clear to him how important it is that he DOES engage with the plan.
And this is the point where I, the mum, would prefer to back off and let him prove that he can do what he has promised to do.
The first port of call is for Ben to meet with a guy called Rob who is some kind of mentor who will help him manage his time, work out a good life / work balance and offer general pastoral support. In a past life Rob was a psychiatric nurse, which isn't a bad thing.
Plus, Emily is setting up all manner of other things, too, which should help.
More about what the problems have been, later. But, thankfully, none of it has been eating disorder related.