Thank you to Magenta Eel for her comment on yesterday's post about burnout and whether I should leave the world of eating disorders behind. i.e. Do I really want to return to the world of eating disorders? Would I risk allowing it to possibly define me as a person in my future? Wouldn't it be better to just move on? I totally agree that, yes, it would, in a way - a way that feels natural and comfortable for me. And here's why...
Over the last 6 months I've undergone a lot of therapy, soul-searching and self-awareness. The (my) conclusion, at this present moment in time, is that, no, I no longer want to re-visit all the eating disorder stuff that went on over the last 5 years. The purpose of this blog, and my books, was and is to show families that are facing this terrible illness that other families have been there too - and survived. Right from the start of my son's eating disorder, I knew I wanted to eventually help other families to overcome many of the obstacles and ignorance (ours, as well as other people's), so they could focus on the things that matter most i.e. getting their child well again, without all the hefty learning curve and other stuff that we had to go through.
I have exorcised that desire, so to speak, through everything I have written in this blog and in my books, and there is no reason to repeat any of it. It goes into as much depth as is possible, I believe. It is a job done. At the time it helped me to attempt to make some kind of sense of what had gone on and was still going on, kind of cathartic, but now that's been done. Completed.
At this moment in time, it's not helpful for me to spend ages clicking through forums like the ATDT forum, seeing if I can help another family. Or all the eating disorder related Facebook pages. Or even my own Facebook page - the Bev Mattocks one, the one I use for all things eating disordered. I just can't do it. It's like a mental block. Like mental buffers that won't let me go any further.
So, for the time being, all of this is 'on hold'. Possibly permanently. I can't say. I had a long discussion with my therapist about this and we decided that it's a bit like the way a therapist needs to distance themselves emotionally from their clients otherwise they'd go crazy. You need to know when to switch off, when to say no.
Having said that... I do feel a need, following this successful therapy, to perhaps report on what I've discovered about myself - about the way my body and mind has been dealing with the aftermath of the eating disorder. I have learned a lot. The therapy appears to be working. And I believe that other parents facing similar post-trauma symptoms following their child's eating disorder, might find it helpful to see how I've been attempting to 'get my life back'.
Just like anything, it may not work for them, but it may point them towards escaping from this thing that's been dominating their lives for so long, so they can begin to get their old selves back.
So, for the time being when I blog, it's NOT going to be about Ben's fight with anorexia, it's going to be about my fight to get my life back and to convince the inner recesses of my brain that 'the tiger' is not crouching behind my garden shed ready to pounce at any moment.
The tiger left our lives months ago.