Wednesday 23 August 2017

My son's MA dissertation is almost complete!

Over the past few years I have been astonished and impressed at how my son, Ben, has knuckled down to studying and organising his time like a true pro. For someone for whom anxiety was a massive issue during his eating disorder, Ben sailed through three years of undergraduate degree, course work, dissertation and exams followed by 12 months of a master's degree, course work and now a dissertation that he's been working on flat-out and diligently over the summer break to be handed in (hopefully!!) next Friday.

Ben's time management has been awesome as has his dedication and staying power. There have been glitches, of course, notably the lengthy period when he was adjusting to life at university back in 2013/14.

But on the whole he's got on with things. He's got on with all the reading, studying, lectures, seminars, essays, revision, etc with (from my perspective as a parent looking on) minimal anxiety.

He's just knuckled down and done it.

That was also his approach to recovering from the eating disorder - to kicking out those remaining remnants while at the same time adjusting to university life away from home.

The same goes for his staying power in rebuilding his social life and circle of friends. You may remember that getting his social life back on track was one of the trickiest issues that he faced as he recovered from anorexia.

Even during that first year at university he was convinced that he'd never meet people who were like him, with the same interests (nerdy gaming stuff). He was a very lonely young man.

But he did meet people like him. Lots of them. He got out there and joined university societies and met a fantastic group of new friends. In fact he became so popular within the university RPG (role playing games) society that he was voted onto the committee two years in a row (or was it three years?) The student houses where he lived with his university friends were jam packed with nerdy things: scifi stuff, fantasy board games, Warhammer models, etc etc. Yes, if you could have seen the pile of board games in their living room... it was massive. They'd all get together for a couple of evenings every week and have a fun gaming session, whether RPG or board games.

Back home, he established a similar group of friends. In fact sometimes his university friends meet up with his home friends and vice versa. All of this with Ben as a kind of hub at the centre, coordinating and organising, just as it used to be with his circle of friends at school, before the eating disorder robbed him of his friends and social life.

So, as my son plans to get his MA dissertation bound and handed in, I am feeling like one Very Proud Mama.

But the thing that has stood out the most is Ben's sheer staying power and dedication - to making a success of everything: recovery from anorexia, university and friends.

Ben is the person who's done it all - who's made a success of everything and who's said a big emphatic N-O!! to the eating disorder and all the nasty stuff that came with it.

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