Saturday, January 30, 2010

Another week another kilo

Wednesday, at our meeting with the Team, Emily showed another weight loss and although it came as no surprise to me, I think Derek and Emily were a little surprised. I could see the Team shift into a different mode and intensity with this week's weight loss and I think that triggered a sense of relief in me because after the meeting I felt better than I had in some time.

Their response was to first try to understand what's been going on, which turned into a very humourous conversation after I finished my little bout of blubbering. We were describing the various and sundry ups and downs of Emily's world, including her first heartache over a self-professed bisexual boy who, unbeknownst to Emily, turned out to be dating her friend from school. And who was in fact waiting downstairs in the lobby for Emily to finish her session so that he could come and have supper with us after spending the earlier part of the afternoon with her. Derek suggested that they record this particular issue on their 'WTF' column, which just cracked all of us up. He can be so funny in these meetings, when he is recounting his observations, which I think is partly his way of handling his discomfort over sharing the intimate details of our life with outsiders.

The next part of the discussion was to figure ways to get Emily's food intake back up and we settled on adding three milk servings back into the mix, getting back to tracking the food intake to ensure that the Food guide values are met, and making her finish her dinner regardless of how much snacking she has done after school.

The final part of the discussion was around consequences to her if she was unable to get her weight back on track. The approach here is to take away physical activities that she is not nutritionally sound enough to manage, as opposed to taking away non-physical privileges like her phone or computer. We don't want her to be punished for having the disease because it is not her fault that it has kicked in, but we do need to keep her safe. Unfortunately Emily isn't doing very much physical activity so we don't have a lot of leverage here other than making her come home for lunch or no allowing her to go the Red Tail nature camp. But they have given her a week to turn around the weight loss trend before we have to impose some restrictions.

So far the week is going much better. Healthy Emily re-emerged on Tuesday morning and fingers crossed, has kept appearing for most of the day ever since. We haven't seen the teenage she-devil version except when Derek can't help himself and has to tease her about it. She has given into the new reality around the food and we haven't see Ed nearly as much at the table for the last three days.

I think I started breathing again some time on Thursday, but didn't recognize it until Friday. I was in a very bad place mentally from Monday to Wednesday when I had a sense that my negativity was mounting into an all consuming kind of mental numbness. I don't ever remember feeling quite this way. It felt a little like the beginning of depression but it was more oppressive than depressive, like my mind was caught in a vacuum of emptiness because it couldn't handle the fear any more. I felt like I was on autopilot and then I noticed it subsiding after the meeting with the Team and by the time I finished my run the next morning, it was gone - thank God!!!!

Now that I am reflecting on how I felt, I wonder if my new yoga practice had something to do with how I reacted this week. And if it did, I am not sure if that was good or bad. Yoga has been extremely challenging, both physically and mentally. I can't say I enjoy it yet, but it is a total distraction from everything in your life and it forces me to live in the moment if only for 60 moments a day. At the end of one of my classes, during the rest period, I started crying and so I just laid there for 5 minutes trying to cry quietly all the while filling up my ears with my tears. The class as focused on twisting moves which I later found out are the considered to be the physical equivalent of an emotional wringing out, which kind of makes sense to me. I hope that I can get more out of my yoga practice than flexibility and I am trying to be patient with the process of growing into my practice and so far I feel comfortable with being patient, which is not really like me, so that's a good thing.

Time to go make breakfast for Emily. She has water polo today, so I will be spending a lot of the day feeding her, but at least I enjoy cooking warm, filling winter dishes.


  1. Hi, just came across your blog and, as someone in recovery from an eating disorder, it's interesting to hear another perspective. Makes me think more about what my mum must have gone through, even though I am older (24) and was not living at home at the time.

    Hope you and Emily have a lovely Saturday

    Sarah x

  2. Thinking of you you xxoo

  3. hi,

    I came across your blog by accident and I wanted to tell you that i think you're amazing; your whole family. I began suffering an ED at 14 and my parents didn't even notice. I have lovely caring parents but they were busy and I hid it well. I didn't look too much at death's door and so nothing came to light until 3 years later when I attempted suicide.

    I am now 30 and our family has been through a lot. My family have entered into family therapy with me in the last year (we are all adults now), which shows just how wonderful they are, in my book (though I bloody hate FT, their willingness to face things they could easily see as my problem alone is astounding).

    I wanted to tell you that even when it seems Emily's ED is running the show, or she's mad at you, or cannot hold onto the fact that what you are doing is an extreme act of love (and sacrifice), she will see that and she will thank you. There will always be a part of her, even if she can't feel it at the time, who is relieved to have been found out, to be stopped, to be caught out, even when she hates you for it. She'll love you for it even more than she'll be able to acknowledge to herself for a while.

    My mother did everything for everyone and it is only now that we have been through so much and we have talked about how much I felt responsible for her when I was a child because I didn't see her taking care of herself (her needs came last, if they were allowed at all) that she has begun to learn how to meet her needs. She's started to believe in the importance of her own needs and desires.

    Seeing my mother take her own needs seriously has been just as huge a gift to me as anything else. It makes me feel relieved and it makes me feel unburdened. And it makes me proud of her.

    So do take the 'you' time which is crucial for your health and wellbeing. Derek sounds wonderful, too.

    I'm sorry this is long and rambly, but I wanted you to know you had an impact on me and I respect you and have great compassion for what you are doing.

  4. keep sharing with us, please....I will waiting your up date everyday!! Have a nice and relax day!........................................