If someone had told me four, three, two or even one month ago that we would be eating chocolate cake for breakfast to celebrate Derek's birthday I probably would have scoffed and said 'that'll be the day'. But today was the day.
Now it must be said that Emily was uncomfortable with the idea because she doesn't like change around eating habits, and she only had a small piece, but she ate it and enjoyed it. Who knows what kind of 'nutso' things Ed screamed in her head all day about it, but she did it and although she did it partly to please us, she also did it partly because she wanted to. Ah, the sweet taste of success lingers on my tongue still.
We had a very good Christmas holiday. We did some of our traditional things including many food related activities and we did some new things too. She just kind of went with the flow. I checked in with her, maybe too often, to make sure that she was comfortable with whatever was going on and she seemed to take it all in stride. She had her fair share of Christmas goodies and sometimes Ed kicked up, but not always.
She maintained her weight over the last three weeks in spite of having a sore throat for five days. Her menstrual cycle continues with lots of pimples, bloating, cramps and moodiness which are all great signs of her excellent health. Her energy level is good enough to allow her to do 8k runs. And she looks fantastic, if I do say so myself.
Mentally she tells me that Ed is only present about 50% of the time which she considers much better than 100%. I want him gone completely but he is not working on my timelines is he? Lately, I think she has been getting more uncomfortable with her current weight. I guess when you gain 25 pounds in four months you kind of can't help but notice it. But she realized that wearing clothes she bought about 12 pounds ago is a trigger for those thoughts so after her session with the Team yesterday she announced that she needed new jeans and new school pants. I wonder how many of us to quiet the nasty 'self improvement' committee in our heads with some clothes that fit properly and make us feel good to wear?
I have come to realize that one of my challenges for this stage of her recovery is to not let my guard drop and to make sure that we keep anchoring ourselves with breakfast and dinners at the table. Over the holidays things got a little out of whack for us and while a change was good in the short term I believe that we need to come together twice a day to break bread and commune for a lot of reasons. We have all but stopped playing cards or games at meal time because Emily doesn't need that level of distraction. Plus we added a lovely dog named Kismet to our clan recently and he provides more distraction for us.
One of the other challenges that we are facing right now is figuring out which of Emily's behaviours are Ed related versus puberty related. We think we are seeing a lot of normal teenage angst, defiance, snarky toned retorts, emotional highs and lows. But sometimes we aren't quite sure how to handle her because we are virtually brand new to the whole teenage parenting role. But at this early stage of the process I can usually laugh off her antics because normal teenage stuff is a treat compared to the psycho Ed stuff.
Things are good for us right now. Life is feeling more normal all the time. I don't wake up feeling panicky. I don't feel stressed about what to serve for meals. Emily has started making her school lunches and taking more independence around her other meals. We've seen a difference in her enthusiasm and appreciation for meals since she has taken on the responsibility of feeding and caring for Kismet. I know she is at a stage in her life when she needs to establish her independence and ironically Ed robbed her of that completely so we need to help her to regain it in ways that don't jeopardize her health or her growth. That will be a tough balance to strike but at least I know what I am up against and I am feeling rejuvenated enough to take a stab at it.
Happy New Year, Happy New Decade and Happy Birthday to my wonderful guy!