Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Ramblings from the very beginning of the Anorexia nightmare.....

One of your art pieces you created while spending time at ABBH



Right around 1998 life as I knew it in my bubble of happiness was about to take a drastic turn for the worse. My family whom I took such pride and care for, who I made sure was always as happy as humanly possible was about to have a rude awakening. Our lives were truly picture perfect with our share of ups and downs. You and Chelsey were coming into your mid teens and we as parents having pretty much dodged the somewhat horrifying anticipation of possible teen pregnancy, drug addition, in with the wrong crowd...etc......i never in my wildest dreams would have thought that Anorexia would come into our lives. I often felt that in the long run I would have rather dealt with any of those above mentioned than what we dealt with for 14 years...

About a year earlier the family had gone through some time trying to diagnose what was wrong with Chelsey which we would find out later to be Panic Disorder. After going to several different professionals who had some pretty strange ideas of what could possibly be the matter and also dealing with her high school, who was very little help...... we found a wonderful doctor who specialized in PD and we got it all under control. I guess you could say this was the very beginning of my education that not all doctors and health professionals know everything...remember I lived in a "bubble of happiness" for a long time. I guess I was a little naive too since our lives didn't really have much trauma up to this point.  Things were looking better after the help of Dr. Feder....

When you came back home after your 3 weeks grooming at the horse shows in Florida and after a large amount of weight lost during those few weeks, the trainer begged us to take you home, she suspected the worst .......we then took you to one of the outpatient programs in Chicago,which you did not like much at all. There was so much anger that I didn't understand where it came from. You had been so weak from your change in diet and your new way of eating..combined with your new exercise regimen.....I remember you told me one day that you were afraid of falling asleep, that you felt so weak you were afraid you wouldn't wake up.

I will say, looking back at it all now, that you really did a splendid job hiding your whole exercise deal from me. I had no idea of what the extent of your addiction was taking you to. That one time you shared with me your entire routine, I was in awe of the  routine you set up for yourself, which you would do daily for a total of 4 to 5 hours per day ( I was unaware of this, until much later). So there would be, for example, a certain number of stretches to start, then 8 jumping jacks, then 20 kicks and so on....IF you added one more into the routine you could never go back and take it out..it could only increase. Those were the rules that you made. You could never change the rules....you knew it didn't make sense and you knew it was hurting you, but you couldn't control it. I truly believe that if you could have stopped the insanity you would have.

There were the few times you got caught, once by Chel and her boyfriend Matt. They saw you exercising through the crack under  the basement door and when they came to tell me about it I defended you...because you weren't allowed to be doing that...that was one of the rules in order to live under our roof at that time. I don't know what my problem was...maybe just ill equipped emotionally to take on this powerful illness which was taking my daughter away from me slowly and consistently each day. 

When I call it your addiction it never made sense to people who don't have any experience of Eating Disorders. They would say, "how could she be addicted to food, she is starving herself"? The fact of the matter being that everything relating to food, all of the numbers relating to food...such as calories, grams, fat content, sugars, weight etc. becomes an obsession. Going to the grocery store you would spend hours reading every single label on every single thing you picked up, buying only your restricted list of safe foods and stayed away from anything else. There was another component that came into play right from the start of it all and that was your Obsessive Compulsive Disorder...(OCD)....very common with some people to accompany an eating disorder.



This went on for several months and we tried so hard to do whatever the professionals told us in hopes that if we did..... you would be just fine. About 8 months later after refusing to enter into the inpatient program and also after they taught you how to basically eat again...the ultimatum was given. We told you that if you didn't go into the hospital..you would have to live elsewhere...your age being against us in the fact that we really didn't have any real say so since you were 18 at that point you left our home to live with your friends. They were unaware of the entire enabling issue, although they meant well and thought they were helping they only took you on the wrong path to recovery. This was just part of the journey.....who knows what would have happened if another path was taken, we will never know........


You looking very proud of yourself ....
When this photo was taken we all thought that it was incredibly horrible and you couldn't possibly look any worse.....we were so wrong! Looking back now you look incredibly fantastic!  At this point it confirms what one of my favorite sayings are..."every thing's relative"
I even remember one of your doctors wanting to use this photo to use in one of his training programs to show what Anorexia does to people.

The Journey would continue............



miss you terribly.....m

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