Recovery Bodies

My apologies ahead of time if this skips around. My mind is all over the place tonight, and my heart is heavy with emotion. I’m sifting through the thoughts in my head and trying to decide what’s appropriate to share and what’s too heavy for now.

I heard a phrase today that I’d never heard before. It was “recovery bodies”. It was the main reason all the girls wore sweatpants and why some of them seemed to look perfectly healthy.

When the anorexic starts to eat regular meals again, the first part of the body to take on the weight is the torso, where all the vital organs are. This can give the anorexic a bloated-looking stomach. Then as the “normal” weight is maintained and regular, healthy mealtimes are continued, the body will give up that weight for other parts of the body.

But on to the day. My daughter did great with her meals today! No supplementing was needed. A victory for the day.

I talked my two older daughters into attending parent group with me today. I was excited to have their company and to show them around. Many parents had heard me talk about them so it was like show and tell for a mom!

Today was a time of celebrating one patients long journey to recovery, a road she is still on but much farther ahead. She has had photographs taken of her expressing her emotions in different poses. Okay, this is not something I understand and perhaps it’s because I’m not a dancer. I imagine a person can express themselves through motion, but I struggle with it seeming so new age. We all went downstairs to view this exhibit. The writings below the photography were emotional and many mothers cried. Most were mom’s who’d been there longer and knew this patient more intimately.

We then went into very small room and sat to discuss how these photos made us feel. The usual thoughts are shared. One mom talks of how she’s having a hard time with this because she has her own depression to deal with and at home there’s no one to share her emotions with. I can understand that. Others were, “We’re so proud of you.” “You’re so brave.” And then the kicker. The one that got almost every mom crying. The brother of one girl spoke of how he was so proud of his sister for having the courage to do this. Cue the tears. Now I managed to keep it to a “ladylike” weep instead of the hysterical bawling that I really wanted to do!

As if anyone had an appetite, it was now time to eat dinner. Back up the stairs we went to the cafeteria where I’m quite sure their way of keeping the patient counts up is by having the cafeteria a dirty mess. The hair stuck to the side of the Coke machine was enough to send me to the ice water! But I digress. The girls had us back in a corner away from everyone else. I notice one girl whom hasn’t been in treatment very long and whom I often see crying, and her family is not here for dinner. She’s on the phone and she’s sad. I don’t know what boundaries there are so I don’t invite her to sit with us, and the patients with no family usually sit with the therapists. But it makes me sad for her. With minimal fighting, my girls and I finish up and head for the hills.

Back home I’m immediately aware of how little I’ve been home. The laundry has piled up and the house is messy, lacking a mom’s touch. And yes, teenagers should be able to help out a bit but then again, they are teenagers! But the cleaning will have to wait because I’m going to bed! Early morning appointments!

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