The Work Doesn't End When You Get Home From Eating Disorder Treatment - From "The Mighty"

Helping a loved one be successful in recovery is hard work. The thought of another relapse is frightening. Not being committed could mean the difference between success and failure for the child. It is not for the faint of heart but, when you love your child unconditionally, it is just what you do.

My son came home from treatment from an eating disorder residential facility in Denver after being gone for four months. Getting him back home felt like my birthday, Christmas and Easter all wrapped into one special day!

It was a true gift. Friends called and emailed wishing us well. Each wanted to support us as we matriculated back into the world he had abandoned so abruptly to get treatment. People were eager to great him, but respected that the integration needed to be slow and methodical to ensure his transition went smoothly. To explain what is involved in this integration is daunting and even incomprehensible to friends and family who have never been faced with such challenges.

The phone rang often and people truly rallied when we first got him home. But as we got into our daily pattern, suddenly it became deathly quiet.

Our days and nights were fixated on following a rigid meal plan. This consisted of three meals and three snacks timed perfectly. Ensuring safety and compliance after meals was just as important. Keeping him distracted and busy was the goal to ensure his eating disorder did not permeate his mind, calling him to act on behaviors of restricting or purging. Each night after dinner was filled with a board game, or a movie or sitting side by side reading to pass the time and ensure all nutrients infiltrated his body and any bad thoughts were blocked out. We locked all bathroom doors as a safety net to ensure we were working our recovery and safety plan. At bed time,

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child & adolescent

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