What Happens After Your Child Is in Eating Disorder Recovery - From The Mighty

I find as time marches on and your child recovers, you are left to your own thoughts, sometimes for the first time in months. Finally, you have time to assess the emotional toll an eating disorder personally has taken on you. Moving forward for everyone is healthy and living in the present not the past is essential for familial healing.

I was cooking dinner the other night when my 16-year-old son came up to me in the kitchen, kissed me on the cheek and said, ”What’s for dinner?”

I replied, “Baked chicken with marinara, capers and olives.”

He smiled and said, “Yum, that’s my favorite sauce you make.”

As he walked away to return to his homework, I burst into quiet tears. Now, you might think how sappy and how silly that is. In ordinary cases, it might be. When you have a son who almost died from anorexia just 10 months earlier tell you something you’re cooking is his favorite to eat, it is a pinch me, surreal moment. Suddenly, you realize recovery is working, and his brain is healing to become a healthy teenager again. It is a wonderful thing when recovery is sticking. It is also a scary thing when recovery is sticking.

As we count the days and see life return to our new normal, I live in emotional turmoil controlled by swings of elation at times such as this and fear of another relapse. How can you trust that the media, a friends’ innocent comment or simply a smell or time of year won’t trigger someone who’s recovering? There is perpetual fear that one single event or just a moment can send them spiraling back to the hell in which they fought so hard to get out of.

You work so diligently to get to this point, and then, you reach it. You are victorious yet waiting for the other shoe to drop. You want to protect them from the harsh cruel world and do everything you can to keep them healthy.

When they first return home from treatment,

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