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meadow

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Reply with quote  #1 
I was wondering whether others have had similar experience.

D (8) has been weight restored for a month now and is currently above her target weight for height. We know she's not fully recovered from AN, but she's living a pretty normal 8 year-old life again. We are obviously completely thrilled.

We are in a consistent routine of 3 meals and 3 snacks, communication with school is good, and I'm back at work.

But........it feels as if it is now catching up with us. My brain is like fog and I feel completely overwhelmed. My husband has really serious insomnia to the extent that he feels he can barely function. We're spending a lot of time stressed and arguing, after being a great team during refeeding.

Can anyone else relate to this? We've agreed to go to marriage counselling. I'm on sertraline, he's on all sorts of sleep meds. Despite the fact that we feel we're in a good place with the ED, we seem to be struggling more than ever now. Is this normal?

I should also mention that when we first realised we were dealing with ED (in the autumn), we were in a new city with no support network (that's improved a lot now). We've also somehow managed to move house since Christmas - I don't really have any recollection of how that happened.

Will this get better?
AUSSIEedfamily

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Reply with quote  #2 
Dear meadow,

Yes I can relate to it very much and I think many on this forum will relate to it in some way some may even relate to it exactly.

A lot of parents carers here report they experience PTSD after fighting the ed monster and totally focused on getting their off spring well then when they have their child well enough to be able to step back a bit from the intensity of full on attack mode PTSD in some form starts to show up.

Some here even then have time for their own self care either formal with a clinician or informal via here or meeting with local friends who get ed's. If you see some one formal they need to get ED's or they may be worse than no formal help

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mjkz

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Will this get better?


The short answer is yes but it takes time.

Have you ever worked for a really big goal and then once you got it found yourself wondering what to do next?  My ex-husband went to medical school. When he graduated, you would have thought we would have been celebrating but he really struggled. All his life all he wanted to do was be a doctor and once he was-he didn't know what to do then.

Same kind of thing when you have a very sick child.  You only look a day in advance and not even that far most times.  You do whatever you have to in order to get through including dropping all the usual crap that would have annoyed you before because you have this big goal you are trying to achieve and you are not going to allow yourself to get side tracked.  Once you have achieved the goal, all of a sudden the whole thing that has kept you going is not there.  The usual petty crap in life actually overwhelms you rather than just annoying you because your reserves are low and you just spent months and years going 24/7.  Now is the time to set small goals for yourself.  Where do you want to be in a week, a month, etc. and take time to recharge your batteries.  You just fought one hell of a battle and it is hard to stop when the battle is over.

Slowly things will return to not normal but a new normal. You will be forever changed by what you went through but that is not necessarily a bad thing.  I can promise you with 100% certainty that things will get better.  I just can't guarantee you the time frame.  Take care of yourself and your family now.  Have a cup of tea or whatever you want to drink ([biggrin]) and get back to self care measures while you can (including enjoying your beautiful daughter).
workinprogress

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Reply with quote  #4 
I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to meadow for starting this thread and to everyone who has posted here. Our teenage daughter has just recently achieved weight restoration and is doing beautifully. I was expecting to finally have some peace of mind and just be able to relax and feel good for a change but have instead been having the same experiences shared here. I actually thought this felt like what I've read about PTSD but figured I must be making too much of it and told myself to "get over it". I had already contacted a therapist a few days ago since things on my end were just not getting better. I have no idea what will happen with that, but it's just so nice to know for now that I haven't gone completely crazy. Thank you everyone for sharing!!
workinprogress

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Reply with quote  #5 
Also just found this after reading here about the validity of PTSD for caregivers of ED:

http://www.laurassoapbox.net/2011/03/ptsd-and-caregiving.html?m=1

Hope it's okay to post this. Obviously remove if not. It includes helpful coping tips. So thankful for FEAST.
sk8r31

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks workinprogress for posting the link to Laura's blog on PTSD in parents of kids with an ED.  It is fine to link to articles or posts that you think would be useful....AND Laura was the one who began FEAST...so I think she'd be honored that you'd found her post useful, and wanted to share it with other caregivers.

I found the period after WR for my d especially challenging...when I could finally 'breath' again, I did find it harder to cope.  Some talk therapy & meds for a while definitely helped.

And the relationship with h had been strained over years of care taking a sick kid.  Gosh, it took a long time for that ship to right as well...hang in there.

Definitely put yourself at the top of the list for good self-care.  Be gentle with yourself...and truly the tincture of time works wonders....but it is a long, slow recovery.

Warmly,
sk8r31

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It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
meadow

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Reply with quote  #7 
Hi, thank you so much for the replies and sorry for not responding until now - an indicator of how overwhelmed I feel!

It's so reassuring to know that other people have been through this too (although sad, of course).  Workinprogress - really sorry that you are experiencing similar.  Thanks a lot Toothfairy for bumping those other threads.

I want to rephrase what I said... we're not struggling 'more than ever', as nothing will ever be worse than refeeding, but it's a tough time.  I don't think I've got PTSD (maybe it's partly because the horror only lasted a few months and our D didn't get really seriously physically unwell).  However, whatever the aftermath is, it's grim! 

Mjkz, I can completely relate to working up to a big goal. Thanks for the example. 

It's so helpful to hear that time is a healer, even if it's slow.  We're trying to be gentle with ourselves, but I'm finding it doubly hard now I'm back at work (mine is very emotionally draining).

Thank God for this forum. Sending good wishes to you all xx 
AUSSIEedfamily

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Reply with quote  #8 
Dear Meadow,

I am glad that you have found this forum so very helpful, as that is what the forum is here for, and thats what F.E.A.S.T is about helping families in need of help with ED's.

Yours and all the others that post here give incentive to me as a new member of the F.E.A.S.T board of directors to pay forward the help that I received from this forum.

I kind of get the stress aspect of your occupation as I am just in the last part of my study for a Certificate IV in Mental Health and during those studies we were always alerted to the possibilty that working with clients who have mental health needs can some times be a significant/strong stress and anxiety creating environment so self care was an integrated part of all classes and assignments.


Warm & Kind thoughts to you

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