F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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yellowcaty
I’m trying my best to see the sunshine from inside the clouds so thought I start a thread for ideas about my D birthday. As some will know last years wasn’t great and we were waiting for an IP bed and this year she will be in IP. She may get some day leave but not over night.

She won’t engage in talk about it and hasn’t mentioned her friends in weeks. I’ve bought her a small present already but would appreciate lots of ideas as to how to make it special. Really I just want cheering up by talking about nice things.
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mimi321
Hi Yellowcaty, what a nice idea! Just a few ideas that come to mind. maybe a cozy blanket, a manicure or a pedicure? A coloring book and markers? Some new slippers? Maybe a nice scenic drive listening to her favourite tunes? Nail polish? Some new books? A book of crossword puzzles or madlibs? Some fun new accessories? Balloons, of course. Maybe one of those digital picture frames that have pics of happy memories? 🎈
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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tina72
I would like to add the idea of a spa day for the whole family. Do you have some indoor swimming center around or something like Center parc? Would it be  a problem to wear a bath suit?

I would not add much more presents and keep that for later. They feel guilty with getting presents at that state.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Mcmum
Hi, when my neice was 18, I wrapped a box and put in 18 small presents. Nothing very costly.  So some really pretty tissues, a face mask, some free perfume samples, something from Lush and so on. I think I had more fun doing it than anything and maybe your other kids might enjoy it?
How about some nice flowers  (or make origami flowers ) to decorate her room.  Did you make any decisions regarding pets or maybe that's the last thing you need at the moment !
How about a family craft /painting /photography lesson? ??
Or how about a family quiz based on all the funny things everyone has said and done over the years ? Do any of the kids play an instrument?  A song??? A video montage from her friends? ?
A book of poetry? 
Rambling now but I thinkthis could be fun for you and hopefully better for your daughter than she's anticipating.  Best of best wishes xx
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KLB
A jar filled with lots and lots of reasons why you (and other family members & friends) love her and/or things you all love about her. For example, "I love you because you make me laugh" or "I love that you smile in your sleep" or other things like that. You could aim for 52 different ones so she can take one out every week, or more, if you have time. 

18 experience vouchers she can "cash" in whenever she wants, like a family day out, a rollercoaster ride etc etc. Or label envelopes with things like "open when you're sad.....", "Open when you want to smile/laugh"....when you're mad, when you're determined, etc. And fill the envelopes with letters, quotes, pictures, photos, teabags, etc that relate to the emotion etc. 




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Mcmum
Ooh , good ideas. How about some home makeover mags and a mood board with some bits and pieces to choose from to put on it??
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yellowcaty
Thanks for the great ideas. It is as though you all know my D. So far my favourites are..


1. Drive listening to favourite music (when she has leave from her first unit she would ask to do this in an evening).
2. Spa day - homemade for now but perhaps a plan for the future
3. 18 small gifts wrapped (perhaps everyday things to use in hospital)
4. Emotion envelopes (she really struggles with her emotions so this would be great- I now just need ideas to go on each one)

It is much better to do something positive rather than just feeling miserable about the situation. 
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Mcmum
It's not always possible but a sign of your strength and courage that you can even think like that! xx
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KLB
Emotions envelopes ideas (some would need big envelopes)

Stress ball
Homemade CDs with different music types on
Quotes from famous/different people about coping with different emotions
Fancy notebook/paper and pen to write her thoughts down
Guided workpages for different emotions
A guide on breathing exercises
Photos of things that invoke opposite emotions
Chewing gum
Different herbal tea bags
Letters/notes from friends and family
Fiction book she loves to read
A little teddy to hug.
Bubble wrap to pop
Seeds to grow something
Mindfulness exercises
List making ideas (if she likes making lists)
Stories from her childhood
List of websites to visit
Inspirational quotes
Individual facemask sachets
Tickets to a concert/show etc - something to look forward to? 

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Mcmum
Knitting!  Ball of wool, the kind that changes colour and some large , blunt needles. Very restful 
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deenl
Dear yellowcaty,

I love these ideas and I hope so very much that your daughter receives them in the spirit that they are given. I am hesitant to put the damper on this thread but our experience of any celebrations during the difficult times were very subdued. Our son did not feel worthy of love, compliments or gifts. Expressions of affection and gifts were triggers for meltdowns or self harm and gifts remained unopened for many days. It was very, very sad. 

Balancing this out is the fact that it only lasted a year more or less, the second year was more neutral and now he gets excited about gifts in the same way young kids do. Seeing it really never gets old and my heart sings. I would say the joy I get now is much larger than the sorrow back then.

As I said, I hope my warning is not needed, ED takes a hike for one day and you all have a wonderful time.

Warm wishes,

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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yellowcaty
Don’t worry deenl, I’m not expecting too much and I know there is a part of me that wants to celebrate it for me. I think I feel a bit cheated that I’m not able to celebrate my first born’s 18th how I should. This illness robs us all of so many treasured moments and I officially hate it!!!!!! 
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deenl
I think a hope for the best and prepare for the worst is a practical strategy. 

Even though our son could not let us see that he appreciated love or gifts the was nothing in this world that would stop us from showing it. I would not let ED behavior scare me off or give it the opportunity to say 'see, told ya, they don't love you. I also wanted to try to maintain a sense of normality - it is normal to mark birthdays, give gifts and show affection. All were toned down though to be a bit less triggering. I still don't know how he felt at the time but I felt better.

I do hope you can enjoy making plans and showing your love. Even if the external behaviour might not be what we wish it is likely that underneath she will be pleased. And who knows it may be all caution over nothing and she may have a lovely time. 

Warm wishes 

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Foodsupport_AUS
My D has been reluctant to celebrate her birthday with friends since she got ill. Ironically her first birthday after AN she was in hospital and was permitted day leave to go to a movie which she attended with a few friends. That was her last party. Before ED she loved having parties. I seem to feel sadder about this happening rather than her. Even now she is quite well she declined an 18th and 21st birthday parties, though she attended quite a few .I think part of it is the reluctance to deserve things - so all those little things which are designed just to say you care, spending quality time are really useful to her. 
deenl wrote:
 I would not let ED behavior scare me off or give it the opportunity to say 'see, told ya, they don't love you. I also wanted to try to maintain a sense of normality - it is normal to mark birthdays, give gifts and show affection. All were toned down though to be a bit less triggering.

I think this is absolutely true. ED will use anything so something has to happen even if it isn't a party. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13.5. Weight restored July 2012. Relapse and now clawing our way back. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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tina72
Maybe it helps to make her feel better about it to say that you are not planning the birthday just for her but that her siblings want to have a normal birthday and "blame" it on them. So she might feel better about that.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
Having the birthday problem now. My daughter's birthday is this week and she doesn't want to do anything.
 I like the idea with the jar with reasons I love her. I never was creative but I can give it a try.
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Mamaroo
debra18 wrote:
Having the birthday problem now. My daughter's birthday is this week and she doesn't want to do anything.
 I like the idea with the jar with reasons I love her. I never was creative but I can give it a try.

My d also has her birthday this week and she didn't want a party this year. I'm taking her and her bestie to Maccas after school for a treat. Is there something small you could do to celebrate the day? It is hard if they don't want any fuss for the day.
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. Started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her.
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tina72
debra18 wrote:
Having the birthday problem now. My daughter's birthday is this week and she doesn't want to do anything.
 I like the idea with the jar with reasons I love her. I never was creative but I can give it a try.


Another idea:
can you take her to a large furniture store and tell her she must go with you and help you to check some furniture for a renovation of the living room (you do not really need to actually DO that, it is just a plan to get her out of the house)? You could maybe have some nice time there together.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
I took the suggestion and wrote 13 reasons why I love her on a card. It was very simple and she really liked it .It's a good activity too for people in the dark days, as it gets you to see the positive things about your child and they can see it too.
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debra18
KLB looking back on the thread I saw it was your idea. Thanks so much! Have to give credit where credit was due!
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mimi321
Nice to hear that your daughter enjoyed those notes, that is a good idea! I should do that, too for my D when her birthday comes up, I bet she would really treasure that. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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