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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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LaurieW
Hello friends,

Tomorrow can be one of the hardest days of the year for ED sufferers and their caregivers.

From the big, rich meal which is the central feature of the holiday....

to well-meaning, but ill-informed relatives telling your child that they wish they could be as slim as your child....

to the infuriating idiots who tell you child not to have that second helping because it could make them fat...

to all of the moralizing about being "bad" by having a second slice of pie...


Through all that, I hope you and your child find peace and a something to be thankful for.

I am grateful that this Thanksgiving my daughter is weight restored for the first time since her initial diagnosis over six years ago.  This time last year, I was watching her disintegrate before my eyes, yet again and it was hard to be optimistic, let alone thankful.   Maybe there is light at the end of this horrible tunnel.  

And I am grateful for all the words of wisdom and support I have read on this forum.

Wishing you peace and health,

Laurie

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US_Mom
I've never commented before on this site. I have been reading now for a while when I need encouragement. Right now I'm at my wit's end. My D has been in treatment now for 8 weeks. She was inpatient for 2 weeks, PHP for 3 weeks, and IOP for 3 weeks and releasing her today. Not enough. Her mind is nowhere near where it should be. I thank God she is eating 100% of her food 100% of the time which is why the insurance will no longer pay for the program. She must be weight restored or nearly. I don't know. The program hasn't shared her weight or her goal weight. (However, they did leave her paperwork laying around for her find with her weight on it, and that threw her into a tailspin a couple of weeks ago.) I just had the "I'm fat" argument with her for the millionth time. She says she's not going to Thanksgiving tomorrow. I don't know what to do. She says she is going back to AN now. I don't know how I'm going to do this 24 hours a day and hold down a job working from home. Then to hear Laurie went through this for 6 years! I don't think I can do it. I know I have to BUT 6 YEARS! I'm only in 8 weeks and I'm going to lose my mind.
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LaurieW
Hi Laura,

I am sorry things are so hard for you and your daughter now.  You are in the thick of the hardest part.  

The good news is much more is widely known about EDs now than in past years, although we still have a long way to go to educate the medical community and public. 

My daughter has been ill so long because she got ineffective treatment early on that is now out-dated (psychological approach: "she has to want to get better, don't be a food nazi," with lots of review of family systems and relationships).  Then when she was getting better treatment, it still fell short because they set weight goal far too low. She now weighs 15 pounds more than the weight goal set by previous treatment centers and it seems to make all the difference. (She had to gain over 30 pounds this year to get there!) 

I am hopeful your daughter is getting better treatment and will be on the road to recovery.  My one piece of advice: Insist on the weight consistent with her childhood growth charts as goal and demand your daughter's program to fight with your insurance company to get more time in the program for her to get to that weight.

I am sorry tomorrow will be a hard day for you and wish that next Thanksgiving you find your daughter and yourself in a better place.  You will find a lot of great info and support on this forum to help you get there.

Peace,

Laurie
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Enn
Laura_M,
An official welcome to you! I am glad you posted. 

I am sorry about what you are going through right now. I know it is hard to see that it can take a long time and it must have been a shock- I get it! I really do! It is a frightening prospect to think years and years, but things are really better nowadays. Professionals are better equiped, and knowledge of ED's is better. We have effective treatment etc. as Laurie says above.  Your D is eating 100% of the time and that is great and you are really still in early days. However, with every week it does get better. At 8 weeks, since diagnosis and she is eating all you give her, that really is a huge win!

I can tell you for us, it took 4 months after WR  to really see her brain improve, but things really got easier when her routine was established and she did not fight me ie really at about 3 months into diagnosis the routine and expectations were set. Every month was an inch better than the last. 

I wonder if reading the "gold star moment" thread may be helpful to you? There are some very encouraging posts from others even at the same stage as you. And the thread on recovery stories too. Very uplifting. 
Everyone's journey is so different. 
None of us knows what the future will bring. But I want you to know that there are better days to come, really.
We are here to support you. I want to infuse hope into you, for a better Thanksgiving next year. It is hard to hear these sad and awful things from our beloved child, and we say here that that is "ED"talk ( I am sure you have seen it here many times). Try to tolerate it, be calm as best as you can. Come here and vent. We really do understand. 

Please try to do something good for you that nurtures your mind, body and soul. Even if it is only half an hour a day. You deserve good care too.
Thinking of you, 
XXX




When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Enn
LaurieW,
Thank you for posting and so glad your D is WR! I do hope that your Thanksgiving goes well! 
I can see that looking back just a year ago, things are much better for you and your D.
All the best, and Happy Thanksgiving.
XXX
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
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Mcmum
We will all be thinking of our friends in the US on this site tomorrow. Wishing you the best day you can have under your particular circumstances.

Laura-M, I know how you feel. When I started to get my head around this illness in July I naively thought that we might have it cracked by September.....
Then I learned how long it can take........
Our wr is a moving goal as our son is very young but I promise you that 3 months after diagnosis we are living a much more "normal" life. Laughter has re-entered our world and there are way less anxiety inducing moments around food.
So although we are in this long term, for most it gets significantly better. It's certainly a different journey for each family involved (as I'm learning here) but have hope - this will likely not remain as hideous for you as it is now. My son's teacher had to tell him off recently for too much chatting to his friends in class and she said she had never taken so much pleasure in seeing him being "naughty". With weight gain (and the food is going in for you) something resembling a life returns. Hang in there xxx
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cm72
Happy Thanksgiving to all! We are going to do our best tomorrow and practice some loving kindness to our daughter. No challenge foods or anything scary. At the family’s house for dinner, we are going to let her go to another room while we eat. I figure on holidays, it’s time to be extra gentle and do the best you can.
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Foodsupport_AUS
Happy thanksgiving to all of you in the US. Welcome LauraM, the first few months are often the hardest. There is no guarantee of fast recovery, even with full weight restoration with this illness - but the best chance of recovery is with consistent regular nutrition and support. Most people find there is a significant improvement over time with regular consistent nutrition and weight gain back to previous growth curves. Maintaining is hard work. Learning the skills as a parent to manage distress tolerance, not reacting to the eating disorder but at the same time weathering the storms it brings. 

Early on it is important to recognise that the key emotional issue with eating disorders is often anxiety and panic. She feels this all day every day and it guides her thoughts and behaviours. Learning that you cannot reassure anxiety is a valuable skill, however we can acknowledge it and recognise the distress that it is causing. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
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ValentinaGermania
Laura_M,
a very warm welcome from Germany! You are not alone and we can help you and if you learn how to tackle ED here and show your d that you mean business with that it does not need to take 6 years! LaurieWs case is just one case and all families and all cases here are different. See my d, she is 22 months after diagnose now and she is doing well and doing her first steps at University now. So that is possible.

The first days/weeks at home are the most difficult and you will need help with that.
I would suggest you open your own thread on this so it can be read by more parents and they all will love to help you. Just click on the "new topic" button on the right on top of the site and copy your post from this thread here.

We can help you. We all have been in your shoes and we know how that feels. ED is treatable. You are not helpless, you just need to learn how.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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ValentinaGermania
LaurieW wrote:
Hello friends,

Tomorrow can be one of the hardest days of the year for ED sufferers and their caregivers.

From the big, rich meal which is the central feature of the holiday....

to well-meaning, but ill-informed relatives telling your child that they wish they could be as slim as your child....

to the infuriating idiots who tell you child not to have that second helping because it could make them fat...

to all of the moralizing about being "bad" by having a second slice of pie...


Through all that, I hope you and your child find peace and a something to be thankful for.

I am grateful that this Thanksgiving my daughter is weight restored for the first time since her initial diagnosis over six years ago.  This time last year, I was watching her disintegrate before my eyes, yet again and it was hard to be optimistic, let alone thankful.   Maybe there is light at the end of this horrible tunnel.  

And I am grateful for all the words of wisdom and support I have read on this forum.

Wishing you peace and health,

Laurie



LaurieW,
I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving this year! You are a great mom and you have achieved a lot. Try to look forward now and have some nice time. It will get better. Step by step. There is definitivly a light at the end of that tunnel. Keep on walking and go through it.

Tina72
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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debra18
Happy Thanksgiving!
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cm72
As was expected, today sucked. We got her to the family dinner but could never get her to dress nicely. So she was wearing her baggy comfortable shorts and a huge college sweatshirt. I'm glad no-one took any pictures. When everyone sat down to eat, she went upstairs. After dinner, she came down and asked if we could leave. So we were the last to arrive and the first to leave. I don't care what anyone thinks. We have to do what's right for her at this point. I'm just hopeful by this time next year, she will happily sit down with us and eat.
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Kali
Dear Thanksgiving Warriers, 

It sounds as though cm72 and Laura that things were difficult yesterday for you. I hope they will get better as the years go on.

I wanted to share our story of the past 4 Thanksgivings with you because each one was a little better. We also allowed our d. to ditch all of the other family meals/dinners during that first year after experiencing Thanksgiving number 1 because they were just too difficult for her. 

Thanksgiving 1: Severely underweight scary looking d. pushing a few tablespoons of food around on her plate and throwing it out at the end of the dinner, and refusing any desserts. Spent the day after Thanksgiving visiting a residential treatment center. D. throws her lunch at us when we try to get her to eat one meal that day. We try magic plate and it turns into a 3 hour incredibly unpleasant standoff. Goodbye magic plate, hello psych hospital.

Thanksgiving 2: D. has been through residential treatment, php, iop, was weight restored, lost weight, is again approaching weight restoration with my help at home. I encourage her to choose a Thanksgiving dish to prepare and bring from our repertoire of meals she can successfully eat. (Our Thanksgivings are a family potluck) We come with a quinoa bowl with avocado, feta cheese, veggies, etc. She eats that. 

Thanksgiving 3: We continue the tradition of deciding to cook something together to bring for the dinner. She chooses eggplant parmesan, which we prepare and she eats, along with some desserts. Score!

Thanksgiving 4: D decides on several dishes to cook, does all the shopping with a friend while I'm at work, helps cook, eats well, enjoys dessert and says it is the best Thanksgiving she has ever had. The dishes she chose had protein, heavy cream, cheese, and enough calories, etc. She also eats lots of the other food which other family members brought.

It takes a long time. Patience is a virtue and steady support and love the way to move forward.

LaurieW, I am so happy to hear that your daughter has turned a corner and is doing well!


warmly,

Kali

Food=Love
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