Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Post-traumatic anorexia stress syndrome

I haven't posted in a few days, mostly because I'm feeling sad.

Sad about my daughter Kitty's illness, even though she is doing quite well now. Because she is doing well now, probably.

Last year at this time it wasn't safe to feel sad, or mad, or anxious. It really wasn't safe to feel much of anything. Last year at this time her father and I were relentless cheerleaders in the land of anorexia recovery.

This year, we are back to what passes in our house for normal life. Kitty is off to the state Latin convention tomorrow, where she will stay in a hotel with lots of other teenagers (and teachers), play Latin games, and generally have a swell time. Last night she came in 6th in a XC ski race. Go, Kitty!

You've heard of the 5 stages of grief--how about the 5 stages of anorexia: 1. Formless worry. 2. Emergency/crisis. 3. Battle with the demon. 4. Jubilation at recovery. 5. Post-traumatic anxiety.

I think I'll call this Post-Traumatic Anorexia Stress Syndrome. PTASS. It's a good thing, basically, because it means things are good.

I wonder how we'll all feel a year from now?


Anonymous said...

It'll get better. I promise : )

Unknown said...

You WILL feel better - because you took charge, because things got better, and because you shared your experience with others.

It changes you, but eventually the ways you've changed feel like strengths, not simply reactions.

Anonymous said...

Just like your daughter is doing, you need to engage in some positive activities to fill the time that you no longer need spend on anorexia. Congratulations!

Harriet said...

Too right, all of you. Thank you. Anonymous, I agree it's important to DO things again. But it's also important to process the feelings, no?

Anonymous said...

I realized after I left my comment that it might have sounded flippant. Sorry, I didn't mean it that way. Yes, you do need to process the feelings. But I hope that you also can allow yourself to breathe easy again, at least for a little while. I know that when you're a parent, there's always something to worry about, but I also really try to take advantage of the times when nothing is staring me in the face and let myself relax a little. (And that way my kids can see that it's OK to not worry all the time, too!)

Harriet said...

No worries, anonymous, I know exactly what you mean, and I agree.