Community Magazine

Have We Reached the Shore

By Survivingana @survivingana

Sophie’s boat has been bobbing around in the ocean of recovery for a long time now. Sometimes tacking to shore, other times over turning, few u turns but mostly a slow forward progress.

So are we there yet? Given she is fully weight restored and stable for at least 18months. She has no medical problems or health issues now (apart from still needing to rebuild her bones). She has moved through a few stages of therapy and is learning how to cope better without needing to restrict. Clearly she is fully medically recovered and no longer medically classed as anorexic or any other eating disorder. She also has been ‘let go’ by her counsellor, dietitian and doctor. Only the psychiatrist is fully there because of the medication.

In many respects it sounds good doesn’t it. Full recovery is always a personal identification. Some regard it as being completely removed from any ED behavior. Others regard it as having ED thoughts but not acting on them and being able to move past the voice. And so on. Mentally and emotionally she struggles each day. Some days are good ones, others being tougher.

BUT. She is still dependent upon the mediation keeping her anxieties in check and helping her to not react as strongly to ED dictated behavior. Without the medication she falls completely back into the eating disorder. No one is even game to try and take her off the medication until she finishes the HSC – but are adamant she is to come off then. Which to me then begs the question, do we then take her off the medication, just when she heads to uni. New area, new friends, new routines, new studies, nothing familiar or structural around her. How long does she stay on the medication? When is she allowed to start trialling an unmedicated recovery? If unmedicated and she falls straight back into anorexia, what support is she going to have?

No, we are not there yet. And there is much to talk through with the psychiatrist.

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