Anorexia and Bulimia in the Family: One Parent's Practical Guide to Recovery

By Grá Inne Smith | Go to book overview

18
End of the story
or rather, a new
beginning …

It was a nightmarish experience to watch my beloved Jay disappear under Anorexia's vicious grip. To watch helplessly as she became so thin that her skeleton was clearly visible, the skin on her pale face stretched taut over the bone structure, to see her so physically weak that she was unable to sit for long. Each evening she lay on the sofa because it was too painful to sit even on the padded upholstery, hip bones clearly visible even through her clothes. Her lovely figure vanished; most noticeable was the absence of a rounded bottom — clothes hung loosely over bone because all flesh was gone. Spots, never one of her teenage problems, erupted on her previously smooth skin, her hair was thinner, her hands were claw–like, rings sliding on the bony fingers. Jay's beautiful dark eyes were sunk into the sockets and took on a black staring quality I'd never seen before. And she was permanently cold, unable to get warm.

All these I now know are recognizable symptoms of anorexia, the body's response to lack of food being to close down nonessential functions in an attempt to keep the main organs going. Keeping the heart beating 24 hours a day takes a lot of energy even when sleeping soundly, let alone when walking, running, working, playing, and vital energy is conserved in any way possible (e.g., periods stop, teeth and nails became damaged).

-169-

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