Monday, 6 February 2012

Discharged from the Maudsley

We go out on a high  :-)

At nearly 16 years old, Waif had her review appointment at the Maudsley late last week.  She has grown again (1m66 now) and weighs a record 49kg.  This is still short of her ideal of 56kg but she has maintained the weight solo, with no nagging or reminders from me, and without even supervision as Waif seems to go to Costa friends' houses for most meals.  She is looking really well:  still very slim but NOT skeletal.  She has some muscle on her thighs rather than an alarmingly concave hollow. Nobody winds down their car window now and tells her to "eat more meat" , clothes bought from real grown up shops fit her snugly.  I am so proud of her.

Nor has she neglected her studies.  Waif has just been awarded a sixth form scholarship at her current school and despite being enticed by the offer of a place at one of the top girls' schools in the country, has decided to stay with her friends where she is.

The psychiatrist at the Maudsley said she was so happy to be saying goodbye.  She implied that this kind of recovery is sadly still quite rare.  The dark days of two years back where I could not look at Waif for wincing at her sharp bones and drawn skin seem so far behind.  I no longer wake in the night wondering if I am going to lose the most precious thing in my life.   I honestly don't want any more from life than that my daughters are strong, healthy and happy and at the moment they are.

I have a big thank you to say to all my followers and supporters, and to The Maudsley Hospital Teenage Eating Disorders team.  We were lucky to catch Waif young and to hit this horrid disease hard.  This is the happy ending to beat all happy endings.  Now Waif can be a normal teen and cope with normal teen stresses.  I can tell her "not to treat the house like a hotel" and her father can tell her she "can't go out dressed like that" and we will all be just fine.  I sincerely wish such a happy ending on all of you who read this blog and might be suffering yourselves.  Do it for your mum, do it for your friends but most of all do it for yourself - your body is there to be cherished and nourished for it to serve you well.  Food is so not your enemy.


  1. What a lovely update. I hope things continue to go well your daughter and the rest of the family. I'm sure you've learned a lot in the past 2 years and you can call on that to manage any wobbles or further weight gain if required. Thanks for sharing this hopeful moment.

  2. Ohmygosh, I am so proud of Waif and your family. :) Recovering from anorexia nervosa is one of the toughest things I'll ever do, and I can definitely relate to your daughter on that level.

    I am choosing recovery for myself, and learning to eat normally and live life. Your account of Waif's recovery and your experience as a mother of an anorectic has helped me so, so much. Thank you for your kind words, I hope to be as strong as yourself and Waif one day...

    I love your updates, too. Just the simple, soothing words: "Food is so not your enemy," has so much meaning, especially coming from somebody who knows what an ED is but doesn't personally suffer from one (if that makes sense?)

    All the best for you and your family. :)

  3. Sorry about this, but really? Waif was discharged? When she still has a stone to gain, and she was caught lying about walking to school, and your afraid not to renew her gym membership, and her portions are measly? I'm happy for you, but I think it would be good to reassess. Waif is surely not completely recovered.

  4. Such a lovely, inspiring update. My own daughter is battling anorexia as I write this, and it is so encouraging to read examples of people beating this. It's a very scary disease. As a mother, I am tested every day. I hope I can write one day about her improvements, the way that you're able to write about your daughter's. I also wanted to share a like that I've been reading, which has been helping me understand what exactly she is going through: I'll be keeping you and your daughter in my thoughts. Thank you for sharing your story.

  5. Sarah - keep up the good work, you will never regret being healthy.
    Hanna - I know that Waif will retain a vulnerability and I will be watching out for her for as long as I live, but there comes a point where we no longer need to allow her ED to dominate every aspect of her life, and let her move on. I do know what you mean though.
    Cheryl - my warmest heartfelt wishes go out to you and your daughter. You must win this war.
    An update of my own: my very best friend at school had anorexia very badly from about 12 years old. I have sadly lost touch and now I have tried to re establish contact I discover that she is gravely ill. I so hope that this is not anorexia or its after effects but have a horrible feeling it may be :-(

  6. Yes, but at this point, Waif should not have been discharged. It is awful to see how you write about the things she does. I am afraid that if you wish for your daughter to live a healthy non ED life, you are going to have to step it up and take back some control until Waif is weight restored and you can actually trust her. I find it very disturbing how Waif has so much control right now. Your daughter will continue to have this illness if you don't step it in. I am pleading with you to help your daughter. I know how difficult it is, but Waif is not in any position mentally or physically to do what your are asking her. Your story makes me scared for Waif.

  7. I find it awful that some people don't understand that it wasn't mum (Hope) who discharged Waif, but the doctors people. It's the doctors department to treat the anorexia. I think you're doing a great jog Hope, I really do, I wish my mum would have treated me the way youre dealing with Waifs anorexia. You're a wonderfull mother. Inês

  8. Hope,

    How is your dear daughter? I have just found your blog and I am so glad I did because my daughter is twelve and has just been diagnosed with anorexia! I have been making my way through your entries and I must say that she and Waif are very similar. Your posts have been my lifeline. Knowing that this journey has been completed successfully by someone else simply means the world to me. Your blog inspires and motivates me to heal my daughter. Please make an update or email me at I simply don't know how I will undertake the process of helping my girl.

    Thank you,

    Lydia B.