You'll have had to be reading this blog for a long time and have been interested enough to remember this, specifically, too (I think Dandelion will, because I'm sure she commented at the time) but I wrote a long time ago about a friend of mine who was in hospital, having lost a dramatic amount of weight, and who was having difficulty accepting that she suffered from an eating disorder. Well, she survived and learned to believe the truth of the situation and worked on overcoming it. Although still thin and unable to eat with other people, she gradually regained some weight and strength and returned to work. I see her every so often (her parents, whom I don't know, live locally but she doesn't) and she's looked quite well but still thin.
She is a friend as I say, but I met her through mutual friends to whom she's closer, and I knew that they had been away to a graduation ceremony last week. Today, they were excited to tell us that they had been to celebrate with Claire and her family her receipt, or is reception the correct word?, of her doctorate. Which is in Medical Statistics or something, which is a bit of a downer, but there you go. Actually, several of her friends kept a food diary for a few weeks and sent it to her to analyse (it was nearly 2 years ago, I eat rather less now than I did then), which she decided to do to help her to see how what she believed was normal eating was actually much less than everyone else ate. This was advised at the specialist eating disorder clinic in Norfolk, which I'm sure saved her life.
So, we were terribly pleased to hear about her academic success. But what pleased us more was the picture of her in her gown. She is now plumper in the face than I've ever seen her. She looked healthy and happy and pretty and I really think that she may have started her life all over again. Isn't it wonderful?
They went out for lunch afterwards to a vegetarian restaurant (she has been vegetarian for years and the start of her problem was when she became almost unable to eat any living food, and had to live, pretty well, on fruit) and she ate cheerfully and normally. She and some friends have formed a veggie dining club and they try out all the vegetarian restaurants in the area, eating together once a week. As so often, friendship has helped her to work through her problems, but the real achievement is her own.