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It's Been Four Years SInce I Lost My Son to Anorexia...

Friday, November 23, 2018

My son, Joey, age 26, passed away on 11/22/14 from anorexia.

I grieve every single day.

This year it landed on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving is always hard - this Thanksgiving Day even harder. I wanted to go away, but couldn't - my husband has to work this weekend. Everyone automatically says "Happy Thanksgiving". It's not for me. Seems like everyone asks - what are you going to do for Thanksgiving? Where are you going for Thanksgiving? What are you making? I know they don't think about it, but, it is such a hard holiday for those who have lost a loved one. It's also very hard for anyone suffering from a life threatening eating disorder. So many triggers.

I try to keep in mind the real purpose of Thanksgiving - giving thanks to God for our freedom, including the freedom to worship. Those pilgrims had an enormous amount of faith to leave everything and be mushed like sardines with little food and water; while sailing on the Mayflower for two plus months. A lot of faith, also, that they would make it safely to the US. I think about the children on the Mayflower and the parents who brought them along. Wow. How scary that must have been!

So, this Thanksgiving, I had three choices - stay home with hubby and feel sorry for myself or go out to my mother-n-laws where multi-families are celebrating or entertain family and friends at my house. I always have to remember hubby when I make decisions and opted to find a positive solution.

I reminded my mother-n-law that Thanksgiving was my son's anniversary of his death and I could not sit and eat with many families who were celebrating. That was too much. I felt bad, but, remembered my therapist telling me to do what I was comfortable with. I had my mother-n-law over with my son, girlfriend, and my parents for an early celebration.

I decided to try to find a place that needed volunteers serving Thanksgiving dinner to the less fortunate. Hubby was ok with this idea. So, after church, we ended up at Little Sisters of the Poor and served and cleaned up dinner served to the elderly in their care. I have always wanted to do this - and now I did! My husband really enjoyed himself, and I ended up finding 4 more volunteers!

We went home, took a nap, and then went to his best friend's house for dinner. My son and his girlfriend dropped in later - after visiting her family in Pennsylvania.

The day ended up being better than anticipated.

During my son's illness. my blood pressure went up, my thyroid went kapooyie, and my cholesterol went sky high. For several years I simply "quit". How does one who needs to diet, diet after their son dies from dieting?? I literally watched him starve to death - I couldn't stop him. I now know I suffer from "disordered eating".

I have now chosen a healthy food plan. I have cleared it with my Doctor who will run blood tests again in three months. I have to get off these meds and get my energy back.

And, I stayed very close to my food plan! I brought tofu chicken. My only splurge was 3 bites of homemade pecan pie and two tablespoons of crock pot cranberry sauce I brought. Both were delicious and I don't regret it. I bypassed cheese, crackers, dip, stuffing and brownies!

It's been a hard balancing act after watching and then losing my son to an eating disorder.

I am closing in on week 4 of my new food plan. I told hubby the hardest part was giving up cheese. Almost 4 weeks later and it is no longer a temptation.

I am feeling so much better now. I am also having fun with veggies! My neighbor is away this week and receives a box of fresh veggies every other week. They gave me theirs since they are away.

So far, I made stuffed poblano peppers which tasted better than they look! broiled the poblanos, then stuffed with brown rice, diced tomatoes, black beans, cumin, cilantro - then topped with salsa and after baking topped with advocado dressing (advocado, cilantro, lime juice, honey, evoo, and cumin - I ate this with boiled red potatoes:

and made a rice bowl:

...tomorrow I am going to make a chowder with kohlrabi - stay tuned!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon and more emoticon ! You did very well making the best of a difficult day. Props to you for finding some joy in the day and helping others, too. No words can help, but please know I am always here.
    701 days ago
    You continue to work out your life after tragedy and good for you!
    Time, it all takes time. Helping others seems like a good thing to do for you. Great!

    Those recipes look awesome and now I know what I"m going to do with about 15 frozen, whole poblanos I harvested from my garden! If they don't hold up too well once thawed, Ii turn the dish into a casserole one,
    704 days ago
    You still gave thanks to God and served others. My heart goes out to you and I sending a cyberhug and prayers.

    Your food pictures look delicious, but I can't do hot or spicy food.
    705 days ago
    My grandmother died on Thanksgiving, and my dad wouldn't let my mom go home until she prepared dinner for his side of the family, fed them, and cleaned up afterwards. She never enjoyed the holiday after that. It was always the hardest time of year for her. As an adult, I always made sure she was never alone, and didn't have to lift a finger. She needed a healthy period of grieving every year. I think it is hardest when the loss of a loved one is always associated with a holiday. I'm glad that you did what was best for you, and also found small things to enjoy.
    705 days ago
    I’d love to hear about the kohlrabi chowder. I found a vegan kohlrabi soup recipe online that’s delicious. It’s very hard when the anniversary of a loss falls on a holiday. Serving others was a good choice. Hug
    705 days ago
    You shared Thanksgiving with others, a very special gesture. emoticon
    705 days ago
    I'm sorry for your loss.
    I'm impressed how consciously you chose what's best for you, both for celebrating Thanksgiving and for finding a diet that suits your needs.
    705 days ago
    I'm glad you found a way to celebrate Thanksgiving! emoticon
    705 days ago
    How very tragic to lose a child, I can only imagine the pain. But you do seem to have a handle on what is good for you and what you can manage socially.
    705 days ago
    Thank you for sharing. We really have no idea what others are going through. I'm sorry for your loss.
    706 days ago
    emoticon Glad you took care of yourself and found a way to celebrate Thanksgiving that suited you and your family. emoticon

    Your pepper dish and bowl look delicious. Glad your food plan is supporting you.

    Since you mentioned thyroid and cholesterol … my primary care physician told me when I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism not to ever allow anyone to put me on cholesterol medication without first taking care of the thyroid. Although my cholesterol has always been well within normal ranges, when it begins to trend upwards it is an indication that my thyroid is off balance and needs support.
    706 days ago
    I am sorry for the loss of your beloved son Joey.

    And I am sorry for your ongoing pain.

    You did your very best as his mother.

    You are continuing to do your very best day after day. And somewhere you found the energy to give to others with your service on Thanksgiving.

    706 days ago
  • PDTB58
    I understand. My husband committed suicide on Thanksgiving. It is hard.
    706 days ago
    Im so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.
    706 days ago
    Thanksgiving doesn't need to be about family - it can be about being thankful you have enough to be able to help others who don't. Your heart is definitely in the right place from my point of view.
    emoticon emoticon
    706 days ago
    My heart goes out to you in the loss of your precious son. I am so glad that you found a way to have a Thanksgiving with your family that suited you. As for the pictures you showed of your peppers, they look positively delicious, as does your rice bowl!
    706 days ago
    I am so sorry for your loss !!!
    706 days ago
    (((((HUGS))))) I am proud you found a way that suits YOU to spend Thanksgiving.
    706 days ago
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