Anorexia Relapse as an Adult
Today is the second day of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2022.
We're gonna get real about Real Housewife of New Jersey's Jackie Goldschneider sit down cocktail hour with her husband from last week's episode.
Seeing a noticeably thinner Jackie quite literally burst into tears gut-punched me because I have felt a similar bursting before.
I remember feeling that level of physical and emotional anguish. It. Is. Not. Glamorous.
Jackie is 45, a former attorney, and the mother of four children who are starting to notice their mom's ritualized eating and salad-heavy diet. She has spoken about her eating disorder recovery on previous seasons of @RHONJ.
"I’m afraid that I’m going to relapse and kill myself,” she said to her husband. “I just don’t want to do this anymore.”
“It’s one thing if I do it to myself, but it’s another thing if I make my kids think that it’s normal behavior,” she said.
When her husband Evan reaches across the table and gently cups her hand... I started crying with a feeling of gratitude that she has him. That he exists. That she exists. That she is sharing the other side of the struggle with her platform and audience.
Her story tells us that even in cases where someone may have access to the financial means for superior treatment, sometimes the voice of Ana starts screaming again. Even in cases where a person has come back from the brink of death and has been considered recovered for years, relapse can still be a threat.
Relapse can happen with in eating disorders just like in substance use disorders. The two often overlap, actually.
Jackie made the right choice to say it's time to talk to a therapist.
I can't imagine living with this illness with all that added pressure of being reality TV personality and mom to four- no matter what stage of recovery she feels in (she mentioned she fears she may relapse but not that she has), but just remember recovery it's not linear...it is not a step program, it's a mode.
I want to take this time and space today to thank her for showing that fear of relapse is real and valid and worthy of seeking treatment or support and that adult anorexia relapse happens, and talking about it is the right path to healing.