Letters From Home: Recovering From Anorexia Without Her Usual Support Network
WOSU's project Letters From Home shares stories from isolation—how Ohioans are getting through the pandemic, alone and together. In addition to adding new challenges to our lives, the coronavirus has also complicated old ones.
One Ohioan who shared her story is Grace Zoldak, a high school student in Mt. Vernon. She’s been in treatment for anorexia nervosa and major depressive disorder since September.
But that treatment had to change when the pandemic began. Zoldak says she now connects to her health care providers via Zoom.
“It’s different when I’m in person," Zoldak says. "So I’ve had to adapt and get used to sitting in my room by myself and having these conversations."
She still feels that the care is effective, but it requires more self-motivation and monitoring.
“Normally, I have weekly weigh-ins at the clinic. But now I don’t," Zoldak says. "So I really have to focus on listening to my hunger cues and make sure I’m eating enough in order to maintain my weight."
And with in-person high school finished for the year and socially-mandated distance from her friends, a large amount of Zoldak's support network is far away.
“The staff and my teachers at my school have been such a crucial aspect for me in my recovery, that I’ve just had to take a step back and kind of rearrange my support system," she says. "I’ve had to learn to rely more on my parents, and lean on them."
More than anything, Zoldak wants others to be kind to themselves during this time.
“We are all having to adapt right now, and our bodies are also having to adapt. So it’s OK if you’re gaining a little weight right now, if you’re not exercising enough," Zoldak says. "The world is changing right now. Our bodies are adapting with us."
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