Monday July 3rd. 7 days away.
I will finally be discharging from the treatment center I’ve been at for over a year and a half. And I just really feel like sharing some of my story.
In January of 2016 I left my dream internship at a wonderful summer camp. I cried more than I imagined I would’ve as I handed my set of keys over to my boss. I felt so much hurt leaving that place, thinking I could still go back sometime. A few short days later I hopped in the car and my dad drove me downtown, into the heart of the city, to be admitted to residential treatment. I spent about a week and a half completely self isolated. I ate what I needed to, spoke very superficially, and slept all the time. I finally started opening up and being kind of vulnerable. I was there for 6 weeks and stepped down to PHP, 8 hours a day 7 days a week. I showed up but I wasn’t present. I flew under the radar. I mean, I was noticed but my behaviors weren’t and so I kept using them. It was fine. Then I was stepped down to IOP, 3 hours a day 7 days a week. It got bad. I got scared and the behaviors caught up with me and I was sent inpatient for 8 days. I came back to do more PHP. That was where I started doing the real work. Unfortunately, insurance saw it a different way. I was cut from PHP and stepped down to IOP. I was managing. That’s the thing though, I portrayed such progress when, in reality, I was planning my relapse.
I discharged the day after my birthday and immediately filled my time with work, theatre, and school. I did something every day and left no time for myself. So, it’s no surprise that 3 short months later I found myself doing another assessment. I came back and did IOP 3 days a week, because that’s all I could fit into my schedule. My first day back in IOP I was sent to the emergency room due to the amount of laxatives I had taken that day. 6 days into IOP I was told I needed to be stepped up to PHP. This meant quitting my job, which I had just started. I cried and screamed and had a terrible panic attack. But I did it. 6 days into PHP I was told I needed to be stepped up to residential again. It was rough but, after another 6 weeks, I stepped down. For 2 weeks I did PHP and was literally going days without touching food. They very quickly stepped me up to residential for the third time. This time, it was hell. After a day and a half I was told I would be given a feeding tube. My eating disorder was thrilled. However, I was not. It hurt so bad physically and caused me to act in rebellious ways that I had never imagined. That time in res was when my life changed. I was at a dark place and the staff surrounded me with love and light and I pulled through and chose life.
I did PHP for less than 2 weeks before insurance decided to step me down. Instead of self sabatoging I did something crazy… I continued to choose recovery.
So now, after 7 months of treatment last year and spending 3 months in residential along with 4 and a half months in other levels of care, missing Christmas and New Years and Valentines Day (twice), I am one week away from discharging.
The difference is I am ready.
Today I had a session with my therapist and I mentioned how last year I was still waiting for my eating disorder to give me what I wanted and my therapist asked me “why aren’t you waiting for that anymore?” And I said “my eating disorder never had anything to give me. I believed it did when in reality, it has nothing to offer.”
So here’s to moving onward and upward, accepting thoughts and feelings as they come, acknowledging bad days will happen, and making damn sure I never get sent to the ER for IV fluids ever again.