Current status: en-route to home. Current mood: inspired. Yesterday was more than I could have asked for. It was EXACTLY what I needed. I am beyond happy that I went. Before leaving I was doubting and second guessing myself. Even as I was getting ready the morning of, the butterflies in my stomach were fluttering. I didn’t know what to expect, if I would feel like I even deserved to be there. Once Jenn and I pulled into the parking lot, it was like time had not passed, and the air was bouncing with positivity. It took only seconds for me to open up, cry, laugh, and use DBT skills. There is something magical about this yellow house that brings back it’s patients. Just shy of a year ago I sobbed as my husband was in another country, and my mom dropped me off as I stood on the porch destined to spend Christmas and New Years in a house where I knew no one, and was being asked to do things I wasn’t sure if I could do. Well it didn’t take long for the strangers to become family, and the hard work, well, that didn’t change. That was still hard as fuck. Let me rephrase: that IS still hard.
The relationships didn’t skip a beat. We spent the whole day together, bonding, doing yoga, art, shopping and eating sushi. We talked about our recovery process, where we currently are and where we’re currently struggling while we sat on that porch. That porch where I had cried many months ago as my husband left on Christmas night to spend the night alone in a hotel and eat McDonald’s because there was nothing else open. I was triggered by many memories; some good, some hard. I sat there and looked at the tree that Suzann and I beat the shit out of after a night of mac and cheese, and I wondered how it was still standing. We smashed that tree until we both broke the plastic bats we were using, and that didn’t even stop us. We just kept swinging. We talked about the tole being gone from families took on them and on us, and we wondered if we could even do it again. I didn’t realize how incredibly brave it was for me to commit to treatment and to stick with it. It was incredibly brave of me to leave my home, my state, my family. I did not realize it at the time because I didn’t have another choice. It was go to treatment or die.
I cannot thank that yellow house enough for what it did for me. I cannot thank them enough for allowing us back to reminisce and recommit to recovery. But let me be clear, I still don’t want to do it again!
What would happen if I gave up my ED? This is a question that I do not know the answer to because I have never even humored the possibility, but I am being more and more pressed to try. My treatment team is coming down hard on me at the moment, and I am going to have to commit to recovery. Can I just say that as I look back on my experience in treatment, I think of it fondly. As a matter of fact, as I write this, I am literally on a plane to go to a reunion for the Carolina House Alumni. It changed me and it healed me, but I must be clear about something: there is no part of me that wants to go back. I don’t want to be told what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, reprimanded if I don’t complete 100% of a meal or snack, asked to consume an Ensure because I didn’t complete a meal or snack, followed to the bathroom every time I have to pee or take a shit (yes, that’s right people, you can’t even take a shit in private. I don’t even have kids and I still have to be watched in the bathroom, and if you know me, you know how many times a day I pee.), not allowed to chew gum, not allowed to have soda, not allowed to have more than 1 cup of coffee, not allowed to keep your bathroom supplies with you, feeling like you’re constantly talked about among staff members (because, lets be honest, you are. There are constant emails going out) and, not even last of all, but I have to stop somewhere, not allowed to have wine! This is a problem. Like really. wtf? As I am reflecting on these things, I am not sure why I look back fondly on treatment. Perhapse because it saved my life , or because it’s kind nice to not have to think, work, or keep up with politics; all you have to do is feel your feelings, eat 6 times a day, and knit. Or maybe it's because I made some lifelong, unbreakable, inconceivable to those who haven’t been through it bonds. I cannot wait to see my friends this weekend, but I do not want to go back and make new ones. My nutritionist told me that she thinks that I can do this outpatient. I want to believe her. I have never been pushed this hard. This part of recovery is harder than treatment because that had an end date. I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that was looking forward to leaving so that I could get back to my friend, ED. It’s hard to explain how exponentially frustrating this push pull is. Lauren wants Ed gone, but Ed wants to stick around, and he really is a scrappy motherfucker. I can’t seem to get him to leave. It’s like walking through a spider web, trying to shake it off, and constantly feeling that string on the back of your arm that you thought you had gotten rid of. I keep brushing it off, but it just won’t leave. Perhaps it never will, but it can get quieter, I just need to trust that it will. I have two jobs that are dependent on me, a husband who is unreasonably supportive, but would miss me terribly if I left again, and an acting career that is picking up, and I feel has the potential to go somewhere. I am hopeful that this weekend will rekindle a fire inside of me to fight for my recovery. I want nothing less. I am afraid though. So here’s to a hard reset this weekend, because theres no fucking way I’m going back there as a patient.