Lately, I have been holding onto my disease. I definitely did not expect this, I mean I hate it, shit it almost killed me, so why am I having a hard time letting it go? I’m not necessarily talking about behaviors, although, sometimes those are still there, but I expected those. What I didn’t expect was the identity piece of it. “If I eat lunch, I won’t have an eating-disorder, and who am I?” or, “If I eat that cake, and don’t purge, I don’t have an eating-disorder, and who am I?” Sometimes my “wise Mind” wins (a little DBT talk there) and sometimes my “not-so wise mind” wins.
I was so pissed at my eating disorder when I went into treatment that I was determined to beat it, but t I think I should have been (there's those words again) more in the moment and in my emotions and not obsessing about when I would get to leave or that I complete my exchanges and didn't have to supplement. (If you don't complete 100% of your meal, you have to supplement with an ensure)
I was so “determined” to get better, that I’m not sure if I allowed myself to be “weak” which is leading to some real insights. I think that sometimes I was so ready to get back, and be over it, and be back to my life that I was trying to prove to everyone that I could. But honestly though, I wasn’t sure if I could (and I'm still not). It was kind of like the ED took on another form of control in that way.” Just lie, just act strong for a while, and they’ll believe you, and then we can go back to doing what we want” What’s crazy is that I didn’t even realize I was doing that until well after I left, so that sucks…
When I stepped down to a lower level of care, I really hoped that it would be short and sweet. I mean, you go from 24 hours of constant accountability and care, to 8-10 hours of programming (that’s treatment talk for “learn not to be so crazy class) and my reasoning was, what am I going to do for the other part of the day up here in Raleigh? PHP is supposed to help you transition back into your life, but how can I transition up here when my life is back in New Orleans? I ended up leaving AMA (against medical advisement). I have no idea if I should have stayed. I don’t know if it would have been the same or not, but I can tell you this; I would be a lot further along if I were able to transition at home. Louisiana’s ED treatment sucks. I’m not kidding; not one little bit. It nearly sucked the life out of me. I refused to go to treatment for so long because I didn’t want to leave my home (and heaven forbid people find out where I am, because that’d be embarrassing) , so I continued to get sicker and sicker until I ended up in the hospital where they should have transferred me to the ED unite, but we don’t have one… So they sent me home to get sicker until I ended up in the hospital again; this time in the ICU, and again, they pumped me full of electrolytes and sent me home to get sicker.
Did you know that early-intervention in ED is key for recovery? I feel like my state let me down in that department, and that makes me angry.
Anyway, I digress. This unexpected connection with my ED has been eye-opening to me. It’s really been a lesson in vulnerability, and I was always focused on the “strength” part of it. My therapist asked me if I was proud of the work I have done, and I said “no” because I’m not better yet. Are you starting to see how my brain works? This is why I had to attend so much programming ;) The vulnerability piece started when I started to reflect on my overall attitude toward my connection with my ED and with my connection to recovery. It’s still a work in progress, and it’s taking everything in me not to judge myself for my lack of perfection, but I so just want to be "normal!" BTW, if any of you out there are normal, can you tell me how to do it :)