Here we go again…

The last 37 hours have been… hellish, scary, disappointing, life-altering, emotional. I’ll try to go through a quick run down before I head to sleep.

Yesterday I went into therapy, knowing that Jenny wouldn’t be happy. I slipped even more since her warning last week. We considered our options and she called FV. It was decided I would go today for an assessment with hopes of being put inpatient. That alone was SO hard.

I had to tell my parents about everything. They had noo clue of this relapse so to find out that I was sick again and also needed treatment right away was a shock. I thought after all of it that my parents would never love or trust me, but thankfully they’ve since calmed down.

Today I went to my assessment. The intake social worker was nice and told me I needed IP. She had to call the doctor and a protocol and he said PHP is all he can offer. At this point I was so tired and finally found home in treatment. For any reasons PHP isn’t going to work. I need something more intensive.

Tomorrow I go to PHP. The doctor can and hopefully will step me up to IP. I know I need help this time around.

Hospitalization.

That word I’ve been avoiding for the past year (yes even while at FV I somehow convinced the doctor PHP was enough) has crept up on me yet again. This time, I was not expecting it at all. In my mind I’m not even close to needing PHP let alone forced hospitalization.

How did I come to this, exactly? I’ll admit, I haven’t been doing great as college comes closer. I have a million anxieties and I don’t do well with change in general so its been tough on me. My recovery, mood, and outlook on the future has shifted. eating’s wavered and on a scale of 1-10 (1 being basically no food and 10 as my best moments in recovery) I’m a 4 or 5. In my mind not terrible. That’s not Jenny’s concern, though. She says its depression, but either way I just feel down and like I can’t possibly recover while also going to school. I have no motivation to even try treatment, and barely enough for therapy. I don’t think its worth the effort when I could very well be like this forever. This is where her concerns lie.

I made a list of what I currently want to do next year vs what I could do recovery-wise. Its quite triggering, but I’ll just say that the left side worried her and the right side doesn’t seem possible to me. Because of all of these thoughts, behaviors, and how melancholy I am in general, Jenny brought up hospitalization.

I don’t agree with her one bit. I don’t feel it will help and the possibility that I could be forced out of school scares me. At this point school is the only thing that has any kind of pull to keep going in recovery for me. I don’t have a purpose like being a youth leader to push me forward in recovery. So if I were put inpatient and then was declared too unstable to continue school, what would I do? I don’t see any good coming from that. I also have 21 days until move in and I need every second I can get to prepare and pack. Treatment is NOT an option. Not at all.

I seem to be the only one who doesn’t think that. As Livvy put it, only people with my last name (ie my parents and I) would disagree with Jenny. Kim and Lily and Olivia all think hospitalization will help and that only makes me want to scream.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I’m dreading therapy next week, but I also dread the way my life is going. I guess we’ll see what happens this next week to change or confirm my hospitalization fate.

A prayer meeting can transform my whole attitude

I went into today pessimistic but still wanting to try. I promised myself that I would do my best not to focus on all the worry for the future I’ve been dealing with. I’ll be honest, it was a little half-hearted since I was, as I said, overly pessimistic. Even so, I prayed to God that somehow, someway, I could fulfill my promise and have a better day. Boy did He provide!

The start of my day went as expected. We left to begin emptying out my grandpa’s house in the morning. There was a little blip at lunch (forgot my salad and had to improvise = TERRIFYING) but otherwise I had zero negative thoughts or anything. I actually enjoyed digging through everything even if it was a bit gross. It kept my mind off all negativity.

Around 3, I got a text from a girl at work, asking if my brother and I still wanted to go the prayer meeting at their church. I had forgotten all about it. My plan for the night was honestly going to be wallowing. Alec decided he was too tired, but being brave, I said I would go. I was nervous leading up to it but by the time I was riding with Drew’s family there my fears diminished.

My time there was nothing short of amazing. It’s a group led entirely by high school and college kids. We started off with a small devotion, then Ben had us pair up and pray about a few different topics: boldness, our testimony at work, guidance, iron sharpens iron, and being a light. I was paired with Millie from work and it was really good. I love her already but being able to pray and discuss each of the topics while we’re each heading into a college transition was nice. After that a few more shared a mini devotional with some scripture they’d read recently (so good!). We then went around and read verses that impacted us the past week. The official end of the meeting was prayer request and a final group prayer. This time renewed me in so many ways. After that it was time for snack and volleyball! I loved that part too! I think we played for about an hour and my team won twice of course 🙂

Tonight on its own was beyond what I imagined this morning. I’m smiling and happy and I feel free of these thoughts, for not of course, but STILL. This is the first day in weeks where I haven’t spent 80-90% of the day engrossed by the ED. I want to continue it into tomorrow the best I can. We’ll be heading to my grandpa’s yet again, so until mid-afternoon I will be greatly distracted. I have a little plan to fill the rest of my day. The second I get home I’m looking up all the verses I wrote down when we shared scriptures. There’s around 20 and I feel like this will be a god start to my time at home tomorrow. maybe it won’t do the same thing as the prayer meeting did, but I have faith that God and His word can and will transform me. And maybe, just maybe, this night was meant to show me that I need to reach out to Him more and that will aid in my recovery. Time will tell!

Sometimes I feel like Alice…

Sometimes I feel like Alice
In a wonderland chasing rabbits
Cheshire cats and mad hatters
A better world well it don’t really matter

Well day breaks and life is as dark as the room
The air is laced with sweet perfume
What is it about morning light
That makes everything feel alright

Alright

Well it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here
In the big wheels where they keep on turning
They don’t slow down they just keep on learning

Well my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Sometimes I feel Alice
In the Queen’s alluring palace
Got the playing cards on my track
Like a twisted game of blackjack

Because it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here
In the big wheels where they keep on turning
They don’t slow down they just keep on learning

Well my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Well sometimes I feel like Alice

Oh my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

No my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Well it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here…

Lisa Mitchell – “Alice”


If you ever wondered what song I listened to at least 10 times a day (no exaggeration!) last year this time, your answer would be “Alice” by Lisa Mitchell. I played it a few times on the ~45 minute ride to FV each morning and again on the way back, when I got home, basically constantly. I was obsessed. I felt there couldn’t be a song that better captured how I felt about being pushed into the new world that is eating disorder treatment. I still believe it accurately described my feelings at the time, but I now have hit a new point in my life that encompasses the song even more: my college transition.

My life is turning upside down. I am moving out of my home I’ve lived in for 17 years. I’ll be at a college where I’ve made one friend so far (who may decide not to talk to me next fall anyways). I am getting a new therapist who I haven’t even met. I most likely will acquire a dietitian, psychiatrist, and MD once I arrive at Calvin, none of which have really been a part of my treatment before. I will be eating in a cafeteria with hundreds of people surrounding me instead of the three max I have now. My college classes will be way more challenging academically than community was. I have to be an adult and do everything for myself. I will be 35 miles away from my family. My faith will be stretched.

Life for me is about to be change in countless ways. They aren’t all bad or anything, but I still fear the future something fierce. There are so many unknowns and its scary. I never thought I’d reach a time where something would be harder and more terrifying than treatment, but this next transition is. I am going down a rabbit hole, just like Alice. I don’t have a clue what lies ahead. I won’t know until I’m experiencing and (hopefully) working through this next year. What makes this hard than treatment is that there aren’t fixed rules on how things can and can’t go. If I didn’t finish a meal, I would be offered an ensure. Too many failed meals and ensures? Off to inpatient I’d go. Put one thing in and I could easily predict the outcome.

There are so many more variables in college. What if I mix together feeling alone with bad grades and stress? Would I go into relapse, have a breakdown, or maybe continue as normal? What if something worse happens? There are too many “what ifs.” I know, because I’ve been attempting to go through each and every one in my mind. Maybe that’s part of my problem.

The one possibility I don’t give much thought, though, is what if I am able to take this upside-down-turned world and make it okay, even good? What if this next season of my life, however difficult and scary, is going to change me into the person I’m meant to be? What if all of this, the uncertainty and pain and fear included, is a part of God’s glorious plan for my life? What if?

Regardless of what anything in the fall will hold, I’m going to keep having this song on repeat. Maybe it’ll remind me that my world and life could use some more turning around, just as i needed FV.

One year.

What better way to start off this post than share what I posted earlier on both Instagram (piece o cake) and Facebook (SCARY!!!).

July 31, 2014 was by far the scariest day of my life. I entered into eating disorder treatment at Forest View, not knowing what would come of it. I trusted that somehow, within those walls, I would find help and begin to change. The next 3.5 weeks were HARD. There is nothing that brings terror like being forced to eat so much food (including ensures!) and attend groups where you were expected to actually talk about everything going on in your head. I came back each day anyways, because something within me wanted the freedom and type of life recovery promised. I wasn’t healed by the end of my time there, but it was the reason I continually worked to recover this past year. I am healthier and happier than I ever imagined. God knew FV was exactly what I needed to get to where I am today. I am so grateful to not be the same girl who entered treatment a year ago.

I also want to add how thankful I am to everyone who supported me, prayed for me, offered advice, or just showed they care this past year. I truly appreciate each one of you. You’re all a huge part of why I’m here today as well!

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I look back on this past year and it feels like I was just entering Forest View yesterday but also a thousand years ago. I love to think of all the good experiences I had there and it chokes me up a bit. I so wish I still had that amount of support each day and the other strong women to talk to. At the same time, I realize that the fact that I’m not in that place anymore is a very, very good thing.

Jenny was more than elated when I shared what today marked. Knowing me like she does, however, she gave me a challenge right away. It’s so easy to get stuck in comparisons, where I am now vs last year vs where I want to be. I’ve tried to own the notion that “comparison is the thief of joy,” but its hard. I think its our natural tendency to compare ourselves to others and our own expectations. It also happens to be one of the ED’s favorite ways to shoot down any positive thoughts I’m having. Jenny realizes all of this, so she came up with a way to make this day a positive one: pay it forward. Do something nice for a stranger, write a note, do a post on social media, and take someone special out to lunch were a few of her ideas. At that point I kind of halfheartedly said I’d do it but didn’t truly follow through.

I was going through some old verses I’ve marked off in my Bible later that day and suddenly I knew. I wanted to write letters to the most important people in my life: Livvy, my mom, and Jenny. I wasn’t going to stop with that, however. I thought my mom and Livvy deserved something more because they were there for me from Day 1. I’m not sure how or why I thought flowers, but I searched online and found a bouquet to deliver to each in addition to the letters. It hasn’t been easy to deal with everything that accompanies having your best friend or daughter struggle with an eating disorder. They along with others deserve appreciation and recognition for this past year, too. Lastly, I chose to share the above post on social media. It was hard to go into that much detail, especially on Facebook. I actually cringed when a few coworkers liked the post. At the same time, I don’t think this year is something I should be so ashamed of. If someone is going to really judge me for being open and honest about one of my hugest struggles, I don’t think the problem is me. I should be proud and open about this year and my recovery in general. It’s my story to tell and its one that should be shared. I always pray that it will help someone, someway.

All of those things I’ve done today muffled almost all thoughts of “I’m too ___ now” or “I wish I was like ___” or even “I wish I was still that sick.” I wouldn’t be as strong in my faith, working this summer, or headed to college in the fall is it weren’t for my progress over the year. I can’t compare myself to the false picture of happiness I think of whenever my mind says “thinner.” I am changed. I am different. That doesn’t mean bad though. To probably everyone BUT my ED, this past year was a huge success. I want to believe that. I choose to try.

I want to end this post with some encouragement for those in various place on this recovery journey. It gets better. Maybe not today or next week or in a few months but it will get better. Treatment is the strongest thing you can choose for yourself. Take everything a moment at a time without worrying excessively about the future. Ask for the help you need and deserve. Don’t be terrified of recovery. Most importantly, recovery is the only way you will live a happy, free, fulfilling life (note: not could but will).