I turned 20 yesterday. I want this to be the start of a new me. I will cling to these hopes for my next year:
- Work my ass off in recovery
- Begin to discover who I am, without any of my chains
- Develop meaningful relationships
- Let go and let God
- Be accountable for keeping myself healthy at school
- Show myself love, even when I can’t stand the thought of it
- Journal at least daily
- Spend time in God’s word/prayer/worship
- Allow myself to enjoy life
- Go out in nature more often
- Ask for help when I need it
- Learn deeply
- Actually use coping skills
- Grow closer to my mom
- Do yoga because I love it, not for exercise
- Fight back against perfectionism
- Practice resiliency
- Turn towards not away from God in the hard times
- Be a badass (thanks Sheri!)
- Procrastinate less
I am not exaggerating at all with that title. In the course of a week I have gone from being pretty sure I could finish the semester to preparing for residential treatment.
There are moments I look back on and consider life-changing. Some are bad and some good. Each of them has impacted me and shaped who I am today. I have no doubt in my mind that I’ve had many of these experiences this week.
Last Sunday at church I talked to an amazing woman who also happens to be many, many years into recovery from an eating disorder. After we spoke a little about my relapse and threats to leave school, she had some very good advice for my mom and I. She told us that we needed to consider sending me to treatment. I think that was what we both needed to know that it was the right decision. I left church that day realizing for the first time what I would do.
Monday I skipped all of my classes. I was nervous and extremely worried about everything. By the time I went to my sessions with S I thought I would just fall apart. She immediately agreed that taking a leave from school was going to be the best option. We called a few different places for treatment and agreed to meet again on Wednesday. I felt peace about leaving school at that point, even if I didn’t fully want to.
Tuesday morning was the meting to officially take a leave. I cried almost the whole time. The perfectionist part of me wanted to stay so badly, but I knew I couldn’t I knew I could end up very sick or dead if I didn’t stop this now. I met with my RD later that day. It was all too much so I ended up just crying in my room for a while. I began packing and telling those close to me what was going on. Through all of the tears and hard conversations, I found support and love. I am forever grateful to the amazing girls who were and are there for me.
Wednesday was move out day and by far the hardest one. In the morning I met with S one last time. We both cried the whole time. She had words of encouragement and advice for me as I go into treatment. I hope and pray that even part of what she said will happen. This is my chance to really change my life. She believes in me and I need to too. After giving her a hug goodbye I went back to my dorm to finish packing. I’ve never cried so much in one day. I had lunch with my roommate and shortly after my parents came to pack up. Goodbyes were said, more tears shed, and I left Calvin.
The next few days were hard. I called and researched more treatment centers than I can keep track of. There were a few leads but none that seemed to really fit. Yesterday I finally called the one S suggested. By the end of the day I was given a packing list and hopeful admission date of Tues or Weds next week. God is good. This place seems just right for me. Its homey and more life-like than institutional, with more individual therapy and groups that sound beneficial. I don’t think its going to be easy or anything, but I do know it will change me. I want to change. I need to change. I will change.
This isn’t how I thought or wanted my first semester away at college to go. Its been hell. I think I needed this to happen though. I needed to be broken and hit my rock bottom to start coming back to myself. I am not there yet but I’m hopeful that the next month or two will bring that change. I want to be me. I haven’t been that in a very long time.
Tomorrow is my appointment with L. I am terrified. I know she’s talked to S and that if there needs to be a decision made she would know. I’m not just playing here. I’m not flirting with thinness while looking perfect on the outside. I am putting my college career on the line. I could lose everything I’ve put into being here.
This is relapse. It isn’t struggling or having a hard time with stress. This is full-blown relapse. It started a few weeks after college began, took the backseat when I was home after my injury, and now kicked into full gear.
I don’t think I saw how bad this really is until yesterday. First, I tried on my jeggings that fit my snug a few weeks ago. Now, they are baggy. I don’t even understand that because I still see the same thing in the mirror as back then. I decided to do yoga in the afternoon. About halfway through, I was caught by my RA and suitemate. I felt terrible. She warned me before not to even exercise but I didn’t listen. Instead, I got another lecture on how dangerous this is for me and why I shouldn’t do it. My anger for her stopping me later freaked me out.
So I will now end this jumbled post. Part of me loves the idea of staying and knows I can do this. The other part sees that I have some major things to work on that just isn’t possible while doing school. I pray to God that whatever He has planned will be accepted as right by myself and my parents. Neither choice is easy. I have to believe that there is more to life than this disorder though.
Although I can’t yet predict the aftermath of it yet, my therapy session on Monday was one that will change my life forever. S dropped the bombshell I’ve always feared: the school may have to force me into treatment. She’s taking steps to see what my fate will be. I had to get blood drawn today, she now needs to know my weight, she’s looking into treatment offerings with my insurance, and talking with L. I am sitting here terrified.
I know I am struggling. I get that. I also realize what I’m doing right now is not okay. The stress I’m feeling that’s led me down this dark path simply isn’t going away. So, quite obviously, a change needs to happen, and fast.
I am beyond conflicted. There is no easy or straight path. I don’t even have 100% control of what will happen if I do xyz. But I do have an impact on what will happen. S put it that by not making a decision to fight this I already am losing the fight.
I have hope. The ED voice is winning by far but my real, authentic self can be heard despite the noise. If I would listen to it I have no doubt I could recover or at the very least do better than this dark pit of relapse. It also whispers that my health needs to come before school. That scares the hell out of me.
For now, I will do the best with where I am and anxiously wait for my fate.