Life After Residential – 2 Weeks Out

Wow wow wow! I’ve made it two weeks, which at one point seemed impossible. This time outside of CFD has allowed me to practice what was taught and also learn even more.

I can do this on my own!!! Why yes, this needs exclamation points. Part of me totally believed I would walk out of CFD and fall flat on my face. I doubted I would last longer than a few days without freaking out and using behaviors or maladaptive coping skills again. It hasn’t been perfect , of course, but I can honestly say I’ve done really well!

Skills work. Oh gosh, I never thought I’d say this. All those dumb skills I hated before in different treatments have become my best friend. I loved the DBT corner at residential so much that I created one here. I have kinetic sand, wax melts, lentils, frozen oranges and clementines, scented play dough, coloring books, stress balls, my recovery buddy, and essential oils. I use them at least daily, usually more. Just ten minutes ago I got done playing with the kinetic sand. Its funny because using skills has become something I do without thinking. I love it and I’m really glad they forced us to try out skills at CFD.

I can transform how I act in different situations. One of my biggest fears coming back to the real world was how I would react to being in the exact same places as when I was sick. All parts of my life were intertwined with the ED before. Although slowly, I am transforming what these things mean to me. Yoga isn’t about burning calories anymore; I do it for well-being, enjoyment, and healing. Going to the dining hall doesn’t mean getting some small variation of the same restrictive meal. Instead I reach for variety and what I want in that moment. Weekends at home don’t have to be full of restriction and lies. I spend the time enjoying my family.

I’m not where I was, and that’s a GOOD thing. Its easier for the ED to take control an begin comparing where I was and where I am now. If the ED thoughts had their way, I’d be on a one-way train to relapse and, maybe this time, death. I am not giving in to my disorder or any negative thoughts it brings. I am healthier, happier, more alive, closer to the real me, a better friend and daughter. Yes, I’m not as skinny as I was, but I’m also not living such a miserable existence anymore either. I am giving up this disorder to get everything recovery can give me, and that should be celebrated.

Part of my heart will always be in California. A good portion of my time after CFD has been spent mourning the time there. I still miss it. It was the best experience of my life, so it makes sense. I will always have love for those people, the adventures, struggles, challenges, successes, weather (really really miss that since its currently below freezing and snowy!), inside jokes, growth, all of it. I’m convinced I will be back, and the next time not as a patient. Until then, I can remember it all fondly, give staff updates, and keep in contact with my lovely friends.

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