This coming summer will mark 3 years since entering into my first eating disorder specific treatment. My story has included over a month of partial, countless therapy sessions, outpatient dietitian, a week inpatient, 5.5 weeks residential, outpatient groups, and 2 months IOP.*
I experience hopelessness, guilt, shame, etc blah blah. These feelings have only intensified as I’ve heard talk of residential again. I have an overwhelming sense of failure. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and hours in different treatment settings. Would going back negate all I have accomplished?
It’s enough of an eternal battle I experience on the daily; however, things only increase as the judgments/opinions of others begin to seep in. I love my parents, but they do contribute. Whenever I have told them about stepping up my care, the looks on their faces kill me. Even if they were to say nothing (which is absolutely not the case) I would still be able to tell. It speaks disappointment to a level beyond anything else I’ve ever done. This Fall, I only stepped up to IOP/groups. I didn’t go away, quit school, etc, etc, etc. This still was hard for them to accept. On top of them, I will get the same signals from others who know of my journey. I find it almost a “not again” type of vibe.
What is this all telling me? There is something inherently wrong with me. I am a screw up. I will never get better. I am going to be one of those people who dies. I will never amount to anything. I am and always will be “the girl with the eating disorder.” People will see me as needy and helpless. My friends will give up on me. This list could continue all day, but I’m sure you get the idea.
The combination here drives home my own ideas while also combining them with the new ones. If I feel this way, I can just give up. Why would I need to fight Ed if it would never improve anyways?
My recovery is going to take time. I cannot begin to listen to other’s opinions here, for that will only bring about more shame. I have no idea how much longer I will deal with this, how many treatment centers I will go to, whether I’ll be on medications for the rest of my life. It could be another 6 months, but maybe 5 years. No matter what that length of time may be, it isn’t something I can afford to feel badly about. If there were a magic pill, you bet I could have taken it years ago so I could be recovered and good to get on with my life. While everyone in recovery would pay good money for it, such a thing doesn’t and will never exist. Instead, I have the job of being a badass against the eating disorder every single day and fighting to get my life back. I will. Someday, I will. It is not impossible just because I am not there today.
*I realize that my struggle may not be as “chronic/severe/bad” as others (or perhaps I am “worse” than some. Either way, it is my own and I am not willing to make comparisons.
One thought on “Why aren’t you healed yet?”
I understand about not wanting to hear people’s opinions; I had to think on that after you wrote that. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ve gotten the concept wrong. I think that few people give their opinions but instead encapsulate their judgment into what they think is an opinion. Being judged is harsh and hurtful. For me it is just too much to hear and so I simply avoid telling anyone anything unless I know for sure that they simply won’t say anything.
Here is what I hope to be a better example of what an opinion is: Stepping up your level of care, choosing to go to iOP is, in fact, a show of great strength and self care.
I had a month break between treatment program and iOP and only recently realized that perhaps that was the best thing because it showed that I simply couldn’t do it on my own right out of treatment. Going to iOP is what I need right now. I need the support. I need the structure. If that is what it takes to stay, or rather, get back on track then so be it. I’ve used that graphic of recovery too, the scribble-reality of recovery. I never expected recovery to be a straight line but I did expect it to be a little straighter than the tangle mess it really is. I have a friend who was in treatment with me; she needs to go back to treatment for a bit of a tune-up. I’m instilling in her that it isn’t a failure or weakness or any of that but rather a huge step forward toward her goal of spending “healthy” time with her family as well as learning how to be home when no one is around.
When someone such as yourself “chooses” a higher level of care I am greatly encouraged. My opinion is that you are choosing right action over slow death. How can that possibly be wrong? If I were in your presence I’d have given you a big hug.