Back to Forest View and I (voluntarily) drank an ensure

First off, no I am not yet again a part of FV’s treatment program. Despite how much I love and appreciate a lot of the staff there, I hope to never be again. Secondly, no I was not drugged or suffering from a psychotic break when I drank the ensure. These two things actually go together.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I can talk about what led me to FV. B, a sweet lady from Forest View round 1, messaged me on Monday afternoon and asked if I would like to come to the ED support group. I’ve known about it since last summer but thought of many excuses reasons not to go. I also never had a ride. A main thing I was afraid of is how I would feel being back. I was ready for a full emotional breakdown. (side note: we were on the partial side but if we had been in the “ED room” I would have lost it). I also assumed I would be huge compared to the other girls and would feel judged for it. Even with all these things keeping me, I decided to be brave.

I still teared up walking into the building. I was also extremely nervous and didn’t want to talk at all. There were six of us and I knew both B and S so that was nice. I also got to see Karen (the best activity therapist at FV) and Hannah (old FV ED therapist) which was the best.

Group was almost as amazing as they were at FV. We supported each other and it made me feel less alone again. Also, it was freaking hilarious. L came in late and Karen had her do a motion for how she felt and she flipped her off and then proceeded to make that her favorite answer to anything all night. We had so many jokes and they were perfect. Karen was informed about the “Wack Shack” and had the best reaction. Our next meeting in two weeks will be our “fancy ass tea party” and I’ll just say I am pumped.

After a tough day with food and therapy, group was the comic relief and support I needed. I talked to S and Karen afterwards and, even though I am wholeheartedly #teamnoensure, decided I needed one.

I’ve had a pack of ensure in my dorm since school began. I also have been at a place of needing them enough to have gone through a case by now. Why haven’t I used up a case or even one before monday? I am stubborn and listening to the ED.

Anyways, I got back to the dorms and went to go find my suitemate/RA B. I knew I was not about to finish an ensure on my own. I told her I needed to drink one and asked if she would check on me in 10-15 minutes and keep the bathroom closed so I wouldn’t dump it. I got down a few sips by the time she came back. She gave me a little pep talk and had to leave. I am not going to lie, doing it on my own was HARD. I wanted to dump the rest and fake it so badly. At that point I knew I deserved to fuel my body in some way and this was what I got because I basically skipped dinner. I spent about an hour making small progress and finally finished it. I cried/had terrible thoughts/felt sick and miserable.

Both of these things were steps towards recovery, even if I truly didn’t feel like doing either. Like Sheri says, sometimes I have to push myself to take action even when I don’t feel like doing it or the ED is loud. After all, it’s not one giant leap to recovery but many small steps, detours, pot holes, setbacks, and, in the end, freedom.

Planning for success at college.

I thought I would take some time to explain all of the resources/plans I have at college to keep me on track in recovery. By no means do I feel it will easily, but I feel very confident that I have the most care and best care available. My opinion on that may change after meeting my new therapist and dietitian. Even if they aren’t the right fit I will work to find someone who is. Anyways, here’s my list:

Therapy 1x per week. This is so essential for me. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten through last year without talking with J each week. Individual therapy is important and allows me to talk through whatever thoughts I have, whether it be ED, depression, anxiety, or even a random SH urge. I also get to check in and if my therapist sees a downward trend she can help me get out of it. I’m also a huge fan of therapy homework. S is my new therapist here on campus and she seems wonderful. I’m hoping she will be a great fit and I love that I get the perks of academic assistance (ie taking a test in a room with less people because 90 kids in a class makes me anxious or even if I need a break from class one day)

Dietitian with weight tracking. Yes, I am seeing a dietitian. I was the girl a year ago who claimed I was above having a meal plan, hated the dietitian I met with, made excuses to never go again, etc. Forest View this time around convinced me to change my thinking. That was actually a big part of why VH let me go so soon. He wanted me on a meal plan and being weighed often so that a relapse could be detected early. It makes sense. I’m open to it and glad to be going. I think since she’s also at the school I’ll have more help with meal planning. Plus I can hopefully resolve my lactose issue or confirm that I am intolerant and plan accordingly. I hope to see her weekly or at the very least be weighed weekly. I’m not sure how that will go but I see her this week.

Following my meal plan (yes for real this time!). I could technically say I folowed my meal plan for about a week last time, but even that’s a streth. Obviously, that needs to change this time around. I’ve had success for the most part so ar. I know it’s not going to be easy, espeically with my lactose resttriction, but I am willing to make it work. I’m hoping that with my dietitian I will hit 90% each week. That’s the goal for now because I know I will screw up sometimes or the dining hall might not have something. I’m going to try my best regardless.

Daily recovery devotional/work in recovery books. Faith and ED recovery go hand in hand. I really can’t tell you all the ways being in God’s word fights the ED thoughts and puts me in better spirits period. It’s wonderful. My goal is to start each mornign in the ED devo book J gave me and work in my recovery workbook daily as well. If I focus on that it will give less time for the ED to take over.

Coping skills. I have so many coping skills this time around. I bought lots of markers and pens and coloring books. I find that to be so helpful. I love listening to oworship music while doing so. Yoga will be a regular part of my day as soon as I pick up my mat from home. Crosswords and other logic puzzles are always engaging. Anything on my computer from netflix to playing sims to just browsing. I have made sure there never will be a time I don’t have something to distract me. This means distraction when I have meals alone as well.

Accountability. I will fill out my meal plan record every week and show my mom, therapist, dietitian. My mom texts me a few times daily to see if I’m on track/having a  hard time, which is wonderful. I’ll have my dietitian and therapist to be honest with. I would love to have someone at Calvin know what’s going on. I’m waiting on that for now but hope to tell someone part of this soon.

Outside support. For now, at least, I’m going to be relying the most on outside support in my mom, Livvy, Lily. It’s hard, but I want to do my best to stay on track and reach out if need be, even though they can’t be physically here.

I have infinitely more resources and options for treatment her. My hope for this year is tgat I get unto a good, healthy groove and use all the help I’m given. As J said at our last session, God put me here at Calvin for a reason. He knew I needed more help and the fact that everything is so close and there are therapists and a dietitian here is amazing. I don’t want to follow the ED’s plan of slipping below the radar into relapse anymore. I have hope that however hard, recovery is still worth it. Here’s to a fresh start and an amazing, healthy, reviving year!

Support group?

Yesterday in therapy we talked a lot about what it looks like when I’m doing good and bad. We came to the conclusion that I do my best when I have the most support. This is very true. When I feel alone I don’t even bother trying to fight Ed.

Because my support at home is usually lacking, Jenny suggested I go to a support group. I had heard about this one before, but I didn’t realize that the place also has IOP and is well known for EDs. Th support group is held the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at FV, which is a 45 minute drive. It’s open to people with EDs or disordered eating and also family/friends/supporters.

I have already come up with quite a few reasons (excuses?) why I shouldn’t go:

  • Karen runs it and she knows me from FV
  • It’s a lot to ask of my parents
  • It’s another thing in my busy life
  • I might be the hugest one there
  • I have gained too much weight to be sick
  • I would be a fraud because I’m not that sick
  • People from FV may be there and they’ll see how huge I am
  • My parents will say no and get mad if I ask
  • I’ll have to go in alone if I do go
  • Going back to FV will bring so many emotions

And reasons I should go:

  • It would give me dded support
  • Karen is very nice
  • It could be useful next year as well when I go to college in GR

I honestly don’t know whether I will go soon or ever. I kind of half mentioned it to my dad yesterday and he didn’t really say no or yes or have any opinion. I suppose that isn’t terrible but not great either. I didn’t really say I was interested either because I’m just not sure. I loved the support I got from other ED patients at FV and I so miss that, but I don’t know if I can go back.