Three potatoes.

*Quick note: this post will go more into ED thoughts and behaviors than I typically have. Please do not read on if that sort of talk would trigger you.*

I have been eating with my therapist every single Monday this entire semester (and twice a week for the last month). The point of these meals is for me to challenge myself in an environment where I’ll have support and, hopefully, be able to handle it better. That definitely has not been the case every week. I’m slightly ashamed to admit that the meals have including pleading, justifying, a few flat-out refusals, lots of bargaining, and supplementation when I just couldn’t handle the challenge.

I look back and wonder why I would spend so much time fighting my therapist rather than just doing what I’m supposed to, but it really isn’t so simple. The eating disorder is manipulative and it will find any opportunity to take over, even if it’s a seemingly minuscule way. That brings us to yesterday.

Like every other Monday, I had my dietitian check my meal before our session ended, then spent the next 30 minutes trying to focus on anything but the food I had to eat. This meal was still a challenge to me, not in content so much as amount. I felt semi-okay about it at first. I managed to eat a pretty good portion before something in my brain flipped. Suddenly I needed to stop, throw the rest away, and run out of therapy. While that didn’t happen, I did do something I’m not the most proud of: when R wasn’t looking (or who knows, maybe she could have been?), I quickly covered up the three pieces of potatoes I had left and continued on to a less scary portion of my meal. I still had more to complete after that, but it was like a calm came over my thoughts for a little while. I had gotten away with restriction right in front of my therapist, a huge win for ED.

It wasn’t those three tiny potatoes. It had zero to do with the negligible difference they would make in my life had I consumed them. It was solely about control. I am certainly not able to flat-out refuse meals when I’m in treatment, but this felt almost the same high as if I had. Another recent example was choosing not to try a new yogurt that sounded good because it was a whopping 10 calories more than my “safe” choice. Is that honestly going to do a damn thing?

While the glaring, logical answer may be “heck no!”, I’m not convinced. Part of me still believes these lies that the ED shouts at me each day. Life seems easier/”better” when I follow ED rules.

Some behaviors such as these ones trend towards being a bit ridiculous. They in no way will end with me magically staying thinner or losing weight or whatever other promise ED makes up. I can often notice my eating disorder manipulate other people, but truly isn’t it just doing the same to me?

I’m not sure if I want to change things, even knowing that I am the one being manipulated, too. For now I will keep fighting, and try to eat those potatoes next time.

Is this relapse? Plus treatment lately and a new plan of action

*I will do my best, as always, to keep anything I believe is triggering out of this post; however, I want to put a warning for the general behaviors and thought patterns that will be mentioned. There are no numbers or specifics ahead*

So.. I don’t want to be writing this post, but then again does anyone? Is it everyone’s dream to slip back into something that’s nearly taken everything from them multiple times?

I don’t see this as so bad.. but I have been in denial before. The signs are there, but I haven’t been able to admit it yet. Instead I’ll write about it here.

  • The number of exchanges I’ve had is making K and R concerned. It’s below a percentage of my CFD mealplan that’s just not okay with them.
  • It’s scarier to eat the amount of food I normally do and the maximum has been lowered. This goes along with the above.
  • Other than when I’m at home (and even then, truly) I eat the same things over and over. I actually at the same protein for 4 meals in a row this weekend/yesterday… so that’s a pretty good explanation of where I’m at.
  • The possibility of a higher level of care has been mentioned more than once. I hate that. Bring on the guilt/shame…
  • I am hungry. I know this sounds weird to determine how well I’m doing, but I haven’t had hunger unless I’ve restricted since this summer.
  • Going along with the hunger, I feel full much faster than before. This has to do with the amount of food my body is used to which is much smaller than before.
  • Some physical symptoms have returned or worsened: feeling cold, hair falling out, dry skin, dizziness, headaches, weakness. I also have a hard time with concentration and thinking in general.
  • I’ve always loved yoga, BUT it may be getting out of hand at this point. The intensity has increased as well as the amount. My team isn’t happy about it and I see Dr. C this week so I’ll know of any changes then.
  • My weight is down. This is not an indication for everyone. For me, it is. Once my weight gets to a certain range, I end up in treatment. Note: this weight range is well above underweight, just proof that you don’t need to be a low BMI to be sick enough for a higher level of care. If it continues I know somehow I won’t make it outpatient. Still, I have a certain “healthy” goal for myself, so I’m stuck and Ed is enjoying this decline.
  • Many (most?) of my waking hours are controlled by ED thoughts. They’re in the background always. R once told me you can have close to 12 hours of disordered thoughts per day and I would say I’m getting there.
  • Rigidity is getting worse. I have to do things exactly the same to feel in control. This extends to everything from specific exchanges per day to amount of exercise.
  • The last time I ate out was on Thanksgiving and I felt like I was going to die just by going there. I was intent on skipping church 2 weeks ago because my parents wanted to do lunch out. I faked sick until they finally decided against going.
  • Once again, I am staying in my room more and more, I haven’t even gone to the library to study or something just to be somewhere else. I also have skipped all floor dinners and eat alone too. I was already pretty isolated before but it just gets worse when I’m more into the ED.
  • Rationalizing is my current superpower. It’s okay I skipped X because it’s close to X meal. This was just one bad day. A little weight loss is fine. I can find an excuse for anything and everything.
  • Spending time at home brings lying, manipulation, and lots of sneaking around. I don’t want my parents to know what’s going on. The idea of having to eat more there is terrifying, so instead I find ways around that.

I don’t know exactly what to do right now, but something does need to change. My future is on the line now. It isn’t like Fall 2015 where I could take off a semester for treatment. I’ve not yet come to terms with all of this. What I do know (and don’t want to admit) is that this is relapse. It isn’t just “not doing well” or “struggling some.” It’s time for me to get back to a stable point where I can start spring semester in the best health possible.


 

I’ve had 2 very hard days of treatment. Thursday was a little bit of a wake up call. R had some no BS words for me. On my red, yellow, green, and in between scale, she believes I am now firmly planted in the red. This means full relapse. I do have one category after red, which is when treatment becomes necessary and nonnegotiable. She also said I cannot stay here, especially with the real semester starting so soon. After this we talked about what my options are currently. I ended up deciding to step up groups on the two days each week I am already there. I don’t fully want this or believe I fully need it, but I’m agreeing because waiting will only make things worse. Spring semester is coming fast. I have to be stable. The only real goal she gave was to increase by 1 exchange until Monday and then add another exchange. That didn’t really happen..

Yesterday was rough. I knew it would be going in. I had no doubt that there would be difficult conversations and possible ultimatums. I wanted to tell myself this wouldn’t happen, though. I wanted to prove to my team that I didn’t need the extra support. That didn’t work one bit.

First, I met with R for lunch and therapy. I barely had the right amount of exchanges for the meal and had to many Ed thoughts to finish. In IOP I would have been given a supplement. Here, she couldn’t force me but reminded me of that fact anyways. She was concerned with my exercise. Her emphasis on weight is that it’s not the only thing they are considering. I know this logically, I just don’t believe it. Unfortunately, she will also be contacting Dr. C so she’s in the loop about my treatment plan and struggles. The message she tried to instill in me was needing to trust my treatment team. I absolutely agree here, especially with K. Why would I ever listen to someone if all I see if them lying? I’ve got to work through these Ed thoughts that tell me otherwise.

K and I met right after. I really liked a metaphor she used. If you imagine a raft in a river, it will continue floating down the river unless you do something about it. You can paddle slowly and stay in place, or work really hard to swim up the river. Recovery is like that. Without the hard work, you aren’t going to make it. She was not happy with my weight or the way that I keep rationalizing/arguing that it’s okay. I was pretty surprised to hear that, in her opinion, if I drop much more I could be put inpatient (or residential). My immediate reaction was huge disbelief. I still don’t get that at all, especially if it were inpatient. Like I’ve heard (and hated) before, my healthy weight for my body probably doesn’t fall here. It’s a bad sign if the only way I can maintain it is by doing what I am now. Another interesting point she made about weight is that she would never want me to continue gaining. Sometimes that’s all I have believed about dietitian’s goals for me. I need to bring up my exchanges, and even though it isn’t much I feel hopeless/fearful/disgusted about the increase. Like I’ve heard a lot lately, she ended with reminding me that I cannot survive here, at least not for long.

After both appointments I joined back into the group one of my favorite activity therapists I have ever met was running.  I’ll call her K-AT here to distinguish between her and my dietitian. She’s known me for even longer than R, ever since my first FV days. The other two girls left the room for about five minutes, and she took that opportunity to have a little heart-to-heart. The first thing she did was ask me what I am doing here. I knew exactly what she meant. Honestly, I don’t really know. It seems like It’s been getting worse for a long time but also all at once. She fully believes in me and said that I can turn this around, I have it within me, and I need to remember that I am going to be a nurse. She reminded me that I am a child of God and so loved, needed, a masterpiece, and fearfully and wonderfully made.Another thing I really appreciated was that she challenged my thoughts about treatment being a waste if I just ended back here again. Despite all of the encouragement, I felt like she was almost disappointed. It was a look that I saw before, right when I decided to go to residential. I don’t think she truly is judging me or anything. My guess is that’s just her concern shining through. Our conversation started the tears. I haven’t cried in therapy since summer when my grandpa died. It feels raw and vulnerable and a little scary. I’m very thankful I was able to spend that little chunk of time with her. I know that she will also be the best person for me to have lunch with Thursday.


My new plan:

  • Monday and Thursdays will be my treatment days
  • This Thursday I have lunch with K-AT, a group where a girl I was in IOP this summer is coming to talk about her strength in recovery, therapy with R, then group therapy and art.
  • Monday is lunch with K, therapy with R, then joining in for all groups of the day. I told her yesterday to make me supplement if I don’t finish, since that would happen if I did it in group lunch. That was the brave thing to say and I have a feeling it may happen..
  • Next Thursday is my first group lunch (not excited/totally freaked out) and the full day of IOP minus therapy
  • Up until the semester starts, I’ll continue with this schedule. After that, I have Thursday’s free. It may be a full treatment day, but nothing has been talked about yet.
  • Basically I’m doing IOP two days a week without calling it IOP and being pulled out for therapy/dietitian. This means no switching to the IOP dietitian though hallelujah!!

If you made it all the way to here you deserve a medal. It feels really good to write that all out and kinda process it here while doing so. I’ll be sure to update on how everything goes and just overall progress too. This feels different than every time before, so I don’t know what all will happen.

EMDR, trauma, and PTSD?

I’ve been avoiding this post like the plague. I’ve sat down at least a dozen times, closing out of the page with a few measly words written. I think what I’ve realized is that there will never be a “right time.” The fear won’t entirely go away. This is me feeling the fear and doing it anyways.

This is one of the hardest posts I have written. It is vulnerability to the extreme. I can count on one hand the number of people who know anything at all about this, yet here I am, sharing it on my blog for who knows how many people to see.

I’ve wavered back and worth whether I should actually post about this. I barely can admit some of what’s going on and happened. I made a pros/cons list and realized that I needed to write about it. This space is my journal and a place where I can hope to impact others. A goal I’ve kept from the very beginning is for this to be the authentic version of myself. That means not hiding behind a facade that all is perfect in my life. It means facing fears head on by being completely honest. It means putting my story out there in the way it truly happens. I don’t want to sugarcoat things. There is no point in calling this a recovery blog if I do that. After all that rambling, I have to take a deep breath and share.

I don’t quite know where to start. Should I begin with the first time I realized something was wrong, talking about in treatment, or even have it begin once I started having specific therapy for it? I think the best solution will be to lay it all out there because I think that’s important to understand.

This all began with my first and only true relationship. I was 14 and he was somewhat older. Right away, we grew very close and probably enmeshed. It seemed like sunshine and rainbows on the outside. Hell, I even believed that it was. Underneath that all was a very unhealthy relationship. No specifics here, but it involved manipulation, pushing boundaries, angry outbursts, an emotional abuse, to name a few. Almost the entire time I was stuck in this cycle of feeling like I needed to be the perfect girlfriend, then guilt and shame when I didn’t do enough. Other core beliefs that began there include: I am defective, I am unlovable, I am not worthy. I knew that something was wrong in our relationship. I never saw the truth or tried to do anything to stop it. I just kept rationalizing and denying. I broke things off after 3.5 years. That was the hardest thing I’d ever done at the time.

This next period, which lasted right around 4 years, involved pushing everything down. I could make a few connections that maybe some of how he treated me affected my mental health. I didn’t focus on it too long, though. Any time I would think of him, our relationship, or things that happened would bring intense shame. I immediately felt disgusting, worthless, and plain wrong. Although I started therapy a few months later, I consistently avoided the topic for over 3 years. Not a soul knew anything bad happened, and I didn’t believe it myself.

The first time it ever came up was around this time last year. We were playing recovery jenga in IOP and the question “what have you not talked about in therapy before but should?” came up. I answered my ex relationship. Naturally, this got back to R and she asked about it the next session. I gave her a very generic answer: it worsened my depression, made me feel isolated, maybe manipulation, self-esteem issues, etc.  can see now that I was minimizing it. We spent maybe 10 minutes on it and then it was never brought up again.

6 months later the truth (well, parts of it) came out. I was with my therapist at CFD, and when something was brought up (during assessment maybe? I don’t remember) I began to open up a little. We then made the goal to write out more details and then read them to her in session. I ended up being able to read it first to my favorite counselor. That was such a God thing. Her response gave me more confidence to open up. The entire time I was terrified, but met with tons and tons of support. For the first time, I had someone fighting against my thoughts and saying none of it was my fault. The way that things happened in residential set up for how  I would continue to open up. I didn’t believe all J said, but it still helped.  [Also the greatest thing ever happened when I was there. I had my mom send me my promise ring and then a nurse helped me break it in half. On my last outing I threw one half in a nasty public toilet and the other in the ocean. It felt SO good.]

PHP was very different. I had one session a week, so we had zero time to talk about it more. I did have a step forward in two ERP’s (exposure response therapy). I wrote in more detail about relationship and then read it to the group. I think that set me up for going home to R again.

The first thing R did (after I read her what I wrote) was suggest EMDR. I was 100% certain I didn’t need it at all. I figured maybe we could talk about it a few sessions and then it would just clear up. That sort of therapy required something extremely terrible to happen, and what I went through didn’t even come close. Eventually she did convince me, and we began the therapy. The first target I set was on some beliefs stemming from childhood. This involved feeling different, not worthy, and others. That target only took a month to work through. In the last week of September we switched to the topic of my past relationship, which was absolutely terrifying to me.

EMDR is hard. There’s no way around that. I’ve had over a dozen sessions for this target, yet I feel like we haven’t gotten all that far. A few weeks in, I began to notice subtle changes. I was having some dreams about him and that something bad would happen. I’m forever anxious walking alone, but it has now exploded so much that I can’t even walk on our campus without looking around me every minute or less. A trip to Meijer isn’t as easy as it used to be. I sometimes will have periods where the memories are so clear and seem closer to reality compared to when I thought about them before. Basically, things have just gotten worse in how the relationship affects me.

Around a month ago, R started using the term trauma when talking about what I’ve been through. That word made me sick. There was no way this was that serious. Everything was my fault because I had a choice, screamed shame. I felt like i could and should snap out of it, but that wasn’t happening. She began explaining how it’s different for everyone and doesn’t have to be the worst possible situation in the world. A few weeks ago she mentioned an acronym I really hated to hear: PTSD. She explained some of the symptoms that I’m showing. I got a good explanation about what the diagnosis actually looks like. Still, I didn’t buy it. I couldn’t. If it were true, that means I id go through something a lot harder than I wanted to admit. It would prove that I do deserve to get help. The thing is, I already knew I had multiple symptoms of PTSD. We finished our trauma/abuse/disorders lectures the week before R talked to me. I saw myself in those symptoms, but I was in denial. I ignored the fact that I may be close to having it.

In the past two weeks I’ve realized that I cannot heal without accepting that I need help. I think maybe this is why EMDR so far has been just a few steps forward. I don’t want to accept the T word or PTSD. I’m not entirely sure how to feel, but I am coming to an acceptance. I hate it more than anything. Still, I am trying my best to look into the truth. I know that I can’t heal if I am stuck in denial. I want to believe I need help and that things will change. I’m not ready to say I have PTSD or talk extensively about having gone through some things that were traumatic to me. Maybe one day it will come. For now, I’m just going to fight like hell.

I have 2 quotes that I connect with right now:

  • The only way out is through
  • No one can have power over you without your control

*I want to add a little note. I am not at all insinuating that PTSD is invalid, you need to be very bad to get help or have it, etc. This is simply how I feel about MYSELF. I would never, ever go tell anyone that their experiences/trauma are invalid. I’m also not saying having PTSD is a bad or shameful thing.

Tag teamed by my dietitian and therapist

Monday mornings truly are something. I see my dietitian and therapist back to back, before heading to lectures at 10:30 and 12, then lab at 2. Yesterday marked the third week of this schedule. While I am extremely thankful to be back with my dietitian K, I did not expect how she and R work together each time.

It goes like this:

  • I see K at 9, talk about how I did with the MP, exchanges, challenge thoughts, and make ~3 dietary goals
  • R comes in at the last-minute or two and K tells her what we’ve talked about
  • I have a half hr session with R where we talk in  general sense of what’s going on and then make ~3 goals regarding whatever I need to work on

Today went a bit differently. I have been slipping the tiniest bit when it comes to number of exchanges. It has a lot to do with change and school stress, but it is still considerably higher than where I was last year. We talked about that and she stuck with my same mealplan, despite Ed’s protests. Side note: I was brave enough to tell her how I manipulated my dietitian last fall with exchanges. Our long-standing goal is my exchange values. The second goal is eating in the dining hall 7x, which means I get one meal off. I’ve done better the past week with this, compared to eating there maybe 7 times the first 2+ weeks. Our third goal I protested. After clinicals last week, we stopped at this farm stand/bakery/corn maze place right nearby. They have famous donuts and everyone there bought one, minus me. FV also supposedly has the most wonderful desserts. At lunch, I was the only one who didn’t try them. K and I went back and forth about which of these needed to be a goal. She voted both, but I finally decided on the donut. Neither of them are easy, but it seems more doable. I reluctantly wrote these all down and headed into therapy.

We talked as per usual, mostly about my weekend highs and lows, BB stuff, and then worries towards returning to the hospital. I brought up lunch again because that is one of my big stressors. I ended up mentioning the whole dessert thing, and I swear it was like a lightbulb went off in her head. She didn’t say anything, but the way she smiled led me to guess something was up. The second I got my paper out for goals she told me she has the first one: eat a dessert at FV. Usually her goals don’t deal with food, so I immediately tried to challenge it. I explained that I was already supposed to do the donut (which she already knew, of course) and this was way too much. R didn’t budge, so I finally agreed. She seemed pleased with that and we continued a few more goals involving talking more to a support person and using skills at the hospital if needed for anxiety.

The funniest thing was when I was walking down the hall to leave. K came out to tell me something and R immediately blurted out how I am doing a dessert in addition to my donut. They looked so happy and a little mischievous, ha. I get that I am supposed to be challenged and everything, but I’m definitely not happy like they aer with this week’s goals. I’m still going to try. At the very least I will grab/buy the challenge food.

My two team members having this close relationship in regards to my well-being is something I actually appreciate. I no longer have to be the one to explain what one said to the other. I know I’m receiving the best possible care they can both offer this way. I’m certainly not allowed to slack, though!

I am not at all ready for this.

Ever since the semester began, my schedule has been crazy between treatment and school. I attend half of IOP Mondays and Tuesdays, then the full day on Thursday, which requires skipping my Spanish class. The whole situation worked great (in my opinion). My Spanish professor is understanding and was willing to rid me of a limit for how many weeks I could do IOP. I am so very thankful for this and the fact that I can get the help I need. Everything was fine until today.

Backing up a bit, I met with Dr. C on Friday. She believes in and gives me more credit for the progress I’ve made. I definitely don’t see it, but I suppose my opinion doesn’t really matter (as you will see…). She somewhat alluded to the fact that I need to cut back on treatment. She was not at all clear on how/when this needed to happen, nor did she explain why it was imperative. 

Fast-forward to today, when I met with L and R during IOP. I went in very anxious, as per usual. I didn’t follow through with my goals fully (also typical) and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I figured we would discuss stepping down. A few weeks before we made a tentative plan: begin by eliminating Monday’s (half of process group, art) while keeping Tuesday’s (experiential and process) and the full day IOP on Thursday’s. Within the next few weeks I would slowly wean off IOP and groups. I fully expected this to take about a month which I was fine with. Obviously, I can’t be doing this much treatment forever; however, I in no way felt ready to drop off much support now. I wanted and needed gradual change, because Lord knows I am terrible with change. Key point here: I imagined I would be told to cut Mondays out starting next week and to see where things go from there. Of course I was wrong. Of freaking course.

The joint meeting began with L doing most of the talking. She wanted to know how my eating and exercise were. I had done somewhat better than in weeks past, but I felt so stuck. We’ve discussed this at length before. I am honestly in much the same place as I was a month ago, and many similarities to around 8 weeks ago. I haven’t been able to push myself into the leap towards full recovery, not this is half-in, half-out predicament. I can’t imagine being here forever, yet the reluctance caused by thoughts is overwhelming.

R dropped some shocking news once most of the dietary side was covered: “Dr. C and the treatment team are having you step down to just Monday and Tuesday. Today will be your last day of IOP.” I’m honestly surprised I didn’t burst into tears on the spot. I don’t feel ready. I hate that this was shared with me at the last possible second. I wish I had a say in things. I want this at my own pace. Most of all, how could Dr. C take this upon herself and essentially get me “kicked out” of IOP?

I am angry at her. She could have told me something, anything, when I saw her Friday. I may not have been fine with it but at least I would have had more time to process. The main reason I need to stop is because of the accommodations needed. She believes it will look bad for nursing school, even though my advisor is aware. I find it ironic that she put me on medical leave for treatment but now has taken me out of it when I still benefit greatly from extra support. I just don’t get it, not at all. 

There aren’t very valid reasons for this overhaul of my current schedule/life. I can barely handle meals at school and I’ve consistently eaten below my meal plan. Overall, IOP is still helping me at this point. I am forced to miss IOP for at least the coming week. I have a feeling it won’t end well and we will again be sitting, going over how stuck I am. All I can do now is wait.

P.S. I completely appreciate all comments you all may have; however, due to how I’m feeling now I would like to address something that isn’t going to be helpful. In general I wouldn’t like to hear many “it will be fine, a blessing in disguise, etc.” I’ve cried more in the past not even 12 hours than I have in months. I couldn’t believe this type of comment if I tried. Right now I am wallowing and trying to sort this all out. Thank you for being understanding ❤

All the treatment last week.

I am just now writing about all 3 appointments and group therapy that happened last week. I’ll touch on each separately as I’ve made notes for each one.

Tuesday – Group Therapy

I only decided to call and attend group around 2 hours before. I had just finished with my bone scan. My new therapist hadn’t called about me joining group as I hoped/assumed, so I called them back. Having only a small amount of time to worry beforehand definitely made things better.

Going in, all I knew is that the other women would be from IOP and it was likely going to be a small group. I walked in and felt uncomfortable. I didn’t say a word before group and barely even looked up. Thankfully I was able to relax once we started talking and had introductions.

My new therapist, R, leads the group. I’m thankful I was able to meet her before our first session. We talked about values and how Ed’s values and ours differs. It reminded me of our groups with T at CFD, and he was amazing. Our first step was making our own lists of values. For me, I had authenticity, helping others, hard work, compassion, and faith. Ed was perfection, thinness, weight loss, secrecy and self-hatred. Next I made a pie chart of what I out my time in now v. what I hope for in recovery. Mine was drastic. ED thoughts and values took up over 2/3 of my time now and in my ideal recovery <2/3. That gap is scary but also shows me that I need to change. I came out feeling more motivated because my dreams are so much better than this.

Wednesday – Dietitian

It was a hard one with L. Each week has been getting progressively worse in my eating. I’m slipping and I honestly don’t fight back too much. It was time for a reality check and she helped with that. I was  so angry with her (more so Ed was) and argued back and forth on different points. She didn’t let these thoughts get by. I appreciate that.

I found a scale at home and told her about this. I said it was okay to weigh myself since I won’t have too much access. Of course this didn’t fly with her. Part of my goals for the week was not stepping onto it. She asked about my goal weight which I said will make me happier. I had some time assessing the situation and part of me does believe her. A positive that came from our meeting was her feelings about group. She was incredibly proud of me for taking initiative in my recovery.

L’s no BS policy both annoys me and supports my recovery. I need to be pushed. I don’t think I’m able to do this on my own currently. I think realizing this is better than attempting to tackle it myself. One last conversation that killed me was learning L is leaving in January. I HATE change to the nth degree. It

s extremely difficult to find a dietitian in the first place so that’s just another stressor. Overall, the appointment was helpful but scary.

Wednesday – Dr. C

This was only my second meeting with her but I already know she’s going to be a valuable part of my treatment team. She was able to encourage me in many ways. I see her as a cheerleader for my health.

Something I appreciated was her going through all of my blood work. I love to hear it explained since I’d such a health nerd. I’m glad everything was okay. I was worried I would have another thing to worry about but it isn’t. I am okay, for now.

I was comparing last fall to this one when Dr. C stopped me mid explanation. She told me that I’m not as deep into the pit. I can see the light and i am asking for help. I thought differently from that point on. She also encouraged me that I can get through the semester. I had around 2.5 weeks from the time. In reality, that really isn’t a terrible amount of time. I need to believe that I can and I  will. I mentioned taking our J term off and as of now I believe that will happen. I really think I should try to take time for myself. I don’t meed all the interim classes so this year could be the time I put my health first.

Other tips I believe would actually work: get 7 or more hours of sleep, using all  of the knowledge I already possess, set emotions aside and make school and this semester a priority, believing in the real Emily and knowing she’s there. I have to work on separating Ed from myself. My bad enough means medical issues or emaciation. I don’t deserve treatment or want it if I am still so huge. One of the scariest thing she told me is that I need to consider other options. I cannot fathom doing it all over again. I don’t have the time o money to do so. It makes me terrified. I have to break out of the rigidity of the ED or risk more consequences.

Thursday – Therapy with R

I really enjoy R so far. I think she’ll be a great fit for me. Grateful doesn’t begin to describe that considering how little hope I once had. In all honesty, she’s going to help me more than S could. Amain point is that I need to put more into my recovery. I cannot do the same and assume it will be okay. She was yet another member of my team to say no the scale. One of the best things I came out with is all the groups the center offers. They have IOP MTR and you can walk in to any group during the time. I would love to do art therapy or any group with K, and amazing OT from FV. She’s seriously the best. I need to do more. Going to groups, therapy, and a dietitian each week means many more opportunities to dig into my recovery. I will do my very best to fight against Ed.

And that’ all for this week! I think I may end up writing each time I had an appointment or group. I find it therapeutic and a way to keep track of what I’ve learned and felt over time. 

I knew this was coming…

I met with S today, most likely for the last time. At first it didn’t seem that way. I was honest about how I’m doing and began a writing assignment. She had me write what has changed, pros/cons of my behaviors now, why I feel it’s happened, and how/if I wanted to change it. I’ll share a little bit of this but not all since it may be triggering and I definitely want to avoid that here.

  • what’s changed: restricting more, lying, fear foods, eating the same few things, increased ED thoughts, isolation. On and on and on.
  • pros: feel better emotionally, I feel more in control, these behaviors will make me like my body more
  • cons: doing worse in school, no energy, hurting my family/friends, where I’m going scares me

While I was working through that, S read my food diaries and meal thought logs. I glanced over a few times and her face killed me. That’s when I knew for sure what would happen but didn’t want to believe it.

I only got through half of my answers before she spoke the dreaded words: “you need more help than I can give you.” Her schedule is basically full up until we leave for winter break. I would probably see her once until the 2nd week of January. As of now, this doesn’t mean IOP, PHP, inpatient, or residential, but I need to see a new therapist. Specifically she is recommending/telling me I need once a week or more.

I tried to argue and make excuses. I still want so badly to get out of it. Of course she doesn’t buy any of the ED’s bullshit though. Basically I had 2 choices: go get the extra help now or be forced to go inpatient within a month (at the rate I’m going). God I didn’t want to hear that. I cried a little as I realized this was what I’ve come to. I’m supposed to be doing better. I know this is chronic and relapse happens but all I wanted is a good semester/year.

Once I left her office I couldn’t hold myself together. She’s been there for over a year. I hate change, especially when it means leaving someone I know works into the unknown of a new therapist. I’m terrified of what lies ahead. Part of me, the very sick part, sees this as proof that I am doing “well” in the eating disorder. It finds a twisted satisfaction.

Part of me wanted to lie to S, tell her I called and got an appointment when I didn’t. Maybe I would just skip therapy altogether. The thing is I have hope. S told me that maybe this is God’s way of providing me with someone who will help me exactly how I need. The real me is holding on to that.

So reluctantly, I called. I’ll be going to the same practice where my old dietitian was. They specialize in eating disorders and offer all types of outpatient treatment. I talked to the director and have an appointment set up with my new therapist, R, on Dec 1st. This is two weeks out and in the meantime I will attend group therapy on Tuesdays. I have fears on both fronts: Will I be the largest one there? What if I hate my new therapist? Will it even help? What if I can’t do this at all?

I am sick. This is something I need if I want any chance of getting back on track before I hit rock bottom. I am too sick to see S anymore. I cannot do this without more help. I am going to be okay, I hope.