"I never promised you a rose garden. I never promised you perfect justice . . .The only reality I offer is challenge, and being well is being free to accept it or not at whatever level you are capable. I never promise lies, and the rose-garden world of perfection is a lie"
I have to say, I never really had a revelatory moment that launched me into recovery - similar to what Hormbacher explains regarding her recovery from an eating disorder.
Rather, I gained weight and I started to see clearer. I don’t know how many times I sat in a chair in my old therapist’s office with a little smile, telling her, “I don’t have to be a good anoretic. I can be a good student or singer or writer, and isn’t that more worthwhile?”
Sure, I don’t really believe it now as I once did, but I know the ability to fantasize and furthermore make that a reality is still inside of me, however hidden.
I’m still able to be happy. I can allow myself to be happy, someday.
Blog post by the lovely Jessica Hudgens (awildernesslovestory)
When I was a teenager, my family and I traveled the country every summer. One summer we found ourselves at Register Cliff along the Oregon Trail. I distinctly remember standing in the ruts made by wagons over a century before and seeing them come up past my knees.
Traveling the same road over and over creates ruts. In rocks and in your brain. And those ruts don’t disappear just because you chose a different route. Those ruts will be there for a long time after you’ve made new choices. Sometimes you’ll fall in.
The trick is to get out of those ruts as quickly as possible and back on the road you want to be on."
- Jessica Hudgens
SurvivingED blog post made by my lovely but fierce friend, Jessica, about talking back to your eating disorder: saying NO.
Wonderful daily reminder that scales are not happy things: yesterday I weighed myself on a scale at the grocery store and hated myself, hated the number it showed me.
TODAY, I was weighed by my dietician on HER scale and my weight was MAGICALLY almost three pounds less than my weight yesterday.
Be realistic here: there was no loss. Fluctuations happen, shit happens. Still learning myself to focus on happier, more important things. I still hate myself (a different number won’t change that) but self-loathing can’t fully disappear within a day, in my opinion.
One day at a time with the hope that you will get where you want to go.
Anonymous asked: What were the things that you liked about Center for Change and what were the things you disliked?
- They were stubborn enough to make it so I had no choice in gaining to the weight they wanted me to be at. This IS a pro because the “ED” voice had always kept ME stubborn enough to evade getting to a healthy weight for years, even through other hospitals and treatments. They weren’t going to let me leave treatment at any place they didn’t want me to be - which, according to reliable sources, wasn’t a bad place at all.
- ^^ The GOOD thing about getting to a healthy weight (which I never thought I would say) is that, as cliche as it sounds, my brain did start functioning more effectively. I hadn’t thought anything was wrong before but then I spent 2+ months at a healthy weight and realized just how much better I felt. I wasn’t suicidal and I was excited for college the next semester. Also, having been at the Center long enough at my healthy weight (took two months to restore weight then two spent at a healthy weight) I was able to at least ATTEMPT to become more comfortable in my own body. Bloating went down a bit once my weight gain evened out some, etc.
- Music therapy! :D
- You can ask permission from your therapist to play your instrument for an allotted period of time if you brought an instrument that is therapeutic for you.
- Staff that really seems to care (as in not just trying to get money out of you) ~ including nurses, “techs”, therapists, etc
- Have a lot of nice activities you can participate in (leisurely, exercise-wise, and just fun stuff outside of the treatment center) once you advance in a level system they have.
- Has a school program for those still in high school which isn’t perfect if you’re there long term because of how it works but, hey, I was there for four months and I owe them TONS for getting me through my senior year!
- Great teachers in said school ^^ I still miss a couple and think about them sometimes.
- Lots of different therapeutic groups
- Again, they do no bullshit: if you don’t eat a meal/snack and refuse to take the supplement for it THREE TIMES in a short period of time, then they will put a tube up your nose for as long as your treatment team deems necessary. Food refusals includes refusing to drink water/liquids.
- They give you the level of care you need. No matter your insurance, if you arrive there for residential treatment and need inpatient treatment then they will make sure you receive that inpatient treatment. They are not going to let you die.
- Cannot continue being a vegetarian or vegan for the duration of your stay UNLESS you have allergies or (POSSIBLY) religious reasons as to why you do not eat meat/dairy/animal products.
- Meal plan can be tough to swallow (literally) on a weight gain plan once your metabolism starts working again. But really, that’s going to happen anywhere.
- To ME this was a con, but they don’t give you supplements to help with the weight gain - which adds more volume of food, which can be tough. There ARE supplements offered if you do not eat your food but ultimately to advance in the level system you need to be able to eat the actual food.
OVERALL the best experience I’ve had at an inpatient/residential treatment center. I only experienced the residential bit but I did watch a lot/hear a lot about what goes on in the inpatient unit, which was just in another building. (Might add to this list if I think of things)
Hope this helps!
Scales are such bogus. Totally inconsistent when you use different kinds. Please keep that in mind, everybody.
"1 in 5 of people diagnosed with AN will die prematurely due to complications of the disease (including suicide)."
This statistic makes me want to sob and bang my head against the wall and repeat a million times over. It hurts so much. I don’t want my friends to die. Please keep fighting.
I try not to talk about what I eat too much because I know it can not only make me anxious to share but make others a little uncomfortable as well. But today I had a really good lunch:
My own version of a taco salad: lettuce, a little less than half of a freshly cut avocado, refried beans, a chopped up veggie burger, mango salsa, and a little sour cream.
And an Ezekiel English muffin on the side :)
Scary calorically, but I know it’s what I need right now. Besides, it was one of the best lunches I’ve had in a while. I’m so glad I’ve started buying avocados so I can make it fresh with meals.
*Possible TW ~ body image
I can’t remember if I’ve shared this story or not, but it’s one very dear to my heart. It’s a memory that reassures me during times when I feel like I haven’t made a different anywhere, when I feel worthless and useless. It gives me the feeling that, no matter how little it may matter in the long run, I did something or said something that helped someone else during a time of their own despair.
One afternoon, when I was in Utah, there were a few of us women standing outside a grocery store with roses in our hands. We gathered and endeavored to subdue our nerves as we passed out flowers to anyone we saw either walking in out of the store that looked like they could use something to brighten their day. Those that we thought would appreciate the small act of kindness - women with several children milling around their shopping cart, elderly men hunched over with a sad expression, young girls, etc.
It was our service project. We had all agreed on participating in the activity - no matter that there were very few of us there that afternoon. Anyway, I think it was near the time our roses had run out when we all faced the parking lot, our cheeks rosy from the cold, that we saw someone that had us all in a stupor.
Feebly walking toward the grocery’s entrance doors was a young woman, or so I thought - it was a bit hard to tell. The fact is, she was a severely emaciated woman. Unfortunately in Utah it wasn’t too rare a sight, but despite the anxiety I felt bubbling in my stomach, the appearance of the woman broke my heart.
As everyone else seemed rooted to their spot, not knowing how to react with each other, I suddenly felt very determined. I strode over to the young woman with more determination and inclination than I’d exerted the whole day, and I softly and sweetly said to her, holding out a particularly pretty flower, “Here. I’d like you to have this, and I hope you have a great day [or holiday?].”
As she turned her big, sunken eyes to look into mine, I held her gaze with as much warmth as I could muster. I smiled at her in a way that I would smile to any other person I dearly loved, including the girls I’d been living living with for the past couple months.
Suddenly, she grinned. “Thank you! You’re so kind. This has totally made my day!” and I remember her looking so excited, like she hadn’t been treated kindly in months. I wanted to hug her, tell her everything was going to be okay, or even tell her to follow our car back to the Center so she could get the help I so desperately wanted her to find - her, a stranger to me.
Instead, I waved to her and smiled as she walked into the grocery and disappeared through the automatic doors. Honestly, she reminded me of an older woman, also severely emaciated, that I’d met more than a year before; a woman so sweet and kind that there were so many times I cried for her, devastated that this could happen to the most beautiful people.
But I remember that day in Utah very fondly, and it comforts me. I’ll admit, it worries me as well, not knowing what happened to that stranger, not even knowing if she’s still alive. But I’d like to think that I made her happy and that it gave herself something to hold on to, even for just a minute or an hour or a day. As long as it gave her some comfort that she was loved, that she could be loved no matter what.
My dad brought up inpatient treatment in family therapy (phone call) today, and THANK GOODNESS my mom and therapist were in total opposition - literally [quietly] laughing at the idea. As my dad went on and on about why I should consider it, both my mom and therapist shook their heads at me and repeatedly mouthed the word ‘no’ in my direction. I tried to break it to my dad as kindly as I could that, because we live on opposite sides of the country, he cannot judge me or where I am right now.
I don’t even know where the hell he derived that idea from. Inpatient? Bah. My therapist even said, and he’s quite right, that I wouldn’t even meet criteria for inpatient/RTC at this point. Daddio’s just worried, I know, but he doesn’t understand the roller-coaster process.