Have you ever sat and thought to yourself “Why did I ever say that?” or “What made me think that that was a good idea?” I’ve been thinking that a lot in the last couple of days. When you first come into treatment you go through a standard procedure before you choose what programme you are going to be. In the beginning you have a two week assessment (sometimes this can be four though for out of area patients) and then once that period is over and you are at the minimum BMI that you have to be in order to make decisions, you set your aims and objectives. This is done in quite a formal way and you have a CPA meeting to go through all the different aspects. The place where I am offers two different programmes for those with Anorexia. The first is Full Recovery and the second is Risk Reduction. On the Full Recovery programme, the BMI you have to get to as a Target is higher but you do a lot more work psychologically here and you do a 16 week maintenance period after you have reached target weight. The Risk Reduction programme is not as long an admission and is pretty much what it says on the tin. This isn’t about reaching Full Recovery here, it’s about making you safe enough and giving you enough tools to get on with recovery or managing your Eating Disorder in the community. You get to set your target range for BMI which can be anything above the medically safe number and for out of area patients there is a 10-12 week maintenance period and for in area patients it’s 2 weeks and follow up with the community team. I am on the latter programme. However in my CPA what I did say was throw everything you have at me work wise because I want to go at this thing as hard as I can and that’s exactly what they are doing. I told them not to hold back because even though I’ve chosen Risk, I still want this disorder as far away from me as it will go. I don’t think though that I was prepared for how much work I would need to do. Even now after all this time it stuns me how ingrained I’d let the disorder become and how much little respect I have for myself.
I’ve been in one to ones a lot this week and for each person that I see we are doing separate work. With my primary nurse its work on Body Dysmorphia, with one of my associates it’s challenging thoughts on food and learning how to be present and not just be eating for the sake of eating to get out of treatment. The other associate is kind of just looking at my emotions and thoughts generally and my health support worker is covering self-esteem. I also have my therapist who’s trying to untangle pretty much everything and daily groups. I know that I need this bombardment to wiggle my way out of Anorexia’s grip but I’m feeling overwhelmed. Every belief, every thought, every judgement or rational that I’ve ever had or used is being questioned as wrong. It feels like I have to rewire my entire brain to believe something different and I’m still not convinced that that what I believe is not fact.
I have so much support and yet I feel like I won’t let myself properly connect with everything right now. I think I fear that if I am seen then they will turn away. They will confirm that I am not worthy enough to be helped. I am trying to be honest about these feelings and I don’t know how many times I have been told that I’m not a nuisance but I can’t still seem to make it feel like an honest statement. Everyone is capable of saying something without really knowing what it means and then only come to regret the decision. I’m afraid they will regret trying to help me. Also it’s not helped by the fact that my back is still in a lot of pain and the whole numbness, feeling unwell with it is an issue. It doesn’t feel fair to complain about that as well as make them aware about the Eating Disorder thoughts going on. In my head I think I’ve developed this quota system where I can only access staff support so much in one day. I’ve been told that that isn’t the case but I struggle to believe it…not because they’ve done anything to make me doubt, purely because apparently my self-esteem is somewhere below surface right now.
I know that I need to sort this out though and get over myself because I don’t have that much longer left here. I’ll be reaching my target range in a few weeks and then I have a couple of weeks to try and deal with that before leaving. I’m looking forward to that day but I know how much I have to do before I get to that point.
I hope your day is kind to you.