Finally my freedom arrived last Thursday and I was discharged from treatment. It was a day that was filled with mixed emotions but I cannot say that since then it has been without challenges. On Thursday I was incredibly excited to be leaving, it had taken a lot longer than I thought it would do and after 5 months I was missing my home a lot. I’m not sure if any of you have ever been inpatient but when you are leaving you get this buzz, which is kind of like adrenaline and it feels amazing. This is the point that you have been working towards, this is the day that you are recovered from whatever it is that is wrong. You make yourself promises that this will be the last time and that you are now closing that chapter of your life. This buzz for me lasted around 24 hours. When I finally found that it was wearing off, I realised that I am far from recovery. I left treatment but I did not leave the Eating Disorder. It has been a hard few days. Already I find myself wanting to give into the Anorexia. I make compromises with it, justify why I can limit certain things or miss them out entirely. I bargain and plead and too often in the end run to what is safest. It’s too early for it to be coming undone like this. Maybe my mistake – despite how self-aware I am – is that I was still thinking that I can just snap out of it. I can eat and be fine because I did treatment. I am supposed to be fine and because I’m not fine, I feel more despairing than ever.
Yesterday one of my nurses from the ward rang me up for my 3 day follow-up. Initially I wanted to just skip over it, say that things were going well and that I was hitting my meal plan the way that I was supposed to be doing but in the last moment of that thought, I caught myself. Instead I told her the truth of pretty much what I have told you. She is the kind of person who does not tread carefully with me or try to handle with me with kid gloves. She told me straight that I need to get my act together. I know what I need to do and I need to stop screwing around and get it done. Of course she is right. I do know what is expected of me but it is also so hard. I want to scream that I wasn’t prepared for this. My leaves were not consistent and because of that I didn’t get much practice in figuring out how to live with the Eating Disorder in my real life. I started to wonder if maybe I wasn’t ready to leave at all. Sure I wanted to, with everything I wanted to but I am doubting whether it was right. Not that that matters because I had reached the end of my programme…but I wonder should I have done the full recovery one instead of the risk reduction one. I had my reasons for choosing what I did and I think that I just have to remember those. I have to remember that I went into treatment for a reason and all I wanted when I was admitted was to be at a healthy weight. That’s what I worked towards and for now that’s where I am…but I wonder how long it will last, or should say will it last?
My community treatment starts this week. My team will be made up of a nurse, dietician and health support worker. I will attend groups and be monitored physically by my doctors. There are so many people around me to make sure that I don’t fail again and I don’t want to disappoint them. I don’t want to disappoint my family either. This is going to be hard…not shutting people out because it’s all I’ve ever done, but that is what has kept me unwell for so long. I don’t want to be unwell anymore. I want a life, and life and an eating disorder or incompatible.
I guess time will tell and what I need to do is keeping work, keep being honest and not let myself get into that place of avoidance and denial. I can’t do inpatient again. I can’t do the up and down of losing weight and restoring it. It very nearly broke me this time…maybe it did break me. So keeping that in my mind, the only option is to not let it get to that point the first place.
I hope your day is good to you.