Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's been a while

I know, I know. it has been a very long time since I last posted. There was just way too much stuff going on in the last few weeks of treatment that I couldn't even begin to think of where on earth to start with everything.

I was discharged from treatment on October 5th. I was not at all ready to go which I think I made quite clear to my team and staff--after I was readmitted into residential after a week on partial because I fell out of my range, was loosing weight, and went on a bit of a hunger strike. I hadn't even gotten down to a real maintenance MP before I left. I had family therapy the day I left and I openly admitted that I didn't even know if I was going to eat dinner that night, which I did not. Basically since I've been out I have been restricting more than I ever have before, only eating "dinner." One good thing is that I have cut down on the gym a LOT but I guess maybe that's not so good because I have been compensating by restricting more. With my intake the way it is, I lost weight. Quite a bit in three weeks time. My PCP visits all showed that--even though I did manipulate the scale by wearing ankle weights so even my doc doesn't know how much weight I've really lost--and the labs that I had done also confirmed malnutrition and my declining health. Also, in the last week I developed a rash and when my doc looked at it this week he confirmed it as shingles. Just another sign that I have a crap immune system because of what I'm doing to my body.

My doc told me on Tuesday that he called treatment to see if they would take me back and they agreed so long as I don't treat the place as just a place were they feed me. They also requested that I make a list of how treatment would be different for me this time which I expected because my therapist told me they would ask me for this if I ever needed to come back. My doc really wanted me to go on Thursday but I convinced him to let me stay this weekend and go on Monday so that I could work on the list with my therapist and because I didn't want to go on the weekend when there are no clinicians AND I might as well add that I was trying to avoid one of the resident's birthdays which is tomorow so that I wouldn't have to eat cake at snack. Let's just hope they don't postpone the cake until Monday.

The list (worked on by my therapist and myself):
1. I want to work a LOT more on my traumas--affects social functioning
2. I want to be able to have a longer time on a maintenance MP so I can get used to what normal eating is before I leave and have to do it for myself.
3. I need to have more defined plans for passes--food and activities I will eat/do.
4. I want to challenge myself more at caf--not eat so many safe foods and actually try getting what I want instead of what my ED tells me--INCREDIBLY HARD!
5. Examine relationships--ones that are safe/unsafe and figure out how to handle them.
6. Explore whether there are any other way to work on social aspect--ways to expand social network--ways to engage in regular social situations.
7. Plan ahead for volunteer work/job/classes after discharge.
8. Much more specific planning by me for discharge to provide more structure when out of treatment.
And just a note from my therapist: Alyssa feels she's going back to K in a different place--ED isn't working in the way it used to.

That's probably the most notable thing I think. My ED is definitely not doing the same thing for me that it used to. Before it came so naturally and i got a thrill and a high out of it. Now it's more of a constant struggle to maintain it everyday. It's not so enjoyable anymore. Don't get me wrong, I still do get something out of it and every time I see that number on the scale go down I become more addicted to wanting to lose more, but it's just not the same. One girl at treatment told me that for her, going back to her ED just wasn't the same. She says it's like a drug attic, always chasing the first high. After you've been in treatment it's just not that way. I remembered that and I have come to see that that is very true.

My ED has also been changed by treatment. There were certain foods that I lived on before I went into treatment and I was even able to still eat some meals that my mom made. But now, those foods that were once safe I cannot eat, which is rather bothersome since that was mostly fruits and vegetables. I have only eaten one crab apple sized apple since I've been home and even that was a huge struggle and guilt trip afterwards. I have only been eating greek yogurt, dannon light and fit, and cottage cheese since I've been home. I've also gotten waaaay slower at eating and I take incredibly small bites now. I never had a huge problem with those things before I went to treatment--I mean I was always a slow eater, but not as slow as I am not--but now it's just ridiculous. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that when I go back seeing as it takes me about 30 mins to eat a yogurt or a cup of cottage cheese and at treatment you have a half hour to eat a whole meal.

I must say my relationship between my parents and I has gotten a lot better and I think it's important that I was able to see that with my time home. I wasn't sure how it was going to feel or if I would like it, but I have to say it hasn't been all that bad. I don't think I mind it.

It was also important that I got to see that my ED is not doing the same thing as it used to. This has put me in a different place. I feel that this time in treatment, with my definite list of things I want to work on, that I am more willing to work. I think this time I might actually give recovery a try or at least hold on to the thought of it.

"We must be willing to let go of the life we had planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us." --E.M. Forester