Tuesday, June 29, 2010

i'm not in denial... am i?

Lately, I have been doing a lot of thinking about whether I need to be in treatment right now or not. I mean, I think I am doing okay. I still struggle - but we all struggle, right? I can't always use treatment as a crutch. I can't move on and let go of the anorexia if I am always in treatment, always talking about it, and always surrounded by it. Right??

Yesterday, I had a day off from work, (yippee!) so I went over to my parents house to go grocery shopping and prepare for the family bbq we were having that night. My little sister and brother-in-law are in town from New York and staying with my parents so I was excited to see her too! I mentioned to my momma, when she asked how my looking for a new treatment team was coming along, that I felt like maybe, I didn't need treatment right now. That maybe, just maybe, I am doing okay for once. She just looked at me and rolled her eyes.

Then, after the bbq was over and I was ready to leave and go home, my momma pulled me aside and started talking to me about some of the reasons why she feels that I still do need to be in treatment. Some of those reasons being my eating behaviors at the bbq - or any time she sees me eating.

I am trying to gain weight. I am eating. So I don't understand why people are still on my case so much about my eating habits. I don't understand. And it upsets me. a lot. I know that I still have severely distorted eating habits, and beliefs towards food. I am still hesitant, very hesitant, and sometimes downright fearful of certain foods (or certain amounts of foods). But I am still in recovery. These things don't just go away. But can people at least give me credit for trying? For eating some of these foods even though they cause me a lot of anxiety & fear? I am eating. Yes, it's limited - not much variety. Yes, I still have a lot of food games I engage in when I eat. Yes, I am still focused too much on my food. But. And this is a huge but... I am eating! I am pushing myself to eat more than I am comfortable with. So why are people still not satisfied?? Why are people still saying that I am not eating enough!?!?

I started to get upset and I felt super discouraged. That is not what I wanted to hear. I really thought that she would agree with me. I mean, she is the one who thought that I needed to try to distance myself from treatment and not rely on it so much - so, if she is saying I still need treatment... wtf? I really don't see it... I don't. Am I in denial? I don't think I am.

And, it's been nice not being in treatment. It's nice to not always feel like I am getting in trouble, getting lectured, not doing enough in my treatment plan and recovery, ect. It's nice to not have to feel (and delve into) the yucky feelings...

I have been in therapy on and off since middle school, and in intensive treatment for the past three and a half years. When is enough enough? Some people think I need to be in treatment, some people think I am doing okay on my own. Who is right? Or am I just doing a good job of pulling the wool over some people's eyes - and hiding behind the facade of "I am great!" while other people are not being fooled and can see right through it? If that's what I am doing...I must be deceiving myself too. Because I think I am doing okay. I don't think I am doing great(!) - but I think I am doing okay.

I have been trying to self-study a bit lately. I have two huge binders overflowing with notes, assignments, workbooks, ect. from the two treatment centers I have been in. Plus other stuff from groups, workshops, other therapists and dieticians I have been to. I have been looking through them, here and there, and pulling out assignments that I think could benefit me at the moment, and I am working on them again. I figure, we have spent a bazillion dollars on my treatment - why not use the resources I have, you know? I think this is working for me right now.

I think maybe, it would be good to see a therapist like every other week or something. And maybe a support group... but that is it. I don't want to go back to seeing a therapist, doctor, & dietician every single week again, like people are suggesting. I am tired of treatment. I am tired of the emotional rollercoaster. Because I am not someone who can go to these appointments and talk about the hard stuff and then leave, and go back into the real world without taking those feelings with me. Because I do take it with me. I try not to, but I don't know how to push them back in so quickly after I leave a session or appointment so - those feelings, insecurities, fears stay with me for a while once I open up and let them out -therefore, affecting & disrupting the other parts of my life.

When you are inpatient or in hospital - you only focus on your recovery. You don't have to also cope with and deal with the stress of everyday life. And that makes it - not easy - but easier to work through the illness. I am not saying that I want to go back to IP or hospital. I am just saying that for me, and I know for a lot of others, outpatient can be a lot more intense and difficult because of that reason. And I can't deal with all that comes with treatment right now. I just want to breathe. I just want to be.


  1. I don't know you i just read what you write on your blogs. I think going through the handouts you've gotten from other treatments and doing those activities, don't isolate yourself with the eating disorder, eat with people, and stay positive for a while and then if you feel like your slipping you can do the counseling every week or IP if you feel its needed but I'm sure what your doing is good. I'm proud that your working on recovery... You are a strong girl, so don't give up.

  2. Like the first commenter says, I reckon the key thing is not to isolate yourself. If denial does occur, it is easier to spot if you spend time with other people, who can often give much needed reality checks.

    Sarah x

  3. i know you've spent a billion dollars on treatment there girlie, but maybe if you go back to something, have it be every other week? just to check in and make sure that you are doing things right for yourself.. keep eating with the family, keep being as social as you can to make sure that you are staying on the track you want to be on..
    start with all the info you have, work on that then see how you feel..
    its ok to seek help when you need it!

  4. you still have the fear foods, mind games, distorted eating habits, you admit it yourself. also, this statement:
    It's nice to not always feel like I am getting in trouble, getting lectured, not doing enough in my treatment plan and recovery, ect. It's nice to not have to feel (and delve into) the yucky feelings...

    *****this is proof you didnt stay in treatment long enough simply because being 'fine' and 'just doing well' makes you just a 'functioning anorexic'- i was stuck in that phase for 3 years...do not go there and do that to yourself. you miss out on life, i am now 24 and back to treatment b/c i realized how isolated and distorted my life was when all along i thought i was 'doin good and eating enough'

  5. remember, it doesn't have to be "all or nothing". I think you still need treatment, but your life doesn't have to revolve around it.

  6. Hello-I read your blog from time to time and this entry hit home for me as I find myself pondering some of the same things in regards to treatment. One thing I always do is make a pros/cons list for both being in treatment and taking/continuing a break from treatment or a lower level of care. Then I take time to seriously analyze and evaluate both lists. Sometimes the break is a legit wise decision and other times it is more of a want than a need. Just something to ponder.