Saturday, July 3, 2010

A year since Reasons treatment center!

~Serena, Clare, and I ~
So hard to believe a year ago today I left the safety, comfort, and complete understanding of Reasons edo eating disorder treatment center here in California! I so miss the staff and girls I got to know well and form such a strong bond with (R.I.P Nine I love you!). I entered Reasons on April 6 with some resistance. Ok so maybe big time denial! I remember my first day well thinking I would be the biggest girl there and I they would laugh me out of there. I remember my consultation with Dr. Lisa the week before and how I candy coated my weight loss and extremeties of it all. She wanted me in right away and I said I had to tie up loose ends with work and my kids but would do day treatment in a week. The truth was I wanted to get below 100 and was either there or very close and just needed a week!(was weighed backwards and not sure though therapist said if i got below 100 she'd have me hospitalized and made that decision that week) Can we say "ana" in control?!
The first day was hard standing in the lunch line and fighting back the tears. I thought I could handle whatever but didn't realize how bad I was until I got into the program. I ate mildly (cottage cheese, fruit, and lettuce!) as it's grace the first 24 hours. When I got back from lunch my sister called to say my step dad Jack had a heart attack that morning and was being airlifted to a hospital. I completely lost it and left program pissed off no one was there to support me. I told a staff her program sucked. I called my therapist and begged to be done but she told me to give it another try.
I went back the next day and did my best to follow program. Lynn was a great therapist and Lisa rocked as dietician. They were both tough and called me on my shit which I needed. I still could not say the word recovery becase I didn't think I was that bad. I remember Clare greeting me in the group room and thinking she was way to peppy for this place where they make you eat a shitload of food when you are used to 300 to 500 calories a day plus exercise. Here they made you count when you peed, eat 6 times a day, and never allowed me to even shake my legs in group! I cried through meals and often had to supplement. My first full day there Lisa sat at my table and I burst into tears trying to eat fajitas. She allowed ensure and soon it became 6 a day plus food! A week later it was my birthday on Easter. Lisa said 6 hours was ok for a trip to Disneyland with my boys and to drink and take pictures of my drinking boost! I did just that only 6 hours turned 12! The next day was full day program. That night in the dinner line I got real shaky, lightheaded, and nauseated. I was up to the front of the buffet line and down I went hitting my hip and butt hard. So embarrassed. Not to mention my therapist, dietician, and program director all happened to witness this!
It was either the next day or two days later Dr. Lisa called me into her office, sat me down one minute, told me to come with bags packed the next day or I was out! whoa! I was pissed! The next day I went in patient though was a few hours late! lol yep, still resistent. The first month of refeeding was grueling. I had the shakes, lightheadedness, and extreme nausea. I cried in groups, ranted, and finally accepted I was in recovery and could do this. I embraced the program and recovery. I even had fun cutting up at meals with Serena and some of the girls. I miss late nights with Nine in the lounge after most went to bed! I miss painting walls with Eva in the snack room. I miss it all!(well except the food. man was it a buttload!)
I left still on weight gain but determined. I wanted to fully recover and reach out to others. Then my world came crashing down. The custody battle got worse when a court counselor leaked my treatment to the "other" side. I was thankful the judge was caring and did not allow it to be used per se. But then things with my ex husband did not work out. Three days after moving in my new apartment I lost my job of 9 years. It was a crushing blow. I lost my insurance to see my therapist and didn't know how I would survive on unemployment.
Thankfully the court stuff subsided for 6 months through a stipulation and revising of things. During this time I found out about my father's passing, got in another car wreck on the freeway, and continued to struggle for a job. I started to date a man who showed me what it was like to have happiness in a relationship and treated me well. Soon a disagreement happened with the "other" side when I finally got a new job and court orders were violated by the "other" side and court started up once again. I was devastated, victimized, my boys were harmed, and my weight plummeted. I tried hard to find my footing. I soon lost my boyfriend to it all and days later 3 people I knew passed away within days of each other.
It's been an uphill battle but I am not down for the count. I have learned to barrel my way through it. I have come to the conclusion that I deserve the help I need. I have realized I need to reach out more and have been. For so long I stopped therapy mainly due to finances and gave up on me while focusing on the boys of course but also allowing 2 people that mean nothing to me and wont leave me alone, bring me down. "sticks and stones" need to learn they are insignificant.
My weight has risen about 10 pounds. I haven't gained in a while but haven't lost either. I am fighting hard to hold to where I am and try and gain. Reasons really took the focus off body. I actually think my body is ok and would be better with more weight! I am focusing on my boys, my job at the foster agency, and getting "me" back. When I get there I plan to speak at Reasons as I promised Dr. Lisa on my last day there when I was healthier.
I choose not to beat myself up over not being at my right weight yet and not further in recovery. I have slipped but I am finding my way again and being gentle with myself through it. My goal is to write a book about recovery, not about being anorexic. There's so much more to recovery than people realize and too many books focused on the symptoms and how to be anorexic, bulimic etc. I want to speak out as I do in my blog but to schools, colleges etc. I have so much life in me and need to get through this all so I can really start living. Hugs to you all and thanks for reading if you made it this far!
((hugs)) Brande

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