Wow it’s hard to believe this was written in 2014. November 2014 when I was admitted to inpatient for the second time. Here goes it.
Tomorrow will officially be 1 week since I entered the Eating Disorder Inpatient program at the General Hospital. I was admitted last Friday November 7. And boy was I happy. Oh so happy. I just wanted to begin the journey to recovery because I was so tired of living with this illness and being bombarded daily with intrusive thoughts. So tired of the constant weighing, the purging, the starving–the brokenness. I was tired of fearing for my life and at 73 lbs I had much to be fearful of. I was constantly worried that I would pass out while walking, or have a heart attack while my head was in the toilet. As graphic as it may sound, I speak in all honesty when I say that it is a miracle I am even here typing this. It’s a miracle that God kept me alive. There are numerous times that I would be just about to purge and as messed up as it sounds, I would pray to God to keep me from having a heart attack or stroke; because in reality I was playing Russian Roulette with my life. It’s really not a joke when people say that eating disorders are DEADLY!
Anyways as I was saying, I was ready for God to begin healing, though actually in reality He had already started it (I’ll write about what I mean by this in another entry) long before I had received the phone call for admission. So upon admission, the EDP team weighs you and then you meet with a Dietitian who goes over your meal plan and helps you select foods for the week. You explain your symptoms to both the doctor and Dietitian. Those who are a below a certain Body Mass Index are required to sit in a wheelchair (to conserve energy) and I qualified so everywhere you go and I mean EVERYWHERE you must be pushed in the ‘chair’. You are also confined to the ward for 48 hours and are not allowed to leave as it is hospital policy for every Psychiatric Patient. After all of this you await being wheeled down to the Eating Disorders Dining room and it feels as if you are being marched off to your death. You have mixed feelings of fear, joy, elation, etc. You know that you must finish all of your meal INCLUDING dessert, and that there is no option to go and disappear like you are used to for 20 to 30 minutes to purge. And even though I’ve been in the program before, have sat in the dining room, and eaten with a nurse watching me and other EDP, it is still a bit of a shock that I have to begin eating “normally”. But I tell myself that it’s part of the journey, part of recovery. But when you’re done your meal and are wheeled to your room and left with yourself and your thoughts, you panic and begin to think of the weight that that meal is going to make you gain. Though it’s irrational, you feel huge and the urge to purge is so high, so overwhelming–but by the grace of God you sit with the emotions, with the feelings and you fight. You simply fight, because you know that what’s you’re here for, your here to fight to recover, you’re here to gain weight, and GAIN YOUR LIFE BACK!
So as to where I am now, it’s still week one. I had weigh in on Monday since being weighed on admission and the scale read that I had gained 13 lbs. The Dietitian told me that it was all water weight because of the purging and laxative abuse. It had ONLY been 3 days and in my head I was like 13 fricken pounds?!!!!!!!!! My eating disorder brain was FREAKING OUT! I felt so out of control, so scared and ANGRY! One must realize that even though I want to recover and get better and live life again, the illness part of my brain is so RESISTANT and deeply rooted. It craves control and rigidity. So it made me feel terribly out of control and I just wanted to ball my eyes out! Worse yet I wanted to discharge myself that night! I told myself that I couldn’t do this, that I wasn’t ready yet. I needed to engage in eating disorder symptoms (i.e bingeing and purging) at that moment to make myself feel better, to feel a sense of control and comfort BUT of course being in the EDP setting I was not allowed to do this. So I had to sit with those emotions. And so I returned to my room and balled my eyes out! Why did my body gain so much weight so fast? I compared myself to the other women in the program who had been there for weeks at a time and had barely gained anything. I prayed to God and asked him why he made my body so abnormal that it gained weight so fast. Of course it was water weight, but I didn’t care. To me it confirmed my ill feelings toward my body. I concluded that food was my body’s WORST enemy and the only way I could EVER enjoy it would be if I binged and then purged. But seeing as I was hospitalized and had to continue to sit with those feelings, and I felt so RAW (and I know as time goes on, I will LEARN to sit with those emotions and COPE with them in EFFECTIVE and HEALTHY ways—people must realize that eating disorders are so much more than simply weight loss, it’s a way of coping just as much as drugs and alcohol are).
Weigh in day progressed and turned into night and then the following and so on, and by yesterday I was feeling that it was just too much. I called my mother and informed her that I was going to discharge myself and then come home. I couldn’t take it. I felt so out of control, so fat, huge etc. I was so mad at God. I had prayed that He would help me on my journey, that He would make my weight gain slow down and give me peace. Prayed that He would give me peace during this whole journey; but it didn’t feel that way. And so here I was–here I am gaining weight so fast! My parents have told me, “Why does this upset you?! Shouldn’t you be happy?!” And of course I know I should be; but it’s not that simple. The disordered part of me doesn’t think that way. The disordered part compares myself to the other EDP patients, their bodies, how fast they gain weight, their meal plans etc. It’s messed up.
But…….I called my mother, who gave me a pretty frank pep talk and then I spent time with God. Praying, seeking, and just basking in the peace that He gives me. And I felt renewed. I had read Isiah 40:29-31 which says:
“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint”.
Man this really hit home. Because there was nothing else at that moment that was uplifting me. No psychobabble, nor relaxation technique–nothing. But this verse–God’s word–brought me peace and still does. To me, God was saying–expressing that through trusting in Him and really doing so–I would and will find peace. I will find strength to continue to fight the voices of the eating disorder–to push and push and push. That no matter how much I feel like giving in–giving up, that I can always ask for help and continue to trust in God and He will make a way–He will strengthen me and renew my strength day after day. And so here I am writing this–feeling much better than I did that day. And no one says that I won’t have rough days. That I won’t hear the ED voice raging in it’s cage, wanting to come out. No one said it’d be all sunshine and rainbows, BUT as I continue to trust in God, I know that He will carry me through this journey.
I’m definitely dreading the next weigh in day–as my feet have swollen up really bad with fluid (edema because of laxative abuse) and I KNOW the scale will continue to show weight gain from water. But I must continue on–towards the goal, which is freedom–recovery. I must let go and let God take control. Because that’s my only sense of sanity right now–it’s all I have in getting through the initial early days of recovery.