IOP has been going pretty well, but last weekend I admit I had a few slip-ups. I went out to dinner both Friday and Saturday (AND saw "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Fame"--both were pretty good!) with friends. I saw Sasha on Friday, who I hadn't seen since the summer, and my BFF Brooke on Saturday, who I also hadn't seen in awhile.
I ended up being very anxious and nervous and not following my meal plan and supplements very strictly. So yesterday I got weighed and, although I didn't lose weight, I didn't gain. I just maintained. I am glad that I didn't lose, and proud of myself for maintaining a weight higher than I was all summer, but my treatment team is still not pleased. I am probably the most underweight person in my IOP program, and one of the only ones who was allowed to do IOP without PHP first (partial hospitalization program, which is from 7am-7pm every day). My doc said if I don't make adequate progress by next Wed, I may be referred to a higher level of care. My parents aren't too opposed to the idea. Now, I am 21 and therefore no one can FORCE me to go IP or PHP, but they sure can influence me.
So, now I am up to 3 Ensure Pluses a day plus my 3 meals (on the highest meal plan, mind you!) and nighttime snack. In fact, I'm drinking a Vanilla Ensure as we speak. I am going to try really really hard to overcome this.
Since I've been blocking my symptoms for awhile, things seem harder in a way, both physically and emotionally. My ED was a way for me to cope with the world and avoid the stresses of life, and now that I don't have it, life seems somehow utterly lonely. I know it's messed up, because obviously starving oneself isn't healthy by any means, but anorexia became a crutch, it became the one thing I could count on and manipulate and control. In IOP they tell us that giving up your ED really is a grieving process, and I totally agree. Those of you who have never had an ED probably think this is very sick and twisted, but it's true. I confessed to my parents last night that for a long time, I was severely depressed and anorexia became a way to punish myself and numb myself. Even after I realized that XX lbs is NOT a healthy weight, it took a long time for me to try to gain weight again because I truly feel that for a long time, I didn't really care if I lived or died.
Now I realize how awfully selfish that was. I have had a really good life, and I have friends and family who love me intensely. I think depression and EDs are partially an internal and biological thing, but there are also social and situational factors that arise. In talking last night, my mother and I realized that perhaps some of her own body image issues, depression, and anxiety were transferred to me, both biologically and through modeling her behaviors. However, I would never "blame" either of my parents for what I have gone through. Nor do I blame myself.
I am trying to look at this as simply one chapter in my life, a chapter that is indeed difficult and heartbreaking. I'm not sure why God chose me to endure this. However, as with any book, all I can do is simply turn the page and rewrite the next chapter of my life. This disorder has taken too much time and energy and health from me already, and I must persevere. This can be a building block for a strong and healthy and happy life to come.
Do I still have ED thoughts? YES, of course, sometimes even stronger than when I was in the deep end. Like I said, blocking symptoms makes the urges seem even louder and more intense. However, am I making progress? YES. Yes, I truly am. I am going in less than 2 weeks to Mississippi with my parents to visit my older brother for a week and to attend his winging ceremony (he is becoming a jet pilot in the Marines). Am I nervous to go to events and eat practically every meal out, including fast food? HELL yes. Will I let it knock me down? NO. I refuse. Even though I am depressed and feel isolated and sad at times, I need to remind myself that there is so much to live for.
God wouldn't have created this body and this soul of mine if he didn't want me to LIVE in it.
So living is what I must do.