Going to treatment is not at all something that “cures” you of your eating disorder. As a matter of fact, one of the things I learned is that an eating disorder has no “cure.” It is a life-long condition, kind of like an addiction. Yes, you can manage your symptoms and yes, you can go into “remission” but get rid of it completely? Nope. It just doesn’t happen that way. And the complexity of an eating disorder and it’s co-occuring (dual diagnosis) mental illnesses like depression, anxiety and PTSD, mean that for me, it will be a constant struggle.
Okay. I can do struggles. I do hard things.
But I guess I expected myself to be in a bit of a different place when I got home. And in many ways, I am in a different place. I feel so much more grounded and whole and I feel like my depression/anxiety is more manageable. I learned skills to recognize my feelings and accept them (or as the facility always said, “lean in to your feelings”). Okay, well…I am accepting them as best I can, I am certainly not perfect with it. I also learned mindfulness skills and grounding skills and that I am not alone.
I also gained friends. And these friends are supportive and loving and kind and I will keep in touch with a handful of them forever. I made connections that I would not have ever made anywhere else. And I am beyond thankful for that.
But my expectations…I just didn’t expect eating to be quite this hard when I got home. Each and every meal is a challenge. Some meals, I just look at the food and cry. And some meals, I can barely eat. I do eat them. I am dedicated to remaining compliant with my meal plan (or at least for as long as possible.). But it is hard.
One of my behavior changes that I have implemented since discharge is not weighing myself every day (or a couple of times every day). So far, I am managing this okay, in that I have not stepped foot on a scale other than at the doctor’s office. And even then, I am on “blind weights” meaning that I don’t see the weight Of course, there was a goof at the doctor’s office and I did see my weight and perhaps that has led to my current obsession/angst about how much I weigh.
And here’s the hard part. I feel like if I don’t know how much I weigh, then I can’t eat the amount of food I need to eat. My eating disorder is telling me that I need to eat less. And it is getting pretty loud about it. And I am really having a hard time. Like I said, I am compliant with my meal plan, but it is making me more and more miserable.
And weighing myself is a total trap. If my weight goes up, I will be really upset and the urge to restrict what I eat will be overwhelming. If my weight goes down…Well, that just rewards the eating disorder and encourages restriction. I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t and damned just thinking about it.
Eating disorders suck.