Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders

Please Don’t Ask Me How Long This Will Take

Posted by on Jan 14, 2016 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, Therapeutic Letters | 2 comments

Please Don’t Ask Me How Long This Will Take

How long will recovery take? An open letter to our Supporters, We had the fight again — the one that happens when our heroic patience finally deflates, and our frustration comes hissing out until it permeates through the house. You want to know: How long is this going to take? How long are we going to suffer like this? You are tired. You are trying your hardest and we are draining our resources, but nothing seems to do the trick. You don’t know if there is ever a “right thing” to say. Most of the time, you feel like you’re walking on eggshells, afraid that your well-intended comment is going...

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Hope and Hopelessness in Early Recovery: A Look Back

Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story | Comments Off on Hope and Hopelessness in Early Recovery: A Look Back

Hope and Hopelessness in Early Recovery: A Look Back

I should call the emergency line. I should email my therapist. I should tell [my fiancé]. I know exactly what I should do. I just don’t want to. I don’t want to be stopped. – Journal entry from Jan. 6, 2014 (full excerpt below) On Monday the temperature plummeted here in New York. The smell and feel of the cold air — which has been rare so far this winter — brought me back to January of 2014. It was one of the worst winters in recent years for the Northeast. It was also the winter I spent in residential treatment. It’s hard not to think back on that ordeal this time of year. I...

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Is Residential Treatment Worth It?

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story | 3 comments

Is Residential Treatment Worth It?

I recently exchanged emails with a young woman who is entering eating disorder treatment for the first time. She’s working with her treatment team to decide which level of care she ought to start on: partial hospitalization (day treatment) or residential treatment. We’ve corresponded a number of times over the last few months, so she asked what I thought about the possibility of going to residential. She worries about being away from her family and about inevitably having to transition to lower levels of care with less support. The question behind these worries is, “Is such...

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After Anorexia: The Point at Which I’ll Be Okay Again

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story | 2 comments

After Anorexia: The Point at Which I’ll Be Okay Again

  Just about two weeks ago I traveled to Washington, DC for the second annual March Against ED and my third EDC Lobby Day. (Photos to follow — stay tuned!!) There has been a lot to process from the two emotionally and physically draining — though rewarding — days I spent there. The March and Lobby Day are at once exhilarating and exhausting. The people you meet are unconditionally supportive, to say nothing of singularly empathetic. Being among this group is cathartic, but also at times trying. Two days of retelling our most difficult experiences, reliving our worst memories, takes a...

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The Role of Faith in Eating Disorder Recovery

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, My Story | 2 comments

The Role of Faith in Eating Disorder Recovery

I’m in a weird place right now, experientially. I’m feeling — a lot. It must be a good thing, because all these feelings of late are born out of my doing fairly well across-the-board: eating regularly, following nearly all of my meal plan, spending fewer days in a refuge of inebriation. That’s great — of course it is. And it’s not as though feeling emotions is new for me. Emotions came back over a year ago, resuscitated along with the rest of my starved being. I suppose the difference now is that I understand them more. I know what they are and, more and more, why they are triggered. I can...

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The Documentary “Thin” and the Treatment Loophole

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in EDs and the Media, Ins and Outs of Eating Disorders, Insurance Issues, My Story | 11 comments

The Documentary “Thin” and the Treatment Loophole

Thin If you know eating disorders, then you know the 2006 HBO documentary Thin, by Lauren Greenfield. The documentary follows four young women receiving treatment for anorexia and bulimia in a residential facility. Many of us with eating disorders know Thin for somewhat macabre reasons. Like other depictions of the illness (film, literature, or otherwise), the film served as a kind of “how to” guide, with little tips and tricks that hadn’t yet occurred to us. (That is disturbing, I know — but keep in mind that we are talking about a mental illness here.) I watched the film four or five years...

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