Notes From the Early Days of Transformation

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015

An unfortunate yogurt spill all over my backpack the other day led to a full-bag-excavation and, with it, the discovery of several papers crumpled in a side pocket.

They were notes I’d written in February 2014, when I was in residential treatment at Renfrew. When an insight occurred during a rare moment I didn’t have my journal on me, I tore a corner from any paper I could find and wrote it down.

Finding them last week was bittersweet. Reading them brings back the pain and fear of those early months of recovery. But it also reminded me that there was a strange kind of magic to that time. Slowly, I was coming alive again. And although that process was painful and wildly uncertain, there was a fascinating newness about it, too. Each day brought a new food, a new experience, a new conversation that previously was obscured by my eating disorder.

Notes from the Early Days of TransformationAt the time, the anxiety and stress that come with such intense transformation overshadowed that hidden optimism. But now, looking back and reading those notes, I see it more clearly. I was being reborn, and the world was new and exciting and full of unclaimed possibility.

I would never go back to that time. But I wouldn’t take it back, either.


The notes:


On my godmother’s birthday: I’m feeling like I’m in prison, but I’m realizing that I wouldn’t have enjoyed her birthday anyway — I would’ve been completely obsessed about the food and my discomfort (and pre-Renfrew, not even able to function). So I have to be in prison now so that I’ll never be imprisoned again.

[Read the full entry that came from those thoughts here.]

— — — —

I have to accept that I’m recovering. Seeing these girls is/was triggering, but I have to accept that I’m not like them anymore, as much as I want to be. I have to accept that I’m recovering. My goals here are different than they were in NYC. Now my goal is to reach IE, then FO. [These refer to different levels of independence/responsibility during mealtimes.] I have to reach the highest level of functioning here so that I can learn to function again in the real world.

BUT, I also need to accept that I’m still sick. There is still work to do. If I went up to FO tomorrow, I’d be too nervous to do it properly. I’d restrict. There are more steps to take before I’m ready for the advanced recovery work.

— — — —

I need to accept that I’m not supposed to be this size.

— — — —

Rock bottom — felt guilt or not being at it, not being “sick enough,” but also realize why it would have hindered me here. [Looking back, I question why I thought I hadn’t hit a “rock bottom” — because I certain had.]

— — — —

A Wizard of Oz moment: My longing for what I’m separated from now is so much stronger than the longing I’ve felt all my life for anorexia. I had to go away to know what is real, what is my true home — and also how I’ve had the power to find it and go home all along. I just needed a few Glindas along the way to show me how.

Notes from the Early Days of Transformation

96 Days | 11 Hours | 7 Minutes | 34 Seconds

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