– Treatment Update 2: Hiatus –

Posted by on Sep 21, 2014

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I returned to an intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment program at Monte Nido at the end of August. I had been starting to struggle again since finishing a different program at the end of June, so I felt I needed to return to an intensive program and pick up where I left off, rather than wait for things to get worse.

It turns out that returning to IOP was exactly what I needed. The program at Monte Nido is phenomenal — the staff are genuine, the patients are motivated, and the environment as a whole is very positive and encouraging. One of the things I appreciate the most is how open the therapists are about sharing their own recovery journeys (many of them have also recovered from eating disorders). For the last year, I have wanted proof that full recovery exists; in them, it seems I’ve found that proof.

treatmentI think I’ve finally turned a corner. I still have difficult days, I still battle guilt after eating, I still feel symptomatic urges, I still feel a visceral tug when I see underweight women on the streets, and I still have a rather abysmal body image — and yet, I have no desire to return to my eating disorder. That is something I have never been able to say before. Previously, even on my best recovery days, I still felt a connection to my eating disorder. Rationally, I knew how much suffering it had caused me and my loved ones, and still, I grieved for it. Now, for the first time, there is nothing in me that wants to return to the pain of being ill or the pain of being in early recovery (weight restoration, residential treatment). Yet, it’s not because I don’t want to go back to being in pain — after all, that’s something I’ve been cognizant of for some time. Rather, it’s because I have so much more in my life now. I can be fully present with my husband, I feel engaged in my work, I love my graduate studies, and I feel excited to spend time with the girls at Monte Nido.

In short, I feel alive. I would never — not for 50 pounds of weight loss — trade what I feel now for the pseudo-accomplishment I received from my eating disorder. It took decades, but at long last, I choose life over death.

Which brings me to this blog…

Sadly, I will need to take a brief hiatus from writing here. Currently, I’m working full-time, taking graduate courses part-time, and attending treatment seven days per week — all on top of trying to keep up with my writing efforts both on here and on other websites that I’ve volunteered to write for (and also doing the March Against ED, the EDC Lobby Day, the NYC NEDA Walk…). Even though I enjoy each of these activities, I can sense that I’m sliding into an unhealthy realm of stress. (I can tell that’s starting to happen when I feel utterly scatterbrained — I need multiple to-do lists, then secondary to-do lists to try to isolate the important tasks from the first to-do list, and then a tertiary list…)

So, unfortunately, something’s gotta give. And even though writing here is an important tool in my recovery and brings me joy, this is the only thing I have enough control over to actually allow myself to take a break. Mind you, I won’t be totally silent — I am still blogging every other week for Healthy Minds Canada, and I’ll keep cross-posting those articles onto my blog here. And I might pop in with a post every now and then. But until I finish IOP (or at least until I can reduce the number of days I go to treatment), I won’t be able to post as regularly as I have in the past.

Anyway, just wanted to make that known so that you don’t think that I’m abandoning this blog (believe me, I enjoy it way too much to even consider that). It’s self-care, plain and simple — gotta practice what I preach, right?

<3


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