01 May 2010

Getting ready for anorexia rehab

Anxiety Fear Hope Desire Love Beauty Depression Panic Fragmented Life Death Heaven Christ
Emotions and words swirl through my mind like a fast-moving tornado heading dead center for its target. "Left of Center" by Suzanne Vega is playing. The watery sun is setting on the deep, dark green grasses and newly bloomed bushes. Aliena sits in the window, ready to pounce on any stray bug which crosses her path.
I am cold. I am hot. I can't think.

I leave for Renfrew in one week. I'm afraid I will fail. I'm afraid I will succeed. I'm afraid ...
Thirty days. Away from my home. Away from my husband, my friends. I will be alone each night, trying to sort out each day as I work toward recovering from anorexia. There will be memories stirred up, things I would rather forget. I will face food I am afraid of and I will need to eat it. I will need to talk about how I feel.

How do I feel? My emotions are in upheaval right now. How am I supposed to feel? Should I continue to mourn the life I lost when anorexia hit me at 41? Or do I move forward, knowing that person died years ago and it is time for the resurrection of a new me? Do I rage against the neighborhood boy who sexually abused me? The uber-conservative church of my childhood which left me feeling dirty and knowing I was hell-bound? Do I continue to be angry because alcoholism and depression made my childhood feel unstable and rocky?

How do I let go of it all?
I believe I must let go in order to recover. I must let go of everything. Anger. Secrets. Laxatives. Cutting. Enemas. Restricting. Control.
Playing at recovery.
I will have to turn my entire life over to complete strangers for thirty days, and that will require a hell of lot more trust than I've ever been able to give anyone.

But I can't take it anymore. I will not be able to live much longer with anorexia. I can't take waking up each morning crying and hating life because ... because I'm me.


sarahlynn said...

MASSIVE, massive interwebbity hugs.
IP is hard, v. hard - but if you let it, it will make you stronger than you've been before.
I know that fear too well. It is normal, natural, understandable. This. Will. Be. Tough.

But you CAN do it. You have the will to recover. Everything else will come with time and practice.

More softbettermaking hugs.

Anonymous said...

Try to remember that residential care is only the beginning of recovery. It's hard work for sure, but the real work starts when you return home and learn to eat and live in a "real life" setting. It's a day to day choice of whether to follow through and eat or not. It never feels like a choice, but it always is. It's definitely not easy. And it doesn't always feel good. But it's always we possible. We all hold that realm of possibility within us.

Residential/inpatient helps a lot. But don't expect it to cure or fix everything. It's a jump start, and a good one. I'm been in long remissions and had relapses, but each time my key to success when I did well was just pure committment. Committing to eating when I didn't want to. Getting rid of old tiny clothes. Getting rid of the scale. It's a whole new way of living - but it is very possible.

Best wishes to you.

Anonymous said...

Much much luck and courage inducing forehead kisses. Hospital programs are hard. The trust required is massive. For me, the most useful thing is that it is a beginning. It breaks habits of restricting and otherwise hiding from the hard stuff. It is so tempting to get out and go straight back to the old ways, to say, "I am finally free, I'm just gonna take a little breather under my bed for a while." But it is important to keep eating and staying out of hiding. It breaks the habits, and that is useless if you go straight back to them for a little bit of respite. Keep on. Make the eating and not-hiding into your new habits. You will get stronger from them, which will help you face the icky things, which will make you stronger still, so you can face the really really icky things.

Much love and many forehead kisses.

I Hate to Weight said...

what a brave post. you're amazing. all this, and you're such a good friend.

i've been inpatient for drugs (crack!) and alcohol and benzos. it really, really helped me. the time away felt kind of peaceful. everyone was on the same page.

i hope you have such a helpful and peaceful experience.

i have to run right now. i'll write more later. i remember how hard it was for me as i planned to go to rehab. and i was fighting tooth and nail with my insurance company.

you've made such an important decision. i have such respect and admiration for you.

more later.

Anonymous said...

I know you will be okay> Like others have said it is not a cure but a tool to help you continue on down the right road. You will have to work long and hard but if you are willing it will help in recovery. Don't think you will come out cured because that is not what these treatment centers are for. They are a place to give you help, support and most of all the tools to use to further your recovery. One month isn't bad considering I send 10 months in a rehab center.

I am rooting for you and will keep you in my prayers. You are a strong person and I know great things will happen. Keep me posted if you can.

Nicole said...

I truly admire your courage and strength. I wish you the best of luck at Renfrew, I have heard so many good things about that facility and I hope they can help you in your recovery journey. You deserve a life free from this ED prison. You are an amazing person and you have so much to offer this world.

Again, good luck to you. I will keep you in my thoughts and I hope you are able to find your answers.


Anonymous said...

I read this quote a while back and it seems a bit relevant at the minute so:

'Eating disorders kill. Recovery just hurts.'

Perhaps this is something even I should remember. I won't tell you IP will be easy, because I don't believe it will - I think it's going to be hard and difficult but I do know that recovery is worth it.

On becoming someone new...you don't have to let go of everything you once were - although it may seem like it right now, you are still you, always have been, you don't have to let go of everything you once were, you can still retain some parts of who you were before whilst moving forward into recovery.

I wish you the best of luck, sending much positiveness your way

Eating Alone said...

The life you turn over is the one that is causing all this pain. The one you get back will be one that they will help you find. That's the starting point.

Finding out what to let go and what to keep is hard. Letting go doesn't mean forgeting it means releasing the power over you.

Good luck!

Jenn Lynne said...

Embrace the opportunity. Seek freedom. Be yourself. YOU CAN DO THIS! I will be praying for you.

Abby said...

Like everyone else said, just remember that this is the first step on the journey--not a cure. With that said, it's a HUGE step and just the thing to get you back on track, as you do have the strength and the will to recover.

Like they say, dying is easy. Living is hard. You make a choice, and choosing to recover and go through those "good" struggles are so much more rewarding than a life of self-imposed isolation and frustration.

You deserve to be happy, healthy and free--this is your ticket to the start of that journey. Work your ass off (or on) and make the most of it!

lisalisa said...

Willow- i love that quote!

Angela- I'm sorry I am so late commenting. i have just been trying to come up with something really inspiring and comforting to say. But i cant really add to what has already been said. just kknow that I am here for you and rooting for you and I BELIEVE IN YOU!