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Waiting at the gate, about to board a flight from NYC to LA. I’ve never been to California before. I won’t see much of it on this trip. I am intensely afraid but throughout this process a calm sometimes washes over me..I think the frenzied panic and quiet calm have both propelled me forwards to this point and sit with me as I wait. I have had A LOT of meltdowns, panic attacks, bouts of non nonsensical rambling and a fairly constant stream of tears…none of these seem to care about the time or place when they get underway. Deciding to go into inpatient/residential treatment was not a decision I came to easily or overnight but when it finally came down to it I realized it was the only option; all the reasons to go far outweighed my reasons for not going.
These last several weeks have been a terrible state of panic, anxiety, activity, sleepless nights, physical pain, deep sadness but with a little light of unwavering hope. I keep thinking how silly all of this is, all this fuss…I keep thinking there’s nothing wrong with me. (As if my healthcare team made a mistake diagnosing me with anorexia, as if everyone else’s concern is misplaced, as if the partial hospitalization programs I looked into turned me down for no reason). I keep wondering why I can’t just do whatever I need to do to get better. Why can’t I heal myself? I mean it’s just about eating after all…that should be simple enough. (Actually, no on both counts). Maybe i should have stayed at ERC? Was it really the wrong place for me or did my ED just push me to get out of there as quickly as possible? (Probably a combination). This line of thinking never gets me anywhere…except to make me feel more frustrated with myself, more critical of myself….throwing all the blame at myself when really I should use that energy to stop this ED from hurting me anymore.
Somehow (thankfully!) there’s a healthy part of me that wants to keep going, no matter what I won’t give in. And it all comes back to hope. That little bit of hope and belief that recovery is possible is everything…even when the idea is so far removed from my reality, even when I can barely see its light let alone reach out and grab onto it, I have felt its presence. I do have hope.
People milling about the airport. So many sights and sounds i would normally seek out to distract myself from being in the moment. Right now I am in the moment. I am sitting. I am waiting. And I am ready even though I can’t prepare, I can’t know, I can’t plan. I am just going to have to BE. That alone is a feat for me.
I wouldn’t be sitting here…preparing to fight for myself…if it wasn’t for my incredible healthcare team in NYC. MP, AL, and TK have been with me every step of the way and have found my voice when I had no words. They have fought for me, have been patient with me, have pushed me when i needed to be pushed, have believed in me and helped me find my way in this process. They have challenged me in the most meaningful ways (e.g. by helping me to question and stand up to my ED thoughts and behaviors) but also steadied me when everything felt too much to handle. As well, at the doctor’s office M and D have made things like paperwork and lab work a whole lot more bearable and have done it all with great kindness.
And thanks to JD in California for all her efforts preparing me for admission to Monte Nido. Incredible job not only coordinating everything but making me feel part of the process and not making me feel like a bother.
Very thankful for my colleagues, particularly SB and WW for making me feel valued and for being my “choir”. FE for putting up with me mini rants and meltdowns about insurance and paperwork, LM for reminding me to breathe and showing such strength in her own healthcare struggle, SK for always cheering me on, CM for assuring me things will get better and for surprising me on a day when I thought nothing could make me smile, MW for checking in and listening, MM for helping me get everything in order so I wouldn’t have anything to worry about, AB for all the good talks, understanding and hugs, EM for helping me to be a better advocate for my health, JG for liking almost every post I write (haha!) and on and on….to everyone for making our workplace a place of respect, creativity and personal growth.
To amazing friends, near and far, who have shared their words, experiences, love and time. EH for being a recovery warrior and sharing that journey through Instagram (so proud of you!) and to KO for being an inspiration through opening up about her own struggles and challenging herself each and every day (So courageous!|. And in particular to LS for adventuring with me around NYC to not only take my mind off things but to remind me of all the good things out there, like puppies, bus rides to nowhere and Christmas in July.
To my aunt and cousin for picking up my bunny 2x and for keeping my mom occupied. Two dependable family members who are always willing to help. And my cousin, even though she is going through her own health battle right now, took the time and care to make some Crusader bunny earrings (Thank you! Thinking of you today and always!)
And i wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for my mom telling me I needed to do this, that I was deserving of a life outside this ED and that I could use the same determination and work ethic I use for other things to work on this. World’s best mom!
I don’t think any of these people will know how much I appreciate them and all their support…I am tearing up thinking about them…I will miss all of them while I am away. I am sorry if I upset, frustrated, confused or bothered you along the way…I don’t imagine I have made things easy. If it wasn’t for each of you, I wouldn’t be here.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson