When treatment is never a good time…

Going into treatment is not only a scary thing, but it never seems to be the right time.  I entered into McCallum Place on November 3rd,  and I discharged on January 27th.  What do I mean by the right time?  There are always holidays, special events, things, activities going on, and treatment doesn’t really stop for those things.  Like for me I missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New years due to being in treatment.  Am I sad? To be honest, I am very thankful that I was in treatment during that time.  This specific time of year has always been hard.  Why?  We, as Americans revolve most holidays around food.  As someone who is struggling with an eating disorder, and struggling with all the changes that comes with weight gain.  Body Image sucks, refeeding sucks, the emotions surrounding the process of refeeding sucks, physical body changes after meals is horrible.  If you don’t understand, then all I’m going to say is that when lentil loaf or chili is being served at meal time, after meal times, after post meal group, everyone to the nurses station for tums and gas-x.  Thanksgiving this past year was one that I will forever remember.  The cook for that day did his best to make it special for us to be able to distinguish it as a holiday and not just a regular McCallum day.  On the holidays, did we have groups?  Of course, but we also got to make fleece scarves for the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, and make blankets for ourselves, but Adam totally went above and beyond to decorate our table.  There was a turkey alternative, which is what I had, but there were traditional thanksgiving foods there.  Sweet potatoes, turkey, pumpkin pie, and this is totally an inside joke but there was PLENTY of gravy!  The company was great because we all struggled with the meal, but you know what?  We either ate all of it, felt accomplished, and then seconded guessed ourselves afterwards, or those of us who couldn’t quite finish the meal and had to boost for the rest.  Was it hard, absolutely, but did it help prepare me for the future?  Absolutely!  What was hard for me was knowing that we were going to have to do this yet again at Christmas.  Meal times at McCallum were fun and so difficult.  In the morning, we did horoscopes and jumbles, at lunch we did wordy gurdy, and dinner we played the ABC game.  You have to understand the importance of table games at this very critical time.  Did they want us to be present while we ate our meals, yes, but playing games, and laughing, or for me and E, talking about our stuffed children, it was needed to help keep us mentally there.

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Long story short, why do I say all of that? Since being in treatment and missing holidays at home, I feel like I have missed out on an entire year.  Treatment is like another world.  It’s an alternate universe.  You are in a nurturing, caring environment, unlike home, where the chaos was created.  Losing 3 months of your life vs. losing your life…which one is better?  Putting my life on hold for 3 months was worth it, because in the long run 3 months is nothing!

Perks of Weight Gain

This post is also from Jess!  She does make some pretty valid points on weight gain!

 

This is for my Kirkwood family and anyone else who struggles with the idea of gaining weight.

As women we are constantly bombarded by TV ads and Facebook groups trying to sell us items that promise to help us attain the “perfect body type” or “natural health.” Physical health can only mean so much when our mental health is suffering. What we should really be focusing on is loving ourselves as we are. In a society that seems to put so much pressure on losing weight, I would like to remind everyone of what you gain when you let go of the notion that you have to be skinny to be happy. For many of us gaining weight is synonymous with failure, but I’m here to tell you about all the positive things that come with gaining a few pounds!!

Perks of gaining weight
* You don’t look like a zombie anymore
* You don’t feel like a zombie anymore
* You don’t feel tired all of the time
* You can actually gain muscle mass
* You get boobs!!? I mean how cool is that??
* You can participate in fun things without getting tired so quickly
* With less time in the gym, you can do more fun things with friends!
* You spend less time thinking about food/working out.
* You start to see yourself as more than just a body.
* And your body image actually improves!!

Your dog doesn’t care about your weight (and neither should you).

Today there will be a few different post.  2 of them will be from Jess!  Jess is truly an amazing person!  I am super glad she is a part of my life, and my forever family.

 

When you look at your dog you see more than a furry creature on four legs. You see more than big ears, muddy paws, and a slobbery tongue. You see a friend. Your best friend. And that’s what he sees when he looks at you. He doesn’t see your scars or your blemishes. He sees the way your face lights up when he greets you at the door. He sees what matters. He doesn’t care about your weight. He doesn’t care if your arms jiggle or your thighs touch. He cares about your kindness and your compassion. He cares about the way you throw the frisbee everyday in the backyard and the way you let him crawl into bed with you each night.

When your dog doesn’t like someone it’s a bad sign, right? If he barks and growls you know something must be up. You trust his judgement of other people, so why not his judgement of you? He doesn’t judge you based upon your weight or your appearance. He judges you based on what really matters. You’re a good person and he knows it. Dogs are wise that way.

Ok days and Bad days

I personally have to admit something.  I honestly don’t know what a good day is.  I know the definition of good, but for the past 20 years, I’ve numbed every thought and feeling that could possibly be numbed.  This past week has been extremely draining.  I have struggled with meals, I’ve broke down and cried because I’ve thought that no one at the real estate office likes me, I supported my best friend as she faced something that no parent should ever have to face, and became so overwhelmed as I ate lunch in front of people when I forgot my anxiety medicine and end up sobbing in my husbands arms. Here’s the truth, like Kat said in a previous post, treatment is the easy part.  You are told when to wake up, when to eat, when to go to groups, when to turn in your electronics, and when its time for meds.  All of that is easy, because someone else is telling you what to do, there are rules to follow and when those rules aren’t followed, you get privileges taken away.  When you come home, everything changes, no one tells you when its time to get up, or when to eat, or anything.  The ball is in your court, and while I have a support system of people from treatment, there is a part of me that is lonely.  I know this feeling is mutual between all of us who have been in treatment.  My husband goes to every length to try and support me, but in real life, unless you have been through an eating disorder or trauma, or whatever it is that you are/have struggled with, it is incomprehensible for that person.  Let me break this down.  The rose colored glasses are off, this is real life, this is life, post-treatment.
This is where I question everything I’m doing because in my past I have brought up ideas at my old job over, and over with the result was them telling me that it was a dumb idea. You question if you are in fact dumb.  This is the sad part…every single time a person gets shot down and told that their idea is dumb, they start to believe it.  This is where it becomes really sticky because when people tell me that it was a dumb idea, all of these other thoughts start to roll through my head of “I’m not good enough, not smart enough, unloveable, repulsive, ugly, worthless.”  Get the point?  In the same way that people told me that my ideas were dumb, my eating disorder has taken control of it and knows exactly, how to get my attention, how to flood my brain and my every thought.  It’s exhausting, and very confusing.
I essentially wanted y’all to know that I’m human, and just because I have been treatment, doesn’t mean that I have been fixed.  I am trying to stay in recovery, but everyday is a fight, and y’ll need to know that there are ok days and there are bad days, I have to learn and create what good days will be.  Just don’t give up.

A Letter to Those Who Say I Make Them Feel Fat

*This post is by Jess!  Thanks Jess!*

 

“If you think you’re fat then you must think I’m huge.”

No. Stop.

Please don’t begin to view yourself as fat because of my distorted view of myself. My body dysmorphia only affects the way I see myself. I see you just as you are. And I think you look perfect. I know this may not seem logical, but bear with me. After all, it is a psychological disorder and they don’t always make sense. I do not see myself in relation to you. Me thinking I am fat does not mean I think you are fat, regardless of wether or not you are larger than me. Honestly, I would rather look like you than myself regardless of your size. You see, the root of my problems is not in my physical appearance, but in who I am as a person. My incredibly low self worth has caused me to turn against my body as it is the one thing I know I can change about myself. I can’t change the core of who I am but I can change my weight. This is why I am so judgmental of my body. I hold myself to different standards than I do anyone else, because I see myself as less than everyone else. I hate my body but I do not in any way think that you need to change yours. And the idea that you think that I think of you as fat breaks my heart. I would never wish for anyone else to feel the way I do about themselves. So no, I don’t think you are fat. I think you are a wonderful person and I would be honored to be like you in any way.