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7 Weeks in Treatment

Amanda VS 'Ana' Part 5

My 'recovery box'

I realize I did quite a poor job at actually explaining what being in treatment was like; if you read my post from February 26, 2018 then you got a glace at what my first day in treatment was like. My entire stay lasted 7 weeks, although I did get trial days at school as my discharge date got closer.

In the treatment center I was in, they use a calorie based system meaning the number of calories and total fat grams were known and used by each patient as a means for either weight gain or weight maintenance, depending on the eating disorder type and stage of recovery each individual was at. With that being said, each patient had their own separate meal plan with their own allotted calories and fat grams to intake, made by staff at first, then made by the patient after about 2 weeks depending on progress.

I was in no way, shape, or form ready to fully recover; I was prepared to simply do what I had to do and say what I had to say in order to gain the weight I needed to gain so I could get out of there as soon as I could and then go back to my old habits of restriction. P.S.A.: I do NOT recommend this; it won't work, first off, and all it does is push back your ability to recover.

Backing up a bit...At the treatment center we had a schedule. Everyday we had different topics for group therapy sessions (we also had yoga for group 2 once a week), however every group and every meal was at a specific time every day and for the adolescents, there was designated school time where we went into a freezing cold room every morning after breakfast and had to do something school-related whether that meant working on school work our school had faxed over, reading a book, or writing in a journal. I remember I got away with using my iPod to get on the Internet and "study." I did get all of my school work done though and actually maintained my grade point average above a 4.0 while in treatment. 

Continuing on, in my last post I mentioned that I cried for 3 days straight. I was not exaggerating. I called my mom when we were allowed cell phone time in the evenings, bawling my eyes out, begging her to come get me. After 3 days of that, my therapist, unbeknownst to me, told my mom to tell me that if I begged to come home again, she wouldn't talk to me on the phone anymore. I was crushed when my mom said that to me but it was necessary. Begging to come home when I was still very sick was not going to do anyone any good. So, after those three days and after being told I couldn't talk to my mom on the phone anymore if I kept begging to come home, I started to settle down and it started to set in that I really was in treatment for a real eating disorder and was, in fact, sick.

After 7 long, long weeks, I was discharged. The picture above is of the "recovery box" I was given at my "graduation." Most of the patients and all of the staff members wrote notes that went in the box. I still have the box and all of those notes today. I will never forget the experience of being in treatment; as awful as it felt being there, and as difficult as it was to teach myself how to eat normally again, I will forever be thankful to my mother for getting me the help I needed. I'm not going to pull any punches here: I still struggle today and even went back to this treatment center in the summer of 2017 for 6 weeks. Recovery from an eating disorder is hard work, but I'm learning it can be possible.

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