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What Happens When You Choose Recovery

Life is so, so worth it.

I was diagnosed with an eating disorder at 15, I sat in the office of a nutritionist who my pediatrician had recommended. I heard her talking but I wasn't paying much attention, it was all a blur to me. I continued to see her and a therapist for a week or two and then they recommended more treatment because I didn't seem to want to get better. I soon was in the waiting room of a small eating disorder clinic with my parents, it was the day before Thanksgiving and I was missing school that day to learn about our treatment options. I met with a lady who told me she was a clinician and that she thought I should start PHP, PHP is a partial hospitalization program. I didn't realize it at the time but this meant I would be missing the next five weeks of school. I was resistant and did everything I could to skip meals and to use behaviors. The week before Christmas my parents and therapist were talking of sending me to a residential program but our insurance refused to cover it, I continued in the day program for a few more weeks. Everyone seemed to think I was getting better but sadly I was slowly declining, mentally and physically. I tried as hard so I could to get better, My parents did the same, all they wanted was for me to get better. My eating disorder became stronger and I ended up in the hospital. The next year consisted of me in many different levels of care. I eventually discharged and went home and was just seeing my therapist and nutritionist at the time. I was volunteering in a daycare at this time and one night, as we were closing down for the night, I started to feel really odd. It's hard to explain how I was feeling, all I can say is that it was a classic sign of dehydration. I went home and my mom called the doctor who told my mom to go to a children's hospital an hour away. I sat in the room as doctors took my blood and heart rate, I was so out of it that all I remember from that night is falling asleep and waking up and hearing a nurse tell my dad my heart rate was way too high and that I was extremely dehydrated. I broke down crying and told my dad I wasn't getting better and I needed more help, my dad looked at me and told me he would do everything he could to help me get better. This was the point when I knew I needed to choose recovery because I didn't want to die. I went out of state for treatment and my parents tried to visit me every week. I hated it there so much but also knew I needed to be there, I needed to get better. I have many slip ups and eventually started eating foods I hadn't eaten in years and found new ways to cope. We did yoga twice a week and went on weekend outings. I started to realize that maybe there is good in the world and that recovery is worth it. Now, this is a little background in how I chose recovery but the thing is many people don't talk about what recovery is actually like. I am not going to tell you recovery is all sunshine and rainbows because it's not. It sucks and it will be the hardest thing you have ever done. I used to sit in nutrition appointments screaming and trying to convince everyone I was okay and that wasn't the reality, I used to break down and cry because I wasn't allowed in my room after dinner, and I would have awful fights with my parents over me wanting to eat the same things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I still sit in therapy and cry because it's hard. Recovery isn't done overnight, you have to choose every day to stay in recovery, you may never get to full recovery and that is okay. I can happily say I eat what want, I go out to eat with friends, and I am going to school for psychology so one day I can help people. I will tell you I still have days where I don't eat as much as I should because I truly don't feel good and I know I can't do that every day and I still try to eat even when I'm sick because skipping a meal for me fuels my disorder no matter how far I am into my recovery. The thing that is hardest for me is self-love, I don't love my body and I can tell you I'm working on loving it. I'm working on how I'll remind myself to eat in college, and how I'll continue to choose recovery even when I'm all alone in college. You need to choose recovery for you because if you choose to recover for someone else it won't work, trust me I have tried it. Recovery is hard but it is also one of the best things you can ever do.

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