I have an assessment with Center for Change next week.  I’d been avoiding the treatment talk as long as possible, always blowing off the possibility when my dietitian mentioned it.  But my therapist brought it up on Monday and challenged me to talk to my parents about it.  I talked to my dad on Tuesday and he said he’d been wondering for a month whether or not to push me to go back.

So I have an assessment on Thursday with my old therapist there.  And honestly, I don’t quite know how I feel about it.  While a lot of my eating disorder is wrapped up in my desire to avoid “real life” and escape the pressures that come with it, I’m not all that thrilled at the prospect of putting my life on hold again and going back to treatment.   There will certainly be some comfort in returning to a place that I know so well (it was my home for a third of last year, after all), but it’s not as if I’m all, “Yay! Another break from life! More treatment! More friends!”

When I called to make the assessment I told them I was interested in their “inpatient short-term stabilization program.”  Basically, just three or four weeks to get you back on track so you can go back home to your program or outpatient team.  My outpatient team here is fabulous, y’all.  In six months with my therapist, we’ve nailed down three of the major underpinnings of my eating disorder.  My mood is stable for the first time in YEARS.  My dietitian pushes me as hard as she can and sometimes, I even comply.

I would love to kickstart the process and then come back home, back to work, back to friends, back to my team and finish the work here.  I’m just beginning to wonder how realistic that is.

While my mood is VASTLY improved over this time last year (as we come up on the one-year anniversary of my week long stay on a locked psych ward), the eating disorder stuff is…worse? Different? More entrenched?  I’m not really sure.  I like to imagine that I’ll be able to go back to CFC, immediately comply with my meal plan and eat everything and not have any self-harm urges and be ready to go home in less than a month.

I just don’t know how realistic that is.  I’m thinking specifically in terms of the weight I need to gain to get back to where I was when I discharged last August.  Am I really going to go, get put on a weight gain meal plan posthaste, gain for a few weeks, then come home and be totally okay with it and ready to keep working on weight gain at home?  It’s a nice idea, but…what are the chances that I come home x pounds heavier and head straight to the gym and start restricting again?

From the way my mother worded it, my parents are expecting me to go back for an extended period of time.  I was assured that they would cover the cost [again] if I agreed to “stay through to the end of the program.”  At the end of the day, I’ll agree to whatever the CFC team thinks is the best option for me.  I have no intention of going in trying to control the process or fight like hell like I did last year.

Which is, in itself, progress.  My therapist noted this as one of the reasons that this trip could be even more beneficial than last year.  I’ll go in wanting to recover and knowing some of the areas that we need to hit HARD in therapy (as opposed to spending 2 months trying to figure out how to keep me off Caution Status). Potentially, I could stay a shorter period of time (not 4 months, anyway) and derive a lot more benefit.

I get pissed at the idea of going back to treatment again. I get pissed at the thought of spending another birthday in treatment. I get pissed at the long, winding, road to recovery, when I wish God would just HEAL ME ALREADY, DAMMIT!

And part of me fears that I won’t go back to treatment at all.  I fear that I’ll have my assessment on Thursday and the team out there will think that I am not “sick enough” to need inpatient or residential. I mean, my weight’s not THAT low, my restricting isn’t THAT bad, my exercise is far better than it was, and I’m not really a safety risk to myself.  I fear that I’ll be told that I should be able to do this outpatient and that I just need to pull myself up by my bootstraps.

Three totally different scenarios: being told I’m not sick enough, being told I could just stay for a few weeks, being told I need to stay long-term again.  They’re all terrifying, honestly.  And while my eating disorder would love for one of the first two to come to fruition, the part of me that wants so desperately to recover knows that my best shot is another long-term stay. A long enough stay to completely weight restore and then settle into that body while dealing with the shit in my past.

It is scary for me to admit that I want to go back to CFC for an extended period of time.  I’m not sure if it makes me feel “weak,” or “attention-seeking,” or “avoidant,” or what.  But I DO want it.  I want this disease out of my life for good.

Assessment is on Thursday.

I could be back in treatment in a month.


5 thoughts on “Countdown

  1. Is your assessment in Utah? or is it here via skype or something?

    Oh, Jess, I hoped so hard when you came home last August that you would not have to go back. But this may be what it takes to beat this thing. You can do it.

    • The assessment is via phone. I’ll be speaking to Mac and doing the assessment on Thursday at 3 if you’re feeling like praying. ;-)

      I had hoped I wouldn’t have to go back, either, honestly. I wanted August 8th last year to be the day I came home and started really living my life without this disorder. Alas.

  2. This is such a major step, and I’m so happy for you that you’ve set up an assessment. As hard as it is to imagine a more long-term stay, it could be really beneficial since you’re going into it in a completely different place recovery-wise. Your motivation for recovery seems like such a great attitude to bring into treatment, and I have no doubt that you could get a ton out of it. And to address your last bit–although I’m sure it is scary to admit that you want to go back, I think it’s a strong and empowered decision. It’s amazing and inspiring. You WANT recovery and are willing to do whatever it takes–that takes strength and insight. Good luck to you with the assessment, and hang in there!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Alie! I know it’s a “strong” decision, but sometimes it feels so very weak. I have to remind myself that I (Jess) am making this decision and that makes ME (and not the ED) stronger.

  3. I don’t think it makes you seem ‘weak’ ‘avoidant’ or ‘attention seeking’. Going in motivated to recover makes a huge difference. Even if the food is hard – knowing that you want to get better will help the therapy process immensely. I’m proud of you for setting up the assessment and being strong enough for asking for the extra help. Let me know if there is anything I can do.

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