So What? Now What?

I’ve been home for just over two weeks.  It has really flown by.  I am actually moving in FOUR DAYS to the city were my graduate school is.  Are my bags packed?  Er, not exactly.  But I’ve used this opportunity to get rid of things that I don’t need, don’t want, don’t use.  I want to live a far more simplistic life than I do now.

When I was in Utah, my entire wardrobe consisted of a few dresses, about three pairs of pants, and 10 or 15 shirts.  And you know what?  I got by okay.  I realize that small a wardrobe isn’t necessarily conducive to life in “the real world,” but the reality is that I hold on to far too many things that have long since lost their purpose or meaning.

FOUR FREAKING DAYS.  It seems entirely too soon and yet the hours seem to drag.  I am so excited and so anxious for the entire school experience.  I haven’t been in a classroom in over five years.  And yet, school is the place where I feel most “myself” — I love the intellectual stimulation, the new friends who share your (possibly nerdy) interests, and yes — the three week winter vacation doesn’t hurt either.

But good grief if change isn’t scary.  I’ll be two and a half hours away from everyone I know.  In fact, the only friend within a reasonable distance is moving away two days after I am. (::facepalm::) I’ll be two and a half hours away from my treatment team.  My therapist and dietitian are absolutely wonderful and we’ve had the discussion about how often they’ll want to see me “in person” — and how often we can do skype or phone sessions.  Does it make me a little uncomfortable to be sharing all my intimate crap aloud in a room that doesn’t have soundproof walls?  Sure.  But realistically, my roommates are going to catch on pretty quick to the eating disorder (I mean, for pete’s sake, I write a national blog that I promote on my facebook).

And then there is the question of whether or not all this change is going to throw my eating disorder recovery for a loop.  I’m hoping to get a part time job so for at least 15 or 20 hours a week I’ll be occupied and unable to act on any eating disorder urges.  I only have class two nights a week and the rest of the time just…is.  In some ways, it will be nice to slow the pace of my life and put time into school and work and relationships.  But too much time alone can be disastrous, especially if I’m stuck in a negative mind space.

But I am hopeful.  “Cautiously Optimistic” as I told the CFC staff when asked how I felt about discharging.  

Has my recovery been perfect since I have been home?  

HELL NO.

About a week ago I seriously screwed up and was a mess.  But you know what?  I hopped back on the recovery train within 12 hours and was honest with my entire team about it.  We put stop gaps in place to prevent it from happening again.  We came up with ways to deal with the situations I was in.  Making a mistake wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

As I heard it said at AA on Sunday:

“So what [that you lapsed]? Now what?”

Recovery isn’t the smooth sailing, though sometimes there are calm waters.  The essence of recovery is what happens when you accidentally flip the canoe.

Do you say, “Aw, screw it. I’ll just swim, even though I know I’m a terrible swimmer.  I know last time I nearly drowned, but it will TOTALLY be different this time.  Really!”

Or do you say, “Okay.  Let’s get this canoe right side up again and keep heading down the river to the launch so we can grab our picnic lunch.”

I’m a fairly decent swimmer.  I can function remarkably well, even when I’m in my eating disorder.  But it is so much more tiring and far less fun than going down the river in the canoe.

So what? I had a slip. Now what? I get back on track. ASAP.

 

 

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