07.12.17 // You're Starting Treatment
To the brave person going into treatment tomorrow, this is for you.
You’re starting an adventure tomorrow. And unlike most college graduates right now, it’s not gonna be a euro trip backpacking Fiesta, but I can guarantee that you won’t forget it. This may sound like the really back start to a mediocre pop song but stay with me - I believe in you and I’m so proud of you.
Inpatient treatment is, on the real, a terrifying thing to decide to go into. Everything that your eating disorder has told you to do during your illness will be challenged, your entire routine is switched and you are in a place with new people. Sound fun? Well here’s the messed up thing, it kind of is.
Don’t get me wrong it really sucks sometimes, there were times I was crying so hard that I didn’t actually think that I would ever feel better, but those were always matched with waves of victory. With meals eaten where I didn’t feel guilty. With moments where I actually didn’t blame my body for all my problems. With times that weren’t fully occupied by thinking about how much food I was eating, what I was eating, or how much I was moving.
I started to actually live. It sounds like the ultimate cliche or some gap year company slogan, but with every fear that I overcame, again and again, it got a little better. I started to laugh again with friends, I felt okay just sitting and reading, relaxing was actually relaxing.
You may think that you are going into this alone, but trust me when I say that you are not. Trust me when I say that you will never feel more oddly at home in the ward with 3 hallways, and 22 rooms. Trust me when I say that every single person who you are with has experienced the same fears you are experiencing. Every person knows the fear of the first day, the first meal, the first hour. They know how manipulative the disorder is, how it tells you that you can do it by yourself and that you shouldn’t be in treatment, even when you really should. Know that there is a crowd of people supporting you, all the millions of people who are struggling with eating disorders that are so proud that you were brave enough to get your life back.
Please do one thing for me, fight for yourself there. You need to want to recover, not for your family, your friends, but yourself. Start to see where the eating disorder wants you to be. It wanted me to be alone, isolated, miserable and dead. It never wanted me to be successful and free like I thought, that sole fact lit that spark that made me want to recover, to get my life back for me. Think of the places and things you could do without your eating disorder, and remember that every single day in treatment gets you that much closer to your goals. You can do this. Days are hard there but a life with your eating disorder is so much more agonising than being in a place with a literal staff of people who support and believe in you.
Thank you. For helping me remember why I want to recover, for opening up to me, and for giving me inspiration, and for showing me so much strength.
I know you are scared, I was fucking terrified. But know how proud I am of you. This isn’t weak. Getting help doesn’t make you a lesser person. It means that you are strong and wise enough to see that the eating disorder was leading you to the life you didn’t want to lead. Eating disorders are not decisions, they are complex, biological illnesses that can’t just be beaten by “wanting to get better.” Where you are is hard, but it’s also the best place to be to start to live. And darling? You are solid gold and deserve to live without anything holding you back.
I am ALWAYS here; as are all the people with eating disorders, and all the people with hearts.
We believe in you,
Fuck this illness.