Why I Was Almost Asked To Leave Treatment
On Tuesday, I handed my doctor a letter. It read:
"I have never felt so torn in my life. The healthy side of me wants to stay in treatment so badly but I also know that I can't handle any more of this psychological torment. It is literally a war in my head every day. The tears that I cry are tears of frustration because I can't escape the thoughts. They follow me everywhere. And they're loud. They yell at me. They cause me to be so anxious that often I feel like I am going to throw up. I am not trying to exaggerate - this is painful and as close to hell as you can get while being alive.
I feel like it would be easier to just die than to continue living like this. Sometimes I hope the eating disorder kills me.
I have thought about my decision and I want to stay. Not because I think this will work, because honestly, I have doubts. But I want to go home with no regrets. With knowing that I tried everything I could to beat this. And if it doesn't work, well, I tried. Maybe that's not the most optimistic way to see things right now but if it gets me to the end of treatment them that's something.
I know I have to change my approach. I have to start fighting back and that's where I'm going to need all of your support. This illness is so woven into my brain and I'm trying to pry it off the healthy part but it's holding on so tight. Maybe because it feels threatened. I don't know. But I want to try fighting back. I'm not ready to change certain behaviours, but if I can change the way I talk to myself... Well, that's something".
But then on Wednesday, I manipulated my weight to make it seemed like I had gained enough so that a third Ensure Plus supplement drink wouldn't be added to my daily intake.
I had never seen my doctor so disappointed when I shared with him what I had done. He looked at me and said: "it's time we think about asking you to leave". I spent the whole evening in tears. I hated what my eating disorder was doing to me. It was causing me to be a manipulator and a liar and just as importantly, it was affecting my relationship with my doctor, one of the only people who can calm me down during a panic attack and a man who I trust with my life.
On Thursday, I had a meeting with my entire team. I had to face their decision.
They are letting me stay. But they made it very clear to me that I have to do things differently. I need to stop engaging in eating disorder behaviours. I need to stop resisting treatment. I need to change my approach. Part of the deal was that I had to drink three additional Ensure Plus drinks to prove to them, and to myself, that I was committed. And I did that. But my work is not over. In fact, I am just beginning.
I am almost at my goal weight, but I have a lot left to accomplish here. I haven't been doing treatment in an honest fashion and I changed that after the incident. I am surrounded by some of the best mental health professionals in the world and I need to start relying on them more. I need to start asking for help. And I need to start challenging that eating disorder voice and really FIGHTING back.
What I learned from all this is just how much the eating disorder can affect my relationships with the people I care about the most. I never want that to happen again. Going into this final phase of treatment, my doctor has suggested I make a plan of attack. To full-on attack this eating disorder voice that is telling me I'm fat and disgusting and that I weigh too much. I've had to deal with many challenges throughout this treatment and now I have to persist and dedicate myself to the fight.
THE WAR IS NOT OVER.