I'm Home / Life After Discharge From Inpatient
For those of you who follow me on social media, you will know that I got discharged from inpatient treatment on Thursday morning.
After 8 weeks in an intensive program, I felt ready to take the next steps in my recovery. I wanted a little more independence, and a little more freedom to practice managing and controlling my eating disorder urges while living my life in the “real world”.
I am stepping down to a different tier in treatment - I start Day Hospital, or PHP (partial hospitalization program), on Tuesday; I will be there Tuesday to Friday from 9:30am-7:30pm for as many weeks as they will allow me. I did take part in this program earlier this year, but my mind wasn’t ready to accept the changes I needed to make with regards to food intake and the accompanying weight gain. I am hoping that this time around, I can keep my mindset in line with recovery.
So, how does it feel to be discharged? Well, pretty great. I am appreciating my apartment so much more these days (I missed it so much!) and I am trying to cultivate new, healthy habits in my space. I like that I have more time to see my friends and family, and I love that I can do simple things (i.e. drink coffee) according to my own routine.
But, it’s not all fun and games.
The mirrors in my apartment are a little bit hard to deal with. I have gained a considerable amount of weight since my admission, and I look a lot different than I did a couple of months ago. I am trying not to spend too much time in front of the mirror, but the occasional glance leaves me scrutinizing and criticizing my physical appearance.
Making decisions around food is difficult, too. I am trying my best to follow my meal plan set up by my dietitian, but simple choices (i.e. Do I want an apple or a pear? Rice or couscous?) leave me feeling a little bit overwhelmed, both at the grocery store and at home. I had made myself a simple menu to follow during my last day in the hospital, where I outlined exactly what I would be having at every meal. I am doing my best to stick to it, no questions or negotiations, despite my eating disorder encouraging me to switch things up and make changes.
Also, my sleeping habits are messed up, due to the insomnia withdrawal effect I am experiencing after recently decreasing one of my anxiety medications. My digestion is a little bit off too, since I am eating different things now that I have a little bit more freedom with food choices.
Things aren’t perfect, but they are a whole lot better than they were. I have more energy now, and I can actually appreciate the time I spend with people. I find myself a lot stronger, especially physically, which helps carry me through the day. I remember how I felt the weekend before my admission - I was so weak that I couldn’t even get out of the car. I would cry walking home from the metro because I didn’t think my legs had enough strength to get me there. All of that has changed, and I definitely notice the positive effects that weight gain and proper nutrition have brought me.
I am a little bit nervous about starting Day Hospital on Tuesday. I know it’s going to be difficult, because I still need to gain more weight, and I am a little reticent. But, I am trying to push forward regardless of the voices in my head telling me to stop. I’ll keep you posted on how my first week goes. Now, time for me to set some recovery-minded goals.