I wasn’t as busy today with meetings so it felt like a longer day. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow too much because it will be long without our meetings to go to. I did have my first meal group which means I got to eat downstairs in the cafeteria where the meals aren’t clearly labeled for my tallies. It’s practice for being able to eat outside of our very structured life here. One of the dieticians eats with us, guides us through the menu so that we know we’re getting the tallies we need – for example 1 protein, 2 fats, 1 bread, 1 vegetable, etc – whatever we need for that meal so that our day in total equals what we need for the day. It is very hard for me to not look at food as calories that I can limit but instead as needed nourishment from all the food groups. It’s hard to break all the “rules” I’ve lived by for so many years. Because when you break rules, that means you are cheating, and when you cheat, you feel guilty, and when you feel guilty, you need to do something to make up for what you’ve done – this is the crazy cycle of an eating disorder. For me it would be going for an extra run or a long walk or running farther than normal the next day. For others its purging or skipping meal after meal. This is the challenge of overcoming an eating disorder – finding the tools and techniques and strategies to shut down the guilty voice and the anxiety that builds from “cheating”. That is why I would say 75% of the ladies here with me right now are returning to Melrose. A logical question to ask someone who comes is if this is their first time here. Some of them know each other just because they have been here enough that their stays coincide with each other. It’s also hard because one day someone will be here and the next they might be gone and no one can tell us why. Ann, a women who came this week that I’ve talked with quite a bit was here this morning. We know she was in our Strategies group this morning, but no one has seen her since. Last night one of the girls was taken to the emergency room for stomach issues and now her room is cleared out. No idea why. Two new girls came today. It’s a constant shift. Right now there are 5 of us who have all been here together this week. I don’t want them to leave because they are becoming friends of a sort. But at the same time you want them to be able to go home too. It’s a strange life we lead together for these days. So much pain in their lives. But we also celebrate little things like one girl finally being able to pee again because she’s finally getting enough fluids. Often at meals the dietician who sits with us will play games like Tribond or other word games to keep us conversing. We laugh and it’s fun.
Tomorrow the boys swim in their first swim meet in Yankton. Benj is going to Skype their races with me so I can see them. I talked with them awhile tonight over Skype too. It was so good to see them laugh. I will see them all Sunday!