Holy cow, It’s the end of Wednesday. One week from tonight I will be sleeping in my own bed and I will have shaved legs! Although that is very exciting, it is also still a bit scary to me. Benj came this afternoon to go to my therapy session with my psychologist, Linda. It was a very good talk. It’s time to start seriously thinking about what life is going to be like after Melrose. I am not going to walk out of this place cured. ED is a disease. Think of it like diabetes or cancer. If you have cancer, your doctors come up with a plan, they come up with a treatment specifically suited to your type of cancer, and then they keep working on it with the goal of going into remission. Sometimes its successful with a lot of treatments and sometimes it’s not and the cancer comes back. Treatment needs to be changed and readjusted. ED is like that. The first day I came here they told me that research has come to a pretty definite conclusion that eating disorders is genetic. 5% of the population has the eating disorder gene. When someone carrying that gene loses 5-10 pounds, that weight loss kicks the gene on and boom, ED has an open door to start pouring in the lies. I look back on my first year in Nicaragua and I can tell you exactly when that sequence happened. Knowing it is a disease, it is not something that is my fault, and not something I asked for is incredibly freeing in a way, but it also means it won’t just go away. This is a fight that I”m going to be fighting for a long time.
Linda is a great therapist. She doesn’t sugar coat or hold back; she lays it out while helping to solve and strategize. When I go home it’s going to be a hard battle that I’m going to need all the help I can get to fight. She kept warning Benj, ED is sneaky. He’s going to do his best to sneak around and try to get by. One little lie turns into two and then three and the back slide has begun. That is a scary reality to live with, but I am also solid in the fact that I know whose I am. I know who is on my side. I know who tells me the truth. Benj and I are already being proactive. Any full length mirror in our house is gone. The scale is gone. My fitbit is gone. Some of my jeans are going to be gone when I get home because the way my clothes feel when I wear them is a trigger for me. I am in the process of making some lists. One list is the wrong things for people to say to me. The other list is the better way to say things. One more list is how people can help me stay on track and fight ED. I keep telling you that these emails are creating you all as a firewall for me. The more people that surround me that know what this fight is, the less chance i have of being able to hide. I did a life balance class today and we had to write down a bunch of difference categories of leisure activities that we do for ourselves or that we would like to do. The ones that I do revolve around an isolated, stay in my house activity. I have truly shut down and isolated myself from the people who I could be close to. Not until being here can I see so clearly what ED has done to me for the past 15 years. He wants me to hide so that I can take care of ED, not myself. He lied to me that I was being “healthy” when in fact my heart was one beat away from hospitalization. He lied to me that my eating habits were “healthy” when in fact I was shorting myself of energy and freedom. There are many more to add to that list. This is going to be vigilant, on my guard at all times. But I”m up for the fight and so is Benj and I know so are a lot of people. I will work hard to give you the knowledge you need to help me while I work hard to help myself. But God will definitely be the source of the strength. It can’t be any other way. I tell everyone here that I”m not coming back. This is it for me!
The day ended fabulously. Pastor Bob came all the way down to hang out. We played Dirty Uno (his rules) with TJ and her mom. TJ is the one whose husband committed suicide. I told her this morning my job for the day was to get her to laugh because she said this morning it was going to be a sad day, a lot of thoughts about her husband. Tonight we succeeded in that. At the end of visiting hours Pastor Bob prayed with the 4 of us and it was amazing. TJ was so happy after they left. She had so much fun and I am so happy for her. She is becoming a very dear friend. Keep praying for her.
Enough for today. Tomorrow is another full day. I get to start doing more of the exercise classes as I transition so tomorrow is Yoga and Pilates. Anyone know what Pilates actually is? I guess I”m about to find out. I”m up for a challenge. I love you guys. Mostly I love you for actually reading my books. I always dreamed of being a published writer. I guess I could kind of say now I am – my book about my life at Melrose. 🙂