Being in hospital for Eating Disorder treatment is not easy. It can feel like this big scary task that now everything has to change in a very short time frame. Pushing beyond your comfort zone is a challenge and the outcomes are not always what we expect.
Finding the courage and putting up my hand up and ask for help was a big step. What happens now that I came to terms that inpatient treatment is going to give me the support I need. What do I need? What are my expectations? Am I sick enough? Is it really this bad?
These are all thoughts which have haunted me in during the first days of my second inpatient admission for Bulimia treatment. At this time I was battling Ed’s voice in my head, it wanted me to be in bad health to be ok to receive treatment and it was determined to punish me for seeking it.
The first days in hospital I was rather quiet and depressed. Fighting this internal battle. My doctor encouraged me to figure out what’s important to me. Is it work? Relationships? Health? I was willing to try and find out.
I mainly kept to myself during this admission, my inner turn mule did not allow me to make any connections. I tried to discover body positivity – this will heal me, right? I tried to embrace the concept of it, I wrote a list of things I am not happy with and challenged each statement. They were things like: I have big thighs. No! They are my strong legs which are letting my walk my dog every day and many more.
That felt good. It felt like progress. Maybe I could go home by the end of the week. After a couple of uplifted days I still found myself struggling with ED in my head and the behaviours it forced me to stick to. I was still obsessed to change my body and control it and then a few days later I wrote in my diary: “I just can’t stop. I feel so pressured. I am coming to realise this has me in its grip and its hard to let go.”
And that was it. Realising that this is going to be a long journey, I won’t be able to heal it in a week in hospital or rest it away. It will take time, strength, compassion and most importantly little steps.
I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl and ED wants me to do everything perfectly. So if I was not down on my knees, facing serious health consequences as a result of my Eating Disorder I was clearly not deserving of any treatment. And then I realised: This is wrong! I can stand up, I can take the steps – and most importantly: I deserve treatment and it’s going to be ok.
Walking out of a hospital admission healed, is far from reality for must of us. My inner perfectionist wanted it badly, but I actually ended up leaving hospital realising I was sick and I am going to make it my priority to get better.
Other hospital admissions were to follow, including the one I am facing right now. More about that in my next post. Please reach out if you have any questions.