Friday, June 10, 2011

My story: Part 2

So I left off last time being terrified of eating basically anything unless I had the ability to throw it back up. My therapist, doctor, and parents all decided that if I could gain some weight at home I wouldn't have to go into a residential program. This was enough incentive for me to attempt to gain weight and eat. My parents used the Maudsley method, which as it says on the website is a family based treatment of adolescent anorexia nervosa. This worked to an extent and I was able to gain enough weight that my health wasn't in danger. I think that the problem for me however was that since I was in high school, it wasn't as simple as just gaining the weight back. I hadn't addressed any underlying issues as to why I felt the need to lose weight in the first place. Furthermore, I didn't feel a connection with my therapist and was scared of telling her how I really felt. I often lied during therapy sessions just to get through them. For the rest of ninth grade my parents would take me out of school for lunch and we would sit in the car or go outside somewhere and eat. My mom really struggled with seeing me in this mental and physical state so for the most part my dad would come and have lunch with me. While this was such a mental battle, I began to enjoy spending time with my dad and by the end of school even looked forward to our lunch dates.

I don't exactly remember when I stopped eating my meals with my parents, but when sophomore year came around I was starting to get back into old habits. I lost a substantial amount of weight again and was sent away to a residential eating disorders program for about six weeks. This was a difficult time for me; my mom and I weren't on the best of terms so my dad would mainly come and visit. I definitely learned a lot during this time and seeing the adults in the program motivated me to want to get better. For the first time I learned that I could eat foods I enjoyed and I wouldn't gain twenty pounds over night. I also learned a lot about myself in therapy and group sessions. It was hard leaving school for that amount of time. A lot of people asked where I went, and while I did tell my close friends, I felt uncomfortable sharing with most of my classmates what I was going through. Everyone was really understanding though and I had a lot of support from my teachers and friends.

Things went well for awhile. My parents began to trust me to eat my meals without them and I felt more comfortable with the weight I had gained. I liked not obsessing over food or having to find a bathroom after every meal. At some point though, I reverted back to thinking that I could stay in recovery even if I lost a few pounds. Soon enough a few pounds turned into a lot.

The summer between junior and senior year of high school I went to another outpatient program in a town about an hour away Monday through Friday. This program used calorie counting as a method of meal planning. This seemed to work for me since I am a very analytical and numbers oriented person. Looking back, I think I liked this method because it still put me in control of everything. In my worst stages of my eating disorder I would obsessively count calories and that is essentially what I was doing in this program, however I had a much higher "allotted" calorie count. I think I was only half in recovery. I wanted to stop the behaviors, I was sick of always thinking about food, but I was terrified of gaining weight. I had it in my mind that if I could just stay at a low weight and eat healthily I would be fine. Unfortunately, this mentality stuck with me through my senior year which led me to the worst relapse that I had.

Sorry for the length of this. I will continue later!!

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