Posted in Anxiety, Eating Disorder Recovery, Recovery, Renfrew, treatment

Joys/Worries of Unexpected Progress

I continued a recent instagram post ( Just_Do_Today ) due to the unexpected progress I have steadily been experiencing.

I was weighed last night at Renfrew. My therapist kindly covered the numbers because last week I told her I don’t like looking. “Please move your hand. I don’t want to be afraid of the scale anymore.”
I briefly looked and stepped off. I was surprised. I was disappointed.
But 5 minutes before this weigh in, I was completely content with my body. So why would I allow a meaningless number to change that now?

Fuck you ED. I now knew the godforsaken number and felt as though I had taken back control.
Did I love the number? No. But I’m not afraid of it anymore.

It’s my dad’s bday today and he wants to go to a buffet for dinner (ED thrives in these places).

Knowing this, my mom asked if I wanted to bail. But these are the little things ED takes away from me–an evening with my family, sitting around laughing and bonding. Since I don’t have the funds to buy an extravagant present he deserves, I really want him to be surrounded by his family in his favorite restaurant. He would appreciate that.  ED,  you are losing your grip on me. I am taking my life back. Food does not control me. I control my life.

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This morning I woke up with nagging anxiety. I grabbed my journal and asked myself the questions that my therapist suggested when these fears come up.

“Do I have plausible evidence to support this worry?”

Answering this usually lessens the fear’s intensity. I realize how unlikely it is to happen. Instead, the feeling is being triggered by something similar happening to someone else, or old insecurities playing out in my brain.

But sometimes I have a hard time disputing that I’m experiencing a “gut feeling”…(although, 9 times out of 10 these fears are simply caused by anxiety)

That’s when I ask:

“What would I do if the worst case scenario actually happened?”

I wrote about the strong woman I am, and how hard I fought to become her. I’ve worked too hard and too long to crumble under an undesirable circumstance. I can do one of two things: work to prevent it–and if that is impossible, repeat to myself that “Everything happens for a reason.”

From waking up with worry lines, I was now driving to work with a mile wide smile. As I realized this, I turned the music up and sang  a little bit louder. I  touched the rosaries hanging in my car (I am not a very religious person, but this action has always represented my gratitude for the current situation and trying to have complete serenity for my future).

I haven’t always gone to my journal when I should. Especially when my irrational worries arise. I can’t ignore the little twinge inside me that tells me it’s the right thing to do. However,  I’d convince myself that another coping skill will suffice. This”easy way out” sort of thinking usually leads to symptom use because I’m not dealing with my emotions. Then ED will slither his way into the rest of my day. The importance of picking the right coping mechanism was something I specifically remember learning at Renfrew! At that time, I’d never dream of ignoring the twinge that told me the right coping skill to use–I was so thankful for it! And since then I have lost sight of it’s importance.

I wondered why it is so much easier to do “the right thing” while I’m in Renfrew.

It has now been two full weeks without symptom use.

I have used the proper coping skills when I needed them. I have tackled planned and unplanned challenges (two big ones listed above in my Instagram post). I have been practicing very kind self-talk.

Finally, I’ve managed to take back control of situations ED has been hopelessly controlling before entering back into treatment.

Last night at the buffet, I repeated “slipping up is not an option” over and over again to myself. Regrettably, this is a line that hasn’t always worked in the past. But, last night I took it very seriously.

Why do I feel so much stronger in treatment? Is it truly because I’m surrounded by women that think and feel and fight the way I do? Is it the accountability of having to check in multiple times a week? Is it because I am forced to make myself a priority on these days.

I still worry about messing up. And I worry about discharge day. But, I have to take it one breath, one moment, one meal at a time.

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At Mt. Laurel Renfrew, surrounded by some of the most amazing people I have ever met 🙂 (don’t know how they would feel about being posted, so it’s just happy and healthy me)
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