Treatment, recovery, losing my life raft

My treatment team has been keeping me afloat. I really need them to stay accountable. I hate to admit that but it’s become quite evident that I have difficulty whenever they go on vacation or conferences for a week or two. I’ve managed so far by scheduling extra appointments like with my therapist when my nutritionist is gone and vice versa. However, I’m paying cash and it is not cheap. I pay on average $1200 a month. Well, my credit card is near it’s limit and I can’t do it anymore. Finances, in themselves, are a huge source of stress for me already so I can’t keep doing this.

I’ve emailed my nutritionist and gave her a heads up that I’ll be having to cut down considerably and also just sent a text to my therapist to cancel tomorrow’s appointment, assuming it isn’t too late a notice. If I had realized this early enough I could have changed tomorrow’s nutrition appointment from an hour to a ½ hour but since it is too late for that I will probably have to cancel the rest of the month.

If I were doing better this would be a good opportunity to see how well I can do left on my own for a wee bit longer time between appointments but I’m not doing better. I’ve lost more weight. Obviously I’m very happy about that but my nutritionist will not be happy at all. She’ll probably restrict my exercise or something since I’m not eating the amount of calories she wants me too. I’m close, I’ll give you that, but not quite there. This seems reasonable, right? It is but without seeing her regularly my brain tends to over-ride after a period of time. Going once a week has been helpful because that is about the limit of my rational brain to keep up with it. Beyond that, my irrational eating disorder brain kicks in and I slowly lose the grasp of why all those restrictions are important, or even reasonable. I know, pretty pathetic, but at least I finally know myself enough to keep myself in a  situation where I am accountable for my behavior. But now…………

After I hit send I felt the pang of hope draining from my body. I hadn’t realized that having all this support was like a life raft. No matter how far I pushed, my team would keep me from falling over the edge, if you see what I mean. Now I am voluntarily sinking the life raft. The hypothetical is that I’ll possibly get way worse while sorting my finances and then have to go back to paying exorbitant amounts in order to get myself back to a good level. It’s kind of like a very slow drawn out torture, isn’t it?

When I people are still under the 10 year mark of having an eating disorder, there is still a statistical chance they can succeed in recovery for the rest of their life. I want to scream to them and tell them to do everything in their power to try, even if they don’t want to. I don’t want them to end up like me, forever battling for a foothold into recovery. This will be my life probably forever, it is my life, it has been my life for years – this back and forth struggle. It’s draining financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I have permanent  damage.

I know it sounds really weird, but I want to reach out to every young person, give them a big hug and assure them that it is okay to seek recovery. I really do. But I can’t and it hurts. I remember what it was like and if anyone had come to me to say that, I know how I would have responded. My experience is with anorexia but I think with all variations, having an eating disorder is a very isolating and lonely illness. I can’t even do offline support groups because unless I’m the thinnest in the room, the anorexic side of my brain makes it a competition.

Any thoughts?

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