What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Self-Hatred: Part Self-Doubt and Part Self-Disgust

Without even looking down, I tugged. The denim refused to budge. Surprised, I turned my attention to the jeans from my sister. As much as I hate pants, these ones were acceptable to wear on the odd day when I felt so inclined.

The jeans, on the other hand, did not feel so inclined to me. After another tug, I realized that there was no way the buttons could close over my hips. The jeans that had fit the last time I tugged them on now were too small.

I hate recovery. That was my first thought. Hate it so much. Almost as much as I hate myself.

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Feelings of Disgust with Self With Eating Disorders and PTSD

Rose

Here is a rose that I pass each day.

Although I am loving my time in Oxford, the pressure to be independent and produce quality school work is stressful. Plus there is anxiety about maybe finding romance, what other people about me, figuring out my future, how to save money, not wanting to go back home, hoping people like me. . .the list could go on and on.

Thus, my eating disorder is manifesting itself in new ways. Binging has crept in a few times, and I am ashamed to say that I responded by using another symptom. Anorexia is a terrible disorder that is physically, mentally, and emotionally utterly draining. However, compulsive over-eating and bulimia have so much disgust and shame attached to them. Just thinking about those symptoms makes me feel dirty much less doing them.

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