My apologies for the lack of updates recently. I ended up having to go inpatient for treatment, and had limited computer access while there. My hope was that going inpatient would help me get up to the weight I needed to be readmitted to school, but even though I reached the weight, school said I wasn’t stable enough to return; they want to see me maintain for awhile on an outpatient basis first. So, last week I stepped down from inpatient to partial with the idea that it will help keep me on track.
But, I feel so hopeless…I am worried that either a) I won’t be able to to do it and so won’t be let back in January or b) I will maintain, but somehow it won’t be enough and I will still not be readmitted. On top of that, I keep thinking the fact that I have never successfully completed partial before (I always get kicked out for weight loss). Needless to say, I have been pretty depressed and thinking “I can’t do this.”
Today I talked to my therapist about my struggles with eating outside of program. I explained that when I start thinking that I can’t do this/won’t get the sign off in December, I just get into this “why try?” mode. Rather than needing a medical clearance being motivational, like “I HAVE to do this now to get back” I just want to say “screw it, I can’t do this, so why even try?” So, I restrict, but I still don’t feel good. Rather, feel good and bad all at the same time…good because I feel empty and lighter, but bad because I know that I shouldn’t be heading in that direction. Then I start thinking the the whole “black and white/go big or go home” thing. I mean, I already feel like I am just going to end up kicked out of partial in the same manner I always do – in a limbo where I am not sick enough to go back inpatient but not doing well enough to stay in partial…so why even try? If I am going to get kicked out, I might as well lose as much as possible. I told her I just feel like such a failure, I just wish I could not wake up tomorrow or something. My parents seem distant and upset with me, my friends sound disappointed, and I am just so embarrassed and ashamed.
Anyway, my therapist told me to make a pros and cons list of “life as a student versus life as an eating disorder patient.” I tried to explain to her that that is an easy list to make – there are no pros to life as an ED patient. However, I am feeling so hopelessness right now regarding being readmitted, and feel like my family already expects me to fail, that my only option is to starve myself. But, she still is insisting on this pros and cons list. She said “imagine yourself at a crossroads, one road being the ED, one being life as a med student.” When she said that, I couldn’t help but think about the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost:
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
The road that I have always taken when getting out of inpatient, except for my last stay that ended in April, is to automatically try to cut corners and lose weight. Last time I tried to take the “road less traveled,” but I guess I got detoured a bit and had to go back inpatient.. But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try going down that road again. Maybe this time I will make it until the end – back to school.