In December of 2017, I had started to use disordered eating habits. My boyfriend and I weren't doing well at all and this happened to be the way that I coped with it. I lost about 16 pounds in two to three weeks and didn't even realize that I was doing anything wrong, I just wasn't hungry. I was 16 at the time, and once I realized I no longer weighed 118 pounds, I kept starving myself. For a few months, it was off and on. Sometimes I'd eat a lot and sometimes nothing at all. My dad made jokes about it for a while because he thought I was on a diet or just trying to lose a few pounds. They eventually caught on to what I was doing to myself around April. My dad took me to my doctor and she pretty much told him that I had anxiety, depression, I was anorexic, and that most days I had suicidal thoughts. I weighed what an 11-year-old should weigh under 100 pounds. My parents put me into the Eating Recovery Center almost immediately. I had to stop going to school and stop seeing my boyfriend. It sucked. They made me start in the Partial Hospitalization Program, which was 10 hours a day, everyday. I wrote down what my first week was like.
As well as a little key for you:
Supplement: A horrible drink that makes you feel like shit. They force you to drink a certain amount to make up for whatever food you don't eat.
HS: A night snack.
Meal Plan: (A pretty obvious one.) How much you have to eat everyday. When your body is used to not eating and it increases, it’s terrible.
Day 1: Hard as fuck. Didn’t finish all of the meals. Two supplements. Cried a lot.
Day 2: Finished meals. One supplement. Kind of shitty, but better than the first day. I still cried a lot though.
Day 3: Finished meals again!! One supplement. My meal plan is increasing. No crying. Finished HS snack and a yogurt drink!! It’s getting better.
Day 4: Finished meals. No supplement!! No crying. Finished HS and raspberries. Still getting better. (:
Day 5: Finished meals. No supplement again! No crying. I Finished HS. Getting better.
Day 6: There it was fine. It was shitty when I got home. Cut a lot, didn’t finish dinner, didn’t eat HS. I don't know what’s happening.
Day 7: It’s been a week.
Let's talk about the supplement for a bit. You already know what it is, but you don't fully understand how shitty it is yet. There were two different times where I forced myself to finish it and ended up throwing up my entire meal. If you don't finish it, they put you back on level one, which means you can't take a day off or go on outings with the group. I didn't want to be back on level one, I wanted to be away from there as much as possible. What's the point of forcing yourself to the point of getting sick and losing everything you had eaten just to finish that drink? I know they have rules because they don't want us finding ways to get around eating but still, it sucked for all of us.
Also, after how long I was there, I had already eaten every meal they had multiple times, so obviously I got tired of it and didn't want to keep eating the same things.
About a week or so after I had started treatment, my mom and my little sister went to Colorado and stayed there for most of three months. I wasn't in the best place with her at the time because I felt like she had left me, so we barely talked. My mom came back for a night or two to tell my dad she wanted a divorce. I didn't really care much, but my dad was very upset, which hurt me.
My dad packed all of our shit while they were gone and we moved out very quickly.
I eventually made some really good friends and that helped a lot with everything I had going on. I started doing much better and a part of me actually enjoyed being there after a while.
My weight was stuck for a while. It would barely go up even though all I did was eat because I was forced to. They tried to send me to Dallas for residential (you sleep there), but I refused and ended up not going. Eventually, they let me step down to the Intensive Outpatient Program, which was five days a week, three hours a day. Then at the end, you get down to three days a week and you can discharge a while after that. While I was still in for five days, my older sister killed herself. (You can learn more about my sister's death and how I dealt with it if you read the other stories I have published). I stopped eating and my weight started going down again, but I had already been in treatment for three months and they just couldn't help me anymore. They kept me in IOP for a month after she died because they wanted to watch how I was doing. I gave up. I was in such a bad place, all I wanted to do was sit in my room by myself and get drunk and high. I didn't even bother lying to them about what I had eaten when I wasn't there because I didn't give a fuck. What were they going to do?? Put me back in PHP? Send me away? Yeah, like any of that would do me any good after my whole world had just fallen apart in such a short time. They would ask me, "Do you ever think you're going to get back on track with your meal plan?" I would always respond with, "Eventually."
Finally, I was discharged. The treatment plan wasn't over yet though. I still had a treatment team, just outside of ERC now. I had a dietitian, therapist, and a psychiatrist. They never really helped me much. After a few months, I stopped seeing my therapist and dietitian because my parents also agreed that it wasn't doing anything for me. I continue to see my psychiatrist once a month and I've recently relapsed. My dad told me I looked like a "sick person" the other day. It scares me because the last time they told me that was before I had even gone into treatment and I don't want to go back. My dad's been threatening me with it and I hate it. I've let my eating disorder get too strong for now, but it will never be too strong for me to overcome it. Eating disorders are a lifelong struggle and they will never be easy. If you're dealing with one now, I hope that you find the strength to get better and live your life ED-free.