The Fight for Beauty – Chapter 9 – It’s Only Beginning

I welcome you to join me as I share my story of my own fight for beauty!  I’ll be posting once a week a new chapter of my journey, from beginning to end.  I’m going to share the good, the bad, the ugly, and the embarrassing.  My hope is to remove the veil and misconceptions that people have about eating disorders while offering hope to those struggling that there really is a way out.

With that said, here is Chapter 9 of my story.  To read chapter 1, click here.


 

The end of my 45 day stay in inpatient treatment was coming to a close.  I sat on the wood floors of the dining room with my bags packed next to me as I waited for a caravan to take me to my new home in a semi-outpatient treatment center.  I had come to love this place that I was once so resentful towards.  It became a place of safety and obscurity.  The cares and fears that once overtook my life in the outside became a sort of distant memory.  The last 45 days were filled with doctors appointments, blood draws, therapy sessions, and stale chapel services.  But they were also filled with new friendships.  We understood each other.  We could see each other in way the outside world couldn’t see.  The eating disorders, obsessive behaviors, and fixation on our jean size didn’t matter to us.  I was going to miss the nights where we were all high off ambien, sneaking out in between nurse rounds to smoke cigarettes and laugh at the ridiculousness that we had found ourselves in.  Some nights we would sit outside in silence and stare out at the desert sky, wondering what life after treatment was going to look like. Everything felt so vivid and real, but I knew that over time, the faces of these people would eventually fade from my memory.  I think that hurt more than anything.

I was going to miss my therapist, Katie.  She was the first person I told many of my painful secrets to.  I saw her more as an older sister rather than someone who was being paid to listen to my disfunction.  She felt safe.  She was normal.  I always got the sense that even her own life wasn’t fully figured out yet and that made me feel more at peace with my own.

I carried my bags down to the car and cried as I got in the backseat.  Was I really going to make it?  Could I actually trust myself around food outside of the cocoon of a treatment center?

After about an hour drive, we pulled into cul-de-sac in Chandler, Arizona where my new out-patient home was.  The facility had purchased all five of the homes on the cul-de-sac and in them resided girls of all ages who were trying to figure out what it looked like to live in the real world again where we aren’t under constant supervision.

As I walked in the house, I began to unpack and I was suddenly overwhelmed with the thought of a fully stocked kitchen being just within reach.  Memories of binges and nights spent over a toilet began to flood my mind as I allowed myself to fantasize about how I could get one last binge and purge in.

This was it.

The moment I had hoped would never come.

The moment when I realized that my life with my eating disorder wasn’t behind me.

It was just beginning.


 

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

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