During my stay in rehab, I desperately wanted to go home. I wanted to be home for Christmas. I wanted to leave December 23 and be gone for good. Thing is, the discharge date my team had chosen for me was January 20, about one month later, which led me to do some major manipulation.
Looking back, I wanted out for the wrong reasons. I wanted out so I could relapse. I thought I was manipulating my parents and my treatment team, but I was really manipulating myself. We negotiated, though, and found a solution. Below is an entry dictating that solution, along with my feelings about it.
For context, Andy represents the clinical director, Carly represents my therapist, Ruby is the dietician, and PHP stands for “Partially Hospitalized Patient.”
December 12, 2016, 8:04 pm:
I’ve never been more homesick. It’s painful how much I miss home.
Yesterday I received news from Andy. She had an afternoon phone call with Mom, which I knew was coming, during which they would discuss my Christmas plan. I was instrumental in scheduling this call, during a private phone call with my parents on the landline, but I went through the day pretending I knew nothing about it. Eventually the hour rolled around, and I sat on the couch and mindfully journaled. Andy called me into her office immediately after. I popped in gleefully, prepared for good results, prepared to learn of my impending freedom. What I got was a compromise: a pathetic one, at that.
They’re giving me a pass home for Christmas: December 23-27. Then I go to true PHP with Mom until January 13.
At first I was quite upset. I cried in her office for the first time, and I kept pushing to discharge permanently at Christmas. She kept saying “we’re only three weeks off,” which won’t make a difference in the grand scheme of things. But if three extra weeks won’t make a difference, then why would three fewer weeks?
She said she can’t tell me what I want to hear right now, but she scheduled a treatment team meeting for tomorrow. She pressured me to “use the group” in Process Group immediately following her session. I did because I felt that I had to, but I was really glad I did. Just more evidence that honesty is always best, especially when you don’t want to talk. I just vented and sobbed. I didn’t want feedback, just open ears.
I feel awkward and guilty now because the team is keenly aware that I don’t trust them, that I feel disconnected and much prefer my team at home. That awkwardness and guilt prevailed in my session with Carly today. I shared my drawing of my eating disorder and my “Beautiful” image and then we painted.
Ruby dropped a bomb on me today in session. She forced me to cry and vent about weight restoration and meal plan “struggles,” then proceeded to dismiss everything I described as “judgments.”
I begged get her to shrink my meals and increase my snacks so I’d have less to eat at one time, but she said that would be more painful. She said I’m feeling so shitty because I’m close to weight stabilization. Comforting, but how close is close?
Here’s the aforementioned bomb: Mom is portioning everything for me on my pass at Christmas. She doesn’t know yet. We’re discussing this tomorrow during the treatment team meeting, and she’s going to learn my meal plan. How am I going to restrict when I go home if she is this involved?
I want weight maintenance and I want a low meal plan and I want Mom’s trust and I want control. Control at home. Control with my body. Control with the food.
How I’m coping with my homesickness: participating in the experience and improving the moment (look who’s using her DBT skills). We just had an ice cream party and we’re watching Elf. I also read lots of Letting Go today.
All I want is to see my mom. I want to fast forward to this weekend.
I can’t wait until treatment’s over. I just want my control back.
In closing, I would like to say that the opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not resonate with everyone; take what you like and leave the rest. All names and defining characteristics have been changed. If you liked what you read here, I invite you to share it, as these messages are for all.