A little over two weeks ago I wrote a post saying I was going on a hiatus from blogging. Well, I am finally back and I am going to talk about why I was gone. The truth of the matter is that I went back inpatient in the Psychiatric Unit at the hospital. I went in because I was struggling with severe depression, anxiety, heightened PTSD symptoms, and a slight relapse with my eating disorder. I want to share this because I have always been straight forward, honest, and open about what is going on with my recovery journey. I want to make the statement that recovery is not a straight course but a series of some challenging moments.
The hospital was psychically rough. My lab work showed my body was not fully healthy. I was given a NG tube (feeding tube) again and it was so uncomfortable. Girls struggling with an ED…do not feel jealous or wish you had/will have one because it is miserable and painful. I also had significantly low blood pressure and began to pass out many times. I got forced into a wheelchair and that really sucked. I was too weak/dizzy to walk on my own. I hated that because I like to be active and also do yoga. I am not sharing this for sympathy but to share my own experience. The point I am making is that an ED is dangerous and can damage your body. Here are some things I learned while I was in the hospital
Recovery is not a straight line – Alright, so I have heard this so many times and have grasped moments of believing it before. This time I got hit hard with the reality of it and I had no choice but to fully face it and work through it. At the beginning of my stay at the hospital I judged myself so harshly for needing to return to treatment. I had to grow in self compassion to focus on the present situation, not on the past. The past years in and out of treatment are real and painful to look back on. I can only do my best moment by moment.
Returning to treatment is not failing – Like I talked about above…I told myself that I have failed, was a failure, and how I had f***ed up with recovery. I had to do a lot of thinking, have self forgiveness, and I ultimately came to the conclusion that it was much stronger to admit that I was struggling and to face the fear around that. I had to forget about my worry that people would judge me, my own self judgement, and deal with the situation of the fact that either way I was back. So I had better made the best out of the situation.
Mindfulness is awesome – I came into the hospital with so much anxiety that I was having panic attacks during groups and having flashbacks at night. I was given medication to help me calm down but I had to stop taking it because my blood pressure was dangerously low and they did not want to have it become any lower. I felt like my mind was going in a hundred different directions and my anxiety was crazy high. I used a meditation/mindfulness skill that I find very helpful. You choose two words, such as calm and joy, and then you breathe in one word and breathe out another. The breathing helps call your body down because it affects your central nervous system. This exercise helps you focus your mind and not feel so overwhelmed. Your mind wanders off, but the idea is to come back to the exercise without judging yourself for losing attention. Try it!
I love yoga – Shhhhh, do not tell EC and BM that I have finally admitted this because they will laugh at me. At IDC I resisted yoga some days because I knew that it brought up emotions, particularly because I was working with yoga therapists, not yoga teachers. I got a mat from the Occupational Therapists, but I only got to use it for a couple days before I was too sick to do it without passing out/my body being too weak. Everyday, I was dying to get back on my mat and be able to practice. My mat is my own personal moment and space…I get to escape the craziness happening off my mat and just be in my own little moment. My anxiety gets lowered significantly when I practice yoga. I am so glad my body is better so that I can get back to practicing.
I am loved – The whole time I was inpatient I was surrounded by so much support, compassion, and love. The nurses there are so amazing especially the day nurses. One nurse in particular helped me SO much. Favorite nurse ever! There are six female nurses that worked days and who were so loving and supportive of me. The OT staff is so nice. Miss J is so supportive of me and I was sad saying goodbye to her. The CNA’s joke around with me and help keep my spirits up. My friends were incredible/are incredible people. I talked to EM, LCM, and M almost everyday and they were my cheerleaders! I am infinitely grateful to have those friends in my life.
The journey is not easy at all and it can be really s***ty sometimes. When I left IDC’s program I swore to myself that I would always go back to treatment if I needed to. I told myself that I would continue I am proud that I kept that promise to myself and got the help I needed. I am going to keep fighting these stupid mental illnesses and I WILL COME OUT THE WINNER OF THE BATTLE!
*note* – 1. I wrote this entire post wearing a snuggie and I fully support the usage of snuggie’s! 2. my blog name will soon change because I am almost 22! My birthday is 6 days away!