My treatment plan is all group therapy based. I’ve never done inpatient, or residential, and I never will. I know, I know, never say never, but seriously guys, never.
So my experience with recovery, both mine and other peoples is quite limited.
Something I have noticed over the past year is the weight fluctuations of the people in my various group sessions. I find it troubling…
Hitting a bump in recovery and going down makes sense to me, especially if you are anorexic or have restricting tendencies. Even going up makes sense if you are a binge eater.
But someone who is supposedly doing really well with their recovery and the treatment team is pleased with their progress and they are now imparting their recovery wisdom on to the rest of us who has gotten fat, um yeah, I can’t get behind that.
Now granted, I may not be the best person to be judging if someone is “fat” but even I can tell when someone has had a significant weight gain…and if it is in the name of recovery, well, what the hell?
This guy from one of my groups went to residential treatment, or maybe it was inpatient first then residential…whichever it was, he was out of the group treatment for a while and doing a more intense treatment. I’ve read people’s blogs about inpatient treatment, generally you aren’t allowed to exercise, you have strict meal times, and strict meal plans.
This guy, I’m gonna call him J, he used to run a lot and ate once a day. I don’t know what he ate so I don’t know for sure how much or little he was consuming. He is in his mid-forties and had been doing this most of his life. When I met him in group he looked to be in great shape. Yes, I know, looks are deceiving, but I’m just trying to give you a picture here.
So in shape guy, goes to more intensive treatment, when that treatment is done J comes back to group, and J is fat. And I don’t mean a little bit extra but not really all that noticeable, I mean like, lots extra. Lots.
I feel so sad for him. That people he meets now who never knew him before will only know him as this over weight mid-40s guy instead of the runner, the athlete, that he was.
Maybe he is healthier inside, physically and mentally, I dunno, I can’t speak to that.
And he’s not the only one! There is a girl in group who ballooned up. She got so big! Both these people are considered to be doing oh so well with recovery, we are supposed to be impressed with their progress, they are sharing nuggets of wisdom to help guide the rest of us, but all I can think is that they failed. They fell in to the trap. The trap that is recovery makes you fat.
There has got to be a way to recover without becoming over weight! There has to be *stomps foot* because I refuse, abso-fuckin-lutely refuse to go any further with recovery if it means becoming over weight.
I work hard to understand and believe that when my dietician asks me to add a new food to my list of foods I will eat, or to eat more than one meal a day, or to consider drinking a glass of milk, that she is thinking about nutrients, and fueling my body, and stuff like that. But I always think she is trying to sabotage me and make me fat. And I kind of, in a vague way, grasp that my thinking she is trying to sabotage me is probably my ed trying to scare me or trick me in to not changing. On my good days I kinda get that.
But…it doesn’t take away from my fear that she is trying to make me fat.
Now I have two people who have actually gotten fat from recovering and omg the panic I feel whenever I think of either of them. That panic can take me from contemplating having a snack to ordering myself to not eat anything else for the rest of the day because all food will make me fat and who knows which food will be the tipping point that takes me from what I look like now to looking like them.
Envision a big ass wall slamming down and blocking off all food, that is what it feels like in my brain. I panic, that wall slams down, and boom! No more appetite. No more willingness to try to eat. No more openness to the idea that my treatment team is right.
Just a big ass black wall that stops me from getting to any of the things that are on the recovery side of my brain…heck, not even an entire side, more like a little itty bitty section eeked out in a corner with one tiny fluorescent light that barely works swinging over a battered desk and some figure huddled under the desk trying desperately to get work done without being noticed and kicked yet again.
When that wall slams down it takes so freakin long to get it open even an inch, and it is exhausting to try. And part of me doesn’t want to try, because, well, if forcing it open, and working this whole recovery deal is going to end up with me fat well, no, just no, that is not an ok end result for me.
Does everybody who recovers from an ed get fat? Or is it just coincidence that I am seeing it happen right in front of my eyes to people I know? Are they the exception or the rule?
…I just realized that a lot of my posts lately have been very negative and “screw recovery-esque” which has me wondering why I am so defensive all of a sudden…yet one more thing to ponder…