I’ve been out of treatment for six months… What do I do now?

TW: Mention of suicide and/or suicidal ideation. 

Here I am again: stuck between choosing recovery and my eating disorder. It’s a real shitty place to be.

Six months ago, I completed treatment for my eating disorder at Toronto General Hospital. I learned a lot and I made progress in my recovery. I was able to accomplish weight stabilization, meal planning, and new skills to cope with PTSD. I left feeling proud of myself and that I’d made some progress. I felt good about my future.

I thought that I would be further along in my recovery by this point. I thought I would be “better” (if that’s really a thing) and it’s killing me that I’m back here again. I feel weak, stupid, pathetic – I feel like a waste of human space. I’m tired of fighting to be honest. I’m really fucking tired. Life is exhausting. I thought I could handle it and now, I’m not too sure. Everything I thought I knew is gone and I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. I try to build positive relationships built on communication and it blows up in my face. Honestly, it feels like the world is against me right now.

So here I am, debating whether or not to eat the muffin in front of me. I’m too scared to even pick it up. I’m scared of the shame, the guilt, and the self-loathing that I know will come with each bite. I’m scared of the destructive thoughts and the suicidal ideation that pushes me to a breaking point. I’m scared of that breaking point – I don’t know when it’s coming or if I’ll even be able to cope. All I can do at this point is hope that I make it through.

I think there’s a reality that a lot of people don’t understand with eating disorders. Just because I’m out of the hospital, does not mean that I’m instantly better. The struggles don’t go away simply because I’m weight restored. An eating disorder is a serious mental illness and unfortunately doesn’t just go away. We learn to cope with the world and with our emotions so that we can recover. We work on building positive relationships with ourselves in order to understand the intense emotions behind our symptoms, in an attempt to resist the urge to fall back into the depths of the eating disorder. We learn how to be aware of our words and actions so that we can maintain our recovery throughout our life. My eating disorder will not go away from a few months in hospital – it will take months of working and learning about what life without my eating disorder is really like.

I’m struggling. I’m six months out of treatment and I am struggling. I don’t know what to do next. I’m holding on as tight as I can but my fingers are slipping and I don’t know how long I can hold on like this.

XOXO, Jennifer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.