Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why leaving treatment this time is different

I wrote this when I was trying to decide if I was ready to go back to school this semester. It was a really hard decision because if I stayed my insurance was covering things through april. A part of me felt like if I didn't take the opportunity I would regret it- and regret is the emotion/feeling I HATE more than any other. But I didn't want to stay if it wasn't what was best for ME. I was worried I was just excited to get back to life and I didn't want to leave and once the excitement wasn't there, just fall apart. Eventually I went with my gut- which was pulling me toward school and the new life I was ready to start creating. I knew that my decision was what I really thought was best was coming from a good place when I didn't get defensive when people raised concerns, when I started planning out meals, making schedules, planning ways to make sure I had time to journal and self care, planing time to cook, writing down warning signs of the start of a relapse and putting them in my planner, and a whole bunch of other lists and plans. I surprised myself when I wrote this actually, but I'm a little proud of it:

When I left cw to go to ro in Oct of 2008 I was leaving because I wasn't able to keep myself safe enough there. I was leaving knowing that if I couldn't come back to cw I would die. That is actually the most absolutely sure I have ever been that I would die- more than in the park when I was wondering if my body would be found if the guys killed me. I left cw re-traumatized by the meeting that got me sent away. I was motivated on some level, however, because I was on some level realizing that I was again going to do this recovery thing alone. When I left ro after 9 days not much had changed. When I left cw to go to iop in I was in a fairly good place with the ED, but less in other ways. I hadn't done as much trauma work as I thought- it was more getting the ED under control. I went to iop in Jan of 2009 and discharged in March because I was doing well and iop wasn't helpful. I left doing well, but a few weeks later the effects of having a new diagnosis got to me and I relapsed really badly for three months.

When I left ro this July I was again in an incredibly dark place- I had another trauma there and left suicidal and completely in my ED. I wanted to die, but knew I couldn't do anything after my parents had just paid all that money. (My sister is the main reason I haven't over the years and don't ever think I really could. She is the most amazing strong intelligent beautiful person I have ever met and she means the world to me. I couldn't do that to her.) I knew after leaving I still had a lot to work on. I knew I would ultimately still die of one of my addictions. After the ro trauma I had in many ways resigned myself to live with a partial ED, just enough to function. I was hoping school would bring my spark back and agreed to do iop to at least get the ED more under control, and maybe enough trauma work to have at least a few years left. My life looked fine and perfect to me- and that was what I focused on- so I never saw the ways I was
still in so much pain. I went up a level because I knew if I didn't figure out why some parts were still wanting to die, I would die even sooner than I thought. I don't really know exactly how I got to where I am today-I don't really know what happened, but I know I'm leaving treatment this time somewhere I have never been before (and that is for another post). I hate saying that too- I hate saying anything is going well because that makes me feel more vulnerable than anything else. Once you get what you want you have something to lose- but I guess I need to write this if even just for me.

I'm leaving cw this time knowing how much I've gotten done. In these five weeks I've worked on realizing the impact my parents had on me-I never thought they were at all related to work I needed to do. I was able to finally get angry and deal with that anger. I wrote an angry letter to my parents that was really helpful and I'm going to post realizations from that another time. (Apparently I have too many things to write about and too little time)...I've worked on my belief that I have to save the world to matter- felt the emotions related to why i believe that. I've been able to get all parts to agree to at least for awhile (a year) give me the opportunity to try to create the life I really want. I'm going to stop letting my parents make my decisions- stop letting my instinct to protect them kill me. I know it's going to be hard, to take a lot of work, but I'm willing to do it to save my life now.

Before I would have left knowing that if I want to do something like recover, I will. And I do know that ultimately that is true. But this time I want it too much to take chances. I'm realizing all of the small details I'm going to have to plan to out to make sure I stay on track. I'm making schedules and plans, changing friendships, and trying to work on feeling my reality- not just believing my external world reflect my internal one.I know what makes a relapse more likely. I know the order symptoms tend to come in and I'm going to do whatever I need to in my life so I don't go back. I'm leaving here knowing flexibility is the only way I will make it. Knowing that following my heart (corny I know but true :)) is the only thing that can save me.

It's going to be hard to leave. I'm not so hurt I'm running away like the first time. I'm not in as much denial about the myriad of ways my life needs to change like the other times. And I'm not glad to be leaving this community. I'm incredibly sad. I'm sad because these people have been there since day one. this community is more than I could have asked for- more kindness, more passion, more hope and more strength than I ever thought possible. Each and every one of them has taught me something and in some way inspired me. I can only hope I've touched them in even some way close to the way they have touched me.

I'm leaving here knowing that I have a shit ton of work to do still, knowing recovery will continue to be the hardest thing I will ever do. But I'm leaving knowing I am ready to. I'm not in denial about how amazingly hard this will be- but I am ready to keep fighting. I'm ready to find my own path, my own passion. I'm leaving feeling like for the first time ever I'm not destined to die. I'm not here to sacrifice myself to save others. I don't have that voice in the back of my head that says it has always been too late, that I will still die from this, that I will never be happy unless I am living dying from my addictions. I'm leaving knowing I will live if I listen to myself- and I'm finally able to do that.

So as much as I'd love to say I know I will be ok because I want it and I always get what I want, that I can do it alone, and that I will never have to go back to any type of treatment, that's not going to facilitate life. I know I will only be ok if I continue to be vigilant about behaviors and feelings. I know I won't be able to do it alone, and for the first time I don't want to. I know shit happens and I might have to get more help in the future- and I know it does not make me weak or a failure, but a fighter. I'm leaving excited for school and new friends, for a new opportunity and a new life.

But for the first time I'm also leaving absolutely terrified of how hard this is going to be, how many things will be different, and how many things I am going to have to pay close attention to. This time I'm EXCITED for my future and I'm TERRIFIED. And I think that's exactly where i should be.

Quotes I find relevant:

"The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your lfe. It is the only thing that will ever be truly yours."

"Just because its not what you were expecting, doesn’t mean its not everything you’ve been waiting for"

"Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traelled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved"

"Only one feat is possible: not to have run away."

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