I got to my parent’s yesterday and started to eat lunch. I saw a few papers on the table, but didn’t really think anything of it. Then a few minutes into my lunch, my eye caught the insurance company logo on the pages. I asked my dad if they were bills for me. He replied yes, and picked them up, looking at them, and then began to speak. He told me the one paper was a bill, the other was just a statement, telling me how much I would owe eventually. The bill was sixteen bucks. No problem. The statement said I owed around $100. Ok, that was kind of a lot, but I knew going into this that some of this stuff wouldn’t be cheap. Then my dad said he had another statement downstairs that had come in the mail, that was a little steep. “Like how much?” I asked. “Close to $800” he said hesitantly. My breath caught. My heart sped up. “Wow”, I said, stunned. And then…I looked closer at the statement I had in my hand. There were two different totals there. I crunched some numbers mentally. The total so far for all of my visits to the doctor, and the extensive blood work was nearing $1500. Crazy, but let’s put this into perspective…
~ Inpatient care at a residential treatment center can run upwards of $30,000 per month
~ The residential facilities are all out of state. This would mean leaving behind family, friends, jobs, my home
~ The stats for recovery without relapse after being treated in a facility are kind of scary . It’s hard to find stats that are accurate, but there is a lot of information on it out there
~ In the past several years, Family Based Treatment (FBT), and the Maudsley approach are getting more and more publicity and supporters
Anorexia is the deadliest mental illness out there. When I was in the throes of Ed and his controlling grip, I will admit that this fact had little to no sway with me. I was actually kind of proud. “See!” I thought. “I have this figured out.” Even though I didn’t choose anorexia, it chose me. Somehow I felt like I had done something right. Guess what? There is absolutely nothing “right” with anorexia, or any eating disorder. It’s a complicated game that you can never win. So, instead of winning you have to just quit and start playing a new version of the game. With rules Ed doesn’t know about and that he can’t manipulate. This involves telling Ed you are worth recovery. Telling Ed you need food, even if he doesn’t. Telling him calories are fuel, not numbers to avoid. You are worth more than money, just like anyone else. If you knew someone was having treatments for any other disease, and they had medical bills, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary. Heck, a couple thousand dollars is just a drop in the bucket to some people. Plus, it gives a person some incentive to not relapse, not that Ed cares…but there have to be incentives and ways to stay positive and strong. This is one of them…and a healthy body that can do what you ask of it, a healthy mind that is always ready to do the jobs set forth, a brain that can control mist everything in your whole system, relationships that are steady and true, a healthy relationship with food that allows you to eat well with yourself and others…the list goes on and on. Anorexia isn’t living. It’s death.