Winning: taking the first steps

I wore a pair of jeans today. A pair of jeans that I used to wear a lot, three months ago. I haven’t really worn them since I started eating better. It might sound dumb, but I’ve been scared. I put them on today, and I didn’t freak out. In fact, wearing them felt pretty normal. I know I’m healthier now, in more ways than one. I know that’s a positive thing. On my journey to recovery, I’ve been sharing a lot. But some of the smallest details are really important, and I’m not sure how in depth I have gone. In this post, and more posts to come, I am hoping to give some advice as to what helped me heal, and maybe some day, somewhere, another person going through something similar can relate and find a light at the end of the tunnel.

Almost three months ago, I reached out and asked for help. I was scared. I was tired. And I was ready. For years, my mom had encouraged and stood by me. Watching my highs and lows, offering a helping hand, and being turned down and refused time after time. Appointments would be made, efforts too…but no matter how hard my family tried, no matter how much they wanted recovery for me, I just couldn’t do it. I would go to a few initial doctors appointments, eat extra bubbles of food…but I never stayed on the right track for more than a few months at a time. When I did make progress, I made sure it didn’t stick. I was an expert at losing. Losing friends, losing weight, losing confidence.

The first person I contacted was a registered dietitian who had worked with me a little bit in the past. I really felt like she was knowledgeable about my situation, and that she understood exactly where I stood, and would respect that. My gut told me she could be trusted. I think my gut was right…No, I know my gut was right. This woman is dedicated. Not only to me, but to learning more about the disease I have. When I am least expecting it, she will message me and ask me how I am doing. When I get anxious about my food plan, or have questions, she answers, even when I am sure she is off the clock. She doesn’t let Ed win. She is on my side. I went to her, knowing I wanted to get well. I went to her knowing it was my choice this time. We talked a lot about recovery, and the intensive work it would take. We talked about how inpatient treatment was probably a very likely option, especially if I didn’t make fast progress. I left my first appointment with her feeling motivated and confident. She told me to find a doctor at our hospital to help me and be on the “team”, and so I did just that. This first task was really difficult, because I had had a problem with a doctor in the past, where she tried to force me into inpatient treatment, threatening to have the sheriff escort me to Iowa City if I didn’t go willingly. Needless to say, I had trust issues big time from that. I am so fortunate to have been given options. I found a female doctor and made an appointment.

The first few steps were careful and tentative. I was at a critically low weight. Technically, I should have probably been put on bed rest, so as to keep me from expending any extra calories. My dietitian is very smart and thoughtful. She has done her research, and told me what I would need to do in order for her to be able to work with me. This time, instead of balking at orders, I nodded my head and complied. This time I would put the time in. This time I would follow through. This time I will triumph.

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