I've been home 5 days and I still feel like I am adjusting to life as normal. Hubby had taken off work through Saturday so my first 2 days home, he was here with me. That was a huge relief to have him here. His boss has been so gracious through all of this. His boss knows that I have been having food issues and as far as he knows, I spent days in the hospital due to not eating. BUT boss man J told everyone else that hubby got the flu and then the rest of the family got the flu. No one but boss man J knows that I have been struggling with anorexia and boss man J found a convincing story to tell the rest of the team so that they don't need to know anything more than that hubby wasn't at work all last week. I am grateful for that.
I had MOPS on Friday. I am on the leadership team and it was our 1st meeting. I felt rather out of place because I didn't know who knew what until after the meeting. I am once again amazed at the level of support and love I have received.
While in the hospital, my pastor came to visit twice. The first time his wife came with him and the second time she stayed home with their kids and he came alone. It was such a comfort and ministry to me to see a friendly face, to know I am not alone in my battle, and to know I am loved in spite of my flaws.
The hospital was an interesting experience. Although anorexia was the root cause of why I was at the hospital, no one really acknowledged that I wasn't eating. Every day I was asked if I had had any panic/anxiety, any suicidal "idealations", and if I had had a bowel movement. The only thing that was different for me than for anyone else there was that I was never weighed. Other than that, only the suicidal thoughts were addressed. I was a bit frustrated by that because the ideas of running my car off the road were really just a by-product of not eating or sleeping properly. To fix one don't you have to acknowledge the other?
In order to be released from the hospital, I was required to have both a psyciatrist and therapist appointment within 7-10 days of release. Today was my psyciatrist appointment. I liked her a lot. Unfortunately though, I have to go back to see my regular doctor tomorrow for medication management because this woman does not do medication management. I was told today that I am too smart for my own good and that I have an unbelievably strong will power. In other words, I know how to find loopholes, how to avoid painful issues, how to "trick" my body into thinking it is receiving more calories than it is, and I'm stubborn enough to have lived my life without seeking help and therefore never have had an actual diagnosis (until last week) of depression, anorexia, or PTSD. I now have major depressive disorder, PTSD, eating disorder, and chronic mental illness on my permanent medical record. That is a little overwhelming. My previous highschool suicide attempts have also been reported on my medical chart as well. Ok, a lot overwhelming.
I was a little surprised by the behavioral health center (a.k.a the mental hospital!). I expected something quite different. Everyone on my unit was a pretty normal but very hurt person. I was saddened to see how many of us were struggling with past sexual abuse. In a room of 11 people, 6 of us had been victim to some type of sexual molestation/abuse/assault. One woman there was 51 and carrying a fair amount of extra weight. One evening she said to me, "This is what self hate looks like, when you consume a weeks worth of calories in a day." I lifted my shirt to reveal my ribs and said, "It also looks like this, consuming a days worth of calories in a week." I realized as I said it that we each had our own way of coping with pain. One man acted out sexually. One woman had a rather obvious suicidal attempt scar running across her neck. One girl picked and cut her skin. I starve myself. One man couldn't control his rage in the outside world. One woman was an alcoholic in because of a DUI. One man was obsessively jealous. One man had severe anxiety attacks. We were all hurt. We all had issues in our lives that had landed us in the mental hospital. We all had different ways of coping with the pain, all unhealthy ways which is why we were all there to begin with. Very few of us had hope. I am so grateful for the hope that I have in Christ Jesus. Last week I was exposed to what life without hope looks like and it is not pretty.