Journals from TK: Week 4

“Recovery isn’t easy, at first. It takes time. It takes more work sometimes than you think you’re willing to do. But it is worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment. It’s worth it because the trade-off is this: you let go of your eating disorder, and you get back your life.” – Marya Hornbacher

Week 4 was so bittersweet. After the hardest weeks of my life, I was finally given a discharge date. I was excited to get back to CMU, but I was pretty nervous. I wasn’t ready to leave this new support I had built. I had no idea what the “outside world” was going to look like. I tried to cherish the last week and plan ahead as much as I could.

March 19 – Day 22: I’m going to Disney World! 
Ahh today was such a good day! 100% a good day. After breakfast I was pulled for therapy. It went really well! We talked about a discharge date. She approved Tuesday the 26th! She just had to make sure the rest of my team was on board. 
After snack I saw my aftercare planner and she gave me the news. I’M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD! I started crying. I’m so excited. ED has taken so many things away from me and 1 by 1 I am taking them back. And it feels amazing. 

March 20 – Day 23: God is good. 
Today was such a good day! I got up and went to the room I’ve been having bible study in. I wasn’t feeling super optimistic since my 1 faithful member left yesterday. Well guess what, 4 people came today! I was shocked. It went really well! What an amazing way to start the day. I asked the spirituality leader if we could get more bibles to have on lodge for girls to use. The next thing I knew, she showed up with 7 bibles! So cool. 
It’s so weird that these are my last times in these groups. It feels like I just got here! 
Tonight I went to Celebrate Recovery. I have really enjoyed it. I think a church in Fayette does their own CR. I’m definitely going to go. 
I never would’ve imagined I’d be giving spiritual guidance. Or leading a bible study. Or willingly praying out loud for people. But I am. And my heart is so full. 

March 21 – Day 24: I am beautiful. I am strong. 
What a day. A lot of emotions today. 
After morning snack I was stopped by a nurse who had a few questions for me, nothing crazy. But I saw her clipboard. With my weight. That’s when things started to go wrong. It took a few minutes to sink in. I told a BHS as soon as I could. And of course she was right there and she was amazing. She actually took me to the mirror in my room and made me say “I am beautiful and I am strong.” She said I was doing so well and she was so proud. 
Lunch was definitely affected by me seeing my weight. It was very hard, but I did it. I showed up, I almost finished. And that’s enough. 
Tonight I had a really good check in with my favorite BHS (as usual). She encouraged me that I’m ready to go home. She said I’ve worked so hard and come so far. And my weight doesn’t matter. I’m going to miss everyone here so much, it’s actually pretty sad. Mostly unreal. But I can do this. 

March 22 – Day 25: It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. 
Ok I know that was a cheesy heading, but it’s all I got. This morning (and all day really) was pretty relaxed. After breakfast I had a session with my therapist. We talked more about discharge and all things with that. I think I’m ready. I see her again tomorrow, for the last time. I just keep thinking about how I’ll never see these people again. It’s so crazy. 
Lunch was food challenge day. I was able to challenge myself (with the help of the ED program lead). And I didn’t cry this time! Major growth from last week. 
A lot of my friends have left, which is sad. It doesn’t seem real that I’m leaving next. 3 more full days. Disney World, here I come! 

March 23 – Day 26: Surround yourself with people you love. 
I’m 20! Today was definitely not what I wished for my birthday, but it turned out wonderful. They put a sign on my door for my birthday, super cute. 
I met with my therapist for the last time, which was sad. We made a relapse prevention plan. She also got me a birthday card, how sweet is that?! I really will miss her. 
We discussed having a party for me, but I wasn’t really expecting anything. One of the BHS called me for a check in. We went to the back hallway and chatted. She told me her supervisor found out about the party and said we couldn’t have parties during group therapy times. I tried not to be dissapointed, it was unexpected that they would do anything. After we talked, I went to the big group room to watch a movie with everyone. It was a surprise party!! I cried. They decorated the whole room with toilet paper streamers and flowers. And the best part, a sign saying “It is your birthday,” like on the Office. Omg. So so cute. Everyone was there. We listened to music and danced around. It was full of so much joy and so much laughter. Earlier I was kind of bummed to spend my birthday here, but it turned out being really special. Everyone here has been so sweet and so welcoming and I know they really care about me. It’s going to be really different not being here, but I’m ready. 

March 24 – Day 27: A little laughter goes a long way 
Today was another good, chill day. 
Our group this afternoon was relapse prevention. I’ve done so much work to prevent relapse, but man it makes me nervous. But I’m trying to stay positive! 
After dinner I hung out with some of my friends, which was really fun. 
Tomorrow is going to be very tough. Tomorrow is the last day with my 2 favorite BHSes. I’m really going to miss this place. I’ve made so many memories and new friends that I’ll probably never see again, which is super weird. 

March 25 – Day 28: I did it. 
Today was my last full day at TK. I can’t believe it is already here. It went by so fast. I had a sense of sadness all day today. I woke up and led my last bible study. I hope God will continue to work in the lives of everyone who came to bible study. That was one of the biggest blessings of my whole time here. 
Everything today was the last time. I spent as much free time with my friends as I could today. 
At Christian Process Groups, someone suggested I start a blog. I might do that, we’ll see. 
Before I knew it, it was graduation. That was crazy. I remember watching graduation the first week and dreaming about when  that would be me. I did it. My heart was full. 
It’s just crazy to think about my first few meals here versus my last. That’s the progress right there. 
The hardest part was saying bye to my favorite BHS. I pushed it off as long as I could. We went into a group room for the last time and I just cried. She has done so much for me, it’s just so weird I’ll never see her again. We talked and then finally said goodbye. 
Well TK, it’s been real. 28 of the hardest days of my life. But also 28 of the most important. You can either choose to live at war or in harmony with your body.
Just for today, I choose harmony. 

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