I was almost at my 3 week mark (3 days shy of it to be exact). I was settled into the routine here, I was comfortable with the meal plan, I had a bunch of coping skills stored up and ready to use at a moment's notice.
I was golden.
My case manager went on vacation for a week. While she was gone, I basically spent the week trying a few easy passes around the immediate area to test the waters and gauge where I was at in my recovery. By the time she returned I thought that perhaps I had started to get the hang of being here at residential and I was ready to start the REALLY hard work! I was excited to have our first meeting in over a week to catch her up on my progress I had made while she was out (and, you know, the side note about the medical emergency stuff). As we sat down in my room her face was carefully blank. Very different from her usual cheerful affect. She opened her mouth and began to speak, and the floor dropped out from underneath me.
That fragile bit of hope I had been collecting and clinging to for 3 weeks instantly turned to ash and blew away.
My insurance company wanted me out in 2 days. They felt that because I had done well on 2 passes and because my blood pressure/pulse/weight were stable, I was clearly ready to go home. Somehow the esophageal tears were not enough on their own to keep me here for another week or two. By their rules, I was stable enough to step down to partial. Maybe even IOP. I will never understand how they can look at my history of visits to my PCP, my ER trips, my infinite lab tests and specialists I've seen and the amount of money they have had to spend treating the side effects of this disease I've struggled with for 17 years and then decide that 3 weeks was a sufficient amount of time in residential treatment to undo all of the damage I had done. They say they have a doctor working for the insurance company. I'm pretty sure it's just someone with a PhD in BULLSHIT. Fucking assholes. Ugh.
At the end of the worst meeting ever, I was told I had to do an all day home-pass to see how things would go before they discharged me. You know. Just in case the insurance people were wrong. So I woke up the next morning, was rushed out the door with a half-assed "plan" for snacks and meals for the day, and told to "have a good pass!"
I was shaking like a leaf before the elevator even reached the 1st floor.
I was not ready. I said this the second they told me about this plan. Just the idea of going back to the place where I practiced all of my eating disorder behaviors and routines and my stress hangs everywhere like Spanish moss does in Florida was enough to start a panic attack. Awesome way to start a difficult pass, let me tell you! It was like I had turned catatonic. I couldn't move, I couldn't speak, I was afraid to do anything because I was petrified that I was going to screw up. I was so scared of the eating disorder that I didn't get to enjoy spending the day with my family. As I sat there on my couch feeling like a claustrophobic stranger being held hostage by my own emotions I had to literally keep myself from running out the front door. I was in fight or flight mode. I did not want to fight this. I had been fighting ED for almost 3 weeks. I knew he was stronger. I knew he was smarter. And now I was on his home turf.
So I ran.
I drove around and avoided the feelings for a while. I tried to calm myself down with coping skills I knew. They didn't work. NOTHING WORKED. In the end, I made the one choice I thought I would never make again because my anxiety and panic were so high that I felt like I was dying anyway. Ended up spending the night on a medical floor at the hospital being monitored to make sure I didn't finish off the injury that was already inflicted on my throat. Got another lecture from doctors and nurses.
I shouldn't be alive right now.
That is supposed to make it easier to get rid of ED. But somehow it is working backwards. It is just causing more anxiety and panic, which makes me need to use my "big guns" as coping skills. I haven't found the healthy versions of those yet.
So, now I am not leaving today (clearly), I have emerged from my 2 day cocoon of self-loathing and shame, and I am trying to get back on track as soon as possible so that I don't dig my own grave.
Missing you all.