[Special thanks to Leyann for the pic for this post]
Several people in treatment are required to have a feeding tube. The tube provides a constant flow of liquid nutrition (usually Boost) to patients that struggle to get the right amount of calories via solid food. This process makes it easier for anorexic people to progress in their treatment. It can be a challenge, however because it keeps your stomach full a good portion of the day and can make one feel nauseated…and you still have to eat.
In some ways, this is the perfect analogy to being in treatment in general. I’m forced to think about how I feed myself every day. Confronted with it. Unable to escape it.
The food routine here is pretty regimented, same times, similar foods, same people. It’s a managed process, we’re watched from beginning to end. But all of that is because I need it. My sense of how to act around food and other people is completely warped. So I want someone to tell me when I say something inappropriate or when I do something weird with food.
I have some sadness saying that. I don’t want to need this structure. I want to believe I can do it all on my own. I want to believe I am independent. I’m just not.
People here are also constantly in my face and by that, I mean present, around me. If I could do treatment through text message, I would. I would write an email, use smoke signals therapy, something else, I would. Recovery doesn’t work that way for me. I have to deal with people; limited, broken, human people. People that will say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing or potentially hurt my feelings. Also, people that understand me and what I’m going through, care about how I’m doing and want me to get better. They are sincere and genuine and caring. People feed me through interaction.
Harder still is how I feed myself intellectually, creatively, emotionally and spiritually.
Those I am directly responsible for and the only person that gets hurt when I don’t feed them is me. They’re not especially hard to do but there are so many distractions and other priorities. If I don’t make them important, no one else will.
I’m headed to meditate this Sunday which will be the first time I have made a decision to support my spiritual self in a long time. I’m concerned about looking stupid but I’m still going to go. I even emailed them ahead of time so my needs can be met while I am there.
This blog has been a creative outlet for me and I am grateful that people read it. It has carried me through a few nights here when I was feeling lonely and tired and defeated. It’s a way that I allow myself to dance again.
As I learn to feed and care for myself again, it may feel like a tube. I don’t care.
I’m here to survive.