Definition: a source of help or encouragement leading to increase or improvement.

In treatment, if I don’t eat all of a meal, I’m required to drink Boost to replace it. It ensures (pun intended) that I get the right number of calories for the day and eliminates the ability to get into restriction.

As I get closer to leaving, I’ve gotten in touch with some fear about what life will be like. It came out of a conversation with my therapist. She gave me some advice about an outpatient plan and it conflicted with what my doctor here is telling me.

The inner conflict was the fear of not being able to make everyone happy. I really struggled with believing that only one of them could be right and desperately needing to make the decision about who to believe.

I am a people pleaser. I want people to like me. I want everyone to like me, people on the street, friends, family and professionals. The issue with this is that it forces me to be a different person for everyone in my life. I’m the perfect son, the perfect brother, the perfect employee, etc. I create different clones of myself to meet the needs of everyone.

The problem occurs when I have to be myself, when someone asks me how I feel or what I want. It feels natural to ask “what do you want me to want?”

The conflict between doctors presented a real conundrum for me. It took me a while for me to figure out that I could pursue both strategies or neither. I came up with my own plan and then started to execute it. I am keeping one of the suggested plans as a backup.

The stress I felt, however, was real and intense. Since food has been the way that I deal with stress and anxiety, I had to sit with the emotions until they dissipated. After I realized that I didn’t have to be the perfect patient for my two doctors, I could focus on what was best for me and what I wanted to do.

Heading back into my day-to-day, I want to Boost me.

I want to be the genuine Mike, not a shadow of myself, set up to please the person in front of me.

I want to give people a chance to know the person behind all of the replica Michaels.

I want to manage stress within myself, being true to my needs and my priorities.

I want recovery.

I want a Boost.

How do you manage stress?

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