Florida was absolutely amazing. I went in not really expecting anything and came home with so much love and support from so many people that were honestly complete strangers beforehand, I don't think I could find such genuine people anywhere else.
There's something about being 'stuck' in a facility for an extended amount of time that brings a sense of togetherness to a group, it's just so hard to explain! I was able to be more open and honest with everyone there than I have been with any other person... ever. Don't get me wrong, it was not all that beautiful while I was there; it was very hard work, but it was so so worth it!
I had an amazing therapist named Ingrid. I could swear it was by the grace of God that I got her, she was fantastic and seemed to really know what she was doing. She is a part time therapist at Renfrew and has a private practice on top of that... plus she's a mother and a wife AND is faithful to her religion. In my opinion, it takes a lot of strength and commitment to handle all of that and not be absolutely insane... Well, she was only halfway insane. ;) I love and miss Ingrid so much more than I thought I would.
My aftercare coordinator, Gina, walked with me the entire time I was there also. We met every week (although she ran groups as well) and she set up all my discharge stuff for me as well as helped me plan for the future and helped with relapse prevention. She was also just a really great listener and honestly means so much to me. She's almost like a sister to me, I really really do care about her.
There were many others that helped along the way. Gillian, Deb, Erin, Maya, Cassey, Casey, Karen, Katy, Rebecca, Ruth, Sandra, Anyika... and SO many more! It almost feels like I went in with no one to lean on and came out with a whole new family... well, one that I will probably not see again but at least we can keep in touch via email!
On my way home from treatment today I saw two girls about my age stopped at a red light enjoying a fast-food dinner together. They looked so happy, and like they were truly enjoying every minute they spent together! I want that so badly... Why is it still so hard?
I know the path to recovery is a long one and I know there'll be some ups and downs, but I feel like there should be more ups and less downs now that I've been through treatment. I'm just not seeing that since I got back.
I've moved from six-hour day treatment to 10-hour days to see if taking smaller steps down is easier than going right ahead and leaping for the next step. I know it'll work, it has to. "It works if you work it so work it 'cuz you're worth it!!!" ...Right?
I'm not going to get ahead of myself and instead trust my new treatment team. As long as I'm honest about everything I need to trust that they have my best interest in mind and they truly know what they're doing... So far they've done nothing to prove to me otherwise!
I keep telling myself the little things that Ingrid told me...
"Your brain is stupid, that silly little thing doesn't know the difference!"
"Do you think my life was all rainbows and sunshines? No. I could sit here and cry about things in my past but instead I chose to wake up everyday and do something different."
"Society teaches us that we have to do the things we love; I say, sometimes we have to do things in order to love them...remember this next time you face a challenge!"
Cedar Springs Austin is different. The girls here are different (not that it's a bad thing at all!). My therapist is different and quite honestly, I've come home to an entirely new world. A world I've decided I want to be Ed free. Now it's time to go out and make it that way, but it's up to me to make it happen. It's up to me to do what I feel like I hate in order to learn to love it. I can do this. I can do this. I'm going to do this.