"Listen to the words that others can't speak; speak the words that others can't hear."

Monday, April 1, 2013

Cause for a celebration.

Six months ago today, I was readmitted into inpatient treatment at Presby Dallas. I drove myself to day treatment that morning and fought my demons as hard as I could... I had been up all night fighting actually, but it wasn't enough. Right there in the hospital parking lot I picked apart a razor feeling it slice through the tips of my fingers as I tried so desperately to get to the blade.

I sat in the drivers seat hiding the stained paper towels for almost an hour before wrapping my arm up and going into day treatment. The nutritionists and therapists knew I had had a rough day yesterday so they asked how my night went and I told them it went well. I told them it had its rough spots but I made it through the night okay. I wasn't lying to them. I mean, technically I had made it through the night just fine. After breakfast that morning I thought I was in the clear, all the 'important' people thought I was fine and they'd pass the word along. I had nothing to fear. 

Three hours into the day Dr. Pennington came to visit with me and asked how my night had gone, "I heard it went well," she said. I told her that it was hard but I made it through the night without hurting myself. She said she was proud, but I could tell she wasn't fully convinced. 

"So no self-harm at all yesterday?" 

"Nope. None at all yesterday," I replied. 

I saw the way she looked at me, almost like she could see right through me. "But..?"

I came clean. 

Dr. Pennington knew almost right away that it needed stitches even though I tried to convince her that it was fine. She wasn't born yesterday and I was not her first patient. I was taken to the ER and although I thought I had convinced the doctor that I was okay to go home, she thought otherwise and gave me the chance to sign myself in voluntarily. 

This was October 2nd. I was inpatient at Presby until 11pm on Oct. 30 and had until 11am on Oct. 31 to be admitting myself to River Oaks Hospital in Louisiana. Twelve hours. If I didn't make it there in twelve hours my insurance would refuse to pay for treatment. 

Treatment was not an easy choice. It wasn't a way out for me and it wasn't an excuse or an escape as some might say. Treatment took hard work and dedication. It was a daily battle. It's difficult to explain because a lot of people think that it's about being doped up, fed three meals a day and sitting through groups. Some treatment places even have weekly massages. That's living the life there! ....Not. 

Essentially everything I stated above is true. You are fed three meals a day plus snacks, you do get your meds when you need them and yes, you go to groups all day everyday, but it is so much more than that. I just don't know how to explain it but I'll do the best I can. 

At work today, a guy friend asked me if I wanted to get lunch with him. Before he even finished asking me I said, "I already ate." I hadn't eaten and my insides were yelling at me to quit lying. So I told him, actually I hate some hours ago (I had six fruit snacks) but I'm not really hungry. Lie #2. "Well," he said, "why don't you just come with me then?" I wanted to go. You are too fat. You look disgusting. He's going to be embarrassed to even be seen with you. You might actually have fun, and then what? Abort. Abort. Abort! "I don't think I can go today, maybe tomorrow?" I asked knowing I wouldn't see him the next day. 

So imagine having someone follow you around literally 24/7 bullying you, telling you things that not even your worst enemy would say to your face. I'm not schizophrenic, bipolar or have multiple personalities (not at all bashing on those who do, many of them are my bestest of friends) but there is always a voice inside my head telling me I'm not good enough. It tells me that I deserved the things that happened to me (even typing that feels weird because the voice inside tells me that they didn't 'happen to me', I brought them upon myself). Things will never change. 

This is what treatment is about. It's not truly about getting through the meals or staying safe throughout the day, that's just the stabilization period. Treatment is about finding YOUR voice and quieting the other. It's about learning to take control again starting from realizing that you do have a choice in taking a shower and brushing your teeth to major decisions like going to school or moving away. 

I got out of the hospital on December 7th. The first decision I had to make was whether I was going to fly home or have my parents pick me up. I went back and forth on this for almost two weeks. Finally, my therapist looked me in the eyes and said, "Bella, you have a voice. Make your decision and let everyone know what YOU want." 

I have faced many obstacles since leaving the hospital. It's very important for me to remember that although I have left the treatment facility, treatment is not over yet. I have made good decisions and bad decisions. My thinking is so much clearer and for the most part I feel happier. Not all my symptoms are gone and you know what? Maybe they never will be. I just have to remember that it's about progress not perfection. 

I feel like this post focused on a lot of 'negative' things, but really it's just part of my journey that got me to where I am today... and 212 days free from cutting is a great place to be.

Thank you Kyla, Stephanie, Dr. Pole, Dr. Benigar, Shele, Kirsten, Ingrid, Gillian, Dr. G, Bridget, Dara, Katie, Dr. Symons, Whitney, Megan, Sandy, Dr. Pennington, Darce, Dr. Harris, Jeff, Dr. Lavigne and finally Jessica and all finally all my friends and family for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself.