So I moved to California from Colorado, to seek treatment thru the Rader program in 2000. After my treatment ended I chose to stay in California permanently to work at Rader because not only did I believe in helping others, but I believed that the support I had gained while I was here was exactly what I needed to continue pushing me in my recovery. Rader was the place I healed my mind, body, and soul, and it has become a huge part of my life.
However most people who leave the environment they came from to seek treatment wherever they may choose to, have to go back home eventually. They have to face the demons they left behind, see the people again that they were hurting through their disease, confront the very things that were keeping them sick.
When I chose to stay in California, I never really got that opportunity. In a way it was very ”Jason Bourne,” leaving one identity for another… never looking back, kind of just taking on my new assignment as this new person with a new job and a new life.
As great as this sounds, and quite honestly as great as it was, there was still that feeling of never closing the lid on my life back home, I left a lot of strings untied, and a lot questions not fully answered.
My “friends” are my “family”, and are the ones who were in the ring with me before I left. They fought out round after round with me, until I finally threw in the towel and decided to get some serious help.
Although they were extremely proud of my accomplishments, and quite honestly shocked that I had after 18 years of being “notoriously difficult” managed to not only get my act together, but also to get a job out of it, were still in my opinion quite skeptical about whether or not I truly had changed.
I decided to face this all recently over the Thanksgiving holiday, and go back home after two and a half years of being MIA.
I knew I had changed, but would other people see it? Would there still be whispers of skepticism, doubt, and hovering behind the bathroom door with their ears pressed against it for any sounds of ”foul play”.
I have an equation that I like to share with the patients at Rader… it goes TIME x EFFORT = TRUST
In other words, we have spent a very long period of time dissolving whatever trust we ever had with our disease. The only way to get it back is to earn it… and that takes time. Some more then others, but with good intentions and good actions comes good results. If you do the right thing, eventually the right thing will happen to you.
I can not tell you the reaction I received from my visit back home. I was quite shocked myself, and when people saw me they literally wept… yes wept with joy. Happy tears streamed down their faces with what I can only describe to you were symbols of all the hope they had ever held in their hearts for me.
As I sat down with them for a lovely Thanksgiving meal, nobody gave me anything less then love and admiration. Nobody was starring at my plate, nobody was following me to the bathroom afterwards, nobody was checking underneath the table to see if I had casually tried to feed it to the dog.
How refreshing it was for me and my friends to enjoy a Holiday,”Eating Disorder Free”!! It was Amazing!!
It was truly a sense of closure for not only me, but for my friends as well, to see all that I had accomplished. They knew who I was, who I had become, and who I was planning to be in the Future!
It was truly a wonderful sense of closure for all involved!
I had left a broken little girl, and had returned a beautiful, strong, healthy, empowered woman”
Oh What a Feeling for me…Oh what a feeling for all!!