To Hospital I Went

Continuation from here.

After plummeting in weight and fighting everything my parents tried to get me to do – in terms of nourishment, at least – they abandoned their belief that I could heal at home, and turned to inpatient treatment. My choice of hospital was restricted to two that my insurance permitted, and, in turn, we visited each to make sure I’d be placed in the most fitting environment. I remember seeing the current patients eating in the dining rooms, and even though they looked as though it was a torturous experience, I wanted so desperately to join in; I was just so horrendously in need of food. The thing is, I had to wait a week or two before a bed opened up for me, and in the meantime I continued to refuse to eat. I suppose I wanted one last kick or something, and I also needed someone to downright force me to eat to feel that I could; if I voluntarily fed myself, I felt like a gluttonous failure. Hospital was my saving grace.

One year prior to entering hospital

One year before receiving treatment

Just after Christmas, I was admitted to the eating disorders ward at Huntercombe Hospital in Maidenhead, England, and stayed there for 3 months; as soon as my weight stabilized, my insurance sent me home. Home was like a battleground: my parents and I fought painstakingly over portion sizes, snacks, and exercise, and I inevitably ended up shouting at them so repulsively. Now that I have healed, for the most part, I can’t help but feel overwhelmingly sorry for how brutally I treated the two people who care most about me, and who, frightened for my life, dedicated every waking moment to my survival.

Hiking at Lake Tahoe with my dad the summer they realized - in fact the day they realized - something was terribly wrong..

Hiking at Lake Tahoe with my dad the summer my parents realized – in fact the day they realized – something was terribly wrong..

Considering the circumstances, my parents couldn’t have dealt with me and my illness any better. Sure, I was unable to “cure” myself at home, but my parents undoubtedly did everything possible to help me; they most definitely cannot be faulted, and least of all blamed for what happened. That said, having suffered through the ordeal for about two years, my parents had come to their wits end, meaning I was readmitted to Huntercombe Hospital, this time as a day patient.

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Being a day patient was not my choice at all, nor my parents’; it was our only option because I no longer had insurance, so we were paying out-of-pocket. Day patient treatment was unsuccessful on so many levels: I wasn’t given as much attention as the other patients, I didn’t receive enough therapy (even though the therapy offered was utterly useless anyway…), and going home at night meant I could sneak in some walking and other types of exercise. Thinking back, it’s obvious my dad, who stayed with me at my uncle’s house in London, knew I was getting up to no good – he’s no fool – but I now realize that he chose to remain silent for fear of triggering one of my frightful attacks. How helpless he must have felt.

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To be continued, and, rest assured, relief comes..

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