The Recovery Group

A Personal Recovery

The journal below was written after I had been home for about a week from a treatment center for compulsive eating.

May 2nd

You asked for an update; well, not really much to tell. I spent 5 weeks in the treatment center. It was a very intensive program, started at 6am and ended at 9pm, various classes all day long, group therapy everyday and individual therapy several times a week, classes on nutrition, body image, 12 step meetings, physical activities such as water workouts in the pool, etc. Had I been in better shape it would have been very busy and great, but as it was, my physical condition prohibited me from taking part in much of it. I was able to get out to only two or three activities a day, and I chose one of them to be the group therapy sessions and one other, usually a 12-step meeting. The rest of the time I was in my room with LOTS of time to think and work through a lot of "stuff."

I had let myself deteriorate to such a point that I simply could not manage to walk to classes or the communal dining room more than a few times a week. I did have a wheel chair but was not strong enough to wheel myself around in a timely enough manner, and after two of the staff members hurt themselves pushing me around they would not allow 'anyone' to push me after that.

It turned out to be a blessing as it allowed me lots of time to work through and slay some major demons of mine. I was able to identify a couple of major things that had kept me seeking the relief I got from certain foods. I have a lot of pent up anger that I was afraid of expressing because of my fear of losing control and possible doing harm, which is why I sought to medicate myself with food. Some people turn to drugs or alcohol, both which I tried, but didn't like the feeling of being 'out of control,' and soon discovered that my old friend - food - did for me what I needed, and that was to alter my mood and quell the emotions so I didn't have to feel the pain and shame and anger. It mellowed me out and made life bearable for a long time.

It became more of a problem than a solution, however, and the despair that comes from that frustration had me sitting in my chair simply waiting to die. Having given up any hope of a sane and happy life, I was ready to 'check out'.

After facing down these demons, I am once again 'hopeful' of being able to find some joy in life again, to be able to express my emotions without fearing it will drive people away, and that most people are dealing with the same kind of crap in their own lives too. I think we are all seeking the same basic stuff, someone to love us without reservation, who can 'know' us and still like us, someone we can love in return. This unconditional love is difficult to find in people though some can come close. The 12 step program is a spiritually based program and I know that 'my' Higher Power has always been there and will always be there for me, if I will only allow that spiritual connection to happen.

My days are mostly good now. Some days are a bit more tedious than others, and yesterday I got a bit frustrated about things not being in place when I had to put together my supper meal. I had waited too long and was tired, and hungry and just a little out of sorts by the time I realized it was past time to eat. (That would have never happened before... forget to eat?? What kind of stupid does it take to forget to eat???? LOL) So, I made a couple of phone calls to settle myself down before eating, as it is really necessary for me to be calm; otherwise, I would just wolf the food down and be looking for 'more,' to somehow control the raging emotions ... different behavior for me to be sure.

Mostly I am feeling hopeful and have a certain amount of serenity now, try to go for a short walk every day, though it's more like every 3rd day at this point. My knee is not cooperating much ... it's very painful most of the time, but on the days when I can I get out to get some exercise. It'll be a long process to recover my health, but I am letting go of quite a bit of weight and trying to slowly work myself back to the point of being able to go shoot some 'hoops' again. I loved to play basketball when younger and my goal is to get back into that kind of shape again.

That's where I am right now.


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