I’m going to rehab. For my eating disorder.
It certainly wasn’t my idea.
I thought I was going to go to a support group–you know, to get a little extra support in my recent spiral downward. The other day my therapist told me if I dropped anymore weight she’d have to refer me out to more intensive treatment. I had been bucking the idea of seeking out an eating disorder-support group for months, but I decided now maybe it was a good time. I have had deep fear of support groups, but losing my therapist scared me more, so I was willing to take the recommendation she had.
My husband, Andrew, gave me great perspective: “You know, when a player gets injured during a game and has to have surgery, he always has to go through rehab. They don’t want to do it because it sucks. It hurts and it’s a grind and it takes a long time and it keeps them out of the game. But they recover. If they don’t do rehab, they risk permanent debilitation and losing their career. Just think of a support group as rehab. Oh and food–that’s your medicine.”
It made me think about drug and alcohol rehab. That probably doesn’t feel so pleasant and no one is probably ever fully ready, but they go. This seemed to make a lot of sense and seemed doable. Support-group rehab. I would just search around, gather some information–I wouldn’t need to commit to anything right away. In the meantime, I would just stay the course with my weight and try not to tick down any farther.
Yesterday we called Hopetree Counseling–just to get information. No biggie; shouldn’t be too hard.
I couldn’t even make the call because a squall of anxiety had rushed my nerves. Andrew, had to do it. I will spare the details of the conversation, but after we got our questions answered, the lady on the phone essentially screened my situation through Andrew, who was using speaker phone. What resulted was the following:
- Your wife needs help.
- She’s on the cusp of needing hospitalization; her bmi is on the edge.
- We wouldn’t put her in a support group until she was ready
- She doesn’t want help because she thinks treatment will make her fat
- She’s terrified; deep down she wants help
- She will be okay but she needs intervention now
- Tamara would be a great counselor for her
- We have a dietitian that can work with her dietary needs and food fears
I was a wreck. I felt trapped in my house–practically running from room to room to get away from my husband and that damn phone. My anxiety had exploded–I was crying and angry and shooting evil-eye laser darts at my beloved husband, who, I felt somehow in all this, had betrayed me. I hated him for calling, and I couldn’t believe the audacity of this woman on the phone!
I am not that sick! I don’t need this! I just need a little extra support. All I need is a support group and I’ll be fine. What these people were offering was rehab. Like for real. No way was I up for that.
But this call has stuck with me. I am mad (so mad!) and scared and confused, and this woman’s words are so conflicting with the voice in my head that says “I am not THAT sick.
Why am I so angry, though?
I got my answer this morning while spending time with God. I am currently going through My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and this was today’s devotion:
There is no escape when the Lord speaks. He always comes using His authority and taking hold of our understanding. Has the voice of God come to you directly? If it has, you cannot mistake the intimate insistence with which it has spoken to you. God speaks in the language you know best–not through your ears, but through your circumstances.
God has to destroy our determined confidence in our own convictions. We say, “I know this is what I should do”–and suddenly the voice of God speaks in a way that overwhelms us by revealing the depths of our ignorance. We show ignorance in the very way we decide to serve Him.
I am angry because I am overwhelmed. I’ve been called out on my own convictions that I merely need “a bit of extra support.” God has destroyed my confidence in what I thought I needed and has directly spoken His voice into my circumstances.
I am quite ill. I need help. I need intervention. I don’t need a support group–I need rehab. The truth of revelation has me on my knees before my Father, shedding quiet tears of humility. “I delight to do Your will, O my God… (Psalm 40:8).
I will make the call before noon today to schedule an appointment; if I don’t, I have given Andrew permission to call and schedule for me. (I promise not to hate him–too much.)
I am scared, friends. Anorexia feels safe to me. To release myself from the grip of this disease feels like stepping off a cliff into a free fall toward my fears that wait to devour me upon my crash.