XXL white flag

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.


0 thoughts on “Rehab

  1. Aaron Smith

    This is some brave stuff here Leanne. I’ll be praying for you, and know that God wants you to be healthy and whole. Whatever steps come your way, let him guide you. You are loved greatly.

    Be brave and get that help.

  2. Sally

    Oh Leanne, sweetheart, you are so brave and your husband is even braver. Your battle against this disease has you climbing mountains you don’t want to.

    I watched your video the other day when you spoke to people, what a lovely inspiration you were then. Remember this is a battle you can win. It might take time and you do need other people to help you and there is no shame in accepting their help, it is what you require at the moment.

    My love and thoughts go to you and Andrew and your family – one step at a time, my dear and we are all here, virtually if not physically, to help you as much as we can. Sally.

  3. tonyroberts64

    I’m reading this at 11:47 your time. You or Andrew have likely already made the call by now, or are on the phone as I write. May God give you both an increasing measure of peace and grace as you continue to move forward in faith.

  4. Debb Stanton

    Leanne honey, thank you for letting us know. Soooooooo sorry you got to the bottom of that very scary place. It won’t make it easier, I know, but think of rehab/recovery as a place where you really will be safe, with the Father’s love covering you like a microfiber blanket and staying tuned to all details concerning this. He’s got your back, He really does, and your friends and family and the people who were at the conference, also have your back. Call us anytime you need to hear a smile…and we’ll be praying. We are a mighty team who loves you very much, and we are made mighty by the God who created you and will rescue you. “God’s love is made perfect in our weakness.” I send plenty of gentle hugs, lots of smiles, and even a few laughs along with the teardrops I have in my eyes. Love you so much, my dear sister-friend. xx 00 P.S. Thank you, kind Andrew.

  5. Debb Stanton

    So here’s a poem I wrote for you:

    You will not crash at the bottom of this ravine
    The angels will break your fall
    Right now it seems like “sight unseen”
    But Jesus is right there through it all

    He has given his angels charge over you
    to care for you in all yiour ways
    You will be squeaky clean and brand new
    living for and loving the Lord all your days

    I have to get back to work now
    Wish I could write longer and talk
    but know this: our eating disorders must get my huge POW!
    I turn you over to our God, I must not balk.

    — Debb Stanton

    xx oo {hugs}

  6. theravensdesk127

    Sweet sister friend of mine, how deeply I love you.
    You will not fail, because God is in you. Remember, His DNA is running through you? Someone told me that…
    God is embracing you in your fears, doubts and uncertainty of the future, preparing a path where the cliff seems to end. I am praying for peace and relief from anxiety in your spirit.
    This is a move of victory on the battlefield Leanne! You are taking bravery and waving it like a flag. That is what I see when I see that picture at the top; in all your beautiful brave surrender to God, Satan sees the light of the white cloth shining as a symbol of hope for the troops at war, and let me tell you, it spurs us on, by revealing Satans loss and demonstrating your own sweet victory in Christ.
    You’re a warrior and I love you. Praying for you so much.

  7. andreakine69

    Oh Leanne… I want you to know you aren’t alone in how you feel. that feeling like your world is spinning so very fast.. almost like it will toss you off at any second. Denial tells you that everyone around you is lying to you.. yet it was only a day ago when things seemed just fine and it only makes your head and heart hurt worse trying to decipher things out. Going away is something any one of us puts to back of our minds as an absolute ‘last resort’. Something that happens to OTHER people… not to us. Leanne, what you are going thru, right now.. today I HAD TO GO THROUGH Christmas day 2011. Difference is I was so sick I could not see what was happening to fight back… until weeks later after I was already in treatment. I was told I would only be there for three weeks. I was so sick I was there five months…. that was a lifetime for me. And only this year, 2014 ( and you know this) was I once again threatened with intensive treatment… and I sunk even lower than I was then. And somehow I managed to go beneath the radar. I KNOW how scary it is to leave your home, husband and kids.. to go to a place you do not want to be at… even though you NEED to be there. In your heart you know you have to be there. It is ANA telling you you don’t. Once there that struggle will still be there… especially at meal times, but little by little it will get easier. It wont magically go away… easier yes, go away no. But being there will be tolerable. But you will have to accept that you are doing what is right, that you need the help… just as you accepted things in the past before even though you questioned them. You may not have understood them.. but still, you did them. Remember? Trust this Leanne, give it a shot. Treatment can help.. you have to be open to it for it to work…. be honest and truthful in groups, participate. That way you will get the most out of it, and eat… the sooner you do what they want, the sooner you come home. 🙂 Listen , learn, gain not only a bit of weight but knowledge… and God will reward you in so many ways. You will be stronger to fight Ana and be a stronger Leanne to live your life.
    I love you sister…. I wish you well on your journey and will wait to hear from you. hugs to you.

  8. sharingrecovery

    Inpatient treatment/ rehab saved my life. It took a while, yes, but through the hard times I managed to pull myself up with the help of the support around me, and now I’m here, weight restored, and learning to accept myself. Yes it’s going to take time, but without the rehab I would never have even got this far.
    Work your hardest and try to listen to them- often you’ll find yourself thinking “this is ridiculous, I don’t need to do that” etc, but often that is your eating disorder trying to stop you from ridding yourself of it.
    It is scary, but you will get through this and it sounds like you’ve got both a lovely therapist and loving, kind husband to help you through this.
    I wish you the best of luck, stay strong and always fight it- you will win x

  9. David

    As I read your post the words to a hymn came to mind. I hope it inspires and comforts you as it has me. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers, Leanne.

    “Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom;
    Lead thou me on!
    The night is dark, and I am far from home;
    Lead thou me on!
    Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene–one step enough for me.”

  10. Amy

    I will pray for you and your family. I won’t offer advice, just know that God will take care of you and your family. Take care and be well.

  11. mrsmegandjeff

    Leanne, I send you my biggest and warmest virtual hugs from way over here! I commend you for your bravery for even sharing this. You are on my heart quite often and I will keep not just you but Andrew and the kids in my prayers every single day. You are so loved and so worth loving, I hope you know that. <3

  12. Michael Graeme

    So sorry to read of this Leanne, and trust the call was made. You are a woman of great courage and determination, well loved by family and fellow bloggers, and I wish you well.


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  14. Joel

    Leanne, it sounds like a real fight you’re going through to get well. I know God will be there for you and I will pray now that you find a new healthy relationship with food. I know that’s a lot easier said than done. God bless you abundantly.


  15. Scott Taylor (@HyggeMan)

    It is truly a brave thing you are doing. We are raised so as to never show weakness. How dumb are we sometimes? Prayers coming your way to you and your family. And, as always, thanks for the kind words you’ve given to me and so many others. Remember, you’re never alone. Take care.

  16. BJ

    Good luck Leanne. Treatment is never glorious. There is no magic cure, and nothing about the process is easy. Focus on finding at least one way you can relate to anything and everything you hear. Don’t waste time identifying differences. Locate and cling to the similarities, and trust that you have no idea how to do it yourself. He believes in you, or you’d never have found yourself with this disease in the first place.

  17. Carrie K Sorensen

    Leanne, I am so sorry I’ve been out of the loop. I hope you are finding success with your struggles. You already have the strength, I know. It is the hardest step, as I see you found, to admit the need for help on such a deep level. I want you to know that I love you and think of you and feel horrible I just found out how difficult your struggle has been. But you have done this before. You will do it again. You will come back stronger. I’m so happy you have your amazing, supportive husband to help you through this. The love in your life is what helps to soften the sharpest of those edges. <3

  18. nicolepyles

    Hi there…it’s been a while hasn’t it? I’ve been in a bubble of my own struggle and I forget sometimes that others have them too. Anyways…good for you for accepting treatment. It will be a tough road but I believe you will conquer this mountain, even if it takes a few tries. You can do it lady and thank you for sharing your story.


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