I wasn’t sure whether i wanted to write this post or not, whether i should share my thoughts or just let this day slide by like nothing at all…. Because the truth is, it isn’t a huge deal for me. It is not a day i will mark in my calender and remember the date each year, however at the same time it is also an end of a chapter in my life. It is me turning the page of that chapter of my life (I.e treatment for my eating disorder and Mando) and now just focusing completely on my life now.
So…. today was my last visit as a “patient” to the treatment centre Mando Meter, where i was an inpatient or day patient for 1,5 years before being declared healthy in 2012 and since then doing the 5 year follow up program.
I was declared healthy from Mando in august 2012, so my official 5 year follow up was in August 2017 but as i don’t live in Stockholm anymore i haven’t had the chance to visit Mando to sign all the papers and have the final assesment until now.
When i was declared healthy in 2012 i was “healthy” or atleast better, i could go to schoool, live life and eat normally. But each year that passes the healthier and more balanced i get… so personally i would say i was mentally healthy and free in 2013/2014. In 2012 i had just reached my healthy goal weight and was able to live somewhat normally, i.e i wasn’t as controlled by my eating disorder anymore, but i still had some habits and thoughts that may not have been completely healthy. And it wasn’t until i really began analysing my behaviour that i began to work on being completely free, mentally as well.
Of course, just because i recovered from anorexia (with purging and binging tendencies) doesn’t mean life has always been easy. Since 2012 i have still deal with anxiety and panic attacks and have fallen into serious depression two times. However i am working on those and finding ways to cope so i can still live a healthy life and food and body image is not a problem for me. I am not always 100% body positive or happy in my body and i have times when i am extremly stressed and lose my appetite, but i never fall back into old ways. There are times i might get some strange/disordered food thoughts and that is often due to lack of sleep, hormones, stress and loss of appetite. But then i know that i need to destress, sleep and eat something and usually those thoughts disappear again.
The reason this day isn’t such a big deal for me… just feels like going to some type of meeting, is because i have lived my life healthy for so long now. This signing of papers and no longer being a patient at Mando doesn’t make a difference in my life, i am not a different person, i am not healthier today than i was yesterday. It is mostly just for Mandos statistics that their program works and after 5 years i am still healthy and free. I could have stopped the follow up treatment years ago if i wanted but i thought, it is some form of comfort knowing that i can contact them if i were to relapse.
I think that it is amazing that Mando has the follow up treatment as most treatment centres just make the patient gain weight and then they let the patient go and never check up on them – and that is a huge risk for relapse. You need constant support – but also to know that you need to maintain your weight and stay healthy as you will be having check ups and can be admitted again if things go bad. So for me that was a motivation in 2012-2013 to stay healthy.
I feel like there is so much i could write, but at the same time so little….. It is me closing the Mando chapter of my life. Never going to have treatment or check ups for an eating disorder again… done with that part of my life. However i know i can and do use my experience to help others struggling, but my main focus is also working with healthy people or people who don’t have eating disorders .Mostly because i want to move away from that chapter of my life, i don’t want to define myself with an eating disorder….. but i also want to help others with an eating disorder to show that you can find balance, recover and live life even if it feels impossible.
Recovery is not a straight forward road, there are ups and downs. You learn from mistakes, you may relapse, you may feel like recovery is impossible, you may have so much anxiety and want to run from everything going on in your head and the way you feel about your body. But you can get through those things. You can get through the emotions, the feelings, the fear, the anxiety, the hate…. One of the important parts of eating disorder recovery is to move on from your eating disorder. You can not identify yourself with an eating disoder because you are so much more than that…. you need to find your hobbies, interests, be with people you like, do things you like, focus on creating and living a life you love and that doesn’t involve your eating disorder.
But also knowing that only YOU can recover for yourself. Doesn’t matter how much support or treatment you get – if you don’t want to recover or make active choices yourself nothing will change. You can lie to others but you can not lie to yourself… the truth will catch up to you. And in the end it is your life…. and either you can live it with your disordered habits and behaviours or you can make active choices – no matter how hard they are – to make a change.
You can recover. You can get better. But then YOU have to fight for it. You have to want to change and get better.
I am focusing on life. On being healthy and happy and free.
I don’t want this blog to be an eating disorder blog like my previous blog, however if you have any questions you can comment below and i will make 1-2 dedicated posts answering your questions about eating disorders, Mando etc if you have any!