Life in Recovery - Kathy Wheeler, Former Patient
I am celebrating a huge victory. This is a goal I set for myself over 4 years ago, to make it 28 days straight no binge/purge/laxatives. I have only been successful while in treatment at ERC. While that was a victory, doing it “on the outside” was something I have never been able to do. The many times of starting back at day 1 haunted me with feelings of defeat and failure. Yesterday was day 28! I have a sponsor who agreed to take me through the 12 step program if I could get 30 days without relapse. Tomorrow will be 30 days.
It’s AMAZING to be living without obsessing about food, calories, weight, body issues, etc. Marissa (MC) asked me at one point over the summer when I was going to stop living the double life. I was miserable. I never really understood how much effort my eating disorder took. I have been able to think and focus on things in life that matter. I feel great!!! I have peace. I don’t wait to see how I feel in the morning to determine my day. I can choose to make my day whatever I want no matter what I feel. That is powerful!
I am following my meal plan without obsessing over it. I haven’t cared about counting calories. My body makes it possible for me to do life. That’s what matters to me. Medication is not something I plan to dispute anymore. We’ve found what works and I’ve accepted that it’s a necessity.
I’m teaching 4th, 5th and 6th graders in an alternative learning center in my school district. I did not want to take this job. Ironically, these kids see a clinician once or twice a week. The clinicians are housed down the hall. These kids struggle with OCD, oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, anger, horrible home life, etc. My struggles have been the experience needed to turn this “job” into a “mission.” God is my higher power. I see that He placed me right where I am in life at this moment to get what I need to recover. The job allows me to focus on others. It’s not about being a caretaker. It’s about making a difference. I have purpose. Not because of what I do, but because of who I am. I screw up. We all do. We are perfectly imperfect. But I am enough! I don’t waste time on bulimia. Instead, I’m the mother, the sister and friend, the aunt, the teacher and the person I was meant to be.
I want to thank you for your part in my victory. Stick THAT on the boom wall! BOOM!!! Feel free to share this victory with anyone I left out. ;-)
I look forward to seeing you at the alumni days. This is month 1.
There are many more to come! ;-)
An ERC clinician received the letter above from a former patient, who invited us to share it on the blog.