Monday, February 3, 2014

[Dis]CHARGE!

I am now officially done with IOP. My vitals are pretty stable. I'm almost back in my weight range. I'm not using behaviors. I'm following my meal plan. Behaviorally and medically, things look good and are getting close to "normal." But emotionally and psychologically, I'm not there yet. And according to my treatment team, this means that I am ready to move on to outpatient.

However, I have been having a lot of mixed feelings about it all. On one hand, I am so glad to be done and be a "free woman" again, as one of my treatment friends phrased it. But on the other hand, I'm absolutely terrified of having so much time to myself, as well as just generally being fearful of behavioral lapses and relapses (the latter has more to do with returning to school in the fall, which is still a long way off). 

Ever since I was in middle school, I have never had a lot of time to myself. My mom was always on me for over-committing myself to things, being too busy, and not having any time to relax. I was either at school, an extracurricular, doing homework, or hanging out with friends. I rarely took time out for self-care and rest. Being busy was who I was. I was my education, my extracurriculars, my friendships, my busyness. In the summers, I was my camp job. Overarching all of that was my eating disorder, my depression, my anxiety. For the past few months, I have been my treatment.

Now, I have none of that. No job, no extracurriculars, no school. My friends are all off at their own colleges, five hours away in Gettysburg, or worried about high school. And now treatment, although it is not ending completely, is becoming a less significant part of my life.

So the question that remains is, who am I, as just Sarah? Who am I without my accomplishments, my academics, my involvements? What is it that I value? What matters to me? How do I want to spend my time? How is Sarah, the person, defined?

My therapist suggested to me in our last session that I make two lists--one consisting of what I know I am and what I want for myself and my life and a second of what I know I am not and do not want for myself and my life. I haven't yet started on this task--I had a busy weekend of chaperoning an elementary lock-in at church, babysitting, and catching up on all the sleep I did not get because of those things. But I'm planning on beginning it soon.

Now that I have been discharged and have an extra 18 hours in my week, it is time to charge forward into this new Sarah-ness that is governed solely by Sarah and her dreams and aspirations, her likes and dislikes, her values and personality. 

Something that has been very motivating in getting myself to this point in recovery is wanting to feel fully alive and in touch with life--being able to fully feel every memory and moment as it occurs and to enjoy it in it's entirety. And until today, partially influenced by this blog post, I have been unsure as to how to make that happen for me. Feeling fully alive has to do with living life according to my values, my desires, my aspirations and letting go of everything that is not in line with those things and not me. It means not living for academics, but still gleaning knowledge; it means not putting my worth in how well my friends like me, but still cultivating relationships; it means not putting my identity in what I do, but still participating fully and passionately. 

It's time to discover what feeling fully alive means... 


Time to charge forward into creating who I am and who I want to be. 
Time to charge forward in the next phase of recovery.
Time to charge forward into life.
Time to live with my heart as my compass. 


"Compass" by Lady Antebellum
Alright
Yeah it's been a bumpy road
Roller coasters
High and low
Fill the tank and drive the car
Pedal fast, pedal hard
You won't have to go that far

You wanna give up 'cause it's dark
We're really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you're lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it's all said and done
You can walk instead of run
'Cause no matter what you'll never be alone (never be alone) oh oh oh
Never be alone oh oh oh

Forgot directions on your way
Don't close your eyes don't be afraid
We might be crazy late at night I can't wait til you arrive
Follow stars you'll be alright

You wanna give up 'cause it's dark
We're really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you're lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it's all said and done
You can walk instead of run
'Cause no matter what you'll never be alone (never be alone) oh oh oh
Never be alone oh oh oh
You wanna give up 'cause it's dark
We're really not that far apart
So let your heart, sweet heart
Be your compass when you're lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it's all said and done
You can walk instead of run
'Cause no matter what you'll never be alone (never be alone) oh oh oh
Never be alone oh oh oh

When it's all said and done
You can walk instead of run
'Cause no matter what you'll never be alone