Wednesday, October 8, 2008

jumping the fence.

One of my best friends - who had finished her last full treatment experience just before I had started mine - asked me one day, "Is it strange that I really miss the hospital sometimes?"  I didn't even have to think before responding that I did, too.  It's kind of like an old camp memory; it was controlled, it was structured, it was comforting.  There was no skimping on meals, or parts of meals, or buying and preparing groceries.  I also loved that I could knit all I wanted without worrying that I was blowing off something else I needed to get done.

Even some of the hardest times I went through aren't things that I look back on with any form of regret.  There were some really painful moments, obviously, but I made it through them.  I, of course, could have lived without the writhing-in-pain from refeeding, the prison-like shower stalls, and having to ask permission *every time* I had to use the bathroom, let alone the fact that they would stand there and listen.  Come on now, treatment can't be totally cool..

I do, however, really miss the environment in the out-patient programs.  I wish there was some way - without 3 under- and post-grad degrees - that I could go back to be on the other side of the process.  I kind of loved the end of my treatment cycle, when I was so done with being there and could no longer emotionally relate to my group, but was told how much I had helped them as I "improved" (for lack of a better word).  That's all I want to do.

I'm not sure what it is about the hospital environment, but I love it.  There must be a way to be apart of it without an MD.. or a wristband.


hutchbec said...

Thank you for your post! I went through inpt treatment in 1989 and 1990 and still have that feeling of missing it. It's been a loss ever since the program closed in the mid-1990's. I guess that's the sign that it was a good container - even with all the hard parts to it, it (the container) was something we internalized enough to crave it again. I guess our task is to foster the internal container so it becomes our own and part of our ongoing healing, and not something we ever have to physically seek out again for our survival.

sandy said...

I have mixed feelings about my stay in the hospital. I definitely miss being a part of a group and the structure/support offered was what I needed at the time of my divorce. I on the other hand went in mis-diagnosed and came out with a severe eating disorder, but with self-healing am finally on my way to recovery (eight years later).

... said...

oh thanks for this post!!
the relationship to my inpatient treatments and my "disordered friends" used to be big issue for me and my therapist. Even if these stays were tough I think back on it with kind of sentimentality. I think I miss the strictly defined rules and the impossibility of choice = low degree of responsibility = low degree of fear. And cause I am perfectionist, I was "perfect" in hospital and every time I did really well... but this obedience sadly doesn´t work "outside" the glasshouse 100%.