I have therapies from 9.15 am to 5 pm with hardly any breaks.
My day starts with the social aptitudes group. We learn how to communicate with others, how to keep a conversation going, how to get over the fear of approaching others, how to maintain a relationship or friendship and how to deal with social gatherings that usually create panic attacks or situations where you feel not in control.
Then, at 11 am, we have our cooking class. Today, we’ll do something easy: noodles, tomato sauce and tuna. But I am always stressed out during those 2 hours. I think that this is the hardest part of the therapy program; together with the psychotherapy, of course.
So, we cook together and afterwards eat together. Eating with other anorectic patients is hard. Even though I always tell myself that it is unreasonable to compare myself to them, to compare what I am eating with their portions, I inevitably observe their eating habits. It is kind of scary. I am so glad that I chose this clinic though; I don’t think that only being surrounded by anorectic patients would have done me any good.
After these 2 hours, I mostly break down with tears streaming down my face because of the relief that it is over.
At 1pm the weekly get together of all the patients of our ward takes place. This is where we organize the tasks that every patient has to do, we talk about what the problems and the positive things and anything else that is on our minds. We are also educated about the different illnesses and how people deal with it. It is a great way to learn what everybody else is going through and in which areas they struggle the most.
For us anorectic girls it is then time for some exercise therapy, especially and only for us. I have only been able to attend this class once, but it was fantastic to finally be able to move my body again and to do something physical, without just blindly running on the treadmill for 2,5 hours…
Right after that I have psychotherapy, which is unfathomably hard. So many awful things of my childhood are surfacing again, events that I had not remembered for a very, very long time. Sometimes I don’t know how I made it through these years, how I can still be here…
Next on the schedule is the body image group. I love group therapies. This one is especially helpful. We are challenged to look beyond what we have always believed in and start to see what is REAL.
After those 1.5 hours, I can finally relax for 45 minutes until I have dinner accompanied by a team member. I don’t like this too much. We sit in a room, just the two of us and I always feel uncomfortable. The conversations are usually slow and I am always happy when it is over.
Well, that is my day. I am exhausted just by writing it down…
Need to go now. I will see you on the other side!