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Saturday, January 2, 2010

To There!

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In approximately 24 hours I will be in the steel city that is Pittsburgh, because, I'm going back to school! I cannot believe I made it From Here To There, it's been such an incredible journey. From the beginning, my goal and motivation for recovery has been to get back to school in January, and though it didn't come easily, I did it. 

Yesterday morning was brutal. My parents and I sat down to have a discussion and execute the final decision about whether or not I could return to school. They persisted that it would be in my best interest to stay home another semester and focus on my health and recovery, especially since my team of doctors strongly felt the same way. The team felt that I was finally on the verge of getting on the 'right track' and progressing. They agreed the risk for relapse is too significant if I stop working with the present team and add the stresses of school back into my life. "We really want to just knock this thing out of you", my mom preached as her eyes began to well with tears. "Statistics show that a full recovery is more likely when one full year is devoted to it". My counter argument was that an eating disorder can not be 'knocked out' of someone. Recovery takes time, personal growth and learning. There is far too much damage to repair from the past 10+ years that can't be undone in 6 months. I cried to my parents, "Contrary to the doctors' beliefs, I genuinely believe if I were to stay home, relapse would surely be inevitable-- loneliness would eat me alive". I have worked diligently, been through hell and back several times and given up a semester of my senior year to get my health back and return to school. I deserve the chance to show my team, my parents and myself that I am ready-- that I have been taught the recovery skills and tools needed to help me through detrimental thoughts, feelings, situations and experiences. It's time to show 'em what I've got. Truth is, I miss being a student, I miss my friends, I miss my independence and I miss the chaos that goes along with college. I am certain the only way I will continue to move forward with recovery is to reincorporate aspects of my life, which is not at home, anymore. At home, too much focus is on ED and recovery which adds stress, pressure and guilt. However, at school, I can concentrate on health while normalizing the rest of my life.

After a morning of blood, sweat and tears (ok, maybe not blood), my parents sat me down a second time. They told me I could return to school under certain (and many) conditions. In fact, we wrote a contract to ensure honesty, trust and my health. Of course I said I would do whatever it took so long I could be at school and put my parents' worries at some sort of ease. Of the long list of obligatory expectations, I must be involved with COPE's intensive outpatient program (IOP). The program provides treatment for patients who require the structure of their evening program to promote recovery. A combination of two group therapy sessions and one meal per day, IOP is offered three evenings per week and requires a nine-hour per week commitment. I have an initial evaluation Monday morning. My only concern is that I won't be accepted, because of low weight. Keeping my fingers crossed.

So am I scared about my return to school? Definitely. The last time I stayed in my apartment was the spring and early summer, when my health took a dramatic turn for the worse. I'm most terrified of old thoughts resurfacing, I can already feel the butterflies forming in the pit of my stomach. Despite my fears, I am excited and certain of the decision. I mustn't be afraid to fail, I should be afraid not to try. I can't hide from life for forever and the only way I'll know I'm making significant progress is if I take a chance and face the unknown. "Forget the risk and take the fall, if it's what you want then it's worth it all." What's the worst possible scenario? I realize I am not ready, withdrawal from the semester and come home. But I want this. I want it bad. And if I can do this, so can you-- that's a promise. 


This semester is bound to entail successes, laughs, failures and tears. However, unlike past years, I am capable and ready to conquer all that my future has to offer. As my friends and family have heard many times, I end this post with a phrase I often say:
"I'M BAAAAACK."



32 comments:

  1. YAYY YOU"RE BACKKKKKKKKKKKKKK =D i'm sure you'll do GREAT in school. =D

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  2. yay!!! I'm so happy for you. Enjoy every moment of it, girl!

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  3. YAY!!! I am SOOO happy for you!

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  4. EEEEE CONGRATS REBECCA!!!!!!!!! You worked soo hard for this, and you are so motivated to succeed, YOU EARNED THIS 110%!!!!!!!!
    So proud of you!! Im overwhelmed with joy!!! Glad to hear you will have support at school and will be able to continue moving forward, while achieving "normalcy", living your life and being with friends.
    Ahh so happy for you!! YOU. ARE. BACK. and more than ready!! <3 <3 <3 <3

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  5. CONGRATS GIRL!! oh my gosh!! you are going to do GREAT!! and it will be tough-ive been there, but its goign to make u so much stronger. let me know if you need anything..ive finally found balance at school!

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  6. CONGRATS!!

    My advice to you is to just remember that it WILL be hard at times... and that struggling is part of the process (like you already know)... but I think you are right, you need to live a life that doesn't focus on ED. If you are trying to get rid of ED staying home thinking about it and talking about it wont help.

    During those tough times remember how far you've come. Everything is temporary, and change is inevitable. Good luck!! I hope you keep posting!

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  7. totally saw your facebook status and about screamed! i am sooooo happy for you!! i know you can do this, you're right its about finding recovery in your life, and that includes school.
    oh my goodness just so so happy for you!
    loads of love!!
    xoxo

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  8. congrats!!!!! that is so great to hear, i was actually wondering if you were going back to school or not! such awesome news! i think it's a great idea that you have a contract with your parents, just to make it more diffficult for your ED to take hold. and IOP could be a great support :)

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  9. REBECCA!
    There aren't words to say just how proud I am of you! Your determination is so inspiring, so uplifting. If you believe you can do it, if you believe you have it in you, then you can and will succeed!
    You deserve to go out and live the life you want to live - you've earnt it, girl!

    All my love and support, and well wishes!
    Eleanor. xo

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  10. Congratulations! I feel all nervous with butterflies like I'm the one going back to school... I guess I'm just super excited for you. ;)
    I believe you can do this, I really do. And in going back to school you're proving to yourself and to ED that he/she/it is NOT going to hold you back anymore.
    Go get em!

    Rachael*

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  11. you are going to have a great year!! Focus of school, health, new freindships! <3
    love you xo

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  12. I am so happy for you, proud of you and have so much faith in you! Congratulations!!!!

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  13. I am so proud of you for fighting for what you want! It is going to be wuite a ride being back, but you are clearly a trouper and you will learn so much. Congrats. Stay strong and optimistic. You are amazing.

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  14. yayayayayayay!! i'm so glad that you're going back to school :) you can do ANYTHING!

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  15. ahhhh this is so fantastic!! i'm so happy for you. i'm so happy you can dive back into your life. i think you've proven your determination to really do this - to recover, to live, to return to independence. huge congrats to you!

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  16. i'm glad you decided to go back. eons ago when i was a freshman in college, i debated taking time off from school (for different reasons) and am so glad i stuck it through. best of luck to you!

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  17. You can do it. I know you can! Here's to a beautiful new year!

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  18. This is so exciting!! :) I'm so glad for you!

    <3 <3

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  19. YES!!!!!!! Rebecca I am so so thrilled for you. I can tell that you are 100% commited to staying healthy while you are at school, and this is so exciting that you have the opportunity to show your parents and doctors how strong you are.

    I am in a similar position as you now - that I have convinced my parents that I'm ready for school/uni, and now its time to prove myself. But as long as we stay positive, we can achieve anything :)

    I'm here with you all the way my love. Wishing you all the best!
    Hannah xo

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  20. EEEEK!! I love love love this post :) The best one yet!! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear about all the aaaaamazing things that happen!!! <3

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  21. BECCA I AM SO FUCKING PROUD OF YOU! You totally deserve this and you definitely have the strength to pull through. This is so exciting! I wish you all the best and I hope you get accepted into COPE. I've never understood that stupid rule--it seems pretty stupid and ironic. Oh well, good luck!
    Love you darling <3 Stay strong!

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  22. i am so, incredibly proud of you. i almost cried when i read this post! i truly believe that if you stick to IOP and keep up your positive attitude, you will recover and be happy. you can do it!!! don't give up & make sure you prove to your family that you are right!

    xoxo
    shelley

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  23. you did it!!!!! continue to kick ass girl

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  24. hey you! this is awesome. i can't wait to read this new chapter on the blog. i 100% agree that "normalizing" your life is a huge, very important step to aid recovery. your attitude is seriously AMAZING, & you are gonna rock this. you have my love!

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  25. Wishing you warmth and peace and hope lovely Rebecca. Take it a moment at a time. You are stronger than most people. very strong.

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  26. I just found your blog and read your story. You are an inspiration. :-) Good luck with school.

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  27. YEAH!
    You can do this, I believe in you. Please know you can contact me any time if there are things you wanna talk about or whatever:)

    Let's go for it girl, make 2010 a great year!

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

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  28. btw! :) i awarded you on my blog... :D

    http://www.prettytimepiece.wordpress.com

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  29. I've been reading for a little while but this is my first comment. I think if you believe in yoruself you will succeed. Be honest with your support about your progress though throughout the process. I hope you have a great semester!

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  30. And? And? So curious how things are going!

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

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