I just completed my fourth week on the day program and wanted to provide an update on how my week/treatment has been going.
Therapy with A
I had a very difficult conversation with my therapist A on Monday about terminating our therapy sessions. While I feel that it was incredibly supportive when I was distressed state and awaiting for more intensive support, I don't feel like we are getting anywhere. It feels like a bit of a dead end. I think as I am receiving this treatment via the NHS, and for that I am incredibly grateful, I find it difficult to say what I think does and does not work. So the fact that this isn't working is partly my responsibility. Plus being a notorious people pleaser does not help in this situation. So while I went into the session planning on making it our last session, I now have one scheduled in for Monday coming. I am not very good at this!
On Wednesday I was seen in ward round, where I received some very positive comments from my treatment team. Who said that are really happy with my progress and how much I am engaging in the program, which was so nice to hear. I did ask for some feedback, but I want to make sure that any changes they think I could make to progress my recovery that I can start doing! Overall it was quite positive. We spent the majority of the time discussing how one to one therapy could help me more. My consultant is concerned that unless we deal with the emotional issues of my eating disorder, that I will eventually return back to restricting and losing weight to help me cope with these feelings. While this may seem negative to others, I was grateful that professionals were acknowledging that it isn't just about the practical elements but I need more emotional support. They also mentioned that my weight gain had slowed down, after the horrors of the "massive" increase in the first week (my words no theirs), and that I would need to discuss increasing my meal plan in my dietetic appointment.
So the next day I attended my dietitian appointment, where A informed me as I was not gaining sufficient weight to meet the minimum required amount for the program I would need a meal plan increase. We decided on increasing my breakfast, morning snack and afternoon snack. A said we would address my dinners next when we need to increase my meal plan again. I have found this quite anxiety provoking, I know it needs to be done. I am trying to push through the feelings. On Tuesday I had my first full on panic attack at lunch time, but I have definitely learnt how to manage my anxiety better. I still ate everything that was required and completed my lunch. Skipping my meal plan and not completing food does not seem like an option this time, I think my mind-set is in a much head space this time in recovery.
For those who are not familiar with the NHS, it is the UK's free healthcare service. So my therapist appointments have been provided by the NHS, but this means the length of support provided is limited. I am given 20 sessions, but this means that this will come to an end soon. Part of my relapse was not having sufficient support in place. I looked into a private therapist, but they can be incredibly expensive. However, I found a few who were reasonably priced, had a background in treating eating disorders and were within an appropriate distance for me to travel on a weekly basis even when I return to work. I attended my first therapy appointment with a new therapist, Z, I feel like the appointment went well and that there was a good connection, but I also know it is very hard to judge from just one session. However, I have gone to one session and know that it is definitely not going to work!
The red velvet muffin
As part of my treatment program, the Occupational Therapist, C, will take the patients every fortnight on an activity called snack, shop and cook. It is pretty self-explanatory, we have morning snack together in a local coffee establishment, do a food shop and then cook lunch together. The idea is to challenge yourself and learn to take responsibility for your own food.
We went for snack at an independent coffee shop which I have frequented before, they do great coffee and always use whole milk which I am all for! I knew on my new plan, a good cereal bar and whole milk latte would suffice, but instead with the support of C, I instead chose what I wanted. Not what was easy, but what I wanted. This is huge for me! The fact I willing chose something I would enjoy and was yes higher in calories, but why would I not choose something out of the lovely bakery section. I enjoy cake and chocolate and I refuse to not admit it to my fellow patients anymore! I know when I have been in treatment before I have felt ashamed for not picking the "healthy" options, but the way I see it, if I have to eat and gain weight I might as well have food enjoy. So I had a red velvet muffin and a white Americano. I didn't ask for lower fat milk in my coffee, I just had what I was given and do you know what it was the perfect, most delicious morning snack!
Not the actual muffin - credit goes too this website! It was not a situation where I could whip out my phone and take a picture. Although mine did have little sugar hearts on top!
So that has been my week. I am anxious about the weekend, especially with my larger meal plan, but feeling a lot more positive then I have last and this week, where my feelings have been hopefulness and low. I am now going to have a shower, get dressed and have morning snack!
I am wishing you all a very happy and lovely weekend :)