Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

relapse? i think not



My jewelry for the previous ten days


So these bracelets were my jewelry for the past few days.  The red band had my allergies on it at one point, but it only took two showers to wash off the permanent marker.  The nurses didn’t seem to concerned about that.

Hospital bracelets???? “But I thought you were recovered?” I can hear (some of) you saying.

Yup.  Still recovered.  But I’ve written before that just because you recover from an eating disorder, life isn’t going to be all peaches and roses.  It’s going to be real–which means that sometimes it’s going to be hell.

I am Bipolar, Type 1.  (The Type 1 bit means that one of my manic episodes included a psychotic break.)  And I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  And was recently diagnosed with ARVD.  And even though I was doing all that I was supposed to be doing, the depression kept getting worse.  And although I wasn’t suicidal, the thoughts of self-harm were increasing in number and strength.  My psychiatrist and I decided I needed to do a med change, and that it would be best to do so quickly rather than gradually, which meant that I had to be inpatient so that someone could watch for side effects.  And because of my heart, they needed to do an EKG every morning to see if the medication was more harmful than helpful.

It was a short stay.  10 days.  As my brother said, “You’re getting smarter as you get older.”  I went in before things got ugly.  I went in before I hit rock bottom.  I went in while the primary focus could be on a med change rather than putting me on a 1:1 for physical safety.

I did question whether or not I should have gone in.  My goal was not to be hospitalized for anything again, save when they replace my ICD every few years.  And I couldn’t help but wonder if I could have held up on my own.  But here’s my conclusions:  it would have been much easier to stay curled up on my bed than go into an environment I have come to avoid and rather hate.  It would have been easier to give in to the urges to cut than to say, “I don’t want to do that ever again and I’ve got a good clean streak going and I’m not going to break it but I need help in doing so.”

Simply put, it would have been easier to not ask for help.

Now?  The depression isn’t gone, or even that much better.  I haven’t even been on the new meds a week.  But I’m calmer.  I have plans set in place.  I know what I need to do.  And these last two things have always made a difference in my outlook.

My outlook is pretty damn good right now.  Which it wasn’t before the hospitalization.  And maybe that’s reason enough for me to have gone in.



October 27, 2009 - Posted by | coping, recovery, self harm, therapy | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I wondered where you’d been. Glad you’re back and healthier!

    Comment by Beth | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  2. Glad your ok. I’m going in to fix stuff from ED in 23 days. At least it’s not life threatening, but it’s the first time I’ve been in the hospital or even out before. I’m scared out of my mind about it and it’s just an out patient thing. I can’t imagine 10 days.

    Be better!

    Comment by David | October 27, 2009 | Reply

    • David, I’m so glad that you’re going into treatment. I understand that you are scared out of your mind; I think anyone who realizes what they’re going to be up against is scared. I always say, “If you’re not scared, something’s wrong.” You’re scared because you will be asked to let go of the security blanket you have held onto for so long. You’re not just going to drop it overnight; it will be a process. But if you stick with it, and if you trust your team, you will get there if you want to. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of trusting your team to let you know when you are ready to do what. For the first 5 IP stays for my ED, I tried to call the shots, but I always ended up back IP eventually. The last time in, I told the doctor that he had total control. I ended up staying longer than I had planned, but I know I’ll never have to go back.

      Do you mind me asking where you are going?

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | October 27, 2009 | Reply

      • Not going inpatient. I have to have some surgery to repair the damages of years of binge eating. My ED is under control, my team is very happy with the progress I’m making. I could have used IP maybe 12 years ago when my ED first got out of control, but back then, well guys didn’t get ED’s and there were no real treatment centers for guys.

        Thanks for your concern though.

        Comment by david | October 27, 2009

  3. I’m happy to hear you’re calmer, more settled on the things you need to do. And it’s good that you went into the hospital to prevent other things that could have happened had you not gone in.

    Comment by SK | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. Glad that you’re back. I’ve been missing your posts!

    Comment by Katie | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  5. Alexis, I am so so so glad to see this post. I am doing something similar. Although I may have come CLOSE to hitting rock bottom the other night, I am currently on a waiting list for a good women’s inpatient program (for mental health, not ED…although ED is rearing it’s ugly head now, saying “well, you gave up, I’m back to save you”) and I can do this waiting from the comfort of my own home, instead of from the bed of a less comfortable hospital on Constant Observation.

    Sometimes I do think we lead parallel lives ❤
    Please let's talk sometime.

    Comment by Jess K | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  6. hey alexis. hadn’t read your blog in a while. i’m proud of you. i think something is in the air, because after a very long time, i’m heading back into the land of therapy and meds. i know it’s not the same, but i am glad to hear you are taking care of yourself.

    Comment by heather | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  7. So glad you sought the help. Hope all is well.

    Comment by Kristin | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  8. I like your brother’s comment!

    Comment by slzu | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  9. Good for you for seeking help before things got too bad. I hope the new meds will help, and that you are back on the road to good health very soon!
    Take care:)

    Comment by Angel | October 27, 2009 | Reply

  10. We are really proud of you, L. You did the right thing. It was inspiring to know you were taking the right steps, even though they’re not the easy or fun ones to take, and able to recognize when you needed a safe place. I hope, in the future, if I should be in a similar position, I’m capable of making the same good choices.

    Comment by Neesha/Dustin | October 28, 2009 | Reply

  11. I didn’t know about this, I’m sorry things have been rougher lately. Proud of you for being so self-aware and wise by looking out for yourself before things got worse.

    Comment by janie | October 28, 2009 | Reply

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