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Hope springs eternal

Today in treatment has been relatively easy. If that is the case, why do I yearn to go home so badly? I didn’t have any individual therapy today, and that was good. It was all group therapy and we could simply fade into the background. The food is getting harder, what we once thought conquered and could even assert we no longer had an eating disorder. Now, the urges are stronger than ever to hide food or cut corners or take any opportunity to shave off calories. Our body size was tolerable if only a month ago; now it has grown grotesque again, even though our weight has declined. I take no real or authentic pleasure in this controlled demise. This is not what I had in mind for treatment, but it seems that we’ve let certain behaviors back in and not been honest. Self-harm was usually about relief or feeling alive; today, putting the cigarette out on the arm, watching the flame on the end cauterize the tender flesh, was punitive. It was act of punishment. But for what I don’t know. The images come after me as I write this. The neighbor, the hill, the garage, the laundry room. Stirring up the abuse has ignited the fire of our self-destruction, but we are in a treatment center to stop abusing ourselves.

I saw a great quote the other day that reminds me of the behavior in which we are engaged. It stated simply: If you commit suicide, you are killing the wrong person. It is trite and banal, but it caught my attention. And tomorrow I will have to do what I don’t want: confess the struggles to our residential T.

I look at my arm. It looks pathetic, sick, scarred, and injured from burning it. But seeing the fresh wounds only makes me want to hurt myself more. I don’t understand.

Yet how interesting that someone wrote in the journal earlier that we have no problems and don’t need to be in treatment period, much less residential treatment. We haven’t been home in seven months and what have we accomplished? My heavy heart confesses we are really no better. We will return to school, to work, and to every stress we had before, but we don’t feel any better equipped to handle life. Are we permanently damaged goods? Will we be debilitated forever?

We have snack in nine minutes. How can we get out of it? I’m ashamed of the thought. There is anger and hatred directed at this body. It will not be inhibited.

I digress. There is still the faintest glimmer of hope. Why do I still hope when all evidence points to our vast and generous failures? I don’t know anything but that I should give up entirely and without question or judgement. But I’m holding on to hope with everything I can… at least when my hand is not on the proverbial gun. I have to hope that we can accomplish something better than achieving madness. We’ve already done that brilliantly. Now it’s time to hope. Hope springs eternal – Alexander Pope

Victoria (The Woman with the Words)

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