- Sara Mann
I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve blogged! (Two weeks whoops!) It’s been a crazy couple of weeks though and I thought I would share a little bit of what has been going on!
One of my biggest fears during recovery has been moving. My husband has a job that when you take on a new role, you move. So far his job has taken us to New York City and then Washington D. C. Typically we would stay in these places for three to five years and then move along. My recovery threw a bit of a curve ball into this trajectory and we have been in D.C. for about six years. When I entered treatment the one thing I asked was that we not move until I was recovered. This went over like a lead balloon, but the truth is, I NEEDED to recover from my eating disorder and it takes time, support and a strong team to do so. At this point we also were a bit naive and thought it would only take me a year or two to recover. Well, here we are, year three and I’m aaaaaalmost there, but I can’t say I’m fully recovered yet. My body is still healing. My weight is slowly starting to go back to normal. My mind still has it’s ups and downs. I can see the end in sight, but still have a lap or so to finish.
During my recovery my husband has turned down many job offers. Most of them had us moving, and the truth is, I just wasn’t in a place where I could leave my team yet. I have a dietician, therapist, doctors, support group and more that I truly depended on to help me get through each week. I wasn’t strong enough myself and I knew a move would throw me into a relapse. So, the hubs continued to turn down jobs and I continued to recover and you can imagine how hard this was on us. The pressure I felt to recover quickly so that we could move for his career was actually pretty overwhelming and left me in a constant state of stress. The resentment that he had for me holding him back was very real and yet another aspect of recovery that I’ve yet to talk a lot about, but is true none-the-less.
You might be thinking, “Sara, what’s the big deal? There are therapists, dietitians, and doctors everywhere!” Well, that’s true, but my recovery has been so difficult health-wise and very different then “normal,” so working with a team that knows what is going on with me is a must. I’ve been burned many many times throughout recovery trying to find a new doctor that truly understands anorexia, the healing process and how to treat a person in recovery. There are dietitians everywhere that claim they work with eating disorders, but then you walk into their office and all of a sudden they are talking calories, giving you a meal plan, passing judgement and talking about food in a way that we have desperately been trying to unlearn. I’ve gone to doctors that took one look at my weight and assumed I ate too much, when in reality it was the exact opposite and my body was just healing. Finding a team is VERY difficult. Which is sad and maybe a blog topic for another day! It’s also the main reason I did not want to move while recovering. I had found a great team and I needed them to help me see this thing through.
Fast forward to now, things have changed drastically. I found a new specialist to work with, and after following her treatment plan for three months, my swelling is almost gone, my body is starting to slowly lose the overshoot weight, I have energy again, I’m allowed to start working out, my labs for the first time came back and my malnutrition and absorption is WAY better, I have hope and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel! Other then my weight and some swelling here and there I’m starting to feel like myself again! So much so that I kind of came to a place where recovery didn’t need my full attention anymore. (I’m going to write a blog about this in the next couple of weeks). I felt like I could get back to living a bit and just allow my body to continue to heal and go back to normal. This also meant that I finally looked at my husband, and after a lot of prayer, realizing I’m in a better place, and that I could do this and finish this recovery process, I told him I was willing to move for his job.
So, pretty much right away a job popped up that he really wanted and after we talked about all the different angles of what it would be like to move, how I would continue to recover if he got the job etc etc. he applied. The whole process took a couple of months, but in the end, he got the job!
Soooo, WE ARE MOVING TO OHIO!
For those of you who don’t actually know me/us you might be thinking….Ohio??….really??? Well, we are both originally from Ohio and it’s also where the headquarters are located for my husbands job. Over the years we have talked about moving back to Ohio. I’ve always been pretty hesitant. There are a lot of reasons why, but to be honest, I’ve become a bit of a city girl! For the past eleven years I’ve lived in the city. I’m use to the hustle and bustle and pace of the city. I love it!
I think another reason I have been hesitant to move back was that I’ve moved on. I felt like if I move back to Ohio I have to be friends with all the same people as before, go to all the same places, see all the same things and I have just changed so much I really didn’t want to feel trapped. On the other hand, my family is there and there are things about Ohio that I absolutely love! I’m ready to own a house and not live in a townhouse that costs a bajillion dollars. I’m ready for privacy and a slower pace. I’m ready for nicer people and less stress. It’s seemed like it was time.
So, how will this effect my recovery and what the heck is my plan?!?!
I’m not gunna lie, I’m a little nervous! I feel like I’m about to jump out of a plane with a parachute on and see if all the skills I’ve learned, treatment I’ve had and work I’ve done will carry me nicely to my landing spot or if I will fall fast and hard and smack the ground with a relapse. I’m going to go out on a limb and say, I think I’ll be OK. I am one strong cookie and I’ve made it WAY too far to go back now. Plus, I’m not a moron….I’ve created a plan with my team to ensure my success or at least keep me on track until the end!
First of all, I’m moving near family. It’s not official yet, but we are in the middle of buying a house, that is veeeery close to my family. This is pretty crucial for me because my husbands new job will have him traveling a few days a week and I need to be around people not only for accountability but also to keep from being isolated. It’s also crucial because I still need support! I’m not recovered yet and this way my family can keep a close eye and let me know if they are seeing anything I need to check myself on.
Second, during the first few months of my move I will be doing Skype or phone sessions with my dietician and my therapist from DC. This way I’m not just peacing out with no real support. They know me VERY well and if something comes up they can help me process through it quickly, effectively and keep me on track.
Third, I’ve already found a new dietician in Ohio that is wonderful and after a couple of months I will be transferring over to her. She is a health at every size dietician and I spoke to her for about an hour already. She understands recovery well and will be talking with my current dietician to understand my recovery even better! What’s crazy is I have actually been following this dietician on instagram for a while and she is amazing! Another amazing thing is she accepts insurance! WHAT?!?! If you are in the recovery community you know that this is a rare gem. Finding a good dietician that truly understands and works with eating disorders that takes insurance…..God is DEFINITELY looking out for me.
Fourth, I’m sticking with my doctor from DC. We met this week and I told her I was moving and much to my relief she said, “No problem!” We will have Skype appointments and she can order all my labs in Ohio and I can drive or fly in when we need to have a big meeting. She has helped me SO much and I finally have a doctor I trust that I’m just not willing to give her up yet. I’m so grateful for how advanced we are with technology that it makes it possible of me to continue to be treated by my specialist even though I’m going to live hundreds of miles away.
Fifth, and honestly this one should have been the first, I’ll get plugged in at a church and start serving. I’ve found over the past three years in recovery, that the number one thing that keeps me on track, is connecting with God and serving others. It’s a deep value of mine that trumps any eating disorder thought or behavior that comes my way. It keeps me from being isolated and protects me from relapse. I’m actually excited to find a new place to serve and connect!
Last, although I have to leave my support group here, I’m hoping that I will find a new one after I move. To be honest, I’ve been thinking and praying about starting my own group at my new house. So, if you are in the Cleveland area and are interested in a support group, contact me! I probably won’t start it right away, but definitely within a couple of months after we move!
So I’ve shared my plan, and so far it sounds like this is all going to be wonderful and I am set up for success! Except, I haven’t shared my fears. What would a blog be if I didn’t share the REAL side of a situation?! So, here it goes….
I’m afraid to be seen.
There, I said it. My number one biggest fear about moving is that I will have to see people. We are moving back to the area I grew up in and there is about an 100000000% chance that every time I go anywhere I will see someone I know. This terrifies me. I mean it. I’ve lost sleep thinking about this. I feel a deep sense of dread any time I think of running into someone. Why? My weight! Literally that’s it. I’m confident in who I am. I love what I do for my job. I know exactly my worth and am proud of myself for how far I’ve come in that area, but dang it, I hate my weight. I am substantially heavier then I’ve ever been and I’m embarrassed about it. I know I don’t have any control over it. I know it’s my body healing. I know I have actual health issues that my body is going through, but dang it if it doesn’t make me want to hermit in my new house and avoid the chance of someone seeing me.
I know I know, everyone will say, “But Sara, your weight doesn’t matter!” Ugh, get real people. I’ve been around people for 35 years. People talk, people judge, people can be MEAN. Every time I see someone I have to wonder what they are thinking and it gets to me. Every. Single. Time. “Wow, she let herself go.” “Did you see Sara, she has really put on the L.B’s” “What happened to her?” “Whoa, she got fat.” Sadly, these are the thoughts that flood my mind any time I see someone. Granted, these people have ZERO knowledge of what I’m going through, and I remind myself of that every time. But If I said it didn’t get to me, I’d be lying.
The good news is I’ve been pretty public about my recovery at this point, so if someone see’s me and doesn’t know that I’ve recovering from anorexia then it will take them a quick social media search to see what’s up.
The other good news is while this is my biggest fear, I will NEVER allow it to consume me. I may be slow to see people I haven’t seen in a while, and I might not be as social as I use to be, but in the end I always work through the fear and move forward. I will not allow people’s judgments of my weight while I recover stop me from enjoying my life. Will I set some limits when I think it might have a negative impact on my recovery? Sure will! But over all I am determined to stand strong and love myself no matter what size I am. I am determined to fully recover and dang it I can do that in DC AND in Ohio or anywhere else for that matter!
Another thing that gives me peace is I’m 100% sure that God is with me wherever I go and that moving to Ohio was a God thing. I don’t want to write a novel today, but there were too many coincidences and too many things that just fell into place for me to not believe this is exactly where God wants me. I’m not sure how yet but I know he will continue to heal me and guide me through recovery and use me in a really cool way in Ohio. I’m confident in the next year I will be recovered, my body will be back to normal and I will be thriving! I’m excited to have a house. One where my neighbors are not on the other side of a the wall. I’m excited to plant a garden and renovate my new kitchen. I’m excited to be near family and watch my niece and nephews ball games. I’m excited to finish my recovery in a new place and honestly, I’m REALLY excited for the snow!
So, Ohio, here we come!
- Sara -