I failed to gain the prescribed weight. The penalty: Extension.
“Abby, it’s for your own good,” Keri had tried to console me when we hung up with my parents. “And it’s only thirty days. You’ve already been here twice that long. It will go quickly.”
“You’ve said that a million times about a million things,” I stormed at her. “And it’s always when you are telling me something I don’t want to hear. My parents don’t want me to come home and you know it.”
“That’s not true. In fact, it’s expensive for you to continue to stay at Remuda. They’re doing this because they love you.
“The chances of you relapsing, of never achieving a healthy weight are extremely high if you leave now. It would be twice as hard to eat 3500 calories a day at home in your normal environment. By waiting a little longer and sending you home at a maintenance weight, I can be more sure that you will work your aftercare program. By the way, let’s talk about that.”
Keri and I mapped out a thorough aftercare program. I interviewed half a dozen therapists over the phone. Finally, I settled on Hoyt Morris, an eating disorder specialist in Edmond, Oklahoma. He also led a support group and worked with a reputable dietician.
I tied up a lot of loose ends in those extra 30 days. On May 7th, I boarded a plane bound for Oklahoma, still one pound shy of my goal.
“I can do it, I promise!” I had begged and bargained.
Against his better judgment, willingly ignoring all my past failed promises, Dad agreed that I should come home. The whole family welomed me at the airport.
“Welcome home, Abby!” Rachelle shouted waving a sign decorated in pink and green crayon.
I spotted Jennifer first as I came down the ramp. Even though summer had yet to char the earth with Oklahoma’s annual drought, her skin was already deeply bronzed from hours of outdoor play. Dad was next to her, hard to miss at his height and wearing a black and orange Ditch Witch ball cap.
The generous, happy reception drew the attention of everyone near our gate. Anorexic thoughts flickered in the back of my mind.
Are they doing this all for show? Do I look bloated? I wonder what Mom’s planning for dinner, will it fit my exchanges?
I banished the intrusive thoughts. Canned, one-liners of truth, my new tools of recovery, were all I had to fight back.
I am loved by God and my family.
I’m beautiful just the way I am.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
The last one I had known forever. It was only truth I actually believed. The road ahead was long, my ambition to stay well, still shaky.
But I knew that Christ was in me. I knew that He was going to have to do this because I still wasn’t sure I wanted to.