Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Honesty. Openmindedness. Willingness.


Honesty.
Openmindedness.
Willingness.


Three of favorite words.

With the exception of about three people, not including my parents, most of you think I have spent the past month at my old eating disorder treatment center for a "booster." Meaning my weight was down a few pounds and old self-destructive thoughts were creeping their way back into my life. Which is only partially true.

Here it goes... I was in a three week program for substance abuse here in my hometown. Some of you might be thinking, "omg, finally," and some of you might be a little surprised.

Both are okay. 

With this decision brought the loss of my senior year internship, giving up my apartment, the end of a relationship that brought several joys to my recovery, and several other raised eyebrows.  To say I was lost and in complete shock is an understatement. Here's the thing about entering substance abuse treatment as someone who has only indulged in wine - I've never done drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I've never even seen weed in real life (giggles allowed). Most of my fellow patients had done time in jail or lost their kids as a result to hard drugs. I was out of place and struggling.

I never took the program seriously.

Here I am a week out of treatment wishing I could go back.
Wishing I could have a re-do.
Wishing I could take advantage rather than spite the people around me.
Wishing I wasn't so damn judgmental.

Forgive me, but I've always had a stereotype of what it means to be a drug addict, regardless of my social work background. Regardless of the fact that I have struggled with a behavioral addiction (anorexia) for most of my life. Who am I to judge these people?

On one of my first days we learned the acronym HOW.

Honestly.
Openmindedness.
Willingness.

There were several nights when staff members asked if I had opened up and begun accepting the program. In all honestly, I usually rolled my eyes and questioned how I could even fit in with these people, let alone get "on board with the program." I had been through treatment before, done this work, and was a little insulted they didn't understand I wasn't a hardcore drug addict. Deep down I probably knew I needed to be there, but my acceptance level was zero.

Here I am one week out of treatment and wishing I could move back in. I might have said and done the right things to get out, but it did me zero good in the long run. Even though I grew up in an upper-middle class family and had all of my needs met, I still belonged there. I was no different than anyone there.

Honestly - I am an addict. Whether I use an eating disorder or wine to numb the craziness in my brain, I'm still an addict.

Openmindness - During my first week in the treatment center, all I could focus on was my judgments. I'm sure everyone in the house hated me for this, but it's true. If I am an addict, who am I to judge anyone who has dealt with relationship, professional, or even legal problems who is also an addict?
Not cool, Kels.

Willingness - Here's the big one. Am I truly and deeply willing to accept who I am as an addict and those around me for the wonderful human beings they are? Yikes. Seems like a loaded question. The willingness to accept myself as a part of this family?! One day at a time.

This is a difficult post, but much needed. 

Hi I'm Kelsi, and I'm an alcoholic.

I hate those words, but they are part of me and my future.

The most important part of any AA meeting is the newcomer. So here I am...

Willing and ready.


Serious Progress.



19 comments:

  1. Kelsi! I am so happy to see you writing again! I love reading your blog. You being able to "call yourself out" is very powerful. I'm not sure how many people could say that to themselves. I wish you all the strength in your process and am here if you need anything! Although your year is now different than planned, I am still positive you are going to make it a good one! Keep writing, it makes me want to write too!! :) -Nina

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    1. Nina! I miss you so much! Best of luck with your senior year internship. Your willingness to finish this tough time while grieving is so inspirational. Love you, always! <3

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    2. Thank you Kelsi! It means a lot :) Love you too!! <3

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  2. I can imagine how difficult this was to write... never mind sharing it. I give you a lot of credit for doing so because I still have so much shame attached to my eating disorder and struggles in general that I admire the strength you have in putting it out there. One day at a time... one hour at a time if you need to.

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    1. Thanks for the comment. Hang in there, okay? One day at a time!! Xoxoxo

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    1. So good to see you recently. Addiction hits all of us in different ways. Love you!

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  4. I have so much respect for you with this post and how you continue to choose to take on the challenges in your life. Stumbling is part of everyone's journey, but not everyone manages to use it as a lesson to move forward, one wee little shuffle at a time. Big hugs.

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  5. Kelsi - I just broke down in tears reading this post. I can't even come to admit to myself I'm struggling and still identify with all my previously disordered behaviours, nonetheless find the courage to do so on such a public platform. While the difficulty may have been huge, I'm sure the reward was also. Thank you, as always, for being such an incredible inspiration and gently reminding me reality must be faced, no matter how hard I try to hide. Thank you so much for your candor and your humility. You have a beautiful, caring soul, and I respect you so so so much. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for every word. <3

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    1. Admitting these things to ourselves is the hardest part. You will get there when you are ready. It's nice to hear from you, Chels! Hang in there!

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    1. All I can think to write is.. I'm sorry.
      I hope you are well, Morg. <3

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    2. i tried contacting you. no reply.

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  7. Honesty, open-mindedness, willingness. And as others said...candor and humility. Tough journey. But not having secrets lightens the load, even if only a little. It also does others an immense amount of good to read a blog from a real person, dealing with real human issues. So much of our world is illusion.

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  8. Hi Kelsi, It is wonderful that you went to the room. Yes, new comers are the most important people because otherwise, the program would die. So much courage to step into the room. We all know it, and that's why we welcome them to our home! Keep moving forward. Love,

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    1. Always nice to hear from you. Keep emailing!

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