So I'm sitting in the lobby, the same place I sat on my first day except this time I have no room. It's my last day in Warner and I still can't believe I'm leaving. The nerves are making my stomach go nuts. I could prob throw up, but I don't want to leave Warner with people thinking I’m purging.
Warner was like an all girls summer camp for sick ladies with eating disorders either sincerely trying to get help or forced into it by a caretaker. Instead of campfires and rope courses our schedules were filled with all different forms of intensive therapy based on our past history and disorders. Our field trips were to twelve step meetings or something called "eating group" where girls who had earned it went to a restaurant with a nutritionist and tried to learn how to eat in public like a normal person. Our friendships were made through the bond of illness and cliques were formed through religion and smoke breaks. Our entertainment came from talking shit on the smoke porch to watching grown women throw tantrums and start drama only seen before in middle schools. Every day and night began and ended standing on a medicine line and every other morning started dressed in a hospital gown waiting to get weighed. There was a lot of craziness, a lot of sadness, but there was also a lot of growing and sometimes even a lot of fun. Honestly, I loved every second of it.
When it was time for me to be discharged, Rachel agreed to drive me to the airport. We both avoided dealing with the fact that I was leaving up until we arrived at the terminal. When I got out of the car she helped me take my bags out of the trunk and we could no longer pretend we were just on another outing. Both of us broke down as we hugged, scared of what it meant to not have the other by our side, scared we’d never see each other again. We made promises that we would each visit the other all of the time and even talked about living together some day. Rachel, and the community of women which whom I had shared the last couple of months with, had become such a huge part of my life and my healing process. We had such a strong connection. We understood and supported each other in ways none of us had ever felt before and now I was leaving. Back to a place where I was unsure of almost all of my friendships and where I had been harboring a ridiculous unrequited obsession for five years on a guy who was currently a heroin addict.
I cried the entire plane ride home. Mourning everything I was leaving behind and fearing everything I was heading back to. Because of Warner, I felt, for the first time, as though I was beginning to know myself. I was able to start dealing with issues and traumas that up until this point paralyzed and embarrassed me to talk about. I began to understand my disorder, what caused it, what triggered it, and the emotions underneath it. I began to develop a relationship with my body in a way I never knew possible. I made friends who understood what I was going through because they were going through it themselves. I was given space from my life and people at home and began to recognize and understand negative relationships that I needed to deal with or get rid of. I had only just begun to touch on everything and was emotionally raw and open and not sure if I was really ready to go back home. I was embarrassed that I was going to arrive roughly the same weight I was when I had left. I was still confused by nutrition and disappointed that Warner didn’t focus enough on weight loss for the people who needed it, i.e. me. I had a confidence in what I had learned emotionally, but deep down I still didn’t trust myself. I needed more time. I needed more guidance. I was terrified.
When I got off the plane at JFK my fears subsided a bit as soon as I saw my dad. He told me everything about me seemed and looked lighter and I agreed. Despite my weight I had unloaded some crap in Florida and I no longer carried it around with me. During the car ride to meet my mom for dinner I told him about all of the crazy life changing experiences I had just been through. The more I talked about Warner the more I started to feel how much I had changed. The more I felt how much I had changed the more I felt like maybe I could do this. Maybe I was ready to be home.