“Can I really trust my treatment team?” This was a looming thought during my time in intensive outpatient treatment for an eating disorder.
As a perfectionist, I had a very rigid set of guidelines on how I lived my life. I wanted to fit treatment into this routine without having to make any adjustments.
But I quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work that way. In order for treatment to work, you have to treat it like a full-time job.
Trusting the treatment team means giving up control.
Give up control? No way, no how.
I’m not the kind of person who can trust that others will do what is best for me. I have always struggled with letting others help me, especially when it comes to my health.
I firmly believed I knew what my body needed, not these strangers. What I failed to realize was, while I was new to the battle against eating disorders. My treatment team was not.
Recognizing this doesn’t mean that giving up control was easy. I cried after almost every session with my dietitian.
Every session I was heard things that I thought were “unfair,” “unnecessary” or “too extreme.”
If I was putting on weight, why couldn’t I be active at all? Once I hit my target weight, why did I have to keep drinking supplements? As long as I was meeting my exchanges at every meal, why did it matter that I was eating the same things most days? In my mind, my treatment team just didn’t understand.
But then I stepped back and realized something: they do understand.
They’re the professionals. And while you may not think this at the time, every decision they make is made with your health in mind.
Trust your treatment team is for you, not against you
My dietitian wasn’t “out to get me” or trying to get me to live a sedentary life for the rest of my life. She was focusing on my physical health, making sure I was at a place where I could implement exercise without compromising all the progress I had made so far. She wanted to make sure I could maintain my weight and my progress before adding in another variable or subtracting supplements.
Everyone will struggle with hearing different things from their team. Some recommendations were easy for me to try out. Others were so difficult that I found myself only able to challenge myself while under the supervision of my team.
And that’s okay.
Recovery is a process with many different components.
You can be smooth sailing in one area but capsized in another. Your treatment team is there to help you fix your ship and get it back on track.
Listen, but speak up too
While I do believe it is important to fully trust your team, I also think it is important to express your concerns or confusions to them.
If you are hesitant about a recommendation, ask them why they are recommending this to you.
Blind trust is hard, but sometimes in recovery you just have to close your eyes, trust the process and keep pushing forward.