Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cutting the Strings- Part 2

A Fond Farewell

Creating Healthy Boundaries

Goofing and taking illegal pics during a Renfrew visit-
I love and will miss them terribly !
About a week ago I reported that I literally cut the strings, the string bracelets, that I had collected and adorned during my time in treatment. Although I had physically cut the strings I had not acted accordance with my behavior. I continued to visit friends in treatment, stay in contact with treatment friends, and allowed my mind to stay in that world. I have been thinking a lot about what I needed to do to create healthy boundaries for myself. I can't move on with my life at school if I constantly have my foot in the door of The Renfrew Center and other treatment facilities I have stayed at. I told myself that I had cut ties and was ready to move on but I was only lying to myself. Even though I removed the bracelets I had not eliminated the attachment I felt to those places that have saved me and brought me great comfort in times of need. Unfortunately I currently have 6 friends in treatment at Renfrew right now and I felt it was my obligation as a friend to visit them as much as I could. It's so confusing for me because I want to be a good friend but visiting causes an issue for me. It keeps me in that world. It makes treatment seem appealing and almost like a valid lifestyle. But in my heart of hearts I know it is not and that is not where I want to be or spend the rest of my life. It's time to let go and move on. So over the past week I have connecting with friends and telling them that I may disappear for a while because I need space and time to reflect and reevaluate my wants and life. Yesterday was the final step- It was my last visit to Renfrew (not forever but for a while at least.) It was not a healthy place for me to be spending time. Seeing the patients made me feel insecure and I found myself comparing my body with theirs. And spending time there, feeling like a member of the community, was prohibiting me from discovering a life in the "real world." I went yesterday to say good-bye- good-bye to my friends, good-bye to the treatment center that has become a safe space for me, and mostly good-bye to the treatment world that I can no longer be a part of. It was a difficult and fond farewell. I knew how monumental it was and I nearly began to cry. I said good-bye to a friend from Kuwait who I may never see again. But I really said good-bye to an era of my life that it is time to let go of. When I initially left treatment in late January I told myself that I would only stay in touch with the few that I had things in common with besides treatment and our eating disorders. I stayed true to my word for a while but as time passed I allowed other people to permeate this boundary and enter my life. As I let more and more people I became entrenched in both my eating disorder as well as the world and community that I inherited the day I stepped into Renfrew for the first time 2 years ago. As school begins again and my world at Penn begins to return I have realized that in order to live my life here at school the other life needs to go, for good. It's sad, hard, and painful but necessary. We can live in multiple worlds within the same life but some worlds just don't work together and when that happens we need to choose which world we want to remain a member of. I am choosing the world of Penn and life in the "real world" or "outside." The quote I have chosen for today is about the magnitude of making a choice for ourselves- 

What will your response or choice be?
“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn't matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.” 

- Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

Today I want us to reflect on the choices we have made or the ones we need to make in our daily lives. Clare and I both admit that making these choices is not necessarily easy and can in fact be difficult. But the fact that you are able to make a definitive choice and go with it is what counts and deserves positive attention. When we are able to overcome the back and forth, the battle within our own minds and decide what is best for us we are victorious. Floundering and being indecisive in life is building a long road to no where. If you can make choice, decide what you want and where you want to go you have already won half the battle. Once you know what your goal is you can actually get started on achieving it. For me it was a choice between two worlds- the world of eating disorders and the world of the living. What choices are you juggling today? Is there a way for the two options to work simultaneously or do you need to choose one and abandon the other? You can weigh the pros and cons or you can feel with you heart what you think is best. Some choices are more inclined to be made with the heart rather than with the rational mind. Of course once the choice has been made the second guessing comes in- Have I made the right choice? What would have happened if I did something differently? My advice is once you have made a choice do your best to stick with it. Stop the vacillating and the second guessing. My your choice and go for it! I am still feeling sad about the choice I needed to make but I am not second guessing myself- I know it was the necessary choice. I am hurting and did hurt others by the decision I made? Probably, but they understand that I need to create healthy boundaries in order to continue on and lead a healthy and happy life. Health and happiness are indispensable- I urge to make whatever choice you must in order to achieve both.

Confidently choose what's best for you today and always,


  1. Your are truly remarkable!!!! This is the best advice I have received in a long time. Boy did I need it! This is one of your best. Please don't stop. Thanks.

  2. I am forever afraid of making the wrong decision. Thank you so much for this lesson in bravery!!

  3. Thank you do much for this entry! I too have been struggling with hanging onto a few people from renfrew but like you, I really think its time to let them go and along with them, all ties to renfrew.
    Thank you again!

  4. I FEEL so much better about myself already. Thanks to you I finally told my exhusband I didn't want to see him anymore. He thought it was okay to continue to visit after the divorce and I let him. NO MORE!!!! Thanks to you I have created a boundary and I really like myself.

    You are so wise.