My perspective of inpatient treatment.

by Elizabeth on March 26, 2013

After yesterday afternoon’s post (and the risk of sounding like a crazy person), I feel like a little more information from my perspective could be helpful.

Like Joe mentioned, finding out I was pregnant was a pretty big surprise. Part of me was ecstatic because I have always wanted a big family. Although we planned on waiting a few more years, the very month prior to that we had just come home from playing with our niece and talked about how we wouldn’t mind having kids then since they are kind of awesome ;-). Whenever it happens it happens we decided. Well… okay God, don’t waste any time! Back to my story, for years I had been obsessed with the number on the scale. I had a huge fear of gaining weight and thought I was only ok if it was equal to or less than my lowest number ever. When I didn’t gain any weight the first trimester (which isn’t that uncommon, but I was already about 10 pounds behind the low end of where I needed to be, and no one had any guarantee I’d get on board on my own) I agreed to go to an inpatient facility.

Making the decision to go inpatient was sort of a relief. I knew my life was spinning out of control and it wasn’t just me I was affecting anymore. I WANTED to be normal?eat normally, exercise normally. Trying to live with an eating disorder isn’t exactly convenient or fun. I knew this would help put some new routines in place for myself and I was excited for that. I also knew in a few months I was going to have to be a lot less selfish and have something relying on me in a way I had never experienced before. I needed a change before that happened.

When I got into ERC panic set in. I was alone. In a time that’s supposed to be exciting and preparing for one of life’s greatest events (having your first baby), I was stuck in a hospital, being forced to do the things I spent years perfecting my rituals to avoid? food, being forbidden to exercise, talking about what was really going on in my head, feeling the pain I was trying to avoid. Every other patient there was on mood stabilizing medications (antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, etc.) to help deal with the immense emotions that are constantly present during a time like this. Since I was pregnant, I didn’t take anything. I can’t begin to describe to you the amount of pain I felt while I was there. Nothing in my life has ever come close to the two months I spent in Denver. After less than 24 hours of being there, I FREAKED. I knew I couldn’t stay there and HAD to get out as soon as possible. I would do anything it took, as sad as that was. I honestly thought after being there for a day, I could go home and change all of my ways. I now know that my brain wasn’t even nourished enough to think logically and make rational decisions so I try not to have a ton of guilt around things that happened there.

Like Joe said, we did get through it. It wasn’t pretty. The amount of respect I have for Joe and my family for holding their boundaries and making me stick it out can’t ever be taken away. I truly admire Joe, his maturity, and his courage for how he showed up as a husband and a dad during that time. I cry just thinking about it. No twenty two year old should be put through that but he was, and he handled it pretty flawlessly in my opinion.

We were blessed months later with the most perfect baby we could have asked for. I often wonder WHY God didn’t punish me for not doing things right when I was first pregnant. There are so many risks that come with having an eating disorder and being pregnant. But I really think God used it as an opportunity to, once again, show how magnificent his grace truly is. What I didn’t deserve I got. What I deserved I didn’t get. And isn’t that the nature of God? Just all around awesome!!! Instead of getting really focused on that guilt and shame, I try to use that experience to just be so thankful that things turned out the way they did, and going forward to be the absolute best mom and wife I can be as a way to say thank you.

Again, thanks for letting us share this part of our lives with you and for all of your continued support!

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats March 26, 2013 at 6:31 am

You are both so brave and open. Sharing your story really helps break away at the stigma of treatment and shows that there is nothing “crazy” about getting the help you need. You both do such a great job sharing these very personal stories.
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2 Michele March 26, 2013 at 6:37 am

You are both doing such a wonderful thing by sharing your story. Please know that there is nothing “crazy” about you! We all have our issues and demons, and NO ONE makes the best decision all of the time – even when it impacts someone else. Continue doing the best you can do and know that God loves you…as do all of us readers :-)
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3 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 6:55 pm

Thanks for that perspective :-) It really does help!

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4 Mallory @ ifgravityhappens March 26, 2013 at 6:51 am

You are so inspiring and brave for sharing YOUR story!!! I think it’s so important for those who struggle with an eating disorder or any type of health issue to get help, especially if pregnant or before pregnancy. That is one thing that is a benefit of struggling to get pregnant because of hypothalamic amenorrhea because you must fight those habits and behaviors so the struggle of gaining weight is a lot easier to cope with (although still hard). God blessed you with your little one to help save yourself. You are amazing Elizabeth!!!
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5 Talitha March 26, 2013 at 7:15 am

Elizabeth, thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story with people! Sometimes all it takes is for one person to be brave and speak out to save a life!

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6 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 6:56 pm

Thanks Talitha!

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7 KT March 26, 2013 at 7:22 am

Inpatient sucks, like so so so much and it’s so important to have a good support system like you did. I have also been through a lot of ED treatment and I cannot imagine going through it all (and especially not pregnancy at the same time) without my antidepressants and anxiety meds. I can’t really imagine going through life without antidepressants.

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8 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I agree it is such a hard thing to do and a solid support system is key! I’m praying for you! Thanks for taking tie to leave me a comment!

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9 Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries March 26, 2013 at 7:22 am

God sure is awesome, isn’t He?! Obviously he used your pregnancy and little Noah to help you, and even though it may have seemed like the most challenging thing in the world at the moment, it’s evident God knew what was best for you at that time. Again, thank you for sharing your story! You’re amazing lady!
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10 Karla @ myhighonlife March 26, 2013 at 8:04 am

I can’t thank you and your husband for sharing this story! While I’m no where near a full-fledge eating disorder I have a LOT of disorder thoughts regarding food and exercise. It has started to take a huge toll on my relationship (that’s otherwise flawless) with my boyfriend. I want to gain a healthier approach and not put him through what I have been. Reading your story and Joe’s perspective has been an eye-opener.

You both are amazing and your little man is so adorable! Just seeing that picture makes me smile. He was the miracle you needed :)
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11 Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy March 26, 2013 at 8:12 am

You are so awesome for coming out with your story. I had almost the same experience when I was pregnant with my first and even after birth I had to be in therapy and take antidepressants. A lot of people don’t understand the illness and that it’s something you simply can not control. I had people tell me that I was a horrible person if I could “risk” my unborn child but like you, I was sick. You are VERY VERY lucky to have found a man that understands, loves you unconditionally, and helps you through hard times. It makes you stronger.
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12 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Thanks for telling me this Ashley! It’s so helpful to hear someone else struggled through pregnancy too. I agree with you, I am so blessed to have a husband as wonderful as Joe. I couldn’t ask for a better person to share my life with.

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13 Amy N. March 26, 2013 at 8:12 am

I truly admire you and Joe being so transparent and open about your problems. So many people suffer from similar feelings (the source may be different, but the feelings are the same) and often are too ashamed to talk about them. Thank you for bringing them to the light. I’m sure you are helping many people.

God is amazing. Just as a father loves all his children and cares for all his children God loves us and cares about us all individually. He requires a lot of us, but blesses us far beyond what we deserve.
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14 [email protected] March 26, 2013 at 8:30 am

Wow. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing that. Great to see that you came out the other side a new woman (and great mom). You are amazing!
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15 Alex @ therunwithin March 26, 2013 at 8:44 am

from experience, I know the choice to stay inpatient is one that really tests you. I read through your post and his post over and over because I can relate to a lot of the pushback and final decision making. You are one strong lady and I know how tough inpatient can be, let alone while you are pregnant.
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16 Debbie @ Deb Runs... March 26, 2013 at 9:10 am

It was so good to ready your perspective to Joe’s post last night. The two of you are so open and honest with your readers, and I am sure you are helping far more people than you realize. God had a plan when he put the two of you on the same CC team; and now it shines through in your writing, and through the eyes of your beautiful little Noah!
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17 Alyssa @ See This Girl Run March 26, 2013 at 9:13 am

I respect you and Joe so much. You’re both incredible. That little Noah sure was sent from heaven when he was for a reason.
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18 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Thank you. I could not agree more Alyssa! God’s timing blows my mind over and over…

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19 [email protected] March 26, 2013 at 9:17 am

I really do admire you both for sharing! What a crazy trial. I can’t even put into words what an amazing individual you are. It was hard for you in all aspects and you pulled through.
inspiring for sure!
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20 Carly @ Snack Therapy March 26, 2013 at 9:34 am

You’re amazing, Elizabeth. Thank you so much for sharing your story <3. You have such a strong family (yourself included)!
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21 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Carly!

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22 Mendy March 26, 2013 at 9:48 am

“I truly admire Joe, his maturity, and his courage for how he showed up as a husband and a dad during that time.” Powerful statement. Truly impressive. Thank you.
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23 Holly March 26, 2013 at 9:49 am

I love that your sweet, little man is a perfect reminder EVERY DAY of what you went through, and what God carried you through. You really do have an amazing story.

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24 Emily March 26, 2013 at 10:10 am

You got exactly what you deserved, because you made a wise, rational choice to get help, get healthy, and show your babies how to live a healthy and fulilling life. We all have black stories and bumps, thank you for sharing your difficult time so we don’t feel so alone out here!
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25 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 7:03 pm

You’re not alone! Email me if I can help in any other way :-)

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26 Danica @ It's Progression March 26, 2013 at 10:54 am

I know I keep saying this, but it’s just so true–thank you for sharing this story with us. I know you’re being sincere and completely honest about it all, which I know isn’t easy to do. Your and your husband’s/family’s strength in this all is very encouraging and inspirational.

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27 Lana Lacey March 26, 2013 at 11:12 am

Elizabeth (and Joe),

Thanks for reliving that pain and hardship to help others and make them not feel so isolated in their struggle. By doing so, your suffering isn’t wasted ya know? I feel like you guys really “flesh out” Romans 8:28 – which is super encouraging. Thanks for giving credit where credit is due; Grace really is an awesome thing!

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28 Amy March 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Thanks for sharing. It was great to hear Joe’s thoughts too. You don’t sound crazy, you did what you had to do to make your son well. Its so hard for people to understand the part about being normal and the physical and emotional pain in getting well.
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29 Ashley @ OurPersonalRecords March 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for sharing! I cannot imagine how difficult all of these experiences must have been. I also cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to decide to share your story, and to give Joe the opportunity to share his side of your experiences. I applaud both of you! Noah is lucky to have such wonderful, loving parents!
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30 Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom March 26, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I don’t think you sounded “crazy” at all — in neither your nor Joe’s post. I think you behaved in a way that any human (or animal, as that’s what we are) would behave when they are trapped — you panic, and you do everything you can to stay alive. That being said, thank you again for sharing your story! It takes incredible strength and you are so so brave!
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31 Sandy March 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm

I don’t think anyone saw you as a “crazy” person but just somebody who was in need of help and struggling with all of the emotions that come along with it. It was a life changing experience for you and you pulled it together and did the right thing. That is what matters most and that you are here telling us this amazing success story of how you made it through some tough times in your life. I respect you for being such a strong and beautiful woman who survived a really tough situation. You are a true inspiration to many people who are are going through a difficult time in their life. So glad that you can talk about this…..that’s HUGE!

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32 Amanda @ .running with spoons. March 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

Ack! Reading this and then seeing those last two pictures of Noah seriously brought tears to my eyes. God is SO good. There’s no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have been able to recover the way I did if it weren’t for the grace of God, and I’m so happy to hear that you were able to experience that same grace.

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33 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I’m so happy for you too, Amanda!

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34 J March 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I haven’t commented before but I just want to say thank you for sharing your story. I was hospitalized at 15, and then went inpatient (not once, but twice…) and I was not put on medication due to my parents wishes. I don’t think anyone can understand what its like to go through treatment unless they have been there themselves. I think back to the things I did, the things I said, and I feel so sad and ashamed. I literally clawed and scratched my way through any attempt to get me help, but I know I would not be here today If i hadn’t gotten it. S0 again, thank you, your story helps me reflect on my own past knowing that I am not alone in the emotions an actions I took during that time.

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35 Nicole @ Curly Mommy March 26, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Seriously, I am so amazed at your and Joe’s honesty. I think you are doing a very wonderful and selfless thing to bring awareness to ED’s and their impact on not only yourself but those you love. God bless you Elizabeth.
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36 Megan March 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I read and commented on Joe’s insightful post yesterday and this morning I checked your blog to comment again to ask you if you would write about your perspective…and there it was! I’m glad to hear your thoughts on that period. Would you ever do a post in the future about what lead up to your ED and how you dealt with it in college and after? Were there periods it would get better and then you’d find yourself back in the same patterns?

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37 Elizabeth March 26, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I can definitely do a post on things leading up to it. Honestly, it never really got better and worse over and over. It was more like a slow steady decline until I was pregnant and couldn’t afford to decline any more. I would stay in the same patterns for a year or two and then slip a little further. Let me know if there are any other questions you would like me to answer!

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38 Amy Lauren March 26, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I just started reading your blog last night but you and your husband are very brave to share all of this with us, readers and even total strangers. I really admire that. I’m glad you were able to recover successfully and have a healthy baby. Look forward to reading the rest, too.
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39 kendra @ http://www.kennygump.com/ March 26, 2013 at 9:07 pm

so glad everything worked out so welland you were able to get the help you needed at that time. you are a great mom to that sweet little boy!
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40 Chelsea March 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm

“What I didn?t deserve I got. What I deserved I didn?t get. And isn?t that the nature of God?” – Amen, Elizabeth! It’s hard for me to find the right way to express the fact that I just feel joy on your behalf, looking at that beautiful son and husband who clearly loves you very much, and I just give thanks to God that He’s there for all of us. It’s hope, I guess – in your family I see hope :)
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41 Hilary @ PeanutButterSpoonfuls March 27, 2013 at 7:39 am

This is a really beautiful post and so brave of you to write! I think it’s wonderful to just be grateful and be the best mom you can be. You absolutely should feel no guilt or shame at all. You did everything right, got help, and do deserve a beautiful healthy little boy! Thanks for sharing this!
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42 Julia April 1, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Thank you for such honesty. I have so much respect for you and Joe.
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43 Selena Brinegar September 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

How can Noah be so grown up already. I miss seeing you guys so much.

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