"Whatever it takes"........ that's a phrase we've said a lot these last few months. Toward the end of last summer, Stacee’s recovery and battle with her eating disorder took an unexpected turn in her long journey. For several months, Stacee had undergone some medical tests to try to determine the state of her health and the impact of her lengthy battle with anorexia. The doctors determined several medical conditions existed which were very concerning, and which could be life altering, or even life shortening if not reversed.
Recovery is hard. Recovery is often a long and difficult road. Battling and struggling to cope with, live with, and understand mental illness is an uncertain journey following a path which is never straight. But, I’m seeing life and light again in her………
Upon her treatment team’s recommendation, in late August, and with our encouragement and support, Stacee entered an in-patient program at the Laureate Hospital in Tulsa, OK – one of the finest eating disorder treatment centers in the world, and fortunately just 100 miles from our home in Oklahoma City. We had always pursued an out-patient treatment program, especially having two daughters at home, as it enabled Stacee to be at home and continue with family life. Stacee’s illness reached a point, though, where the in-patient program was a necessity.
Entering Laureate, we expected Stacee’s stay to last about 6-8 weeks. Her stay ended up lasting four months as she moved through the stages of the treatment program. Looking back, I think we were pretty naïve to think her stay could be so short. Eating disorder treatment, particularly the re-feeding process for anorexics (which is essentially the ramping up of food and nutrition intake as guided by medical professionals) is hard, long and actually doesn’t make the patient feel better at first – it makes the patient feel worse initially. It takes great courage, stamina, commitment, and sheer guts to complete this type of treatment. I am so thankful Stacee has had the courage to face this battle with incredible determination.
Stacee has had to “hit pause” these last few months on writing and posting to Speak Out Loud; she had just gotten to a point where she was just too sick to write. As Stacee’s come home, her recovery continues - she is just getting to do recovery from home. And as part of her ongoing recovery, she's beginning to write again, trying to put into words the hope and struggle of these last few months.
As my wife started writing about her journey and battle with her eating disorder, her hope was to encourage others – to encourage you – with whatever you might be facing, whether it was a shared struggle or something completely different. Many of you let her know how much her openness and transparency encouraged you, and we are so thankful for your support of Stacee to continue writing about her journey. I know that as she picks up again writing and posting to Speak Out Loud, it gives her joy to be able to again speak words of mercy and life out of the darkness of mental illness, anorexia, and self-harm.
I’m excited to say that you will be hearing again from Stacee this week! Please watch for her new post.