37 Things Only People Who've Been To Eating Disorder Rehab Will Understand

37 Things Only People Who've Been To Eating Disorder Rehab Will Understand

Our humor may be dark, but life without our eating disorders sure is bright.

Natalie Esarey

I sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, hope that most people will never understand this article. Because to understand this, means to have gone through it, and I would never wish that upon everyone. However, for those of you who do understand this, we might as well laugh through the pain am I right? Laughter is the best medicine, and we deserve to heal.

1. Trying to get insurance to pay for treatment.

No, but really. Do they even actually pay for things with money? Or is their job to hand out bankruptcy and rocks as a helping hand?

2. When you start approaching your weight restoration goal.

I think they spiked my milkshake with Ensure, or was it Boost this time?

3. When you start to realize your recovery body is hot.


4. When your new body comes with surprises.

Well, hello there! Who are you, and what are you doing on my body?

5. Your hair stops falling out.

You stop balding. Your hair starts growing. Soon enough you find yourself with luscious locks and you can't help but show 'em off.

6. When your eating disorder wants you to relapse but you use your new coping skills instead.

Deep breathing. In one two three four. Now out one two three four.

7. Getting your hunger queues back.

Is it normal for me to be hungry every five seconds? Why am I just now discovering this magical thing called metabolism? MY WHOLE LIFE IS A LIE.

8. Conquering a fear food like...

I AIN'T SCARED OF YOU, FOOL. Yeah, I'm talking to you... stupid bagel.

9. Growing out of your sick clothes gives you an excuse to buy an entirely new wardrobe.

I guess weight restoration can have its perks...

10. When you stop looking like a prepubescent 12-year-old.


11. When people start to notice your healthy glow.

Like, I'm not even kidding... your skin starts glowing again, or sometimes for the first time ever. But one thing's for sure, it's noticeable... and it sure is beautiful.

12. Night sweats.

Waking up in the middle of the night drenched. Did I just pee myself? Is it raining? Did someone spray me with a hose? Oh... nope. It's just me.

13. Getting mail.

Seriously, though. The sheer joy that comes with communication from the outside world is like a Holiday on steroids. Don't even get me started on what it's like when you get a package too.

14. Meal plan increases.


15. Meeting someone who actually understands you and your illogical brain.

Who knew you could meet your soul mate in rehab?

19. When you meet your treatment "mom."

You literally become their baby.

20. Trying not to make eye contact with the RCs while peeing.

21. Blood work when you're afraid of needles.


22. When staff turns into family.

There's something about when people flush the toilet for you, make your food, and watch you while you sleep... that just brings you close together. Oh and their unconditional love and support through your darkest days forms and indescribable bond.

23. Going to bed at 9 p.m.

Every single night. And the worst part is... you sleep like a baby. Therapy 24-7 therapy really takes a toll on yah.

24. Going on outings.

What's it gonna be this time? Michael's or Hobby Lobby? Either way, it's gonna be LIT!

25. Getting your first phone call.

I've never been so excited for a phone call. Even if it is only five minutes and the only one I'm allowed to call is my mom.

26. Moving up a level and getting more "privileges"

Yesssssss. That's exactly what I wanted. #REHABRIGHTS

27. When all the emotions you've bottled up for years start to surface.

What are these and why do they exist? This wasn't on the website!

28. Table games.

These are taken very, very, VERY seriously. When your whole day is centered around meal times, the games played are like the Olympics of rehab.

29. The inside jokes.

When you spend every waking minute together with the other patients, you get close. REALLLL close. And half the time our humor and jokes are dark... and only funny to us. But the laughter is healing, and the friendships are too.

30. The fact that you haven't shaved in six weeks.

This is not a drill, we really didn't shave. And IF by chance we were allowed to, we usually chose not to, because let me just tell you, electronic razors are a LIE. We'd rather be hairy and happy anyways.

31. When everyone learns how to knit, or crochet, and suddenly you're all grandmas.

We take our work very seriously. No one leaves rehab without learning how to make a blanket. Or if you're like me... no one leaves without screwing up a blanket and leaving with a ball of tangled yarn instead. Either way, you will crochet whether you know how to or not.

32. When a new client gets admitted and you can't contain your excitement.

Getting a new client is like the BEST DAY EVER! Finally, a new one. Come, tell us what the outside world has been like? What's your name? Life story? Social security number? We're about to get real close real fast.

33. When your sex drive starts to kick back in.

No, but seriously....

34. Realizing the other girls are the most beautiful humans you have ever met.

35. Discharge day be like...


36. Trying to blend back in with society.

I've totally got this. No one will suspect a thing. Me? Act normal? Not a problem. Normal is my middle name.

37. Finally seeing the beauty of life in everyone and everything.

Screw those eating disorder lies I believed for so long... this life, well, it's pretty dang gorgeous. I think I'd like to see more of it.
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