To the Music Therapist Who Saved My Life
If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.
Dear Music Therapist,
Exactly two weeks into my eating disorder treatment, I was at a place where I felt completely stuck. I became so suicidal that I was refusing all food and the replacement supplements, hoping that I would die from malnutrition. I was already three days into this plan, and I was warned by the doctor that I would be tubed in a few days if I continued to refuse food. Though this should have scared me, I felt no fear because I was numb to all emotions.
One day, as I was sitting with another replacement supplement, you were walking through the dining room when you spotted me. You walked over and asked if it was OK to sit with me for awhile, and I nodded through the tears streaming down my face. You sat down next to me and without saying anything at all, you pulled out your tablet and showed me the lyrics to my safe song. You then asked which lyrics in the song stood out to me the most at that moment, and I showed you. Taking the lyrics that I just showed you, you began to use them to create a picture of my safe space. While you were working on this picture, I managed to complete one of my two supplements; the first nutrients I had consumed in three days. To encourage me to complete my second supplement, you told me that we could go play ukuleles together for an hour. I quickly drank my last supplement and we were off, playing songs and laughing the hour away. For an hour, you helped me forget about my suicidal ideation. For an hour, you kept my mind off of the calories I just consumed. For an hour, you helped me begin to feel again.
So thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to sit with me. Thank you for making me feel cared for and loved. Thank you for making me laugh so hard that my stomach ached. And finally, thank you for helping me forget my thoughts and finally feel something after feeling numb for so long. Without your care and compassion, I would have continued down the downward spiral in which I was traveling and would not be alive today. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline: 800-931-2237.
Your Recovering Patient
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Lead image via igor_kell