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10 Things People Should Know Now That I'm Back From Mental Health Treatment

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I recently went into treatment for suicidal ideation, some “eating issues” and for some mood related issues. When I got out of rehab and was actually able to come home, I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, borderline personality disorder and a lot more. However, just because I was totally recovery-focused and changed for the better didn’t mean people understood.

Here are some things I want people to understand about how I’ve changed:

1. I’ve changed a lot. I understand this doesn’t mean I can erase all the horrible things I’ve done or said, but I’m trying and I want you to see that.

2. I have bad days. Just because I went to treatment doesn’t mean I’m magically fixed. We all have bad days, and I know that doesn’t excuse what I say or do. Give me time, I’m trying my hardest.

3. Sometimes I forget. I may accidentally skip a meal because I’m busy or forget to take a dose of medication. That doesn’t always mean I’m relapsing. Ask questions! I’m open to a conversation.

4. Don’t expect miracles. I may have slip ups and that happens. Sometimes I may skip a meal or two. Please talk to me about it, don’t accuse me. Recovery isn’t linear and that’s important for both of us to recognize.

5. Don’t only talk to me about my recovery. It’s not the only thing I want to talk about. I want to hear about you and what you’ve been up to!

6. Don’t walk on eggshells around me. I understand I’m new to this whole process and you may be too. I also understand you may not say the right thing and that’s OK — I will tell you if I need to. But also take into consideration what I’m going through. I’m still recovering from an eating disorder and don’t want to talk about what celebrity has lost weight and who hasn’t.

7. Give me some space. I know I just came home and last time I wasn’t on the best of terms with everyone. However, trust me enough to make the right decisions.

8. Help me have an open dialogue. I am open to you asking me questions about what’s hard for me and how my disorder affects me. It will be easier for me to come to you when I need help.

9. Just because my plans change doesn’t mean I’m up to something. If I stay out late or if I’m a little late coming home doesn’t mean I relapsed or that I’m up to something bad.

10. Thank you. I want to thank you for being patient with me. Spending your time, money and resources to help me get better feels amazing. Words can’t describe how grateful I am you’ve stood by me.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: December 4, 2016
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