I honestly don't even remember what I've posted in updates and what I haven't, so I apologize for how long this might be and for the fact that I may repeat some things.
First of all, I saw a doctor who works with a lot of people who have eating disorders. After weighing me and taking my vitals, she immediately suggested I go to an intensive outpatient or inpatient treatment center. Due to my heart rate begin so low (it was 41 bpm), she was on the verge of hospitalizing me that day. She gave me a note to be out of work for two weeks, totally restricted my exercise to only walking when absolutely necessary, and told me to eat more.
Just this past Tuesday I went to an intake assessment at an outpatient treatment center (the only one in my state). It's located an hour and forty five minutes away so it's not convenient at all, but they recommended I start right away and be there for five weeks. It's a program that would require me to be there from 7am to 3:30pm every week day and be home on weekends, which is essentially impossible at the moment seeing as I'm not allowed to drive and my parent's work schedules don't work with the program schedule (and especially not with driving four hours everyday). I tried out the program just for the afternoon and the people were nice/the food was good so if I have to go at least I know it won't be too bad, but I'm hoping to avoid it if at all possible. At the moment I'm using the meal plan they gave me and trying to do this at home, staying as sedentary as possible.
I'm very happy to say that I got in contact with my professors at school and they're all willing to help me finish the semester from home online. I'm so relieved to know that my schooling won't be impacted by this, and also that I'll have something to occupy myself as I'm not allowed to do much of anything else. My parents are trying their best to monitor my weight to make sure I'm gaining, buying foods that will challenge me, and making sure to support me by checking my meals and encouraging me to eat more if I'm struggling. I truly feel so lucky to have family that care so much for me and who just want to see me healthy again.
I'm currently really trying to give myself unconditional permission to eat (using the meal plan as a minimum) and stop calorie counting. I haven't been measuring my food nearly as much but I'm still kind of estimating things which isn't really the best thing. I still feel like my mind is constantly thinking of food and I know that in order to stop that I just need to eat (even if what I crave isn't "healthy", even if I'm physically full, even if other people around me aren't eating, etc). I know that I need to gain weight anyway so eating more is always better than eating less; my body needs to do a lot of repairing and I need much more food than I'm used to to allow for that.
There's a lot more to the past few weeks than I'm able to write out, but this is the gist of it. I feel like I've been to more doctor's appointments in the past twenty days than I have in the past ten years of my life, and I'm honestly just glad that I'm finally getting things figured out. I was extremely shocked to know how bad it has really gotten (I guess it's true that you really can't see the severity of the situation when it's you that has the problem) and at this point I'm just trying to commit to giving this my all. No counting or measuring or weighing, no restriction, no feeling guilty about the food I put in my body, and lastly, no exercise. As much as I'm sure it won't be easy to see my body change and feel my clothes growing tight, I know with the weight gain comes me getting my life back, getting my period back, and getting the ability to exercise back, too.
So here's to challenging fear foods, making baked goods and actually allowing myself to eat some, resting more than I ever have before, giving my all to restoring my body, and finishing out this school semester stronger than I ever have before. I refuse to let this disorder take anything else away from me, and I'm determined to get my life back no matter what it takes.
As always, thank you all so much for your continued support and encouragement. It means so much to me!
(On another note, if any of you have any meal ideas or recipes that you enjoy and would like to share, I'm all ears! I'd really like to try some new things/stop relying on "safe" foods so any suggestions would be really appreciated. Now that I'm not worried about calories I think it'll be much easier to make and try new foods)