Friday, February 15, 2008

From Behind Bars, Part IV, On Rec Therapy and Runaways

Once morning snack is over, a group like Recreational Therapy would begin. Rec Therapy was always quite remarkable, really, because it was nice to be able to do some sort of activity that involved something other than us sitting on our rapidly growing butts, doing nothing but talking talking talking about our feelings and emotions. We got to, you know, actually laugh on occasion, or maybe even burn thirteen calories moving around a bit. So, you know. They had us on quite the long leash, as you can tell.

The catch with Rec Therapy, was that the “life lesson” learned at the end of every session was always the same: use teamwork to get over your eating disorder. I could sleep through the entire thing, wake up at the end, and know that the moral of that day’s lesson was that working together brings better results in life and in recovery than going at it alone. And really, it’s a nice message. It was just hammered into our brain waaaay too much, and it got kind of monotonous. It was a nice way to numb your brain, though, if needed.

Some activities would include

A group of a few girls
Two paper cups
Some string

And that, somehow, equaled teamwork and recovery.

Or maybe a particular day there would be

A rope
Holding hands
Your momma

And that, somehow, equaled teamwork and recovery.

It was fascinating. I mean, WOW. We learned so much in treatment!

After Rec Therapy, there was usually a half hour or so to chillax before lunch. That time for me was spent (using the bathroom, of course) and praying that my goliath amounts of food would somehow digest and miraculously disappear from my stomach so that there would be room for the mammoth amounts yet to come.

I’d also like to take the time to get a little shut-eye, but that was usually impossible for one of a few possibilities:

1) A girl was having a temper tantrum. The tell-tale signs included screaming and a lamp being thrown against the wall. Cue therapist running for their life. Enter hysterical girl, chanting something like, “I hate you I hate you! You’re all trying to make me fat!” And you’ve got yourself one little gem of a tantrum.
2) An attempted runaway. These were rarely successful, but when they were, oh yeeeeah. It fueled our conversations for the next several hours. We’d hear the revealing sound of the alarm, meaning a door somewhere has been open. We’d all run for the nearest window, craning our necks and pushing each other out of the way to see who’s made a go of braving Scary Evil World. We’d see her: running for her life, wearing slippers, then we’d watch a line of sprinting therapists and/or care techs trying desperately to catch up to her, wondering how in hell a malnourished girl can outrun them all. “Go So-and-So!” I’d always cheer for them, knowing that they’d inevitably get dragged back, but still. It was nice to see someone fight against The System.
3) A nurse would pull me aside for the daily How Are You Meeting. I hated this, especially because I secretly deduced that the nurse didn’t even want to be talking to us, but had to. Insurance companies now made it requisite that they fill out a form on us everyday, to see how our moods and behaviors and feelings toward our bodies were progressing. I’d enthusiastically do my best to escape as quickly as possible, but this could be tricky. There was inevitably always a nurse or two that loved to chit-chat. I mean, c’mon! Get paid to do some real work! Go draw blood or phase drop someone, or something. Go tattle to a therapist, whatever. Just fill out your form about me, informing my insurance that I am still highly depressed and anorexic and will never get better, or whatever you say, and let me sleep. I never said this vicious rhetoric out loud, but I did with my eyes. Oh. I did with my eyes.
And then its




Emily said...

That was the nice part about rec therapy in a hospital setting. There was actually, like, funding so we could actually do fun art projects. Rec therapy at Rogers sucked ass, man, but the stuff in the hospital rocked.

Laurie and Corey Kunz said...

dude....i can't wait

Bowles Family said...

Yay for Rec Therapy (even while you're in treatment, it had to be better than most of the other stuff)! I was anxiously awaiting your take on it. ;)

brie said...

Shann, you know I'm exaggerating, right? I love you and the other rec therapists!

Bowles Family said...

I know you're portraying it over the top. I'm not offended by any of it. I was still interested to see what your satire on RT would be. I was cracking up on the other posts too. No worries!