She knows who she is.
She just forgot for a little while.
She knows who she is.
She just forgot for a little while.
People don’t recover in treatment. They initiate recovery in treatment.
Today little sister cracks open
a second egg and mom’s eyes
dart across the kitchen.
'You are not supposed to eat
more than one egg a day
you know that is far
too much cholesterol.’
The first meal I ate at the hospital
was a two-egged omelette
drenched in cheese.
My mother sat across from me
while the nurses and social workers
retaught her how to feed me.
They told her I was not allowed
to hide cheese under my plate,
or pick off the tortilla shell
and avoid the egg yolk.
They told her there were new rules, now
3000 to 5000 calories a day,
no more sugar-free jello
That night we went to the grocery store
and felt the world tilt upside down
We walked passed the low fat,
Until we hit the goldmine:
ice cream bars
full fat butter.
Foods that would make my heart beat regularly again
and put life back in my eyes.
Today I tell my mother I think it is fine
for little sister to eat two eggs,
cholesterol be damned.
But she looks me in the eye and says
“It’s different for you.”
This is the same phrase she repeats
when I ask her why she does not want us to cook noodles
for mother’s day dinner
or why she is not eating sugar
It is a phrase which means:
because you showed so much control
that you grew out of control
You are Hereby Exempt
from the Dieting Culture
It is a phrase which means,
‘I am drawing a firm line
between the South Beach diet
The No-Carb diet
The No-Sugar diet
The Atkins diet
The You Are Inherently Flawed and in Need of Fixing
Because nobody likes to think about the fact
that perhaps we are all playing with fire
that perhaps The American Dream
(and by this I mean weight loss)
is nothing but a smokescreen.
That perhaps shrinking oneself successfully
does not actually move mountains,
paint your soul in bright gold,
or part the seas.
That perhaps making ourselves disappear
won’t fix the real problems
our good intentions will never
pave the path to heaven.
Tomorrow when I wake up
I am going to breathe in the morning air
and thank the universe for poppyseed muffins,
ice cream bars
full fat butter
I am going to change the world
and fry two eggs for breakfast.
Hey! I don’t come on this blog often, but I have another (main) blog that I check almost daily, and my inboxes are synced, so I do get messages and take the time to reply to them.
I went to Canopy Cove about a year and a half ago (February of 2012) when I was 20. I was in the “adult” house, so I know relatively little about the adolescent house. I do know that the two houses do not mix. The adult house is the “main” house, and the adolescents are in a smaller house, set a little ways back on the property. You guys do the same activities, just at different times. When I was residential when I was in high school (not at canopy cove though), they still set aside time for homework, helped you keep up with your studies. Depending on what state you live in, there are different procedures and whatnot to aid you scholastically. But I definitely wouldn’t worry about school— you’re in treatment to get better. I know it’s a difficult concept (something I couldn’t have fathomed when I was 16/17), but you really need to focus on getting better. You have the rest of your life to do homework, but if you don’t recover, you won’t have the chance to do ANYTHING.
Which brings me to another point: I didn’t feel like canopy cove was effective, but it wasn’t their treatment model, it was me. I was in the mindset that residential treatment was something I had to experience to prove to myself that I was actually ill. Which is ridiculous, because there’s no such thing as “sick enough” in regards to an eating disorder. They’re deadly, and that’s it. I wasn’t ready to recover though. In order for treatment to be effective, you have to want to recover and be willing to do the work.
Canopy Cove is gorgeous though. It’s in Tallahassee (ironically, I’m at FSU, in Tally, now) and the property is full of trees and wildlife. They do equine therapy, which I wasn’t a fan of (horses SMELL BAD!), but the adolescents seemed to really like it. They also have art therapy, music therapy, and movement therapy.
One thing I DID like about Canopy Cove as opposed to other treatment centers I was at is that it’s small. When I was in residential, there were only 2 of us. PHP/IOP only had 4-5 at a time. I really feel like you get more one-on-one attention, and it’s easier to talk. The adolescent house always seemed to be a little more busy (and by busy, I mean 4 girls, lol), so I wouldn’t worry about being the only kid there!
This is a (rough) sample schedule of what it was like in the adult house:
6 A.M.: Wake up, vitals (blood pressure, weight, take meds, pee on a ketone stick)
7 A.M.: Breakfast
8 A.M.: Getting dressed for the day
9 A.M.: Group (art, music, etc.)
10 A.M.: Private sessions (they’re in the morning in residential/afternoon in PHP/IOP)
12 P.M.: Lunch
1 P.M.: Group (art/music/equine)
2 P.M.: Group (sometimes private sessions with the dietician/psychiatrist)
3 P.M.: Free time (listen to music, read books, watch t.v., socialize with the other girls)
4 P.M.: Free time (you can make phone calls home, but not for the first three days, and after that, it depends on how you’r progressing, sometimes you can only call once every three days, sometimes once every other day, and sometimes once a day)
5 P.M.: Dinner
6 P.M.: Get ready for bed
7-9 P.M.: Free time (watch tv, read, arts and crafts, etc.)
9 P.M.: Bed time
I will say, the food wasn’t great when I was there. It was cooked by the Recovery Coaches (the girls who monitor you throughout the day), and it was just okay. Very bland, sometimes overcooked. But, on the flipside, you always knew what to expect. Whereas at Oliver Pyatt Centers, I NEVER knew what to expect because the chef was crazy creative and came up with all sorts of unique dishes. So, there’s so pros and cons to consider. You do get to create an exclusion list of things you’d prefer not to eat, but it’s limited to five foods, and they ask that you not put any fear foods on the list. For example, I put mayonnaise, peas, and fish on my list, because those are three things that are absolutely disgusting to me, and I can’t even swallow once they’re in my mouth. You do weekly “fear food challenges,” in which you discuss with your dietician what fear food you want to challenge and how you want to do it.
You have weekly eating-out experientials, in which you go out to eat with your house. That was always my favorite part of treatment :)
You also see the dietician and psychiatrist AT LEAST once a week.
On Saturdays, you take field trips (depending on your activity level) to different places around town. Which might seem lame, but after you’ve been cooped up in that house, on that property, for an entire week, it’s nice to get out and about.
And I’m not sure how it works for adolescents, but once you’re moved from residential to partial (PHP), you live in apartments and aren’t monitored 24/7 anymore. You get picked up for group in the morning and dropped off in the afternoon. I think the adolescents had to have a guardian of some sort with them while they stayed in the apartments.
Oh, another thing to note: they have a dress code of sorts. And what I mean is that you shouldn’t wear anything you couldn’t wear to school. No short shorts, tank tops, crop tops, etc. But, most people wear sweats, so it’s not really an issue. I definitely recommend packing a lot of sweat pants/yoga pants/loose t-shirts, because you do a lot of sitting around, and there’s not anyone to dress up and impress :-P
I’m so sorry this is sort of scattered, I get quite a few questions about Oliver Pyatt Centers, but rarely any about Canopy Cove, so I haven’t thought about it in a while.
I wish you all the best of luck! You can always send me another ask if you have any more questions!
Do you have any specific questions about Canopy Cove?
Someone asked me just now, “Does it get better?” and I wanted to share my response:
In a way. It gets easier. What once was such a fervent screaming in your head dies down into an echo and I think the goal is that that fades away once you immerse yourself into your life again.
It doesn’t go away all of a sudden and I sometimes feel like I’m still so stuck but time really does change things and you learn how to deal with the little bits of life you’ve avoided.
It reminds me of the quote by C.S. Lewis that says, “Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back, everything is different…”
That’s how it was and still is for me. Now the calories in a cough drop don’t cause me to go into a hysterical fit but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have break downs about how scary real life is.
It’s not that I have no worries now it’s just that they’re different. They’re real life worries but I think that shows growth. So, to answer your question yes, yes it does get better.
Use your freak out as motivation! I hope you see this before tomorrow! Good luck! You can always message me :-)
Hang in there. It is astonishing how short a time it can take for very wonderful things to happen.
Love what you do. There’s always going to be someone else who’s smarter than you, but there’s no substitute for passion. People who are passionate always work the hardest, and that sets them apart.