Hey everyone, I will be leaving for treatment this Thursday. 3 short days. So, I wanted to update you all on my decision to seek treatment and why I chose the program that I will attend.
This Thursday, I will be making the 15-hour drive with my husband down to Mesa, Arizona. I will be voluntarily admitting myself to a 56-day wilderness therapy program, called ANASAZI.
I am trying to fit treatment in between semesters of my nursing program. That should give you a good clue as to why I’m seeking treatment. When mental health and physical health drop to the bottom of your list, it’s only a matter of time before you wind up feeling like crap. Especially if you have a mental illness to begin with.
Long story short, I feel myself loosening at the seams. Unraveling. I am losing myself more and more each day, so I want to go back to the place where I found enough ground and light to get me through the past ten years of my life. I want to feel something. I don’t want to be a zombie anymore.
It was an accident, really. Ten years ago, this November, my parents dropped me off at the ANASAZI office in Mesa and I didn’t see them for 42 days. At that time, I wasn’t sure how walking around in the desert was going to help me. I was struggling with an eating disorder, severe depression and insomnia, self-harm, and was already failing all my classes. But, I dropped out of the remainder of that semester of high school to try to get a grip of myself.
Turns out, it was the best decision of my life. Also, the best decision my parents have ever made for me. I was able to leave the “real world” long enough to hear myself think, breathe, and speak. I confronted myself out there. I confronted my nightmares, my fears, my weaknesses, and my faults. I forgave myself and I found forgiveness toward others. I connected with my body and the earth and my Creator, which is a big deal. You can learn more about my struggle with depersonalization here.
So, naturally, I will return to the only place that I have ever felt grounded. I am incredibly blessed to be able to access such a wonderful program. I feel peace when I think about going, although it’s the most challenging experience I have ever been through in my life. But I know everything will be okay. I’ve done it before- I can do it again.
I don’t need different mediation. I don’t need a hospital. I don’t need to sit around my house all summer sleeping. I need holistic healing and rejuvenation. I need to shock my body out of this stupor. I need to feel connected to my body and this life. I don’t know of anywhere else that I can find those things other than ANASAZI.
How does it work?
The program is for teens and young adults. It is not a rehabilitation center, for drugs anyway. Although I call it rehab for the soul. Basically, what I will be doing is hiking around in the desert for 56 days. I will meet my therapist once a week. I will write letters to my husband and other family members once a week. Additionally, my therapist will skype with my husband once or twice a week throughout my treatment. This is a family effort, so you can’t just drop your spouse or kid off at the program. My husband will be attending meetings for two days before he drives back home with a few books, resources, and assignments to work on.
So, all I can pack is my choice of underwear, sports bra, and feminine hygiene products. Scary, I know. They provide the rest. I will be on a strict diet consisting of brown rice, lentils, different vegetables, different dried fruits and nuts, flour, powdered butter and milk, oatmeal, brown sugar, and some Gatorade mix. (There are a few more things, I just can’t think of them all.)
I will make fire with a bow-set that I will make myself. I will drink water from wherever I can find it. There are no mirrors, no showers, no pillows, no razors, no chairs. There are tarantulas and snakes and every bug you could possibly imagine. It’s seriously going to be awesome, but SUCH a shock. Especially for my body. We will hike between 5-20+ miles per week.
At the very end, my husband will drive back down to Mesa. He will be driven out to wherever I am during my last week and he will spend the last three days and two nights with me out on the trail. How special and precious family-camp can be! Anyway, there is a lot more to the program, but that’s the jist of it.
See ya soon!
So, this is my “see ya later” post before I leave. Prayers and positive thoughts are super appreciated! I can’t wait to share my progress with you when I return. Click here to read my first post regarding this treatment.
Bless you all.