So What Is This All About Anyway?
Life is rarely explosive, as in BANG….something clicks, changes, happens. Sometimes, yes. But normally no. I actually sit here now scratching my head and wondering how this all came about, how I got here. It’s like a fever dream on one hand. On the other hand I look around me daily, at this office, at the people coming and going, increasing in frequency and number, and I realize that it’s completely here and real and I am feeling so incredibly excited to see these ideas really start to take shape and actually happen.
The Nourishment Center
The name actually came to me in a dream, a thought, a moment of “That’s It.” Well, I guess that part was explosive because I had been stuck on what to call this concept for years. Anyway, Why Nourishment? Because that is what this is all about. Good conversations, evidence-based treatment plans, collaborative, quality support, a bubble of growth and development for both clients and providers as we join together to fight the eating disorder fight. But the biggest deal here is that we are outpatient support and that means we are in it for the long haul.
It is said that treatment of an eating disorder takes – on average – about one to seven years. And actually in over a decade of working in this field I can tell you that I have never seen it only take one year. I’ll adjust that average. Three years minimum. And no maximum. The averages I see for more established eating disorders (meaning they have been around longer) are more like five to seven maybe.
Folks, that is a long time. And they are not kidding when they say treatment is not linear. I can show you a “Stages of Treatment” page to give you an idea of what it looks like but I will tell you that rarely does a patient go straight through in chronological order. Also rarely are they at one stage at any given time. They are usually “between 5 and 6” or something like that. Treatment is messy. It feels stagnant. It is extremely tiring. It involves more than just the patient. And it takes “forever.”
There are a few ways that one can be a casualty in this field. One way is that the body gives out and that is what makes eating disorders the most dangerous of all mental illnesses. But the other way is to drop out of treatment before treatment has been completed, to circumvent an aspect of the treatment plan. Both of those, my friends, are very easy to do and not always done by choice.
Barriers to full, appropriate, effective treatment are numerous. Our intent at The Nourishment Center is to begin addressing those barriers and to decrease the casualties in this war, keep patients engaged and working, enlist the resources to the fullest extent possible. On the outpatient level.
I think of the doors to the Center as revolving, and one day you may just see one of those Chicago-style round things as our front door, to illustrate the point that the outpatient level is the most dynamic level of care that exists in this field. We see new diagnoses where we have the opportunity to educate and refer to one of the amazing treatment centers in place to begin transformative work. We are here for patients graduating from time in these centers, stepping down to continue the work in their real lives, real families, real homes, returning to real stuff. And we get to keep some patients at home, offering quality, effective care with little life interruption. All of this happens inside that revolving door.
I am so excited about what we have the opportunity to do with the establishment of this place. I am so thankful for the professional friends beside me supporting and rolling up their sleeves to work in and alongside all of this. I do ask for your patience, as “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” so the Nourishment Center will be growing and developing over years to come. It is not a dream. It is here. It is happening. Right now.