Doug Thompson: Overcoming My Most Vulnerable Days
Childhood bullying, my parents' divorce, depression, anxiety and striving tirelessly to be an "A" student at Oklahoma State University – I hated feeling like I had no control over how my life played out. So I turned to the one thing I could have total control over: my food intake.
Slowly but surely, over a two-year period, I began to eat less and less every day. It became my obsession. Studying labels, lamenting over what I had eaten that day and planning out what my meals would consist of the following day. I'd say when I was admitted to the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders and Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health, I was thinking about food about 50 percent of the time during a typical day.
ACUTE saw me at my most vulnerable. When I arrived, I was angry, confused and scared. I didn't understand my situation or have any clue what was so wrong with me, or how I had arrived at the point of needing immediate medical attention.
The staff was always friendly, understanding and compassionate. It's because of the doctors and my psychiatrist that I came to understand my illness and start my road to recovery. Without the high level of care I received, there's no telling what would have become of me or my mental illness.
I'll never forget my month-long stay at ACUTE; it's where I first learned about my anorexia and got myself set on the right path for a healthy future. I'll never say I enjoyed my time living at a hospital for a month, but the ACUTE facility and staff were top-notch.
As I write this, I am in the best mental state I've ever been in. I have a great first full-time job in Southeast Georgia and am nearly fully independent. I feel like myself and I am encouraged with where I am in life.