Growing up "Victorian"
Studies show that women with Eating Disorders have a stunted mental growth from the time their addictive behaviors started. Meaning if they started their behaviors at 10 and they are now 25, they still have the reasoning and emotions of a 10 year old. Part of the The Victorian treatment involves raising the clients to become women. Teaching them how to live in society without their addicitons. This is a testimony from one girl who grew into a woman during her time at The Victorian.
Dear any woman with an Eating Disorder,
If you only knew what I know now, you would prevent this nightmare from getting any worse. My name is *Kelsey Conrad, and I am an alumni of the Victorian House, a rehab for Eating Disorders in Newport Beach, California. I was in-patient there for about 6 months.. yes, SIX months..hard to believe for me, even still. I was admitted because my bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive overeating got out of control, and I struggled greatly with maintaining "abstinence" from food on a daily basis. It became a habitual cycle to be engaging in behaviors like: binging, purging, restricting food, taking laxatives, diet pills, and over-exercising. I found myself lost in my negative thought process, and realized I wasn't going anywhere I wanted to go in life, nor did i believe I was capable of doing so. After a few more years of turmoil and hopelessness, I found myself in the office at the Victorian, signing my life away for the next thirty days.
In a sense it was liberating to know that I was finally going to be taken care of, and these people are here to help me activate my life, and find my true self. The staff at the Victorian are very loving people. They are willing to do what it takes to make you reach your goal.
During this process, there were a lot of things that I had to sacrifice in order to be healthy again, and it was very hard sometimes to accept reality, and what is the most logical thing to do for my best interest. I found that keeping very busy with assignments, appointments, and activities was helpful in accelerating my recovery process. At The Victorian, there was never a dull moment. I enjoyed the meetings for the most part, but having the beach so close by wasn't too bad either. The therapist sessions were incredibly eye-opening, I was amazed at the little life lessons I learned while surrendering my disease to someone I knew could understand me. Mediation and yoga were probably my most favorite activities, not to mention all the tension I was relieved of during massage therapy. Holidays were amazing. During my stay at the Vic I missed: my birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New years, Valentines day, and Saint Patrick’s Day.
At first I only thought I was staying for 30 days, but my condition was still not completely relieved until five months later. It was very hard at times, because I missed my life, my friends, my family, my job, my car and my cell phone. But I knew that the only way I was ever going to be able to stay abstinent and sober was to surrender my will and take direction. I can honestly say that The Victorian saved my life. I'm eternally grateful for the friends I've made along the way, who will still take my phone call and help me to get out of self, for the knowledge I gained on how to live my life happy, free, and sane, and for the tools I need to sustain my true value for the rest of my life.
If I can say anything to you, its please get the help you deserve, and stick with it for as long as you can. It's amazing how much self-awareness and power you gain from working a program that is a proven method for improving your life, and loving your life. Keep coming back.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the alumni.