My News Recovery

Nearing the Finish Line…Kinda

Well, here I am two days before my final day at ERC. I am finishing up my second week of Transitional Intensive Outpatient. Tuesday is officially my last day at this level of care. From here, I will move on to outpatient, meeting with a therapist weekly, and a psychiatrist and nutritionist monthly.

I really can’t believe I’ve been here for almost two months! This experience was obviously life-changing and something that, in the end, I am extremely grateful for. If I am completely honest, I am scared shitless. It’s one thing to stick to a meal plan, abstain from behaviors and reach out for support when you’re surrounded by knowledgeable, understanding people all day, every day. The real world is another story.

IOP has given me some time to “fend for myself”, and it’s been up and down. I know my weaknesses, I know what to look for, and I fully intend to continue kicking this fucking eating disorder’s ass.

I’ve said goodbye to a couple of close friends this week. Libby graduated on Thursday, and I am so incredibly proud of her. She was here for almost four months and worked her ass off. She’s incredibly beautiful, and I hope she gets closer every day to realizing that. She’s definitely missed.

The biggie this week was saying goodbye to Carmen. We were a duo, according to anyone here. It was never just Beau or just Carmen, it was always “Beau and Carmen”. This place is not the same without her, and a little piece of my heart has gone home to Albuquerque. I will hopefully see her again before the year is up, the current plan is to drive down to New Mexico with Leah for Thanksgiving at Carmen’s place. Family of choice, as is often said around here, and when it comes to that, I’m a lucky guy.

I’m going to need support beyond here, and I hope that those of you who have followed my posts will be there. Hold me accountable, ask me for updates, find out how I’m doing.

I’ll be posting more details about my plans post-treatment soon, but for now, I’m off to write a stack of “thank you” cards!


My News Recovery

Saying Goodbye To Two More Friends

This week I find myself saying goodbye to two more friends. Ashley Bryan and Nicole Ferency both lost their battles with eating disorders and depression this week. Ashley died on October 1st, and Nicole last night (October 4th) in Denver after leaving the ERC for the day.

I am stunned. Even typing this, I feel like I don’t know what to say, but I feel like I need to get it out.

Ashley was 26 years old and I got to know her over my first couple of weeks at the ERC. She was a warrior, she was committed to recovery, and she was everyone’s biggest cheerleader. My heart breaks for her husband and family. At the ERC we all have primary therapists, and the patients who share the same primary therapist form what we call a Process Group. We meet three times a week for an hour and 15 minutes, talk about how we’re feeling, and provide support to each other. My particular Process Group is extremely close, and Ashley was a part of our group until she graduated from treatment. The loss has been almost too much too process. Still can’t believe she is gone.




Nicole was 35 years old and had been battling her eating disorder and severe depression for a very long time. She and I bonded when she found out that I was gay and wanted to open a dialogue and get to know me better in hopes that our friendship would help her connect with her gay father. I am so sad that we won’t be able to have anymore of those conversations. She was so genuine and open when she approached me with that request. Her desire to feel like her family was whole again was of so much importance to her. She spoke of her family often, and I am devastated thinking about all of them. I am planning to find a way to attend her funeral on Monday. What a beautiful person, what a loss.

The mood around the ERC right now feels pretty similar to a funeral home. It’s just too much to take in. The staff are all stunned, but doing an amazing job being available to us. The CEO of the center has been in this field for 33 years and has not lost a patient at this level of treatment. It just isn’t a normal thing. This week is just overwhelming.


I originally intended to blog a little update about my insurance issues, so, I will briefly. I am no longer in the PHP program and am now in Transitional Intensive Outpatient (4 hours a day vs 12) because my insurance company has chosen to disregard the medical advice of my treatment team in favor of their profits. My doctors fought extremely hard for me, but they were unable to get more time for me. My insurance, Magellan Health Services, contracted by my primary provider Aetna, would rather see me relapse, continue with an eating disorder, or even die, before cutting into their profits any further.

I won’t go on a political rant, but this is why healthcare should not be for profit. I’m a negative on a balance sheet to them, and my life is meaningless. Before she died, Nicole’s insurance had just denied her an increased level of care as well. Fuck you health insurance. You’re scum, and we’re idiots to allow and vote for such a system to exist.


I’m a whirlwind of emotions right now. I miss my friends, I wish I had been there to remind them how loved they were before they made the decision, and I just wish I could remove all the pain from all of the people grieving these losses. We will get through this. I will get through this, and I will live a rich and meaningful life. I just wish that Nicole, Ashley, Jesse, and Dustin were all living it with me.

Goodnight sweet friends.



My News Recovery

Holy Shit!

My worth is not determined by my body. Not even a little bit. Really.

Holy shit that seems like it should be so obvious. My worth is NOT determined by my body. At all!

Health is one of my top values, but so is passion, so is love, so is growth. My body often gets me to my values, but it is not one of them.

My confidence comes from knowing that I’m doing what I need to do. Maybe that person is actually staring at me and thinking something negative about my body. If they are, it’s irrelevant. I am not my body. I am doing what I need to do.

I do not have to wait until I am a healthy weight to have value or feel acceptable.

Humor My News Recovery

Quotes for Posterity Digest

“I’m going to shit myself.” – Me
“Me too.” – Leah
“I wish I could shit myself…I really need to poop.” – Carmen

Yeah, some people are still waiting for their bodies to figure things out.


“Hookers are people too!” – Carmen


“Why do I have to be your bitch? Why cant I be a ho?” – Leah

My News Recovery

F**k Insurance

So, originally I started this post because someone else here was having insurance issues, but now, I’m the one in the crosshairs of my insurance company. I found out on Friday afternoon that ERC is beginning to get some push back from my insurance company after only four weeks of treatment. There will be a review of my case on Monday and that quite possibly could be my last day in PHP.

Thanks a lot Aetna and Magellan Health Services for reminding us all that yes, you are a profit motivated industry and our health is secondary.

Friday was a difficult day even without the insurance development, as I had to say goodbye to my friend Lacy. She and I became quite close over our time together here and I view her as a little sister. Her insurance wouldn’t even cover the treatment at all, so her parents had been paying out of pocket, and did so for as long as they could. Immense respect to them for that.

Before Lacy left on Friday I had a great time hanging out with her and Leah on Thursday night getting Lacy’s first tattoo. It was every bit as odd and eccentric as someone’s first tattoo experience should be and her tattoo turned out beautifully.

Love you Lacy! You’ve got the tools, now live the life you were meant to live!


Help me raise the money needed for my treatment.


My News Recovery

Moving Forward

Still struggling with grief over Jesse, but able to focus more on my recovery today. I did however have my first real battle with behaviors tonight, and unfortunately it was a battle I lost. I’ll be honest with my treatment team, and I know it’s not the end of the world, but it does suck.

Today was a challenging day, and was setup to be that way. We were all asked and encouraged to wear something outside of our comfort zone throughout the day if we could, but at least in our Body Appreciation group. For me, that was a gray t-shirt.

I love shirts and have tons of them, but I generally only buy black, brown or dark blue shirts. I have a couple green shirts that I wear occasionally, but I never, ever wear the gray one. Until today. It was uncomfortable, “Black is thinning” and all that stuff running through my head, but I did it. I had a backup shirt in my locker just in case, but I never needed it. Success for the day!

In the shitty news column, Nora got news that her insurance has stopped covering her treatment. Immediately. No warning, no heads up, no time for the team at ERC to appeal, nothing. Her final day is today. And that’s just fucking bullshit.

I could rant about the state of healthcare in the U.S. for hours, so I’ll just summarize my thoughts. When the system is setup so that our health versus profits, our health will always lose. If you see a problem with this, stop fucking voting Republican. It’s really pretty simple. It’s a complicated issue, yes, but holy shit, don’t vote for the people who put profits above your or your loved ones’ health. Period. Political rant over.

In the awesome news column, Emma will be coming back from inpatient tomorrow! Woo! So proud of the hard work she has done and will be so thrilled to see her return.

In other awesome news, I’ve been joined in Level 3 by two lovely ladies, Leah and Jade. It’s fantastic having them around to share meals with and they inspire me daily with their commitment to recovery and their continued perseverance.

I’m having trouble thinking about my Process Group (those of us with the same primary therapist) without Nora, especially for it to come about like this. Such. Bull. Shit. All is not lost however and I have to send huge gratitude to the remainder of my Process Group for their authenticity, their veracity, and their unbounded support for me and each other. Carmen, Lacy, Libby, Emily, and of course Laura, thank you. I can’t imagine a better group to be on this journey with.


Help me raise the money needed for my treatment.


My News Recovery

Back To Earth

After nearly two weeks of being super positive and completely optimistic, I think I got my first heavy dose of reality tonight. My friend Ariel is leaving the program, against medical advice.

I had the wind knocked out of me when I heard. She started a day after me and I’ve grown to really see her as a friend and a steady source of support. It just sucks.

I wish I could say she’s the only one, but she’s not. Terry will also be leaving this week, against medical advice.

I’m struggling to separate my concern for them from my own recovery and not let it get in the way of my progress.

A little emotional meltdown on my couch and a phone call with Carmen have helped to get my mind back where it needs to be, but fuck, this sucks.

My News Recovery

Family, Community, and the Zen Room

Well, I’m sitting in what I have named the “Zen Room” with Jade and Nora. It’s where I start writing most of my posts before eventually finishing them at home. It operates as a second lounge and the art room during the day, but between 5 and 6 PM I lower all of the blinds, turn off the lights and turn on Dish Network’s Earth channel (a 24 hour live satellite image of the earth with calming music playing). It’s incredibly relaxing!

The view from my favorite “Zen Room” chair.

Now that I’m all Zenified, I guess I can talk about yesterday. I had my first family session, and I was a nervous wreck leading up to it. My family therapist Allison is awesome, but I was really not very optimistic about the conversation with my Mom. I ended up being entirely wrong, and we had an amazing conversation. My Mom was fully supportive and even talked about some of her own  struggles in the past. Hearing that really was a game changer for me in terms of my connection with her through this process. Huge success.

We had our Community meeting yesterday as well; thankfully we didn’t have anymore goodbyes, we’ve had enough of those for a bit. People were open and honest, expressed their concerns, their struggles, and their successes. I always benefit from the entire community coming together and being real with each other. It’s one of the meetings I look forward to.

Today is my therapist’s Birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to her if she’s reading this, as I suspect she probably is.

Oh, and one last thing. A success for me, I’ve been moved to Level 3! Basically I get to sit at a table without “adult supervision” and at lunch we get to serve ourselves from the buffet with guidance from our dieticians. We have more freedom and flexibility overall, and best of all, we get to participate in cooking classes. I am really excited about those.

Well, it’s dinner time, and I’ve been half-assed writing this post for two days, so it’s time to hit “Publish”.


Help me raise the money needed for my treatment.


My News Recovery

The Lighter Side of Recovery

So, recovery at ERC is intense. Wonderful, but intense. That being said, we still have tons of fun. To that end, I’m going to start including some of the ridiculous, hilarious, inappropriate, often had-to-be-there quotes from throughout our days.

Also, blog note, I’ll be changing people’s names to protect their privacy. Lots of them will be named after people from TV shows or elsewhere in popular culture, and lots of them will come from baby name websites. I’m not that creative.

So, first, let me tell a little bit about my friend Carmen (she gets her fake name from Carmen Sandiego). Most of the entirely inappropriate things said at ERC come out of her or my mouth but we generally keep the place laughing. The quotes for the most part are just for us to remember; people following my blog who aren’t part of our group probably won’t find us funny at all, especially without context.

“Fuck you, little poops! Don’t tease me that way!”  – Carmen

Waiting for your body to adjust to you eating normally sucks. We’ll just leave it at that.

“That’s what you get for having an inflatable child!” – Me

Just…inside joke.

I think on my normal posts I’m just going to throw the quotes on to the end of the post, so expect that from here on out.

Today, well, today was intense. I personally had a good day despite an epic (isn’t that word so overused? It’s such a good word, though!) storm of shit flying around the center. We have a total of five people leaving our track (due to the number of patients, PHP is broken up into Track 1 and Track 2) within the week.

First, we’ve got Alice who has been in treatment for a while and is absolutely ready. She’s had some rough spots lately, but she’s an inspiration and it’s tough to see her go. Extremely happy for her and proud to see her “graduate”.

Secondly, we’ve got Marion who has all of the tools she needs, but should’ve had more time to practice using those tools. Her time in treatment was cut short because her insurance company are assholes. YAY ‘MURICA! Profits before health, and all that BS. It’s just infuriating.

Third, we’ve got Wayne who is leaving in a bit of a cloud. It’s…unfortunate. Thankfully he’ll be getting outpatient treatment back at home.

Another difficult goodbye was saying bye to Emma, who has relocated to residential treatment. It was unexpected by most of us, but I am so incredibly inspired by her honesty and bravery. She was honest with her treatment team, and courageous in stepping into that higher level of care. I know we’ll see her back in PHP soon, but damn do we miss her.

At the same time, we’ve got new people coming in, new stories to learn, and new friends to meet. It was a day of constant shifting and adjusting, but it was a day we all made it through.

I did have my first battle with behaviors last night, but was thankfully able to use the tools I’ve learned to prevent it from going into an all out binge and purge. All in all, using a wonderful thing called perspective, it ended up being a big victory for me.

Another success of the day was throwing all of my laxatives into the trash in my therapist’s office. Much thanks to her (Laura) for reminding me that doing it was indeed a success for my day.

Yay for pooping normally! (That one is for you, Carmen.)


Help me raise the money needed for my treatment.


My News Recovery

Recovery – Week 2

Well, today marks two weeks since I arrived here at Eating Recovery Center. I’m having a pretty good Monday, though I am a little tired. Today is Pajama Day (decided by the patients, not some cheesy thing forced on us), there seems to be about a 10% participation rate. I didn’t come in Pajamas but I think I may participate in Punk Rock Day tomorrow, we’ll see!

The routine here is basically as follows:

  • Check-in, pee in a cup, get weighed, check vitals
  • Breakfast
  • Group (Recovery Skills, Boundaries, etc.)
  • Morning Snack
  • Group (Body Awareness, Yoga, Psychodrama, etc.)
  • Lunch
  • Group (Process Group, Community)
  • Snack
  • Transitions (First week group to help us settle in.)
  • Group (Grief & Loss, Nutrition, Body Celebration, Spirituality, etc)
  • Free Time (1 hour to do whatever we want)
  • Dinner

So that’s basically my day. There are 10-15 minute breaks between each thing, but it’s a pretty busy day. Weekends are a little different, but same idea.

ERC Room

Today, Monday, started out great, but by the end of the day it kind of fell apart. We have one person leaving due to insurance issues, another leaving to go to inpatient, another leaving tomorrow because she’s ready (Yay!), and yet another leaving Wednesday who is not ready.

Having insurance/money come between someone and treatment for a serious illness infuriates me. To pretend that this country in any way has it’s priorities straight is such a joke.

Overall I am still feeling optimistic and positive about being at ERC, it was just an emotionally challenging second half of the day.

ERC Wall Quote
A quote on the wall of ERC.


Well, it’s bedtime. Here comes Tuesday.


Help me raise the money needed for my treatment.