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Eating Disorder Recovery

Eating Disorder Recovery

10% of purchases made will be donated to Eating Disorder Recovery Learn more

About this cause:

My name is Nikki. I'm 32 years old, and I have had an eating disorder since I was in elementary school. Due to circumstances my seven year old self could not control, I didn't get treatment until after I graduated high school, a decade into this insidious disease.

After graduation, I took an EMT course, the state test, and began working as an EMT. Over the next few years, I continued my studies, absorbing as much information as I could. I moved up in rank, worked in a national transport company, our city 911 rescue, and dispatch.

During that time I attended outpatient treatment with a therapist, psychiatrist, and a free ED group meeting at a local hospital.
It eventually became clear that I was unable to take care of myself in a productive manner, and therefore should take a step back from emergency medicine to take care of myself.

I contacted my insurance company, and after finding out that a facility in Pennsylvania was in network, I called admissions. At the time, the facility 4 hours north was one of the closest treatment centers, location wise.

I quickly went through the admissions process, gathered the necessary paperwork, labwork, and information required for admission, and headed up 95 North. Although I was extremely fortunate to have insurance at the time, which covered the needed intensive level of care, insurance cut out around 15 days.

Unfortunately that stay and the subsequent hospitalizations were not enough to set me firmly on the path to recovery. As such, I have been on disability for the past ten years.
Due to the young age at which I became eligible for Medicare, as payments are based on work history, my monthly payments are not much. Still, I have been able to make due, until now.

Years after my first intensive treatment stay, Virginia is still severely lacking in treatment resources, from the outpatient level to inpatient/residential, and programs in between. After an exhausting, tireless search (and so many phone calls, I don't even want to think about), searching for an outpatient therapist within a 90 minute radius of my house, I found an outpatient practice 45 miles east.

This began the trek, 2-3 times a week, at about 100mi round trip, to see a therapist once a week, and to attend a (weekly) therapist facilitated, structured group.

This spring, seeking more help than the outpatient level could provide, I entered and completed a local Partial Hospitalization Program. Despite the PHP program being a general psych program, with no understanding of eating disorders, I was able to use my voice, advocate for myself, and gain needed skills in the program.

The cost of my monthly therapy expenses, and gas strictly to/from therapy are almost my entire disability check, so there is not much left at the end of the month. Solely for my weekly therapy appointments/group, I drive an average of over two hours round trip. I also have regular appointments with a psychiatrist, primary care physician, pulmonologist, and endocrinologist.

For the first time in decades, I feel hopeful. I have wishes and dreams I'm excited about accomplishing. For the first time in years, the idea of returning to work as a medic is not a fleeting dream, but one that is attainable.
I faithfully attend my appointments, groups, and complete the daily 'homework' assignments which are part of this program.

In order to remain in treatment and have the best possible outcome for a lasting recovery, I am creating this page in hopes that my friends and family will help me stay in treatment.
10% of every Bravelet sold from this fundraiser will go straight to my treatment expenses.

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to ask.

With sincere thanks,
Nikki