Last night I dreamed that I was in an ED institution…on an island. I had been put there against my will, but the worst part was that some of my students were there too. I was sent every day to counsel them. It was eerie. It was so real, it scared me.

All day I thought about this dream. It seems to reflect the position of responsibility I have as a ballet teacher. I have to counsel my students on good nutrition and against eating disorders. Sometimes there are individual cases that require one on one counseling and all the while I hide my dirty, little secret. I feel like a hypocrite to be in the clutches of ED as I preach against it, but I have the solace in knowing that some of my students might learn from my mistakes. I might save some of them even though I cannot save myself.

Part of the dream may have come from talking to two colleagues this weekend. One teaches the academics at our school and asked me in depth how to spot ED in students and what to do about it. He asked me if I was fully recovered and when I smirked at him, he asked if I needed help or if I was healthy enough. I lied and said I was healthy enough.

Another conversation was had with an ex-colleague who worked in the residence and is a counselor for eating disorders at a clinic….on an island. She told me a lot about her program and her past struggles. ED seems to have featured heavily in my conversations in the past week.

Although I have gone to hospital for complications from ED on numerous occasions, I have never been institutionalized. When I was growing up back home, nothing even remotely close to that existed. And yet, I have recurring dreams about being in a recovery centre. They are so vivid. I wonder if it is a premonition rather than a memory.

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2 thoughts on “Institutions

  1. Xanthic says:

    Perhaps it’s a subconscious desire for the kind of supportive recovery environment (not institutionalisation per se, necessarily) that you need to help recover?

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