Thursday was the last day of treatment for Natasha at Children’s Hospital. It started off with our scheduled therapy session at 10:30am. These have routinely been family sessions, but have only included myself and Natasha as others choose not to participate. We go over a few last minute details and then Natasha is off to complete her last day.

She’s been excited, but also somewhat apprehensive. After all, she’s gotten to know these teens and relates well with them. The stresses of home are not here. Aside from the group sessions dealing with emotions, it’s pretty laid back compared to home life. Natasha has made a little note for each teen and gives them to one of the nurses to give to them on Friday.

I head off to Castle Rock to work for a couple hours before heading back up to Children’s for the final parent group and dinner. As I drive up, I realize I’ve grown to enjoy these little drives. It’s a time to pray, talk to myself, let my mind wander, or listen to music or talk radio. Oddly enough, my mp3 player battery dies as if to signal it’s time to wrap this session up!

Thursday group is the DBT group. Today we are talking about change and how we deal with it. I can already tell you I don’t deal with change. I don’t like change. But Natasha and I take the little quiz and, just as I imagined, I don’t like change! Natasha was something that they call a “rock”. Someone who just let’s change happen around them rather passively. That was true as well.

However, in the last three weeks my little rock, Natasha, has made tremendous changes. She’s learned what emotions trigger her eating disorder and she’s learned ways to address the emotions. Natasha has also learned to eat healthier. And she’s learned to value herself more. I know she’ll continue to struggle at times, but know this has been a positive experience.

I too have changed. I’ve learned the things that trigger her eating disorder and I know that I need to make changes to help her to stay healthy. I need to make changes for the whole family. Change is often hard and I don’t take it lightly. I continue to pray that I’ll make the changes that God has planned for us all.

As we finish up the last group and head off to dinner, I panic a bit as a parent who has found out we are leaving today relates the story of how they’ve been there before and were released too early, only to return. To short a time in program is a thought also shared by the therapist Natasha will transition back to outside of Children’s. I can only pray it’s the right move.

Dinner is tough as Natasha is feeling a bit sad. I know this because she’s kind of angry, and she often shows her sadness that way. Natasha seeks out two of the teens to give goodbye hugs to. One of the teens is the young lady who has joined us at a few meals and whom I’ve enjoyed getting to know.

But change happens, for better or worse. This is only the beginning of what will be a lifelong change for Natasha, and hopefully not a struggle.

I’ll still be updating this blog as we go through the next few weeks. Who knows, perhaps even the subject of the blog will change!

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