OWN begins our final Addicted to Food on Day 37, just after family week ends. Tennie tells us that this is the week where she makes recommendations for the clients. “Some of them really do need to stay longer and others will be pretty much ok to discharge,” Tennie says. “They may not like the recommendations but as professionals, having done this a long time, I can’t just in good consciousness let them go without making further recommendations.”
- For Amy – Treatment for another 42 days
- For Elizabeth – Treatment for another 42 days and then, go into transition
- For Tinisha – Transition for 30 days and then, go to the half-way house
- For Camille – Transition for 30 days
- For Dejuaii – Transition for 30 days and then, the half-way house for 6 months
- For Robby – Ready to go home
- For Layne – Transition for 30 days and within the 30 days have a family week
- For Traecey – Transition for 30 days
After the recommendations, everyone begins to think “I failed the treatment.” While this is natural, it’s not the case. The reality is that treatment is a long process…that is often a life long journey. This 42 days is just the beginning of reclaiming their lives.
As a transition back into life, the group goes on a field trip. “When you have an eating disorder and you’ve been in treatment a few weeks, it’s almost a shock to go into a grocery story,” Tennie says. Since people with these kinds of disorders cannot avoid going to a grocery store and being around food, this exercise ‘leans’ them back into the process of going to the store, finding healthful foods and avoiding the items they would binge on. Tennie reminds them, “The fresh items are on the outer-perimeter. Avoid the middle. That’s where your processed foods are.” During the outing, it’s clear that the anxiety and stress of the event can be overwhelming. It’s a new normal that they must find…to replace their old ways.
As each client wrestles with their own recommendations from Tennie and her team, they are able to call home to seek advice from their loved ones. There is a mixture of “support” to come home, to decide on your own, or to take the advice of the experts. As we move through the final rituals of the evening, we find out what comes next…and what path their journeys will take them on
As this series ends…the lessons that it leaves each viewer with is personal. Thank you Addicted to Food clients and staff for offering up your own personal journey and taking steps forward to change your own lives and the lives of those who watched you each week. Lessons shared from these journeys show us one tremendous thing. We all face struggles in our lives. It is how we make our way through those struggles that will help us heal…and each journey has the possibility of not just healing ourselves but also healing others through sharing our story.