Monthly Archives: May 2014

Aside

I will not sugar coat or try to over simplify what I’m going through because as much as I try to come off recovery flawless, this shit is hard. I never understood the saying “Recovery doesn’t take a day off” until I was actually in it but I cannot emphasize enough that to keep you’re sanity, you have to work at this every day. If you don’t, everything becomes so much more difficult. The meals become harder, your mind will focus on food, your urges will go from 0 to 60 and getting back on track is so hard. It’s not worth it. 

Naturally, I write this after having a morning from hell because I broke my rule and began to follow Anorexia’s rules instead of my own. I woke up and I immediately put on gym clothes so there would be no excuse for me to not work out, I skipped breakfast and I drank diet coke to curve my hunger. Without even realizing it, I was in the mirror over examining every ounce on my body while my disorder was telling me lies of how pathetic, worthless and fat I am. 

The idea of eating seemed impossible, my anxiety was through the roof and I truly considered fasting for as long as I could. I went to the doctor and talked to some friends but in all honesty, I couldn’t tell you any of the words that were spoken to me because I was so focused on restricting. It was terrible but at the same time, it gave me that eating disorder high that makes me feel as though I had cocaine through my veins. It sucks because for something so destructive it can make you feel alive. 

After my appointment, my mind was debating to eat or not to eat, what I would eat, how I would work out and although my recovery muscle was exhausted (shootout to Abby on that reference) there was something in me that told me to just keep going. I reminded myself what would happen if I didn’t eat. How I wouldn’t go back to school, how I would have to go back to treatment, how I would be a professional patient, etc. Then it became more clear of all the things that would come if I did eat this meal. Freedom, happiness, school, relationships and things that I cannot even imagine. 

This post sucks and Im sorry 

 

Just make good choices 

Me, Myself & I

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I don’t know why saying this is so hard and all my other problems I can so easily exploit but my name is Sarah and I am a codependent.

I rely on people to determine my happiness or unhappiness. I cannot feel good about myself unless someone gives me a reason to and even then it isn’t enough. I must be liked and admired by everyone and that will determine who I am. Even in my day dreams when I imagine my life, I picture my happiness with someone else. 

And it gets worse because I am an enabler to keep people in my life. I will say, do, and go anywhere anybody wants me to so I can keep them happy as if I am the sole person who determines their happiness and they are what determines mine. It’s fucked up and when I really think about it, my codependency issues are the biggest thing in my way when it comes to my recovery because I have to realize that I determine my future, I determine my recovery, I determine who I am going to be and I determine my happiness, nobody else. 

Even on days like today when my codependent voice teams up with my ED voices to talk me down, I have to remember that it is not my job to change the bad in other people’s life and I can’t rely on them to be there for me all the time. When am I going to trust that the first person that needs to be on my team and supporting me is myself. I’m the damn team captain. 

Whether or not I do have a husband or a boyfriend, I can’t sit around waiting for it to happen, that is putting too much unwanted control over that man if it happens and myself. I can’t sit around thinking of manipulating ways for the support around me to stay just for me, they have their own lives just like I do. 

I don’t know who is going to be there in 3 months, a year, or even tomorrow but I have to learn to trust that no matter what happens in my life, I have to be the driving force. The thing that I should be looked forward to is the idea of the unknown. I have to plan my life Sarah first, and if someone (cough, cough Zac Efron) comes into my life, that’s awesome but I can’t sit and wait while forgetting to live. I have to put myself first and putting others in front of yourself all the time to get their love is an act of selfishness, even if I’ve purposely masked it to look like selflessness. 

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I need an interventionist to intervene between me and this monster

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I’m in my university’s super lab right now (fancy shit, right?) in Greensboro. It’s weird when you enter a place that has been so familar in your past that when you come back, it is easy to feel like you never left. When most people say that, they say it with a shadow, but the feeling that I never left terrifies me.

Because before I left I was so sick, so frail, so lost about who I was or what I wanted, I just lived in a colorless world where each day was a competition to test how much I could truly hate myself. Even though everything looks the same, everytime I step on this campus it is like stepping in the ashes of my eating disorder. The shadows of the places where I starved, purged, and slowly committed suicide are all around but disguised as a normal college and I am supposed to enbrace it as a normal student.

But really, I am in the lab where I learned all my distorted nutrition facts and created rigid rules that I followed. Attached to here is the subway where I ate the same damn salad everytime I was there and near that is the bathroom that I would use to purge every ounce of the small salad I painfully choked down. Upstairs is the Starbucks where I got all my ‘meals’ which consisted of black coffee with splenda. Leaving that building as I walk to my dorm is the bench where I spent my final days resting because a simple wake wore me out and left me breathless. Entering my dorm was the eye of the storm. The office where I spoke few truths of how extreme my disorder was, my room was the epicenter of my self hatred. Where I cut myself, where I had my scale that was the most abusive relationship I’ve ever had, where I purged in a small container while I played my netflix loudly so nobody could hear my screams for help from purging.

I pass the cafeteria that was my worst nightmare, where I rarely binged and ate so planned and plainly, analyzing every bite while I pretended to be the perfect Sarah that I wanted everyone to see. I drive by the School of Education building where the professors made me feel so weak and treated me like I was nothing.

Here it is, my dream school. I despertly want to walk on this campus with the smile that so many of my peers have, looking at the campus as there home away from home, the place that is supposed to create the best times of your life but all is left is ashes for me.

It kills me because I want to love this school so badly. I want to walk on this campus and tell you that here is where I want to recover but I am not sure. As fucked up as it may sound, the hell I created was my eating disorder’s self haven, a place where it could thrive while I fed my disease rather than myself, makes me want my disorder so badly. My eating disorde was my blanket, it lied and kept me safe so stepping on the campus without it, it makes me feel volunerable, worthless, fat, and depressed.

What did I do so wrong to deserve this? I am not trying to throw a pity party but how the hell is this fair? Why couldnt these days be my glory years? Why was I destined for this? Why cant I just love myself? Why did I work so hard to get back here only to feel so confused? Why can’t I just have something that I truly want?

I would be lying to you if I told you I wasnt terrifed to come back here in the Fall. I am not even sure if it’s a good idea. I think sometimes I want to be a normal person so badly that I allow it to fog the reality that I am very good at my eating disorder and this place is it’s arena.

I try to tell myself that I could be wrong. I could return and be so strong in my recovery that I shock everyone, including myself. I keep telling myself that over and over.

I could be wrong

I could be wrong

That’s whats annoying about recovery. Allowing life to happen and not trying to control the circumstances. I know what would happen if I obeyed Ana once again but I have no idea what would happen if I kept working and began to live again. I feel safest with plans, with rules, with a predetermined future that I had planned so carefully and I have to let go of that control. And it’s so fucking hard.

I could be wrong but if I am, how the hell am I going to do this?

Feeling or future?

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Today I want my eating disorder back. Today I want to feel the high of restriction. Today I don’t want to feel. Today I feel fat, like everyone is staring at me, judging every inch of my body. Today I want to give up. Today I believe that if I went back to my old habits, it would be a different a different outcome. Today I believe that everything would be better if I just lost weight. 

It is taking every inch in me to just remember that this is a feeling and it will pass. It’s so annoying because recovery tries to rewire your mind from everything that you were ever told. “Follow your gut” my ass. Nobody ever told me that my gut was a disorder that would ruin my life. They never mention that in an inspirational movie. 

As frustrating as it as this is the moment when I have to stop and just try to think that these thoughts are just thoughts, not a fact, just a thought but what I do with it will determine how my future is. I can start to act on these thoughts and go back to where I have been, or just keep trying, despite how shitty I feel and actually go places.

I know it sounds simple but truly, the struggle is real

Martha, my love, don’t forget me

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My dad has been sick with stage 4 cancer for about 3 years. The father that I grew up with is gone, he died the day he was diagnosed but his body is still alive. I am not saying he is some sort of vegetable but he isn’t the man he used to be. That’s not his fault and I still love my dad but it just isn’t the same. He is wasting away, he is losing his muscle mass, he lost his hair and with each chemo treatment, he loses the small amount of spirit that he has left. 

My family isn’t a group of ‘feelers’ by any means, we avoid the bad things and keep a perfectly polished smile in a world of chaos. We don’t talk about how my dad is dying or even the idea of it. There have been dozens of close calls and my sister and mother acted like nothing happened. 

I, on the other hand, have been preparing for the worst since day 1 and it has royally pissed me off that I am the only one that has attempted to process my dad’s death. I used to fight it, yelling at my mother and sister for not seeing what was so clear but I was yelling at their disillusion so I learned to silence myself, use my body to say the words I couldn’t, and play along to their warped reality.

But yesterday I heard honesty from my mother about the whole situation. I got the courage to ask her the question I already knew the answer to but wanted to hear it from her.

 Do you think Dad is going to ever get better?

No. 

Even though the answer was correct, it stabbed me. I thought I had prepared but when the people that have been holding to every thread of hope have seen the reality, it made what I have been grieving even more real. My dad is going to die.

My mom bravely started spilling words that I don’t think she ever allowed herself to even think. How frustrating it was that my dad wasn’t doing all he could do to fight. How he wasn’t eating, wasn’t walking, wasn’t drinking enough water and how he is just managing and not fighting, almost as if he had given up. 

I am so mad at him. No, I don’t know what it is like to have cancer but he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a daughter. When he isn’t feeling well, everyone allows it, but the days when I want to scream, I have to stay silent, be brave for him. He doesn’t know what it’s like to live in fear of a phone call that the man that was supposed to have so much more has lost. He doesn’t know what it is liked to be ripped off from their dad, not having him at my wedding, not having him to be a grandpa, not having him to be there when I need him.

He overworks himself, refusing to ‘put anyone out’, which is blindly selfish. Doesn’t he see how not resting is putting us out in the long run. The day where our world has to stop and we enter a chapel in black is putting us out, because that was a day where I could’ve been spending with him.  

He doesn’t know.

And it kills me. I want him to be stronger, I want him to drink, to eat, to fucking try again like he used to. 
This is how I know he is dead, the man I grew up with, who believed in following things through.

It’s not fair, it’s not fair, it’s not fucking fair. 

I love my dad and I just want him back. That’s it, I want the hugs I used to get, I want the laughs we used to have, I want the starbucks dates, I want the debates, the days where we would ride in the car listening to music in silence, allowing the lyrics to be the only conversation needed. I want that, I want to have what most people have. I want to be the girl who doesn’t have to worry, whose world is constantly in chaos.

I want my puff.

I leave you with a song that contains a memory. Growing up me and my dad would do the dishes and dance to this song in the kitchen.  

Trusting the terrible

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Rules and structure make me feel safe. Within the past two years, I have had such chaos that I created rules for me to follow, it began as simple and transformed into a monster. I needed them, a list of things that if I do something would happen. Don’t get this, you’ll get that. Being in control made me feel so powerful, finally nothing could happen that I couldn’t predict. I would get thin, everything would turn out great and everyone would love me. 

Well, that crashed and burned. My list of rules became longer and longer and my need to follow them became stronger. What I created for control flipped into controlling me. Long story short, I developed Anorexia and I had to go to rehab.

Whoops.

I left remuda thinking that I was back in control of my life and recovery was my new set of rules but as time goes on and my emotions that I perfectly repressed are coming out and all I want to do is go back to my rules and not feel. Which sucks because I really want to say that I am doing well in recovery but there are some rules that I can’t break and I never want to. My mind distorts things and tells me that I’ll feel anymore, I won’t be able to handle it. 

I trust these rules and stand firm to them at all costs and I know they got me nowhere but I can’t help but trust the terrible. I can’t help but blame a lot of my struggles within the past few years before the eating disorder because I was completely fearless and unruly. It’s like I am trusting a colander to be my bucket or something. 

And it’s not like the rules make sense. It’s not like no diving signs or a speed limit. It’s food. I still can’t eat french fries and I never want to, I never want to eat cakes, i never want to drink sweet tea or caloric soda and I never want to eat pizza. I am not sure what these rules will do for me, after all, little rules such as these began a terrible spiral. 

What does this mean for me? Does this mean that I am still in my Anorexia, it’s just slowing down until it finds the right moment to come back and destroy like it did before? Why do I trust rules that logically aren’t protecting me?

As each day passes, the food is slowly turning into a number and I am finding myself creating rituals around food. It’s clever though, they seem normal and all recovery like, but if I break them, I feel completely out of control. It scares me how much I still have the need for rules in my life and what a relief it gives me but at the same time typing that I will never have a french fry again makes feel so safe. I follow them blindly, hoping that maybe this time they can send me in more of a numb peace.

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make good choices

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Sorry I haven’t been blogging too much the past few days, life man, it’ll get to ya!

 

I am at my friend’s babysitting because she tried to kill herself. I’m going to leave my post short as I can because I only have a few things to say.

The first time I tried to commit suicide I was in the fourth grade. I hated everything about myself and that message conveyed for years after the first attempt. When you start treatment they ask about your suicide attempts and most people have one or two, I, on the other hand actively tried to on almost a daily basis to end my life. If you knew me then, you probably never would’ve guessed it, I am an amazing actress in the role I’ve casted myself to where I appear a happy, funny and outgoing girl. That wasn’t me at all. I even remember in high school walking the halls holding back tears, waiting for the second I could go home and harm myself.

What I am trying to say is, I am no stranger to suicide. I am not the person who looks at those who end their life and think that it was a selfish act. Suicide is a side effect of depression. It is a mark of where your mind literally cannot fathom the importance that you hold in the world.

Right now, I am trying to learn to love myself and hoping that I never have to find myself in the dark days where my goal of each day is to end it. I just want to say that if you feel like you are unimportant, if you feel like the world would benefit without you, if you feel like everything is falling apart and you just want to let go, just give yourself one last gift and that is patience. Patience in the possibility that things might get better, patience in the possibility that you can love yourself, patience in the possibility of your horror becoming a window for you to tell others and save others.

If you do feel suicidal, I am here for you because not only have I been there, I basically have a townhouse there, I know the area pretty damn well. Get yourself into treatment, find a therapist, surround yourself with people that love you as much as you should love yourself.

There is hope, I promise. Hope that can give you so much more than pills or a cut or a casket could ever give you.

 

If you feel a danger to yourself, call 911 or the 24/7 National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255