I want to be beautiful
Make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart & be amazed
I want to hear you say, who I am is quite enough
Just want to be worthy of love
I would write that over and over in my journal, hoping the words would turn into reality, into a worth that I didn’t feel I deserved. As I unpack the things from my dorm, I keep coming back to those words. I don’t remember much of my last few weeks where I was completely in my eating disorder but the pain of the having to expose my disorder to friends and residents before going to Remuda is an ache that over a 100 days later is still there.
I don’t know what defines a trauma and where the line is between something traumatic and just something painful. I believe that it is divisible to each individual person. So many times people get annoyed when they hear others wallowing in self pity when they are dumped from their first love or the person they’ve dated for less that 20 days and you think to yourself they need to get over it, it’s not the end of the world. Well, you aren’t some European explorer, you don’t know their world and pain is pain. In fact, when you are anxious or depressed, the only part of you body that knows why is your mind, your body responds to your trauma the same whether it is something that seems huge or something that seems small. I mean, I’ve even heard someone say that her brother molesting her at a young age is not as traumatic as someone stepping on her foot. I am not sure if I agree with that but that shows how the end of the world for each person is different because we all live in our own reality. Side note and if you knew me and this person than you would understand why I have to put this sentence and yes, it’s shallow but whatever. I do not like this particular person and I think that she’s underestimating her emotions and I hate her. That’s another tangent for another day.
(Abby….can I give you feedback? No! YOU INSTIGATED THIS!! bahgahahhahaha. )
Anyways, in my reality, the last week before coming to treatment is one of the most traumatic weeks of my life. Having to pack up all my things basically in front of everyone, completely isolating, starving, weak, angry, scared and humiliated was so hard on me and haunted me for weeks after. It is still a fresh wound, a sense of failure. I find myself living in a would of “could of’s” and “should of’s” and I often find my mind wondering into a fictional bliss of what my life would’ve been like if I have “toughed it out”, as if my disorder was just some cold or something and I never made the decision to enter treatment. My mind wofts over the actual idea that I would have gotten sicker and instead creates a dream of the control I would have, the body I would have and the happiness I would have. Logically, i am pretty sure it would be hell and there is a pretty good chance that I would be dead but that dream is still there.
The sting of those last few days are more present than ever as I unpack each box of what my life used to be and what my reality is now. It still brings me to tears when I think of the few conversations I remember, either holding every tear in while I had to watch my life burn into ash or finally exposing my emotion as the ones I loved did as well, baring so much hurt that my disorder created. It was hell, pure hell and I am still working through that pain. Through EMDR work, I have worked though all my trauma but I have yet to touch those final days. It’s still too painful.
I think what makes it difficult is my mind translate that week to one of my biggest failures. I worked so damn hard to portray this perfect daughter, student, RA, student, teacher and friend and suddenly the world found out that the whole time they thought I was okay and a role model, i was a walking disorder, constantly lying to them and myself. I failed, I was never perfect, I was never flawless, I was just Anorexic. There was no trace of Sarah to be found, she was dead but the disorder was alive and furious at what the last pleas for help had done. When people find out, they try to say things that will make the situation better but you can tell that looking at you, they are just as lost as you are. I waited and waited for someone to say some magical phrase that would make it all make sense and make it all seem better, but that sentence never came, there was no magic or moment where everything became okay. All that was left was the pieces of a life that had no depth. And still to this day, unpacking brings back that heartbreak. The disappointment of what I left behind and the damage I had done unto the ones I wanted to protect from myself.
I will be the first to tell you that one of the hardest parts about going to inpatient/residential treatment is actually making the decision to go and preparing and there is hope, it does get easier. Each day you fight, even on the days you slip up, will be no where near as bad as when you were full fledged in your eating disorder. You will meet a new family of women who understand and you will form bonds that are so unique and so special that you won’t regret your decision to live again. I promise.
And that’s all I have to say about that