Monthly Archives: August 2014

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Do you ever feel so sad that it feels like there is a knife going through your chest? But you know your heart is beating, your blood is flowing and life is all around you and for some reason every step and breath you take feels like your last.

The stress of who you are takes a physical form of loved ones as they tip toe around you. Smiling, making small talk when everyone knows that you’re just a time bomb. You don’t want to scare them or hurt them anymore than you already do so you sum up your feelings to “fine”, hoping that they’ll call bullshit and recognize that depression can make days unbearable.

Have you ever felt completely numb and empty that you can’t make words out of people’s conversation and memories turn into this dull, grey blob? Music has lost it’s beauty, books have lost their magic and being awake is the biggest fear of the day.

And you feel like everything would be better if it all just stopped and the only thing stopping you is the hope that things will finally get better, your winter will turn into spring and the promises that these feelings are only temporary will come true.

I wait for that day every moment of my life because there has to be something better than this. There has to be.

2 peppers, 1 salt

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what

I just had an amazing conversation with the ever so lovely Abigail. My heart aches for Remuda. Treatment was one of the hardest things, if not the hardest, I had to do. I had  to test myself every day, challenging my core beliefs, learning how to communicate effectively and eating foods that I believed would label me a worthless. I don’t ever want to go back to were I was in January but the woman that I met were some of the most genuine, kind and understanding ladies I have ever had the privilege of meeting. 

There is something very special about being in a community of women who share the same disorder as you do. Any illness, whether mental or physical, can make you feel alone because on the outside world, those who share your symptoms are few and far between. So when you meet people like you or have to live in a treatment setting with people like you, you create such a special bond with them. For me, I could talk about the horrors of my fear foods without getting the ‘just eat in moderation’ response like I did before. Or I could share the nightmares of my days living in Anorexia and know that there were people who thought and acted just like me. I grew with these ladies. I knew their stories, their hardships and their heartaches and I allowed myself to let them hear mine. We evolved from our sickness into strong woman who had the tool belt of recovery. 

But then we left. We packed our bags, we booked a flight and we spent our last nights anxiously awaiting the world, ready to reenter it with a new mindset on life. We knew that we were strong, we knew that we were worthy of a life without our disorder and we had a list of phone numbers and emails of our treatment family who promised that when the time came where their were moments of weakness, we always had each others back. And just like that, we were back into the world. 

Although I have alot of numbers to call, I mainly keep up with my Remuda friends on Facebook. We have a private little group where we share our struggles and victories. As time goes on and more posts are adding to our group, there are more and more woman who were once doing so well in recovery only to now fall back into their eating disorder. These woman who I once saw weeping when they realized how much ED had taken away from them go back into it’s arms. It’s devastating. 

We all left with the same intentions but returning with separate realities. Reading this posts make me feel like my relapse is inevitable because you literally see your friends do a 180. Two months ago their Facebook was filled with fear foods that they had conquered and now they are dying from their eating disorder. I have had to distance myself from so many of the women who I once called family because I have to protect myself and my recovery.

It’s a beautiful and special bond that I have had with these ladies but with distancing myself I am at a horrible place of not being around the people who understand me but still not feeling comfortable with being in the real world where starvation is a feeling that so many people will never have to go through. 

With my eating disorder, my isolation was perfectly calculated and planned. I refused to go out with anyone with the fear of having to eat with them at the forefront of my mind. I locked my own door, I ignored texts and I didnt allow myself to believe that I deserved a friend. Now, my isolation is situational. I lost a lot of people because of my eating disorder and now I have to lose people because of theirs. 

I am very lonely here. It’s heartbreaking knowing that there are people who think and feel just like me but also having to do what is best for me. I have one friend here and since most people my age have already established their friend groups, it’s hard for me to suddenly come back expecting the friendships that I once denied myself. And the long list of Remuda and renfrew friends that used to be my only sense of community has dwindled down to two of my three roommates. 

I am hoping that this is a temporary issue. When I feel down, I like to remind myself that the times I have felt so alone have blossomed into the parts of my life with the most people. Until then, I am taking as many applicants for friendship and whimsy as I can. 

 

So much fuckery

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I have days where I look back at my life with my eating disorder and feel confident that I don’t want that hell back. But then there are days like today when the idea of starving, purging and using food to numb out seem like the only thing in my life that makes sense.

1%-5%

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I feel very lonely here. I’ve been in a treatment setting since December so I’ve been around people with eating disorders for so long. The more I am here the more I am realizing that I am part of the 1% of people. Most of my peers have never starved, purged or binged in their whole life and cannot relate to me. 

I am trying to find who I am in recovery and it’s hard to do that with a small handful of friends. I have my eating disorder and missing a semester to blame on that one. The friends I lost because of isolation and the friends that live off campus makes me alone a majority of the time. It’s thrilling. I know this is distorted but with my eating disorder, at least I had a purpose and someone/thing that was always there. Like I planned my days out, not being with people wasn’t as lonely because I was terrified to be around them and I had a goal in mind. I feel invisible here and I feel like I have to present myself as this perfect little recovery warrior when people ask if I am alright. I feel like I’m not special or something because, another distortion, my eating disorder was the only thing I was good at. (distortion BUT that’s a core belief that I am challenging) The past three years of my life, I have been so dependent on other people and now that I am back, I am terrified that if I tell them that I am struggling because what if they are done with me always having a problem? What if they have to step away? And it’s not as if I don’t trust these people, I just don’t trust myself telling them. I am (self inflicting) doing this all by myself and it sucks. I wish I could be as better as people think I should be. 

Because I do struggle. I do have a large majority of daily successes but there are moments when I just want to tell someone “Can you sit with me, I’m struggling” or “I can’t do that yet.” or “I don’t know what I’m doing” but instead when people ask I just say that I am ok. I’m doing great. Everything is fine.  I just don’t want people to think that I am the same girl I was 8 months ago because I am not but I don’t want people to think I am fixed. I want trust myself with having someone to sit with, I want to trust myself to have someone talk to here, I want truly believe that my symptoms or life fuckery is not a way to pass me off. 

And some days I don’t. Some meals are easy. I had a piece of cake today. That’s a HUGE DEAL and I feel fine mentally and physically. I wish I could share that with someone here because if I was in treatment, it’d be viewed as a big step and I’d probably get a hot drink. These huge milestones for my recovery and I don’t tell people because once again, I don’t want to bother them. It’s weird because on one hand I want to be normal and on the other, I want my recovery and my struggles to be acknowledged. 

But the reality is there is 1%-5% of people in this country, let alone this campus, that can relate. People see cake as cake. People see purge as vomit and laxatives as disgusting. People see Anorexia with bones and nothing less. Very few people have lenses like mine and it’s fucking lonely. 

I have tried so hard this year to get back to where I am right at this moment but now I am missing the comfort zone of treatment. Nobody wants to feel alone, no matter what the circumstances. I have to trust that I am where I need to be and doing everything I can do to keep moving on with my recovery.

It’d be nice if I just had a recovery friend here. 

(Please, readers who have my number, don’t lose your shit and text me. I realize the distortions in this post and although I don’t feel like I have an identity without my eating disorder, I am more than fucking willing to continue on recovery because I don’t want  to live January 19, 2014 twice. Hell to the no )

 

 

 

Sick Enough

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“Eating Disorders are competitive. It’s twisted but you compete with other people to ‘be the sickest’. So if you’re sitting there thinking ‘I’m not sick enough to deserve to get better’ than I promise you, you are. Because normal, healthy people don’t  have these thoughts. Normal, healthy people don’t sit there and thing ‘Damn, I wish I could have broken my arm in more places so that I am allowed to let it heal”

Kiana Ethier 

 

Not today, Satan, Not today

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I have heard the stories of the woman who tried to starve but got too hungry. I could write chapters of those who stuck their fingers down their throat but instead walked away. I have looked in the faces of people who said they’ve tried but Anorexia but couldn’t go through with it. I never attempted to have an eating disorder, I never dreamed of having an eating disorder and I never could just turn my back and ‘be normal’. It just happened.

Anorexia is more than a criteria that you fit in.  It is not some checklist that boils down to “Do you think you are fat?” “Are you 50 pounds?” and “Does celebrities influence you to do this?” It’s more than a fad diet, it’s more than your reflection, it’s more than anything that a Dr Phil special can tell you. It’s so much more because all you want to be is so much less. 

Have you spent hours running your fingers over your body hoping that the valleys between your bones are sunken in? Or used your hands as a measuring tool to check and see if that one slice of wheat bread you had made a difference? Please, enlighten me on how you would look at a child’s body and be envious of how they look because their small bodies represent an innocence that you’ve never felt. 

Did you hope that between the gap in your thighs would allow people to see right through you? Thin was never a bathing suit goal and thin was never a pair a skinny jeans and zero was never a size, it was what you wanted to be. Zero isn’t a number, it literally translates to nothing and when you skipped that one meal or when you ‘tried’ to be anorexic, tell me, was your purpose to be nothing? Because the idea that you could be something seemed like such an ugly lie that no matter what people told you, you couldn’t believe it.

Have you hoped that with each pound that you lose you would lose a bit of yourself with it? Did you carry so much shame, guilt, anger and pain that you felt as though it stuck to you. Fat wasn’t just a BMI chart or a plus size store because eating disorders aren’t that simple. Fat was all of the feelings that stuck to you and you truly believed that with the less body fat you have, the less that you would have to feel and the less people would have to see. 

You tell me about how you skipped a meal because you wanted to fit into a damn dress or look good for your high school reunion and say it was your eating disorder when my disorder starved so I could fit into a smaller casket. There was no dress that flattered me, there was no date that wanted me and there was never a time when I wanted to be around groups of people that once knew me because I knew myself, and I knew that with who I am and with my body, my presence, no matter what the gown, would be worth it. 

And that one purge that allows you to relate to me? Tell me, did you miss a memory because of it? Did you miss birthdays, holidays, or friends because you tried that one time? When you look at pictures can you tell what was actually going on or is all you see is how you purged after that picture or how your cheeks were swollen? Has someone ever made you a meal in hopes to make you feel loved or special and the thought of someone having positive emotions upset you so much that you wanted to prove them wrong. So you purged their love and your purged their good intentions because nothing else mattered. When it came down to it, nothing but purging ever fucking mattered. 

Stop pretending to have something. Stop wanting this. Stop googling pro ana and applying these tips and tricks to your daily life. Stop carrying around a pocket DSM and telling people about your eating disorder. Because what you are doing when you say that you have/had an ED to get attention or talking about your skipped me is helping carry on a stigma that this is not a disorder but a choice. Because if you say that you could stop, then why can’t everyone else? Acknowledge that this is a DISORDER that controls and ruins your life. It is not skipping a meal to be thin it is trying to eat nothing so you can be nothing.   I am working my fucking ass off every day, I am fighting urges telling me that without my eating disorder, I have no identity. I am silenced by your stories because with the picture of anorexia you are painting, i was never sick enough to meet your standards. If you want it so bad, you can take it from me. Have it. Please, give me your address and I will mail my ED to you for keeps. I’ll even pay shipping. 

If people knew who I truly was

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Until treatment, I don’t ever think I connected how much I used purging to numb out. I got so addicted to it that I thought it was just about the weight but now I only purge to make my emotions less intense. This transition has been hard and although I am striving to take everything day by day, meal by meal and minute by minute, I still find that my mind is caught up in all that’s going on and makes me overwhelmed.

 

I am the worst at future tripping. I blame my parents because they innocently told me to always looks towards future consequences when making all decisions. That’s true, I mean, don’t go out and fuck a dude without a condom because shit can get real and do take steps that will benefit you in the long run. I totally agree with that, but as many people with an eating disorder may relate to, when we believe something or take something to heart, we go all in. Although I am in the grey with perspectives, my life and outlook is extremely black and white. So how I took their advice was to only think of what may happen, always make choices out of fear and don’t waste living in the moment when you can work towards all that you can be.

 

So, for most of my life, I was always worried about the future when it came to relationships. Growing up, I have made a lot of decisions that have altered my relationships and more often than once, I would find myself completely alone with nobody liking me for who I was and the choices that were made behind that. So, going into college, I promised myself that I wouldn’t be the girl who had nobody. I spent a lot of time focusing on how I could make other people happy, how I could give them anything just so I wouldn’t lose their relationship and all while I was so afraid to lose everyone. I have spent many countless nights replaying made up scenarios of those I lovetelling me how worthless I was, how I was this or that and how they wanted nothing to do with me. This boils down to the core belief that has been the hardest for me to let go of

 

If people knew the real me, they would be shocked and want nothing to do with me.

 

That statement has such a hold on me. It creeps up when I am with friends, it disturbs my dreams and follows me everywhere I go. There are a lot of things that I have done, especially in high school, that I still can’t forgive myself for and I project that anger onto other people, even though, 99.9% of my friend population doesn’t know.

 

My therapist tells me that the fear of everyone finding out in the future is what is holding me back in recovery. He tells me that fear fuels my eating disorder and it’s what is driving all my lapses. It’s the reason I purge, it’s the reason I starve and it’s the reason I mutilate.

 

I have many friends and support people that have told me that there is nothing that I could do to not have them. My first reaction is that they are lying so I just smile and nod. Because I am afraid that the thing that will make them step away is letting my wall down and being myself. It’s miserable believing that what seperates you from having a true connection with someone is the fear of being yourself.

 

I just purged. I completely broke my purging ritual, too, which, if you have an ED then you know how weird and rare that is. I was with my friends, outside smoking and that future tripped scene of me being all alone and heartbroken because people learned everything about Sarah and wanted nothing to do with her popped into my mind. Although it hasn’t happened yet, the pain of this imaginary event always cuts right through me. I had to leave, I had to get out of there. I could see the disappointment in their eyes, I could feel the feeling of my heart getting heavy in my chest and I wanted nothing to do with it. I had to purge those scenes, I had to purge my fears, I had to purge who I am. I just had to. I couldn’t feel those things anymore. In that moment, I wasn’t strong enough.

 

I will be honest in saying that I do feel better right now from purging. Which I know is kinda taboo to say on an eating disorder recovery blog. Purging can bring such an instant relief of peace and when you suffer from severe anxiety and depression, it’s hard to resist the feeling of being ok. When you are in purge mode, it’s hard to think clearly. Sometimes I put myself in time out but I couldn’t today.

 

I swear to God, I would do anything to go back in time and stop me from first starting to purge. It’s so fucking addicting.

 

I just want to be ED free and pet kittens.