I am emotionally defeated. I feel like I have cried more in the last week than I have since I have been out of Remuda. Shit, I didnt have a depression episode to this degree there either. I came here confident and so excited to start the new year but now I am beginning to wonder if going back was the right decision for me.
When I was in inpatient, I met a girl who was extremely underweight and when she walked in there were whispers from all the patients. “Have you seen how thin she is?” “I have never seen somebody so sick before” “She is so thin”. Hearing those words my heart sunk because those words validated what I thought I never was: thin.
Growing up and still to this day, the word that most people describe me is “funny.” I am pretty skilled at making people laugh, I won’t lie. All of my friends know me as the funny girl, sometimes people will quote the things I say, and someone has made a twitter account of my sarah-isms. In every note I received in treatment and little notes from my frew friends and remuda friends always mention my humor.
But that’s the thing, for so many years, that’s all I was to people. “The funny girl”. But here’s the downside. The funny girl was never called beautiful, was never singled out by boys, never the first one picked at recess nor was I really anybody’s first choice. Do you know who I saw that did get picked? The pretty girls, the ones that looked effortless without trying and the ones that were thin. I was never the girl that people did a double take to, I was never the girl that girl’s wanted to look like and I was never the girl that when I walked in a room people were stopped by how beautiful I was.
I think that was one of the driving forces of my eating disorder. Wanting to have that feeling of being more than just the funny girl. I wanted to be more. And, this may sound weird, but I would look at myself and think “I can’t change my ugly face but I can make my body into something perfect”. For me, beauty and thinness went hand in hand so if I could be thin then maybe it’d make me pretty too. All I ever wanted was to walk into a room and be the one people whispered “Look how beautiful” or “She’s so thin”
So when this particular patient walked in and I heard all those whispers, my heart broke. Here I was, after years of starving and purging, and I had to sit and watch another girl walk in and be the thin girl. I cried for hours, not even secretly, I was full on ugly Kim Kardashian crying, the staff literally had to call my therapist and get her up there as well as other random therapists that had to console me. I just remember being on the couch sobbing with crazy April holding me while I kept repeating “I just want to be small. I want to be the thin, small girl.”
In all honesty, those words still hurt me deeply. Knowing that I will never be the girl who stops people in their tracks, I will never be the ‘thin’ girl and I will never be the drop dead gorgeous girl. Having to grieve that is the hardest part of recovery. Learning to accept yourself for what you are and what you are not is painful.
These past few days have been utter bullshit. Each day I am so anxious anticipating someone to say something or do something that will hurt me, I tense up, try to relax myself and then BOOM, the second I let my guard down or try to allow myself to feel safe I almost immediately regret it.
Today started off with a huge anxiety attack and ended with what is now hour 4 of a pretty disgusting breakdown. Towards the middle of the day, I started trying to calm myself down, say affirmations, and it was working and I remember being somewhat proud of myself for taking the right steps to enjoy my day. Then, during a meeting, there was a moment that completely broke me and put me back to when I first saw the “thin girl” at Remuda. Accept this time I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t walk away, I couldn’t hide and I couldn’t have a treatment team along with friends there. I just had to wait and listen to my eating disorder tell me how no matter what I do or achieve, I will never be the small girl. I will never be the one who gets singled out for being beautiful or thin or small or frail. Ever.
I’ve left my bed once to smoke a cigarette and to eat (go me!) but besides that, I think I am pretty solid with staying here and crying. I know that I am probably sounding pretty whiney, but even though it sucks, I needed a good cry marathon. I know this feeling will pass and it is a disordered thought/feeling but it’s still here.
Until then, I’ll allow myself to feel this. It’ll get better. This is only temporary.