After being fed “hospitalization” “heart rate” more doctors, etc. I was slightly concerned about my heart, or maybe just more concerned that I was being threatened with the hospital. I called my grandma who told me she blames my mom, which isn’t helpful at all. I txted mom the next morning just saying, “Grandma told me she blames you for my struggle with food. It has nothing to do with you, and I’m just not sure if you want to be involved in whats going on or not. I know you have a lot going on.” She told me that she did want to know, so I sent her a couple texts about my heart, inpatient, and S had told me yesterday, “It is starting to boil down to two options, involuntarily hospitalized, or voluntarily go into treatment.”
I called the treatment place back, I called mom, grandma, even my step dad. I was shocked at the different responses. Everything from:
Grandma: “This is going to be great, I bet you are so excited.” “I get to see you for Christmas.”
Mom: “This isn’t a vacation for you, I am so sorry.”
Step dad: “Go have a fucking beer, smoke some dope and relax.”
It honestly reminded me of the book Purge, My mom, of course was trying to bring it back to her, how SHE should have caught it sooner, how she is so sorry. My step dad doesn’t wanna spend the money (hell, I don’t blame him) but said, “Well, try and see what they will have you doing so you can get out of there sooner.”
I know my grandma was trying to be supportive, but telling me to “get excited” is such a stretch. This was not how I anticipated my Senior year of college, and my Christmas break going. So, I called the place back, she was super nice, funny. Looks like December 7th, I am checking into treatment……
So, next step was getting the paper work done from my other doctor, not the one on campus, my GP, that I was cleared and stable to go. The nurse, who also knows me by name, squeezed me in for the next day, which I was very appreciative of. I fly out on Tuesday and will be gone, to come back and go to inpatient. As I sat there I decided that since she was nice enough to squeeze me in I would make her life a little easier and not put up a fuss when she wants to weigh me. So, I waited for my name to be called as my plan of being sneaky was being put into play. “Yeah, I won’t put up a fuss,” I thought to myself, “so, maybe she won’t notice when I get on the scale with all of my stuff.”
The nurse called my name, I gathered my purse, coffee, and book and followed her. “You know what we have to do.” without any hesitation I said, “Yes, ma’am.” and turned around to step on the scale backwards. She stopped me, “Woah, wait a second, don’t you want to hand me some of that stuff.” she grabbed my book and coffee and gestured for my purse. “We don’t want you cheating.” Well Damn.
After that was done, Dr. M came in shortly after, she is sassy and brutally honest as well. She came in and said, “So, how have you been since the last time? Anything new? Besides still losing MORE weight.” She said that in a matter of fact tone. I had gotten a glimpse of my chart before then and realized it had gone down. I handed her the paperwork, she looked at it wondering what it was. I explained it was paperwork for inpatient treatment. “Inpatient treatment…for the anorexia?” “Yeah.” “Awesome! I’m so glad to hear this. This is great. I’m glad you are doing this.”
I asked her about the antidepressants, she also agreed that it could be helpful and that she didn’t have or see any problem with me taking them. She went through the routine questions and asked about the usual, getting her little snarky jabs in when possible. She asked if I had a fever or chills, I answered, “I am always cold.” “Well yeah, you have no body fat.” “Sore throat, vomiting?” I looked at her… and she answered her own question…”Oh, yeah.” She had me get on the table, I stood up and she held out her hand so I wouldn’t fall. Looking back I feel like an old lady who had to be helped up. At the time I was just fixating on “Up, step, step, sit.”
She began to fill out the paperwork, less than thrilled I had lost more weight, but relieved that I was looking into inpatient. Dr. M stopped and looked at me, “We really don’t have that many anorexics or bulimics, but I want to schedule another appointment with you when you get back and touch base. I want to hear about your experience, if it was helpful, and see how you are doing. You will be my little educator about this. I will get this stuff turned in for you.”
So much has happened lately, and I’m not really sure where I left off. In the past week and a half I have had close to ten appointments. Everything from two with the therapist, to about three doctor appointments, two dietitian appointments, two other doctor appointments.
I can remember a time where I never went to the doctor. I would go very very rarely, and typically only when they needed a “current physical” for something I was doing.
The last time I met with N, the dietitian, I felt that she didn’t really care if I came back or not. Well, I came back. We focused on three aspects; food, exercise and the lax. For the food we talked about what worked, what didn’t etc. I told her I was still working on yogurt, but no Clif bars, so then she helped me decide on other bars, or just granola in baggies. N expressed how proud of me she was because I realized I can’t just wait, that I can’t mix foods and how I get discouraged and mad at myself when these feelings should be directed to the ED.
I told her that it was probably just an excuse or cop out, but that I had this mindset and thought that, “Maybe recovery just isn’t for me.” She kinda chuckled and said that wasn’t only perfectly normal, but predictable.
Then came the exercise. I told her I acknowledge that I need a healthy balance between working out and food. Once or twice she asked, “What can I do to help?” If you have ever been in that position, you really aren’t sure how to answer. I thought for a moment and told her I thought guidelines would be good for me. I told her that there was so much that was triggering, from seeing people run on campus to others talk about their diets and weight loss. So, I was put on a “no more than 3 miles a day” remedy, and if I get antsy, which she knew I would, I am allowed to do weights or abs, but for no longer than a half hour. At first she started by saying six miles every other day, but quickly realized I’d abuse that by “forgetting” or “losing track” of the days.
The next day I had a doctor appointment that lasted two hours, followed by an appointment with S later that day. I showed up at the doctor on campus, same office as the dietitian, and even the receptionist and nurses there know my name- sheesh. So, got weighed, blood pressure sitting, blood pressure standing, etc. Then I waited for K to come in. When she did we talked about the appointment with N, talked about taking it easy for the run I’m doing next week. We talked about antidepressants again, and I said ok. She advised me it would get worse before it gets better and to be prepared, and to maybe even tell my family I’m going to see, just in case. The phone rang and pulled K from the room, she came back and said, “I’m going to be very very honest with you. That phone call was about you. It was S?” “Oh, shit….yeah.” She had called to I guess get more information about how I was doing and to talk about inpatient. I said I didn’t have the time, money, I’m not sick, etc. She brought me back the antidepressants after calling S back, and had me sit on the table. She listened to my heart and expressed concern that my heart rate was getting low and even mentioned hospitalization if it got any lower. So, that was that. Then came my appointment with S. She has done so much from calling numerous places, to referring me to the dietitian, to researching, it means a lot to me that she put in so much time and effort.
We talked about N and K, she brought up inpatient-AGAIN and the antidepressants. She gave me the same warning that “They will take a few days, so don’t get discouraged and stick with it.” I feel like S had a lot to say this time. S said that all of the places she called were concerned and thought I needed help sooner than later. She told me a story about a girl who was supposed to go to treatment then something happened, she had to be hospitalized before she was even allowed to go. S said I would be really pissed if I had to be force fed some gross hospital food, and not be allowed to run period, plus the nurses would hate me because I wouldn’t eat it. She told me that if I am still waiting for an “Oh shit moment”, it is going to end up being a big one, like breaking a leg or my heart, and no inpatient place will want to take me if I’m not healthy.
I am fairly certain that I was told a line of bullshit by both of the two that day:
That A) my heart rate was slower
and B) I was told that I’m borderline not “healthy” enough to go
S told me that she had called one other place, closer than the others, and that they had a waiting list, but could take me mid December. She said that I was put on the list, and she gave them my number.
On the way home from my appointment my phone rang…..
My new therapist, S. She openly admitted that she doesn’t have much experience with eating disorder patients. She told me my BMI and weight, as a defense mechanism I become quiet and usually just shrug my shoulders, she told me, “That is something childish, that like a 5 year old does. I bet you don’t do that with your professors.” Yesterday she told me, “Why do you throw up?! It’s not like you eat!”
Yet, I still continue to go to her. You may ask “Why?” or “Wow, what the hell, how rude and ignorant.”
Admittedly, I thought these things, more than once too. I continue to go because she is right, and she is honest- brutally honest. While telling an eating disorder patient their BMI and weight might not be the best thing to do, she was trying to make a point. The shrugging of the shoulders? She was right. I made a conscious effort this week to not shrug, and surprise surprise, I opened up and spoke more.
I whole heartedly admire and respect the fact that she is honest. I may not always like what she has to say, but it serves a purpose. S told me she isn’t a specialist. “I work with many people with addictions, but not much experience with eating disorder patients. I have read and researched this and that…. I spoke to your old therapist, C, and she said….. I called an inpatient place….” I am grateful that she is putting effort forth, to not just placate me, but to actually do research, look into resources, she is trying. I also find it easier to talk to her, and she calls it as it is. I really admire these things.
I expressed how I felt about not being healthy, but not being sick. She called me out on it. “Your body is sending you all of these signs…X,Y,Z…. You aren’t listening though, what are you waiting for? By the time your blood work comes back REALLY abnormal, it will be ICU and feeding tube time.” “The first time I saw you I did think you weighed XX lbs. I thought to myself how small you are. When Dr. M told me how much you weighed I really questioned her and realized that you must have muscle from being an athlete.”
She expressed that she was really concerned about me, she is really worried about my throat. During my appointment it hurt me to talk so bad, I had thrown up so violently the night before and scratched my throat, I was sipping tea, and told her how bad it hurt. That just added to the concern.
I told her I had realized that it didn’t matter if I weighed 90 or 190, If I wasn’t happy with myself it didn’t matter. She told me that was something we could work on, the self esteem and not being so negative to myself.
Without breaking any confidentiality or anything S told me that there was someone who used to go there. They left one days, and a couple months later they died. S also expressed that she believes they were better off physically than she thinks I am. She began to get teary-eyed and I wasn’t sure what to do. It sincerely bothers me that others are so much more concerned about me than I am. I am yet so appreciative to have someone that I feel like genuinely cares, and I’m not just another case on her desk.
I feel forever stuck in the middle of being consciously aware that what I am currently doing to my body is not “healthy”. I know making myself throw up isn’t normal or healthy. Or going days without eating. Or running miles upon miles on nothing but a cup of coffee. Trust me, I am aware of this.
I am also stuck thinking I am not “sick”. A sick person wouldn’t be able to run 5 miles. A sick person wouldn’t be going to class. If I were truly sick, I would have already been in the hospital by now.
This is where my mind stays. Forever in an eternal conflict.
I’ve been to my therapist this week, my dietitian- twice, a doctor, and I’ve been scheduled with an eating disorder therapist person tomorrow. This week has been ridiculous.
I’m not sure if my dietitian was testing the waters and trying to light a spark, or just giving up. I’ve heard from many different angles the term “inpatient”. I’ve heard how thin I am. I was told that someone died from this, and S believed they were physically doing better than I am. I’ve been told that it is very likely that my esophagus could rupture.
My dietitian told me today: I’m not sure if it is worth it for you to even see me.
Wait… say what?!
Monday, she gave me the task of consuming a spoonfuls of yogurt throughout the day. She also said she would prefer I not run until she saw me Thursday as well. Today I admitted I had continued running, but I had been doing the yogurt. I felt very discouraged and rejected that she had so plainly pretty much told me that there was nothing she could do.
We talked about how I have to want to change and recover. I explained I wanted to get better but was terrifying to me. I still feel torn. Nobody wakes up in the morning and just says, “Oh, hell yes, give me a burger I want to get better.” I figured it was like the Christian idea of forgiveness…. Just do it even though you don’t FEEL like it, and the feeling and mindset will come. I figured I would go through some very unsure, questioning, uncomfortable time, but stick with it, and at some point maybe I would be more willing and mentally understanding. Then to feel shot down.
I asked her, “So then what? Is it just a waiting game until I “feel” like recovering?”
I would have liked a structured plan, short term goals, something… instead I just felt shot down and defeated, pushed away, discouraged. Both my Dr. and S thought a dietitian would be the way to go.
I’m not sure if the dietitian was just trying to get a spark and wanted me to feel motivated, or was having a rough day, or just genuinely believes that she won’t help or what it is.
Are there some magical steps I am missing? Everyone else sees me and my size. I see a whale. I don’t know if I just continue to wait, but then what? I told her I’ve dealt with this for so long that if I don’t choose to recover now, then when?
Do I see if S can help me with the dysmorphia and self esteem thing first? Then if I can truly see my size and body hope and pray I realize my size and that I need help…then go back to the dietitian?
I honestly appreciated the “team” I had going. From the therapist, to doctor, to dietitian. I felt like that was what I needed. Having people from all sides trying and being on my side, willing to help.
I’m obviously trying, otherwise I wouldn’t have forced so many spoonfuls of yogurt down my trap, and continued to show up to all of these appointments. I understand I need to be motivated, I am trying, step by step. It is so hard to want to try though when I feel like I keep getting knocked down or pushed away.
Oh. My. Freaking. Gosh. Yes. Thank. You!!!
“I wasn’t strong enough to have an eating disorder…I tried to go anorexic for a good three hours. I ate ice and celery, but that’s not even anorexic. And I quit. I was like, ‘Ma, can you make me a sandwich? Like, immediately.” -Meghan Trainor
Yes, this is real life. Read the full article here.
A few comments:
- Anorexia is not just “not eating”.
- You don’t just “GO” anorexic. It’s not a trend you can pick up and leave behind when you’re ready. It’s not that simple.
- Eating disorders are not about strength and willpower.
Let’s elaborate, shall we?
Anorexia, just like any other eating disorder, is a substance abuse disorder. What does that mean exactly? It’s categorized in the same boat as alcoholism and drug addiction. You can think of it similarly: IT’S AN ADDICTION. What substance are we abusing? Food (or the lack thereof). Sure, I might…
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“Skip dessert.” “Order a salad.” “One cup of whole milk has the saturated fat of a Snickers.”
I read these “tips” as I sit in the dietitian’s office for the first time for my eating disorder.
If you have read my previous “Fucking Monday” post, then you are right where you need to be. I got done running, missed my doctor appointment, but made it to my dietitian appointment. I sat there, signing my life away, fees, privacy, no show policy. It was the spot light effect, I felt like I was in a bad rip-off scene of Juno.
My back facing the entrance, that way nobody would recognize me. In my head everyone who walked in knew immediately, “Fat ass is here for an eating disorder.” It was plastered on my face, it was sewn into my clothes. A small wooden box sat on the receptionist’s counter held an enticing assortment of colored condoms with a scribbled sign “Only take 2.” with a printed sheet of “How to use a condom” beside it.
I began to feel panicky and nauseous, feeling light-headed. What had I done. Why was I here. My name was called. Time seemed to freeze and speed up simultaneously. I saw her, but she didn’t see me. She towered over everyone and I saw her eyes scan the waiting room of college kids with a sore throat, getting a flu shot… then me, not moving. I hesitantly got up and made my way to the door she was holding open. I made it to the room where one couch bench thing was, and a chair. I put my bag down next to the rickety scale and immediately thought, “Oh hell no.” and had a seat in the chair.
She began by introducing herself, we will call her N, and explained that she didn’t have any of my information yet, that it was up to me to start from the beginning.
I tried to keep it as brief as possible. “I went to the doctor, she referred me and set me up with a therapist, S, and I guess S set me up here with you.”
She began to pry and attempt to lure me in. “Why were you at the doctor to begin with?” “Leg cramps, chest pains. I’m fine. Was my gallbladder, the cramps are ok.”
Ok guys, I just want to take a moment to set the scene for you. Here I am, had gone running this morning, I’m wearing my running leggings, two long sleeve shirts, and my thirteen year old brother’s hoodie over top of it. I was freezing, yet comfy. We are in this small room, very small, institutionalized vibe, with plain walls, one window, very high up, these two rickety looking seats, and a shelf of nutrition books. There is something that might possibly be a full length mirror, but it is covered with a sheet, one small coffee table to my left with a lamp, and a sink on the “far” end of the room. I say “far” because I could probably spit further than the wall.
“So, you’re here for….disordered eating?” She asked, her long legs stretching and crossing her arms over her. “Yeah…..” “Anorexia?” What the hell, I’m not even small, plus I am wearing three long sleeves! “I’m not sure. My weight isn’t super low, but that’s the term that I keep hearing get thrown around.”
I briefly went on about Dr. M, how I was in outpatient, but quit going, Dr. M scheduled my appointment with the therapist, and low and behold now I’m sitting in a dietitian’s office.
We begin to talk about my running. I explain how far I run, she asks me if I lift, I say I used to more. She comments on how tiny I am and I just shake my head. I explain that unless I just completely quit lifting I don’t see my weight drastically going down. We briefly hit on the topic of antidepressants, and talked about the neurotransmitters, and receptors, I understood and was following. I asked if she thought they would help and she thought so. N asked me if I was really depressed or thought about killing myself. I told her, “Depressed? I guess a little, but not suicidal. I have little siblings and I would never do something that selfish to leave them.”
One thing N was concerned about was that she didn’t have a “starting point”. I explained I thought I was apathetic, S disagreed, but I just didn’t really care. I mentioned the oh shit moment, even though I had already had small issues with my body. I shared that I didn’t feel “sick”, but knew what I was doing wasn’t healthy. N was/is a runner, she understood. She was really patient and tried to reassure me that it isn’t necessarily “apathy”, but now my eating disorder had become more of a lifestyle. I agreed and said that I didn’t want to be stuck in this hell hole rut, but was scared of letting go of this.
After talking for quite a while, she sat up, elbows meeting her knees, her fingers laced together sat against her chin and lips. “I think it would be a good idea for us to work together. I have a lot of experience with eating disorder patients and I think this could be very beneficial.” I nodded and agreed. She asked about getting weighed and I said no. “Even if you step on backwards?” I repeated my first answer. I asked her a question that had been bothering me, “Is BMI reliable? S told me my weight and BMI, and I wasn’t happy with either.” “Oh really? Well what was it?” Hesitantly, and with a coaxing look being thrown from the lengthy dietitian, I told her what it had been a couple months ago. She explained that it really wasn’t and was based more on stereotypical body types. She told me that my BMI would technically be considered “low or undernormal”.
I expressed irritation that others were more concerned about me than me. She agreed and also said, “Well, I don’t care. Why should I care about you if you don’t?” Trying to make a point. With that she also said in the same breath, “You are in a serious place though, and are very very close, if not should probably be in, inpatient right now.” N then said she wanted me to see a therapist there and was going to schedule me for that, I guess this one’s name is K, and is a runner too….
N also asked me what I wanted from her and that, “You’re in control here.” I was brutally honest and said I am scared, I’m not sure how much you are going to try and get me to eat, I don’t want my running taken away. I don’t smoke or party, running is my outlet. I want to get better, but I am scared and nervous. When I was finished she gave me a small goal of, “Well, if we can plan on you eating, let’s say half a banana…” I began to frantically shake my head, “I don’t eat bananas.” “What do you eat?” “Fruit, besides bananas. Greek yogurt, spinach, I don’t know.”
“Ok, how about this. I don’t want you running between now and Thursday, but I don’t really see that happening.” I gave her a reassuring look that said “Damn straight that isn’t going to happen.”
“How about a spoonful of Greek yogurt six times a day.” (no question mark, because it was said in more of a telling tone than questioning.)
Oh sheezus, I thought to myself. That is more than I eat in a fucking week. With a disinclined look, and a reluctant tone I agreed. “Don’t say ok if you don’t plan on doing it.” “It isn’t that. It is just scary and a lot. 6x a day?” “Yeah, two in the morning, two at lunch, you know.” “I’m……I’m willing to try.” “Is six overwhelming?” “Oh yeah.” “Ok. How about 4x.” “Deal.”
First appointment with my extremely tall dietitian, N, and I am practically being put on a:
“Eat. to be taken 4x a day” regimen with a side of,
“I don’t want you running.” to be taken as needed.
As I sit here, I think, “Fucking Monday.”
Cup of tea fastened tightly in the gap of my thighs,
flickering candle in my peripherals,
Evolutionary Biology staring at me from the floor needing to be read,
Organic Chemistry screaming for attention that it needs, yet doesn’t deserve,
Cell and Molecular “Exam 3 Study Guide” patiently waiting, peering out from the textbook pages.
Instead. I’m throwing “Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies- Baked Snack Crackers” at my dog, who is lazily enjoying the raining cracker snacks and seems undisturbed by the rhythmic pattern of my fingers along the keys.
“Annie’s Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies.” Like anyone gives a flying fuck…homegrown… hah
“Fucking Monday” I think again, as another orange-tinted silhouette bunny leaves my fingers.
S told me Wednesday that on campus they have a dietitian, health center, etc. She told me “Monday at 9.” A little encryptic I thought. All weekend I was consumed with those words… Does that mean I have an appointment? Was that just a suggestion? Was that when the dietitian was there? What the fuck do I do? I, as usual, was up by 5:30. Pondering, wondering what to do.
My doctor had made me the appointment with S, the therapist. She knew that otherwise I wouldn’t go. So, in my mind, it also made logical sense that S or my Dr, had just gone ahead and made me an appointment with the dietitian as well….knowing I’m a pansy ass. I figured, in all honesty, that is was more of a suggestion than an actual appointment, I mean the clinic on campus was walk in-right? S wouldn’t make me an appointment and just leave it with, yeah, “Monday at 9.” Would she? After much internal turmoil I relied back on the same logic I had when first going to see S.
“If S had enough concern or initiative to make me an appointment, then I should at least have the respect to show up.” Plus, if I really did have a set appointment I didn’t want to be THAT bitch that just doesn’t show up.
So, I started this morning with a nice long run in freezing temperatures. I was unsure if my rapid heartbeat was directly correlated to the run, or was also anxious about the clinic. At around 8:48 I made the long trudge to the Health Clinic and up the set of stairs. I apologized for being ignorant and that I wasn’t actually sure if I had an appointment or not, just that I was told “Monday at 9.”
The lady, peering at me with a mixed expression of polite patience and annoyance, told me that there was nothing so far today. I explained it was for a dietitian and another lady looked up and said my name in a more questioning tone. I nodded and said, “Yes ma’am.”
“Oh… here it is…. your appointment isn’t until 10.” said the patiently annoyed lady- maybe I should have offered her my coffee.
So, I sat around campus and waited. At about 9:40 my phone rang and I answered it… long story short I was supposed to have a Dr. appointment at the clinic at 9, and dietitian appointment following at 10. What the fuck people, really. She asked me if I had forgotten or what. I explained I had stopped by and was told 10… so that was fun.
I made it back to the clinic, signed my life away, and got called back to meet my dietitian. She towered over me and had an intimidating, yet empathetic smile. Neither the doctor nor S had sent over any of my papers. So the dietitian told me that it was up to me to explain everything to her. (This will probably be a separate post). Talking about everything from brain receptors to greek yogurt to my running… https://faithfoodfear.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/skip-the-dessert-recovery-shock/
TO FUCKING EXERCISE RESTRICTION
After the talk that seemed to last eternity, she wanted to have me set up with a therapist there, and wanted to see me back again this week. I explained I was waiting for an “Oh shit” moment to really need help, when she told me that I was very close to having to go into inpatient.
So, my week so far:
Wednesday: S and Dr on campus
Look out for flying orange bunnies.
>“I hope this bloodwork doesn't give you a false sense of security.”Well, to be honest, it did/does. This started a kaleidoscope of explanations, false hopes, how I felt like a failure for not even having an eating disorder the “correct” way. S explained to me that the bloodwork she had ordered both times was just to skim the surface. “These results tell Dr. M that you don’t have diabetes, cancer, or an infection….Congratulations…. That’s about it. So I really hope this bloodwork doesn’t give you a false sense of security that you think you are so ‘healthy’.”
>“You think you’re so healthy, but your body is trying to tell you something. Your leg cramps. What about your period? Do you have that regularly?”“Dr. M never asked me about it, I didn’t think to bring it up….no.” “Maybe I know more about eating disorders than I thought. I was looking through your chart and didn’t see it anywhere.” I told her I rarely, rarely get it. This began a long session of “Your body is trying to tell you something, even with ok results, what is it going to take?” talk… which spiraled into a snarky off the cuff, “a feeding tube in a hospital bed probably.”
……Which, led to…….
>“Would it really be worth it to be, I don’t know, say 90 lbs, if you weren’t able to do the thing you love-like running?”This one really had me thinking hard. This is such a valid point. When I was laid up from my surgery I was climbing the walls and so antsy, I can’t imagine not being able to work out whenever I want, even if I ever hit my UGW. Granted, There have been multiple occasions where I could barely stand long enough to get my shoes on, and I was so weak and tired I was barely to trudge through a couple of miles, but I was still ABLE to. S mentioned possibly having me consider taking antidepressants, not sure what I think about that. I don’t think that I need them, but if it would help ease the anxiety of eating in public, or grocery shopping, I’m not really sure… any opinions? All of this happened Wednesday. Today, I ate for the first time since last week-ish, It hurts so bad. I missed class Thursday because I felt so weak and sick, Friday I had a test, but missed my workout. Thursday was awful, I could tell that I was so drained, felt absolutely miserable, could barely stand or stay awake. I managed to trudge through only three miles, but had to go home because I began throwing up stomach bile. Today, I felt better after attempting to eat something small for energy. During my run, I look up, and who drove past me, but S. She made a quick glimpse, as did I, unsure if we were both seeing each other for that split second. Then, I am not completely sure, I looked up about a mile later and she had driven around campus (or so I’m assuming) and was now driving toward me. Maybe she really wanted to make sure that it was me, or wanted to check that I wasn’t on the verge of passing out along my run. Either way, I just heard her voice in the back of my head, “Running is your Prozac, so that way you don’t have to take it. It is your happy place.”
Ever since I can remember I have gotten along with the elderly and the very young. People my own age? Not so much.
Halloween night approached. I sat on my bed watching my favorite movie ever, My Cousin Vinny, drinking green tea and knitting. Somewhere between, “What are you, a fucking world traveler?!” and “It’s me or them, you’re getting fucked one way or the other.” I received a text from an old friend:
"Hey, a bunch of us are getting together tonight for Halloween if you wanna come party."
I read the message and thought about it for a few minutes. Finally I decided, “I am a college student, legally allowed to drink, on Halloween night, when did I become 60?” So I came up with a costume, grabbed a 6 pack and headed to his house, unsure of exactly where he had moved to.
Long story short, I got lost, he didn’t answer his phone, I hated what I was wearing. An hour later, I was home, with a six pack, watching NetFlix, hating my life, body, self, and enjoying an Angry Orchard.
Pity Party-1 Me- 0
The next morning I jumped up, ran to the mirror and did an immediate body check. I have an irrational fear that eating or drinking will cause a massive explosion and I will swell and immediately have gained 20 lbs over night. To my disgust and excitement, my ribs were still visibly protruding, and yet my gut was still there, pudgy bastard. My family was going out of town for my grandmother’s funeral. The beloved devil step-child offered to stay behind and watch the animals and the house. I hate my step-dad’s side of the family anyway. So, I packed a bag, and headed to my house which would have long been empty of parental units and siblings.
I took the dog on a run, bought a vest, and got back to the house and scrubbed, and scrubbed. I wanted to keep busy. The thought of being a loser, not fitting in, the fact that my eating disorder is fucking with so many aspects of my life. To say the least, the bathrooms in my parent’s house is spotless, along with the kitchen.
I distinctly remember all of the years I hated bringing in firewood, the jabs in my arms, going outside in the cold to go grab it, getting flakes of wood everywhere. My step dad, I was positive, found such joy in giving me this task. It seemed like forever ago. I took care of the chickens, fed them, gave them hay, water, collected eggs. I made homemade bread. Carried in a plethora of wood and made a fire. Then, I sat on the couch, enjoyed my steaming tea, my cabin socks.
I realized how much I loved it all. The dogs sitting with me, the quiet of everything, the loudest thing being the crackling of the fire. Enjoying my tea.
I’d rather play board games with kids, or sip tea with the elderly.
I’m not a partier. That just isn’t me. I mentally can’t consume all of those calories. I’ll take my fire-starting, bread making, dog walking, chicken feeding days anytime.