I FEEL

I don’t want to be snarky.

I want to be real, raw, authentic.

To let my guard down and be honest.

Not laugh, shrug everything off, or just get snarky.

I laugh because I don’t want you to see the real me.

In my weakness, being snarky, is my strength.

 

I don’t want you to worry.

It isn’t fair.

Being called a burden for as long as I can remember.

I strive to be independent. Not have to rely on anybody for anything.

The ability to be strong, quickly became my inability to ask for help.

I don’t want the attention.

It’s selfish.

Conceited.

I’ve heard it all.

With attention comes criticism, punishment, names. This is what I’ve been taught.

 

It isn’t fair.

You have a family, a life.

It shouldn’t revolve around me.

I feel guilty. I feel selfish. I feel needy and weak.

 

You want to draw near.

You are concerned, caring, loving.

I want to push it away, but I still appreciate it.

I laugh, I sass, I get defensive. You don’t deserve that.

I’m still glad you care.

It isn’t fair.

 

I feel undeserving.

I feel hatred.

Hating the very thought that you know I’m slipping.

You see my struggle.

You feed me love, strength, hope, guidance.

You are unable to feed me food.

 

Expressing concern for me.

I shrug it off and make a joke.

I don’t want to admit.

I feel fear.

 

What if she is right?

 

How could I let this happen again?

 

What am I afraid of?

Food

Failure

Rejection

Vulnerability

Emotions

Being fat

Relapsing

Recovering

Not recovering

Eating

Not eating

Crying

The hospital

Going back to treatment

Disappointing others

I live in this world if invincibility.

Nothing would happen to me.

I feel strong.

How do I feel strong when my legs are trembling and my head is spinning?

I feel scared.

Scared I won’t get better. I will never be in a relationship.

My longest relationship seems to be the one with ED.

Scared there will always be this barrier between me and a normal life.

Scared that maybe one day, I will no longer be invincible.

 

Yet, it isn’t fair.

It bothers me when you worry.

I don’t mean to worry you.

Feeling conceited, selfish & snarky.

 

 

To T, my biggest influence.

T,

I have debated writing something like this for a long time.

  • Couldn’t quite get my thoughts together.
  • Thought it might be kinda pathetic.
  • Might think I’m weak.
  • Or didn’t have the time.

Whichever option you choose to pick.

Quick question:

-Do you ever feel like a glorified babysitter?

-A ring leader at a circus?

I can see it now, standing in the middle of a flaming clusterfuck, head spinning a thousand miles an hour. Holding a flaming ring you are expected to jump through. Being torn in a thousand different ways.

                                                                                The dietitian needs you.

          Sally is refusing to eat.                                                                   Jill just threw up.

The director (what is her actual title anyway??) needs to see you.

                                                                                                                Phone is ringing.

                                Sue needs to talk to you.

Let’s reminisce for a second, because there was (more specifically) all of the hell I put you through.

Remember the time(s):

-You stood up to my mom for me?

-Sat on the kitchen floor to therapize me?

-The multiple times I threw up.

-When I would go hide on top of the shed, or on my perch.

-When I was gone for like an hour on my run.

-The time you thought I just left, because I missed snack and was on my perch.

-The night I called you crying over pizza.

-My self harm issues.

-Come to Jesus meeting(s).

-My smart mouth.

That could be it’s own post.

-Having to take me to the hospital.

-Watching you cry.

-The night B and I snuck out and stole that flamingo.

-(Oh, btw, the crayon splatters in the downstairs bathroom, to the right of the mirror. That was me too. I was trying to be artsy fartsy….)

-All of my ungodly honesty.

-Let’s not forget my concealed.

Also, some of my journal excerpts:

                12/11/14

                                “I hurried to the kitchen where I was told T was looking for me. “Oh Shit.” I thought.”

                12/16/14

                                “Then came group with T. We talked about feelings and safe places, she seemed to focus in on me for a while. I avoided and deflected for as long as I could.”

                12/23/14

                                “So, that’s about it. I had a melt down in T’s office about how everything is being taken away from me.”

                12/24/14

                                “After yoga I was informed I had to call T before snack-shit! The phone rang and rang I was so nervous. She answered, my heart dropped, she said she heard I had a rough breakfast and refused an Ensure.”

                12/26/14

                                “T asked me to come down off the roof, I tossed my journal and watched it fall, then climbed down. T handed me my journal and I followed her to her office.”

                12/27/14

                                “I was up tossing and turning at 2:30. The conversation between T and I played over and over in my head. ‘If you aren’t ready for you, do it for your sister.’ ‘Crying would have been better than purging.’.”

                12/31/14

                                “T began to cry. I began to get mad. ‘K goes to the hospital, she gets to stay. M refuses to eat, she gets to stay. C practically gives you the finger…. ‘You have made amazing strides and progress…’ ‘….not good enough!!’ I cut in between sobs.”

                1/10/2015

                                “The next thing I know, I’m eating my left over, clenching a frozen orange, and hearing the words: Talk, T and Consequences. Strung together in an anxiety provoking sentence.”

                1/11/2015

                                “T complimented me on what I did do right over pass. I began to cry and looked away. I admitted I went on a run, she had known something was up.”

                1/16/15

                                “T is so freaking great, she works her ass off for us and is just such an amazing lady.”

                1/28/15

                                “Shopping was just awful- some young vegan telling me what to do, then a brand new girl disrespecting T and talking down to her…Oh hell no!”

                2/5/15

                                “Feeling guilty. Skipped dairy with lunch, didn’t add extra fruit since I ran. Skipped fat with snack.      Came clean about the restriction, T made me drink an Ensure.”

                2/9/15

                                “I felt so discouraged hearing T’s motherly tone come out when I said I went to the guy for 2 hours. ‘What part of you thought that was ok??’”

                2/18/15

                                “T grabbed the letter from the back and began to read it silently. She rolled her eyes and I could tell she wasn’t exactly thrilled. T read the very last bit to me out loud and told me I didn’t need to read that shit. I bawled and bawled.”

                2/19/15

                                “I cried a lot today. I went to T’s office to read the letter from mom. I called A too for support. I’m so thankful that T and A were there when I read it.”

                                “T hugged me and wouldn’t let go. I felt, well, loved and cared about. She whispered how she didn’t want me to live like this- I said me either.”

                2/20/15

                                “I got told today I was being transferred to the hospital. I bawled and bawled. I got my phone, called A and went upstairs to pack. T tried to help, I didn’t want any help. She came back up and told me she would be the one to take me to the hospital, that was the only time I felt slightly relieved. I packed everything up, told the girls bye, cried with T in her office and headed out.”

                                “T just held me as I cried, she cried, she told me this was no way to live. After arriving to the hospital, T helped me get checked in and came with me to the unit. They took my b.p and weight. T was beside me the entire time, holding my hand. They took me to my room, T sat down with me and we both began to cry.

                                3/1/15

                “T,

                I’ve written you a note before, but this is different. I can never express enough everything you have done for me. With your humor, patience and intelligence, you are an amazing person.

                I walked into Tap feeling worthless and like a complete failure from our kitchen talks, to you holding the flamingo and watching me cry.

                As much as I hate being here, I still appreciate everything you have done. I look up to you and admire your strength, determination and love.

                Having someone during this time that is practically my motherly figure and supports me, means the world to me.”

 

Anyways, these are just blips of how much of an influence you have had, not only in my recovery, but in my life.

You do so much for not just Tap in general, but for each and every woman who walks through that door. Even a year later, I have no idea why you took me under your wing, or what you saw in me, but I am forever grateful, that no matter how much I tried to push you away, you just weren’t having it.

I genuinely believe you are my biggest supporter and believe in me and what I can accomplish. Lovingly pushing me to try neurofeedback, and our amazing breakfast outtings. I admire and respect you so much and all that you do. I also know, whole heartedly, that I wouldn’t be where I am today without your love and support.

One Year Ago, 2015.

1/25/2015

Yesterday ,the 24th, I was struggling. I didn’t feel well, so went upstairs to lie down. I ended up doing over 300 crunches, plank, side crunches, then felt so guilty that I went outside to breathe. I ended up running back and forth, then went and did step ups on a railroad tie, then I raked the yard. I’ll probably get in trouble, but I had to find something to do.

I don’t know if I ever actually journaled about this, but with a push and support I ended up telling Dillon. We were all sitting in thr group room and T was kinda pushing it for me to tell him. He was sweet and supportive.

I’m not sure if I wrote about family weekend either. Mom expressed that she wanted me to come home. I nicely tried to say no. She looked at me and asked, “How much longer do you anticipate on being here?” That hurt, I told her I wasn’t sure and that we could go ask T. Mom said that was a good idea and I was shocked. I made the trudge down the long hallway to her office and quietly tapped on her door. When she answered I told her mom and I had a question. Mom did the abrasive thing she does and shook T’s hand. I was so nervous and timid, I sat down while I watched this entire thing unfold.

Mom jumped right in and asked for an approximate time line of how much longer I would be here. T responded that she wasn’t sure but also expressed how well I have been doing. T told mom, or rather, mom told T, she wasn’t happy that my pass didn’t get approved and asked why. T told mom my last two passes weren’t exactly “successful”. Mom looked at me and asked “what do you mean they weren’t successful?”.

With that, we headed into the group room, so we could speak in private. We got up and went to the group room, my sister and I sat together in my usual chair in the corner. R sat to my right on the couch and mom sat across the room facing us.

I was so thankful T had my back ans was supportive. Mom again expressed she wanted me home. Timidly, I told mom that:

  1. I didn’t want to rush through this just to get out of here- school will be ok.

  2. I didn’t want to go through all of this time and effort to go home and just relapse.

I know T knew what I was saying, or getting at, but mom piped up and said, “That’s why dad and I were thinking you would come home with us. We could have family meals, support you in your recovery.”

I nicely tried to bring up their fights and arguing but I don’t think mom understood. I told her my current place was more calm and less stressful, plus I didn’t want to take over my sister’s room.

Mom played nicey-nice in front of T, and told me, “Whatever is best for your recovery.” Which was the biggest crock of shit I ever hears.

When it was all said and done, I hugged my sister and stood at the bottom of the stairs with T as I watched mom leave. Neither mom nor grandmom talked to me for the next week. Mom doesn’t get her way and has a little fit.


The truth? I would love to be a happy family. Be around my sibs and have a mom and dad. That all sounds terrific in theory. Have a supportive family to be there for me through my high and low points of recovery. To support me, comfort me, etc.

But, that sounds amazing in theory.

The truth of the matter is that it won’t happen. Mom and Jim will still be arguing, screaming, fighting, being controlling. Guilt-tripping me, making me feel like more of a failure- causing me to relapse.

Unfortunately, I am better off on my own than with them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t crave it and want a mom.

 

Terrible Twenty-Twos

 

Overall, life is going great.

I can throw on the fake smile and explain to you how crazy it feels to have a career starting.

A career as a Biochemist.

Honestly, How fucking cool is that?

I can sit here and tell you about this guy. Not just the first date we went on, but two, within three days. How he makes me laugh, his gorgeous eyes and teeth.

I’ll go ahead and tell you how I love my apartment.

Candles,

Decorating,

Cleaning.

I’d even go so far as to take a picture of my fridge and all of the fresh produce in it and post it on social media, with the caption, “Not gonna lie, my fridge makes me happy.”

I can also sit here and tell you I ate under 800 calories today.

That the thought of buying laxatives and diet pills flooded my brain, more than once.

Feeling constantly torn and pulled in two completely opposite directions.

Thinking about higher calorie foods I need to                                                                                                       get, so I can get the calories in.

Then making a bet with myself                                                                                                                           I can go the rest of the week without eating.

It has gotten to the point where I just don’t want to talk about it.

It annoys me,

it annoys K,

it annoys T.

I am waiting for them to say the “Just fucking eat.”                                                                                                                 Cure all remedy.

Not to be mean, but just because they are out of things to say.

This is how I imagine a two year old would have a fit.

In this case, it is a recipe, of pure denial, mixed with shame, sprinkled with a dash of apathy.

But hey, I can act like a two year old, ignore it, get upset when it gets brought up.

Then, act like a twenty two year old and completely immerse myself into my work to avoid anything else.

“Skinny as a rail” ED and the workplace

This is usually the part where I enter my journal entry from last year.
Talk about how difficult treatment was, how I wasn’t sick, didn’t deserve recovery.
                            More stories about wanting to run,
                                                       wanting to be thin,
                                                                            and more Ensure.
In my entry I wrote about how another resident was practically bragging about how sick she was, and how I had never really been sick.
I don’t remember much. I remember storming out, sitting on top of the shed, and smoking a cigarette (even though I don’t smoke). My friend climbed onto the shed with me and that’s all I really remember.

That had always been  is one of my biggest fears, being reassured I was fine, not sick, or too fat to have an ED.

So, anyway. Currently, I have moved. I am an Associate Scientist in Biochemistry.

It is so much work and training and preparation.

I am so excited I am finally back on a somewhat regular schedule again.

Unfortunately though,

I am probably only eating twice a day….. maybe.

Part of it is deliberate, wanting to restrict, or not wanting to be the only one eating in the room.  Another part is that I am just busy (which I use to my advantage).

I haven’t been taking a lunch break, but they don’t want us going over 40 hours.

So, a conversation after the lab went something like this:

#1 to #2 and I: “Yeah, that way you can take lunch and stuff some food in your face.”

Me: “For sure, that is important.”

#1: “Look at you, you must not think it is. You’re skinny as a rail.”

#2: “Oh my God, I know! Look at her!”

ED wasn’t impressed, or thankful. I wasn’t thrilled someone told me I was skinny. My first reaction was frustration.

Of course they don’t know, how could they, it isn’t their fault.

I didn’t know what to say. Do I say thank you? Do I walk away?

#1 went on and on about how when I get older I will get fat, but I am so tiny right now, it wouldn’t stop. So, as we were walking out I said, “Yeah, well, I am a recovering anorexic who spent months in treatment.”

I was so pissed at myself for even saying that. It was none of her damn business. I am new to this job. What the Fuck did I do??!!?!

I think though, I am just so frustrated because I see myself as very fat. I wish I could see myself as others see me, but I don’t. That is the most bothersome thing.

 

Beginning of the Year. 2015 vs 2016

1/7/2015

Monday was weigh in, new admits, and a lot of nothing.

Tuesday, Vanessa woke M and I up early for another weigh in. We were both freaking the hell out.

After Treatment team had their meeting M found out she was going home.

They had searched our rooms and M got caught water loading. I was pretty upset about it and miss her.

It is so weird to be the person here the longest. I miss B too, but guess I need to focus on me and getting better.

During T’s group yesterday I got slightly defensive and sassy. Another resident was arguing with T and talking shit about this place. T and everyone here have already done so much for me, to hear someone brand new come in and talk shit really pissed me off.

I told her we were going grocery shopping, everyone has to go, to calm down, etc. T thanked me for piping up.

So, anyway, today. We had yoga and I got super antsy. Yoga Kathy caught me trying to work out. I so badly want to run

We tried to make a grocery list, but it was a chaotic clusterfuck and I got stressed.

Got to carry the Sam’s stuff in through!

Was also put on anti-anxiety, just makes me feel tired.

Sometimes I wonder and get discouraged. Am I even making progress?

1/8/2015

I woke up this morning, I had been dreaming about my kids. I got really melancholy, miss them so much, their hugs, their love, their smiles.

I’m slightly discouraged that people are “passing” me in recovery. I know it isn’t a race, but people that came after me are leaving before me.

The guilt of water loading is still killing me. I had a realization this morning, I miss M, but I’m glad she is gone. I think I miss the familiar faces and the thought of her. She breagged about how many cups of water she had before weigh in, what she hid or smuggled in. I got defensive for her, when she was hiding cups of vomit in her room.

I think I realized I am only cheating or hurting myself and my recovery.

1/9/2015

Today is Saturday, I’m going on pass.

Yesterday, we had a group with T about feelings, emotions, etc. I tried so freaking hard to not cry. It was the hardest group yet, my mind went to New Years, how much I fucked up, all the memories, my home life and the voice of ED.

I looked at T as she lovingly drilled me with uncomfortable questions. Trying so hard not to cry.

I went to my room and just began to bawl.

T came in and saw. We talked for a bit about her group and how it helped, but was so hard.

Everyone left, I went outside and played with Chloe. It was so great to be outside laughing and playing with the dog.

 

2016

This week has probably been one of the hardest.

I went to back to residential, but only to visit and say my goodbyes. I walked in the familiar door, where a bunch of unfamiliar faces greeted me in confusion and curiosity.

Standing right in the doorway, staring through the hall of the house, T came out into the hall.

Literally everything else faded.

I headed down the hall.

Straight into her arms.

T expressed a lot of concern for me moving, and desperately wanted me to take care of myself and eat.

I talked to K, and she was excited for me. I gave her a hard time, and a couple hugs as well.

It is so crazy to me that someone I started off wanting nothing to do with, let alone hugs from, has become my biggest supporter and practically a mom to me. I love her so much, and don’t think I can ever fully express my gratitude for everything she has done.

I have moved from NC to PA.

I knew the transition would be the hardest, but I wasn’t anticipating it to be this rough.

After packing everything up, and an excruciatingly long drive, I am now sitting in my apartment.

It is odd, and still nerve-wracking. I do feel some peace about the situation though.

I am having a very difficult time eating though.

I strongly believe that I am just worried, stressed and nervous, and am restricting to compensate.

It isn’t smart, but it is what I know.

The dog and I go on runs frequently, and I am restricting pretty badly.

I am also fairly certain that my veganism is another way to hide my orthorexic tendencies. It isn’t only about the animals, or just the environment, it also has a lot to do with the chemicals. I have a huge fear of the preservatives inside the food, what else is in the food, and gives me an excuse to avoid fear foods like lunch meat and cheese.

I start my job Monday in a biopharmaceutical lab.

I’m not where I was, but I’m not where I want to be.

Trust the Process!!

xoxox

Christmas of 2014

12/24/2014

I threw up a mouthful of coffee and raspberries, the RC caught me leaving the bathroom.

I refused to drink an Ensure and after everyone left for their pass home, I headed to the group room for yoga, just me.

After yoga was snack, the RC informed me that I had to call T before snack- shit! The phone rang and rang and I was so nervous.

She answered, my heart dropped, she said she heard I had a rough breakfast, I said not really, and told my side. “I ate, went upstairs to change for yoga and the RC saw me come out of the bathroom.”  “Well, what happened in the bathroom?” “Some raspberries came up.” “And you refused an Ensure?….”  “I didn’t refuse, I just didn’t let her get that far.

T continued, I told her I didn’t think my stomach was handling the coffee well, so gave up coffee…

T also mentioned how we might have to sit down and revisit if this is the level of care for me. Of course that freaked me out….

 

12/25/2014
                I had breakfast, watched Water for Elephants, snack time, did a puzzle.
                Showered, lunch time, took a nap, went outside and kicked around my soccer ball.
                Painted my nails, snack time, watched Frozen, watched Muppets.
I hate having “special treatment” no dishes because I may involuntarily hurl in the sink, tally stairs so I’m not exercising. This not moving thing is killing me! ERGH!
                I get so annoyed I’ve also been put on cleaning restriction too b/c I’m the only one who can manage to clean and take the damn trash out.

12/26/2014

We got a new person today, she is 33 and just came from the hospital. I’m discouraged and conflicted. I still believe I’m not sick enough to be here. I want to go outside, run, feel the sun on my back, breeze in my face.

Am I too young to be here?

                                                                                Am I too young for recovery?

Part of me wants to throw in the towel say fuck it, pack up and go home. Go back to treatment after I’ve hit rock bottom, when I’m actually sick.

T is probably so sick and tired of me. I hate feeling like a lost cause and I’m just waiting for her to say screw it about me as well and give up.

Honestly, I think I just want to pack and leave before I end up disappointing all of Tapestry.

Well, I fucked up, again. I’m not sure why I’m even here. I got so upset and stressed about snack and I threw up, and got caught.

I know in order to quit involuntarily puking, I definitely need to keep my fingers out of my throat.

What the Fuck is my problem?!?!

I don’t want to be here anymore, I want to go home, but I am so tired of throwing up.

 

While sitting outside on top of a shed T came out. She stood on the ground looking up at me and asked what I wanted to do, I told her, “cry”. “Well, that would have been better than purging.”  I began to cry and told her what would make someone want to throw up cashews and cherries??!!

I told her I knew it was a bad idea, and how discouraged I am.

T asked me to come down off the roof, I tossed my journal and watched it fall, then climbed down.

T handed me my journal and I followed her to her office.

 

12/27/2014

I was up tossing and turning at 2:30. The conversation between T and I played over and over again in my head.

“If you aren’t ready to recover for you, do it for your sister.”

“Crying would have been better than purging.”

My leash around here is just getting shorter and shorter, now on top of no running, no showers at night, sit down after every meal, no climbing the stairs, no coffee, but I don’t want all of this to be for nothing.

 

12/29/2014

I was being artsy fartsy last night, after snack. The RC came in and saw my glass    full of throw up on the table….

So, this morning was weigh in. I hid my Nalgene and Mason jar, full of water, in my room. So at 6:30, before the RC came in to wake us up, I sat on my bed and chugged the Mason jar. Sat with it, then started on the Nalgene.

I feel so conflicted about it. I don’t want my weight to go up, but it can’t stay the same, I hate being so stationary. Maybe if my weight goes up, I won’t have to sit after every meal, but I hate lying and being dishonest.

Dinner, well, I didn’t eat it. Unfortunately, I had an Ensure, but figured it was the safer bet.

T again mentioned that she wasn’t sure if I could stay. I feel so conflicted. I have had so much taken away and all of my Christmas break, I don’t want it to be for nothing. I’d go back home, run and starve.

When will I put my foot down and find that spark I need?

I almost came clean to T.

                The guilt is too much.

She said there was a positive change in my weight.

After threatening to see if I would be able to stay and her saying, “Your weight is the only ace I have right now.”

What was I supposed to say?

“Oh, that’s great, I mean I only chugged an enormous amount of water this morning to water load.”

Yeah, that totally wouldn’t get me kicked out.

 

12/31/2014

Around 12:30 this morning I got really hot and nauseous. I headed to the bathroom where I projectile vomited on my hand and the toilet. I woke up the RC to tell her, she got me some water, I swore up one way and down the other it was the bean burger I ate for dinner.

Everyone went grocery shopping after lunch today except me, because I thought I had a therapist appointment.    She came and got me…then we headed to T’s office. I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, a “come to Jesus” meeting perhaps?

They both sat down and faced me and asked why I thought they wanted to talk to me. Oh shit, I thought and a stomach sinking feeling came over me. “We are thinking about discharge.” Oh fuck, what?! I began to cry. They went on and explained they were trying to have me referred to UNC. I just bawled harder.

“I won’t go.” I thought, I can’t! I have school, it was hard enough to get my ass here. I was still crying when I explained I felt like a failure, and explained how I had gotten physically sick.

The two of them didn’t really sound like it was an option. I was stuck between getting on my knees and begging and throwing my hands up and saying fuck it as I walked out the door.

“You can always come back here after Chapel Hill.”

“I don’t want to ‘come back’. This isn’t a vacation, I don’t want to come back, ‘Oh hey guys, missed you all.’” I mocked between sobs.

They told me this wasn’t a failure, I just needed a higher level of care. That scares the shit out of me. I was still crying, T began to cry.

I just began to get mad.

“KW goes to the hospital, she gets to stay. M refuses to eat, she gets to stay. C practically gives you the finger…”

“You have made amazing strides and progress…..”

“…not good enough apparently.” I cut her off

T was still choking back tears when she looked me in the eyes and said,

“you don’t have to do this anymore, you don’t have to purge anymore.”           I just looked at her and asked, “Why?”

T went outside to get the head honcho director, (can we call her Madame Shit Storm? I think that’s appropriate).

Madame Shit Storm and T came in, I was still bawling. They explained the medical benefits and capability UNC has that would be helpful to me if I was referred.

I admitted I got sick last night and that I’m still sruggling with the stairs but I’ve been honest. They mentioned I needed to be behavior free for so long, I was still crying when I explained that I would have gone 4 days if it wasn’t for physically getting sick.