Millennials and Adulthood

I think one of the most infuriating things about being a “Millennial” is the fact that the generation before us doesn’t seem to take us seriously.

Hearing comments from the Baby Boomers and Generation X like, “Welcome to Adulthood” “Adulthood isn’t all it has cracked up to be, has it?”, or the ever sarcastic, unwanted invitation of, “Welcome to the real world”. As if our struggles through finals week, in college was all just a bad hallucinogen trip.

We are put into a category of “entitled”, “lazy”, “selfish”, the list goes on and on, and yet, seldom do we fit this tight narrow minded view of ourselves. With these confounded credit cards, and the debt we had dug our way into trying to afford an education.

Not to mention the technology we are so attached to, neglecting the fact that we may, in fact, be checking work email, or comforting a friend whose parents don’t understand their mental illness.

It isn’t that we are failing expectations of past generations, or that we are somehow unsuited to grow into adulthood without past generations’ supervision, it is that we are different.

Our goal is no longer to be married with kids by the time we are 20. It isn’t that we don’t want a good house, car or job, but it has become exponentially more difficult. Healthcare prices, cars, education, housing, everything has increased in price. As Millennials, it is our decision to choose what necessities we actually “need”, and what gets cut off the list. Some continue to live with their parents, some decide to rely on other modes of transportation, we try and stay on our parents’ insurance for as long as possible.

We sit and do the math, living paycheck to paycheck, wondering what should be paid first and what can wait a little while longer. The decisions from past generations impacted where Millennials are today, but they don’t want to admit that. The fact that prices didn’t change overnight, and the adults that were supposed to be looking out for future generations didn’t screw us over….well guess what, you did.

I feel to be one of the few, one of the blessed. I graduated college on a scholarship. Got a full time job, with benefits, right out of college in the field I studied for. My apartment is small, drafty and expensive, but it has hot water, carpet, and everything else I could want. I am able to see my therapist every week, and it not costing me an arm and a leg.

This too, did not happen overnight. Baby Boomers and Gen X, you don’t get to take credit for my accomplishments, when you are the reason I had to work so hard to overcome it. I live paycheck to paycheck, I also work ~100 hours every two weeks, so it is not for a lack of trying. It is that no matter how hard I try, I can’t get ahead.

So next time you call us lazy, selfish, and entitled, I want you to look around. If you are at work, I bet there is a Millennial close by trying to get ahead. If you are at the coffee shop, I bet the barista behind the counter is a Millennial, trying to pay her rent, or car, while going to school.

 

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My Faith mixed with the Food and Fear

It’s a question I have been asked several times, but I’ve never actually stopped to dig deeply and dissect the answer.

The question may differ slightly,

“How did I get into Christianity?”

“Why did I choose to stay involved?”

“Have you always been a Christian?”

but the answer inevitably brings me back to a certain time in my life.

I can vividly remember being somewhere around 6 years old. I remember our apartment, the glass table, the beanie babies piled high, the kitchen bar, the stained bathroom floor from when I spilled red nail polish. I never remember church. I remember the park, my neighbor upstairs, my cat, the statue of the panther in the living room. I never remember praying.

Around 7 years old I was dragged along with mom who moved to North Carolina with some strange man who would later become my stepfather. I remember my bus stop, my dog, my teacher. Still no church or praying.

In 2000 my brother was born. At some point, unsure of exactly when that was, it was decided among my parental units that my brother, in order to keep him from being damned to hell for reasons I was unsure of at the time, was going to be baptized/saved/christened. I guess by default, I was volun-told that I was to participate in such religious ritual as well. I remember the smell of vegetable oil on my forehead and how I was sickened that I had some greasy oily stuff smeared on my face by a stranger. Up until that point that was the most religious experience of my life.

In 2004 my sister came into the picture. Somewhere between moving and the birth of my sister we began to make an appearance to a church. We stood up, knelt, sat, knelt, it felt like a bad version of Simon says. I watched as my parents introduced me to people that could be my grandparents. We showed up, smiled, and left. One Sunday morning I was getting ready for the perfunctory routine, I had decided to put on mascara and was instantly ridiculed by my step dad.

This is also when their religion seemed to be found more frequently at the bottom of a bottle than in a church pew.

Being under 13, I remember one night, after they had been praising the bottle again. A fight broke out. I gestured to my brother to go to our room and that I’d be right there. I grabbed my sister from her high chair and was going to take her with me to our room. Immediately, I was spun around by a slurred patron saint of the bottle. “You don’t EVER take my child away from me!” With that, my sister was ripped from my arms.

Another move, and another sibling later, I was in middle school. My parent’s religious worshiping of the bottle increased as did my self-hatred. I wasn’t allowed to speak up, have an opinion that was different from my mom’s, or stick up for myself. I turned all the feelings inward. Turning to self-harming, purging, anything. I was already hurting with all of the screaming and fights, which I was convinced was my fault anyways, so it made sense to punish myself, and simultaneously release some of the built up angst. I was blamed for why my parent’s argued. This logic made sense in my world since I had introduced the two of them by accident. I wasn’t sure if they hated me because of it, and if only I was thinner, better behaved, made better grades, maybe they wouldn’t hate me and their marriage would get strengthen.

Eating less, cutting more, purging when I could.

I had the opportunity to go to Ireland on a student program. I was threatened by one of the leaders that if I didn’t start eating I would be sent home.

A family friend invited us to church with them. We reluctantly began to go. I had learned from my past experience with church that it was time to put on my nice clothes, put on a smile and pretend everything was amazingly awesome in my picture perfect world.

Behind closed doors my family threw stuff, screamed, hated each other. My mother would wake me up at all hours to clean my room, clean the kitchen, whatever. Digging her nails into my arm and screaming, as my brother cried from behind her, “Don’t hit her mom!” My parent’s would scream and fight until the church door. With that, the name calling was suddenly, “Oh sweetie, I love you.”, “I love you too honey.” With controlling displays of affection to show to the church how great our family actually was.

I began to question what I was told about God, and even the very existence of God.

“God doesn’t love me, if he did why would he allow this?” I would question.

My own mother would push me against walls, dig her nails into me, and throw stuff at me. The next morning she would say “I love you, have a great day at school.”

I doubted the very word of “love” and it took years for me to be able to tell her I loved her back.

I continued to put on a happy face when we went to church, and was criticized by my parent’s when I wanted to go to church on Wednesdays for youth group, being asked, “Don’t you have anything else you could do besides go to church?”

I went into High School, from moving so much I knew almost everyone in my class. I told myself I would never drink or smoke weed, I didn’t want to be anything like my parents. I began to drink, and would smoke during the off season of sports.

I don’t remember a lot during this time. I went to school, did sports, was on student government, had a job, didn’t eat. Did anything I could to not go home.

Being told that what happens in this house, stays in this house.

My math teacher is the reason I actually became involved and plugged in. During Senior year I moved in with my pastor and his wife. Being told once again that I am the reason their marriage is so rocky, so if I moved out for a while…..

I changed my number, paid my own bills, went to church. Pastor and his wife actually gave me curfew, and I was thrilled someone actually cared about me and where I was. I was diving deep into Christianity, my devotional, and church in a way I hadn’t. We talked, like a family, prayed, like a family, went on trips. There was no yelling, and I realized what I had lived in wasn’t normal.

My parents left the church, I was eventually forced to move back home, and continued to stay at that church for as long as I could, refusing to ever go to church with my parents again.

My math teacher would pray for me and with me. I had convinced myself that if I don’t talk about what’s going on at home, then it’s like it doesn’t happen. After the cops were called, I began to open up to my teacher who invited me to her house, prayed with me, shared books and articles with me, and invited me to Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She spoke of her mistakes, I told her about mine, but it was never from a criticizing or demeaning place, but one of hope and love.

After graduation, I moved out, again. Found a church which I attended regularly, as well as a girls college bible study that my teacher led up. It was a safe environment. Learning about mistakes, love, forgiveness for not only ourselves, but others. There was something peaceful about the entire thing, a sense of belonging and security. How faithful God is and all He has in store for us and our future.

During all of this, my self-harming would come and go, and I was consistently struggling with my Eating Disorder. I was told by several people, that someone must have been looking out for me.

Deep in my eating disorder I would eat under 100 calories a day, and was running and lifting. I was taking diet pills, laxatives, and going to the gym. I have sustained injuries because of it, but when I look back, it is crazy to me that nothing severe happened. There is no reason that I shouldn’t have collapsed during a run, or seriously damaged my body.

I can only think that God has something in store for me, for keeping me around.

I continue in my faith for many reasons. It is one step further away from becoming my parents, every person I admire and look to are strong in their faith, and just the pure honesty that is spoken and how I feel after digging into my devotional.

Trust the Process!!!

Seeing Myself In A Student

It is so difficult to compliment myself, brag on myself, or even see myself in a worthy light. My homework from my therapist this week was to “build a court case” against the lies I’ve been fed for so many years.

This is so hard for me, it is not like me to talk about what I have done or accomplished, because I just find that selfish and conceited.

My last post was about owning your story, but at the same time, owning it, doesn’t mean owning the lies you have been told your entire life. That is completely different. In an attempt to placate my therapist, I sat down the night before, and did the assignment she had given me last week. I didn’t put too much thought into it, because that would have been stressful and scary (which I know is kind of the point, to push me out of my comfort zone.)

Well, yesterday, I decided I wouldn’t wait last minute. I got home from my appointment, sat down and began to really think about the assignment and how difficult it would be. To not do it would be giving into the lies, rather than fighting them, but to do the homework meant dealing with the lies and trying to combat them with bragging on myself.

 

So, as I sat there, staring at the paper, it really hit me that this assignment was going to suck.

I began to think of my kids when I worked at a school, and one girl in particular who came to my mind and heart. I missed her, she had a very difficult home life, was hands down, one of my favorites, a heart of gold, and sassy as all get out (A girl after her own teacher’s heart).

So I started the assignment with, “What Would I Tell Alisha?”

  • You have been through so much, and are so strong.
  • Stay loud and loving.
  • Be there for your brother, you guys will be close.
  • You can’t control your parents.
  • None of that was your fault.
  • You are so loved.
  • It is ok to ask for a hug.
  • Be honest.

This is the girl, who was one of the smallest in her grade, yet, with a older brother, she would be out on the basketball court showing all the guys how to shoot. She was loud, sassy, played like one of the guys, but has a heart of gold.

Every day she would come running down the hallway, yelling my name and run into my arms. I was one of the select few who she came to for hugs and compassion, she didn’t want to lead on that she too, was tough, but needed love.

 

The day she came to school with stitches above her eye and scraped up, my heart sunk. The more I found out about her home life, the more I wanted to pick her up and take her home with me. No wonder she was tough and snarky, but I loved her just the same.

 

Reading the list that I would tell one of my students, but at the same time, me, not wanting or asking for help.

Eating Disorders Impact Loved Ones, Not Just the Individual

I’ve been told, more times than I can count, that I need to “get mad at ED.”

The crazy thing is, I just can’t get mad at his impact on my life. It helped me cope, for years! Gave me something to cling to.

Would I go back in time and change it all? No, I’ve learned a lot.

Would I voluntarily go through it all again? Not Likely At All.

I am annoyed though. For the hell and havoc it put the people close to me through.

Unable to go out to eat with my best friend. Her standing outside the bathroom door while I puke on the cruise. Her concern for me and watching me day in and day out run and abuse her best friend. Watching me pick at the salad during our family dinners, or the look on her face when I make eye contact after I come out of the bathroom, ashamed of what I had just done. On our beach trips, when I would still get up and force myself to run, or would leave the hotel room at ten at night to go to the gym in an attempt to burn off what I had consumed.

To my brother, who no longer went on sushi dates with his sister because I was no longer able to keep it down. Fear of rice, cream cheese and by this point, foods in general. I never meant for this to get to you. You would ask me when we would go out, I would make up any excuse in the book. Please know, I was never avoiding you, I was avoiding food.

My dear sister, I hope you learn from my mistakes. Our 5k races were the highlight of our weekends. Do not run and work out because you “have to”, I want you to love and enjoy it. I hope and pray I never pushed you too hard or too far.

Mom, we had our ups and downs, many downs. You didn’t want me to go to treatment, I know this, you made it clear. ED became more important than you, or even life. I skipped Thanksgiving this year, and it meant a lot that you were understanding of it. Knowing I was in a good place, but didn’t want to put myself in that situation.

YOU, on the other hand, I’m not sure if I can ever forgive you. As long as I can remember you were my life, I was your princess. Grandma, you supported me when, at the age of 5, I wanted to be a vet. You believed in me at 13 when I wanted to become a lawyer. Thrilled, when I decided at 19 to pursue dentistry.

Then, practically disowned me at the age of 21, when I went into treatment. That was when I needed your love and support the most. We still haven’t talked and I’m not sure if our relationship will ever be the same. I think you hated ED more than I ever could. You were angry with my eating disorder and took it out on me.

To my professors, I never meant to worry you. Commenting on how I’m getting smaller, passing me on campus while I’m running, even though you just left the class of yours that I skipped- again. Some of you went so far to physically drive me to a restaurant for lunch just so you could watch me eat and help. I picked at the veggies. There was the time you offered me your lunch, “as long as you’ll actually eat it.” I declined your offer. Your support to keep me on track while doing school while in treatment. The shock some of you had when you realized I hadn’t dropped my classes, and was still scheduled to graduate on time. Yet, you guys believed in me and sing my praises to current students.

T, the times I was doing well, and the times that kicked my ass, you were there. You are so supportive, encouraging, and my biggest advocate. Sometimes it’s all I can do to not call you just crying, so unsure of myself and decisions. I fear you will think I’m too wishy-washy for recovery. ED has dug his claws into our relationship too many times. I visualize you doing the dance and cheers when things are good, and a disappointed lowering shake of the head when it’s bad. It is scary to question you own (well, seemingly own) thoughts and doubt your own capabilities.

You’ve seen the scars, the tears, the successes. We’ve gone on walks, gone to breakfast, lunch, given me reading material. ED still wants to fuck with you and I’m sorry.

There comes a time where you have to want recovery for yourself and your life- I’m there. I want a happy, fulfilling life, without an eating disorder. I’m scared to be given up on, lose faith in me. One day you will wake up and no longer care. ED will pipe up and blame my weight for the reason you left.

I can’t even write down the words, “I’m sorry” doesn’t cover it, and guilt doesn’t fully describe it.

When I take a step back, it hurts me to see how much ED has impacted you all.

That is what bothers me the most.

I was unable to hide it and protect you all from the ugly wrath of ED.

Left only to my imagination of the exhausting feelings you are left with after an encounter with my eating disorder and I. Being annoyed and hurt by my blatant snarky sass. Wanting to help while simultaneously wanting to throw your hands in the air in defeat. The uncertain feeling of helplessness. Wanting to help, to make it better, wishing it to go away for me. Yet, unable to do so. Knowing that through it all, it is left to me and my decision.

When your support and influence impact my next decision, I hope you feel a glimmer of hope, knowing I’m still under there.

 

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.

My Worth Is Based On My Performance

It has always been something. It may be grades and my academic performance, sports and how many shots I blocked in the goal, or how many times I ran the bases. It may be dependent on how I scored on a test.

My worth is directly correlated with how I performed or succeeded. When I talk about something I accomplished, it is always in a way that makes sure people understood I could  have done better, just in case what I did isn’t up to their standards.

“Yeah, I tore my meniscus and ran the 15k. My time was a hair over an hour and a half… could have been better.”  “Yeah, the average on the test was a 74, I got an 89. Wish it would have been an A.”

I need to work on this. By who’s standards?  If running a 15k in the pouring rain was easy, more people would have been there. If everyone could get an 89 on the Biochemistry test then 74 wouldn’t have been the average.

I am my worst enemy and harshest critic. I’m not even sure who I am comparing myself too, besides everyone, and I can’t be everyone simultaneously… I can barely handle being “me” whoever that is.

But I immediately relate my performance and success to what I deserve and what I am worth. I want to be better, faster, smarter, thinner but stronger.

Well, now I have to get ready for my final presentation.

Practice being human & Trust the process

Namaste

Why I Am Still Choosing Recovery

The moment I left residential I could have easily gone right back to my behaviors. In my mind it hadn’t been detrimental, it was working for me, wasn’t sustainable, but was working. During treatment my boyfriend found out and didn’t talk to me for a while, my mom rejected me, and my grandmother has completely cut me out and still won’t even talk to me, I gained weight, lost my freedom, was hospitalized and was almost unable to graduate college. I went into treatment to placate everyone and shut them up. I didn’t believe it was serious, I wasn’t unhealthy, I clung to my eating disorder because it had been the only consistent thing in my life. I didn’t think I was even ready for recovery, let alone think I was strong enough for it. After all, I was strong enough to not eat, and strong enough to go running, I obviously was still “healthy” -right?

Weeks had passed in treatment before I even opened up. I scoffed, laughed, deflected, was snarky, or just wouldn’t answer and pretend like everything in my life was fine and there was no problem. My mom had trained me well. I used my defensiveness and my eating disorder to not only cope, but to hide. Kept people out, and made sure I was never vulnerable.

I still have the voice, criticizing everything I eat, lingering guilt if I don’t workout, I still lift my shirt and body check daily and probably workout longer than I should-still. Do you think I want to eat as much as I do? Risk gaining weight? Not particularly.

So what has changed? Why do I continue to follow the meal plan and attempt to do the same things that I did in resi that practically drove me insane? there are days, all the time, when I want to restrict so badly, skip a snack, feel bloated and want to take laxatives.

But, I wake up every morning, determined and sure that those three months weren’t for nothing. With help, guidance and love, it has all become a little easier. I’ve begun to fully understand that the food is only the shallow issue. It won’t matter if I’m 80lbs or 280, I have no confidence at all. I didn’t like myself any better when I weighed less, so why would it matter now. I’m still stuck in believing that I would like myself better if I lost some weight. Slowly but surely, that skewed mindset has begun to deteriorate.

I choose to recover so I can have energy and enjoy life.

I’m recovering because of the amazing support system I have. It may not be the people I wanted, but it’s definitely the people I need.

Why do I wake up every morning, eat my 8 am breakfast, then follow it up with a 10:30 snack and so on? The way I was living my life before recovery was not a life I want to “live” again. I can squat and dead life again without feeling like I am going to fall over, I can do push ups again.

I have changed, not just physically, but mentally.

As I looked in the gym mirror yesterday I couldn’t help but laugh. I had been there for over an hour, and as I opened my Clif bar and caught myself chewing in the mirror it hit me. The old me never would have eaten after working out, especially not in public, and definitely not something so calorically high. I am able to eat in public, I am becoming that person that pulls food out of her bag and will eat it to stick on her meal plan. Yes, it is still terrifying, and the spot light effect still hits me, but I have to do what has to be done. I am no longer up at 3:00 in the morning because the laxatives are ravaging my insides.

I am still recovering because even on days when I can’t stand myself, I have so many people around me that care and believe in me when I don’t believe in myself. I went into treatment feeling like a pain and a burden to the staff, not wanting to bother them, talk to them, take up their time. I expressed several times how I just felt like a lost cause and felt so bad for even being there. I had no self worth, I wanted to vanish in the corner beneath the “Strength” sign, that seemed to mock me. I didn’t feel worthy to speak up, have an opinion, or take up anyone’s time.

I wake up every day and continue to choose recovery, because even though it is so hard; those three months had an amazing impact on my life. I met amazing people, who didn’t reject me, but welcomed me and my difficulties. I left treatment no longer feeling unworthy, but with self worth, and the feeling that somebody actually cared. For the first time in forever, I had been vulnerable, spoken up about my life, what I had been through and people listened.

I still choose recovery everyday, because it is a daily decision.

The Positive Side of My Eating Disorder

I’m a science major who prefers math over chemistry any day… go figure.

Anyway, I want to talk about what is known as a “positive correlation”.

It seems that as I have gotten further

and
further

and

further

and

f  u  r  t  h  e  r

into not only college, but into my ED, there is a correlation.

As my weight goes down… ↓

so do my grades. ↓

I Just Kinda Fucked Myself Over Didn’t I?

Attempting to lace up my shoes for a race when I can barely stand. 

I felt awful and called out of work. I showered because I was so cold, but could barely stand. 

I spent a good half hour wrapped in my towel on the floor, trying to find shorts and a shirt for the run. 

After I was dressed I made my way to the car and headed out. 

For those of you that don’t know, I have been looking into residential places lately for my eating disorder. Everything in me screams, “Don’t do it!!” “You aren’t sick!” “C is just trying to use a fear tactic.” “You aren’t 90 lbs and emaciated, you are fine!”  Another part of me realizes what I am doing isn’t healthy, whether I am 90 or 490 lbs.

Well, my therapist seems to have some radar that just knows when to email/text/call me. There was a few times that she caught me at either the right, or wrong, time:

1. I was in the bathroom throwing up when I got her email on my phone.

2. I had taken laxatives and was literally running out of class to use the bathroom when I got her text.

3. Headed on a run when I got another email.

4. Popping diet pills as she was calling me.

So, anyway, here I was, had made it to the race. After feeling like shit all day. I hadn’t eaten in days, I could barely stand, my head was spinning, so lethargic. I had just gotten my packet pick up with my bib and all of that when my pocket started to buzz. The first thing to go through my head, besides the throbbing from my headache, was “It’s Saturday, who in the hell is call me?!” As I finally grabbed my phone and was looking at the number I had missed the call….

…. I got on Google to see where/who/what they wanted, and if the number would pop up. As I was typing it in my phone started buzzing again.  

Without thinking, I answer it. 

Hello, this is Joe Schmo with XYZ, calling for Susie Q….

I can barely hear anything at this point, my head is throbbing, my legs are ready to give out, I’m not sure if I am going to shit myself or throw up, and of course the damn band for the race had decided right then that me answering my phone was their cue to start jamming out….

“I’m sorry, give me one second, I can barely hear you.”

That’s fine, take your time.

“Ok, now who are you?”

—————————–

After a few minutes (I swear I wasn’t drunk/high/etc I was so out of it from feeling awful and not eating in days I was so groggy) everything clicked. “Oh God, he is calling about ED related bull shit.” I thought to myself. 

He got information, asked general bull shit questions. 

So, tell me about your struggles, so I can help find a facility that can help. Like if you struggle with anorexia, compared to binge eating.

“Um, sir, I am at a race right now, I can’t really, uhhh, work out a lot, eat very little.”

Hmmm, a race? are you running in it or cheering someone on? *I could feel his wheels turning*

How much do you work out?

“I don’t know, I try to run anywhere from 5-7 miles.”

The conversation went on like this for quite a while until I reached my car.

What kind of treatment were you thinking about looking into?

“Honestly, I don’t know. Apparently outpatient wasn’t the smartest because of driving over an hour there on little food.”

Ok, well if you struggle with anorexia, but have a BMI of under X, then we would have to see if you were even healthy enough for some places. 

“Yes to the first part, but I run and work out so much, no to the under X.”

So anyway… talk about timing huh? I have a race that is starting in a half hour and here I am on the phone with some dude trying to get me into treatment. It was kind of surreal. I still see myself as fat. Boobs, stomach, thighs (a couple people think that is mainly the dysmorphia), but to talk to a complete stranger about my habits, and have him say, 

“Given just the little bit of information you gave me, the knowledge and experience from being here, your intake, exercise and so on, you would fit the criteria for residential.” 

Well, fuck me…..

Yay, and fuck. I’m not sure what I want. The ED is screaming, I am ready to cry, my best friend is happy and nervous for me, one other person keeps saying, “School and work won’t matter if you are DEAD.” and I refuse to tell my mother because she will probably say the same things the ED is screaming. 

I AM HEALTHY… and done fighting.

Today when I left my appointment I felt stressed, discouraged, frazzled, and just pretty done.
Even my little brother, well, I can’t even call him that. My younger brother, he is 13 and is taller than I am by a lot and weighs about the same as me. He could tell I was upset when I was leaving today. He asked why I was crying, I wasn’t, I was just rubbing my face. He didn’t know where we were, or what I was doing; he stayed outside, listening to music. In all honesty seeing my brother so concerned about me and defensive made me feel like I was important. “What the hell happened in there? Are you ok?” I was waiting for the words “Who’s ass do I have to kick..” bc I could feel it coming.
I honestly feel like recovery isn’t for me.
I’m not saying I want to die. I’m just kind of done.
Done fighting, done exerting energy I don’t have. Just over it all.
I felt very discouraged today. My relationships are fucked up. I am very apathetic. I am the healthiest/fattest/laziest/ etc person ever with an eating disorder.
Yes, C, yes. I would love to go into treatment. Almost have to want to give a damn about getting better. Be forced to do things that will help me to get better. I cannot miss work, I cannot miss that much school. I don’t have that kind of money to just piss away.
I’ve kinda just become accepting and half-ass with everything. I’ve given up and in. C wanted to talk to my doctor… fine, give me the damn paper to sign. Want to talk to my best friend? Fine, I’ll give you the number, I’ve become almost passive, just trying to placate her and the eating disorder. I’ve become a hollow vessel full of nothing but self hatred. In my hand during my appointment was my coffee cup. If you would have looked closer you would have seen the picture of my sister and I on the side of it. Our fingers laced crossing the finish line of one of our runs. I almost began to cry as I saw her beautiful face while talking about inpatient. Yes, I would love to go into treatment and get better, because this is not living, and I would never want to leave my sister.
Being told I have to make a doctor appointment was irritating. I hate doctors, I spent weeks upon weeks having at least one doctor appointment a week. I’m not sure what you want to hear. My blood work has came back almost perfect every time. My weight? pretty fat. I AM HEALTHY.

image

I squat over 100 lbs with the bench press bar.
I leg press more than twice my body.
I run miles on miles on top of miles.
I dead lift.
Clean and Jerk.
I am the healthiest person with an eating disorder ever.
Being told I need to go to the doctor just felt like I wasn’t believable.
Trust me, I have wished, hoped, PRAYED that something would be funky, wrong, bad. That my esophagus would rupture.. ANYTHING. It hasn’t happened… because I am unfortunately FUCKING HEALTHY.
I’m done fighting for something that has no importance to me… me.