It was that awkward moment when I realized I’m not doing as well as I thought I had been.
There was no purging, I was starting to go out more with friends, work was at a steady lull.
I had stopped going to therapy, and had stopped going to the support group. I felt fine, so thought I’d take some time off.
I’d been so busy ignoring my Eating Disorder, that I had neglected to see it had slowly began to crawl its way back into my life. Then, Saturday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Holy Fuck. I’m running twice a day again.”
I hadn’t thought about my Eating Disorder, I hadn’t even been thinking about eating, and that was the issue. When I sat down and really reflected, I realized I wasn’t doing “better” I was just neglecting my recovery and becoming complacent. I hadn’t been eating, or even packing breakfast, and lunch was a joke, not packing anything for that either.
I haven’t been fully involved in my Eating Disorder.
But I haven’t been fully engaged in recovery either.
There are umpteen articles out there that are titled, “What Not To Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder.” Or “What to Say to Someone Recovering.” “How to talk to someone with an eating disorder.” “What is acceptable to say to someone with an eating disorder.” Etc, the list goes on and on, some are probably titled the same thing, with a different font, different capitalization, different spelling.
One thing that I have been told, on more than one occasion, is to use my “science brain”. Some background on me, I hate compliments, hate positive affirmations even more, and was able to finish school and graduate, while spending half of my final semester in residential.
I am a Biology Major, with a Chemistry Minor. After graduation I got a job offer several states away, after interviewing, weighing my options, and looking at the hefty benefits that went along with it, I took the offer. I am currently working as a Biochemist, specializing in HPLC Method and Development. All of this to say, I have been called “smart” for as long as I can remember. I am nothing more than average. I got a C in Inorganic Chemistry, passed Virology with a disheartening B, and that is nothing to the hell I endured through Cell and Molecular Biology, with a professor I referred to as “Dr. Douche Fuck.” (Only behind his back, of course).
So, when people tell me to use my “science brain”, it, well, it pisses me off.
Yes, I can tell you that carbohydrates are needed for the cell, as well as lipids, protein, etc. I can tell you glycolysis, the one letter amino acid codes, the vitamins and what the body uses each for. Logically, I know food is fuel, that you can’t gain anymore than you consume, I know basal metabolic rate.
I know people die from eating disorders.
My science mind is great and useful for information about health, bacteria, the works. My mind is also great at using denial and deception, along with ED. I believe that I am the exception, I believe that it will never happen to me. I spent years in denial, I craved my morning runs and the lifting, I still don’t believe I’ve done any long term damage to my body. To some morbid degree, that bothers me.
I wish I could sit here and tell you that I was the frail, feeble, weakling with the feeding tube. Knees knocking as I wait for the elevator because I am unable to climb one flight of stairs. That I had some miraculous story to tell.
I fight with myself and my body daily. Wishing I was thinner, that my stretch marks would go away, that my thigh gap was more obvious and my collar bone would protrude a little more.
It is very difficult sitting in program, in a room full of sick people, comparing my body to theirs. She may not be allowed to take the stairs. He may need help carrying his tray.
Me? I did 5 miles before program. I did push ups, I did crunches. You name it.
I am the heaviest patient in the room, I am nearly sure of it.
I wouldn’t say I am “ok” with it- but I am accepting of this fact.
I could probably also dead lift their body weight no problem.
It is this morbid sense of comparison that is so difficult to me. You are the heaviest one here. Yeah, but I lift and run. Or are you justifying the reason you are fat? No, I tell myself. I wonder how they see me though.
ED’s never ceasing manipulation.
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.
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.
-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:
“I hurried to the kitchen where I was told T was looking for me. “Oh Shit.” I thought.”
“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.”
“So, that’s about it. I had a melt down in T’s office about how everything is being taken away from me.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.’.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“T is so freaking great, she works her ass off for us and is just such an amazing lady.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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??’”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Currently, I’m pissed at the world.
Saturday was family day, everyone came. Grandma brought fucking cookies! Dumb ass! The primary therapist said something to my grandma, she got mad and left.
I felt hurt and pissed at her. She wasn’t even invited by me, but she came anyway and is in such a state of denial.
My sister and I were curled up on the yoga room floor the whole time and I loved it. Then yelling Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer while in the bathroom together. I struggled, didn’t finish dinner and had Ensure.
The next day Ridley came in, we had lunch, then wandered downtown. It was so cute and I loved all of the shops. That was super fun. We got back and I snuck outside for some soccer. I was juggling and kicking it around, then Anna came around the corner, she asked what I was doing, I told her I was being easy, but admitted I didn’t ask Ridley.
Anna wasn’t too keen because I had been “sneaky” before and she was worried about me being triggered. Few minutes later Ridley came outside to peak on me. Anyways I didn’t abuse soccer, yay!
Yesterday I thought I was going to be sneaky and play outside with some residents. Anna said I could get my soccer ball from my car, I was so thrilled. We got in trouble for running, so we were kicking the ball back and forth. Then I got cocky and went all goalie style. Diving andblocking shots, running, omg I loved it. My legs got all cut up, scraped and bloody- I loved it.
Then, I got a headache and got really dizzy. I struggled through snack, suffered nauseously through dinner. Then B and I went to talk to the RC. From diving so much I was so dizzy and B knew what it was. The RC had already seen my legs and probably knew I was being rough. I humbly admitted I was diving and being rough…and got reprimanded…and no more soccer…
I was so pissed at myself for trying to be sneaky, for fessing up, and for abusing soccer. I was finally given the ok and I cut off my nose to spite my face.
I cried during snack because I didn’t want to get kicked out and just feel like I can’t get my shit together.
So anyway, today. I woke up with plans to go to yoga, but the therapist came in the kitchen and wanted to meet today. I missed yoga but really opened up. Part of my breakfast also involuntarily came up and the RC saw, so I had to drink an Ensure during my appointment.
Cleaning was also taken from me, and I can’t do the dishes anymore and need to sit for 15 minutes after each meal. My body hates food, and just wants to get rid of it, like it has been doing for a long time.
I went to work, ate a Clif Bar, among many other delicious foodies, walked my dog, called people about trying to find a place to live since I am moving. I didn’t run today because I didn’t have time, plus it was raining.
Life is Good
Trust the Process.
I want to start this post off by saying that I ate quinoa with mushrooms, eggs, and a biscuit this morning. No crying over food, no Ensures. Looking back on this year is crazy, eye opening, and I am so thankful for my team and how far they have brought me through all of this. This time last year, there was no way I could look ahead and see my life how it is today. I feel very blessed and thankful to have so many people in my life who love me, a dog who doesn’t leave me, and a much healthier mindset.
I still struggle with urges, and body dissatisfaction, but realizing that purging and restricting won’t help with that, it will only make me grumpy and regretful.
“You’re gonna be here a while.” The sound of those words resembled a car screeching to a hault, nails on a chalk board of an unexpected shot of a gun. My heart skipped a beat as Susi said this.
I hate this, I had another meltdown during lunch- fucking Ensure, stupid RC, stupid bagel. I made a salad and challenged myself with turkey lunch meat and part of a bagel. To cope with lunch I was coloring at the table, the RC told me to stop. I began to fill up with anger and anxiety because now I was so focused on this damn lunch. I asked the RC if I could go outside, collect myself and come back in a few minutes- she said no, I could breathe at the table. I got so mad and upset I began to just cry. Long story short, I ended up having an Ensure.
We were gonna go grocery shopping, but I had an appointment with Susi. I told the RC after I had finished my Ensure about my appointment- she went and rescheduled my appointment until Friday. That royally pissed me off, I told her, “Why can’t I keep my appointment?!?! Especially with my meltdown at lunch today!!”
So, I went to Susi’s office, bawling, and everyone else went shopping.
Susi asked if lunch was hard and I told her about my meltdown, Ensure, coloring, my watch telling me to “MOVE!” We talked about how I just need to mechanically get throught the meals by any means necessary- including coloring. She asked about my watch, and told her it was a Garmin running watch, and just wasn’t helpful right now. I explained I tried to cope through lunch and don’t want to leave for “not following my meal plan.” Susi said I didn’t see what my actual size was, and I’d probably be in the hospital from heart issues soon, if I just left now.
Watchless, exercise deprived, food focused, fat, depressed and angry.
She also knew I’m really struggling with the urge to exercise and gave me something great to try for my hamstrings. We talked about how bad I want to run and being so conflicted and worried over Christmas. I told Susi if I go home I will run, and work out and not eat, and I didn’t need anything else to make me take steps backwards.
After my appointment with Susi, I was in the kitchen coloring when T came in. I asked her if she had a few minutes so we could talk feelings. She said definitely and I followed her to her office. I was totally honest and told her that literally this entire place knows I’m struggling so bad with wanting to exercise- she nodded.
I asked what else I could do to help with that. She threw out ideas of journaling, breaking sticks. I told her that it is so hard for me to not run in place or do abs. T asked me if I had been doing this, I admitted to it. Trying to sneak work outs in my room, but knowing it wasn’t hurting anyone but myself and my recovery.
I explained I felt like a lost cause. T talked about “self-soothing” ideas, smell, touch, etc. She said I wasn’t a lost cause. We also talked about Christmas and she agreed I don’t want to start all over again because of a few days.
Don’t let a temporary setback, or feeling stuck where you are now, determine your future. Don’t live your life out of fear for what could happen. You may not be ready, but if not now, then when?
Day by day you may not see a change, but look back on months ago, a year ago.
Trust the Process!!!!
“Just write” she says, yeah fucking right, I want to run. Run far away, nothing but asphalt under me, sky above me and the sun on me. My feet keeping tempo at the same beat that floods through my ears. Ignoring everyone and everything, completely tuned out from the world. Being able to numb out and ignore my problems that wait for me as soon as I stop running.
Even temporary freedom, no phone, no people no commitments or small talk- this is one of the only times I’m perfectly content being with me. Not comfortable being me, but being with me.
I am not thinking about Zach and how he wants to come over so we can fool around and have no interest in a relationship. I’m not stressed out about the fact I was accidently talking to a married guy, or how Colby wants to go out. Or about Matt, oh dear God, fucking Matt and his excessive amount of unnecessary bull shit. Sending me letters in the mail. Letters?? Really?? Why are you sending me stuff in the mail? Letters, a package? Why?
My main concern when I am running is how many calories I am burning and how many miles I can get in. There is nothing standing in my way and the feeling is one of freedom and relaxation. It is my own version of therapy. I’ve told people before that, “Only the Lord himself could stop me during a run. He would have to come down and stand right there.” There are very few circumstances where I will stop what I am doing mid-run to cater to something else.
This, is where it all gets complicated though. I also run because I absolutely love it. The feeling of my pony tail bouncing, my hair blowing in the wind, the sweat dripping down my back, feeling my heart beat- I love it. My knee and hip begin to ache, but I can feel the smile across my face, watching passing cars wave and even cheer me on. It is even a prideful thing, being able to push my body from starting with three miles and working to be able to do a half marathon. It is a sense of accomplishment. Thrilled that I have made it to this many miles.
Am I running to run and for enjoyment, or what am I running from? Am I running away from my feelings and running from stuff? Where do I draw the line? It’s such a grey area for me. Running because “I have to” or because “I want to”?
I’ve been mentally struggling recently with my self perception, body image, and comparisons. Lately though, I’ve been doing really well with sticking to my meal plan. It’s different, challenging, scary, but slowly becoming the new norm for me.
I no longer have to justify eating that one apple based on how far I ran. Or mentally weigh out the consequences if I drink soy milk instead of water. It has been relieving yet slightly unnerving.
So today, rolling around in my head, I was fighting with myself about my body image and the daily struggle. How fat I am, how I need to lose this that and the other, how I want to be as skinny as ________.
Then, I remembered something that T had told me while I was in treatment, “If you want to be as small as _______, you can’t just pick and choose, you have to take the whole package.” She was right. Maybe I wanted to be thinner, smaller, whatever, to look like somebody else. At the same time though was I willing to accept the whole package, to be like her? Taking on not only their body shape, but everything else, whether it is their quirks, annoyances, whatever it may be. Would I completely give up me to look like that?
To not be able to run as far as I can, or lift what I am able to and squat, in order to trade to be smaller, more fragile looking. To give up the relationships I have in order to not be as big as I am? Would being smaller and thinner be worth that trade to me?
Would you give up your boyfriend, dog, hair, legs, friendships, relationships, laughter, whatever it may be, just to look like someone else and lose more weight?