The Angel on my Shoulder Hung an “Out of Office” Sign

I feel like I’d be lying if I didn’t say that for a moment, if only a brief moment, it felt like it was my eating disorder and I against everyone else.
In the cliché scenario of the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other, the angel had hung an “Out of Office” sign, and the devil was none other than the eating disorder I had catered to for an unknown amount of years.
Sitting in my appointment replaying the week over in my head, “I did alright” I told myself. Allowing myself to eat pizza, toast (with butter), and other terrifying foods that sat somewhere between dentist appointment and pap smear on list of things I really wanted in my body.
Then hearing, “I’m concerned, this isn’t good. There has to be a shift.”
At that moment, the devil on my shoulder gave me a high-five and felt ready to tag team the world.
Having to sit and acknowledge the fact that no, maybe running and working out isn’t a great idea right now was enough to bring tears to my eyes; Unable to figure out how I would cope and numb everything if I wasn’t able to lift and go to the gym.
They joke that “Denial is more than just a river in Africa.”
Which is true, to me it felt more like a hot tub, surrounding me with comfort and warmth. Trying to get out of it would be uncomfortable, and leave me wanting to dive back in head first, to what I had grown accustomed to. Much like the parable of the boiling frog, in which a frog is placed in warm water, and the temperature slowly rises to boiling, until the frog is boiled to death.
I wanted more than anything to stand up, I could feel ED tugging on the neck of my shirt. I wanted to let ED ruin this appointment. I wanted to act like a 2 year old, the “terrible twos” – type of two year old, and have a fit. I wanted to tell her she didn’t know what she was talking about.
The dietitian, with more letters behind her name than actually in mine, I wanted to tell her she didn’t know what she was talking about. I wanted to gesture to the waiting room and shout that “I DON’T LOOK LIKE HER! I’M FINE.” Once again, using my weight and my capabilities in the gym as my only standing as to why I am “fine”.
Now, taking a step back, I know that what she says is truth, and I know something has to change. (I’m also glad I didn’t make an ass out of myself yesterday).
It speaks volumes when something as little as trying to take a break from exercising sends me into a full blow panic and fit. Now, trying to remind myself that; not running is an accomplishment for me.
Taking another step back, I realize that if I had the type of body my ED says I should want, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy, or do, the physical activities I want. Plus, then what? I’d be another year or so older, still struggling with an eating disorder, maybe weighing less, but at some point being right back here.
It’s been a reoccurring theme lately from various people, that your heart only gets so many beats, so why waste them on things I don’t enjoy?
Advertisements

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.

Hershey- Not the kisses

Hey guys!

It’s been a while. Life has continued, the dog and I are still getting settled, and not sure where I left off on the blog.

So, I think I officially have a boyfriend, he is super great, super supportive. Also good looking. We talked about ED, figured I’d give him time to jump off the crazy train, but he hasn’t. We will go out to eat, he has spent the night. I really like him. He went to Florida this week, but will be home soon.

I found an ED support group and have been going to that once a week. Life has been great, my eating- not so much. After going to the group a few times, and enjoying it, I checked in with a few people, and didn’t think the group was enough support and accountability for where I am. My restricting got worse, my purging became the worst it has been in a long, long time.

So, with a loving push, I made an appointment at the Hershey Penn State ED facility. I wore my heaviest boots, three shirts and a hoodie, and walked into the office. We talked for a while about the usual introductory stuff, my family, my eating disorder, the behaviors, treatment, etc. She thought I needed to stop running and eat “at least add a tiny bit more…”, stop taking the diet pills. You have othostatic hypotension….. yeah, that was fun.

I finally thought I was about done. ED was still sitting in the front of my mind reminding me of how fat I was, how I didn’t, and shouldn’t, be here. The doctor turned to me, handed me a gown and asked me to change for a blind weight.

Ah, FUCK. Nobody said anything about a gown.

So, did that.

I was expecting some kind of nice rejection speech, “You don’t fit the criteria.” “I am sorry, but…” Anything that would reinforce the fact that I’m not sick nor skinny.

“Just curious, what was your lowest.” Uhh, I don’t know, probably between xxx and xyz.

“Ok, well you are sitting at xxx right now.  I don’t think outpatient will be enough. I’d strongly suggest PHP.”

Oh hell no, I thought. I don’t have time for that shit. I moved to PA to start a life and career, not go back into treatment.

I explained that my work schedule would not allow that.

“Well, I think IOP would be a good start. They have dinner together, group….”

 

Sorry guys, I’m getting bored and stressed writing about this…. I start IOP tomorrow.

On my fun-o-meter, IOP is sitting somewhere between Dentist and Gynecologist….

Besides ED, my life is great. Support group, making friends, boyfriend. I feel kinda useless at work still, but I love being a BioChemist…. Dang, so nerdy. Love it.

 

Anyway,

Trust the Process!!

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.

Abuse Soccer

12/21/2014
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!
                                Background story:
                12/14/2014
                                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.

 

12/21/2015

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.

xoxoxo

 

Crying Over a Bagel

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.

12/17/2014

                “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!!!!

xoxoxo

More Than Just a Job

It is so crazy to look back and read my journal entries from last year. I was admitted into treatment on December 6th, 2014. I did not want to be there, I didn’t even want to acknowledge the fact that I had an eating disorder, or that I needed help.

It is also amazing to look back on all of the progress I have made. I am no longer crying over food, I have a love for peanut butter. Praise God, I am no longer involuntarily puking after I eat. The nutritionist and T have had such an amazing impact on my recovery and my life and can never thank them enough. It was the most terrifying and rewarding experience of my life.

 

12/13/2014

            Today has been rough. Struggled through breakfast and snack. Had DBT which was actually hard. For snack I had granola but didn’t even want to touch food so distracted myself with making a bracelet. Told Michelle I didn’t want to eat and nicely threatened me with an Ensure. I finally ate the rest of the damn granola.

            Had lunch, well, let me rephrase that… I had a mental breakdown during lunch. Today has just been a really difficult day. I wanted NOTHING for lunch, but decided to make a salad, sweet potato and cottage cheese. I sat down at the table and just began to cry after staring at my food. The RC asked me if I wanted to go outside, breathe, collect myself and come back.

            So, I went outside and cried. One of the outpatient girls saw me and came over to give me a pep talk. I told her, “No worries, just a mid lunch breakdown.” She told me, “It will get better, I know you’re so fucking sick of hearing that, but its true.” The RC came outside for a minute to check on me, then went back inside. I told her it was just an extra hard day and she gave awesome advice on it’s a step by step progress. Then she gave me a hug and went inside. A few seconds later my roommate came out and I began to just cry. I wasn’t hungry, didn’t want to go out tonight, no hunger cues, so don’t want to eat. The RC came out at about this time. I was crying, and just really didn’t want to eat. I told her that I think it finally hit me that I was really here, and really doing this.

            After some hugs, coaxing and talking, I went back inside, sat at the table and took a bite. The nutritionist did second table while everyone else watched me struggle.

Second table ended and everyone got up except the nutritionist and I. Slowly but surely I made it through lunch. Then, after doing my dishes, I was antsy and swept the kitchen. That was when the nurse came and got me, and said Dr. T wanted to see me.

            I went in and sat down, we talked about my vitamin D levels, and I told him about the involuntarily throwing up. He said that was not ok, and I explained the “swallow your vomit” motif and my logic of, “Eat what I’m comfortable with and get punished, or eat until I throw up.” He was not happy with that at all and said he would talk with the nutritionist about it.

            Oh God, I didn’t want to start anything, but I told him it was so much food…and the puking….

So, I went back to the kitchen, picked up the air vent and scrubbed it. As I squatted on the floor the clinical director, T, came in to fix her lunch and commented on me being a cleaner. Two residents came into the kitchen both bitching about how the nurse and Dr. T were taking forever. I looked up and told them, “They were talking to the nutritionist about me because I’m a pain in the ass.”

T looked down at me and inquired, “Talking about you? Why? What’s up?”, I replied with, “Nothing.” She squatted down nearly eye level with me. I told her I was really struggling today. She said, “You aren’t a pain in the ass. Your eating disorder might be a pain in the ass, but you aren’t.” I really, really, appreciated that.

            I sat down and began to cry. I told her I’m still throwing up. I had a meltdown during lunch, but she probably already heard about that, she shook her head, and had a seat on the kitchen floor facing me. I told her the story, me crying, going outside, etc. I told her it’s the fine line between eating quickly feeling full and sick or not wanting to eat at all. I feel anxious when I am the last one, but don’t want to hurl. I told her that I threw up again and was embarrassed and discouraged.

            She was understanding about this being my first week and tough as shit, she asked if anyone else knew, I said no. She expressed how she wanted me to share at process group about how I’m struggling. She said she was glad I was here and I told her about my very supportive roommate.

            I’m not sure I can express to T how much I appreciated my therapy session on the kitchen floor. I used to think this wasn’t bad, I wasn’t sick and I didn’t need to be here. Yet, I’m the one on the kitchen floor having a meltdown. It really meant a lot to me for her to take the time to talk with me and be supportive. T told me it’s a big jump going from not eating to eating so much.

I’m just so discouraged and embarrassed that I’m puking and don’t want to get caught or in trouble.

Guys, always trust the process. Sometimes we are way to close to realize what we need. It is so much more than a job to these amazing women. I am not where I want to be, but I praise God that I’m not where I was. Sure ED likes to knock, (pretty damn hard sometimes) and I may even periodically let him in when I think it may be helpful. But even these days are better than my laxative abusing, running obsessing, purging oriented life I was “living”.

Trust the process guys!!

ED, You Can Wait In The Car.

                I was having a stressful two weeks. Stressed over my future, my roommate, guys, my job, family, so much on my plate.
                So, instead of going to OP because I needed a swift kick, I skipped last week.
                It was a poor decision, but instead of dealing with the stress and emotions I wanted to completely bury it and avoid it all costs.
                I fell, and I fell hard.
                I messaged T and we talked for a bit. She was concerned, I was pissed at the world and slipping. The ability to name my feelings and acknowledge them wasn’t fathomable.
                Later that week I drove to OP.
                Annoyed, upset, guilt-ridden, overwhelmed, regretful, and just emotion-over-full, I pulled into the parking lot. At some point it was then that I decided to not be difficult. I was struggling, it didn’t mean they needed to.
                They knew I was struggling, I knew, so why would I waste their time deflecting, being snarky and mean, when we could just get down to business. It was then I decided to make the choice to leave ED in the car for this one.
                I walked into my dietitian’s office and talked. Admitting my slip-ups, the difficulties and my stressors. I told her that I didn’t go last week because I didn’t want to own up or acknowledge my screw ups.
                After that appointment, I went across the hall to my therapist’s office. For the past month or so, T and I had been going on walks during our session- Not this week. I was honestly grateful and relieved. T told me we weren’t walking today, but could go sit outside, that worked for me. With so many thoughts and emotions flooding me I knew I would become too wrapped up in walking, than opening up. We sat outside, I got comfortable on the grass, T sat on a bench.
                “So, what’s up with all these guys?” she went right for the throat with the first question of many to come.
                What usually would have been me shrugging and saying, “I don’t know.” Became an actual honest answer. Talking about the married guy I was talking too, but didn’t realize he was married, the one who only wants to hook up, my stalker, the hottie with the temper. The honesty began to just roll off my tongue with little hesitation.
                Continuing our conversation about guys, then talked about me moving, talked about my roommate, my best friend, family, exercise, feelings and self-harm.
                This led to the next challenge with leaving ED in the car and the next challenging question. “Can I see your leg?” Everything in me wanted to scream, “No. Fuck off. I screwed up, I know.” Up until this point I had been sitting in such a way that covered my leg from her being able to see it. I obliged and gave in. I was more ashamed and embarrassed than actually mad, annoyed or even pissed.
                After a few seconds of silence T spoke up, “I’m so proud of all of your progress, months ago you wouldn’t have been this open and talking about feelings. Honestly, K and I weren’t sure what to expect with the week you had.”
                I told her about me trying to leave ED in the car and not be difficult. T was glad to hear it and mentioned my progress again. She had talked to K before I got there and didn’t want to talk to ED and my attitude, but me instead. So, I’m glad my appointment went so well.
                When our session was wrapping up she asked me to have the nurse check out my leg. I didn’t want to, I argued and objected, then hesitantly followed T back to the house and down the hall. We went to the nurse’s office and shut the door, T told her that we needed her assistance. I wanted to curl up into a hole, I was already so embarrassed, guilty, shameful, and nervous about my mistake…. So much shame. The nurse said she would take care of it but wanted to see all of it and asked T to leave, she got ready to stand up. Like a three year old I squealed “No!”, T sat back down and looked at me. They looked at my leg and the nurse opened her box. She cleaned the area around it, and got some iodine glue mixture to help close up the gash. The nurse explained that she worked at a jail, and that there was no judgement, which made me feel some relief.
                The area was cleaned, wrapped and fixed up. I turned around and gave T a huge hug. I explained to both of them that I hate falling back on being so destructive, and that in genuinely bothers me. T said she knows it bothers me. The next day I went to neurofeedback, and I honestly believe that helped tremendously with the anxiety. It is the craziest thing, but I am so glad T pushed me into going. I may not fully understand it, but I do know that I feel better afterwards, and can feel a difference anxiety-wise.
                All I could think about this morning while making my oatmeal with an egg and peanut butter, were T’s words regarding my recovery. I never would have eaten these items before treatment. I also know how right T is about my progress. Able to acknowledge feelings, name them, and sometimes, if I am lucky, even tolerate them.

Completely Candor

                I am guilty, guilty of mentally falling into the cliché stereotyped expectations of eating disorder sufferers. Convinced I was healthy, I would never allow myself to utter the words “eating disorder”. Instead would defend my actions as “picky”, “already ate”, “healthy” or, “I’m just weird about food.”
                Visualizing the emaciated, stick figure, thigh-gap possessing, rib showing, cheek bone protruding individuals as the ones with eating disorders. These are the girls I longed to become. Somehow my value and self-esteem would increase with the more visible ribs and thigh gap. On days when I felt like a failure I allowed my self-hatred and ED behaviors be fueled by “thinspiration” posts. Sure that by restricting and running I could accomplish slowly shrinking.
                In my mind, not being tiny and itty bitty was viewed as a failure, not a relief. I consistently lived feeling as though I was a screw up and could do nothing right- this was no different.You can’t do anything right,” it would scream, “you can’t even have an eating disorder the right way.” This just fed my self-hatred and loathing.
                Living life 100 mph I never allowed myself to slow down or stop for long. Being deep in my eating disorder was just a strict version of what I considered a life. I refused to consume more than 300 calories a day. I popped laxatives and diet pills like tic tacs; because of this I would shake and tremble, sometimes having to stop midway up the stair case before continuing to class. My bag got progressively heavier, my legs weak and intestines gurgling.
                The laxatives served two purposes; one was to rid my system of whatever was in it, the second was a deterrent to keep me from eating. With nothing in my system there was nothing to flush, but with one bite could keep me running to the bathroom during class.
                During this time I also had two gym memberships, giving me access to three gyms actually (well four, if you count the one at work). I started running in temperatures ranging as low as 16 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to the rec in the morning, then using the gym on campus between classes, running after class but just before work. This was life, it was consumed by when I could get my next run in. I felt like a junkie, waiting for my next fix.
                The foods I allowed myself to consume was slim to none. On a good day I would grab an apple and cup of black coffee. After my run it would be time for a refill on coffee to help the shakes subside. My jello legs would then find their way to class where I continued on my coffee to keep me warm and focused.
                I would skip sleeping to run, sometimes on the treadmill until 11 pm, to be up to run at 5 am, I would skip class to run, skip study sessions, and would rather spend time at the gym than studying.
                If I felt truly hungry when I got home I allowed  myself one egg white, tomato and spinach, and would smother it with sriracha, maybe even an onion if I was feeling generous.
                Still, I deemed myself “healthy”. I was able to run, I still went to class, I wasn’t XX lbs. I knew my actions weren’t healthy, but still considered myself to be in great health. I also knew I was unable to stop my actions and behaviors by myself.
                I had my gallbladder taken out because of issues with stomach acid, ripped my entire IT band, fell at work from not eating and had a hairline fracture of my sacrum and coccyx, and hadn’t seen my period in who know how long. Yet the only thing that matters to me was that my weight never plummeted, so therefore I was never sick.
                My ED wasn’t serious. I wasn’t hospitalized, never passed out and got hurt, wasn’t itty bitty or fragile. I didn’t need treatment, I wasn’t “sick”, just struggling. Treatment wasn’t necessary, I was fine, I didn’t DESERVE treatment, or recovery.
                Recovery was for those who had hit rock bottom, were nothing but a hollow shell of a person and a skeleton, were on a feeding tube and weren’t able to walk, let alone run. Recovery was for those much worse than me. I didn’t want or need help or sympathy, I had it under control. My body was involuntarily throwing up food, but that was because of my own actions and decisions, why should anyone care?
                I was never super sick, never deathly ill or fragile. My recovery mindset is based on my views of my eating disorder. My ED was never THAT bad, therefore, recovery is more important to those super sick. I’m undeserving of recovery because there are others out there who are more sick and need it more than me. I never took my ED seriously, thinking I am invincible, unworthy and undeserving. It seemed more like a security blanket than a life of slavery.
                Apparently how worthy and deserving of recovery I am is based solely on my weight and nothing else….?
                I do hope that at some point I will be able to look back and call bullshit on my “healthy” ED lies and reconsider my undeserving mindset. I don’t want to look back and tell people I was fine, healthy. I want to own it for whatever it may be, disordered or not. Sometimes, when I am daydreaming, I picture a recovered self, telling my story. What would I say? “I wasn’t sick or bad or anything though….”

My Facade of Resting Bitch Face. Recovery

To the untrained eye I could be the epitome of resting bitch face who takes no shit and is in charge. I am loud, quick to respond, quicker to sass and with the mouth of a sailor. I am a very independent, tough, stubborn and, at times, even angry person. I’ve worked tirelessly for many years to accomplish such a façade that one could deem unfavorable or covetous- depending on who you are. I take pride in the fact I work to the point of exhaustion, try my damnedest to never rely on anyone or need anything because “I have it handled” and, “Just get out of my way, I’ll do it.”, is my constant mentality.

So what happens when I am faced with something, such as my eating disorder, which seems to be insurmountable? When the humbling experience of realizing that no, I really don’t “have it handled”, creeps into my mind slowly, then all at once. When my perfunctory routine that I had claimed as “living” in becomes so exhausting but comfortable simultaneously.

There are many times and many days that I have no faith in myself. I question my recovery, my own determination and my own willingness so many times. The mindset that has been with me for many years is one I still fight, being leery of anyone who tries to become too close; certain they will either fuck me over, or just want something. Opening up, being vulnerable, these things are more terrifying than just handling whatever life throws at me on my own.

I desperately want, yearn, and strive to be good enough in the eyes of my mother. To be good enough for her. Feel worthy in her eyes, and get credit and acknowledgement for my accomplishments; which I know will never happen. Indentured to her wishes and expectations at the age of 8 when my brother was born and the bar of perfectionism seemed to be raised higher. When I don’t even have confidence and faith in myself and my abilities, I am so thankful for the people in my life that do believe in me and my recovery efforts.

To the people in my life that are there for me, words cannot ever express the importance you play in my life. Through the peppy/happy times and the discouraging/disappointing times the love, help, support is staggering. I sit on the edge of my seat, waiting for everyone to concurrently stand up, pack their stuff and remove themselves from my life. As if my life is indistinguishable from a theater, waiting for the end where everyone gets up together, lining up to leave in a line and promenade their way out into the streets; finished. My mother would be in the very back of the line, sauntering her way towards the exit too. She would watch everyone leave, looking back towards me, as one last stab, so she could bring up the rear, reassured that I was left alone in the empty theater of my life.

That, has yet to happen though, even with my bitchy avail to those who don’t deserve it. I feel unworthy to those people in my life who do care, I always fall back on the one question, “Why do you care?” and “Why me?” It is an instantaneous jolt of guilt and love that I feel wash over me along with an immense amount of appreciation towards these people. (I’m babbling, and my writing is going downhill fast).

The ability to look someone in the face, be 100% honest, candid, hold nothing back, be unable to lie to them because it doesn’t feel right. It is one of the most nerve wracking and freeing things. Knowing that what I did isn’t beneficial to my recovery, having to fess up and be honest. Also knowing (and hoping), that they are concerned out of love and not just to reprimand me. Being understanding and not critical. Doesn’t mean it is easy to sit there and openly admit when you fuck up, but having that as an option with someone.

Sitting outside with me, eating something scary with me, the hugs, tears, laughs, stories. These are the things that have impacted my relationships with others, as well as aid in my recovery. From motherly figures to best friends to support teams and roommates; I love my space and my independent nature, but it still feels good to have someone there.

(There will be another entry about this soon, just way too tired)