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!!!

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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!!

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.

 

To T, my biggest influence.

T,

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

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

Whichever option you choose to pick.

Quick question:

-Do you ever feel like a glorified babysitter?

-A ring leader at a circus?

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

                                                                                The dietitian needs you.

          Sally is refusing to eat.                                                                   Jill just threw up.

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

                                                                                                                Phone is ringing.

                                Sue needs to talk to you.

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

Remember the time(s):

-You stood up to my mom for me?

-Sat on the kitchen floor to therapize me?

-The multiple times I threw up.

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

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

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

-The night I called you crying over pizza.

-My self harm issues.

-Come to Jesus meeting(s).

-My smart mouth.

That could be it’s own post.

-Having to take me to the hospital.

-Watching you cry.

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

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

-All of my ungodly honesty.

-Let’s not forget my concealed.

Also, some of my journal excerpts:

                12/11/14

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

                12/16/14

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

                12/23/14

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

                12/24/14

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

                12/26/14

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

                12/27/14

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

                12/31/14

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

                1/10/2015

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

                1/11/2015

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

                1/16/15

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

                1/28/15

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

                2/5/15

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

                2/9/15

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

                2/18/15

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

                2/19/15

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

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

                2/20/15

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

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

                                3/1/15

                “T,

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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.

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

 

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….”

Running from my Eating Disorder

10985274_10203187436033126_1776184478909549160_nThis picture was taken the first time I got exercise approval in treatment. I was told to try and “walk” first. I was so beyond thrilled.

There are many things in my life that I thoroughly enjoy, even love. Running is one of those things. I soon realized I was using running as a coping mechanism. To me, I would excuse the amount I ran as “healthy”, I didn’t smoke, this was a “healthy” habit I had picked up. It soon became ritualistic, expected, needed, and a way to run away from myself as well as my own eating disorder. I felt the most alive when I was nearly dying during a run.

I can’t remember exactly when it happened, but I remember when I was barely able to run one mile without stopping. One turned into three, I ate less, ran more. 3 turned into 5, then 7, even 10 miles at a time. Sometimes running multiple times a day consuming barely 500 calories a day. I was still healthy though. My body was still capable to sustain a run. Never mind that I skipped classes like Organic Chemistry II, Microbiology to Health and Nutrition, and Cell and Molecular Biology in order to get that extra run in.

I loved running. It got me out of my own head. It consumed time that I might be otherwise told to eat or FEEL. I am still in complete shock of how my body was able to sustain itself. I would reach mile 5 and was barely able to stand, and my vision would begin to come in and out, I was always convinced I would pass out and fall into the street.

Running turned from a “want to” to a “need” and “have” to. It was no longer enjoyable, it wasn’t a personal goal or record anymore, but to see how many calories I could burn off. How far into the negative calories I could reach.

I didn’t necessarily use running as a “punishment” per se, but more like a giving me permission to eat. “Well, if I run 4 miles, thats xxx calories. So that apple I ate is understandable.” I would run in 18 degree weather, even in shorts. Unable to catch my breath, snot frozen to my face.

My period continued to be something I only heard about and read about, never actually experiencing such thing in years. God forbid Aunt Flow actually ever came, I probably would have ran 15 miles, associating my period with body fat rather than being “healthy”.

Everything I ate was no longer just the calorie obsession, but was immediately converted to miles that needed to be ran in order to burn it off.

During treatment I had exercise taken away from me. I was still so positive that I was completely fine, I wanted to go run. My body could tolerate it and sustain it just fine. Forget the fact I had torn my entire IT band from hip to knee, and have a reoccurring hip injury that will require back surgery. It took so much time for me to realize that it was acceptable for me to eat something and not feel the need to go and immediately burn it off.

Having to sit with these calories and the feeling of fullness was something that terrified me. I began to pace the stairs, run in place. Anything to burn the calories off. After many weeks this feeling became more tolerable.

The opportunity was given to me to be able to use my running watch to track the distance I ran. I was given exercise privilege, I was told to walk, but everyone there knew better. I was told that whatever I burned I had to make up calorically. The choice was mine. I was able to decided if I wanted to go on a run, but I understood that if I did, I had to eat or drink something to make up for it.

In my mind it was never like that. You work out or run to burn off calories, not to consume something else to “make up” for it. That logic was ridiculous. It worked. I ran, but understood and knew that I would have to add something extra to my meal plan.

Leaving treatment I began to pack extra food with me, even an Ensure in case of a food “emergency”. I run between classes sometimes, but depending on the distance, I’ll have a Quest bar or Clif Bar, maybe even an Ensure.

I ran 10 miles Friday. I ate a big bowl of oatmeal to help fuel my run. Let that digest, then hit the road. My legs weren’t as weak and trembly like they had been before treatment. I was able to see, wasn’t as lethargic and shaky. It was different than I was used to. I now enjoy running and do it because I like it, not because my self-hatred filled eating disorder tells me I have to.

*Caution Slippery Slope Ahead*

I have received so many inspirational comments, encouraging words, reassurance.

I’ve seen comments such as, “You’re brave and curious.” “I don’t know you but I am proud of you because in my own journey you give me hope and inspiration.”, “You are showing such strength and determination.”, “Wish I was as strong as you are with your decision to recover.”, “Gives me hope :)”,  and one of my favorites:         “I saw a comment you left on someone else’s post and I found my way to your blog and before I knew it, I had read your entire archive. I’m so inspired by your story. Thank you for being so honest, for baring your soul to the internet – I feel like I can relate to a lot of what you said.”

These words, your words, your encouragement, has meant so much to me. I have to be honest though, I don’t want to come across as “Oh, I left treatment, everything is rainbows, sparkles and sunshine.”  I never want to come across phony and fake.

Honestly? I am struggling, but I don’t want to admit it to myself let alone anybody else. I don’t have an outpatient team, I keep putting it off and considering it “not important”. School is the most important thing to me… ok, and attempting to stick to my meal plan.

But here I am again, acting on urges and thoughts…THOUGHTS. Feelings, emotions, guilt, FOOD AND ED.

Over Easter break, my friends and I took the boat out, went out to an island on the lake and had a cook out. It was terrific, I hadn’t hung out with them in forever. It was so much fun. We ran around the island, played around on the beach, climbed trees, watched the guys be guys, laughed, started a fire. It was terrific. Then came dinner time. I helped cut stuff, and start the grill, played with fire.

After the burgers and hot dogs were done being cooked we all gathered around to eat, talk, and laugh. I attempted to make a plate and be “normal”. Ok, I’ll have a bun for starch… oh God, no, no bun… nevermind… but I’ll have cheese for fat…. ok… and lettuce and tomato.. and pickle… ok.

“What? Got something against buns?” One of my friends teased. “Hah, oh yeah, I do, I just have bun envy so I refuse to give in.” I joked back.

Then, as they passed around homemade chocolate chip cookies I reluctantly took one. “You didn’t have a starch or your second fat, so this is acceptable.”  I took a cookie, ripped it into pieces, and got about 3/4 of the way done with it when the familiar face of guilt and regret came back full force.

“You don’t know how much fat was in that. You have no idea what was even in that patty you ate. Oh God, you can just taste those calories. What did you do?”

Unfortunately, my glance went all around the circle. Everyone else was laughing, still enjoying the food. I was mentally body checking. Perfectly aware of my pudgy stomach, my touching thighs. Yet, as I looked around, I was the smallest one out of our group. You would think that would be comfort that it was okay to eat. Oh nooo. ED took what I saw and ran with it. “You saw what they ate… HOW they ate. You are going to look like that. You are going to be bigger than them.”  It had nothing to do with my friends. I love them all and they are terrific, but I am so insecure and so paranoid and irrational.

I snuck away, took a walk around the island. There I stood, my toes in the freezing water line in the sand. I looked out at the lake…. and stuck  my fingers down my throat.  My fingers were sappy and bitter from climbing the trees earlier. I got done, wiped away the running mascara, snot-faced self, on my sleeve, and stuck my vomit-covered hand into the sub-zero temperature of the mountainous lake.

“How embarrassing” I thought… not this again….

I enjoyed the rest of the day, returned to the group, snacked on a piece of pineapple for dessert and tried to laugh with the rest of my friends.

Yesterday, I needed to study, I went to Starbucks to get coffee. I was feeling ballsy and decided to try something new. I’m not into the foo-foo girly sugary drinks, and ordered something that sounded up my alley, but different. I got in the car and headed home. I took a sip of my drink and wasn’t sure- I was immediately taken back by how sweet it was, but decided to try one more sip of the $5 drink.

It was awful. It wasn’t what I expected or wanted.  I got so worked up, convinced I could taste each calorie. On the way home I was freaking out, going from a 0 to 10.5 mentally. Not sure what to do, how to handle it. I got so flustered and worked up that I gave myself the hiccups. Which led to me involuntarily throwing up in my Starbucks cup as I’m driving in my car on the way home.

So, now here I am, headed home, with a Starbucks cup full of some God-awful sugary substance drink and vomit. Awesome…. *sarcasm* -_-

So, now what do I do? I thought. There is no way I can get this drink inside and dump it out without my best friend seeing. Shit Shit Shit.  Oh, the shit ED drives us to do…. In my mind, the logical way out of this was to roll down the window and throw my cup out of it.

Okay guys, hear me out. I swear, I have never done something like that before. The worse thing I ever threw out of my car was an apple core.  I knew it was an awful idea, but in my mind what was I supposed to do. I didn’t want to get caught coming in the house with a cup full of vomit… I couldn’t just put it in our outside trash can, someone would see.

So anyway. It’s been a slippery slope and I am struggling. ED is just currently raging, which sucks.

Trust the Process

XOXOXO

Updated my “About Me”. Mental hospital, recovery, family disowned, biology major.

About.

Not sure how long it has been since I updated my “About” section… probably a long time ago.

So here is a more vulnerable, open “About” post. About my ED, recovering, mentally unstable not supportful family, purging.