Typically the air is full of adventure, fun, excitement and travel dreams; today, however I am filled with dread and regret that I am trekking to Il and then Wi for these reasons rather than in 2 weeks for the marathon like planned. It sucks. I hate this.
The call came on Friday afternoon, there treatment facility is recommending their highest level of care: Partial Hospitalization. I am both thankful and horrified. I know I need to get better but since when did I get sick enough to barely get medically cleared enough for the most intensive outpatient program available to ED patients?
The obstacles now: figuring out my work situation (I work full time) and get everything sorted out with FMLA and time off and money and insurance and admission dates, oh and the most challenging obstacle: figuring out some kind of plausible lie so that my whole (very gossipy) office doesn’t get into my business. That last one is by far the most challenging. But, I have to do what is best for me no matter what.
My ED has been just positively TERRIBLE the last few days since I heard from the treatment center and it doesn’t help that my body is almost screaming for food (it’s in one of its cycles where after I have been restricting for so long that my body starts to tear me down mentally to try and get food) but I can’t give in because my ED is just so much stronger than normal. I think it has something to do with knowing it is about to have to eat that makes my ED stronger, just trying to prove that I need to retreat from this “recovery” and run to save myself and it is taking every ounce of my being to keep going and keep seeking out treatment as the admission process progresses.
With this also came the very real realization: I am going to have to forfeit my marathons- Chicago and Marine Corps. I am so depressed I don’t even want to get out of bed when I think about it, I just want to sleep forever. I know for non-runners it’s impossible to understand why someone would want to run or run 26.2 miles for fun but for me it’s a huge part of my life and I feel broken and dead knowing I will have to defer those in the next few days. That’s all I want to say about that right now; maybe later I’ll post more about the process, training, what I look forward to about next year but right now I just don’t feel anything other than grief and numbness.
Maybe I should talk to my doctor, maybe the lows have something to do with the meds I am on but this blow of losing my marathons just feels like the last bit of me has been killed by the ED and honestly, I am starting to feel too tired to fight it anymore even though I am closer than ever to treatment.
So that’s where I am at. I’ve been quiet on here lately just because everything has kind of been in a standstill until I found out from the center and because I just haven’t wanted to deal with people in person or online as I processed this marathon thing, still just feeling numb and isolated but I’m trying to make the effort. My doctor is checking in weekly so I think she is set to call tomorrow or Tuesday but since i need some paperwork for her to fill out for treatment and my marathons I have to call tomorrow either way. I am going to go to HR first thing too about my benefits and time off for treatment and then call the Center. I guess I also have to deal with Chicago and Marine Corps Marathon organizers, idk.
The click of the lock, that’s where it begins. The rest of the world is slightly deafened by my headphones as I walk down the three flights of stairs fidgeting with my app and figuring out what playlist I am … Continue reading
(This is mostly just for me but anyone is free to read- obvi. Just don’t judge the pace, I’m not the fastest) **Trigger Warning for anyone who has/had an eating disorder or disordered eating ** 1st real run post-cast. Total … Continue reading
Well, the good news is I AM OUT OF THE CAST!!!!!
The bad news, I need surgery to remove my sesamoid bone but the podiatrist said if I can handle the pain we can wait for some of my marathons to be over.
The worse news, my eating disorder is stealing running from me.
I went for my first run today post-cast. It sucked. I did 2 miles total and needed to stop and felt as if I was dying during it. Logically, I get it. I ate 155 calories today before I ran, none of it had carbs in it, none of it had protein, none of it had fat. I had steamed cauliflower, 3 baby carrots, 2 sugar free mints. I know that is not conducive to life much less running but I can’t stop it, I only ate the baby carrots because I knew I was in rough shape going into the run but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t eat the carbs. Hell, I don’t even have carbs in the house.
I’m so weak. I’ve not consumed over 250 calories a day for over a week now. It’s killing me. The chest pain comes and goes, the black outs when I stand up too quick, the mental struggle, all of it is just killing me. I feel like my running is the only thing I have keeping me trying to eat and now, now I am losing the very thing I cherish and love.
Maybe needing surgery will be a blessing. Doc says no running for at least 6-8 weeks and he would prefer 10-12. I still want to do my marathons though. I am set on Chicago and Marine Corps because both have special meaning to me but now after today’s run I feel like ED is going to stand in my way more than my need for surgery. I’m torn. I know that is hard for anyone to understand who hasn’t been through this but I am torn between something i love and something i am obligated to.
The easy answer: “just eat”. Please don’t say that, it’s not that simple. If I could “just eat” trust me I would. I promised myself, after I realized my fears had warped into this, that i would never be one of those girls who let themselves suffer for years and that I wouldn’t let this thing destroy my relationships and life but yet, here I am dodging my friends, losing my ability to do the things I love, secluding myself, living a secret, living a lie, slowly killing myself each day, week, month and year.
Yesterday before I saw the podiatrist I got blood work done for my autoimmune condition which means I will be getting a call from my primary doctor in a few days to discuss the results. I secretly hope they’ll somehow figure out I’m sick based on the blood work but I know that they didn’t do the blood tests necessary to discover the horrors I’ve put my body through. I know I could also just say I need help on the phone and they’d make an appointment ASAP, but I also know, in my heart, I’m not ready for that yet.
Although, I keep thinking July 2 is a good date to maybe try to get help. It’s the day before I have off work for the holiday which means if I do tell, I can at least have the day off the next day to collect my thoughts and not have to face my co-workers and pretend like everything is still okay when I know in my mind it’ll feel like the world is crashing down around me- assuming they believe me. It’s also early enough that I could help and have folks help me through training, I hope. But then again, what if they steal marathons from me? That’s my biggest fear, honestly, that tops dying (again, I know it makes no sense unless you’ve handled this disease). So maybe July 2. Maybe.
Until then, I have to make it through one of my best friends’ wedding, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner and bridesmaid luncheon, a day of shadowing and somehow figure out how to not have a panic attack because of all the unsafe food, stress making it look like I ate, purging all the unsafe food that I may eat and people around. And I somehow need to figure out how to acclimate my body to running in this state again.
Because above all else, I can’t lose running. It’s been there for me longer than my ED has. It keeps me moving forward (in more ways than one). I can’t lose it. It’s the only piece left of me that I still control. It’s all I have left.
Well, A while ago I posted about entering the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. And the results came out… I’m in. Now, I’m a bit delayed in stating that because well, it was announced last week and while I spent the whole day at work on lottery results day hitting F5 on my computer in anticipation and then actually ran down the hall to tell a friend when the screen finally changed green at 3:14, I still feel a sense of dread associated with it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited to go (I even already booked my flight and hotel- which is much more than I usually do for trips 5 months away) but I think my excitement is dulled by fear.
Fear of what? For starters:
1. Last year this race was MY race. I ran flawlessly, made my time goal, felt tremendous afterward, walked around the city the next day, felt so good 2 days later I went for a run, never hit the wall, took in the whole experience and enjoyed the whole thing. So why am I scared? That’s a LOT to live up to and I am a perfectionist.
2. My mom is coming- SOOOOOOOOO Excited because she didn’t get to come last year and this will be the first marathon she sees me run! But, my mom is coming. My mom. My mom who worries about what I do/don’t eat. My mom who doesn’t know about how badly I struggle with food. My mom who will be with me in the hotel, the day before and after and will realize how little I do eat and will comment. My mom, who if I end up getting help for this eating disorder before the race, may or may not be the help I need before the race.
3. Temptation. Chicago has a reputation for good food. I can vouch for it. When I am there I would love to taste a bit of it and enjoy it but it’s so laced with dread, hate and fear that when I am forced to eat, I throw it up and that comes with it a whole other set of fears (what if someone hears? what if I can’t get to the bathroom after the meal? what if I can’t purge it all? what if someone sees me eat? what if they think I am eating too much? what if they comment? what if I get sick? what if I get fatter?).
4. The boot. That’s right, I am in an air cast. I have a “traumatized shattered sesamoid bone” according to my podiatrist (or some combo of those words) and we have been trying everything conservatively for the last 15 months but I still have horrendous bouts of sesamoiditis so I am currently in an air cast and the only thing that kept me from getting a full blown hard cast is that I promised him that I would only take it off when I (a) shower (b) sleep. It’s been 4 days and I am dying to go run. I miss it so much and as much as I hate to say this, I am scared to death of having extra calories in me. The good news is I have been wanting to train for a triathlon so I started swimming in the mornings and my trainer at the gym said I can still come to class (I go to OrangeTheory- look it up it is fabulous) and that we can modify it so I only bike (no standing and pedaling) and do upper body per doctors orders.
So here I am with both of my must do marathons this year. On my way to Marathon Maniac status and I still have so much dread. I know it’s 99.99% due to the eating disorder. My sister’s birthday was yesterday and the restaurant she chose to go to is on the COMPLETELY FRICKIN UNSAFE list and when I found out that’s where she was going, I refused to go. My mom called today because I “seemed off” yesterday. I wonder if she’ll connect the dots, probably not though. Sometimes when these things are right in front of you, you are the most blind to them. I should know I have been convinced I am getting better….in all honesty though, I think I am worse than ever. Hell, I flaked on my own sister. I am contemplating flaking on Mother’s Day tomorrow too.
Anyway, I still remember my goal from my Chicago Lottery post: I am going to try and eat one meal, just one while I am in Chicago.
But, I am really not sure I can do this. I am already anxious.
Last year I ran my first full marathon, the Chicago Marathon! It was so amazing I couldn’t possibly write a better recap of it than I did immediately after last year but since I am not yet comfortable with telling the world (or rather, all of my close friends and family) all of my secrets I am going to keep that anonymous for now and just say Chicago was epic. I ran beautifully, finished within my time goal (which is not elite by any means, I’m average pace wise when it comes to distance running), didn’t hit “the wall” and had the support of my family and friends.
This time last year I filled out the application for the Chicago lottery to run in the marathon and with much intimidation and fear I submitted it. 6 weeks later: I got in. Today, I entered the lottery again (still contemplating running for charity) and I am so hopeful I will get in again.
Marathon training was brutally hard- especially in Florida- but it made me realize a bunch of things about myself. Here are a few:
1. I really do hate Florida weather- especially summer.
2. Don’t ever run with an iphone that is not in a lifeproof case… (and don’t make that mistake twice… or four times, in my case).
3. You learn a LOT about yourself on a 20 mile training run by yourself.
4. Take September 11th off work and run that morning, the patriotism displayed by other runners on a well known running path is breathtaking and humbling.
5. You know you’ve found your best friend when you can go home and show her your horrible blisters and not have her judge you for it even though she isn’t a runner.
6. Cross training is essential to progress! I also learned I like weight training!
7. I may have an eating disorder (It was after the marathon that I realized I really do have one).
8. (perhaps the most important thing I realized). Marathon training is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I did it. I cried sometimes, I sweat- a LOT. I hated it some days. I pushed myself. I conquered my goals. Sometimes, I failed. But, October 12, 2014 I became a marathon runner and that means, I never gave up.
So today I entered again, praying that I will be honored with the ability to run 26.2 miles around the city of Chicago. A city that means so much to me and a place where I can call home even though I have never actually lived there. I find out April 28th if I get in so I am keeping my fingers crossed.
(Warning: what I post about next may be a Trigger for some)
Despite the perfection of last year, there is one thing I do look back on and wish I could change. See, I stayed with family when I was there and they were great! Love them so much! They made sure I had everything i needed and were so supportive. Here’s the thing though. I purged. I tried so hard to keep myself from doing it too. I ate little meals, I actually ate carbs. My family is so great about making sure they bought foods I liked and can eat (b/c of the GI issues, not the ED) but I couldn’t help it. I purged. I felt so wasteful. So harmful to my own body. So ashamed I was eating. I made it through the marathon (miraculously) but even after the marathon, I only ate a few vegetables, and then I purged those too. I have no clue how I survived.
So this, I guess, is a reminder of that and a way for me to hold myself accountable and let this year be a do-over. Not to replace my amazing experience last year but instead to encourage growth, healing, recovery. This year, Chicago will be just as amazing but this year, I will take care of myself better. It will be hard- especially once they know about this ED- but I’m going to do my best.
Also, to my family- if you read this, thank you. I did eat more than I normally do, you never judged my choices or made me feel bad, I hope this doesn’t change that. I hope you’ll still come out and support me this year. ❤
So with that, bring on Chicago! At least, that’s what I hope to say on April 28!