Eating Out…

(Trigger warning: eating disorder; specific mentioning of foods)

Freaking Out!!! I am at Panera with my mom and sister. I am so nauseous today and don’t want to eat (moreso than my normal desire to not eat) but really can’t stomach the thought of cauliflower which is my only food normally. My mom said to get soup. I can reason chicken broth and I love Panera but I am so scared of the noodles and chicken being in the soup and I am so so so so so scared. I HATE eating out but Panera soup is only 80 calories so it’s a little better but still I am anxious over the bad parts. My mom said she’d ask for it to be mostly broth (thankfully) so we will see. Plus it is REALLY REALLY BUSY. Lots of people and that makes everything worse but I’m glad we got a table near the back where there’s less people. 

I’m waiting at the table while my mom and sister order. I can do this. I think. Ugh the anxiety is NOT helping my nausea and everything smells delicious. I used to study here daily and now I am on the verge of panic attack. I can’t believe this. I can’t believe I am scared of frickin soup. 

Oh well, I am just going to make this as big of a #recoverywin as possible considering I wouldn’t have dared come unless my mom and sister convinced me and they only did that knowing about my ED so they were super supportive.

Post-meal update: I survived. I only drank the chicken broth but still I haven’t had anything other than my one safe food in months and I didn’t cry or freak out. Still, I wish I could enjoy the food and being at a restaurant. 

One Week Anniversary

This exact time last week I was crying in the exam room. I was confessing my biggest skeleton in the closet, my long held secrets, fears and spilling the beans on everything I have come to know in my life.

The first time the words eating disorder were associated with my name, the first time I heard the words treatment center uttered in relation to who I was, the first time in my life I was unable tell my mom something.

What has changed in the last week?

Nothing, really. I still abide by my ED habits the only difference is now my mom, 2 sisters, best friend, doctor, random guy at the treatment center and (as of this morning) one of my aunts and uncles knows. I have also had an emotionally charged week, at least that would be putting it nicely. For the first time in a longggggggggggg time I have expressed my feelings to my mom (ending in a MAJOR blow up last night after I posted). I know everyone is trying to help but sometimes telling me that I need to do something (try harder, change my thoughts, etc.) is just not helpful especially because that is WHY I asked for help.

I still am waiting on a call from the doctor today about what I am supposed to do to get medically cleared for treatment in PHP or IOP. I am praying that I actually can get cleared and I don’t have to do inpatient. I don’t even want to think about that right now.

But ultimately, the last week has been this odd place to be. It’s like living the life of an ED without the secrecy. It’s strange, really. People encourage but don’t push me. I don’t think they know quite how to help and I certainly have no idea what to do so I just keep trudging along.

Hopefully I hear soon. I want to be done already. I’m tired of wandering around between the world of eating disorders and the world of recovery, I am scared the eating disorder one is pulling me back in by the day, slowly suffocating me back into the depths of the disease and far away from those trying to help me.

Could “Not Sick Enough” be “Too Sick”??

“I’m not sick enough,” that’s frequently what I have told myself leading up to where I am right now but never ever did I think I might be too sick for recovery. That’s right, too sick.

That’s what happened today on the phone with the PHP/IOP program I called. The guy I spoke to was so incredibly nice and really was very understanding and patient when I wouldn’t know the answer or rambled or whatever. I felt, oddly comfortable talking to him which is rare for me because I am not an outwardly emotional person about my deep dark secrets (I am not a stone cold person either I just prefer to not talk about my personal issues with others). We talked about a lot of the same things I discussed with the doctor on Thursday and about my eating habits, what I am scared of, how it is affecting my life, what types of programs they have, do I have symptoms of a plethora of other mental illnesses or issues. It lasted just over 1 hour. One of the questions was about my side effects,

(trigger warning)

I decided to be honest, totally honest and told him that I have passed out 6 times in the last 2 1/2- 3 weeks and collapsed about 5 more times. I told him about the chest pain, about the night blindness, numbness in my limbs, crying in the grocery store, everything i could think of.

(end trigger warning)

Then came the Concerned Voice. The “you may need a higher level of care” conversation.

Me??? Need higher level care than partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient?!?! I never thought I was even bad enough for IOP!! How could I be worse than PHP!!? These thoughts raced through my mind, overwhelming my emotions. Then came the next thought: They aren’t going to help you. My biggest fear. I mean granted, I always thought they wouldn’t help me because I wasn’t sick enough but now, now I am facing possibly being too sick. My biggest fear is not being helped because, quite frankly, when the doctors couldn’t figure out my GI issues they said “use trial and error.” No joke, those were the words. That’s how I ended up here because I was so scared of the error that I eliminated any chance of error (and every single food except 1 between that and the ED taking over).

The guy I was speaking to could tell I was taken aback. At the end of the conversation he said he would bring it to the doctors and treatment team to see if they would consider the case given that information or what they would recommend. My head was going nuts, I was almost completely in tears. They aren’t going to help was blaring in my mind, racing a million miles an hour. He asked me, “Do you have any questions?” I couldn’t think straight with my head yelling at me, my ED brain screaming at me that of course telling was the wrong decision and this is what I knew would happen and all I could muster was “if you can’t help me then what do I do?” And tears. He assured me that if they couldn’t help me in my current state that he would come back with some kind of referral to another treatment center to another doctor or someone who would be able to provide the level care they thought I needed. I confirmed I understood but I didn’t. I didn’t understand anything.

How could I possibly be too sick?!?!? I’m not sick. I’m not that bad at all, that’s all I have thought for so long that maybe I was wrong. Maybe I really am too sick to even see it.

After I hung up, I just laid down in bed (I was already in bed) and cried. I felt, defeated, lost and hopeless. I felt the exact same way I had after I realized no one could help with my stomach. I felt dead. I had no idea what to do but I had promised my mom to call her. I called her. I cried that no one was going to help that I was all alone, that I might not be “medically stable” and that I didn’t want to do this anymore (both have the ED and seek help).

To be honest, I think part of how upset I was had a lot to do with the fact that it kind of all hit me hard. Here I was facing something much more serious than I thought I originally was. It’s scary to admit you have a problem, it’s even scarier when they tell you that you are much more critically sick than you can see, feel or realize on your own. PHP/IOP are terrifying, the thought of inpatient or residential is downright horrifying. I don’t feel skinny enough or sick enough still and I am still coming to terms with the words ‘eating disorder’ coinciding with my name and coming out of my mouth. It’s a LOT to take in, to come to terms with, to get straight in your mind when you are already aware that your mind is lying to you. So I think my crying, frustration, loss for words, patience and exhibition of sheer terror was just me trying to finally deal with everything and sort it out, something I normally do in the gym or on a run- which I currently can’t function long enough for.

I miss running.

The good news, however, is the guy called me back within a half hour because he was able to get with one of the docs immediately. The doctor recommended going to the ER. I couldn’t fathom that, after all it’s been a few days since I passed out last and honestly, I can’t handle the stress of explaining the situation to MORE strangers. Telling my doctor, my best friend and him all in 6 days is much more than I can handle right now. It’s all moving too fast. They said if I downright refused the ER I could have my doctor do it. Yes. Manageable. Much more manageable. After all she ran blood tests and an EKG while I was there on Thursday. I can handle calling her.

In the end, that’s all I have to do. Provide them with proof I am medically stable (still can’t believe I might not be, so scared) and they will look at the case to see about PHP/IOP. I am still so terrified they will say I am not medically stable but I am trying to stay calm. I called my doctor and left her a message and my mom was really concerned after talking to me and emailed her and she also sent more resources for possible therapy because when my mom emailed her the guy from the center hadn’t called me back about getting medically cleared by the doc so she sent the information just in case but did say we might want to consider inpatient depending on the complications and if they continue. But, I called her office and left a message (it was late in the day about 4:00ish) so I expect a call back tomorrow and hopefully she’ll be able to calm me down or rationalize the situation for me.

I’m just so anxious and realizing how deep into this I am and I both angry and scared with what I have done to myself. Although, thinking about it for a while has helped calm me down I just still feel so confused and scared with where my life is at and what it all has come to.

I’ll keep y’all updated!

Cutting the Rope

I feel like I’m dying inside again, just like I did before I told the doctor.

Tonight, I feel the same. Like I am watching myself die. I guess that could be because I am starving myself but it feels deeper than that, like it’s not just my body but my soul that is preparing to die. Like I know that tomorrow I am going to wake up, get dressed, go through the motions until I leave work early and get prepped for my evaluation appointment. And it feels like that’s where it will end, like that will be the finale, closing chapter, the last two words in the story, “The End” and that after that I will cease to be.

I can’t describe this feeling really, other than I feel empty. Not depressed, just empty. Detached. Guarded. I feel sad but not crying sad. I feel like I am betraying myself by being the one that begins to sever the thick, twisted and knotted rope that I have been holding on to since it was tossed to me to rescue me when I was left alone, isolated and drowning. How am I supposed to sever that? How am I supposed to just cut all ties?

I mean, I get it, the very rope that I thought was rescuing me was in fact pulling me into rougher waters, more danger and was slowly coiling itself into a noose around my throat and tightening it’s grasp on me. But it has also been the only thing there for me at times. It’s been my friend, my savior, my guard and has given me new life at a time when I felt lifeless and hopeless.

I am so conflicted. I know in my logical mind that I should find the sharpest knife possible and cut all ties but in reality I feel like I just want to find a plastic kid’s play kitchen knife and protect it now. It saved me, now I should at least do the same thing for it. Right?

It’s a weird spot to be in, to know you have to kill part of you to save the rest of you but it doesn’t make it feel better or easier. I know some people name their EDs, or treat them like a friend or enemy or whatever but mine quite actually feels like it is me. I feel terrible. I don’t want to do this but I know I have to. I have to save myself but I am quite actually mourning right now, grieving for a loss I haven’t yet experienced but that I know will be slow and painful. I know I have said this all before in a post but it doesn’t change that the feelings are back, as real as ever and still just as nauseating and raw as they were- perhaps moreso because I know I have already started to slowly saw into the rope.

Maybe I should tell my doctor? I don’t want to burden them and I don’t know these evaluation people so I don’t feel comfortable sharing. Maybe this is normal? Idk. I wish I could just see this ED as a criminal or other person, anything except part of me because then at least I wouldn’t feel this agonizing defeat and pain before even going in to recovery. I feel like with it like this, I stand no chance and like I am about to just endure undue torture for nothing.

Alone and empty, that’s honestly the worst combination, I need the rope more now than ever.

Best Friends and Biggest Secrets…Revealed

best friend

I met my best friend the day after I moved into my dorm, on the bus to a leadership retreat about a week before our freshman year started… we’ve been best friends ever since, roommates and we are sisters at heart. If I want to do something, I tell her. If I messed up, I tell her. If I have to confess my biggest fears, I tell her. I tell her everything. Well, told her everything. Until this ED took over my life I would tell her everything, now I just mostly tell her everything, except the stuff related to the ED. We’ve been roommates for the majority of time since we’ve known each other and currently still are.  (begin trigger warning)

When she asks “wanna go to dinner” I say “yeah I guess,” when she says “it’s raining lets order pizza,” I say “okay,” after a rough day “wanna grab froyo” I find a way to drive myself so I can take a different way home and purge on the side of the road.. Recently, as I restricted my calories even more, thankfully, we have been on weirdo schedules or I have been able to come up with an excuse to get me out of this debacle. I feel like a terrible person for it too, but honestly I don’t feel nearly as bad as I should, what I mostly feel is frustration that I have to actually eat and then figure out how to vomit it all without her figuring it out. (end trigger warning).

I promise I’ll work on that in recovery.

Untitled bff

Anyway, she is my  best friend. I’ve trusted her with some of my deepest secrets, but not this one. Until today.

Today, I have to tell her. My doctor wanted to tell her (or my mom, I chose my mom) but she was out of town and honestly, I didn’t want her to find out while she was with her family and from my doctor. She is my best friend, I need to tell her myself, explain it to her myself, somehow convince her to not blame herself.

Tonight is Monday and we have a not-so-guilty pleasure show to watch: The Bachelorette (lol). I mentioned to her when I saw her briefly (on Thursday night after I had gotten home from the doctor actually) that we should have Roommate Night tonight (Monday) and she instantly agreed and said she would pick up some snacks. I instantly felt queasy. I still need to get out of this because well, in the past we have shared getting snacks. (begin trigger warning) I’ve occasionally eaten some of it (which admitting makes me feel like I should kill myself and like a failure) and even though it is pretty low calorie, non-fat and overall not a bad snack for you but it’s NOT SAFE. And so every time I have it with her I go in my room and purge instantly. (end trigger warning) 

So, tonight I need to convince her to not by snacks (I think I am just going to tell her I don’t want any/not in the mood for it… which is actually not a lie) and somehow figure out how to come clean. While I don’t think this will be as hard as telling my doctor (the first time is always the worst…right?), she is going to be the first family/friend that I have to tell myself in person (remember, I also told a friend who has dealt with this but doesn’t live near me).

While I know she will support me and not end our friendship, or gossip to other people, or alienate me or anything that unfortunately a lot of younger kids with this kind of issue probably have to deal with I am seriously worried about hurting her feelings. I don’t want her to think I couldn’t tell her because while it’s true it’s not for the reason that I didn’t trust her, it’s because I couldn’t admit it to myself for forever and telling her is going to be hard because maybe I’m not ready to fully own up to this yet, I don’t know. All I know is I am about to change our friendship forever. I know she’ll stand by me and support me but part of me is terrified of this, of being so accountable and honestly, of all this being so real.

The up side? At least I don’t have to pretend to like food anymore. Which is totally my ED side talking but also my real side. I don’t have to pretend I am okay, enjoying things, wanting to eat. I can be real, be me, be scared. I also know that no matter what she’ll help me through this, stick by my side, worry with me, reason with me, goof off with me, not judge me for good/bad/in between days, have TV show marathon days, obsess over London days and just keep me alive and (almost) sane days. And for that, I know I’ll feel grateful.

17bf242bcac9556328e21c521bcd9fb2

Why Do They HAVE to Trigger Me?!?!?!?!??

So I went home for the FIRST time since telling my doctor, who then told my mom. It’s taken me 2 days to work up this courage because my mom’s house is SO triggering ( I haven’t confessed that to them yet) because it always has food in it and someone is always eating. But I came home, spent the day with my mom and got a nice mani/ pedi-which was very needed after I picked all the gel polish off most of my hands leading up to and during my appt with the doctor Thursday. Then we came home and I went to my sister’s room to nap and then I woke up to my other sister making dinner. What is she making you might wonder… MY FAVORITE PRE-ED FOOD!! 😱😰😱😨😱😰

WTF?!?!?!?!?!??!?!!? 

I just honestly want to run out of here but I am frozen with fear. I don’t want to go near the food! Smelling it is soooo hard bc I just want some and ED is literally going berserk in my head screaming at me that they are trying to trick me, prove I don’t really have an ED, trying to make me fat, trying to throw it in my face that I can’t get myself to do this.

I just don’t understand why of all the meals on all the days they just HAD to have this one. It doesn’t seem coincidental, maybe I am really just over reading the situation but I just feel really offended and like all the support they showed earlier was just a lie and I honestly never want to come home again right now. I feel so alone. 

I bought extra food earlier when I had lunch so I could have my safe food for dinner (my mom even took me to two different stores bc neither sells both of the things I eat, and went the opposite direction) and now I don’t even want to eat. I hate this. I feel so made fun of and like they are being so inconsiderate. I just really don’t understand and my ED brain was loud all day bc I was hungry after my “run” (6 miles was all I managed) and even though I couldn’t bring myself to overcome it I was trying and now I feel like it is so much louder and evil and like I am trying all for nothing because then my sister turns around and does this.

I can reason that they might of thought it would let me feel easier to eat bc it is something I once liked but ITS ALL TOTALLY UNSAFE AND SO FAR FROM SAFE THAT I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN I MAY NEVER RECOVER ENOUGH TO EAT IT. That’s how bad it is. And to top it off it is something that once set off my stomach issues so it’s not only typical ED scary it’s also health issue scary to me. And I know part of me is just mad at myself bc I can’t overcome my ED to even have a spoonful of it but it just frustrates me THAT much more bc it is something I used to like.

I seriously just don’t understand. I am silently sobbing in my sisters room after telling them I was still sleepy but really I just have no clue what to do right now.

I wish I hadn’t told anyone. At least then I could’ve had a spoonful and then thrown it back up/spit it out but I know now they’d be watching and my ED would just have a fit so bad it may kill me. 

Defeat

Trigger Warning: Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating

I can’t run like I used to. I’m not strong enough. My head starts pounding my body shaking like when you have the flu and your whole self feels like jello. My legs begin to buckle after just a few miles. I know it’s because I eat less than 200-300 calories right now. I can’t even talk myself into 500 like I used to on distance days. I know it’s because there is 0 carbs in those calories but I can’t I physically can’t grab the food I need. I know this happens when you drop almost 30 pounds in less than 2 months but still.
I just want to run my list of reasons to get help were:

1. So I can run better again 

2. To not die.

In that order. Running is so much to me and helps me so much in other ways and I am losing it. The marathons are approaching and I am losing grasp of them day by day. 

I wish someone understood someone could make me do this, force feed me, anything. I wish I could call my mom but idk, I’ve been so burdensome lately since she found ou that I don’t want to stress her out more (& I’m scared to be lectured). I just don’t know what to do so I am sitting on a bench on the side of the trail, crying. And watching other runners, too weak to get up and run home, too dizzy to get up and walk. 

I hate myself for this. 

 Ps. Please ignore how fat I look here, I had my hydration belt on and all my trail gear with me. 

2 hours…

2 hours. 120 minutes. Then life as I know it is over.

I haven’t eaten at all and I’ve thrown up 4 times because I am so sick over the prospect of what I am about to do. 

I know why I am doing this but I still keep wondering why I am doing this.

I wish I knew what to say, how to say it, what will happen but I don’t. I have a plan but I am shaking so hard thinking about this and idk how well I’ll follow it. 

It’s odd because I am watching everyone go about their lives. This horrifyingly annoying girl behind me is using a whiny voice to complain to her friend about her manicure and not knowing what color to get. I’m sitting here trying to convince myself to live and fight for my life back.

I shouldn’t be mad at her, I complain about manicures and what color to pick too-I’m so indecisive- but still everything just feels so absurd to me today. 

Getting less than an hour of sleep probably didn’t help but I was so nervous I couldn’t sleep and all I want is to go to bed, sleep through this appointment and magically be better. Since that’s not possible I just need to suck it up but that’s really hard right now especially when the idea of telling the doctor doesn’t just seem impossible it seems unfathomable and unsafe and literally sickens me.  

But I have to do this. In two hours I have to do this. Hopefully I can do this. 

What if the Truth Kills Me?

They say the truth will set you free… so why do I feel like the truth is just going to kill me?

Tomorrow. Tomorrow is my last day as I currently know it.

I know I should be happy about this but I am not because truthfully, even though I am not actually going to commit suicide (I’m not back to that depressed) I feel as though when I let go of this secret on Thursday I will, in essence, be killing a part of me. Like I am voluntarily putting myself in the line of fire and killing myself.

I know I have sat here and tried to explain it, like there is two of me (at least) inside my head. The “voice” that tells me to get help vs. the one that is screaming obscenities when the thought crosses my mind and promises to keep me protected. I am also aware of how psychotic that sounds- to have “voices” in your head. I can only explain it as sort of two subconscious, kind of like the devil and angel cartoons sitting on your shoulder except I never really know which one is the devil.

And tomorrow, Wednesday, will be the last full day I let myself be like that. I should be elated, hopeful, excited. But I am not. In fact, I might be experiencing every emotion ever, except the ones dealing with happiness, positivity and relief because NONE of those are how I feel. Not even in the slightest. Instead, I honestly feel like I am a murderer. Like I am crucifying myself, harming myself and making a mistake. In my heart I know and feel I cannot continue like this any longer- I can actually feel it, my chest hurts every.single.day. But, I feel like I am in mourning and like I am the one who is dying all at the same time. If it was possible to mourn your own death, I am fairly certain this would equate to the same emotion.

Simultaneously I feel an insane amount of fear and anxiety over not only telling someone about my secret life but also over: the scale. I fear it will go up and then I’ll just look like an idiot. I fear what it will say because one time I got on and it went up and I actually almost went through with trying to commit suicide until I looked around and realized someone would have to (1) find me and (2) tell my little niece and nephew and that scared me out of it and scared me to the point of never EVER wanting to get on that thing again. I fear the response of the doctor. I fear they won’t believe me. I fear they will believe me too (go figure). I fear the looks I’ll get as I walk out. I fear they won’t let me ever go home afterward (I know this is totally irrational but still, I worry I will wind up in a hospital and be forced to stay until I eat and I am petrified of the thought of eating unsafe hospital food). I am petrified they will make me eat at the office. I am scared they will run tests and think nothing is wrong. I am scared I will have to continue to live like this. I am scared I will have to give this up. I am just plain scared.

And you want to know what I am most scared of: What if, when I do this,  what if I lose this “evil” part of me….and what if it’s replaced by something worse?