At A Loss

I just don’t have words anymore.

I feel empty. Pure emptiness.

I don’t want to be with people; I don’t want to be alone.

I’m not happy; I’m not sad.

I don’t want to be awake; I don’t want to lay in bed.

I’m not lonely; I’m not overwhelmed.

I want to cry; I don’t want to cry.

I want to confide in someone; I don’t want to confide in someone.

I want to live; I don’t want to live.

I don’t feel anything.

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I just don’t know what to do. I have to go see my doctor on Tuesday but I feel like I shouldn’t say anything because I don’t want to be a burden and I already have enough issues for them to worry about. I don’t even know what’s causing it, I mean life has just become so unraveled since I spoke up about my eating disorder. I have had to officially give up my marathons and completely stop running, drop my fall semester classes because PHP will prevent me from going to classes and the doctors said to medically withdraw from the term, I have had to tell people, i had to stop going to the gym. dealt with the stress of getting into a treatment program, go to the doctor weekly, start new medications and deal with the stupid side effects.

It’s a lot.

Maybe I am just over stressed. Maybe it’s the new medicine that is making me feel like this. Maybe it’s just in my head. Maybe it’s anything. Maybe it’s nothing.

I’ve just never felt like this before. Ever. Not even when I was alone in my struggle with this eating disorder but now I can’t get rid of the emptiness and I don’t know what to do to make it stop.

The one thing I do know: I am losing myself. I am barely inside anymore. I am just a shell of who I used to be but the fire inside me, my soul, my self is smaller and farther away than ever; and I’m not sure I can get it back.

Grapes & Gratitude

I made it through my doctor’s appointment and survived the encounter with… The Scale. Seriously, words cannot express my anxiety around scales and knowing my weight. On one hand, I want to know (but really, I think it’s the ED part of me that wants to know because I want the number to be lower); on the other hand, I don’t want to know (this part I think is the real me because it is the part that is scared of the self-hatred and self-harm thoughts if the number goes up). So yeah, it’s a complicated relationship and it won’t end well either way because either the ED part of me gets stronger and more satisfied or the real me gets beat up and bullied by it.

Today my ED was happy. VERY happy. I, however, was more than a bit ashamed of the happy thoughts flooding my body after seeing the drop in weight again. I could soon reach underweight status, my potassium is so low my doctor looked me in the eye and said “you are at risk of heart failure”, I can’t run off my anxiety, frustration or fear, I am too tired and disoriented to carry on conversation after a few hours of being awake. I am dying and yet, I feel happiness for losing weight but I also feel guilt for feeling the happiness. I am infinitely messed up, trapped and terrified.

However, I did actually have some REAL ME happiness today too. The kind that makes the ED part of me angry, loud and mad but only because it means that part of me is slowly being attacked by the old, happy, me. Today, I experienced two things: Grapes and Gratitude. Let’s start with gratitude.

I have from the get-go had so much respect and gratitude for my Nurse Practitioner at the doctor’s office. I always see her and have since I started going to this practice and she managed to get my trust (something that is very hard for medical professionals to do since my whole stomach debacle) enough to make me feel like I could trust her with my deep dark ED secret. And when I did go and tell her about it, she was nothing short of absolutely amazing, caring, concerned, trusting and non-judgmental. As I progress toward getting into treatment she has been so supportive and continues to be both honest but caring at the same time, never blaming me but instead working with me to try and figure out a solution for now until I can get to the psychologist, psychiatrists and other therapists. And perhaps what I am the MOST grateful for, she has never once made me feel like I did this to myself, never once made me feel like anything she said was condescending and never once made me feel like I am not sick. So yeah, complete and utter gratitude for her. I am, however, petrified because next time I go… I have to see the Physician Asst. instead because my amazing NP is going on maternity leave. She promises to be back soon and that the PA is stellar (she said this at two different appts so I am taking comfort in that she reiterated it) and said that she really likes her, herself. I, however, am scared to death. But still, I am so gracious for my NP and grateful that she warned me and talked to me about it before it happens so that I am not overwhelmed with surprise next time and she let me know she would talk to the PA about everything before she leaves too. Woo!

Also at the appointment she scared me to death when the ER, hospital and my horrifyingly low potassium levels were brought up. I don’t want a heart attack or to go into heart failure. I don’t want to die, that’s why I asked for help. Yet, I am on the verge of death. We had a very critical and terrifying conversation about eating more. I explained all my fears and we decided that trying to get  more fruit and veggies would be easier (she said she prefers fruits because I need more nutrients they offer and my 1 safe food is a veggie 😉 ) Until about 4 months ago there was one other vegetable and one fruit that was “semi-safe” but only in very limited quantities to ED. Today, I promised I would try and eat more and I am so gracious for all my NP’s help and support (in addition to my family) that I really did want to try and overcome my horrid ED thoughts which brings me to: grapes.

Seriously, I have been CRAVINGGGGGG grapes for weeks now. So after my appointment I went to Publix (best grocery store ever!) and the anxiety was so bad I had to call my mom on the way in and ask if grapes really were healthy and okay to eat. After she confirmed that and we talked about the appointment I knew the anxiety was only going to get worse. It’s kinda like when you skydive, the longer you sit on the edge of the plane the harder it is to convince yourself to jump so I went in, got a small produce bag (buying the whole thing of grapes like my mom suggested made me cry just thinking about it) and I just opened one of the bags and took a stem of the grapes and put it in the produce bag and tied it shut. I think I only tied it so I couldn’t put them back haha.

I am sure I looked like a crazy person, I called my mom and asked if grapes were healthy. I am a twenty-something grown-up lol I should know this; but when your brain lies to you for so long it gets to the point you don’t know what’s real and what’s not. Then I got in the car with my “unsafe” grapes. I knew I couldn’t just go home and eat the grapes because I knew my ED would get the best of me so I took a handful and as I drove I ate the first one. It was SO. DARN. GOOD. Cold and crisp on the outside and juicy and delish on the inside! The taste was seriously the best grape I have probably ever had! ED me was having a FIT and berating me but I ate a second one and eventually finished the whole handful! It’s not a lot- I know- but I was feeling full and didn’t want to make it worse. Also, I had arrived at my location– the make up store. I needed some new make up so I went in, went to the lady and asked her to demo the kind I wanted to try and it worked. Omgosh at first I could barely hear her over the ED thoughts but after a bit ED me gave up on getting me to purge the grapes AND I bought some new make up after I had a fabulous make over.

And that, even though it’s not a lot,  is my first REAL RECOVERY WIN!!!!

But seriously, my NP is the bomb dot com. LOVE her and I am still freaking out over her leave of absence but she hasn’t led me astray yet and I have to  believe the PA will be just as good.

What Was I Thinking!?!?!

I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t tell the doctor. I can’t go that appointment. I can’t do it.

This is stupid. Why should I trust them now?!?!? Why? All the doctors ever did was tell me to “figure it out” and use “trial and error” and that led here so clearly it’s okay to be doing this.

My family is delusional, I don’t like gaunt and “anorexic” I looked in the mirror, I look overweight. Grossly overweight.

I should cancel. The doctor won’t do anything anyway. I should cancel, I’ll look so stupid (on top of fat) if I go to them about my “eating issues”. Who goes for that?!? Lots of people diet and don’t eat certain foods.

This has to be normal. It just HAS to be.

I wish there was someone who could help..

The Waiting Room

UntitledAs the sliding door opens the cool air hits me causing me to shiver and get goosebumps from the stark contrast between the heat outside and the temperature inside. Actually, I’m not sure if the goosebumps are from the temperature or what I am about to do. I hesitate as I cross the threshold into the building and stare at the wall, at the names on the directory sign. I know where I am and where I am going but it allows me a few more moments. I head down the corridor to the second set of doors and walk through.

The aroma is familiar and fragrant, disinfectant and antibacterial soap. I hear my flip flops shuffle across the floor, past the chairs to my left to the closed glass window on the opposing wall. Nausea strikes my body causing me to grab my stomach out of instinct, even though I know it won’t help. I stare at the clipboard. In my peripheral view the receptionist is on the phone. Good. I don’t want to make conversation, I think. I pick up the pen, adjusting it in my hand and rolling it back and forth mindlessly until I see her looking at me. Slowly I begin to write my name on the next blank space. It doesn’t feel like me doing this, it feels like I am in a foreign body, like a robot just able to complete this task out of habit. I glance at the window, the receptionist is typing as she talks on the same call; It feels like she has been on that call forever but I know it’s just me feeling like time is stationary.

I turn and face the rest of the room instinctively looking at the doorway I just passed through, the one that leads to freedom and safety. Run, don’t do this, pierces through my mind instantly hollowing out the sound of the music playing overhead and the whispers from the few other people in the room. I stop in my tracks and stare for a second consumed by nausea from the whole situation. Fearing I am not able to take another step, I sit.

Nothing seems to be moving. I can feel and hear my heart pounding, the nausea is as strong as waves crashing on the shore during a hurricane. It’s hard, brutal and relentless. Leave NOW, is all I can think but I am frozen, frozen with fear. I hear a door open behind me and I can feel myself getting faint, the blood coursing through my body faster than if a snake had crossed my path during a trail run. I hear the nurse say something but my fear has overtaken me and I can’t comprehend anything. I see someone stand up on the other side of the room. Phew. Not me. I breathe for the first time in what feels like minutes and try and calm myself.

My head is all consumed in whether I should stay or leave before this goes any further. However, I continue to sit there, unable to move, unable to think for myself, unable to feel anything other than fear. The door opens again. My anxiety shoots back up past where it was before. There are less people ahead of me now, it’s time to make the decision. I hear another nurse utter more inaudible sounds but I can’t hear anything over the voices in my own head screaming for me to leave, to run straight out of here back down the corridor and outside to safety.

The nurse repeats the same inaudible message, I still don’t hear anything other than garbled syllables. I stand and begin to walk.

I walk briskly, with purpose and more confident than I am certainly feeling. I walk past the other chairs, the other patients and walk past the gentleman the nurse is acknowledging before she begins to escort him to an exam room. I walk straight to the door, only hesitating for a second as it automatically opens, and then down the coordinator. I never look back.

I feel relief as I cross the final threshold of the building and into the safety and security of the outside world, hiding away the secrets of my life. The last thing I think before everything goes black is, Maybe that’s not relief but actually regret. Then, darkness.

***

I open my eyes. I see the curtains and bedsheets. I look at my clock, 5:23am. It was just a dream.

One Week…

I am going to get help in one week but not if my ED has anything to “say” about it.

Trigger Warning for anyone with disordered eating or an eating disorder.

It’s almost worse now that I have an appointment at the doctor, kind of like now that I anticipate coming clean and opening Pandora’s Box that the part of me controlled by this thing is louder, meaner and harder to ignore than ever. The thoughts I have when I eat are telling me that I am going to get fatter, if I gain any weight between the last time I was there and this time that I am a failure, not going to be believed and have to come up with a back up lie or go with the safe route: cancel the appointment.

I have been trying SO HARD though to eat more. I have some decent mileage on the schedule this week and ran 9 on Tuesday so I have been hungrier than usual but it’s such a challenge. If I even go over my preset limits 200/500 (200 on days I run anything less than 8 miles, 500 on days I run greater than 8 miles) I will start to eliminate the extra food via purging. It’s not even hard to do anymore too, I just contract my muscles and it’s back. That also makes my ED mind scream it’s normal and not harming me and while I know it’s harming me, the normal part is hard not to believe because part of me kind of thinks everyone vomits their food sometimes.

I’m also not convinced that 500 calories a day (which is so hard to admit I eat that much) is too few. Sometimes, yeah, I feel run down but I am busy, a runner and have a lot going on. People get run down and 500 calories a day is a LOT of food, 200 I know is a bit low but 300 just feels like too much especially because I eat 500 some days and it averages to 300 in the end.

See, and yet I read what I just wrote and part of me feels like it is wrong that 500 calories is too few especially when I am running and 200 is unfathomable for most people. But yet, the feelings that I am okay still prevail and I am not sure what will happen next Thursday. I am not sure how to keep overcoming them because even when I “win” and eat a tad more, I feel infinitely more unjustified in asking for help  because I don’t think I have a problem because I ate a bit more. Even when I purge that, I am so convinced purging is normal that I feel stupid thinking I have an issue.

I’m not sure. There is no real point of this post other than to try and organize my thoughts,try to convince myself to keep fighting to get to that appointment next week and to not cancel or lie. I’m not sure what will happen. 1 week from now seems so far and so sickeningly close.

Maybe I should just cancel.

Tuesday. I WILL Seek Help on Tuesday.

Somebody please tell me this will be okay.

I’m going to throw up.

I’ve decided though that Tuesday will be the day. I am scared about how terrible I feel.My doctor mentioned at my last appointment that some of my numbers may suggest my medicine dosage is too high (for a totally separate non ED thing) so maybe it’s related to that but the nausea is really bad, I have full blow passed out 3 times in the last week and almost passed out more than that. Last night I collapsed- in front of my roommate. I can’t sleep and my chest feels weak.

As I type this I am freaking out, running through it in my head, trying to figure out how to say, what to say and how to not back out or get too intimidated. It’s not making the nausea any easier lol. The short list of the other side effects (trigger warning) is the muscle cramps (like charlie horses all throughout the day), bloody noses, black outs, arm and leg weakness, headaches, crying in the grocery store, intense fear of food, on and off depression, safe foods, purging,, restrictive eating, hair thinning, nails are paper thin, chest pain, chest “weakness”- not really sure how to explain that, sore throat,fear of food, always cold- even in the FL heat, night blindness, and that kidney-area pain amongst others.

Even as I write that all I can think is: not sick enough. I know that sounds nuts/idiotic and just plain stupid but again, this a mental & physical thing and the mental aspect is so controlling. So, I am just going to keep trying to ignore it. I also know that this weekend is Fourth of July and my family and some friends are coming over to my and my roommates place. There will be food. Ugh. And whenever I have to eat non-safe food I feel like it invalidates my problems even if I purge it all and still restrict the limits it just makes the feeling that I am not sick enough seem infinitely harder to shake off.

I need to call the doctor but hopefully I can get in on Tuesday when they have late hours. And hopefully, I can go through with this.

My Mom Knows….

I don’t know how she found out but I know she knows. Today she asked me if I was eating and “are you making yourself throw up after”. I replied yes and no to each question respectively- which technically is … Continue reading

I Have A Doctors Appt… Is This My Out?!?

4f26922b1315df6e329278fc4e203a24I’m panicking. Majorly panicking. Why? Because today my doctor’s office called me and told me that the doctor wants me to “come in to discuss my test results.”

I know this is a normal occurrence for most people who go to the doctor and have blood tests but I get routine blood work done for an autoimmune issue and my doctor almost always calls me themselves and has that conversation over the phone so when I got the phone call today it instantly put me on guard. I’ve also got an insane fear that the doctor somehow figured something is wrong based on my tests and knows about my problems. I know I’ve said before I hope they figure it out but it’s kind of one of those things I both want and don’t want in all the same ways.

Having the doctor call and tell me I need an appointment takes so much stress off the situation,they want to see me which means I am not going into the situation with anyone expecting me to confess my health issues but it still allows me a forum to do so.

Sometimes in this life, only one or two opportunities are put before us, and we must seize them, no matter the risk.

The risk is huge. I’m asking myself to betray my ED which at this point feels like I am sentencing myself to death and like an insurmountable task. I know going into this once I let my confession pass the safety of my lips I won’t be able to go back, won’t be able to take back what I said and that my life will only get more complicated. In theory it should help it get better, I’m still not sure though but maybe I should listen, seize the opportunity, take the risk.

I know it can never feel like the right time to get rid of an eating disorder (hence why I have battled the decision for over 6 months and the disease longer) but maybe this is it, my chance. I want to believe so bad that it is but I’m not sure what to trust or believe any more.

The Words I Can’t Say

Eating Disorder. I think I have an eating disorder. I’m scared I may have an eating disorder. Please God help I think I have an eating disorder. I can write eating disorder over and over again or say it in … Continue reading