Facing My Fear of the Scale

Got my weekend homework for IOP: Bring my scale to IOP on Monday.

Anyone with an ED can probably figure out why: we are getting rid of it.

Thing is this isn’t hard for me because I am getting rid of it, it’s hard because, well, I haven’t touched it in over 2 years. I haven’t weighed myself on it. Haven’t turned it on, haven’t anything.

Why?

(Trigger Warning Begin: Suicide, Depression, Self-Harm, Eating Disorder)

Because the last time I touched that scale I almost attempted suicide.

The number had gone up. I was a failure. I hated myself. My life. My body. Everything. I couldn’t live with myself anymore. I had to die. I wanted to die. I had failed and I deserved to die.

I prepped everything. I was in the bathroom, I figured it would be easier for them that way, easier to clean. Plus, there were no pictures, no reminders of what there was left of my life. I got the pills, I got the razors. I was done.

I didn’t go through with it. As I laid out the pills and brought the razor closer to my flesh I thought about them- my 4 year old niece and nephew. What would my family tell them? Would they remember me? Would they be at the funeral? Would they forget me eventually? Would they hate me for what I had done?

Touching the razor to my wrist and seeing the faces of those two little “babies” was all it took. I looked down at the razor, looked at myself, at that scale 2 feet away, at the pills in my palm and then fear surged through me, my thoughts racing through my mind so fast. It was like my mind was trying to get out everything that was rational before the depression, before Ed took back over.

(Trigger Warning End)

What are you doing? This is not okay? You need help. Don’t do this. They need you.

The fear coursed through my entire body so strongly that I threw up out of fear. I flushed the pills, I flushed the razor and then I turned and looked at that scale. I was hysterically crying at this point. Terrified to look at it, to touch it. Half of me was scared I couldn’t withstand the screaming voice in my head to stand on it, the other half was terrified that I would see the number again and not be able to stop myself against the suicidal thoughts.

I flipped the scale over with my foot, fumbled with the battery component because I was shaking so hard that I couldn’t steady my hands enough. I tore the battery out violently and flushed that too. And then I put the scale away, in the back of the closet. The “junk” closet. The one with the stuff we never use. And I NEVER touched it again.

Now, one of my IOP therapists wants me to bring it on Monday. Wants me to touch it during treatment and then get rid of it for good. I’m not even sure I can touch it to put it in the car so she said to have someone else do it for me and she’ll come get it out of the car.

That’s how bad my fear is.

Even getting weighed at the doctor’s office, daily in treatment and weekly now during IOP causes such anxiety that I have to take my anxiety medicine beforehand. And if it’s a scale that makes noise (like ones that aren’t digital) it’s almost too traumatizing to handle. (Case and point: Tuesday when I had to be weighed at IOP because my therapist wasn’t here to weigh me and it took my dietitian 15 minutes, music, stepping on the scale to hold it steady and a double dose of anxiety medicine to get me to even comply.

So that’s my homework. Bring my scale. Touch it on Monday. Getting it into my car will even be a challenge so I have to ask someone to do it for me- which is also hard because I feel like that’s embarrassing to admit and I hate asking for help but at least I have a few days to figure it out.

But oh gosh, I have to touch it. I don’t want to do it, I really don’t want to do it.

Goal Weight and Lost Opportunities

Last week I posted about having a doctor’s appointment and possibly confessing to my ED. It’s a terrifying prospect to be faced with because on one hand I am screaming for help and on the other the “your not thin enough” voice is booming through an imaginary megaphone. The “you ate too much yesterday” “didn’t work out hard enough to burn the calories” and “you’ll be better if you can just lose more weight” voices feel as though they are being shouted by a stadium full of screaming fans.

Except this ED Is not my friend. It’s.Not. My. Friend. I have to keep reminding myself of that because honestly it feels like it is. And so, even though I was sitting there in the exam room of the doctors office I was still unable to let go. I knew as soon as I parked it wasn’t going to happen. I sat there, in the parking lot, staring at the front door knowing on the other side lay the help I needed to get to freedom and yet I ignored the small voice saying “please help”. It wasn’t loud enough to drown out the rest of the “you’re not skinny enough” voices. Not even after I dropped below my goal weight.

That’s right, i made it to my goal weight. (trigger warning) Actually I am 3 pounds under my goal weight but still even though I promised myself i would ask for help once I reached my goal weight here I am, lying in bed after a day of restricting and taking diuretics just to make sure all the weight was off before I was forced on the scale. I am terrified of the scale. I used to be obsessed with it but one time I gained and I quite actually came so close to killing myself that I scared myself out of it. I am talking had everything in the bathroom, planned it out, was prepping and realized that someone would have to explain what happened to my adorable 3 year old (at the time) niece and nephew. It was that thought that stopped me cold. I threw the scale out and developed an immense fear of ever getting on it again. Going to the doctor is wrought with anxiety for that reason solely.

But I made it to my goal weight on a day that may have presented itself to me to get help. That’s ironic. I was also supposed to be excited about being at my goal weight (and I am absurdly happy) but at the same time I feel… ashamed(?). I’m not sure that’s what it is but I just feel like I let myself down because it’s both not lower and because I told myself I wouldn’t go below my goal weight without asking for help and I know that’s not going to be true anymore.

Part of me thinks the reason I couldn’t ask for help today is because I had to exceed my calorie limit this weekend. One of my best friends got married and I was doing wedding activities all day Friday and Saturday which meant every meal was not my same food, not on my schedule, not alone, not safe, and not able to escape. I covered up most of my not eating though by just moving food, eating only the vegetables, talking a lot, etc. At the wedding reception though, I purged in the bathroom more than a few times because I ate after almost passing out in the church’s bathroom and I didn’t want to ruin my friend’s big day but the food I ate was unsafe so it had to come out. But after eating something that’s unsafe I feel unjustified to go asking for help because I let myself actually consume that food despite how much I hated myself during and after.

Yesterday I also had a close encounter. I am in school and was shadowing at a hospital and was so sick from not eating Sunday or Monday that I nearly threw up and collapsed during shadowing. Luckily, the person I was shadowing didn’t notice but when I had lunch with some of the other people in the department one of the ladies asked me as we left if I had actually eaten anything. (trigger warning) I had had 5 baby carrots and an apple, both of which are not entirely safe but my safe food wasn’t feasible. I tried to extend it out but I just lied and said I was going to dinner early and had had a large breakfast after my workout (the workout part wasn’t a lie but the eating comment was). I do, however, find it highly ironic that someone I have known for 3 hours can spot that I haven’t eaten and people I spend day in and out with, haven’t. I also find it terrifying, am I getting worse at hiding it? sicker? was it a fluke?

Anyway, I didn’t get help. I didn’t freeze up I just didn’t feel like I needed help. The doctor even asked me if there was anything else or if I wanted to discuss something else. I said no as if it was second nature but I could feel a part of me screaming yes. As soon as I got 5 minutes down the road, though, I regretted it. Not enough to turn around, go back inside and say anything though. Not enough to cut the strings making me into a puppet for this ED.

I guess all I can do is my best. I tried. Now I have a new goal weight (it always gets lower) but I also know that the doctor is in the same building and hopefully soon that room will hear the words that I’ve been keeping secret. I am still thinking about July 2 but honestly, I’m not sure any more because I am pretty sure i am going to have another day when I can’t stand this, call the doctor and do it right then and there while I am stronger than the ED because otherwise it just has too much time to talk me out of it.