The Middle

Why is it that no one tells you how bad the middle really is?

How the pain and feelings you’ve buried for so long will begin to resurface with a vengeance that can be far too strong. 

How you’ll begin to feel happiness again, smiling and laughing with family and friends

Despite the near constant exhaustion of battling your inner demons.

 

Why is it that no one tells you how long the middle lasts?

How you trudge through the hours and minutes of each day contemplating whether you did the right thing.

How you’ll feel like you have come so far and feel like you might make it to the end

Only to start going back to your old behaviors, steering towards complete relapse.

 

Why is it that no one tells you how the middle changes you?

How you’ll be unsure of who you’ll become and what will be left when all is said and done.

How you’ll feel relieved when the person you were meant to be is cautiously allowed to be seen

Yet petrified that the person you’ve grown into cannot coexist.

 

Why is it that no one tells you how hard the middle is?

How uncomfortable and painful it is to battle your thoughts and behaviors relentlessly.

How you’ll begin to conquer your fears and break all your made up rules

Only to realize your mind has formulated dozens more.

 

Why is it that no one tells you how lonely the middle is?

How you’ll be surrounded by people trying to help and still feel like your just out of their reach.

How you can be in a room full of people who understand sharing your struggle with them

Yet feel like you’re still hopelessly alone.

 

Why is it that no one tells you how agonizing the middle is?

How your formerly corpse like body begins to show signs of life so you pretend to be as okay as your body now seems. 

How you’ll be able to tell some of your most shameful thoughts and tattle on yourself when you engage in behaviors

Even though you’re still in agony behind your no longer lifeless eyes.

 

Why is it that no one tells you how bad the middle is?

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A Skeleton and A Skiff

Dear ED,

I’ve been thinking a lot about the decision I made to jump ship last year and take my chances against the torment of the ocean and storm; to watch you go down while trying to be rescued by those desperately trying to save me. It was the hardest decision I have ever made, to let go of everything I knew, and abandoning you at the helm and casting myself overboard. You’ve always been a perfect ship, like a yacht among a fleet of ratty old skiffs.

I painstakingly watched you slip further and further beneath the crashing waves and torrential rains as I tried to get to those coming to save me. But they were farther than I thought and the storm was worse. When I relayed my SOS calls they promised it would be okay, promised they’d be there for me, promised they would get to me. The life preservers are in the water, their spotlights are pointed towards me yet I’m still not getting any closer. I’m treading water. I’m retreating in the rip currents, and getting torn apart by the wrath of the storm.

I look out to them and I see the sun. I see ships that are steadfast, strong, and stable, like you once were. Why can’t I get to them? Why am I still sinking?

I feel like all I’ve done is thrash about as the waves collapse over me.Sometimes, I’m more skilled and can catch the wave before it breaks; but most of the time I don’t even see it coming getting pulled down by the undertow until the wave settles or until I realize I’m still grasping their lifelines and manage to resurface. I gasp for air, gasp for life, gasp for hope. More often now I want to let go of the ropes tossed out to me, the ones being tugged on with every ounce of sweat, blood and tears that those in the distance have in them. I hear them calling out on their loudspeakers but usually the sound is drowned out by the waves and emptiness in me since you sank. I look around at the bits and pieces left. I feel like I caused this, like I killed you. I’m guilty. I’m hurt. I’m scared.

I keep thinking I should just let go, let the waves overtake me and lose sight of the ships once and for all. I could surrender myself to the undertows and the serenity of what will be when I am shielded by the storm and at peace in the beauty of the ocean’s depths. Yes, letting go is scary. Yes, I know those on the ships will be disappointed. Yes, I know they will scream out to me and send out rescue missions, calling out my name in a desperate search for the soul they once knew or the glimpse of the one the see for my future.  And yes, I know the search might kill them. I’m inviting them into the storm, I’m letting them watch me give up and yet, sometimes I still feel like it would be better than making them continue holding onto that lifeline indefinitely. I’ve tortured them, exhausted them, failed them. They’ve finally seen bits of the real me. They’ve seen me fight against them, they’ve seen me betray their trust. They are battered and bruised from trying to pull my body back to them. What if I do managed to get to them and they see how damaged I’ve gotten through the storm and after years on the ship and cast me off anyway. I can’t blame them. I’m not deserving of their ship’s safety or to walk among them in the harbors.

I imagine what it’ll be like, when I’ve reached the ocean floor. After all the rain, all the currents and all the screams are gone. I imagine my magnificent yacht at rest and wonder how scarred and depleted you are from trying to stay afloat after I bailed on you. What it’ll be like to be reunited, to be free and able to lay in peace with you beside me. I know that I’ve left you for quite some time and I wonder if you’ll recognize me and I, you.

So I let go of the rope. I stop fighting the currents, the waves, the false promises of my rescuers. I am overtaken by another wave. I feel the water drowning me from the inside out. I want to scream, everything hurts but the pain is nothing compared to what I’ve been tolerating since I jumped overboard. I relax my body, think about the safety of returning to the ship I’ve lived on for so long. My eyes close and finally I can really relax. I feel free for the first time since I was a kid. The streaks of sunlight casting through the millions of water molecules dim until everything is just still and dark.

Finally I see you. My Protector. Your stern is leaning against in the ground, a crater in the once unruffled sand. The silt is glossing over your once sparkling body. In our solitude, without disruption of the storm, of the other boats or the thoughts that once raced in my mind I look at you. I really look at you.

You’re a skeleton.

You’re not the yacht. The one that once safeguarded me from the dangers of the world and made me indestructible in the worst of the storm.

You’re the ratty old skiff. You always were, I just never could clearly see.

But it’s too late, I can’t get back to the surface. I can’t grasp the lifeline any longer. I imagine what would’ve happened if I had just held on. Would I have made it? Would they have reached me? Would the storm have calmed? But I’ll never know.

And now all that’s left is a skeleton and her skiff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When “Eating Disorder” becomes a description

Maybe it’s a double standard or me being overly dramatic (a word that has never been used to describe me) but on Tuesday I picked up a letter from my doctor to clear me medically for an ED treatment program and as I read the letter it was like being punched in the gut. Why? Not because the letter was mean or harsh or anything like that but rather it was because of the words ‘eating disorder’. They were used as a description and it was like this whole thing went from “an eating disorder” to “her eating disorder”. My eating disorder. MY. MINE. Like it is officially a part of me and honestly, I am not sure how I feel about how raw and real that is.

Now, I have (countless) times written on here I have an ED, used the words and typed them into Google but until 2 weeks ago I hadn’t ever said the words out loud and actually, when I came clean with my doctor I didn’t even say “eating disorder” I just described my actions and thoughts. Telling my best friend on Monday (last week) was the first time I ever said “I have been diagnosed with an eating disorder” but even then it was an illness, an invader, a foreigner. But “her eating disorder” just makes official that this is my disease, I have this, it is inside me, tearing me apart. It’s no longer a third party but rather it is ingrained in me, has become part (or most of) who I am, and is officially no longer something I can just brush off as me being a “hypochondriac” or “not sick enough for”.

And that’s a hard pill to swallow ( and worse than that terrible liquid potassium chloride I had to take yesterday bc of my terrifyingly low potassium levels). I mean it’s not like I wasn’t expecting those exact words in the letter because tbh, of course I was. I mean I have an eating disorder I’m not delusional about everything but still I still feel scared, raw and vulnerable. Vulnerable is the worst.

I think seeing it also solidified that I am going to have to start using it to describe myself in relation to my health. This will have to start sooner rather than later too and not just with the treatment center (who I have also managed to only say those words out loud to once as well) but also because next week I have to go to my fave doctor (totally serious). He is my amazingggg podiatrist and seriously I am a bazillion percent sure my feet would’ve been goners a longggg time ago if not for him, especially since I took up running lol. But he entertains all my wacko thoughts and ideas, like when he put me in a cast and I told him how I was going to finagle it so I could still skydive 8 days later (which I did successfully!). But I trust him enough to do surgery once and treat all my injuries well enough to keep running and now that I am facing surgery again for a different issue I know he needs (and deserves) to know. Plus, some of the extra issues I’m having are things dealing with my feet (constant numbness and my mom thinks the heel agony is bc of my calcium deficiency). But still I hate feeling vulnerable and I am still not comfortable with sharing that with anyone much less being the person saying the words eating disorder to describe me. But I have to because I know I need to and my appointment is next week.

I also have an appointment (again) with my primary doctor on Tuesday just to check in, do more lab work and make sure I am making headway in the admission to a treatment center (which I am). I am going to ask her just in case she says I don’t have to tell my foot doctor (which I doubt more than anything in the world) but still, I’ll ask. And hopefully, seeing her and being able to talk everything over will somehow help me get to the point where I am comfortable with telling another person about what’s going on (even though I know it is for the best, he will help too and that it is “okay” to ask for help).

So yeah, that’s where I am at. Not really sure where the post was supposed to go but I guess it was more of a ‘talk it out’ post since I can’t run right now and that’s normally where I have my ‘talk it out’ time within myself.

Confession:

When I eat and the hunger goes away even a little I  always feel like I have overeaten, like a failure and then when the hunger comes back I am always relieved and more relieved the sooner it does. This is one of the things I hate the most. 

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!

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.

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Leap Of Faith (I TOLD THE DR!!!!!)

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The first time I went skydiving I was the second (and last) to jump. The plane had just enough room for the 5 of us (pilot, 2 instructors and 2 of us jumpers each jumping as a tandem pair). I remember being so nervous until I got in the plane and we started flying. It was strangely surreal, I was unexpectedly brave and convinced it would be okay. Then we reached altitude, and the door latch opened. The air rushed in at over a hundred miles an hour, the sound was equivalent to one of those hurricane simulation tubes at the museum and it was cold (I jumped during summer in Key West). Fear shot through my body, I instinctively pulled away and shook my head no even though a huge part of me wanted to do it. Then, the other guy and his instructor jumped in tandem. They were there on the edge of the plane and then….GONE. SUCKED out with a noise that is equivalent to what it sounds like when you put your hand against the hose of a vacuum cleaner but times a thousand. I am fairly certain I was saying no as we inched closer and as I breached the edge of the plane I prayed to God that I was doing the right thing, my parachute would work and that I would somehow survive this.

Today, as I drove to the doctor’s office the same emotions came back. I had the same sense of bravery and confidence that I did in the plane and then, as I got to my destination I was overcome with fear, horror, anxiety and a huge sense that I was not going to be able to do this but feeling it was too late to back out. I had already changed clothes into some of my most lightweight clothes that made me feel comfy and would add less pounds to the scale and I had already parked, I HAD to do this. It was raining outside- quite fitting given my mood and the rain was getting worse as I arrived at the office but I still walked slowly, like a preschooler tiptoeing to the closet to check for monsters. As I walked down the hallway I went from feeling numb to shaking with fear, visibly shaking. Writing my name on the sign-in page was one of the worst memories, my usually nice and neat name looked like I had written it while driving down a gravel road. The nurse/receptionist at the front was really kind and took my copay. I think she noticed how nervous I was because I was quiet and, well, shaking. The nurse came and got me not long after I sat down (I mean I did wait until 2 minutes before the appointment to enter the building…) and I felt sheer terror. As I walked in the back my biggest fear: the damn scale.

I got on and convinced myself to not look but then the other “me” won: I saw it. It went down quite a bit again, makes sense and was soooooooo addicting and made me want to lie infinitely more. We walked to the exam room. I sat on the chair and felt my heart racing as she took my pulse and BP. I think she knew I was nervous because I was fidgeting and my pulse was high compared to what it normally is. Then she said, “so it says you’re here to go over some concerns about a few issues, what kinds of issues?” I glanced over, nearly started crying and all I could manage was a slight chuckle (which I am convinced is only because I was trying not to cry), and to say “I’ve got a lot of issues,” before my eyes started tearing up. She then said, “you just want to wait for her then?” and I just shook my head and picked at my nail, knowing this was the end of my lies.

The wait for the doctor seemed like AGES. I wanted to get up and run away or at least pace the room but I couldn’t get up, I was too scared to move. I kept mindlessly staring at my phone hoping someone, something would jump up and save me from the Hell I was in but nothing did. I had put my sweatshirt on- I’m ALWAYS cold- and plus it felt comforting to have something familiar around me, protecting me. Then the dreaded knock at the door.

I started crying almost before she sat down. I think the nurse had told her something pretty major was up because she walked in and was instantly concerned. I was sitting cross-legged in the chair, with the sleeves of my hoodie pulled over my hands, hiding as much as possible. I’m not normally the person who shares their feelings, I think that’s why this was SO unbearably hard and inconceivable for me. A lot of it was blurry at this point but I do remember quite a bit. I remember her asking if it was something new, I shook my  head no this had been going on for a couple years. She asked if it was something we hadn’t ever discussed and I said yes. I remember saying this was hard, I didn’t how to start, and then she very very cautiously asked if anyone else knew. I hugged my legs and just knew I wasn’t getting out of this but too scared to do anything.

I just cried. No one knew the full extent, no one had ever been told in person, no one was there to support me. She continued to cautiously ask what was wrong, was it an issue with a boyfriend, an issue with drugs (she noticed the drastic weight loss from my latest decrease in calories), an issue with alcohol or depression. Each time she asked she would pause, giving me time to respond never be presumptuous or judgmental. When she said depression I took longer and said “sometimes but that’s not it.” She then said no matter what it was she wouldn’t judge. I cried then I decided it was better to just jump out of the plane once and for all. I told her I rarely eat more than 200-300 calories and I am petrified of food and I just spilled my guts. I made very little eye contact at this point, I felt ashamed, stupid, absurd, fear, and like I was some kind of freak. She listened, asked questions, “was I ready for therapy, what do I eat, how do I feel” and many more. I answered feeling lighter and lighter with each word, never feeling like what I was saying was wrong or judged. She offered to tell my family or to help me tell them, I said my mom probably knew but didn’t want to believe it and that my roommate didn’t know and I was honest when I said I had no idea how I was going to do that as I was crying.

Then she said it. She said “We need to find you an eating disorder specialist.” Those 2 words. Eating disorder. I honestly have never heard them out loud in reference to me, never from someone else and not from myself. Even though I can type it and use it to describe myself online, I’ve never uttered those words. To be honest, I felt numb. I’m not sure if that was because so many emotions were finally running through me or if it was a protection mechanism but I was numb. We talked about a lot, what got me to that point, the illness that led up to it (I just switched to this doctor 8ish months ago she she didn’t see me through the depths of it), what was going to happen, some of the side effects. She told me she would go look up treatment centers and sent the nurse (from earlier) back in to do an EKG and some other tests. Blood was taken, the EKG though was the worst because you have to have all these electrodes put on your chest which involves at least having some degree of your chest (and stomach by default) being exposed and I HATE MY BODY.

The nurse knew though, she tried to make small talk and I did appreciate it but I still felt numb. She let me keep my shirt on and let me hold my hoodie and she just rolled my shirt up while she did the EKG to try and let me be as comfortable as possible. I just stared at the ceiling, my eating disorder voice screaming at me for what I had just done and now, to be exposing my gross body saying my ribs weren’t out far enough, my stomach not small enough, tight enough. I laid there and tried not to cry, tried to not freak out or focus on what was going on. It was raining outside and had been since I started driving to the office so I just listened to the rain. It was over fast (I’ve had one before so I know it just felt long and that it didn’t really take as long as it felt). After all the tests she said the doctor would be back in. So I sat on the exam table and waited. Then I was dizzy and overwhelmed so I laid down and for the first time in days I fell asleep.

I only slept for maybe 5 minutes before my body woke me up but I slept and at almost 3 days of no sleep that felt amazing. The doctor had even commented at the beginning how I looked like I hadn’t slept in a while so I was grateful for the 5 minute reprieve. I laid there and waited, unable to move, unable to think, just staring at the wall. When the doctor came back she started talking about treatment options, Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization programs in the area. I felt for the first time in a long time a sense of support and… hope. She had called a couple of places that she wants me to follow up with tomorrow and Monday (one was closed until Monday and is supposed to be a really good place and we both laughed at the semi-ridiculousness of this). Then she dropped a bombshell: “I need you to let me call your mom or your roommate, I need someone to know so I know you are safe.”

Safe? I’m far from safe. I am freaking out. She reassured me my mom wouldn’t be mad that she would be concerned and want to help. She offered to call my roommate but my roommate has been back home for about 2 weeks while her sister is in town and I don’t want to tell her until she gets back. I need to tell her, I know she will blame herself for not seeing it and I need to be the one to do that. But my mom was a different story. For some reason it was harder to conceive how I would tell my mom. I agreed to let her call her after she promised it would be okay and she would talk to my mom. I never doubted my mom would be supportive but I just don’t want to be a burden, I don’t want her to be mad or be disappointed in me. But, I let the doctor call my mom. She stepped out of the room again and I pulled up my phone to text the only person I could in that moment…my mom.

I’m sorry ❤

That’s what it said. I waited 5 minutes or so to send it, I didn’t want her to get it before the doctor got in touch. I knew she would instantly freak when the doctor said she was calling about me. My mom got that type of call one time before- from 911 when they found me passed out on the side of the road during a run- and I know how terrified she was. Plus I was sorry, sorry I couldn’t do it, sorry I got into the mess, sorry I would scare her when the doctor called her and then disappoint her when she heard those two words associated with me, sorry that I’ll make her worry every day, sorry that she might think I couldn’t trust her- which isn’t true, sorry for just everything.

My mom texted back before the doctor got back in,

Nothing to be sorry for. I love you and nothing you do or don’t do will change that. We will figure it out.

The doctor came back with paperwork, a prescription, referrals for the treatment centers, notes, and the best thing I got all day: a hug. The words I’m proud of you and this is the hardest step were repeated again as they were earlier and she sat and went through everything again. I still felt numb but I also began to feel something else I hadn’t in a very long time: relief. I felt relieved.

At the end of the appointment I made my follow up appointment, promised I would try this anti-depressant she is giving me which is super scary b/c the one other time I was ever put on one I felt so suicidal it was unreal and the only time I actually got to the point where I almost executed the plan, and I told her I would follow up with the Intensive Outpatient and Partial Hospitalization programs. She gave me her email in case I need anything and of course I have the office number and I left.

Leaving I was still numb, as I walked out of the office though I noticed one thing: it had just stopped raining.  I cried when I got in the car because I just had no clue what the next step was. I knew the doctor and my mom wanted me to go home or to have my mom come to my place but I just wanted to run. To clear my head, to be alone. I’m an introverted extrovert and while I love being outgoing and with people when I get overwhelmed I need my space. I stuck to texting my mom for about a half hour not wanting to be suffocated, not wanting to be alone, not knowing what I wanted all at the same time.

When I got home I called my mom. I told her everything, she tried to convince me to eat or to come home for a bit and I couldn’t because I don’t feel safe there because of all the unsafe foods. She offered to come here but I didn’t want anyone here or around when it was 7:30 because I don’t like people seeing me eat. I think she realized how entrenched I was in this. She kept suggesting maybe eating 1 spoon of something and said to just focus on eating 50 calories more and I felt so overwhelmed and she could tell because I was crying and finally told her about the “voice” in my head. The one holding me hostage. I could almost feel her sadness and maybe a little helplessness.

I ultimately decided to be alone. I want to go to work tomorrow. I don’t want to go all day because I need to call these treatment centers and I am not sure I can do that alone and I think I want my mom to help so I might just “get sick” and go home early but I need to go back to normal life especially because I feel so abnormal right now. I think the routine will help with that, make it easier to accept my life isn’t totally over.

As I lay here and get ready for (hopefully) sleep, I am still scared, I still feel “not sick enough”, and lost but I also feel the best feeling of all right now: relief and support. I’m not alone and I know it’s going to get hard again before it gets easy but I just need to capture this feeling in my mind and no matter what realize that I’ve got support. I don’t have to bear this burden any longer alone and although they might not get it all the time or know what I feel inside, at least there is someone willing to sit by me, or wait on me while I text them. And I cannot express enough gratitude to for all of the support I have had here and from the girl who knows about my struggle and from my doctor because telling her was so hard and such a huge decision and there are so many fearful stories about idiot doctors and rude responses but she was nothing like that and never belittled or judged me.

So in the end, it was kind of like skydiving. Fearful as Hell as you jump out, a numb almost out of body experience as you free fall and a new perspective on the way down when you can slowly focus on the big picture and take a few deep breaths seeing how far you’ve come and how amazing life can be. It gave me a bit of hope, a lot of relief and even though I still have a ton of fear, I feel stronger than I was a few hours before. Here’s to recovery!

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This really is me (much heavier at the time) in Key West- or rather above Key West- during the free fall of my first skydive a few years ago.

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?

Eating Disorder Confessions

Since I came to the realization that this was more than just protective eating against myself I have been trying to find the courage to recover. A big part of that has been not feeling alone by following a blog on Tumblr, Eating Disorder Confession (http://eatingdisorderconfession.tumblr.com). This is blog made for confessions for those suffering from any kind of eating issue- It is NOT Pro-Eating Disorder and only serves as a support system for those trying to seek help and recovery. As I have come to grips with the fact that I am facing a monster I can’t handle alone I have submitted a multitude of confessions. Whether this helps you recover or not I guess remains to be seen but I think, for me, it has helped me feel less alone, more inspired to recover and okay to feel not okay.

So here are some of the confessions that were mine. Whether they represent a good or bad day.

Every year on New Years I make a wish. This year I wished that I find the courage to seek help and to overcome this beast. I wished the same for all of you too.

Yesterday, I told someone. Today, I am simultaneously happy that she has been so supportive and petrified to have to do that again but with the doctor this time. I’m not sure I can do it. I hope she doesn’t give up on me.

All I want to do is tell right now. I want to tell. I hate this life. I hate battling the stomach pain, the guilt, the lightheadedness when I stand up, the bloody noses when I purge, the fear, the anxiety, the weak body, constantly being sick, destroying my metabolism, all of it. This is my accountability post. The post I’ll look at when my ED starts to convince me to stay silent and use it to instead go against it and tell. I want to be done, feel safe, have someone to turn to and mostly, live.

Sitting on Main Street at Disney World. This is only the happiest place on earth if you don’t have an eating disorder. Right now it is the most miserable, food obsessed, triggering place on Earth.

When my friends say they don’t eat or they didn’t eat it makes me feel disgusted of myself if I ate that day.

Today I tried to do better. I tried to eat something I don’t see as “safe”. After I ate it I didn’t feel hate, remorse or sick. I felt… normal. Once I realized that it was like my sick mind turned on and then convinced me those positive thoughts weren’t really true so I went a purged all of it… I was so close to succeeding with just one food, just one time and I couldn’t even do that. This thing has a death grip on me.

I am to the point where I cry at the grocery store.

It’s been so long since I consumed a “healthy” number of calories that when I read how much I should eat or others tell me what that number should be, I am convinced they are lying.

Somebody please save me.

I’ve only told one person about my struggle eating. Today, I most needed her to reach out and she did. I may not be able/prepared to ask for help yet but I hope she knows her support continually shows me there will be people there for me no matter how long it takes, how terrible I feel that day, how awful I’ve been doing with eating/body image/etc. And that knowledge is what keeps saving me when I’m in the darkest moments of this thing.

I just wish I could go back to before the ED happened, maybe then I could’ve reached out before it got to this point.

I’ve lost a lot of weight, but I look down at myself and think I’m the same size.

I’m scared to be labelled mentally ill.

I’m afraid this is how I will die. Purging. Starving. Sad.

Right now, I really just need a hug and for someone to understand what I am going through because everything just feels so hopeless.

I just don’t understand how everyone else can eat and not have it be this big ordeal. I honestly just don’t anymore.

Leaving to go to the gym. I really don’t want to go today but I ate cauliflower today instead of doing a another day of fasting and now I have to burn off all the calories I consumed. I know this is crazy, it barely has calories but I can FEEL it making me fatter.

To anyone thinking the side effects aren’t that bad: my nose bleeds at least once a day, I don’t even have to purge it just happens, my legs are numb every time I sit. I grasp the wall to keep from falling when I stand, I can feel how weak my heart is because it flutters too, I am cold always, I wake up with headaches every single day, my chest hurts when I run, I have to nap at work, I avoid family and friends and all of this happens even though I am a normal weight. Don’t be me. This sucks.

I don’t see how bad my eating is until I come on here and read all the confessions and think “I do that too.”

I’m a prisoner in my own body.

I constantly want to ask others what size they are because I have no idea what I really look like and I keep hoping maybe one day I’ll see someone who is the same size and realize I’m not as fat as I think I am.

It’s gotten to the point where I purge my only safe food.

So yeah, my confessions (some of them). 6 months of my life in review and you know what I just realized? None of them make me want to go back to that day and relive it. Those days were wasted on this monster. Wasted. I have always said I want to live my life with no regrets and here I am fully realizing I regret these days. I mean i knew at the time I regretted them too but now it’s so… black and white. Definitive. Real.