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!

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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. 

Chest Pain

It’s 5:30am, my normal wake up time. Except today wasn’t normal because today instead of waking up to my alarm, I woke up to the feeling of severe chest pain about 15 min earlier. It was sharp and horizontal across my chest; It felt deep and almost like a stabbing cramping feeling. It woke me up from my sleep. What have I done to myself. Maybe I should go to the doctor? Lies,  I know I need to go to the doctor whether it wears off or not but I know I’d have to tell. Maybe this is my out?

Yesterday was a severe restriction day: 200 calories. No more. I know that’s bad but I felt okay yesterday aside from the lightheadedness and weakness after shopping all day. I wasn’t even hungry most of the time. But last night I couldn’t sleep. I was uncomfortable. Like I could feel my muscles cramping but never having them enter a full blown cramp. I’m not sure what was going on. Maybe I was just too hungry to sleep, maybe it was a precursor, a warning. Either way, I should really listen.

Being Sucked Back In…

Trigger Warning: Do NOT continue if you are easily triggered. This is NOT a hopeful post.

I HATE FOOD.

The last couple days have been so hard. I just want to give up. I can’t even stand my safe food right now. I feel like eating is the worst form of torture on Earth and honestly, I don’t understand how people enjoy this. All I hear in my head is awful thoughts, my stomach is bloated, I can feel the food attacking my body. I keep trying not to purge because the side effects have been scary the last few days (chest pain, this odd cramping feeling by my kidney, being so lightheaded when I stand up I have to brace myself against the wall and wait for the black out to pass) but I CAN’T TOLERATE FOOD.

I couldn’t even run today because the cramp in my upper stomach was so bad. Yesterday, I powered through it but today it was almost like a knife went through my upper, right stomach. This does nothing to help encourage me to eat either. It was upper stomach pain (mostly on the left and middle, though) that was my main problem when my GI issues started so now on top of trying to convince myself to fight through my hatred of food, I’ve also got the obstacle of trying to convince myself the stomach pain won’t return-which is virtually impossible when the pain is there and often accompanies eating  food that doesn’t sit well with me and even though I haven’t strayed from my safe foods.

On top of that I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me. Telling me I do have an ED when I don’t. I eat. I don’t eat a lot but I eat food-unfortunately and also how I ended up in this Hell. I am failing at keeping my body safe. Food is not safe, it is the enemy.  I can’t even shower right now I am so grossed out. I ate a bowl of cauliflower. My one safe food and I feel like this. I can’t keep doing this to myself. At least not eating doesn’t cause this type of distress and torture. It’s a different kind of torture but at least it’s manageable. I can’t do this. I loathe food, my body, my mind, everything right now. Today, I don’t even want to seek help either because I know they are going to make me eat and then I’ll have to endure this torture and people will be watching for me to purge so that will just be harder which means this feeling of disgust won’t go away.

I honestly don’t know if it is my mind making all this worse or not. That’s the worst part- not knowing which of me is telling the truth. The part that keeps saying don’t purge anymore or the part saying purge it and restrict better. Either way, the “purge and restrict more” person is winning the battle today. I’m done. Nothing can be worse than this pain, not even the pain from purging despite what side effects come up.

How This Tug of War Started

Honestly, I started this blog to document my journey and to hopefully encourage me to seek help for my struggle with food and eating. I am about 99% sure I can actually (by DSM-V criteria) be classified as having an eating disorder but I know I for sure have disordered eating at the very least.

I first started having trouble eating about 2 1/2 years ago when I developed a mysterious medical condition. The length of time it took to diagnose (?) – if you can call it that- led to a lot of weight loss, disordered eating and, according to my medical records, anorexia. And when I learned I was going to have to adapt my eating habits to prevent bad attacks, I developed an even worse fear of food than I already had by that point. Top that off with the fact that I didn’t- and still don’t- see the weight loss when I look at myself and you have pretty much got much a perfect recipe for an eating disorder.

About 4 months ago I really came to terms with this fact and I told the first person and, to date, the only person I personally know and who knows me about my eating problems.  I haven’t seen her in about 6 years but still, I feel a tremendous amount of support and encouragement from her despite the fact that I haven’t actually been able to move forward and seek help still 3 months after telling her I wanted to get help. I think it helps me knowing that I don’t have to face her everyday but that I still have her there to seek support from.  Although, I am sure she does- she is very involved in ED recovery and awareness- I hope she knows I a trying every day to muster the courage and ask for help.

See, that’s the thing about this disorder you are waging a constant battle. You vs. The voice in your head. The evil, mean, voice in your head that simultaneously feels like the only person you can trust. The best way I can explain this relationship is it’s like your mind is playing tug of war against the other part… and at least for now, losing.