This picture says a lot. But it came up in therapy today.
Back it up–last Wednesday at therapy I showed Cherry* [my doctor therapist named such because she is a lifesaver, cherry is my favorite flavor] the photo albums I created to help me through hard times. I felt completely exposed and naked [ironic since a lot of people have seen me physically naked–a body is a body]. Inside were images, quotes, friends, words, lyrics, beautiful beaches and flowers–things to remind me why living is worth it and why fighting Ed’s voice is worth it or even how to make Ed quieter. I bring this up because this picture is in there and Cherry and I talked about.
We talked about it again today.
As mentioned in my previous post, ever since Friday I have had a really tough go. It has been a struggle. Dark thoughts, angry thoughts, Ed’s Voice telling me to seek revenge–make people suffer the way they make me suffer. The inability to act on that or defend myself–cannot go into too much detail because I refuse to openly negatively talk about work places… Even if it is truly killing me over and over.
Well it got bad that habits from high school reemerged–scratching, pinching, grabbing, trying to rip off my fat. Always on my under arms and inner thighs–places no one can see. I don’t want people knowing my pain and suffering because they will see the weakness and use it against me. That is a whole other story.
Back to the picture. It has been 14 months since my body started shutting down and I was in and out of doctors’ offices trying to figure out what was causing the debilitating pain. Pain where I literally felt my kidneys, uterus, bladder, and piece of my liver. I was constantly weak. I was tested and shot up with antibiotics because apparently as a woman if they cannot identify the origin of your pain that is in the pelvic region it is deemed Pelvic Inflammatory Disease and they shoot you up with antibiotics. No matter what.
I was in and out of my primary care physician’s office, Dr. Nice* rotating with my gyno Dr. Gee* trying to find anything. I give mad props to Nice because she was all about connecting with all providers involved with me. I felt really bad, guilty, that I did not ever tell her about my history of anorexia. I did, however, tell her how I had not eaten since February 6.
After a month of relatively normal results, I was sent for ultrasounds. The one where Nice wanted me to go to the ER and I out right refused because I knew that staff and didn’t want them running their mouths and breaking HIPPA. That came back with nothing as well–I was hoping for a surprise 3rd kidney!
Nice looked at me and told me that I needed to see her again about my anxiety because she felt it was out of control. Ya whatever I’ll deal with that when the pain is gone. Ha.
13 months ago, I was back seeing Gee and she threatened me. She told me if I did not follow up and document proof of eating [with antibiotics] or seek more medical care, she was going to hit me with a 5150. I had to sign a document saying that within 1 week I would seek higher care.
After telling my best friend Badgyr* about this, she agreed. She begged me before but now I really heard it. She wanted me to see a psychologist and deal with my eating. Mind you, Badgyr lives on the East Coast to my West [West is the best!!]. If she sensed it was that bad she has a point. I then told my other best friend, Cindy* who completely agreed. This all happened exactly 12 months, one year ago.
Cindy’s birthday is the 13th. I explicitly remember the timings because I threw her birthday party and she and her husband were my witnesses that I ate something that weekend. I then called Nice for the referral for “anxiety” issues.
I knew it was more. In my head, my tiny voice was saying, you are anorexic again. Ed’s Voice was louder and dominating–you’re fine you’re fat just don’t eat all will go away!!
I made the call. A week later I had my intake phone interview. The intake nurse was surprised when I confessed I had an eating disorder–she thought it was for anxiety. I spilled my real health history; shit this was the time to get fixed and right. All the while, Ed’s Voice playing over and over that she’s judging me and thinks I’m lying because how can you be 250something pounds and anorexic? I felt like Ed was reminding me I had to prove myself.
Only in my health care system does it take 1.5 weeks to have the intake with the psychologist and then another month to get an appointment.
I went to that intake scared shitless. Yup. Change was happening. I had a problem. Ed was piiiiissed at me for doing something about it. No more sleeping!! Ed was on overdrive!
But I had lost my outgoing who cares what you think persona. I never left my house. I wasn’t eating. I was in severe pain. I cried all day erry day.
I met Cherry. I remember that appointment: I just clicked with her. I just word vomitted. She was surprised. She felt I needed a longer appointment. Whassup. I go big, baby! Then she told me how the committee meets to determine the best approach to my care.
I am so glad I wasn’t suicidal. I mean waiting a month for an appointment?! Ridiculous!! I guess when you are as screwed up as me it takes longer to determine the best course of action?
I panicked. I didn’t want anyone else but Cherry. I really connected with her. What if I was like my friend Moni who has been through like a bajillion therapists because she can’t find someone who reaches her?! I didn’t have that kind of time or ability to trust!
Then I got the call. “You will be under Cherry for your care and we would like to arrange your first appointment”–thank you Jesus Buddah and Moses!! What a relief. I cried right there.
“You will report to Child Psychiatry”
Screeech hold up what?!?
But I’m in my late 20s!!! “You will be initially treated for eating disorder and the eating disorder clinic is on the Children’s side.”
Oh great. More judgement. That creepy older girl [ok I look like I’m barely 20] who is fat in with the skin and bones teens and cancer children. Cool. Plus side? Children’s side uses a different EMR than the adult—where I work. 😀 maaaajor plus.
On May 25, 2013, I had my first official therapy session and recovery began.
Yet I still look at that picture. One year ago. I feel like nothing has changed. At all. Still toxic job. Still single. Still no self respect or self confidence/esteem.
But I have lost 60someodd pounds simply by eating again. [exercise has not been reintroduced yet]
I am eating again. Not normally. But eating.
I now eat apples whole and apple slices with skin.
I now eat different brands of hummus.
I now eat spinach–in all forms [salad, pasta, dip, etc.]
I have tried red bell peppers for the first time ever. Seriously. Ever ever.
I can eat in public–in safe places and with safe people. But still.
I don’t cry nearly as much. Granted I am currently medicated and that makes a difference, but one year ago I just wanted to waste away.
I am a vegetarian who is actually starting to expand the vegetables that I eat.
These are all so huge. I don’t think anyone will ever understand the tears, fears, frustrations, panic attacks that it took to get this far. Frankly I hope they don’t.
One year ago, my body had shut down. The pain I felt was my organs failing due to high levels of anxiety/panic and not having eaten a thing for a solid 1.5 months. And only crackers before that. I kept my water intake up though.
One year ago, I was pretty much dead.
So while I still feel so angry and frustrated at the aforementioned things that I thought would have changed, shut the hell up, Ed. Your voice–just shut up!! I have come so far!! So exhaustingly far. Even if you are fighting for the reigns again, look what I have done!