90%

This post contains mentions of numbers so here is a TRIGGER WARNING. This post also contains the raw side of being 90% restored. This is being posted to help people put into perspective why it is so hard to say goodbye to ED. 

Emptiness is a feeling I am all too familiar with. Emptiness is a feeling I came to love and crave. To me, emptiness felt like I was finally succeeding at something.

The emptiness I am referring to above is of my stomach after not eating for 37 straight hours. It is the emptiness that comes from only allowing myself to drink ice-cold water and nibble on the occasional celery stick. However, emptiness can present itself in many different ways.

Sometimes emptiness feels like sitting alone on a Friday night while your friends go out and party. Sometimes emptiness is being unable to express any emotions at all. The worst feeling of emptiness, however, is when it is associated with ‘what used to be.’ The emptiness that consumes you after something you once loved is no longer apart of your life.

People who know about my struggles with anorexia look at me and often see a success story (although sometimes I am not sure why.) I mean, yes, I am finally starting to get my life together and now the smiles you see on my face actually are genuine, but I would not consider myself a success story- not yet.

After 6 months, I have finally restored 90% of my body weight. It took 6 months of having to eat roughly 3,000+ calories a day, but my body is finally starting to show signs of healing. That’s a good thing, right?

I know that the size 0 pants I have been wearing this past year were just temporary, but now that I can no longer squeeze into these pants, I can’t help but feel empty. I know that I should delete the pictures I have on my phone of my body with my protruding rib cage and hip bones, but yet I cant help but lay in my bed at night comparing my old body with the one I am living in now.

Do I still sound like a success story?

When I hear other people talk about their eating disorder or when I watch a show where a character ends up revealing that she struggled with an eating disorder, I cant help but feel like a failure because I used to be that girl. I find myself getting competitive with these strangers and fictional characters. I think to myself that I was so much better at my eating disorder. But then I remember that I already ate breakfast, lunch, and a snack that day and I can’t help but freak out over what I am becoming. I am losing my eating disorder and it terrifies me.

I am currently in the most dangerous part in my recovery because this is when every meal I eat is accompanied by Relapse screaming in my face. Ana knows that her reign is close to being over so she pulls out everything she can to stay with me a little bit longer. I love my healthier life, but I can’t help but lust after my eating disorder. I know I need to be 100% to reach my goals, but how do you say goodbye to someone who has been apart of you for the past 14 years?

Facade

Façade-my favorite word

Everyone lives a façade. We create a perfect outside image to hide our actual reality.

“When did creating a flawless façade become a more vital goal than learning to love the person who lives inside your skin?”

Sometimes, recovery is one big façade. Being threatened with treatment and having opportunities snatched away makes some of us who are struggling not want to admit it.

I do not want to tell my parents that I am struggling right now.

I do not want them to know that I have hardly been eating any food.

I do not want my friends to see me feeling glum and sad.

I do not want to ruin my façade.

I’ve been doing exceptionally well since I was last hospitalized in February. I have been going to appointments, following my meal plan, taking my medications. I was able to stop acting because I started to naturally feel like my normal, go-lucky self.

One of the reasons I created this blog is so people can understand that anyone can look happy and healthy on the outside but really have something dark going on in their actual reality. Some people do the best acting in their daily life so know one will ever know the truth.

So, yeah right now I do think I need a kick in the butt. I need to eat. I need to get re-motivated. I get scared for my parents to find out because they have spent so much money to finally get me “cured.” I do not want to waste their money by not listening to my dietician because I am skipping meals. My dietician is a crucial part of my recovery team and I need her.

I think its important for parents of children struggling with an eating disorder to understand that we do not intentionally act like brats and ignore the things we are told to do. Eating is scary. Recovery is scary. Changing to a new (healthy) lifestyle is scary. I have been living in a way fueled by Ana for so long that I get scared sometimes what will happen without her.

I want to be able to be open with people. Well okay, I am extremely open with everyone since I publicize my entire recovery, but I leave out important facts. I do not mention the part where I only ate on meal on this one day or when I stood in the aisle at the store fighting the urge to buy laxatives.

I am sick of being sick but I am also scared to say when I am feeling weaker.

I will have bad days or weeks but that does not make it appropriate to threaten to send me home from college. It does not make it okay to say to someone they need to go into intensive treatment over a slip up. Doing this makes it worse. Doing this makes me (and probably a lot of other fighters) want to fake our recovery, which benefits NO ONE.

So, when you see your child struggling, try to just show support. Do not freak out and jump to conclusions so quickly. Obviously do so if it keeps getting worse, but we need to feel supported and cared for. We are not giving up and we need to know that our support system won’t give up either.

 

Fear food *weekend* Friday? 

Well, I have been bad. I’m falling back into behaviors. I noticed myself doing this, but did not want to admit. I have been restricting. I have been challenging myself with scary food, but does it really count if I deprive myself nutrients to allow for it to be okay? 

I almost did not even do a fear food Friday. But then one of my coworkers offered Starbucks so I took the opportunity. I ordered an old favorite (tall triple chocolatey chip Frappuchino, no whip.) but I still hardly ate lunch. I “forgot” to bring my lunch, had my mother drop it off, but still only ate the little snacks I packed. UGH. 

So I still drank the Frappuchino, went out that night and ordered a gin and tonic, and even yesterday I went down to the city and indulged in wine, and creme brûlée. 

So cool Liv, congrats you’re doing experiences but still DEPRIVING yourself. 

I want to get better, I really do. But gosh I cannot seem to mediate this war between enjoying food and eating because I have to. Eating feels more like a chore to me than something I need to do for my well-being. 

Probably not seeing a therapist in awhile has not helped. Nor have I stuck to my treatment plan all that well. I haven’t gone to a med check recently or had blood work followed up. I want to make excuses for myself like I am too busy, but I should not live a life I’m too busy to maintain. I don’t like admitting I need help, but maybe I do. I feel on the brink of a relapse. 

I’m going to unplug for awhile. This blog helps me, but maybe I should go back to keeping my thoughts private until I am more positive. 

I want to finish college and I need to eat for it. I have yet to have one healthy hospital free year. Maybe I should have not finished last semester junior year and stepped down to php. I like to think I’m strong and ready for this, but without my eating disorder, I do not know who I am. 

So this is a debby downer post, but at least it’s honest. I do not want to lie about my recovery or make it fake/perfect to appease others. This is what recovery is. Recovery is not a continuous upward slope of positivity. You get flat tires or lost along the way. So maybe it’s good to stop for a bit to find me again. I cannot advise others if I can’t even take care of myself.