23 August 2009

Fear and determination part 2

I both dread the coming of tomorrow, and look forward to it with eager anticipation.

Tomorrow I start graduate school.

All week I have doubted and second-guessed my decision to give up my full-time job and return to school. Every day I have asked myself - Am I smart enough? What if I fail? What if I can't cut it?

What if it derails my recovery?

I am so scared of change. Oh, I like to sound brave. I like to talk like I can do anything, that I'm tough and smart and ready to take on the world.

But inside I'm a scared little girl.

And any change - including a positive step toward a better future - elicits in me a deep, strong desire to stop eating, to go back to that low, low weight, to diminish myself, to hide until I don't have to do anything but wail and cry and storm about.

Let others move forward and challenge themselves. Let me stay safe.

That's what anorexia was - is - for me. Safety. I stay a certain weight, I'm safe. I go over that weight, I'm lost, everything's lost, I feel threatened beyond belief and the world violently shakes.

Tomorrow I will walk out of my front door, get into my car and drive to the university. For I continue to choose life and growth above death and anorexia, in spite of how painful it is.

It would be so easy to give up. But as my doctor told me the other day, I am a fighter. So I will fight the anxiety and fear, and I will do the best I can in graduate school.

And hopefully, I will thrive.

09 August 2009

Grief and my ED

I can't let grief kill me.

All I can think about is my beloved cat, Cassie.

She started getting sick about two weeks ago, and the veterinarian found a large, inoperable mass in her abdomen on Thursday. I decided to have her put to sleep on Saturday. I couldn't bear to watch her become emaciated, skin and bones, weak and unable to do much of anything (sort of like how I was last summer - the irony isn't lost on me).

Now I don't want to eat. I feel so lost without my precious kitty, my baby; the thought of eating seems, well, wrong.

I want to go back. Back to the days when I was thin, fragile; a whisper of a person. It seems fitting when I am losing so much - my kitty, my job of 10 years (I took a buyout), my whole identity as a journalist - everything.

I want to be small again, to be taken care of, to be weak and not responsible.

And I don't want to be that way.

I think of how far I've come. I've gained enough weight that I'm not scary skinny, my blood tests are good and I have enough energy to work. I plan to go to graduate school this month, and work on my master's in English Language and Literature.

I have dreams, damn it, and it seems like every time I try to move forward, my damn ED nips at my heels. It says that living is false, that planning for the future is stupid, and see - your cat died, so what's the point? Any excuse to get me back.

Then I remember how helpless I felt watching my cat become emaciated. I can only imagine what it felt like for my loved ones, my husband, my friends to watch me become that way last year. I remember feeling my cat's spine and her wasted legs, and then I think about the pictures from last year, showing my spine and wasted arms.

And I think - I can't go back to ED. It would be like going back to an abusive boyfriend. He may be cute, and he may offer some kicks, but in the end, he'll turn on you and kill you.

In a heartbeat.

02 August 2009


I shouldn't have stepped on the scale the other morning. 109.6. The first time below 110 - and accepting the triple-digit weight was a real struggle - since about March or April.

It was very enticing.

Hm, I thought. 109.6. Not too far from 105. That's not too bad - slim, but not anorexic.

109.6. Hm, I thought. Not too far even from 100. 100 would be cool. Cool 100, reeling me in with its delicate sound. 100. Sounds like an adult weight, but oh so small and tiny.

109.6. Just 10 pounds and hm, I thought - double-digit weight. The siren call of double-digit weight. What do you weigh? Why, I weigh so little it only takes two numbers to measure it.

I remember the first time I dropped below 100. I stared at the scale in amazement and joy. I did it! I was Agent 99, 99 pounds - no round 100 for me. It was too good to be true; and of course, the weight drop continued.

I remember when I hit 92 pounds. Hm, I thought. Two more pounds and I would be in the eighties. The eighties seemed so thin, light and delicate; it hammered my brain night and day - go for it! Just two more pounds, and oh, you will be the thinnest of all.

Of course, that's when I started seeing my doctor. And damn him, he pumped nutrients back into my sorry little heart (almost literally, via a TPN) and pound by pound, the number kept increasing.

Until it stopped in December.

Until it dropped the other day, and landed on 109.6.

I must have a fever of 109.6 to even think about going back.

But oh, it is so enticing to think - what would I be like if I just pushed it a little bit? Not as far as before, but maybe a few pounds. Just enough to feel really thin again.

So far, I've done the opposite this weekend, filling myself with several bites of triple chocolate cake and a complete dish of fettucini alfredo. Anything, anything to stave off those thoughts. Anything to keep me from following through with this insane plan I have in back of my head.

Anything to keep 109.6 from become 105 ... 102 ... 100 ... 98... 92