07 February 2010

Tube day

I get my feeding tube today and I have to admit I am very scared. I'm scared it will hurt. I'm scared of the loss of control. And yes, I'm scared of gaining weight.

This relapse wasn't about weight loss. The drop in pounds was incidental. But any anorexic would be lying if they said they didn't care about weight gain. Because the weight lost is an outward symbol of the inner pain I feel, and part of the stripping of skin and reappearance of protruding hip bones and prominent collarbones shows that to the world.

And then of course there is this world's current obsession with being thin. When I was trolling the pro-ana sites (not allowed here, and that's part of the safety of the hospital), I saw pictures of thin, tanned women who were so beautiful it ached to look at them and think I could never, ever look like them. I know that many of the photos are lies - Photoshopped to show a flawlessness that doesn't exist in nature; I bet many of them get pimples and under-eye circles and have a little flab here and there.

But it is hard not to buy into the lie, and if you are already suffering and your mind tells you not to eat, why not try to be like one of them?

But I want to like being me - dark, wild curly hair, a smile that many say is beautiful, a slender (not skeletal) body, and a few little lines near what my husband calls my "cornflower blue eyes."

And I want to eat normally - sometimes too much, sometimes too little, sometimes a bit of junk food, most of the time just boringly healthy. I'll never be a big eater - that's not been my nature for most of my life, and I am a bit of picky eater even in the best of times. But I could, in the past, scarf down some popcorn at the movies and slurp it down with a regular icy Coke,

I don't want to sit at my plate and eat one grain of rice at a time, one pea at a time; slicing a banana into miniscule pieces so small that I can't even taste it. I don't want to shred my allowed half piece of bread into tiny pieces, balling it up until I can't taste the yeasty taste of whole grain bread with the little piece of nuts because I have crushed the life out of it.

And I don't want to mark my body with red ink, the color of Ana, writing across my hip "Ana Wins." She is not going to win, not if my doctor and others have any say about it. (It's too bad, because I actually like the color red. Maybe someday it will again just be a pretty color for me.)

Just like anorexia has been crushing the life out of me.

So today is tube day. I am scared it will hurt. I'm afraid maybe it won't help. I feel like it marks me as someone who could not get past the demon of Ana without medical help, without tube feeding.

But the choices are either reclaim my life or die Ana. And she doesn't deserve that honor.

When I do die, I hope people will remember me as someone who fought and won, someone who was kind and funny and full of life, a good writer and someone with an insatiable drive to learn new things. Not someone who cowered under Ana. Not someone who sat at her computer and counted every single calorie, and couldn't even take a sip without fear.

And I want to be remember as someone who liked a good hamburger with Swiss cheese, mayo, ketchup, Vidalia onions and a cold beer once in a while. (That's in the future, ha ha.)


Jessie said...

You are so amazing and brave for taking this step! It may feel scary now but it's the first step to a new life--one without anorexia. You already know what it is that you want from life--to be able to live without anorexia. And just knowing that is a huge step to getting there. I came to the same realization that you did--either I was going to die from anorexia miserable and alone or I was going to have to gain weight and recover. It's so terrifying but it's the only way to get to that life you want. You can do this--checking yourself into the hospital and being so determined shows how much you want to recover and the strength you have. You will get through this. I'm thinking about you!

Anonymous said...

You're not losing control by having a feeding tube. You're taking charge of getting healthy again. You're taking back control by seeking and accepting the help. This is your way of kicking some anorexia butt. - Heidi

Lou Lou said...

You deserve so much to live how you want to live, and this feeding tube will help you on your battle.
When you look at those photos of the stars.. it isnt a maybe may of them are photoshopped, it is every single one of them are photoshopped. in ways we wouldnt have even guessed. they are stretched long ways to be talled, they erase half an arm here half a thigh there. You are so strong and courageous to be helping youeself in such a big way, you inspire me and your determination is so clear. and it makes me want to be ultra determined.
kia kaha

Eating Alone said...

Like you said it's not about FOOD! It's about pain and stuggling. You are getting the tube so that you work on that, the food will come but for now you have to keep you body stong so you can fight with your mind.

This is one the strongest things that you can do. You're taking care of your body and fighting. There is no shame in that!

Daisy said...

You are truly courageous. I join with your "cheering section" and wish you well.
Barbara and Daisy

Silly Girl said...

You are taking charge. You realized something needed to be done and you did. Stay strong and take care.

Angela E. Lackey said...

If it wasn't only so hard.


lisalisa said...

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time! But you have made a good decision to get treatment before it went any further. You can do it!

I Hate to Weight said...

i am so glad you are being fed. you are worth food and healthy living.

get well. eat, sleep, rest.

i hope you can rest and let yourself be taken care of.

as everyone's said, you are very brave and wise to do this.

keep writing. i'll be praying for you, angela.

Louise said...

This is a courageous decision. You are snatching back your body.

Angela Garcia said...

I am praying for you and not for a speeding recovery but a long lasting one. You are such a beautiful women and because you want to be able to eat normally and long for that moment you will do amazingly. You are a very strong women for writing about your tube day because I wasn't even able to tell people about how I have to lose one of my decay teeth because of bulimia. You aren't giving up power you are showing power by getting help.