04 May 2010

Halfway gone and feeling anorexic

A strange awareness came crashing through this morning.

The pale light of dawn was just appearing through the mass of green leaves. Cool air blew through the open window. I was in a land between dreams and wakening; luxuriating in that drowsy feeling where you feel safe and warm, the outside world not yet invading your mind or soul.

It is a feeling of safety. I feel this way when I'm drifting off to sleep, snuggling with my husband as I am able to slowly forget that I have anorexia, that I have any problems at all. I also feel this way when I am first leaving sleep; blessed sleep where I can rest and lay down my burdens for the night.

This feeling of safety was taken away this morning. I reached up and touched my collarbones. But this time, I really felt my bones. The protruding collarbones and the jutting clavicle. The sharp hip bones and the hard knees clicking together.

I couldn't breathe. I panicked. Where are my curves? Where is the feminine smoothness, the slight roundness of hips?

I touched my face, feeling nothing but a skull. My heart began to race. I realized I am thin. Thin. There is nothing to soften the sharpness. I felt like I could feel every bone pushing against my skin, the layers of muscle and fat eaten away by months of restricting and laxative abuse and enemas and suppositories. All the tools I used to keep the hateful food out of my body.

To deprive myself of life.

On Sunday, I went to our church for the last time in five weeks. I looked around, this group of people who have embraced me as a family and prayed for me for years. The church has a fantastic couple who provide music, and they played "Canticle of The Turning" for me. We talked about the changes coming to the church, how the Episcopal Church's rules won't allow our priest to retire there and so there will be a new person.

I felt sad and forced myself to nibble on a homemade muffin made by one of the members. Our priest will most likely be leaving about a month after my return from Renfrew, and I will miss him. I told him so, burst into tears and hugged him, then ran out in embarrassment.

I felt as if I couldn't stand one more change in my life and I choked down half my dinner. Later I proceeded to take a handful of laxatives, unable to handle the food and the feelings and the emptiness and the sadness.

I was sick all day Monday, constantly running to the bathroom with diarrhea. I had to go and get an EKG and blood and urine tests for Renfrew, and thought I really screwed up this time. Why did I do that? I knew what that many laxatives would do to me.

But my heart hurt. I couldn't stand the thought of more changes, and I was struggling with the thought of being apart from David for one month. It was the only way to cope.

Throughout the tests, I had to stop and run to the bathroom. This continued until I went to bed that night, exhausted and depleted.

Then this morning. It's not like I haven't seen myself in the mirror and realized I am too thin. But this time, I felt it. I felt every protruding bone. I was frightened I would die of anorexia, die of laxative abuse, die of a cardiac arrest.

Die at 44.

I feel as if Renfrew is my last chance. As I looked in the mirror, I saw the now-prominent veins and drained face.  I applied some makeup; a wine-color eyeliner that did nothing for my half-hooded eyes. Dead eyes from lack of nutrition.

I am halfway gone. I realize if I don't find a way to recover, I will continue to lose weight and everyone will watch as I fade away. My life will be over before I have a chance to get it back.

I decided this morning I don't want to live if I can't recover from anorexia. I'd rather be dead than continue to live with the realization of what I am doing to my husband and my family. I'd rather be dead than be anorexic.


Eating Alone said...


Telstaar said...

I'd rather you were free from anorexia too... and sometimes I think having anorexia IS death... its more death then actual physical death BUT.... firstly, while you're alive and breathing there is hope of recovery from anorexia nervosa... secondly (and more importantly) I'm QUITE sure you'd rather be dead (I know I would)... BUT I know that me, and I'm quite sure your family and friends, especially david would rather you alive with anorexia then dead (even though some of them may understand the desire for death)... your life here, even with anorexia is still worth a lot and still valuable, why? Because you are NOT anorexia. It feels that way right now, but you are not the illness, it is one part of your life, but you are far far more than one illness ever will be!

Love you, praying xo

Anonymous said...

Angela, you can do this. When I read "Then this morning. It's not like I haven't seen myself in the mirror and realized I am too thin. But this time, I felt it" I thought to myself, this could be the turning moment for you. It feels so, so bad. Yet... it may be the place you begin to rise from.

Feelings do not last. You will feel differently in time, perhaps sooner than you realize, and, at that point, you will be so glad you kept going now. That is a truth and hope that has helped me through many very tough times.

sarahlynn said...

I think this is a great realization to come before a big step in treatment. It is scary. V. scary. But it will let you live.

I have to caution you to avoid saying things to the like of "I would rather die than live like this." It makes it too easy to berate yourself, too easy to tip over the edge when you slip up or relapse. You realize you're in the grips of a relapse and suddenly you realize - I don't want to live like this. I'd rather die. And that, hun, is how suicide claims so many of us. You have to be flexible.

Think: I will do whatever it takes to recover. I don't want to continue this way, I don't want this to kill me. But also realize that it isn't a straight road to recovery. You are GOING to have times when you backtrack. You know that, I'm sure. You just have to not give up and keep trying... and I'm told one day you'll get there.

Kelly J. said...

I know you can get better, Angela. You're tough, and you can do anything once you set your mind to it. And now, it's clear you've set your mind on recovery. I'll be praying for you.

Marge of Lake LaBerge said...

Although this may sound a bit harsh, with some of my friends battling an addiction, I often find that this is the first (scary) step. The "HOLY SHIT" step. Many didn't get past that stage though... many teeter back and forth and are a slave to drugs. Though from what I gather, you are a tough lady who will not, under and circumstances, simply fade away. You are full of life and love, and are driven to combat this. Keep it up, you're on the right path. Although cyber-words are kind of cheap, and I have never met you in person, I truely believe in you, more than I have believed in many of my friends who have said they would stop. The internet is a strange wonder-land where the user is able to create any reality they want, but I really believe that you are a strong, honest and determined lady who will defeat this.

Tia @ dietcolagirl said...

I can relate to the hopelessness. If THIS Is the life I am to lead for the rest of my life, Id rather be dead. I read a quote before, "I want to live forever, but not like this". and It rang so true with me.

I'm glad you could "see and feel" how thin you are and how dangerous it is. That's a start...

Keep on fighting because you deserve it. you are worth it.

love tia