12 December 2010

Remembering the life before

Remembering the life before . . .
Before anorexia nervosa came, snatching away my smile and leaving me with a hollow shell of empty fake laughter.

Before anorexia came, stealing my spirit in exchange for the gift of anxiety; a gift that keeps me second-guessing day or night whether I have done.said.eaten something wrong, a gift that makes me worry about that small cheese biscuit that accompanied my plate filled with lettuce.carrots.dicedtomatoes.greenpeppers.mushrooms, all safe foods of few calories and no salad dressing, not even a dribble. 

But sometimes I want to eat something warm and comforting, like cream of potato soup or mashed potatoes or hot chocolate with whipped cream, but NO, I am not allowed, I would be a GLUTTON and that is a sin and I pay for my occasional indulgences, knowing the scale won't start its inevitable slip and slide downward, and then of course I would no longer be me, or am I no longer myself now? I am confused.

Before anorexia came, teaching me to fear food and people and fun social events in which I would casually chat with someone, and I would occasionally stop talking to take a bit of cheese and crackers, stuffed mushrooms, perhaps nibble on a cookie or two without any fear.

Remembering the life before when I believed that love could overcome anything and love was the greatest gift of all, and people and vows could be trusted and my mind didn't constantly turn against me, the voices in my head rubbing me like a hairshirt of old; always reminding me that there will be consequences if I eat too much and who defines too much? Well of course, anorexia defines how much is too much food, just as anorexia defines every aspect of my life and right now we are fighting to me to hang onto six lousy damn pounds, because once those pounds are gone, I'm back into the double-digit and then anorexia will be in total control; there will be no small, inner voice to whisper recover. Try and eat; try to recover. That whisper will be lost, and this time I fear forever.

Sometimes it feels as if life has changed irrevocably, and to even hope of returning to who I was is an impossible dream, like wishing upon a star; the star has imploded and isn't taking any more wishes, at least not from me.

There is much sorrow remembering the life before. It was a time of freedom and love and feeling cherished and not crying for three days straight because I feel I have failed as a wife, I am failing at recovery, and sometimes my greatest wish is that anorexia would just kill me so it can all end, because I am definitely sick of this drama, but I can't change the station nor find the key to turn it around; each time I think I have, it crumbles in my hand.

So right now I'm in anorexia purgatory, fighting to not lose, but perhaps not fighting hard enough. Meanwhile, my body is starting to go haywire with all this starving.notstarving.starving.notstarving, ad nauseum. My doctor told me there are certain liver enzymes that are acting weird, and the kidney functioning is typically bad, and the potassium can't make up its mind whether to stay in my body or not. I figure it is a crap shoot - cardiac arrest, kidney failure, or liver failure.

For me, it is when he reminds me that anorexia does kill people do I realize what I have done to myself, and then he can't truly predict which one of these things will implode within this body I have abused so long, he can only keep an eye on things for right now.

Back to to the life before . . . one of freedom from fear and anxiety, filled with interesting work and the love of my husband, when food wasn't an issue . . .

Did I dream this past life? Because I'm beginning to believe it never happened, that I've always been on this rollercoaster.horrorhouseride.suicideplan called by the innocuous term of anorexia nervosa.


Kelly J. said...

I remember you before, too. You were beautiful. Frustrating, exhausting (sometimes), but beautiful. You had a mind that sought justice and quality and goodness. You still have those sparks of your former life, and I pray you can follow them to victory.

I Hate to Weight said...

ANGELA. liver, kidneys, suicideplan. ANGELA.

can you go inpatient for a period of time to protect your health?

i've been thinking about you lately. wondering and worrying.

choose life. choose.

AND this is brain stuff i don't understand. please do anything and everything within your power and beyond.

write me, mstatmore@mindspring.com. let's be in touch. take care, take care, take care. love, melissa

Lisa said...

the time before EDs. It's hard to think about it. In my opinion, that life will never come back because we've changed so much but at the same time our future can be great. absolutely great. hold onto that thought. You can do this.

And be careful and take care of yourself, do what you need to do - maybe go inpatient. just keep yourself safe babe

Angela said...

Why aren't you in-patient? I fear for your life. Please take care of yourself. Get more help, and reach out. I hate to give advice when I'm struggling myself. You are in my thoughts. Sending all my love and hugs.

Angela E. Gambrel Lackey said...

Please, I really am fine. I'm considering deleting this post; I just wrote it last night when I was depressed. I'm just struggling, that's all; I am at the low end of my normal weight range and fighting with the anorexic thoughts, but I definitely don't need inpatient, that would be overkill. Trust me, if my doctor thought I needed inpatient, I would be there. He sees all my weekly blood/urine work and also all my blog posts (I give a copy of each one to him, and we often use what I have written in therapy.)

I'm so sorry to worry everybody. Perhaps I should write a follow-up post. Last night, I was just really wishing things were. This is just part of grieving the old me and trying to rebuild a new me; it is hard.

Anonymous said...

Oh! Angela I've seen this since my sister was 11 she's been up and down her lowest 62 pounds highest 155,and I still worry about her everyday,cause she also takes too many meds,she is now 45,I'm 48 my brother passed a few years ago of an overdose,so I worry all the time when her heart will give up,it can only take so much,but she thinks she's invincible.Nobody is You have to decide to live,drink ensure or boost if you don't like food at lest you will have the vitamin's take care of you..

Square Peg Guy said...

I remember having anxiety so bad that I could eat only a few bites of food. But that was only for a short time.

I hope you'll take a break if you can from whatever is causing anxiety. Or at least have a plan B in place for the biggest sources of anxiety. If that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Try being diagnosed with disease that will kill you, no doubt, and not dependent on anything other than fate; that you have no control over; that will never go away; that means multiple surgeries, multiple medications and still having to work fulltime because the bills don't pay themselves.

You love drama. You strike me as incredibly attention seeking. Keep a diary why don't you? Why do you have to blog about the minutiae and boring details of what you 'can' and 'can't' eat and even how many pounds you weigh. Who cares? Quite honestly I've read more interesting stuff on the side a cereal box.

You are not some brave Victorian heroine, sighing and weeping and fainting on a couch. You have simply found a powerful way to manipulate others and get attention. In someone of your age, class and intelligence it is truly a disgrace. say it how it is. You have wasted a good life and that is criminal.

Go on call me a bully, flame me or delete me. But you know the difference between me and you? The ability to put others first.

Angela E. Gambrel Lackey said...

To the second @ Anonymous:

You sound like someone who is quite ill and bitter about it, and I am very sorry you can't see past your own sufferings to perhaps open your heart to the many people who struggle with anorexia. You don't have an inkling about me nor about my illness; perhaps you should read more if you plan to comment in the future.

But I have a question for you. If my writing is so boring and irritating, why read it? I don't read blogs or other things that don't interest me; I read things that I want to read. Why would you waste your valuable time on something that bugs you so much? It seems pathetic, like you have nothing better to do with your life than criticize other people.

I will pray for you.

lisalisa said...

Wow, Angela, you are alot more civil towards Anonymous than I would have been! What a great example of grace and charity when under attack from someone who is obviously bitter and bent on hurting others :)