It’s been a while since I really talked about my eating disorder. And today after another long night of being awake for hours crying and having nightmares about it, I want to say something about it.
I took another ED test this week to see how strong my anorexic compulsions and thought processes are and compared them to how they were when this first started. And none of it’s down. I know. It was heart-breaking.
People like to imagine there is a greater purpose in life than what is told to them day to day. Oftentimes we beat ourselves down and say “I can’t do this.’ And it takes a very special type of grit to be willing to embrace ourselves as we are and work with our natural inclinations to a good, fulfilling life.
I’ve thought “I can’t do this” at least a hundred times to every time I said “Yes. Yes I can.”
Every time I restrict a meal, or run way further than I was supposed to, is a slap in the face to me because I want to believe that the eating disorder and mental illness still doesn’t have power over me. But that’s not true.
Last time my mistake was isolating and overexercising and honestly with how little I was eating, I should have been in the hospital. But somehow, my body put up with the abuse for months and months, and continues to survive all these obstacles without completely coming apart beneath me- as I probably deserve.
I look at old pictures of myself when I was at my lowest weight and those pictures will surprise you because I was actually a higher weight in the right half… And it makes me feel so depressed. I’ve gotten through most of this by going piece by piece, day to day, pretending like I am like just any other person on the street. Any other young college student.
Just the other day, with two different people, they asked me why I’m at the doctors all the time. And of course I’m not going to tell them “Oh I was raped for 9 years and then in a car accident and lost my grandma and got PTSD and then my dog died and my best friend walked out of my life and then my other best friend died and then my uncle died and then I came to college without access to good medical care and got sexually assaulted and then spent four months in treatment and lost all my friends at school and 10 months later rumors and gossip about me continue to trigger bullying over social media and prevent me from making new friends or even dating because Mormon boys want virgins who are too innocent to know just how evil men can be and that I don’t believe in the church anymore.”
Yeah no. I’m not going to do that. And in case you wondered, that’s a very brief summary of September 2015 to January 2018 today.
Something I realized is that I’ve never had anything close to a vacation since all this started. I have been at school, working damn hard just to eat and sleep, and then on top of that I do school and work hard for a scholarship, and I’ve had a leg injury that just will not get better and continues to restrict my day-to-day because without exercise it gets to the point where it knots up and I can barely walk.
So an average college students day:
7:59 am get up
Class runs until noon
3:00-10:30 (depending on the job) work. Typically 20 hours a week.
Do homework until 2:00 in the morning.
Eat at regular times without even thinking about it.
My schedule works a little bit differently.
4:30 wake up from PTSD nightmares and crying most of the night
5:00- 6:00 go to the gym and work out- if I don’t go to the gym I feel fat and guilty and depressed and struggle for the rest of the day.
7:00 homework or chores
8:00 my first class (and if it’s Religion I will be pissed off for the rest of the day). I take my dose of medication which basically ups me like 4 espressos to the point that I cannot have a conversation with someone on just one topic I will, instead of a logical order like 1,2,3,4, do 1,4,3,2,9. And I can’t help it. And my short term memory sucks because I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in over 2 years and for the past few months I cannot fall asleep before 1:00 am no matter what I do in my routine.
8:00-10:50 I am in classes.
After my classes if I’m not working I will work out again and either do running, basketball, or hula practice
In the afternoons I typically have a dr appointment which is an hour on the bus either direction just to get there, then over an hour at the appointment, and then an hour to get back home. That happens 2-4 times a week.
If I’m lucky I go to the Polynesian Cultural Center to relax for an hour or two but lately that has not been possible.
After that sometimes I go back to the library to do homework for a few hours.
Considerations to keep in mind on top of all this is that I’m looking for a new job already because I want a PTSD service dog- actually scratch the word
want. I need one. Just to help me function and give me a companion that won’t spread rumors or make fun of me. And with the PTSD service dog I somehow have to come up with over $30,000 dollars. With a 20 hour job I can get about $200 a week (which is why I am job hunting). And then there is the fundraising to coordinate and the paperwork and the insurance appeals and me having to meet with IDK about 5 separate parties just to make sure everyone is on the same page. Those are departments, medical professionals, my family, the service dog programs, and the fundraising.
Totally have CEO management skills all up in here, BTW, or this would not be going well.
Then on top of that getting my butt to where it needs to be whether I feel depressed enough that I can barely move.
On top of that having to plan and log every single meal I eat and every time I exercise and constantly checking on my diet to make sure it’s well-balanced and marking what makes me restrict calories.
I ate 4 pizza slices over a period of 2 hours one time and I was sick, bloated, and very very upset for the next 6 hours.
Last night I had a bowl of ramen with veggies, and then ate popcorn later because I was super hungry, and had 4 squares of chocolate. And I had a complete and total fat attack so today I’m wearing my gym shoes because I “have” to exercise.
I was one of those girls who used to think “This could never happen to me”
And now it is. And I wish I could go back to believing “It’s not real.”
But that’s exactly how people with eating disorders die. And I don’t want to be controlled by the circumstances of my life. I know I have to continue to fight back.
I’ve walked away from most of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints religion. But when I was lying there in the dark on the floor last night, crying because everything hurt, I realized what I really believe in is that there must be a God who loves me. And I believe that with Him, and with my own strength, everything will be okay.
I also know from a time when I took a trail run into the mountains, that God wants me to have this service dog, and it’s time to push for it. I’m not prepared for the dog right now. But I believe that all the pieces will come together.
There were over 8 times in the past 2 years when I nearly lost this precious life. And I lost loved ones very dear to me.
I know I should be dead. But here I am.
At a healthy weight. At college. Going for everything I want with all I’ve got despite all of this. Despite all the invisible suffering and the agony of day to day. Here I am.
If that’s not a success story, I don’t know what is. And the one thing I can promise is that no matter what more I face, my story doesn’t end here. Anorexia is not going to write this ending. Rape is not going to end my happiness forever.
Queens do not surrender.
On that note, I have to get down to business. But it’s been lovely writing for the very few who actually read this blog and I hope you enjoy ^^ mahalo ❤