If not ED, then what?

Wanting to recover from an eating disorder is one thing. Doing the actual work is another.

But then there's the emptiness left behind, that gaping hole of what used to be, those what ifs, which continue to haunt me. I have made a tentative peace with the "what if" questions that never seem to cease in my head. What if I had never decided to lose weight? What if I hadn't gotten help when I did? What if I had remained well enough to submit my Rhodes Scholar application my senior year in college? What if? What if? What if? My past is what it is, and I am where I am. Maybe I would have been a Rhodes Scholar. Hell if I know. But I do know that I am also the author of two books, and hopefully about to embark on a career as a writer, a prospect of dubious likelihood for Carrie, Rhodes Scholar.

There is the other emptiness, that sense of what is and what will be. Going home to an (almost) empty apartment, day after day. The slow evolution of the question of "Do I eat?" into "What do I need to eat?" and finally into, "What do I want to eat?" The vast expanses of time spread in front of me, time that used to be spent exercising, counting calories, or reading recipes. Time that Ed tries to lure me into spending with him, usually doing one of the above three activities.

It's a lonely, hard road, and though people walk it with me, they can never walk it for me. Nor should they. We each have our own paths in life, paths we think are easier or more difficult than our own. Whether that's true or not is a matter of debate. The one thing that isn't a debate is that, however the chips may have fallen, I am right here, right now, and I can always choose to go somewhere different, to change my own trajectory. I do it each time I fix myself a meal or a snack, each time I am honest with my family and my treatment team.

I don't know what my life will be without ED. I just don't. I'm still forging it, still finding out each and every day what freedom will bring.

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mary said...

Carrie, you have the best company of all! Yourself. : ) Believe that. Even when you're bitchy you are your own best companion. Do you wanna know how long I've struggled wanting support from others, validation? I've always had it but my inner self wasn't absorbing it UNTIL I myself validated me. It's a human condition. We all need each other, yet we stand alone. We all walk through darkness and back into light.
If you never wrote a single book or never went to college you'd still be you and that my dear is enough. [I haven't] I admire your honesty. You are shining a light on your fears and nothing dissipates them faster than exposure.
If you decide to use your talents to share with others how you won this once and for all, how you chose yourself, you'll be giving more hope than you can imagine. Helping yourself, leaving Ed behind will not be in vain!
And you know what, you don't have to have HUGE goals. You get to savor the fine flavors and dance to your own music.Let your goals be to taste the soul food set before you. If you have a window put a prism in it, put some colorful plates to shine in. By just being and honoring yourself as a wonderful soul, you are a gift! I know that you can see the gifts in others, so how about seeing yourself as you already are, a gift to your family, to me, and to many more than you'll ever know, mostly though to yourself. OPEN YOUR EYES CARRIE.
I know, I might be a brook, I babble so much! OOP'S!

CARRIE said...


Thank you for reminding me that I need to validate MYSELF before anything on the outside will mean diddly-squat. I need to start with my feelings- that it's okay to be in a funk even with no "real" reason. It's like so many women need to validate their chocolate cravings with "PMS." Dude- if you want chocolate, just have it. You don't need an excuse.

You inspired my next blog post- the small things that keep me going. :)

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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