Remind me again why I'm doing this?

I keep waiting for my life to start again. I am taking steps. I took a beading class yesterday and so on. But I still don't quite feel like a member of the human race. My mood is wacky, I'm not sleeping much at all (emergency call was placed to my psychiatrist...I can almost feel the cracks starting to form in my brain) and all of the boo-hoo-ing about my life is forming. I had to move back home with my parents. I have no friends to go out with. I'm exhausted by the littlest thing. I don't have (nor have ever had) a boyfriend.

If anyone writes and says "But you have so much going for you!" I will find your IP address, travel to where you are, and smack you upside the head. I am quite aware that I have so many things going for me! thank you very much. I wish it felt that way, however.

I am very excited about school in the fall. But I'm tired of waiting for life to begin. Waiting until school starts. Waiting to finish school. Waiting to find an internship. Waiting to find a job. Etc, etc. I guess I'm just feeling quite pathetic at the moment. Eating is a momentous effort, still. I hate that. I feel like I'm doing the right things, eating right, in my target weight range, and still I feel like shit. Why won't this end? How much longer will it take? I understand that there aren't answers to this. But I would very much like a little peace and quiet from the constant cacophony of voices in my head. You're lazy. You eat too much. You're a pig. You're fat. You're fat. You're fat. Blah blah blah.

Then again, I don't know what I would do with the silence. My brain is almost always going a million miles a minute. I'm either full of ideas or full of thoughts about how much I hate myself.

These thoughts were absolutely amplified a thousand-fold when I got an email earlier today from my best friend from college: she's almost done with med school and she's engaged. Well, if that doesn't drive home the stake of how sad my life is, I don't know what could. I'm still living at home. For Christ's sake.

I am trying to reframe this in a more positive (or at least more realistic) light. I chose to move home in order to deal with a life-threatening illness more effectively. I wouldn't feel so crappy if I had cancer, and anorexia is no different. It's a disease, an illness, just like my depression and OCD. Sometimes you get dealt a shit hand of cards and there's nothing else to do but go on playing and hope you get a better hand next time.

Doesn't make my current hand any better, however.

A large part of me wants to scream and yell, "Why can't all of these good things be happening to ME?" Why can't I be getting engaged? Hell, why can't I just get a date? Okay, I'm heading to writing school, which is what I want to do. On a full scholarship. Look on the bright side. I don't want to look on the bright side. I want to look on the real side.

This is what I wish someone had told me at the start of my eating disorder. That not only is anorexia not glamorous, but the consequences are so incredibly far-reaching. That things don't just "get better." That you have to make them better, that you have seen levels of hell most people don't even know exist and it has scarred and changed you. That very few people can truly relate to what you have gone through that it gets lonely sometimes.

I just...hate this. That's all. I know it's a blue day and tomorrow might be all daffodils and daisies, but right now? It's a blue day.

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mary said...

WOW, a warning! Will you really come visit me if I tell you how great everything is? Tempting.

I'd tell the voices to shut the F up and I'd start piling in the inner compliments. You can be fierce, I know you can. You can also be your own best friend. You HAVE to be. We all need that lesson and it so hard cause on days like this we feel so disconnected.
Use this crisis to find that inner path and please take care of you.


mary said...

It's also ok to cry, to punch pillows, and to roar! Empty milk jugs make wonderful things to toss when you really want to slam something.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how or when it happens in recovery that one truly starts feeling better....even "better enough." I remember being in that horrible trance of doing everything right - being a part of life, doing things, staying nutritionally and weight stable - and actually feeling worse than when I was sick.

I wish I could pinpoint that moment when I finally started feeling more comfortable with myself, inside and out. (FINALLY!) But I don't know when that moment happened because the process was so gradual. And I'm still working on it. I think I always will. That said, my life has definitely changed for the better over the last two years. My eating disorder does not take the same amount of time and energy it did back then. My life is more "normalized," even when I don't believe it. It is. It's been a hell of a road and it's taken a lot of work to reach this state in the recovery process.

It can happen. Hang in there and keep working at it long enough and it will happen.

Liz said...

Waiting is passive; at least in waiting, you're hoping right? I can remember how in the height of my ed madness I waited for that moment, where God (Himself!) would illuminate my life and save me from a purposeless abyss of a suffocating loneliness. It even still hurts to think back to it and remember that no such moment came. Of course, I was too busy with being self destructive to realize I needed help much less seeking help to move ahead. You do have tons going for you, so do I. But I'm done hoping and waiting for a terminal illness to end my life in some sort of dignified way.(cigarettes dipped in nuclear waste) All the potential in the world means nothing in the absence of goals and a sense hope to carry you through. Guess its a blue day for me too, so let's "hate this" post ed, pre-successful happy life period together.

Harriet Brown said...


When I look back on my 20s I remember exactly how you feel now. For me it wasn't anorexia, but I dealt with other issues (as most people do). The lesson of life, which is nearly impossible to take in at your age, is that it's not the momentous happenings that really matter; 20 years from now who knows if your friend will be married, if the marriage will be happy, or if this engagement will be a blip long in her past? Real life happens in exactly the kind of moments you're describing in your post: in the awful, hard, occasionally exhilarating moments of an ordinary day and night. It doesn't feel that way now. I know. But it will.

Hang in there.


I would like to respond to everyone individually, but I guess what I have to say kind of involves a synthesis of everything.

If recovery felt better than the ED (at least initially), then leaving the eating disorder behind wouldn't be so difficult. I hate this limbo. I also have to look at how far I've come. I can go into a grocery store and not need a couple of Xanax. I eat at a restaurant and do not feel as compelled to order the lowest cal, lowest fat item. I at least ask myself what I would like to have. I have stopped chewing my nails long enough to polish them. I fit into clothes for women, not juniors.

I am daunted when I look at how far I have to go- actually deciding what I want to eat and preparing my own meals. Remembering that reaching out is a strength, not a weakness.

Lastly, Harriet, I wanted to comment on what you said about life being so...ordinary. And that what might be right for my friend, will likely not be right for me.

mary said...

I can only ask you not to look ahead to how far you need to go. You can't know how fast or slow this process will be. It will be. What was the cure....3 thumps on the head with your magic wand?



Head (gently) thumped. I pulled out the "What the Bleep" book, too. Slept pretty good last night, too. So yay.

Laura Collins said...

"Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace."
--Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) US aviator

Or is peace the price that life exacts for giving us courage?

Or is it courageous to just be peaceful?

Amelia - I demand an explanation!



I would make a slight change:

Peace is the prize that life exacts for giving us courage.

This quote almost feels like one of those GRE logic test questions:

If a, then b.
If not b, then not a.
Is c true or false?

They never had an answer of "I don't care." This might explain my horrible scores.

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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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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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