525,600 minutes

"...how do you measure a year in the life?"

My God- that's a lot of minutes.

I haven't been not blogging because I haven't wanted to, but in part because I wanted to write this post but didn't really know how to say it.

My life pretty much hit rock bottom last December 1. I didn't see a life without anorexia, and figured it was going to kill me eventually. I got bored of waiting for 'eventually' and took a massive overdose. I remember the time (3 am), I remember what I took and how much (the nurse in the ER said "That stuff could kill you" and I told her that was kind of the point), and then...I don't remember much of the next several weeks. I was in the CCU on heart monitors for a while, and then transferred to a psych unit for 2 weeks.

What I do remember is being told how lucky I was to be alive, a sentiment I found blithely laughable at the time. It's not like you try to kill yourself, and then the next morning you wake up and think "Holy shit, what was I thinking???" and then sing and dance. No, you wake up and groan and realize that you're going to have to do this thing - wake up and meet the day - for a very long time to come. And it sucks.

I have done this for the past 365 days. Greeted 365 mornings and gone to bed 365 times. I had hoped, in the beginning, that I would be able to refer to anorexia in the past tense after a year had passed. This was enough time, surely. One year. One whole year.

Though I am not actively anorexic (I eat, I maintain a healthy weight), the AN is very much present tense. Most of the time, eating is still followed by thoughts of anger and guilt and fatpigfatpigfatpig you lazy idiot! But still I eat. I know I must. It's hard for me to see my weight and not immediately go back to starving and purging. Yet I know that no weight is low enough, and that I have to make peace with who and what I am.

I am not always happy to be alive. I'd rather be alive than not, however, and this is often enough for me.

At this time last year, I was serenaded by the beeping of my heart monitor in the CCU. At this time last year, I was still underweight. I had far fewer scars from cutting and a little bit more money in my bank account. I hadn't yet begun to apply to the writing program.

And now I'm half done.

525,600 minutes.

There were some pretty damn long minutes, too. Facing plate after plate of food. Sitting in traffic. Dealing with my batshit crazy co-workers. And, in spite of everything, there was some good times, too. Getting accepted to Hopkins. That 15-minute-turned-four-hour-nap. Blogging.

Grey's Anatomy has the best wisdom:

Maybe we're not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we're thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we're thankful for the things we'll never know. At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.

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Tiptoe said...

Carrie, I remember when this happened. I'm certainly glad you stuck around. I think you've learned a lot this year and proven more than you know. Each day, week, month, year, we learn and hopefully find the wisdom to grow.

Laura Collins said...

SO SO glad you're here, Carrie.

Here and "here" -

disordered girl said...

You've come a long way, sweetie, and that is definitely something to be grateful for.

Sarah said...

Dear Carrie --

On December 1st 2006, I too was being admitted to a hospital. My body was shutting down. My soul was shutting down, too.

I am so, so, so glad that we are both still here. You mean so much to me.


marcella said...

Also so glad that you are here - and thank you for the courageous post.

carrie said...

Thanks everyone. You're so kind. "Here" is the best place I've lived thus far (though Baltimore has better crab dip...what can I say?)


I know I know you, but I can't remember how. Perhaps you can help my poor little brain out?


Jeanne said...

I'm glad that you're here, carrie. I'm glad that some of those 525,600 minutes were good. And I'm glad that 525,600 minutes later, you are alive and wanting to stay that way.

thinking of you with love,

swimfan93 said...

This time last year I was extremely underweight. In March I was hospitalized in the psych ward at Johns Hopkins. Though I am far from recovered, I am much better than I was last December. I love your blog; it is so inspiring.

Thanks for everything.

Hope said...

I've told you before and I'll tell you again. Your strength and courage never ceases to amaze me. Look at how far you have come in 525,600 minutes. I'm so grateful that you are here, too.

Sending lots of love!!

mary said...

Yep, you are still standing and much stronger for those plates of food. I'm so impressed. /***

carrie said...

Thanks again everyone.

Swimfan- do you do OP at Hopkins? I'm there every week. ::rolls eyes::

Mary- Just be glad you're not doing refeeding with me NOW. Imagine how far I could hurl those plates. Hee hee. /**********

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you shared this. And I am so very glad you are still here. I know that doesn't make the fight any easier, but you're doing it and that's what counts.

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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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