No memorials for me

It's pretty much impossible to escape the fact that today is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It's also pretty much impossible to miss all of the memorials. Many of them are heartfelt and sentimental, but I won't be watching any of them.

I'm not anti-memorial, but this date is one of those things I really don't want to remember. It's something I remember all too well.

I could tell you that I had just dropped out (basically been kicked out) of college because I was deemed a danger to myself because of my anorexia. I could tell you that I had essentially stopped eating and was weak, depressed, and losing touch with reality. I could tell you that my dad had called around 9:30 am and told us we had to turn on the news. Didn't matter what channel, this thing was everywhere. And I watched buildings fall with a strange sense of numbness because everything was numb because I was weak and crazy and dying.

What I will tell you is this: the only thing I ate that day was a few carrot sticks. Adding mustard seemed too complicated. I will also tell you that, as I nibbled my carrots and watched TV, that all I wanted was to trade places with someone who had died in the buildings or airplanes. Because I didn't want to face inpatient and gaining weight. Because I was so depressed I didn't care. Because I would much rather have died than dealt with all of this.

Which is why watching any sort of memorial really doesn't help me. It dredges up memories I'd frankly rather forget.

Maybe one day I'll be able to look back and be grateful that I wasn't killed in the tragedy, and that my mindset is so much better now. But not now. Not today. And that's why I'm not watching any memorials.

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Lynn said...

I made myself watch the memorials, I to remember what I ate on that day 10 years ago - kosher pickles.
I was in such a bad spot 10 years ago I wanted to watch it to really understand what had happened.
10 years ago I wanted to be one of the victims and today I'm glad I wasn't. Life isn't easy but I liked being reminded of how sick I was and how I don't want to go back there.

Anonymous said...

If I recall correctly, you have wrote about this in years past. While I often find your posts very insightful, I think you have tragically replaced a horrible day in our country's history that shook the lives of millions with a distorted, post-hoc longing for your illness.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the above poster. For the simple reason that I empathize with Carrie, and, feel the same way. In 2001, I was very much still quite ill with my behaviors. I was in the middle of a detox from laxatives and things were far from stable for me. I, too, did NOT watch anything having to do with the anniversary. Instead, I concentrated on my nieces' 10th birthday. She was born 2 days before this tragedy happened. The only thing I will say about it all is that it was surreal.

Carrie, don't feel bad for not wanting "go back there", or feeling like you can't go back there. I can't, either. It's just too depressing. The tragedy itself is depressing AND where I was at that time in my life as well!

I wish you peace.

Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with the anonymous poster. I see the whole "nibbling on carrot sticks" thing as being more of a romanticized longin for the ED. I feel that the way you talk about September 11th is incredibly disrespectful to those whose lives were taken/destroyed/forever impacted by such an awful tragedy. Maybe it wasn't the happiest time in your life, but the memories it dredges up for you really should not even be compared with the loss and suffering that took place in the lives of so many others that day.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with both the anonymous posters. There comes a time when you have to stop thinking about yourself and work at thinking of others. Ed's are self consuming - I know that bc I, too, have been a sufferer. But not to say you haven't had it rough, this is not a comparison, but as I read your posts I sort of get the feeling you can't seem to get out of your own head and put others first. 9/11 was absolutely tragic. Unimaginable pain and anguish. Maybe you could stop for a moment and really think about what thousands of others lost that day instead of the carrots you had consumed. There's always a bigger picture if you look outside of yourself.

Bev Mattocks Osborne said...

Another great entry... I can identify with the brain numbing aspect. My son still says that he doesn't feel anything when he hears about tragedies in the press. He goes through the motions of appearing sad, but still finds it impossible to FEEL anything.

Ari J. Brattkus said...

To the anonymous posters -- Carrie is a courageous writer who discusses actual authentic feelings and situations regarding her life and recovery. If you have a problem with that, well that is your problem, not hers. At least have the courage that she does to put your name to your comments.

One of the greatest tragedies of 9/11 was that people lost their voice. They stopped talking about the impact the event had on individual lives and talk more in generalities of "terror" and "our enemies." For those who lost family and friends on that day it was about individuals -- thank you Carrie for your own individual testimony of that day.

Jennifer said...

I am one of the anonymous posters and my name is Jennifer. I do not diminish Carrie's courageous battle of recovery. Not one bit. She is extraordinary and brave to share her true authentic feelings during this challenging time. I admire her. But I wanted to point out that sometimes one just has to step out of their own head once in a while and understand that sometimes we can be too trivial. Think about it. Nibbling on carrots vs. human beings burned and crushed to death? I do feel that ed's are a little selfish. As I recover I totally admit that. We get swallowed up in our own little world. That is the absolute truth. Once in a great while it's ok to get a slap on the face for someone to say ya know what? There ARE people who have it worse. And we DO have a choice to recover. Those victims in 9/11 did not.

Ari J. Brattkus said...

Hey Jennifer,
I appreciate your comments and your name! ;)

I am of the school of thought that sees anorexia as a brain based disorder, so while the sufferer may appear selfish they have little ability to snap out of it. Just as I wouldn't ask a person with cancer to focus outside themselves during recovery, I completely understand where Carrie is coming from.

I think too what Carrie was saying wasn't simple "I was eating carrots" it was more how eating disorders distort the mind of the sufferer, how they lose the inability to see out side of the eating disorder. This is the fault of the ED, not the sufferer.

Jennifer said...

Erica, your post is much appreciated :) I have been thinking about all of this. Maybe what my issue is, is that now that I am almost recovered I look back and realize just how selfish and in my own world I really was - and this is what ed's do (like you said, it's the ED's fault, not the sufferer). It's so clear to me now and it angers me. How could I have been so out of tune with those around me? How could I have been so self focused? How could calorie counting supercede visiting with friends? It all makes me sad and angry. All that I lost. Too much to count. And now, finally, I live in the moment, certainly after hospitalizations and yrs of therapy. Honestly ED's are absolutely horrible. They rob you of life, and time, and you can never get that back :(
I think I overreacted in my post-and I attribute it to my own inner mixed emotions surrounding this ugly ED. Everything you said in your post is true and I agree completely. I just wish there was no such thing as ED's :(
And I think Carrie is doing an amazing job sharing her recovery journey with us. She is an inspiration. Sorry for my earlier responses :(

Ari J. Brattkus said...

My 14 year old is in recovery and she too has battled her feelings of guilt and anger with what ED did to her life. She told me last night -- "I can't even remember most of the last three years."

I think these feeling are actually a part of the recovery process, and you shouldn't apologize for them or your comments. I wish you strength in your recovery journey! And you are so right --

Nadine said...

It isn't about you. It's about the THOUSANDS of people who DIED that day. At least Jennifer has the balls to admit that she was selfish. Maybe you should think of someone other than yourself.

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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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