Archive for July, 2009

Conversation With Mom

I went for coffee with my Mom today, and for the first time got an idea of how sick I really was.

My Mom hasn’t told me before what sort of state I appeared to be in before and after my first hospitalization. At the time I was so incoherent that I did not have the capacity to understand the seriousness of my condition. Likely one of the reasons it was so easy for me to continue on with my destructive behavior.

I asked my mom what I was like at my sickest, and she replied “It was like watching a very old person, or a movie in slow motion. You had no motor skills, and replied with only one or two words, sometimes three. You often said them backwards or out of order. You could barley walk.” She later added that she asked professionals if they thought I would die, and admitted that she herself had thought I would for around 6 months. She said it was like a watching a person who had lived their life, and was lying on their death bed expecting the end. I couldn’t concentrate to read or watch tv, I hunched over into myself and was incapable of holding myself up. I had the death paler. My eyes were sunken. My mind was gone. My whole family was scared.

I didn’t know until today that the number of tests they were doing on me was not the program guideline, but the concern of my doctor.  Apparently weekly EKGs, and a full blood work up is not the usual protocol for outpatient observation. I just thought that the program I was to enter wanted to be up to date on my progress…not that my doctor wanted advanced notice of when to expect my death.

It seems a lot has been kept from me, and I was to sick to understand the rest.

I still cant comprehend that I was that sick.

I remember a few glimpses I caught of myself…clearly. All bones. Usually I see myself as I was at my highest weight..but those few honest glimpses scared me.  Still its hard to imagine that those around me expected my death.


Self Help Indeed

I was in a chain bookstore in the states. Being a psychology graduate and in need of help I turned to my favorite section, self help, and stared in a state of shock at the shelf.

Ever book was on dieting and weight loss.

It seems that’s all we care about. That speaks volumes about society. No wonder western civilization has such a pandemic of eating disorders if the main message they are sending to us is “You NEED to be thin”. They are essentially saying, “You need help? You want to feel good about yourself? Loose weight, then all your problems will be solved?”. After all, what other solutions are there to your quandaries?

I had, of course, realized that media and cultural pressure played a role in the development of an eating disorder before. I had never before, however, had the unfortunate opportunity to have this point so clearly illustrated.

The defense rests.

My Return

So I went away to treatment for quite awhile, and am home. Unfortunately I relapsed almost immediately. I’ve been trying to “change my life”, and “find myself”…so I took a rather long break from the online world and my “old self”.

To bring everyone up to speed. I was sent away to a special treatment centre out of province, as I was a severe case. I stayed there for quite a few months, some in hospital, some out. Don’t get me wrong, I made tremendous progress while I was there, and am not at the same pitiful state as when I arrived. However I am less than flourishing.

While away I also learned all sorts of wonderful tricks that are completely counterproductive to my recovery, like how to induce vomiting effectively, and to manipulate blood tests and scales and such.

Anyone who tells you you will not be triggered in recovery is a liar. Anyone who tells you you can’t get worse is a fool. Recovery is something you have to want…and your eating disorder won’t want it. It will grasp these pearls of wisdom and hang on like a vice. There are a lot of sick people in recovery, and they all talk. The one thing that holds them together is their disorder…and so that is what they talk about, that is what they bond over. In a sick way it even makes the disorder stronger. You slowly begin to validate your disorder and that of those around you.

So now I’m back in town, still restricting my intake, still occasionally binging, still purging (adding the wonderful vomiting on top of the laxative abuse), still exercising…and once again losing weight. No one said it was an easy battle. My therapist says this happens all the time. She says its just good we caught it early, its good I’m being honest; and do I need to go away to treatment again?

What she doesn’t know is that its so bad I drove to a mall to throw up today because I knew I would be caught out if I did it at home.

Welcome back