The happiest place on Earth with an unwelcomed guest

They say Disneyworld is the happiest place on earth. I have no doubt it is for many people, just not me, at least not my last trip there. My time was hijacked by anorexia and I didn’t have much happiness to speak of at all.

I along with three other girls in our school made it to HOSA nationals which just so happened to be held at Disney. Instead of being elated when I received my medals, I panicked. I barely managed states and now they wanted me to hop on a plane with two other girls and my teacher and fly down to Florida for 5 days? I didn’t think I could do it. My parents threatened to keep me home if I didn’t promise to do better with my eating. Despite the voice within me screaming no, I signed up for the trip. How bad could it really be? Even before we left the airport I knew I had any control over my situation.

Ed took over the entire trip. I had to find the lowest calorie options possible for each meal. When our teacher informed us we must have breakfast each morning, Ed told me grapes were good enough. I had two days of testing at the main resort. I was so low on calories I’m really not sure how I managed to focus during my tests. Except for those few hours in testing, I was constantly exercising. I purposely “explored” as much as I could and made any excuse possible to get up and move. Even when the other girls were resting I found some way to burn more calories. I was constantly obsessed with not gaining weight on vacation though I knew deep down I was actually doing the opposite.

The days we went to the park was way harder than I ever imagined. I started by skipping breakfast and then lunch all while the others thought I had both. I didn’t have close to enough calories to even break even for the day. We walked 10 miles at least and I still felt it wasn’t enough. When it came time for dinner I had a tiny amount of food. I just couldn’t do it. I think at this point the girls and my teacher figured something was wrong. They made some comments which I blatantly ignored and denied.

The whole time I was so miserable. I had little energy and nearly fainted multiple times. I didn’t get to have anywhere near a full experience. I was cold some days even though it was in the 90’s and sunny our whole trip. I put on a huge front for those girls though. None of them could have guessed the internal war I was going through. I put on a fake smile and pushed on through. They just assumed I liked to eat healthy and had a small appetite. In some ways I wish they would have said something because maybe I would have gotten help when I got home instead of waiting until the end of summer. I lost so much weight that week. My mom looked like she was about to cry when she picked me up. Even though she commented on the weight difference, I was able to hide my eating habits while we were up north at the cabin. That trip also brought weight loss.

I look back at Florida and want to cry. I was so sick and I didn’t believe it. I needed help. My dream is to go back to Disney one day but this time not bring Ed. I think I deserve to truly enjoy it and be healthy next time around.

Pows & Wows 12/29

Only a day late this time woohoo!

Pows

  • Foot is still killing me which means no running and makes for a very anxious/moody me
  • Useless appt with Paul this morning
  • Way too many holiday/family/friend dinners the past week

Wows

  • I survived above dinners for the most part
  • Don’t have to see Paul for two months!
  • Christmas Eve service was beautiful
  • Christmas was mostly hard but also good because how can celebrating Jesus’s birth ever be bad
  • Rick&Kim and family are coming over Friday AND I plan on truly challenging myself with the meal
  • Officially less than six months until NTS Camp!!! (yes, I am starting my countdown way early)
  • I have time to decorate my room more this week
  • LILY GOT OUT OF TREATMENT TODAY! I am so proud of my little big sis 🙂

John 10:10

I was flipping through my bible and noticed a verse I marked last summer: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10. I wrote in next to it “Ed= the thief/satan.” I didn’t fully get it back then, not a chance. Now I think I do.

Ed has had one and only one positive impact on my life: weight loss. I thought for so long, and still believe to some extent, that because I was losing weight I could ignore any bad things that came from it. I was wrong.

There are some things this eating disorder stole from me that I will never get back. I have pushed so many friends away, and those relationships are irreparable. All of these things I put my body through have serious consequences, some of which I am still too scared to admit are happening. I put my family through hell. I don’t think it will ever be the same. I have completely ruined more meals in the past few years than I can count. I can’t take that back. I’ve said nasty, horrible things to people who love me that I’m not sure can be forgiven. I don’t think I will ever be able to see my body realistically no matter how hard I try.I have turned down so many different events and fun things because of my fear that food could be involved. My trip to Disney that should ave been the highlight of my year was ruined by Ed. My relationship with God has suffered. I have become a shell of the girl I once was.

Ed/Satan has taken these things and I let him. I still do. I don’t fight like I am supposed to. I am trying, some days at least, to repair what has been broken and replace what is lost. It’s not easy. Not everything will ever be “normal” again. Despite all of the bad thoughts and the fear that I won’t ever be okay again, I still have hope that God can heal me. I will always have to carry these scars and pain around with me but I believe that it can be lightened. I have to, because being here wouldn’t be worth it otherwise. I want to follow Him fully into recovery. That’s the only way it’ll ever get better.

It’s hard looking back on all of this, but also a little empowering. I can’t do this on my own. I’ve tried and it just gets me back on this same path. What this verse is teaching me now is that I need God, more than ever. I am going to embrace Him, not my eating disorder and not anything Enemy tells me. I can’t let any more of my life or future be stolen from me.

Tough.

I had a hard day/night. We went to a friend’s house in another city and I hated it. My mom really tried her best to be accommodating and have some safe foods for me, but all of that was no match for Ed. I absolutely hate eating with people I am not used to. This is an extremely small number. Adding that to the fact that I was already worn out from fighting Ed this week made it a recipe for struggle. I had zero control over that meal. I barely had enough to convince my parents that I wasn’t trying to starve myself. I felt really bad about not trying their food but the guilt of having it would have been too much to handle. I shrank away after the meal and barely spoke the rest of the time. All I could do was think about the calories I consumed and couldn’t get rid of.

I think the main cause of excess Ed thoughts this week, other than the fact that it’s holidays and such, is that I injured my foot last week running. It’s extremely painful to even walk so running or exercise in general is out of the question. Each day gets worse as I become more anxious from lack of burned calories. I’m considering running on it tomorrow because that pan is better than having this mental battle everyday. I also have done a super crappy job of utilizing support. I feel like a burden and especially so since it’s the holidays and all. I simply don’t want to be anyone’s problem.

Tomorrow I’m going to try and at least distract myself for a little while. I have lots of space left on my motivational wall and tons of time to write/draw things out. Having no true plans is really hard for me, but I have to manage. If it gets absolutely unbearable I’ll be forced to contact support but I am absolutely not doing it otherwise. (Yes I know this is bad but oh well.)

Change

So I am terrible with change. I hate it tons, even for things as simple as a haircut. It took me four months to finally get one inch off ha.

I was completely attached to my avatar photo. It’s from on of the best days at FV and I was so happy in it. The thing is, I don’t look quite like that anymore. I have gained weight. At that point I wasn’t anywhere near a healthy weight. I wanted to keep that picture as long as possible but I realized today that it’s like holding on to my disorder. I have changed and this is okay.

The picture I chose isn’t the most recent, but I am at a healthy weight there. It was the week after getting out of treatment. We went on our traditional end-of-summer vacation up north. I felt more at peace with myself and recovery than I had ever. It was an amazing time. It’s a different feeling than the other picture but that’s okay. I am different. I am better than I was. I am recovering.

Change can be good too.

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We survived.

So this my not be your average Christmas Day post, but then again I am not your average person. Like 1 in 4 people in this country, I suffer from mental illness that just so happens to peak in severity during the holidays. Also like 24 million of those 1 in 4, I have an eating disorder. I like to look at those statistics every once in a while. It helps me realize that I am not alone. We are all here, some in recovery, others in the depths of their disorders, all fighting like hell to keep going each day. This season is hard. It’s not quite over yet either.

No matter how today went, whether you won the battle today or not, all of you out there are warriors. You survived today. You did it, we did it. I don’t care what anyone says, because the fact that we are still here living, fighting, beating those demons within us is a huge victory. I really do mean huge.

2014 is almost over. We have spent 359 days this year battling our illnesses on top of everything else life threw at us. There were good days and bad, maybe even times we wanted to give up. The fact that we didn’t is truly a miracle. We’re just six short days from starting a new year. Let’s make 2015 one of resiliency, strength, and refusal to back down. These disorders do not own us and we can continue to overcome them this next year!

The Grinch who stole Christmas Eve

I had a really nice post planned out for tonight. It was going to be full of joy and happiness. Sitting here as I feel right now, I can’t write those words. I am not feeling okay tonight. I’m sorry that this won’t be a great or positive post, but it will be true to how I am doing.

I woke up feeling decent. I was able to down breakfast and relax those first few hours. Just before lunch, however, Ed decided he had other plans. He ruined my Christmas Eve and stole the amazing day from me.

Today was a hard day with food after Ed came into play. I restricted pretty heavily for lunch and dinner. What hurt me even more than that was all of the thoughts racing in my mind. A few months ago, I didn’t think I would be home right now. I was certain I would have been put inpatient. That’s truly where I was headed too. I should be celebrating that fact, and that I have gotten better in a lot of ways, but I’m not. Ed has screamed at me today that because I’m not bad enough to be in a hospital I am huge and worthless. He convinced me that if we saw my aunt this break, she wouldn’t call me “skinny minnie” like last year but would instead stare at all the fat and weight I’ve gained. It’s like all of the sudden I realized all of the food I’ve consumed in recovery and all it’s done to my body. I feel numb and disgusting and appalled.

We went to a beautiful candlelight service at our church tonight. I wish I was more present for it. I tried my best to listen to the verses and songs being sang. I couldn’t bring myself to really sing along or experience any sort of joy. I really hate that Ed ruined it for me. Kim could tell something was wrong, probably from the dead look in my eyes that Ed always gives me, but I didn’t want to worry her.

I want tomorrow to be better but I’m already dreading it. Having family over and the stress that that causes plus being around tons of food really isn’t a good mix for me. I really hope and pray I can somehow have the strength to fight Ed tomorrow, even if it’s just for a little while.