How I’m REALLY Doing

This past week, maybe even a little before that, I have been transported back to Summer 2014. My eating, or lack of, is out of control. I have no energy. The main difference from then to now is the fact that I am 30 pounds heavier than I was.

There are many more differences than just my weight and I will get to them as well. My weight now is allowing me to hide. I don’t look sick. You could put me in a line up with other healthy people and I don’t think I would be picked out as the one with the eating disorder. Now I know size has absolutely nothing to do with how much someone is internally struggling, but in my case it’s the only real symptom I show. My parents never believed I truly had a problem until suddenly my hip bones were clearly visible and I didn’t fit into my clothes anymore. Being at a heavier, normal weight now means that they suspect nothing. Heck, my mom even suggested cutting back or ending therapy which I absolutely still need.

It’s hard to admit, but my eating is out of control. I literally can’t tell you how it happens. One moment I am sitting and doing something else and then my parents leave for a little and I run to make it look like I ate a meal and just throw it all out. In those moments I blank out. I am powerless against the thoughts. Same thing goes with exercise. I start and continue to push, push, push, until I am beyond exhausted and in pain from running. I don’t allow myself to enjoy the run or any food I actually do get in.

It’s hard to actually speak about how little I eat. I don’t realize how bad it is until I see the sad and worried look in Jenny or Kim’s eyes when I am honest. Just today I wanted to cry seeing Kim react. I mean this is more than just restriction. It’s skipping meals and entire food groups. It’s running on the lowest amount of calories and food intake I can bear. Today I had just three bites of sloppy joe after Kim begged me for a good 15 minutes and I felt like exploding. I have moments of clarity like then where I see this is bad but I don’t really want to change.

I am scared. Actually, make that terrified. I owe it to Kim and Livvy and Lily to tell Jenny the truth. She already heard it last Wednesday and told me the next step would be IP at Forest View if I didn’t improve. I don’t want to go back, not now. I really can’t go back. I have five weeks left in this semester and if I don’t finish my parents will kill me. I have to finish, there is no getting around it. Telling Jenny how I have been struggling would mean possibly losing my chance to finish. Although I am in full denial that I’m as bad as she thinks, I can be forced against my will if she believes I need to. I’m also worried that even if I do go to FV again it won’t help. The words of T who was been in and out of treatment for 15 years always remind me how IP is a bandaid to make you stable not to cure you. What if I go and waste more money we don’t have and then I’m not better?

I honestly can’t say what the next few days will bring. Tomorrow school starts again for the week so I at least will have some distraction. I made a promise to Kim to work harder this week. I meet with Paul tomorrow (not looking forward to it one bit) and since it’s also going to be the last time I see him ever I don’t plan on mentioning the restriction at all. Maybe if he asks specifically but I just don’t feel like it. He’ll just give me another “You should consider Forest View” talk which I already got from Jenny. Wednesday I meet with her and I may or may not be truthful. If I can do better with food until then I probably will be. If not then there are no promises. My number one goal right now is to stay in school. Five weeks is all it takes. After that, who knows.

This is not a Pows & Wows

I just honestly don’t feel like doing one right now. Maybe next week or something. What  I DO want to talk about today is my current state.

Jenny said it in session today. I believe it. I’m spiraling downward, and pretty fast. There’s so much going on in my life (Grandpa doing poorly, school, family drama, parents so stressed out they can’t deal with me, etc) and I’ve resorted to a lack of caring about myself. I’m not eating enough. I’m eating even less than I was at some points this summer. I’m hiding everything from everyone. I’m not reaching out to support. I feel really hopeless.

Jenny told me that if I continue she will put me into Forest View. I was angry to hear that. I absolutely cannot go back there right now. If I don’t finish school my parents will kick me out. If I don’t go to Calvin next fall they will kick me out. Failure is not an option. Even if they didn’t have these views I still wouldn’t be willing to go to treatment in the middle of the semester. I am almost done. There’s no way.

I am terrified. I don’t know whether I should just lie and keep going until May or if this could give me a little motivation to do better. I don’t need this fear to add to everything else. I mean yeah I am a tiny bit afraid of getting even worse, but I’m way more afraid that someone is going to find out and/or do something about it.

Apologies for the negativity and if this doesn’t really make sense. It is how it is.

My grandpa is dying.

They don’t know when but tonight in the ER the doctor said they can’t do anything more for him. He has CHF and water gaining and bad O2 levels. I know too much to believe that this will ever get better. Pastor is talking about how he’s going to make him do all these things and get better but I know it won’t. He’s dying and there is absolutely nothing we can do.

This is the first day I’ve ever cried about it. I haven’t seen him so sick. For a while it was like he didn’t even know we were there with him. I want to give up. I want to quit school and go to FV right now. I feel unstable and scared. I just wish things were different.

Chance encounter? I think not.

Before I get to what happened today, I have to add the back-story of what the past month has entailed. Trust me, it shows how much a little thing like today can mean a lot more to someone in a depressive/bad state. My thoughts have been terrible. I am not exaggerating when I say this but they are the worst I can remember (depression wise) ever. I honestly can’t remember ever feeling so bad about myself. Something as small as accidentally bumping into someone or having my mom get irritated at me causes crying spells and a flood of bad thoughts. I can’t find things I like about myself. I don’t have confidence in anything I do. I am paranoid about every friendship I have and feel like a burden constantly. I can’t begin to describe how much I hate my body, the things I do, who I am, and myself in general. I will spare the exact thoughts because to be honest I am too ashamed to share them. I’m sure even without them it’s apparent how I’ve been.

That brings us to today. I have had a really crappy day. I didn’t want to wake up or go to school. I skipped Christian Fellowship because I feel like I’m too broken/bad lately and I don’t deserve to have support or love from them. I had lunch Erin and restricted pretty heavily (while tricking her into thinking I am fine). I’ve missed Forest View so much. I wanted to come home and do more self-destructive things. I was going to until my mom and I happened to go into the grocery store.

A lady from our old old church (who I haven’t talked to in gosh like 5 years?) stopped us as we were passing by. I was kind of confused at first when she started thanking me for sharing my stuff on Facebook. Then she started asking about treatment and I realized she was actually talking about all of my posts for NEDA week. I think the rest of the conversation was spent with my jaw dropped because I couldn’t believe any of it. She told me she knew someone who wasn’t doing well and struggles with an eating disorder. I had nothing but praise to give her about Forest View. I have never talked so openly to basically a stranger about this stuff before. I offered to speak with the person she knew if needed. After thanking my mom and I for our help, we went our separate ways.

I have to admit the conversation didn’t suddenly convince me that I’m a good person or anything, but it brightened my day. I helped someone. Sure it’s in a really indirect way and I may never actually know the results of it, but i did it. I shared my story with hundreds of near strangers. I opened up the opportunity for others to come to me about similar issues. I mad a difference in a tiny way.

I’m still dealing with a ton of thoughts I’d rather not have right now. It’s still a hard day. BUT, I know I would be much worse off if I hadn’t had that short encounter today. God knew that I needed to hear something like that today. It wasn’t chance that we crossed paths. He wanted to show me love someway today because I needed it badly. I am so thankful for that.

Pows & Wows 3/15/15

Pows

  • Took my night meds on accident before our lock-in Friday so I was barely alive for the first two hours. Whoops
  • Tired/achey/crampy/headachy
  • For the third time in about 3 months, I was hit on by a high school freshman… who thought I was 15. Gahhh
  • Technically hasn’t happened yet, but tomorrow is going to be LONG because I’m not bringing or buying any caffeine.
  • I should be used to it but thoughts are bad and obsessive and I am over it

Wows

  • Lunch with Kim Thursday was really good 🙂
  • The lock-in was amazing and I got to hang out with some of my girls and that’s my favorite thing
  • I slept almost 4 hours after I got home at 7:30 in the morning!!!
  • Stayed in my PJs all of Saturday
  • Church was great because: hugs + sermon + worship
  • Tomorrow I start my yoga class at college! I’ve been wanting to get into it for a long time and I definitely will continue after the semester too
  • I feel oddly anxiety-free about our presentation on bulimia for abnormal psych tomorrow night
  • I got to run on the treadmill while watching Netflix and it was so what I needed

Pows & Wows 3/11/15

Way way way late so this may be ginormous.

Pows (I’ll try to do these in order)

  • My grandpa was in the hospital again almost all of last week. I’ve spent more hours there and visiting him at Pastor’s house than my own. It’s hard. He has congestive heart failure. He is dying. I haven’t shed a single tear over this and I don’t get why. I’m really numb. It’s also been family drama and stress to no end. I just want things to be back to normal again and him to be better.
  • School is stress and I am not doing well in my classes
  • Got the rejection letter from Honors Fellows
  • Not much relaxation during break or at all, unfortunately
  • My thoughts have been worse and worse
  • Today in therapy Jenny said the D word (depression) and also is calling Paul. It was really exhausting too.
  • I feel sick. IBS SUCKS.
  • The last few weeks my middle school group has been challenging. It’s hard to want to go every week when most of them act out and don’t even attempt to learn anything. I have a few who truly do though and hope that the others will change. Until then, I have to be the “mean leader” unfortunately.
  • Feeling overwhelmed in general and all the time

Wows

  • I am thankful for my church so much, especially lately. I feel better when I’m there. It’s nice to feel loved even if I don’t deserve it. I also love the fact that I can change people’s lives with what I do.
  • I am trying to be a better friend. I’m not aiming for perfection either which is unlike me.
  • Kim has been amazing. She always is but this week I needed that push and support to get help. I am beyond thankful for our friendship.
  • I told Jenny, Olivia, and Kim what’s been going on. That was hard. I am hopeful good will come from it.
  • Regardless if they know it or not, people around me who say small things out of love are really making me push forward.
  • Comedic relief was reading a case study on bulimia and seeing that this girl was 100% cured and done with therapy after 22 sessions. I would die if that happened.
  • The bulimia study is actually helping me to realize things I never knew about my own eating disorder.
  • Tomorrow is the last day of school for the week. It’s  been a long one but I can relax just a bit after 4:30. Also, way more awesome than the weekend is that Kim and I are doing lunch. It’ll be nice to chat and help each other a little.

What do you mean you’re not beautiful?

Most of my day was spent at the church (not complaining, those are the best days!). I spent the morning in church, headed home for a bite to eat, back to church for pinewood derby car making, home again to have a snack, and finally youth group. It wasn’t until the ride home from youth group that the words in the title of this post truly sunk in.

Before we started building the cars, I was chatting with two of my favorite 5th and 6th grade girls. I’ve let K help me take pictures before so I was giving it to her when she asked for my picture because “I’m beautiful” which I replied with my “heck no/Ed” face (Jenny and Kim know this way too well). K, bless her soul, then asked “What do you mean you’re not beautiful?” At the time I shrugged it off and life moved on. I had no idea how this small moment would affect me just a few hours later.

Currently, Rick is teaching/using videos with Francis Chan’s amazing book “Crazy Love.” I absolutely recommend it to anyone who’s a Christian, wow it’s good. Tonight’s lesson was on what does it mean to have God love us with this “crazy love.” At one point he poses a question about a point in our lives when we truly got what God’s love means. Immediately, I thought of my breakdown at camp a month and a half ago. In that moment I saw how much God must be hurting to see me so sick and at times fighting against Him. Thinking about it now almost brings me to tears, in a good way. I still don’t understand how God could love ME, with my brokenness and scars and faults and baggage. How could I possibly be good enough to be considered His child?

After thinking of the night at camp, I realized how much what K said relates to it. These past few weeks I’ve sunk into a depression. I’ve questioned everything: my value, abilities as a youth leader, academics, and other things I don’t feel comfortable speaking (or blogging) of. Thinking about how God sees me is so much like K’s (and the other kids/girls) view. She loves me. She thinks I’m beautiful. She treats me like I am the best person in the world. Not that she knows anything about my eating disorder or depression and whatnot, but I feel like she would see past those things even if she did. She isn’t the only one though. So many kids at Awana look up to me. I get more hugs than I can count every day. My girls have assured me they love me too. Rick praises me on what I’m doing during youth group Wednesday nights almost every time I see him. Kim no doubt loves me and values our friendship. Mama Joyce always always hugs me. Mrs. Hall always talks about how great of an AP student I was and how I continue to be good to her kids and help her out. The list doesn’t stop at church and this isn’t even everyone at church, but for space and the point of this post, let’s pretend it does 😛

Each of these people mentioned are all showing God’s love to me, I just didn’t realize it before. They don’t care what I’ve done. They aren’t forced to love me or even like me, but they genuinely do. This love is pure and true. I didn’t see that all before. If all of these people, and the creator of the universe love me, how could I be as terrible as these bad thoughts say? Not one of them have ever said anything remotely close to what my thoughts constantly echo: you’re fat, you deserve to die, you’re too broken, no one could ever love you, you will never be enough, you aren’t worth anyone’s praise, perfection or you’re a failure, on and on. Why is it that I still believe these thoughts over everything else that I’ve ever heard? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question but I am going to try and combat it just the same.

Starting today, I am keeping a “Love Journal.” I am going to put all of the nice things people say/text/whatever about me. The first entry will be what K said today. I want this to look back on. Even if I can’t believe them yet, they are much closer to the truth than any self-talk I’ve ever had.