Alice all over again.

Well it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here
In the big wheels where they keep on turning
They don’t slow down they just keep on learning

Well my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Alice by Lisa Mitchell has been one of my all-time favorite songs since the summer of FV round one (so 3 years). It describes how I’ve felt during many transitions, both good and bad. You can read my post from last fall here.

Once again, I am listening to this song at least 5 times a day (10 times writing this post, oops). I have quickly managed to fall back into the pit that is anorexia. It’s so startling. Sometimes I do feel like I woke up and poof full-blown Ed thoughts and behaviors. This isn’t exactly true, but it’s why I relate so much to the lines “well it feels like I have just woke up in a world where down is up and up is a long way from here.”

A multitude of changes have occurred in a relatively short amount of time. I went from doing nearly 100% of my meal plan in the summer to 1/2 of the reduced meal plan. I’m not always having 3 meals per day. Honestly, I know this is a bad sign. My mind is occupied by disordered thinking all of the time. I lie about anything and everything, mainly as a way to keep my parents out of the loop. Slowly, I lose control of my life by handing it over to my eating disorder.

Down the rabbit hole I go once again… but this time, it’s tempting. I know what I’m getting myself into since I’ve been here before. I have dealt with my problems through restriction, exercise, self-hatred, body checking, etc for years. In that way, embracing Ed thoughts feels much more comfortable. In a disordered way I feel at home. Anorexia is home. How messed up is that?

No matter how stuck I feel, I am not a permanent resident, or at least I don’t have to become one. I do have the power to turn around and climb back out. The Ed thoughts are strong, very strong; however, there is the healthy me still there. She is reaching out, seeking more treatment, and fighting every single day.

I am not alone. My treatment team, although all are new, will be here to bring me up. I have the option for more intensive options if I feel unable to handle this on my own. The few amazing supports I have will always be there. I am not alone even though it seems that way.

I have to decide: is it worse/scarier seeing how I’ve slipped into relapse, or is this false comfort and hope anorexia gives me enough to continue this downward spiral?

 

Right now I feel like Alice and I don’t have to accept this new reality when I am able to turn it around and come out of this stronger.

 

Sometimes I feel like Alice…

Sometimes I feel like Alice
In a wonderland chasing rabbits
Cheshire cats and mad hatters
A better world well it don’t really matter

Well day breaks and life is as dark as the room
The air is laced with sweet perfume
What is it about morning light
That makes everything feel alright

Alright

Well it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here
In the big wheels where they keep on turning
They don’t slow down they just keep on learning

Well my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Sometimes I feel Alice
In the Queen’s alluring palace
Got the playing cards on my track
Like a twisted game of blackjack

Because it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here
In the big wheels where they keep on turning
They don’t slow down they just keep on learning

Well my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Well sometimes I feel like Alice

Oh my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

No my name’s not Alice but I know how she felt
When her world started turning into something else

Well it feels like I have just woke up
In a world where down is up
And up is a long way from here…

Lisa Mitchell – “Alice”


If you ever wondered what song I listened to at least 10 times a day (no exaggeration!) last year this time, your answer would be “Alice” by Lisa Mitchell. I played it a few times on the ~45 minute ride to FV each morning and again on the way back, when I got home, basically constantly. I was obsessed. I felt there couldn’t be a song that better captured how I felt about being pushed into the new world that is eating disorder treatment. I still believe it accurately described my feelings at the time, but I now have hit a new point in my life that encompasses the song even more: my college transition.

My life is turning upside down. I am moving out of my home I’ve lived in for 17 years. I’ll be at a college where I’ve made one friend so far (who may decide not to talk to me next fall anyways). I am getting a new therapist who I haven’t even met. I most likely will acquire a dietitian, psychiatrist, and MD once I arrive at Calvin, none of which have really been a part of my treatment before. I will be eating in a cafeteria with hundreds of people surrounding me instead of the three max I have now. My college classes will be way more challenging academically than community was. I have to be an adult and do everything for myself. I will be 35 miles away from my family. My faith will be stretched.

Life for me is about to be change in countless ways. They aren’t all bad or anything, but I still fear the future something fierce. There are so many unknowns and its scary. I never thought I’d reach a time where something would be harder and more terrifying than treatment, but this next transition is. I am going down a rabbit hole, just like Alice. I don’t have a clue what lies ahead. I won’t know until I’m experiencing and (hopefully) working through this next year. What makes this hard than treatment is that there aren’t fixed rules on how things can and can’t go. If I didn’t finish a meal, I would be offered an ensure. Too many failed meals and ensures? Off to inpatient I’d go. Put one thing in and I could easily predict the outcome.

There are so many more variables in college. What if I mix together feeling alone with bad grades and stress? Would I go into relapse, have a breakdown, or maybe continue as normal? What if something worse happens? There are too many “what ifs.” I know, because I’ve been attempting to go through each and every one in my mind. Maybe that’s part of my problem.

The one possibility I don’t give much thought, though, is what if I am able to take this upside-down-turned world and make it okay, even good? What if this next season of my life, however difficult and scary, is going to change me into the person I’m meant to be? What if all of this, the uncertainty and pain and fear included, is a part of God’s glorious plan for my life? What if?

Regardless of what anything in the fall will hold, I’m going to keep having this song on repeat. Maybe it’ll remind me that my world and life could use some more turning around, just as i needed FV.