don't worry, this post doesn't sound as bad as it's title...that's just the name of a book i've been reading. i know the name sounds pretty much like an ED book and the book really isn't meant to be that way, but of course that's the way i'm reading it. however, it is actually about obese people and their struggles to loose weight. ya, i probably shouldn't be reading it. but anyway, i'm about halfway through and i've found some pretty interesting quotes that i think are important to think about when us people with EDs judge our self worth and live our lives according to a number on the scale or the foods we eat and their contents. and, come to find out, there are a lot of struggles that people who are overweight go through that are similar to the ones people with EDs struggle with. i just wanted to bring this book up because as i continue to read i keep folding over pages, marking the places i want to go back to so that i can find the passages i think are valuable to all who struggle with body image=self worth. so sometime in the near future i'll have a post with all these passages in it.
in my last post i talked about an interview i was going to do with my psychiatrist from treatment at harvard med school. i was suprisingly not as nervous as i thought i would be. i listened to her lecture about EDs, which i basically knew all the information in since i do have an ED and then at the end of that it was my turn. i was in a ampitheater, so the semi circle, of steep, staggard seats filled with brilliant medical students was a bit intimidating to say the least. AND to top it all off, i had to wear one of those little clip on microphones just to ensure (ha, i will never say or write that word without thinking about the "nutritional suppliment") that all could hear me. i just kept reassuring myself that the students genuinely wanted to hear me speak and learn from me and that they were in no way going to judge me for anything. dr.d sat right next to me and i basically looked at her for most of the interview so it eventually felt like we were meeting in her office just discussing the normal things we do. i became comfortable quickly and the experience became enjoyable.
after a while the floor was then opened up to the students to ask me some questions. i didn't exactly know that that was part of what i signed up for but i figured i could handle it at that point. i wasn't so comfortable with having command of who could ask me the next question and pointing them out, but i managed. after this was over my job was done. dr.d and some other guy who was running the whol shindig said i did a great job, which felt good to hear. i was getting ready to leave and a couple students asked if i would mind them asking me some more questions. i agreed so i spend about another 20 minutes doing that. AND to top it all off, the students got me a thank you card AND a starbucks gift card. how did they know people with EDs LOVE coffee?
overall it was a great experience, one that i didn't think i would enjoy so much. i really do feel like if i'm going to have such a shitty illness then why not at least help educate those who could potentially treat people with EDs and help them understand the complexitites and the actual thinking of people with EDs. and as a sidenote, my friend who is back in treatment :( was talking to dr. d in her meeting and as dr. d likes to do, she was asking who she was close with in treatment last time and she said my name and she said how i told her i was doing an interview with her that week to which dr. d responded that i was less nervous than her and that i performed brilliantly. i feel like i'm boasting but it just feels really nice to get such praise and complements and to know that maybe i actually did help the students understand more about this illness. of course the cynic in me is still struggling with trying to accept this feedback, but i'm trying to ignore that voice and take the feedback for what it is.
but, on the ED front. i'm really not doing well at all. i can feel it getting really strong, like heading in the direction of how it was in the summer. when i got out of treatment last time exercise was fairly easy to cut down on. this time, i've been out for 10 days and have exercised 7 of those days and recently 4 days in a row. i know that once i start this spiral it really can't be stopped. missing one day now would cause me to not be able to think about anything else for the whole day. exercise has once again become a way for me to justify while i still eat (barely). the only good thing is that i'm still doing considerablly less exercise than i was doing in the summer as far as time goes, but even this i know won't last long as today i increased by five minutes and i know the increases will just keep compounding. this is bad and i know it won't lead to anything good. i have also gone to the grocery store (sometimes two different ones in one day) everyday for the past 4 days, not to mention the other days i did it since i've been home. i go down the isles, with no intention of buying anything, and look at the nutrition facts of various foods. some to see what i might consider eating and others just to confirm why i don't eat those foods. it's bad.
i have quite the dilemma at hand because yesterday at my dr's appt, i asked at what weight he would force me to go back in to tx and it was not a weight that i expected. however, if my vitals start to get shitty, then that'll get me back in sooner. i've been blacking out when i stand up so i know things are not good. yesterday my heart rate jumped up 10 points and my bp when down when i stood up. still, that doesn't reach the criteria for being orthostatic, but i know it's coming. anyway, the dilemma. i want to go to school in janurary, but, with how i'm doing, and judging by the direction i'm heading in, things are not looking so good. my doc said he was fine with me going to school and that he would do everything in his power to keep me in school once there, but i'm worried that i might not even make it to school. my next appt is the 21st and i will most likely be at that weight that he'll want me back in treatment. so you say, then just eat more and stop going to the gym, but if it were that simple, then i'd be recovered and clearly i'm not. i can't just go over my daily calorie intact that i have established and feel ok about it. even one calorie over and i feel disgusted with myself and feel compelled to restrict the next day and exercise more to make up for it. so there in lies the dilemma, oh, not to mention i might have a job in the next few days and that'll only mean i'll be more active which means quicker weight loss making my goal of going to school seem even more impossilbe.
there are ways to sort of work the system, as far as weight goes, which i do employ, so that'll by me more time. but as i loose more weight more drastic measures will be needed and that deception can only get me so far because believe it or not, weight loss becomes noticable and when the number on the scale doesn't compute with appearance, a doctor is generally smart enough to know that something fishy (ha, the name of a site about EDs) is going on. but even more telling are my vitals and bloodwork which are the things most affected by malnutrition, so even if my doctor gives me the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the number on the scale, there will be no denying what my vitals and blood work say. of course there are ways to manipulate this too, but i'm not so sure it'll work out so well.
so breifly, i've got some shit to work out. yes i want to go to school, but badly enough to eat more? at this point i'm pretty sure that the answer to that is a no. do i want to go back to treatment yet again? no. do i want to stay out of treatment buy doing the one thing that will up my odds of staying out (eating)? the answer to that question is not a definite no, but almost.
i hope no one else in the world gets and ED. it really does ruin lives and makes everything that used to be important, unimportant. school used to be the most important thing to me, and now my ED is so important that i might just not go back to school so i can be very activly engaged in my ED. recovery does not seem an option at all right now, and by acknowledging that, i also need to acknowledge that that closes a lot of doors for me. i still have the distorted thought that all things are possible with a severe ED. i do doubt it more than i used to but i still think i'm fairly capable of doing many of the things that were once important to me and still have my ED, at least holding a job and going to school. other things may suffer, such as my social life, but i'm not so sure how much that actually matters to me now too. my life has changed dramatically and so have i.
EDIT: i just remembered some thing funny i had to say. so when i was at my therapist's office on friday she said to me "you look like you're having trouble eating." i replied with "ya" but what i really wanted to say was "of course i'm having trouble eating; i'm anorexic!"