One week later (What I have learned)
Contributor
Written by
Angela E. Gambrel
September 2010
Contributor
Written by
Angela E. Gambrel
September 2010
It feels like it has been forever. David has been gone for one week. It hurts like hell. I miss him so much . . . I live between hope and despair. Hope that we will get back together. Despair that we won't. And an all-pervasive anger at anorexia and what it has done to me and David, my friends and family, my very soul. I have raged and cried every day this week. It hits me at the weirdest moments, sometimes at night as I lay in my bed alone, sometimes during the afternoon after I have been feeling strong and hopeful all day. The sudden realization that he is not here and I have to do this alone. I miss everything about him; his smile, his enthusiasm for interesting projects and the world around him, his gentle arms around me and holding me, his wild graying hair that is all over the place . . . everything. We have talked a lot and seen each other a few times during the past week. I sometimes ache to hear his voice, and call just to touch base. I feel like I am being weak during those times, but as I said before, I will not be ashamed for loving someone and wanting to reach out to that person. I have learned much about myself these past weeks. I am emotional and cry at the oddest moments. I can still feel joy, such as when I was driving to class and singing "God of Wonders" with the music full blast and the sun roof open. I sometimes panic, but usually am able to stave off that feeling. I can reach out to someone else in need and give her hope, not thinking about myself and the pain I feel. I have wonderful friends who have spent hours listening to me, and a very gentle therapist who has talked with me pretty much every day since David left. Dr. S keeps telling me I can do this, and first and foremost I need to become healthy to rediscover and find myself. He insists that I am more than my weight and body size; that I am so much more and that I can return to full life. I have learned I want to live, live fully. I don't ever again want that life of purgatory, between living and existing, that I have had for almost four years with anorexia. I have found out I am strong and I can fight the eating disorder voice and win. I have not missed one meal nor one Ensure Plus all week. Even when I'm not hungry. Even when the grief threatens to double me over in pain. Even when it is late and it would be easier to skip the Ensure Plus "just this once." There is no skipping Ensure Plus or meals no matter what; skipping become sliding too easily for me. We have talked often and always say, "I love you" at the end of the conversation. We have seen each other a few times, and I can tell he misses me (and I know I miss him) by our interactions. I sense he is lonely and a bit lost, and not sure what to do. Right now it's "wait and see," and that doesn't really feel very comfortable, but that is where he is at and I need to respect that. I also know he is afraid to hope. He is afraid to believe this time I will stay well and not again be lured by anorexia. I understand his fears and why he has them. It has been a long four years, so he needs to see that I will get healthy and stay healthy. I have also always been afraid to really hope I would get better during other times in the past. But I hit rock bottom. I can go no lower. My only choices are to climb up and really live or die. I have learned many things this week. That weight doesn't matter and being thin is unimportant. That counting calories and obsessing over every bite is the biggest waste of time. I can't believe how much time I've wasted on anorexia. But I also have learned that regretting doesn't do anything. I know this time I am going to recover and stay well. I feel it in my heart. All doubts are gone. God has transformed me and is leading this recovery. I can't go back. I must move forward. I have to do this, first for myself and then . . . then, hopefully we can be together again and move forward toward the beautiful life I know we can have and that we have been dreaming about, and talking about, even this week. I have learned how very much I love David. I just pray it isn't too late.

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