Here we go again . . . (anorexia or me)
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Written by
Angela E. Gambrel
August 2010
Contributor
How many times can I screw this up??? I've been in Beaumont Hospital seven times (gee, have they named a wing after me yet???), have had a TPN and a NG feeding tube and left the River Centre Clinic in June after six weeks of treatment for anorexia nervosa. How many times can I screw this up??? My doctor wants me to go into the hospital. AGAIN. I was just there in February. That was supposed to turn things around. It didn't. Then I went to the River Centre Clinic for treatment. That was supposed to be the start of my "journey of recovery." It wasn't. How many chances do I have left, anyway??? I told him I would think about it. That I felt just fine. That I wasn't sick enough to need the hospital. That I didn't want to go. I have too much to do. I hate giving up my freedom. Then my real fear — it won't do any good, anyway. I know what I have to do. I have to eat. And I have to eat a lot to gain at least ten pounds. I had to eat 2,900 calories while at the RCC to gain about one pound per week. So why am I so afraid of food? I have to eat real foods with fats and carbohydrates and calories. I have to drink at least two Ensures daily because I've never been able to sustain eating that many calories. (I am still feel full from today's intake - about 500 calories.) I'm doing it all over again. Counting calories. Cutting back. Rejoicing with each pound lost. Planning to lose more. The only thing different is that I am angry at myself for doing this. Angry that this has controlled me yet again. Angry that I feel trapped by anorexia. Is the key inside me? Will I be the person who saves my own life? And what are my reasons for living? That is what it comes down to. I need to find reasons to live. This can't go on indefinitely. Eventually something in my body or mind will break, destroyed by anorexia. I have asked myself many times lately ... What needs does anorexia serve? Why is it so hard to let go of this illness? How do I find my way out? There will be no brave knight on a fast horse, scooping me up and taking me away to The Land of No Anorexia. There isn't a fairy princess who can wave a magic wand and instantly cure me. There are no spells or potions or secrets that will take it away. I will have to eat. Eat when it hurts. Eat when it is uncomfortable. Eat many times a day. Eat until I'm sick of food. I will feel bloated. And fat. My face will probably break out. I will have night sweats from refeeding. I will hate my body as the pounds come back on. And I probably won't always be a very nice person during the process. I will complain to my husband and fight with myself in my head a million times a day. I will want to stop after the one millionth diet ad that comes across my Facebook page or in my e-mail. I will feel like a freak because everyone else seems to be working on eating healthy and losing weight. It will be last year all over again. I cried each day. Many times I wanted to die. Sometimes I thought about killing myself. Then I drank another Ensure. I knew it was the only way out . . . I can do it at home or jump-start it at the hospital. No one else is going to be able to do it for me. I will have to make a decision. Save myself or else live with anorexia until ... I will lose everything before anorexia actually kills me. That's what will happen. This will drag on for twenty or more years. I will be 65 and getting ready to go to yet another treatment center. Alone. Is this what I really want for my life? NO! I want the life I have dreamed of for so long — a loving relationship with my husband, good friends and a meaningful career and life. I don't want anorexia to be my defining trait. I do not want this on my gravestone or in my obituary: She died of complications from anorexia. But hey, she was thin. The end.

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