A year ago today, I was checking myself into Remuda Ranch for treatment for my anorexia. These past 365 days have been crazier than I ever thought my life could be.
Every day in treatment I beat myself up. Basically over anything
- waisting my parent’s money being there
- not feeling sick enough to be there compared to the other women there
- not wanting to gain weight
- bartering to make changes to put off weight gain
- sneaking lunges and squats in the bathroom and my bedroom
- planning on what I would do when I got home to lose weight again
When I got back home from treatment on March 27, I was motivated to both recover and to lose the weight that I had gained. All I could focus on was the numbers. I started counting calories again. I demanded to know what my weight was when I went to the doctor for weekly weight checks. Looking back, I was fooling myself into thinking that it would calm my anxiety when in reality it just spun me into a big slip.
Within a month I was losing weight again. I was lying to my parents and my treatment team about sticking with my meal plan and taking my supplements. When I owned up to what I was doing, my mom resolved to take off work indefinitely to monitor me every minute of the day to make sure I stuck with my recovery. This was embarrassing and shameful.
Each month was harder and harder. I wanted to be able to keep my body at the same appearance it was. I didn’t care about what weight I was. I just wanted my body to stay as thin as it was. When the gap between my thighs went away, it was a tragedy to me. When clothes stopped fitting I was depressed. I didn’t want to wear real clothes. I went around in sweats and leggings as often as possible.
I tried to keep in touch with my Remuda friends as much as possible since they were essentially the only friends I had. It became hard, though, because I didn’t want to tell them I was struggling and trigger them or to hear about their struggles when I was doing okay and be triggered by it.
When I started back up at school again, things started to go well again. I was in a good place with my recovery. Yes, I still had body image issues, but eating was going well. I was making new friends and getting closer to ones I had been introduced to when I got out of treatment.
Things felt strange living at home with my parents when I was trying to be a college student. I wanted to move on campus so I inquired and did so within two weeks time. That was a great decision. I made some wonderful friends in Brittany, Lacey and Meghan. I feel so much more in-tune with the college atmosphere. It’s easier to keep up with my friendships. I have had to give up a lot of control, though, eating most of my meals at the dining hall. I can’t count calories. I can’t choose what I want to have for lunch and dinner. I am tempted with desserts every day. I have to exhibit a lot of self-control there and it’s really difficult at times, seeing people eat whatever they want, knowing that my body is just not made that way to be able to handle any amount of food.
I have had some rocky times trying to find a boyfriend, too. I have been completely screwed over. I have beaten myself up wondering what was wrong with me that I couldn’t find a boy to accept me for who I am. Yes, I know that my past can be a scary thing for people to handle, but it has made me who I am today and I needed to tell people that. If someone is not okay with what I’ve been through, that’s not okay with me. I need someone who will be able to support me, to pick me up when I fall, and to just be there to listen when I need to cry. Thankfully I have finally found that person. Javier is one of the greatest people I have ever met. My parents like him. He makes me step out of my comfort zone. He actually tells me to contact him whenever I don’t feel beautiful. He sits me down and makes me talk about things that I don’t want to, things that I don’t even feel comfortable telling my therapist. He is amazing.
For a while I was determined to write a book about my journey, but that is put on hold for some time, maybe even permanently. It’s just too hard to look back in great detail what I have been through. In a sick way, it makes me really miss and long for what I used to be. How thin and malnourished I was. How bleak my life was. I don’t want to go back to that place, so I just can’t write about it. I feel that by not wanting to write this book that I am letting people down, that I am letting myself down. I try to remind myself that I can always write it again when I am actually recovered, not just recovering.
The past week has been one of the toughest weeks of my recovery so far, if not the toughest. I have finally become my worst nightmare. I am 40 pounds over the goal weight that my doctors set for me. When a careless and stupid nurse at my doctor’s office allowed me to see my weight, I had a breakdown. I couldn’t go to class. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to just sit in bed, under the covers, with my lights out for the rest of my life. I didn’t do that though. My friends wouldn’t allow it. Javier wouldn’t allow it. I wouldn’t allow it for their sakes. I am now springing back from that. I am reminding myself that I am seeing my therapist, seeing my dietitian and starting to train with my personal trainer on monday. I just want things to turn around. I know they will. My mom says that I can set a goal of getting down to my goal weight by the end of the semester, and she believes that is going to be attainable. It will take work and self-control, but I know that I have it in me. I may have to dig, but I will find the power. I will do this. I will be better. I won’t be sick. I won’t be back at treatment.