Temporarily Done!

Ten weeks ago I placed a request for some magic dust. I needed the help from someone divine to get me through to the end of the semester. My magic dust arrived in the form of my youngest son. He seemed to know all the right words to say at the time I needed to hear them most. My son knows me and he knows my heart.

During one of our intense conversations, there was a moment of silence…”Are you still there?” I asked. Michael then made a comment which I will never forget. “Mom, I don’t think I’ve heard you say one positive thing about this class since it started.” He wasn’t afraid to tell me that I had best change my attitude or quitting would be my only option.

I can say that I hung up the phone, tucked my tail between my legs and retreated to my dark bedroom to try to muddle through my attitude. I really didn’t like who I had become. I had nothing inside my mind but the horrifying realities that before too long I’d be tested again on things that just don’t come easy to me. Six classes, all expecting more out of a person than it may seem possible at times. Yet, somehow I managed to do it.

Three Saturdays ago, I sat down to compose a research essay. I took the entire day and did my best. I had to include references and quotes from others. It’s not the kind of writing I enjoy. Sunday morning arrived and I was about to put the finishing touches on the last couple pages. I turned my head to the left, looking for my notes, then turned back to my computer which was suddenly a blank screen. The small words written in the center inside of a box read, “pages has unexpectedly quit”… Due to a malfunction in  a computer program, I’d lost a full days work. My heart sank inside to the bottom of my bowels, I screamed a wretched scream that seemed to come from somewhere in another universe. Choking on each word I tried to type, I spent all day Sunday rewriting my once nearly finished essay, and therefore, was forced to put all other studies on the back burner.

The week started out with a swift slap in my face, and continued through to the end without losing a beat. By the weekend I had experienced a tire blow out, and, I was also locked out of my own home. I had to crawl through the attic via the garage, find the trap door in one of the closets inside the house, then maneuver my fifty year old frame down the nine foot drop to the floor without breaking a bone in the process.

Two weeks were left of the semester, and more studying than I knew what to do with. My son and his beautiful Bride stayed with me the night before Mothers day. I was up early studying for my final A&P exam I was to take on Monday morning. Tears continued to fall and I continued to try to concentrate on the insane amount of information I was to be tested on. Mid morning Michael walked past the living room where I sat with my open book. “Good morning…Happy Mothers Day…what’s wrong?”

“I think I’m having a nervous breakdown.”  He walked up to me, gave me a warm and inviting hug, and he said, “Put that book down.” He convinced me that I did not need to pressure myself as much I do. “A”,”B”, and “C”, are only check points. They mean only what you want them to mean.

We spent the afternoon together; we went to Fleet Farm and I purchased forty-eight bags of top soil to fill in sink spots in my yard. He took me to lunch to a nice restaurant, we laughed and I was in seventh heaven. Later on that day I received a call from my oldest boy who was in transit from Florida to Minnesota. I thank God for my boys. Spending quality time with them is actually more therapeutic to me than anything one could ever pay for from a professional in the medical field, if you know what I mean.

Monday morning came, I sat down in the same spot I’d claimed as my own since day one of the semester. With only a pencil in hand, I began to feel the pressure. It was go time, and I did my best using my power of elimination for most of the exam.  I looked over the exam only once after I’d filled in all my chosen answers. I changed nothing, and I reluctantly placed it on the desk at the front of the classroom. I never looked at the instructor, my chin sank to the “superior” portion of my chest. I was done. I was thoroughly and utterly finished, spent, and positive I had failed the exam.

I earned a C, I made it. When all was said and done I had somehow, by the grace of God, earned the final grade of “B” in the hardest class I’d ever taken in my life. I worked harder for that “B”, and lost more sleep over that “B”, and spent more time than humanly possible worrying about that “B”, than anything else…ever. Funny thing, For seventeen weeks that “B” kept me more captivated than my eating disorder.  That damn “B” almost caused me to lose my mind, but it also gave me something to be proud of.

Throughout the semester, I stumbled several times with ED. I stumbled and I cried, and I felt more failure than I have ever felt in a way that I have never experienced before. Yet somehow, someway, I have now come to the conclusion that I am far more capable of attaining a bench mark than I ever knew possible. As far as I can tell, ED will always be there in the shadow of my accomplishments. But I can also say with a gust of fresh air from deep within my soul, that ED will not gain control of the power over the rest of my days.

I am woman, hear me roar…

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Please Send Me Some Magic Dust…

There are nine weeks left. That means that I have sixty-three more days to try to keep myself from sinking inside my own head.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, the last hour of my Composition class before Spring Break would begin. I was dog tired as I sat alone at the far left side of the classroom, all the rest of the students spread out into the other areas. I sat patiently listening to the instructor while my eye lids became heavier with each breath. My entire week of respite was already reserved for studying for my second Anatomy & Physiology exam which I was to take the Monday upon return from our little vacation from school.

For the past eight weeks I’d been busy trying to juggle six classes and thirty plus hours each week of the PM shift. My time was not my own and it was starting to take it’s toll. I’d finished my research essay on time management, I’d kept up with all the online assignments and weekly tests and quizes… I needed a week off from classes, but what I didn’t need was more homework. I sat expressionless as I heard him assign the first fifty-eight pages of a small novel. There would also be a quiz which I would have to take before classes resummed on the 18th of March. I’d already checked the website and found more assignments for my A & P class, I felt myself filling up with anxiety from every aspect. The seconds ticked away and with each one I felt myself exploding from the inner most part of my core. There was nothing I could do about any of it.  So much for vacation…

I left the classroom and headed for my car parked in a frozen ice laiden, snow covered lot. I started the engine and let out a pletheral of pent up frustration in the form of a scream. Holding onto the steering wheel, I white knuckled it all the way through town, manageing to hit each and every red light. I was going to be late for work…The pressure inside my mind was ravenous. I have never in my life felt so much stress nor have I ever wanted to end it all the way I did that afternoon.

I will get through this, and on top of all the homework, I will continue to try and keep the snow from blocking me into my own garage. I highly doubt if I’ve ever shoveled more snow than I have throughout these past few months. As I shovel, I let out my aggressions. I brought it all on myself, I did it to me, no one else is responsible for what my life has become. I’m still trying so hard to learn how to live alone and not let my eating disorder take control of what I have left. Yet, in the past few months I’ve fallen so blatently flat on my face. I am having a difficult time trying to reload my ammunition to fend off the little bastard, but each day I wake up and see that God has given me another chance, I feel like I should try a little harder. Two steps forward, three back..three steps forward, two back…I need a small envelope of magic dust. I need to sprinkle it onto the ground before my feet so it will lead me into the right direction.

In the past I’ve tried to keep myself busy in order to fend off the enemy, yet I’ve come to know that being busier doesn’t keep the eating disorder from moving in on my mind. As a matter of fact, I’m begining to realize the busier I am,  the harder ED works on trying to find her comfort zone inside my busy little world.  I’ve been given all the necessary tools to help me through the chaos of ED. I’ve come so far. I will try harder, and I will give myself a hug.

There will be a day in my future when I will be in harmony with myself as never before. Then I will rest.

Empty

I look out my picture window and witness the world moving outside. I see cars in the near distance making headway to and from their next and last destination. I walk through my home from one end to the other looking for something to keep me occupied, yet I have no desire to accomplish anything at the moment. My neighbors come and go frequently, why are they always on the go? For the past four months I have been buried in my textbooks, up to my elbows in homework, and trying my best to do a good job at work. Now after the rush of the Holiday season, my life has come to a stand still…I’m having a difficult time trying to keep myself grounded.

Since the winter break, I’ve organized my basement. I set up my sewing machine, and I also created a space for painting. Today I purchased two 24×36 inch canvases so I could put my creative mind into gear. Suddenly the fear of failure came over me like a swath of locust. There seems to be a hole inside my heart that I cannot put my finger on. I’m empty. I’m lost in my own mind, trying to figure out how to get through the rest of the winter without relying on someone to keep me happy. I have never felt so completely alone.

For decades I’ve lived a lie. I’ve hidden my eating disorder from those who know me best. I’ve danced around the truth to myself about who I am and what I do to myself when no one is watching. At times, I just want to go back to Melrose Institute so someone else can keep me in line and I don’t have to do it by myself. I lay in bed unable to turn off my mind, yet all I want to do during the daylight hours is shut my eyes and sleep the minutes away. My appetite is disappearing along with my ambition.

When I think of going into the second semester of my college education I can barely tolerate the idea. I know how difficult the past four months were, and I am well aware that my upcoming classes are even more challenging than the last. I managed to pull off “A’s” and “B’s”, but will I be able to maintain that GPA? Maybe it’s the anticipation that’s killing me right now. Maybe once I get the ball rolling again my thoughts of self defeat will pass. I’m scared and I don’t want to fail… My past has proven to me that even with the shoulders of someone else to lean on, I’ve failed in so many different areas of my life. I’ve relied on someone else to keep me standing, however; I’ve still managed to fall on my face. This epiphany only tells me that in order for me to get through the gray areas of this thing called my life, I have only myself to count on; I am going to have to trust myself and my own decisions. Maybe I need a day or two to do nothing but watch the cars come and go on the other side of my picture window. Maybe I need to get to know the real me in my downtime, and what I’m like when I refuse to let ED destroy my day.

Calgon…take me away.

Focus On My True Purpose In Life

As I pushed the wheel chair down the corridor, he stretched his left hand over his shoulder and placed it on top of my right hand. We had been introduced earlier that same morning. It was just past 1:00pm after the noon meal when I strolled him back to his room, the one which he shared with his wife of forty some odd years.

Upon the arrival of our destination, he looked at me and took hold of my right forearm with both of his hands. He proceeded to thank me for being so kind, and then he kissed the back of my hand. In doing so, the tremors took over and he slightly shook uncontrollably. I helped him transfer from the wheel chair to his bed, as now it was time for rest.

I couldn’t help myself, I walked out of his room and tears began to well up in my eyes. Never in my life have I felt so alone with myself, yet all in the same breath, so needed by someone who didn’t know me from Adam.

Weeks past, and the more familiar I became with Archie, the more my heart opened up to him in his hours of need. He never seemed to remember my real name, although I appeared to him to be someone he admired throughout some period of his life. He’d press his call button several times during the midnight hours. I’d check on him, knowing each time I entered the room would be the same as the last. Archie would take hold of my right arm with his shaky grasp. He’d tell me that I was his sweetheart, and he would do anything for me that he could to make me happy. I’d sit with him for as long as I was able, then I’d tell him I’d be back momentarily to check on him.

“How long before you come back?” he’d say.

“I’ll be back in about a half hour, you close your eyes and try to get some rest.”

“Do you promise you’ll be back?”

“Yes, I promise, I’ll be back, now you sleep like a baby, goodnight sweety.”

There was something about Archie that gave me a feeling of peace. Even though he didn’t have a clue who I was, he seemed to need me, and I felt comfort in attending to his emotional needs. In a sense, he too, was attending to mine.

Throughout my life, I’ve isolated myself from so many people because of my affair with an eating disorder. Now I’ve come to a final crossroad that is taking my life down a different path. I am trying so pitifully hard to figure out a daily routine to keep me on the straight and narrow. I’m losing weight but I’m still gaining ground in recovery. I know this, because I know in my mind that my thoughts are changing. In the past when I’ve experienced this much depression, I’ve come completely unglued in both starving myself, and using bulimic behaviors. Even though it’s been difficult for me to eat, I’m still pushing myself to feed myself. I count that as progress.

In many ways, I feel just like Archie. I’m afraid, I’m lonesome, and I don’t know what is to come of my future. Having my office set up has been a blessing in disguise. I can no longer have the excuse to delay my time set aside for writing. I’ve procrastinated finishing my book; I’ve procrastinated writing down my thoughts, and I’ve suffered the consequences because of it. Writing is a wonderful release for me. It puts things in perspective and I can clearly see where I lack confidence and what I have to work on in the moment. At this point, I know my lonesome heart is in need of nourishment. I’ve been looking in the wrong places, and finding more sadness with every step I take.

Last night I sat at Archies’ side. As he rested on the recliner, he held onto my hand and continued to tell me how much he cared for me. As his hands trembled, he reached up to caress my face.

“Oh please sweetheart, sing to me.” He said.

I began to sing softly into his ear, “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…”

I would sing a line, and Archie would sing back the same words. When we finished with the verse, he begged me to sing to him again…then he cried as he held tightly onto both my hands. He needed me, and I needed him. It was a beautiful moment I will never forget.

Feeling The Loss

My heart seems to go into hibernation for a split second. It’s as if I have a mini heart attack, momentarily, quick and short. My mind takes me to a place that I don’t want to go, yet the urges to roam into that direction are far too strong to ignore. The reality of what my life has become is too much to bear at times. I feel the pressures of paying bills that seem to arise when I least want or expect them; the ones that pop up out of nowhere when something goes wrong with the remodel plan making it impossible to bypass.

It’s been close to three months since I left my husband and my home. At this point I know my reconciliation with him is only another dream which will never come true. The process has been draining, although it’s been an experience I’ll never forget. I chose the right contractor for the job and have been able to develop a solid friendship with him who is soon to be my son’s Father-in-Law.

They’ve been my only companions for the past several weeks. They start the day with a friendly hello, and continue on with the task at hand. Now that the end is near, I sit here in a beautifully remodeled home…alone, with absolutely no one to share it with.

My lonesome soul is aching for human touch. I’ve never in my life felt so completely alone. I’ve even longed to be back at Melrose Institute for the pure satisfaction of being with people who understand me, and people who will take care of me.

Eleven pounds have melted off my body since the day I moved in. Food is no longer a staple in my daily routine. I tend to eat my scrambled eggs with cheese, or a simple  smoked chicken, deli style, on wheat bread. My freezer is full of the foods I planned on preparing for myself. I had good intentions of freezing individual portions of roast beef and potatoes, roast chicken, spaghetti, and the like. After my first attempt at a home-made dinner of Lasagna, I managed to rid the first portion the old-fashioned way, undigested, and flushed. The remainder made its way into the garbage can, so I was not tempted to do it again. I stumbled, and once more I’ve become afraid of my kitchen.

I need help, and I don’t know where to turn. The pressures of being alone are weighing heavily on my mind. The dark place is gaining ground and I am fighting with all my guns loaded to fend it off. Dear God, please don’t give me more than I’m able to handle.

Bigger And Brighter Days Ahead

A few days ago I was in a hurry to leave my house when I accidentally dropped my new Smart Phone face down on my ceramic tile floor near the garage door… As I knelt down to pick it up, I found the face of the phone shattered into a million pieces.  How on earth was I supposed to survive without my phone in working order? Needless to say, a quick trip to the Sprint store was my first stop. Today I experienced the pleasures of  my  little disaster. Unlike my old Smart Phone, with an alarm which caused me to jump to my feet out of a dead sleep, in turn causing my heart rate to catapult into a near cardiac arrest, I was now peacefully awakened by the soft sound of a beautiful melody from my new alarm app… It started out quiet and slow, then  began to crescendo ever so slightly to wake me from my slumber.

I’d set my alarm to be sure I was awake in time to get ready for my last therapy appointment at Melrose Institute. Yes, my last “scheduled” therapy appointment.  If I refuse to give the eating disorder the respect it needs, I’m sure to set myself up for failure. Therefore, I have to remember the power it possesses over me, that of which I’m not able to resist at times when I’m weak. I say my last “scheduled” appointment, leaving the door open for future needs, should I find I’ve forgotten EDs’ powerful persuasion.

My therapist and I talked about the day I arrived and the state of mind I was in at the time. I listened to him praise me for my efforts to shut down the behaviors I’d trained myself to live with for the better part of my life. I listened to him tell me how he witnessed how I’d managed to recover from the ups and downs of life’s highs and lows which continued to play a large part in my months spent in treatment. As I listened, I felt somewhat proud of my efforts…proud and at peace with myself for the first time in many, many years.

I recalled to him out loud, as I walked through the process of my stay at Melrose. I reminisced how it began all over again with my obsession for treading water…My semi-recovery from the last treatment program became interrupted. I was caught up in exercising to lose weight, not for the benefit of my health, big difference. My obsession for treading water, again, took control of my eating habits. I failed to support my caloric intake with regards as to how much I burned off in the water. My body was a shrinking shrine to the likes of anorexic thoughts and behaviors. I was falling into a trap which would have held me captive through to the end of my life at the rate I was going. Once more, I had been in denial, and refused to look at what I was doing as unhealthy. I was in the arms of anorexia and loving every minute of it.

That November day, the day before Thanksgiving, I was mad as a hornet. I wanted no part of seeing anyone who would try to get me to feed my face. I wanted no part of going to a treatment center where I’d no longer be in charge of what I placed into my mouth. I’d been hijacked, brought in to visit my therapist against my wishes, whom I hadn’t seen for several months, and had no intention to visit again anytime soon. My therapist was persuasive enough to make me realize at that time, how important it was for me to surrender to inpatient treatment at Melrose, if they were so kind to accept me. There was an opening and with reluctance inside my core, I agreed to give it a chance.

Melrose did admit me. I remembered in detail, how I would make my way into the dining room at the treatment center and find myself scared to death as to what was on my appointed tray before me to consume. Every time I sat down to eat, I cried out of fear, going against everything I’d believed in, everything I’d programmed myself to trust. Tears came to me as I picked up the knife and fork to slowly begin to shovel it into my mouth to make its way down to my stomach… I had to refrain from ridding the forbidden food from my body, enduring the agony of fullness and the fear of becoming obese in what I believed would be only a matter of days.

Over a period of time I began to feel less fearful of food, and I was able to actually enjoy some of the contentment brought on by the taste of real food. Real food, the stuff that didn’t only consist of chicken Cesar salad,  yogurt, or a smoked turkey sandwich with no cheese. I was now feeding myself a variety of foods which I’d forbade myself from doing for years. The kicker…I was still wearing the same jeans, they fit a bit more snug, but they were the same jeans nonetheless.

Throughout my stay at Melrose, my personal life was in an uproar. I was facing the reality of my second divorce and trying to shut down a lifelong relationship with ED all in the same breath. All the while, I was communicating via telephone and email with someone from my past, whom I’d always thought to be my soul mate; most likely, I always will.  I was torn between so many different emotions, all which seemed to just evolve around my new daily ritual of eating on a routine basis. In a way, I felt as though the routine eating pattern was a distraction from the issues of my personal life struggles. In equal measure, the personal life struggles were a distraction to all the routine eating I was forced to participate in.  Melrose became my safe place from the rest of my troubled world. I was safe from myself when I was in the treatment center, I was safe from making rash decisions that would surely change the path of my future. I didn’t have to worry about working or socializing or shopping or cooking or laundry or cleaning or anything ordinary while I lived in Extended Structural Living. Therefore, when I was discharged and  expected to do all the work on my own, I was scared out of my mind.  Thankfully, I still had the opportunity to utilize the outpatient treatment program; it gave me the stability I needed for transition into the real world again.

Time heals, and the reality of putting one foot in front of the other has had a way of helping me continue to stay in recovery. Over the  past few months: more than once, my heart had been broken, my future as I saw it, had been destroyed in any scenario I was to look at it, and my hopes for a life without ED at times, seemed to be somewhat of a pipe dream. Getting a grip on the realities I’m faced with, took much concentration and strength. Now I am in the process of practicing all that they have taught me on a day-to-day regime. Some days I’m still consumed with sadness, yet other days I’m finding myself singing along with the  radio as I go about my daily grind.  The eating disorder thoughts will likely never go away. It’s possible, however, to try to teach myself to refrain from acting on the behaviors, or listening to the thoughts that are destructive to my health and body. In the past month I’ve been able to witness changes in my behavior. I’ve begun to notice that whenever eating disorder thoughts enter my brain, an obstruction, almost in the form of a grey wall, appears inside my mind. This obstruction gently stops my thought pattern and replaces the destructive behavior urges with a halting caution sign. It’s as if I am coerced from within to refrain from “going there”, in reality, I’m actually retraining my brain and it’s working.

I’m back in my hometown visiting my sister and brother-in-law for a couple of days. I have to set my splendid new Smart Phone alarm tonight because tomorrow I have planned  to spend the day with my Realtor friend.  I pray he will help me find a house to call my very own… I’m hoping to find a house that’s just the right size for me, but too small for ED to enter into. I’m starting over in every direction of my life, so I may as well try my best to leave that pesky old eating disorder behind. There’s no bigger and brighter days in my future than those which are free from ED.

Here’s to waking up without the fear of heart failure from my alarm clock, thank you rock hard ceramic tile floor, I owe ya one…

A Brand New Day

I continue to look forward to the darkness of the sky so I am able to shut down myself for the remainder of the night. I look forward to the solace of sleep so I no longer have to deal with the reality of what my life has become. Yet, in the early morning midst of a very confusing dream, I was drawn to the idea of reaching out for a cup of my most favorite beverage before my body had a chance to even realize it was awake. I could smell the aroma of fresh brewed coffee at my bedside nightstand, and the pleasure it gave me to open my eyes was more willing to wake me than my dream was at keeping me asleep. My morning coffee, placed there by my husband, the same man who is ending our marriage. The difficult part of this moment was when I had the chance to look around, rub my eyes and take a few deep breaths, I knew that all my unsolved problems were still there staring at me. They were still alive and willing to challenge me throughout another day…That’s when I felt that feeling of struggle, frustration and depression once again come to life… A brand new day, with the same old complications as the one before.

I am struggling with more issues than I care to describe. I am struggling with the morals I believe in, the lies I’ve told myself, and the distortions of my outer appearance. I’m struggling with what I am going to do to try to live through the disarray I’ve managed to place in front of my daily grind. I’m face to face with the demise of my marriage and the start of a new adventure. Am I strong enough to endure all this that is placed before me, or will I crumble as I’ve done so many times in the past?

I’ve gone through the necessary steps to learn the differences between myself and the mind patterns of the eating disorder. Although with the addition of dealing with a divorce, and feeling the worthlessness of yet another failed marriage, I’m afraid I’ll lose my mind. In many ways I’ve already lost it; my integrity is shattered, my self-worth is next to invisible and my focus on becoming free from the haunts of the eating disorder are somewhere in outer space. At times I just don’t have the strength to fight it anymore. I’m tired and I want to rest. It’s become too much for me to handle and I have to give it all to my maker…I’ve lived through harder times, however, I was much younger then.

They say time heals a broken heart. They also say that you must give yourself time, time will pass, and time is on your side. I feel as I have wasted so much precious time throughout my life that, I’ve almost run out of time. If I could only make the next right decision, time could become the result of something positive for me. I have to get myself together, I have to concentrate on my future and what I desire it to look like. I don’t want to live the remainder of my life with the baggage of bulimia taking center stage. I do, however, have the desire to continue my relationship with anorexia…I have the desire, but I know in my own mind if I continue to hang on to the beliefs of the disease it will only hinder, disrupt and destroy any chance of a happy and fulfilling future.

Dear God, I wish I had a magic pill to make everything destructive in my life go away, and everything beneficial to my health and happiness blossom, like that of the wild flowers of the fields in Spring.

Week Three Post Discharge

I’ve now reached my  forty-ninth year, and I’m still trying to shut down the ugly side of myself called ED. The eating disorder is really only a negative force inside my brain which tells me fictitious lies about myself and others, all while trying to be my only friend in the process. I have to begin trusting in the positive persona of myself, yet it is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. For years I’ve listened to the negative thoughts, and believed them to be true. I’ve listened to the negative distortions of how others perceive me to be, without the addition of their thoughts or words expressed by themselves. I’ve been a fortune-teller and a professional mind reader for decades. I’ve believed the eating disorder to be my own personality, yet it’s an entity all its own. If I could just believe in myself, and be able to trust the person I know I am on the inside, I can overcome the negativity; I’ll be able to distinguish the differences in the two voices inside my mind without concentrating so hard. My new thought pattern will become as automatic as my old one, and my freedom from the eating disorder will be shut down for the rest of my life.

I’m coming to grips with the reality of going forward without constant support surrounding me. My weekend was difficult at times, although I continued to press through the learned behaviors of the eating disorder by being accountable to my husband who is still temporarily playing the part of my coach. My future is unsettled yet, as my belongings are slowly being divided and packed into boxes. I want to save my marriage but I’m afraid it may be too late. The bond of trust is a terrible misfortune to lose in a marriage. Even though countless others have strayed from the vows of marriage far more than I did, the trust has been dissolved and my chances to save what is left is more of a fantasy than a reality.

All of the personal struggles are weighing heavy on my mind. To mix it all up with the thought of shutting down a life long eating disorder is like that of holding down a full load in a College Semester, all while keeping a full-time job to boot. I’m shooting for the Deans list, but would be happy at this point with a B average.

The sun continues to shine and the seasons too, shall continue to change. With that thought, I too will emerge out of this mess with a greater understanding of myself and what I’m really made of. I pray I’ll find a silver lining in this big grey cloud covering my head. With perseverance it will happen, and it will be worth the wait.

Another Day, Another Ten Hours

Back in the car at 9:33 am heading west for St Louis Park and forty-five minutes of Brandy Carlile belting out the tunes which tend to take some of the depression to a different level. There’s something about her voice that simply pacifies my soul. When I arrive in the parking lot, I gaze up to the third floor windows where I used to play a little game with all the other girls in the morning hours, “Who is it?”. We would stare out the windows and watch people as they parked their cars and then proceeded to walk into the building for work.  Each day I look up, and each day I see no one there to wave to. I miss them and I miss living in my comfort zone. I was in the confines of the treatment center long enough to experience the routine of daily mundane life in a nine bed unit of wonderfully beautiful girls of all ages and a couple of guys, all dealing with the same demons as I have lived with for years. I look up to the windows and I have a feeling of discontent with my life; life has changed and I am not content with the differences it’s caused me to face. When I was up there on the third floor, I followed the rules and lived through it, regardless of how I was feeling at the time. I look up to those windows and remember the feeling of being safe from myself and safe from the world around me.

Now the windows are empty, maybe they stopped playing the game, or maybe I’m arriving a few minutes early…either way It’s still a feeling of discontent. I can’t visit my old friends up there on the third floor. I have to adjust to the outpatient program and sit in an entirely different room for my down time between group sessions, meals and snacks. Living is so completely different now. I’m responsible for taking the next step to recovery without the twenty-four hour babysitters and RN’s taking care of me. I have to rely on myself for stability and the assurance that tomorrow is yet still another day, God willing,  to do it all over again.

I’ve made it to the crossroads of my adult life. I’ve made decisions in the recent past that compromised my marriage, that compromised my recovery, that compromised my future. I’m dealing with all of it now in one lump sum. I can’t pretend it’s not happening anymore, nor can I put it on a shelf to deal with at a later date.  The choices have been made and the cards have been played. Dear God in heaven, I wish this was easier to do, but it’s not. I’m on an uphill climb and my horizons are a completely new color  and moving in an entirely different direction than they were only a few short months ago. It’s wake up time, and I’ve slept in way too late.

Discharged And Scared To Death

After eight and a half weeks of inpatient treatment for eating disorders I was reluctantly discharged, due to the fact I was doing so well at following the rules. My insurance company was beginning to question the fact that I was still in need of twenty-four hour care. In my mind, I was not ready to leave. I know myself all too well, and I was well aware that if I were on my own, I would fall right back into the restriction habits. I left Melrose on Thursday, February second at noon. I drove without any music in my car all the way to my hometown, mesmerized by the sound of traffic just outside the confines of my car. I made a stop at the local Target store to fill my prescription and purchase a few groceries for the rest of my day. I had to feed myself lunch, an afternoon snack, dinner, and another night-time snack before hitting the pillow. I grazed through the produce section, my mind not having a clue as to what I was supposed to buy… I settled for Lean Cuzine, chocolate milk and Activia yogurt. It would be simple enough to put a frozen dinner in the microwave, and I knew I would be able to eat it; the portions were adequate and I would be safe.

I arrived to an empty home, my husband now on the Caribbean cruise we had planned a year before. I was alone, and the house breathed a sound so cold I wasn’t able to handle it. I forgot about eating, and helped myself to three cans of beer instead. I cried from the inside of my heart, not knowing how on earth I was going to be able to live my life without the companionship of my husband. The following morning I’d lost two and half pounds and was now on my way back to Melrose to start my outpatient program. Upon arriving, I had my vitals taken and stepped onto the scale. I started out the day with an emptiness inside my soul and a longing for my life to take a turn for the better. I miss my husband and the warmth of his arms. I need desperately to regain my focus on the life I shared with Ken…he is my strength.

Dear God I pray that we will find our path, I pray that we will be able to conquer the disruption of the past few months of trauma…Please forgive me for all my wrongs and grant me peace with a long fulfilling life with my husband. Amen