This is how I wake myself up:
It has been 2 months since the miscarriage…actually more, but I try not to count the days since my baby left.
I finally went back to the ED recovery program and saw my case manager today. She had started to call to see why I had disappeared. I filled her in on the miscarriage and she suddenly understood why I had taken a hiatus from my life. She acknowledged the severity of my loss and the depth of my grief. She actually had some powerful thoughts to share with me. It made me glad that I had gone back because I really do like her.
I was ready to shut my case file and to tell her that I am wasting her time. I wanted to tell her that right now I cannot focus on ED recovery because I cannot function. She came to that conclusion without me having to say so. She was in happy disbelief that I am not actively bingeing or purging or restricting. She told me that without a doubt, the loss of the child I wanted has refocused my mind onto what is really important for me. Blaming myself aside, she said that being able to give up ED behaviours the instant I knew I was pregnant, told her that I was ready to leave this part of me behind for a greater cause. As far as she is concerned any step forward is progress.
As I sat there and wept, she told me that she felt God had sent this baby to save me from my ED. She said that the spirit of this baby was here to make me well. She said that baby would say to me, “mum, I need you to be healed for me”. The more I thought about it, the more profound it seemed.
At the end of our session she gently reminded me to make new appointments with the team at the clinic and to continue to see the doctor, dietician and psychologist regularly even if I felt like my ED was in limbo. More importantly, she offered to help support me through this and to leave the ED out of it if all I want to talk about is my baby. She told me to allow myself the right to grieve: to be alright with being sad or tired or depressed, to be fine with not wanting to go to the gym and go shoe shopping instead, to make peace with the fact that this is a process I have to go through instead of fighting against it.
I went there today to thank her for her time and to walk away and instead she gave me an incredible gift.
My twenty year old brother held his best friend as he died today after a motorbike accident. Three of them had gone trail riding and his friend Ray, was ahead of them when someone turned in front of him. He died at the scene from his injuries, my baby brother talking to him and holding him.
Suddenly life is put into stark perspective.
Living so far from home, from my family, my worst fear is getting a call that there has been an accident or death.
Today I thanked God that it wasn’t my little brother all the while remembering that Ray was someone’s brother, son, boyfriend, grandchild…
I wept for my brother who is too young to have buried so many friends already. I wept for his suffering, that I couldn’t take the pain from him. Twenty year olds should not have to watch their friends die.
Lately I have developed a loathing for going to gym which I have never really had before. I am so disinterested in it. In fact since the miscarriage, I have lost interest in a lot of things I used to care about.
This week I avoided going to the gym by using every excuse I could think of:
On several occasions I got into my car to go to work. Once I even ended up at my gym. I parked my car and walked into the mall instead of the gym. I bought two pairs of shoes. I bought lunch and a coffee. I walked past the gym, got back in my car and went back to work where I ate my feelings.
I just don’t care anymore. My size and weight are distressing to me, but not enough to do anything about it. I lay in bed the other night not wanting to do anything. I don’t want to go to work or see friends or make plans. I just want nothingness; the absence of everything except perhaps a book and a bottle of wine.
I have not really had much to say about ED in the last 2 months. Here is why:
I had a miscarriage.
I haven’t been able to talk about it.
When it happened, I lost my appetite and didn’t eat for a week. I cried and sobbed and drank myself to sleep every night for a month. I binged a few times. I ate “normally” and I just existed for the last little while. I had experienced weight gain after the miscarriage, but not during the pregnancy – I wasn’t far enough along. I hated myself for what happened and of course, I blamed myself for what happened.
My boyfriend was supportive and loving and caring. He put up with the snot and sobbing and staring into outer space like a zombie. He comforted me every night while I fell apart. He held me when I woke up screaming from nightmares about dead babies. He flew my mother here to help me cope (yes, her being here had nothing to with my birthday so I feel even shittier about being ungrateful). He ran me bubble baths and tried to shield me from adverts for diapers or someone giving birth in a movie.
For two months I have been depressed. It is a kind of depressed that I have never known before.
In the beginning it was hard enough to function while dealing with the physical repercussions of the miscarriage. I lost so much blood and was in so much pain. I was physically weak and exhausted. It was all-consuming. I couldn’t think about anything else except the baby we might have had. Miscarriage is common. I read all about it. I read everything I could. It still didn’t prepare me for what I went through or how devastated I am.
Now, a couple of months later, the physical symptoms are gone and I am left with a hollow in my heart. I would have been 16 weeks along today.
ED has barely featured since and I am not sure why. I still think about it. I stare at my much heavier reflection at ballet and am repulsed. I have to squeeze into my size 6 pants and it upsets me, but I don’t do anything. I eat in terms I can only describe as “normal”, keeping in mind that I don’t know what normal is. I am not actively starving, bingeing or purging. I am drinking a lot. I seem to have become apathetic and indifferent to food. I am unconcerned with anything except trying to get through my day with my sanity intact. Work has been overly stressful and dramatic. My boyfriend and I have had some more relationship turmoil (as usual revolving around the mother of his youngest child). We continue to not move forward. At the end of the day, I cannot cope with any of it. I cannot deal with anything.
I have been trying to get back into a gym routine over the last few weeks. I have little incentive or motivation to exercise other than I know endorphins are good for depression. I just don’t really seem to care and I cannot make myself care. I have thought about going to see a counsellor. On that note, I dropped out of my ED treatment that I was in. There didn’t seem much point in going.
So I have nothing to update on the ED front. I ate cucumbers and hummus at work today. Last week when my anxiety over our relationship was much higher, I ate nothing. Tonight I ate 2 bowls of pasta and didn’t purge. On the weekend when we went on a happy family vacation, I ate 3 meals a day. There seems to be no rhyme or reason.
When my coworker announced her pregnancy this week and her due date 10 days after mine would have been, I hid in my office. I feel a numbness. Other than being depressed, I haven’t felt much else except the inability to cope. My anxiety has been escalating lately over work and relationship stuff and that usually sends my ED into a frenzy, but I have barely reacted if the truth be told. All I want to do is sleep. I don’t mean kill myself because I have no suicidal tendencies at all. I just want to sleep for a very long time.
I am eating as I write this for those of you who will enjoy the irony.
I was reminded today (by a stranger’s comment) that my blog makes me sounds like a spoiled, ungrateful brat. I think if you read my blog closely enough, I mention numerous time what a horrible human being I am. It is as if this comment was supposed to be a revelation for me. The one thing I have always been on this blog is honest. I have told my life story as it is, my feelings as they are. I have painted a picture of who I am even when that picture is gross and disgusting and repulsive and abhorrent. I have not tried to pretend to be a better person when I know I am not. I have not sugar-coated, or glamourized or pretended something other than my reality. I have often been brutally honest about what I am going through, especially my relationship with my boyfriend, and the impact on my ED.
I am that person. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me. If someone doesn’t like what I have to write or say, they are free not to read my blog. There is nothing on here that I have not already discussed with my boyfriend at length. Obviously, my opinion is from my biased point of view. It always will be. I am me. I am free to be so. If you don’t like me, guess what?…I have never liked me. Your approval is not necessary. Your disapproval is not a surprise.
I am beside myself with anxiety.
My mum has been here for nearly 2 weeks. As much as I love having her here, it has added a lot of stress. Work has been extremely busy and ridiculously unpleasant. If I am at work, I am worried about my mum being left alone all day doing nothing. If I take time off work to spend with my mum, I am wracked with guilt about not being at work. I can’t seem to balance everything. I seem to be failing miserably and driving myself crazy with anxiety instead of enjoying my time with her.
I don’t know what to do. I have a performance review at work tomorrow which I am dreading even though my boss has never indicated to me that he is not happy with my work. I always anticipate the worst. I have considered resigning this week from the stress even though I don’t want to leave my job. Last night I cried myself to sleep because I was so overwhelmed by everything. I have been quite depressed for reasons I will explain another time.
I am fat and discontent. I keep eating and drinking trying to escape from the anxiety that will not ebb.
So my “birthday surprise” from my boyfriend arrived today. It was my mum just as I predicted it would be.
I’m so mad at him and of course he doesn’t see why and I look like an ungrateful bitch (also as I predicted).
Who wouldn’t be happy to have their mum as a surprise? I love my mum. I always want her to come visit. My issue is the wrong timing (I was home a month ago with her and can’t take any time off work while she is here); the financial implications – neither of us have money; and the fact that my boyfriend is not giving me what I do want and getting us further from our goals not closer.
I tried to explain to him that something this big needed to be discussed with me. He tried to justify why he did it. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. He spent a lot of time and money on something that I didn’t want and now I feel like shit for not liking it.
I only feel good when I am drinking or eating. I have been drinking excessively every night since I left home a month ago. I have been restriciting a bit, bingeing a bit, purging a bit. I have finally gone back to gym to try get off some of the weight I have gained. I eat at work to ease my anxiety, I rush home to find a bottle of wine or rum or gin and to cry myself to sleep. I know I am depressed. I only want to eat until I feel nothing, to drink until I pass out.
“You never asked me what I actually want,” I tell my boyfriend who is raving non-stop about the surprise birthday gift he has spent a lot of time and money on for me. “Well when you live with someone you kind of get to know what they want,” is his retort. “I’m good at gifts. It’s the one thing I’m really good at.”
I sigh and look at him, “but there are only three things I really want.”
“Yeah I know,” he lists them off: “a diamond, a house and puppies…it’s not any of those.”
“Then I don’t want it,” I say without meaning to be surly but probably sounding it anyway. I don’t want him spending ridiculous amounts of money on something I’m not going to appreciate and which isn’t going to get us closer to our goals (if it doesn’t actually make us break up first).
“Maybe it’s something you didn’t know you wanted,” is his confident come back. “I guarantee you you will love it and there will be tears.”
I walk away from the conversation. I know I won’t love it the way he wants me too. I know almost eerily that we are going to end up fighting over it. I feel like it is unfair of him to build up this much expectation and put it all on me over something that I’m not interested in. I tell him I am worried that he is so excited over it and has talked it up for so long that I am scared when I don’t like it at all or as much as he is expecting, that it will upset him. He seems unconcerned.
I think, without snooping which I refuse to do for the tiniest chance I actually will love it, that he is going to fly my family in as a surprise. As much as I love them, there are so many reasons I don’t want them here right now, but I am not going to get into that in this post.
I find myself in the same position at 33 as I was at 30…living with a boyfriend who has promised an engagement and a marriage but who has failed to deliver within the agreed upon time frame. I wonder how stupid I must be to be repeating this exact scenario only 3 short years later, but this post is not to discuss my (blatantly obvious) stupidity.
I want to discuss disappointment instead. I want to discuss what it is like to only want an engagement ring and nothing else; to want a token of commitment after everything I have done and sacrificed and endured. I have been waiting 9 months now based on how my boyfriend talks. Based on all the comments about how he can’t wait for me to be his wife or for us to spend the rest of our lives together or for me to become Mrs. (Insert-his-last-name-here).
So I am at the point where an engagement is no longer going to be romantic or a surprise or this wonderful sweep-me-off-my-feet-moment or the fairytale proposal I have longed for. It is now something that is a constant disappointment as it fails to materialize. It is going to start becoming a source of contention between us and break us down. He is going to spend a ridiculous amount of money on something I just don’t want right now and when I am disappointed it will be all my fault. I will be the ungrateful bitch who didn’t want this “gift”. It will be all on me even though I have clearly communicated what I do want over and over.
He told me when we met that he was unlike any man I had ever dated before. In many ways he is not, but on this front he is the same if not worse for promising not to make me wait and then failing me again and again. I wonder if I should just short cut to tears and snot and mascara in the bath tub on my birthday like the last one ended up? It is hard not to get what your heart most desires when it has been promised indefinitely by the other.