Monthly Archives: January 2013

Let Go Of The Things You Cannot Control

 

Words of wisdom at yoga tonight: ‘let go of the things you can’t control’. ED is, at the heart of it, about control. Letting go is one thing I am not good at. Perhaps there is a false sense of security in hanging onto things or people that feels like control.  At ballet today a co-worker poked me in the ribs.

“What do you think are you doing?” I asked.

“Counting your ribs,” he said.

“Why?”

“Because it is so easy. They stick out so much,” he answered as I squirmed away.

I felt a sick feeling of satisfaction after 2 months of starving and puking. I came home and ate egg whites and mustard for dinner. This ‘control’ may be an illusion but, it’s a good one. There is no letting go today. Maybe tomorrow.

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Fear and Loathing

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My life is diminished by ED. I know it but, right now I am powerless to change it. I cannot sleep at night for the fears that crawl and creep. I cannot live during the day because I am filled with loathing. I loathe the physical. The sight of my body upsets me. My day is filled with thoughts of food, calories, exercise. Diminishing myself more and more seems to be the logical solution to a life of too much. Too much wanting, needing, being. I am too much. I am too extreme. How can I be less of me? I am riddled with anxiety. How did I get here? Why? What next?

I want to be in control of a life that is careening out of control One day I woke up with a boyfriend, a house and a life (I thought) I wanted so much. The next day it was gone and I was the one who pulled the rug from under my own feet. I was the one who made the decision to leave a man who did not love me enough. Now I sit here alone, drinking, bingeing, purging, over exercising and not sleeping. I am reeling from the loss of love; from the absence of the familiar; from the stabbing pain of being let go without a thought. I wake up each day dazed. I go through the motions. I try to stay in my routine: ballet, gym, yoga. Nothing saves me from my destructive self.

I went to hot yoga tonight after ballet. I had no strength….not an ounce. I had eaten carrots and grapes for lunch after a particularly bad B/P episode last night. I was unsteady on my feet. Sweat poured from my feeble body.  The room spun around me. Darkness crept in every time I tried to stand up.  I swayed. I put my hand on the wall to hold me up. I hung my head in defeat, steadying my body, leaning on my shaky legs. Dale, the instructor, came over and put his hand on my back. I was shaking uncontrollably. “Relax,” he said. He doesn’t know that I cannot. It eludes me no matter what I do.

Each day I wake from troubled, fitful snatches of sleep that do not nourish me. I get up, sore from compulsively over-exercising, dehydrated from purging. I feel like I am hung over. I make myself green tea. I race to the studio and teach ballet. All day I plan my starvation diet, count calories, think of my next binge. I flee from the mirrors in the studio and escape to the yoga studio where I can continue to loathe my reflection. I push my body to breaking point. I feel like I am constantly on the verge of collapse.

But, I keep going. One foot in front of the other. One day at a time. My friend tells me that this is what it means to be strong – to take the next step when you feel like you cannot keep going. I feel like that is merely surviving. Sadly, I am a not a skinny bulimic. I do not drop much weight despite a severe relapse over the last 2 months. Hypothyroid sees to that. No one tells me anymore that I am too thin like they used too. So I suffer whilst my outward appearance belies a healthy, happy person. Each day I shrink, wither, die a little bit more inside. I loathe and I fear and I long for the unattainable.

“You can go a lot of years on empty”.  One of my favourite, bittersweet quotes. It is so true.

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The Truth About “Normal”

Sand through the hour glass.

 

I am 3o years old and I have been sick for 2/3s of my life. When I was 10 years old, I developed anorexia and I have never looked back, so to speak. How strange that I have been disordered for twice as long as I was ‘normal’. Now this has become my normal. It is all I know and recognize. It is familiar, comforting. It orders my days, keeps me busy, entertains me at night, gives me something to do, helps me cope and I’m sure one day that it will kill me. I would let go of it, but like a good friend, it has never let go of me.

While other people eat breakfast or a piece of birthday cake or have dinner with friends, I count calories. I abstain. I obsess. I exercise. I starve. I binge. I purge. I wake up and repeat the pattern. Breakfast? I don’t think so.

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Avoiding the Void

“What size do your fries come in?” I asked, nonchalantly.

“Small, medium, large and shoe box,” came the reply.

“Shoe box, please,” I asked, ignoring the raised eyebrow of the customer next too me.

Some days are a shoe-box-full-of-fries day. The last 6 weeks are a blur to me. I can remember nights by the bottles of wine I drank and the tears I cried, by the binges, purges and breakdowns. Nothing has filled the void that losing my love has caused. Nothing ever will but, tonight I gave into my drug of choice to avoid staring into that void. I have tried keeping busy, working, traveling, socializing, gym, yoga…..the list is endless but it is always there. The emptiness….the silence….the grief. I am haunted. I am broken. I am falling uncontrollably, spiraling down, drifting, lost….

 

 

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Zen and the Pursuit of Peace

I get on the elliptical and my kidneys have me doubled over in pain. I know they are failing me and I need to go to hospital but not yet because I am not ready.  I push myself on for an hour despite the fact that I haven’t eaten in two days. I leave the gym and go to yoga. I attempt to beat my demons on my mat but I cannot. I shake from fear and malnutrition. I weep silently as sweat and tears pour from my broken body. “You are enough,” Dale tells the class. His quiet, peaceful voice instructs me to “feel safe in this place. Nothing can hurt you here.” Nothing except myself that is. No one can hurt me or abuse me in quite the same way that I am capable of.

He puts his hand on my back and I am taking short, sharp breathes that shiver through me. “Breathe into this space.  You have so much tension. Just let go.” He doesn’t know that I cannot let go. That I am not safe, that I am tortured, that I am not enough. I am not enough for myself and I wasn’t enough for the man I loved; the man who let me go so easily. I stand up and the darkness rushes in. I am blinded by physical pain and for one moment it blanks out the emotional pain from which I can never escape. I am light headed, I feel as though I am going to faint. I am so weak that just the shear act of standing buckles my knees. I press my hand against a wall and steady myself, stopping the fall that was coming. For a month I have starved, purged, compulsively exercised, sustained myself with bottles of wine and tears. I have barely slept because my dreams are haunted by the man I love. I dare not close my eyes for he is there, waiting for me. I cannot keep this up.

Just one month and my kidneys are giving up. I do not know how long I can delay the inevitable. At some point my body will fail me. I will faint, fall down, end up in hospital and I don’t know when it is coming. It may be at gym or yoga or in the grocery store or at the ballet studio. It may be in the shower, when walking up the stairs or as I stand up. I have tried desperately to calm my mind, to find the peace that has evaded me. I have tried so hard to let go of the man I loved, the rejection and abandonment. I have tried and I have failed. Starving fills me, eating fails me. The pursuit of peace is beyond my reach in this time and place.

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One Day At A Time

A light in the darkness

One day at a time I am still alive. You never die of a broken heart no matter how much pain it causes. I sit alone in the dark and weep, drink and over think the last three years of my life with a man who didn’t want me. Why should I love myself when he did not care enough to love me?

The last four weeks have been a blur. I have mostly been drunk and when I am sober I run to the gym and try to outdistance my demons on the elliptical. I go to yoga in search of zen and cry instead on my mat as my body gives up. I am weak. I vomit several times a day because I have lost the will to starve. The binges numb me. Hours go by in oblivion. I puke up my heartbreak, my lost love, my dreams, blood. I puke blood. I know that I cannot go on like this. I have lost 8 pounds in four weeks. My clothes hang off me. I should be happy that I am thin but this is not about thin. This is about rejection and abandonment. I am devastated beyond words. I suffer in silence.

My friends and family try to carry me through this. They tell me that I made the right decision, that he didn’t deserve me, that a break up is a process and that I will get better one day at a time. But they are not there in the long, lonely nights when I lie on the bathroom floor because I don’t have the strength to stand up anymore. They are not there when he haunts my dreams and terrorizes my every waking moment with his presence. I cannot stop loving him, wanting him, needing him even though I know that I am nothing to him. The silence and the distance destroy me and every day I die a little bit more. I wither and shrink and disappear, one day at a time. I retreat into ED because it is all I know. It has never abandoned me.

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