Yesterday was a check up with my doctor at the ED treatment centre and a meeting with my case manager/counsellor.
I am weighing myself every day at home: 137lbs and not losing. Even after 2 days of not eating from being sick, the scale wouldn’t budge. After restricting then bingeing and purging for a while, the scale has refused to give. I stared in horror at the numbers and the scale stared back mercilessly. I am determined to lose at least 7lbs before I go home. I have 3 weeks.
The doctor and nurse did the medical part first: weighing (backwards of course), blood pressure lying and standing (cue dizziness on standing), heart rate, urine test and a review of my blood work. The doctor asked about why I had been in emergency this week (which you can read about in my last blog post). She asked if my eating had improved, worsened or stayed the same. I told her it was worsening. Then she asked if things were stable at home and I told her that that had worsened too.
She didn’t say much. She asked me to try eat more during the day. Just like that. As if it is easy and/or possible. “Try have a snack earlier than noon. Try eat something between ballet classes. Try to remember to eat after class before you drive home. Eat before the gym. Eat after the gym.”
Eat, eat, eat.
I do eat. That is my problem.
She asked if I had cut down on my alcohol consumption. I told her I had, drastically.
“Why?” she had to ask.
“I want to lose weight before I go home next month,” no point in lying about my real motives for giving up something I love.
“Is that the only reason you’ve cut down your drinking?”
I smile at her, “yes. I like to come home and drink. It takes the edge off the stress of the day and the fight with my boyfriend and crying children and whatever else ails me.”
She makes notes. She doesn’t respond.
After the medical, I met with my case manager. She asked about if my boyfriend was going to be part of my family therapy.
“Is this someone with whom you are going to be spending a large part of your life,” she enquired.
I nodded, “until last week I thought that was the plan. Now I am not so sure.”
We get into the fight we had. I tell her about my expectations and demands. I tell her about how I perceive my boyfriend to cope by avoidance.
“It seems he has a soft heart, that he is very loving,” she comments. I cannot disagree with her. “You will have to accept that he most likely won’t change. You will have to decide what you are willing to tolerate to be in this relationship. Ask yourself ‘do I love this man despite his circumstances. Am I willing to be with him, to choose to be with him knowing that this is how things are?'”
Sometimes if you shut up and listen, you learn things. She had some interesting perspective on our relationship. She confronted me about the “solutions” I offer my boyfriend when I put my foot down and demand boundaries. She reminded me that no one likes being told what to do by someone else all the time. She talked about how I was clear and straight forward and goal orientated. Isn’t everyone with an ED? Then she said this: “it seems to me that you are similar. He copes through avoidance and you do too with your eating disorder.” I had never looked at it that way. She talked about my pattern of self sabotage and of pulling the plug on relationships even when I love them. She said in that way I managed to avoid everything by ending things.
She gave me some things to think about. I feel like some introspection and soul-searching will go a long way to helping me change and grow in this relationship. I am not a nice person. I am intolerant and impatient. I have high expectations in a relationship. I am demanding. I am resentful and unforgiving. I thought yesterday how it would be to be my boyfriend, to be treated without grace for the past mistakes I had made. it was rather soul-destroying, the realization that I can treat someone I love so poorly.