Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I have in my head the picture of the perfect Anorexic.
She's petite and thin.
Thin fingers that are skeletal and lean. Graceful and horrifying. A nightmare image carved into flesh that leaves you staring in horror and disgust and more than just a small amount of secretive envy.
She's riddled with phobias and fears.
Sweets never touch her lips because she's terrified of them so.
Her calorie count never exceeds 200-300 in a day. She can starve through pain. Hates herself, and has notebooks filled with poetic, artistic renditions of the cruel and deceitful voices in her head. She has long thin hair, and stares unamused, her size zero pants hanging haphazardly off her flat stomach and hips sharp enough to slice. She rests her sharp jaw line on a palm that's dry with skin fragile and flaking from lack of nutrition, staring like a goddess at the hungry pigs around her. She turns her head from food, gritting her teeth, nails digging into her wrist, palms, knees, thighs--teeth gnashing at the inside of her mouth--refraining. Resisting. Restricting. Sipping at her water and a slice of lemon.
She is superior to food.
Her body decays.
But her will power prevails.
That is what I see when I think of someone who belongs in a clinic. Someone in need of an intervention.
Someone at risk for heart failure.
Not me with my slip ups. My face-stuffing-quests with chocolate and peanut butter. My sickening 600-800 calories a day.
Not me, with my gaining weight back.
My caving in whenever someone lands a good slice of pizza in front of me.
My lack of will in getting to the gym and working myself to exhaustion.
My need for friends.
My inability to attain that crumbling perfection.
I read blogs and think, "You're all stronger than me". I hear the term "Wannorexic" in my own head, applied to myself. The wanna-be-anorexic. The not-strong-enough. Doing it for kicks and fads. The pretend. The make believe.
But I told them I had just thrown a tantrum and was just making believe when I attempted suicide, and had to be resuscitated in sixth grade.
Because that's what I thought. No matter they had to shock me back to life. Pump out bottles of sleeping pills and cleaning solution from my stomach.
I wasn't like the rest of the people in the pediatric psych ward.
I didn't think my problems were that bad.
Nobody else thought they were.
Why should I?
Just control it.
Just be better than it.
Stop being depressed.
Just move on and get over it.
Get over it.
Just get over it.
So imagine my surprise when I go to the clinic today, to see if I can get therapy...just talk to someone who I can be honest with about eating, and everything else, and suddenly...suddenly I'm told I'm wrong.
"You're...severe, PrettyWreck. I need to be honest. I'm worried about if you start eating, you could give yourself a heart attack. Your history is bad. The cuts are worse. You're in deep. You're not in control of this, and I don't think you're going to live much longer if you keep doing this."
"I want to send you to our primary care physician for some tests immediately. We need to check on your heart, and especially your kidneys. Your vitals aren't good at all right now, and I'm worried that you're at a high risk for cardiac arrest. Especially if you try to refeed on your own."
"I think you should seriously consider checking yourself in to our clinic in (next state over) if it's possible. If not, then I want to discuss our day program with you. It's from 8am-8pm. I don't even think outpatient intensive is good enough right now. I think if not full hospitalization, then partial with the day program. We need to get you physically better before we can start working on your mind."
I...don't want to.
"Just let us do the tests, and when the results come back, we can decide how much needs to be done. We're here to help you, PrettyWreck."
So Thursday, I get to go get tested for heart problems.
I'm at the high end of my BMI. I broke down and ate 1/4 of a brownie, and a 1/4 of a reeses egg. I am now sitting here staring at a TV dinner I heated up. After work is exercise. Tomorrow, I just need to be at 125.4 to be ok. 125.4, and I'll survive.
I'm...not ready for treatment.
Not the kind they're talking about.
I'm not ready to get better from this.
I don't have the ability to dedicate that much of my life to refeeding or whatever. I'm switching careers, I have to get back into school, and to be honest, I'm terrified. And I know my mind frame is fucked up, but...I can't be as bad as other girls.
I'm still fat.
I still eat.
I eat too much.
600 is a lot.
The fact that I struggle sometimes to stay at 800-900 is terrible.
If I could get up to 1300, and just...run forever to get it off, like Piglet, then maybe, maybe I'd be considered healthy again, and nobody would say anything else.
I just wanted someone to talk to.
I'm too scared to get better.
I'm not ready to go into group, or have to talk in front of people, or have to eat three meals a day, with snacks, and have people observing my bathroom use and eating habits.
I'm too scared to eat normally again.
I'm too scared to do any of that.
But I did cry when I was in the waiting room.
They had this little decorative black metal wrought fence on the wall, and there were ribbons tied to it. "Stop worrying about gaining weight!" "You're beautiful, and so am I." "It's okay to get better." "I believe in you!" All written in the handwriting of different girls on the ribbons. It was like, I suddenly thought of all of you. And it was like hearing your voices, or seeing your comments. "I believe in you." But it was more personal, because there it was, in each girls handwriting, and I had this sudden...this sudden compulsion. Like here were all these people who understood--who knew--and they were so close. They were in that building. They were gathered in a room, talking. They could see each other. Smile at each other. Be at comfort, because someone else who they could touch, and feel, and see--someone else knew. And they were close, and they understood. It was such a weird feeling of relief. I'm not alone.
One of the employees there said, "Why don't you want your parents to know?" Because. I just don't want them to. This is private. "We all need a base of support." You have no idea just how much support I have.
They don't need to know, because I have all of you.
I'm not ready to get better yet.
But I know when I am,
you'll all still be there.
And I'll still be there for you.
Here's to hoping the tests are okay come Thursday.
On a lighter note, my final interview for the gym is tomorrow at noon.