Hi everyone… Emma coming to you live from a lazy afternoon break in treatment, one of the few times where we’re not having skills drummed into our tired brains or sitting around the table of doom in the kitchen.
So I haven’t written anything in a long time because I was really,m really struggling. Like REALLY. To the point where my outpatient treatment team decided I needed to return to some level of eating disorder care. And here I am, still struggling. I would love to say that I came here and passed every test I’ve encountered so far in my very short stay with flying colors, but this is not so. Instead, I’ve faced struggles unlike anything I’ve experienced since the very first time I entered treatment. Every day, every minute, every second, is filled with traps like negative thinking and future tripping and destructive mindsets, like I’m playing a really horrible version on Minesweeper. Which I have always sucked at (literally, I can’t play that game to save my life)
I’m sort of uncharted territory here… I’ve never experienced a full relapse before. I know that I’ve had my mistakes, and minor lapses as a result, along the way, but I’ve never stepped this far back before. I don’t know what to do or where to start. I’m trying just to take things one bite at a time, but sometimes even that is impossible.
Like the title says, I’m back to square unknown. Not square one, because I have all the time I’ve spent in treatment and the incredible support of family and friends to rely on. But I don’t know what square it is; it’s like this blank white canvas waiting for me to fill it with colors and words that inspire me to keep moving and beat this stupid disorder out of my life with a broom set on fire. Which actually wouldn’t work, because then the broom would just disappear. But whatever. That’s not the point.
The point is that I sort of feel like I’m floating around in the middle of a giant ocean with this tiny little lifeboat that’s slowly deflating because there’s a hole in it somewhere. Except I can’t find it, so I’m just sitting there in this dwindling little thing that’s preserving my wretched and tormented life, waiting until I’m left to swim entirely on my own.
I know I’m not on my own; not by a long shot. It sometimes feels like it though, because in the end, it comes down to me to kick this disorder’s sorry ass into the next galaxy. And right now, I’m kind of feeling defeated and broken, so my ass-kicking capabilities are severely limited. It’s gonna take some serious work to restore that. The prospect of that is honestly petrifying.
Sometimes I think back to when I was in the hospital. How sick I was. How miserable I was. How frightened I was. But sometimes, that is just not scary enough. Sometimes, eating and fighting this disorder as actively is required feels even scarier. Which I know is backwards and confusing and wrong. However, it goes without saying that eating disorders are exceptionally irrational things. If they weren’t we would all be able to look at our thoughts and go “Gee, that sounds ridiculous!” In the moment, it sounds like the most logical and sensible thing that has ever been thought or said.
I know that people are counting on me, though. Right now I have to think about recovery as it pertains to others. It’s something I’ve always needed to learn how to do; think about recovering for no one else; just for myself. But I’ve never thought of myself as worthwhile or deserving of recovery. “You might as well be sick,” I say, “because no one cares anyways.”
This isn’t true. And in my heart of hearts, I know that.
Sometimes I just need a little reminder. And slowly but surely, I’m learning how to love myself.