My head is screaming. The disordered thoughts are so loud, I’m not sure whether it’s the eating disorder or me anymore.
After 10 weeks of not seeing my therapist, she has finally returned from maternity leave this week, and I had my first appointment with her yesterday evening. To say that I was worried was an understatement. Sitting in the waiting room, I clutched the bouquet of roses I had bought for her, along with a present for her new-born, and I was shaking like a foal taking it’s first steps. I was utterly anxious, and, while my Mom was with me and told me there’s no reason to be, it’s been proven otherwise.
The majority of the session was a simple review as to what had happened in the past 10 weeks and where we want to go moving forward. I wasn’t ready for the conversation at all, and I kept readjusting myself on my seat, playing with my hands and my hair, because I was so anxious. I was on the verge of a panic attack – seeing spots and feeling as if I was falling. My eating disorder was telling me I was going to collapse then and there.
I had sent her an email two weeks previous which was much more positive in terms of the fact that I talked about getting better a lot. I had just gone to a university exhibition (albeit in a wheelchair, but still) and I was motivated for my future. I didn’t want to be like this anymore, and an organisation in Australia had just given up on me and called it quits, so I wanted to prove people wrong. She told me that she was happy to hear the change in my mindset and thought that I was moving towards a positive path.
Unfortunately, I replied that my mindset has shifted back since then. Yes, I said, I still want to go to University. I still want to study Magazine Journalism. I still want to live in a nice studio apartment and experience life as a young person not riddled by an illness. Her response? That I have to be a certain healthy weight to even be accepted into University. I have to be at a point where I’m able to function, which is not where I’m at at the moment. Logically, I know it makes sense, but now I’m just left wondering; is it worth it? Is it worth giving up the eating disorder?
She weighed me, made me calculate my BMI, heighted me and all that fun stuff that I hate every single session. I’m not going to go into details because it caused me a lot of distress but the fact remains that I’m not near the weight I need to be to be accepted into University, and that weight isn’t even deemed as healthy either. In fact, the weight that she says I need to be to be considered for a place on the course is still underweight, but it’s a weight which I should be able to function better. At least she says that I’ll feel a lot better. I don’t know. What if I don’t? What if I feel worse than I already do? I’m already repulsed at what I look like. I feel like my body is broken and nothing I can do will fix it.
She told me that, if I remain consistent with the meal plan and don’t ‘bugger around’, then my metabolism will improve. I’ve been restricting for so long that my metabolism is in slow-motion. That’s the thing – restricting doesn’t always mean you’re going to lose weight if you’ve been doing it for long enough. It just means your metabolism slows down to the point where it holds onto the nutrients that you give it.
That brings me to my main issue; the meal plan. She wants to make changes, and I mean a lot of changes and a lot of increases. Logically, I know that what I’m eating now is dismal. It’s minimal. It leaves me feeling weak and like I can’t leave my house. But the changes that she wants to make are scaring me to the point of not thinking that any of this is worth it. I’m already too big, I weigh too much, I cannot be allowed to weigh more – but she’s telling me that I have to go to to University. How will I be able to cope?
I’m not going to detail the changes that she wants to make, but I was expecting them. However, I don’t know if I’ll be able to actually make them. I feel like if I follow her meal plan (and she wants me to make a lot of changes in the two weeks before I see her next) then the weight is just going to pile on and on and I won’t be able to cope and that’ll spiral me into a suicidal state. It’s happened before, and it’s actually happening again.
I just don’t know if I can do this. What do I do? Do I trust her and give up control? Or do I asked to be discharged on the basis that I’m not willing to get better? I know I want more than this, I want to be able to go to University, but it just doesn’t seem worth it at the same time. I’m scared of looking healthy, and that’s where she wants me to be. I’m terrified that people are going to think that I’m healthy and that I’m not ‘sick’ anymore. They’d think I’m completely fine, and my eating disorder is my identity, I can’t give it up.
I can home and I cried. I yelled, I swore, I nearly screamed. I sobbed. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do this, my eating disorder is too loud. I don’t know if I should even try. I can’t even leave my house at the moment, but I don’t know if I’ll feel better weighing more or if live will just be even worse. My Mom’s saying that I will be doing it, she’s holding firm, but I just don’t know. I don’t know. I feel I can’t trust the process. This is who I am – I don’t know who I am without it.
Again, I’m worried the metabolism won’t speed up, even though my therapist told me the scientific facts that my body will even out. I’m just repulsed at myself at the moment, and I feel numb. I’m trying to avoid the reality as much as I can, but my therapist says that I’ll die if I don’t make changes. I’m not sure what to do.