My sweet friends,
I've been away from here lately. I've wanted to come and write so many times, but haven't found the words, or the courage, to do so. So I've stayed quiet.
I've been struggling for the past month with my eating. Struggling is an understatement. Eating has consumed me. My every waking moment has been drenched with thoughts of food and cravings that I just can't push away.
The mounting stress of school and work, and going on 2-5 hours of sleep a night (on average), pushed me back into behaviors I don't even want to admit to. All of the progress I'd made this summer fighting this eating disorder went out the window as I surrendered to its pull. I didn't fight. I just gave in. I just existed.
From the moment I woke up until the moment I went to sleep I ate. I couldn't stop. I ate until my stomach ached and I nearly got sick. I ate until I cried just because I couldn't keep my hand from putting food into my mouth. I just couldn't stop.
All of this plunged me into an awful, awful depression. In the past, I've dealt with bad anxiety, so it was unusual for me to deal with depression. Anxiety I can (sort of) handle by now. Depression was new. Oh, it was so awful.
The effort it took to get out of bed in the mornings was enormous. The simple act of showering and dressing myself left me exhausted. I couldn't force myself to do my homework and I can't tell you how many hours I've spent this past month hiding under my covers, just trying to get through that second.
As binging and depression tag-teamed me, I sunk lower and lower. I sobbed on my bed, in my roommates' arms, and (um, today) in the library. The enormity of what it would take to fight away the depression and eating disorder crippled me. I couldn't function. I couldn't do schoolwork, I wasn't doing well at work either.
Last week, I finally made the call for help. I went to see a counselor at my school and spent that hour spilling every fear, anxiety, and eating problem I have. She listened, and promised to help...the next week. I couldn't wait that long. I had no hope. I had no hope. I was just done.
So I continued down a path of physical destruction. (Note: I wasn't ever hurting myself physically. I've had no thoughts of that. This is only eating I'm referring to.) I spent another week drowning in depression and being unable to stop eating. I looked in the mirror and saw the weight I'd gained on my face, in my stomach, my hips. I cried.
Today I went to see another counselor at my school. She saw me, she listened to me. And she was honest with me.
She told me she didn't think I needed inpatient therapy yet.
That stopped me cold. Yet? Inpatient yet? You mean, I'm sick enough that I might need to go to a facility for my eating disorder?! I was so scared that it took every last bit of energy I had to keep listening to her.
She went on to say that she wanted me in intensive outpatient therapy. Seeing her, another eating disorder counselor, a psychiatrist, and attending group therapy weekly. Starting now. She made an appointment for me to see her again in a week, but said that if I felt I needed to come in sooner, to just email her.
I left her office with a handful of therapists to call. And then I went up to the library and cried. Sobbed. Overwhelmed with the beginning of this fight to get better again. Overwhelmed with the strength it'll take that honestly, I don't know if I have.
I cried and cried, called my parents to fill them in, and sent an email out to my professors to make them aware. And then I started to feel this amazing sense of peace.
Peace and calm flooded me. I felt like a weight had lifted from my shoulders. I'm doing this. I'm getting help. I'm getting better again.
No longer will this eating disorder control me. I can do this. I can fight this. I CAN.
It's going to be a hell of a time reversing the destructive behaviors I've fallen into this past month. But I can do it. I can't do it alone right now, and I know that. I'll be getting the help I need.
In the meantime, I finally feel ready to be back here. Things got so terrible at the end of September that I couldn't bear to come on here and be happy. So I stayed away. I'm more than ready to be back now.
I can do this. I can do this. I can.
I'm getting better.