I wrote this today. I don’t think it’s any more incriminating than anything else I’ve already said. It talks about facing the facts. Here it is, copied over from my letter to my friend:
Things are pretty bad right now. Just have to be honest about it. I’m not sure what to do, but while I’ve been here doing nothing, my life has gone downhill and downhill.
They say if you do nothing, that’s what’s going to happen. I’m done intellectualizing this. Thinking gave me answers, but no solution.
I can say over and over and over (pretty much to myself) what is wrong with the world and how I’ve been wronged. I can yell and scream about I’ve been told, more or less flat out, that I don’t belong here, and how this statement, communicated to me in any form, is crushing me, and has beaten me down all my life.
I can give in, and be this persona, this person I once was, doomed to be marginalized among other marginalized people that I can’t even relate to and whose company I abhor, just so the world can be rid of me and not have to look at me anymore. Apparently it’s too painful for a lot of people to catch even a brief glimpse of me, and this is why they want me locked up and hidden. They lie and say this is “help” just to get me to agree to this.
The only good thing about this so-called “help” is that it’s about the only thing that will end my day-after-day self-destruction, which is worsening in severity. I have to face this. Self-destruct, apparently, is wrong, or too painful to look upon by others, no matter what it represents to them. Perhaps my ugliness represents that society has failed, or perhaps they don’t want to take a good look at themselves.
If I give in and allow them to force me back into the old persona, I risk huge losses. I cannot lose Puzzle. I cannot lose my dignity. I cannot lose my freedom to go to church. Everything else I can probably retain if I am persistent, and the rest doesn’t matter, because its absence will only cause inconvenience.
And one more thing: I will lose my current status of living freely and independently. When I was very young, I wanted this more than anything. I was desperate and frantic for it. A space of my own. A space that wasn’t my bedroom at 25 Bridge Street, because that bedroom was trapped in my parents’ home.
You can’t live a life of destroying yourself, because eventually, there is nothing left to destroy. I am not enjoying what I do. I hate every minute of it. I cannot stop it.
This was sent to a person who knows what the hell I’m talking about.
A decision not to lose any more weight…for now…because I want to stay out of the state hospital and for many other reasons
I know this is not what “ED experts” agree with, but I am glad I have a scale.
Two days in a row I have weighed x pounds. Much as I hate it–no, much as I despise being at this weight, I will stay here and not lose any more.
This is drastic, folks. This is earth-shattering.
My T told my yesterday…well, I won’t do a blow-by-blow recap of the entire conversation. If you go back to my audio posts from my inpatient stay in September, around the 14th….They had decided to send me to the state hospital, remember? Go back to the 14th, 15th, 16th or so. This was my fate. Worse than death by starvation. Well, my T told me yesterday that if I keep on doing what I’m doing, and if I keep up with my lousy, uncooperative attitude, I’m headed for the state hospital. State hospital, plain and simple.
This didn’t exactly faze me because I’ve been kind of starved the past bunch of days and out of it. What did hit home was something Frank said….I need to WAGE WAR AGAINST MY ED. USE EVERY WEAPON I HAVE. NOW IS THE TIME. Those aren’t the words he used. Those are my words.
If you do not have anorexia you do not understand. My treatment team does not understand. That doesn’t matter. They see the scale, though, and they see x.
Sometimes, you have to break things down into very simple terms. X is x.
My face looks a little better today, for whatever reason.
Okay, I need to take care of some stuff, so I’m going to end here.
Last night I finally, finally, finally got a decent night’s sleep. Wow! I have no explanation.
Frank reminded me last night, firmly, that I’ve got to stop this risk-taking nonsense. What I’m doing is dangerous at any age and it’s doubly dangerous at my age.
I wanted to tell him that I’m not going to make it to 55 anyway.
Well, does that matter? Why am I making myself completely miserable? Isn’t it stupid to torture myself like this?
Frank is now 60 and is blessed to have come to his senses. He says I will, too. When he said this to me only a couple of days ago, I said to myself, believing every word in my head, that what he was telling me was untrue. Not that he was lying. He was mistaken, I told myself. I can’t do it. I am not strong.
I saw my T yesterday. I told her I didn’t want her to have hope. Again, she told me she had hope, and I was pissed. She sees that I have a tiny sense of purpose in my life and will to live. I don’t want to have a will to live. I want to eradicate this will. She totally gets this. She is so smart.
She also thinks that I’m much, much better off than I was last summer, when there was so little of me that wanted life. I guess she notices a much bigger part of me now that wants life. Church. My trip. These are biggies. The fact that I’m incredibly motivated to follow through with both is amazing.
All three Sundays that I’ve gone to church….Well, let me explain. My life has been in shambles. Night and day, day/night sleep/not sleep sun-up/sun-down binge/starve nothing in-between all the same and it’s an ordeal and very internal and tearing me apart and ripping my insides raw. I’m not depressed but it’s torture to go on like this. My body can’t take it and I can’t imagine what all this is doing to my organs. I don’t know how much my heart can take the food/no food thing and my kidneys with the electrolyte/water, skipping meds/anticonvulsant spiking. This comes to a head Sunday morning after torture all night long Saturday night and little or no sleep. BUT….What happens amazes me. 9:50 and I’m out the door. Showered. Dressed. I go straight to church. I do this and right before, I am asking myself if I can really leave the house, but I do it. I do it and I am blessed with the most awesome experience you can imagine.
(Oh damn I have just started to weep as I write these words.)
Well, I was considering stopping writing this entry and taking a break due to overwhelming outpouring of emotion, maybe letting it settle and doing some cleaning around here, but I think I’ll say something that just popped into my head:
Why spend my last days…however long I have…in misery? What’s the point in torturing myself? I should be–really–treating myself well. Super well. Keeping my body clean and making sure my apartment doesn’t get back into the filthy, disorganized state it’s gotten into at the moment. And not letting myself get into the filthy, disorganized state I got myself into, either.
Okay, sudden extreme fatigue. Ten-minute nap and I’ll be back.
Back. Eight minutes of heavy, heavy sleep. Dreams. I don’t remember them. We’re leaving for Puzzle’s day at Pooch Palace soon. We’ve got a coupon for free day care along with her groom.
So. For today. Clean the house. I’ve showered and all the clothes I’m wearing are clean. Be patient with my body. My stomach is doing okay. Sticking out real bad, full of the food I stuffed myself with over the past three days, and I’m not going to let that embarrass me. I’m just wearing clothes that hide it. But no edema in my ankles or legs. That chapter of my life…over? Just a little puffiness in my face. Kind of upsetting but it’ll go away in time and I’ll be patient. The quantity of stuff that accumulated in my stomach is slowly, slowly emptying into my intestines. There’s a lot still in my stomach but I’m surprised at how much has already emptied. I guess it was the decent night’s sleep I had. My intestines are another story altogether. How they can hold this much is beyond me. The temptation to take something to speed along the process is overwhelming. I won’t do it. I’ll be patient. It’ll take a long, long time for my body to fully recover from this. The money I spent on binge food….My budget, sadly, will never recover. I spent money I don’t even have.
Except for the money part, I grossed you out I’ll bet.
I’m going off to Pooch Palace. Oh, one more thing before I leave:
I’m calling Dr. P today. I’m telling her…I’m telling her that I want to clear up what went on when I went to see her last week. Last week when I walked into her office I wanted to tell her that I had no will to live. And I want to tell her that as of today I’m going to clean up the mess and move on. I’ll be honest with her. I’ll tell her what my gut feeling is, that I won’t make it to 55, which is simply no big deal…it simply isn’t…and whether it’s true or not…who knows…I might not be right, after all…I probably am and it really makes no difference…no impact on the Here And Now…I’m doing what I’m doing…I have exciting plans that my T feels will give me a sense of purpose and be a real boost for me….
It’s Tuesday. Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday. Today and then four more days and then the next day I get to go to church again.
How do you like that!
I have anorexia nervosa. I go to therapy with the best therapist on the planet. I deal with it. Well, dang.
I need to make this writing a priority this morning over a number of other activities because I need to get this off my chest. It does not take priority over certain things that are vastly more important. I have walked Puzzle. I need to make sure she can get groomed tomorrow. So I need to stop writing at some point and remember to call Pooch Palace to get her scheduled. Hygiene–hers and mine: essential…but today I haven’t showered yet and writing takes precedence. I’ll make time to brush my teeth again. My hair…yeah, I gotta do something with this mop before I go to therapy.
I need to say some things. I need to be straight with my T about certain things. About a week ago I realized that I don’t have much time left on this planet. I thought about things realistically and figured that my 54th birthday is in January and I’ll probably make it to that, but the chances of making it to 55 are next to nil. My body won’t hold out. I see the statistics and it’s amazing that I’m still alive. The statistics are different depending on the source, but by far the majority of patients who end up with anorexia nervosa don’t make a full recovery. A small portion do. Many do, and deal with it for the rest of their lives. A portion die. A portion suffer a great deal for the rest of their lives. A portion commit suicide by other means. And so on. The younger you get it, the worse your chances are. The longer you’ve had it, the worse your chances are. And so on. You can interpret the data a number of ways but it’s a fatal illness no matter how you look at it and no matter how you look at it, it’s clear that this illness is the most lethal mental illness.
Dear T: The truth is that I want you to just go along with this. Quit trying to stop me and quit trying to change me and quit your assumption that I am trying in any way to get better and change and grow. It is useless. I gave up on myself. Just let me die and keep me company. A week ago I decided to self-starve because I have no will to live. I am not trying to make myself die I am just trying to lose weight. If I die I don’t care.
Okay, I’m tired now and I’ll take a t0-minute nap and come back.
I’ve been permanently sleepy for a couple of days now. Back.
As you know, I get these breakthrough binges (you I’m sure are bored of hearing about this) and I have binged a few times but get right back to starving and continuing to lose weight. I don’t think I lost anything over the weekend and I haven’t been able to get anything like an accurate reading with a belly full of food.
I have had a couple of instances of drinking high amounts of zero-calorie liquid (water or zero-calorie sports drink, occasionally diet soda) very quickly and then peeing it all out. I can’t seem to stop myself when I do this. I’m not trying to hurt myself. It is automatic. Maybe I am just thirsty. I drink to the point of physical discomfort. I looked up on the Internet how much you have to drink to get a serious problem and I’m reasonably sure I’m not in the danger zone. When this happens, my pee is bubbly afterward.
I believe the last couple of times that I binged, my food wouldn’t go down my throat. It got caught there. I got some water and pushed it down with the water. I found that I was able to stuff food down faster than ever. At 53? weird. Maybe I’m just remembering wrong. I have some junk food in the apartment right now that I should probably get rid of.
For a while, when I binged, it “showed.” Oh, no, when I binge it shows anyway. Duh. Stomach and intestine overload. I have heard that your stomach or intestines can burst from this. A doctor once told me that this was the truth but I looked it up and there have been cases. Of course you don’t survive that at my age. When I say that it showed, I meant that my ankles and legs and entire body swelled up. As of sometime yesterday, this stopped happening. They’re fine. My torso is huge and full of food but the rest of me looks normal. I have to wait until I poop it all out.
Okay, back to life. But the body changes again. I am making all kinds of spelling errors and am falling asleep…again. Something’s horribly wrong that I have to sleep all the time. Another ten-minute nap and I’ll be back.
I woke up two minutes before the alarm.
I sleep…I don’t sleep…well, duh…I play with food and it messes real bad with sleep. Real bad. Serves me right.
I don’t know why I do all the stuff I do but I can’t make it stop. Losing weight…it is just ridiculous.
My DMH person seems to think everything’s hunky-dory with me. Whatever. It’s her job to make sure people shower and get to their appointments and fill their prescriptions. I don’t think they have people with anorexia in their program much. I dress with my shirt right-side out and she looks at me and figures I’m fine. ADL’s. That’s “Activities of Daily Living,” meaning, again, showering, taking meds, brushing teeth, getting to your job, cleaning the house, laundry, paying your bills, taking public transportation…I do everything but one: eat. A big one. I guess that one’s a given for most of her people. And sleep.
I don’t even sleep responsibly anymore. Night blends into day which blends into night. All a blur.
There are things going on that are very good right now and I thought I’d mention them. My relationship with Frank. My relationship with L. Puzzle. Puzzle’s walks. Puzzle’s walks have been a little crazy and driven because I think about death while I’m walking her. I enjoy myself anyway. I keep my appointments and that’s a good thing. Church is just a fabulous addition to my life. Absolutely a fantastic thing I’m doing. I’m going to print out what I wrote yesterday and bring it into today’s session.
Okay, here’s another thing I haven’t made public but I will. I ran it by my T Friday and she feels it’s a very positive step I’m doing to help myself. I’m taking a trip to London to attend a seminar my publisher is putting on for its writers. The trip will be in a month. I can’t believe I’m doing this. It will give me a sense of purpose and I don’t want a sense of purpose but it’s weird because at the same time I really want to meet my publisher and get to work with him, and I assume get to meet the other folks at the publishing house as well. I won’t be gone long. I made the plane reservations and hotel and am all signed up.
This was in fact very difficult to do. My bank decided that whatever transaction I did was suspicious activity, and shut down my credit card after I made each purchase. This started with the transaction with my publisher, because it was a UK transaction. My bank doesn’t take chances. I appreciate this.
I have been spending the month of October working on my outline for November’s National Novel Writing Month. National Novel Writing Month probably won’t happen for me because of this trip. I’ll be gone for four days but it’s going to zap much of my energy for November. It was a sacrifice I had to make. I will still create the outline. Why? I’m excited about the book. I think Nano is doing another Nano later in the year. Nano got so big that they do one in a month other than November now. So I’ll have another opportunity maybe. I haven’t talked much about this outline. I will.
I’ve run out of energy and there’s more I wanted to say. Later.
Yes, this vertigo I am getting is from my anorexia…day after day….Yes, I can stop it. I can stop it if I can get my nutritional state back to normal. All I have to do is eat…all I have to do is eat…all I have to do is eat….
So why don’t I? It is so simple. Toss my illness out the window and eat.
Maybe, though, I don’t wish. Because it is the nature of anorexia to hold onto it and hold onto it so tightly that you will die rather than drop it, let it fly away, let someone take it from you, or throw it off a bridge.
Maybe I should just open the window a bit. Open the screen as well. Peek out at the grass–or asphalt–below. Consider everything I can throw out there. Wouldn’t it be fun?
At the ED hospital, we had “keeps and throws” instead of “wrap up.” Well, it was “wrap up,” but it was also “keeps and throws.” You would say what you wanted to keep about your day, and you said what you wanted to throw away. I kind of liked that.
Actually, I’d like to have thrown the ED hospital. I’d like to throw every hospitalization I’ve ever had. Or maybe I’d like to throw being in such a bad state that I require hospitalization. I have been in this condition more times than I can count. This truly sucks.
What do I want to keep? What do I really want to keep? When I think about it, what I really want to keep is my love for Puzzle, and my joyful walks with Puzzle, too. I want to keep the days that I feel like my life is worth living. I want to keep the happiness I feel knowing that my special friend is in my life. I want to keep sunshine on a summer day. I want to keep the melting of the snow at the beginning of spring. I want to keep the crispness and newness of frost in December and the memory of running on the track at sunrise, this memory that I can cherish for the rest of my life. I want to keep my blog. I want to keep solitude. I want to keep on keeping. I want to keep…myself?
Do I? Can I challenge myself to keep myself going? Can I?
Last night I cut my dose of Trilptal in half, from 300 mgs each night to 150. My doctor still doesn’t know that I cut it from 600 to 300 in March. I cut it down further because of the return of the “swaying” a few days ago. I plan to get off Trileptal in a few days, or maybe week. I don’t see any point in taking 150 mgs, because that I know of, it is not a therapeutic dose. I could be wrong about this. Don’t take my word for it. I feel okay about this because I am also on two other anticonvulsants, Lamictal and Topamax. I take all these three medications for mood stabilization. They also help me with bingeing (that is, an eating binge). I found that the Trileptal lost its anti-binge properties after maybe six weeks after I started taking it, though initially it was quite effective. Mood stabilizers are the only medication that help me with bingeing.
Right now, I am working on not bingeing by behavior techniques, and my special friend Frank has been very supportive and helpful to me. We have hopes that I can stop bingeing, at least for a long, long time. After I have not binged for 21 days, we are going to have a binge party! We are going to binge together–on nothing! We are so excited about this celebration! Of course, I have no clue as to whether I will be able to do 21 days, so we are taking it one day at a time. I am celebrating x days today. This morning, I am listening to a Daughtry CD that I borrowed from the library, and celebrating. I have never heard Daughtry before, because I don’t listen to the radio, but I understand he’s quite popular these days.
I will probably not keep you posted on my progress. It will be too embarrassing if I screw up.
Today I will meet my case manager from the Department of Mental Health for the first time. This will be mainly yet another intake meeting–the third. We are meeting with the director at my home.
After that, I am seeing an orthopedist about my knee. It is time. It’s been three weeks now that I have not been able to walk 1) without pain, and 2) without a mobility aid (crutches or cane). Frequently, I have pain even when I am off my feet. I have spent little time outside my home. I have been miserable because of this injury. I can no longer do this alone. I need specialized, professional help with it. I got an appointment very quickly.
As to my anorexia…I am still restricting…eating mostly vegetables….My weight is dropping…again….
I still have edema and I hate it. But it is lessening. Today I said to myself, “Fuck it. It is going to be hot out. I’m wearing shorts.”
I have developed these incredible upper body muscles from using crutches. Forgive me for boasting, but last time I was at the gym, I was nearly able to lift my entire body off the floor using the triceps pull. My muscles are larger now (muscles really show when you are very skinny) and I am absolutely positive that I can lift myself off the floor entirely now. Next time, I’ll give it a try when nobody’s looking. Of course, I’ll take the pin out of the resistance thingy after I’m done!
I still get vertigo. I get it about 75% of the time–that is, I get it ten minutes after the first morsel of food I put in my mouth in the morning, and it lasts for several hours, 75% of days. There seems to be no pattern. On Sunday, it lasted all day. I swear I am not making this up. I know it comes from my anorexia.
I have been keeping Microsoft Excel charts of my food. I have been doing this obsessively. I spend hours at it. I print them out at the end of the day. These are secret charts that I plan on showing no one. I think the only good thing about it is that I am learning Excel! More on this later. I intend on writing an entire entry discussing these charts.
Okay, enough. Have a nice day.
This is what I have been thinking:
Someone, somewhere, is thinking of you today. This person may be thinking of you a lot, or just a little. Depending on many factors, you may truly be seated in this person’s heart, or you may be but a speck of sand in the workings of this person’s daily thoughts.
If this person is very, very dear to you, you may find the latter very difficult to accept.
If it is the former, then you perhaps you feel as though you are in synch with this person and the universe, and that there is peace in your heart and everywhere.
If, on the other hand, you don’t have any clue as to which is the answer to this question, your soul will be wrenched apart to the core, and your bleeding will continue to flow and flow with your uncontrolled obsession.
That is what I have been thinking.
These are the other two letters I read to my T on Thursday. I have them dated accordingly.
Letter #2 Tuesday 5/3/11 later
I am afraid that I will die of refeeding syndrome or some other horrible “complication” from anorexia nervosa. Please call Frank if anything happens to me xxx-xxx-xxxx his new last name is S. He is the one that convinced me to come in today. Please don’t force-feed me in any way. I am very scared.
Letter #3 Wednesday early afternoon 5/4/11
Last night I went to bed not knowing if I would die in the night. Today I have woken up depressed, wondering what’s the use of it all. I put notices up all over the place with instructions for whoever finds me dead of anorexia, then I cried a lot.
But the truth is that I am strong.
I went grocery shopping. My refrigerator is stocked. It started raining. Then Frank called. This is the second time he has called in a couple of days. He has been worried about me.
There was a third letter, but I am leaving it out for now. More later.
I wrote two letters to my T that I will present to her when I go back on Thursday. This will be after I have skipped my Monday appointment. I skipped it because I was intensely angry at her and needed time away from therapy. Instead of telling her this, I lied, and said I was “vacationing.” I think, though, she suspects that I was lying. She’s no dummy.
The first letter is lengthy. It states the reasons why I cut back on my food and that I stand by my decision. The letter states that I want my body back, and that in cutting back on my food I am in fact following my contract. I am reducing the edema and treating my body lovingly and with respect.
The second letter states that I am afraid that I will die of complications from anorexia nervosa. In the letter I told my T who to contact if anything happened to me. I also requested that she refrain from force-feeding me in any way. I said I was very scared, and left it at that.
Frank and I are having a party. We are having cupcakes. He is baking his chocolate cupcakes from a mix at his place on Maui, and I am buying a chocolate cupcake from Kick Ass Cupcakes in Davis Square, Somerville, MA. I will bring the cupcake home, and then we will eat our cupcakes together at our respective homes.
Frank has always wanted me to eat chocolate cake when I celebrate something. He had suggested it for my birthday, but that didn’t happen. I was in McLean Hospital on my birthday this past January. My birthday sucked. Even the staff at McLean forgot to get me a cake. Not that I would have eaten any. Actually, when they finally remembered the cake, days later…nope…I didn’t eat any. And no, it wasn’t chocolate, not that that would have made a difference. I have spent a number of birthdays in hospitals.
But now, we are celebrating something new and special: Frank is legally changing his name. He is keeping Frank and changing his middle and last names. The name change should go through very soon, and when it does, we will have the name-change cupcake party.
It is also the beginning of spring, of rebirth. Snow is melting, and in case you were wondering: yes, it does snow in Hawaii. Even though it hasn’t dipped under freezing very much lately, we still have a huge pile of snow back in the patio where I can see it from my living room window. What a view. It will take till mid-May to melt it all. But now, the time of the name-change, can be the starting point of this melting.
It is the time to welcome in a new, fresh way of seeing the world, to cast off old ways, and to step into the sun. It is the time to be strong and healthy. It is the time to run like we’ve never run before, whether the wind is behind us or against us, because it is always within us. It is the time that our age will not stop us from living our lives. It is the time to be happy.
I am not going to worry about how many calories are in the cupcake. I will set my eating disorder aside. I will set aside all negativity I have around “junk food.” There is no “junk food.” There is good food out there. There is food in every flavor you can imagine, some food in interesting shapes, food wrapped up in boxes, food with candles, food with funny names you can’t pronounce, food you drink or slurp, food that melts in your mouth, and food that melts everywhere and gets all over your clothes and makes you laugh.
So why should “fattening” come into the picture? What creep invented the fact that if you eat certain foods in certain quantities, you will “gain weight” and “get fat”? What a concept! It is time to change the name of “Diet” to “Die.” Let’s just kill it, okay? Maybe we should change “Weigh In” to “No Way In.” Because very, very soon I’m going to barge my way into Kick Ass Cupcakes and buy that chocolate cupcake and bring it home and eat it with Frank. And we are going to have a grand celebration.