As pain shot up my legs and my head spun like a merry-go-round, I felt eerily invincible today. Even scarier, my feelings were akin to those at the end of my first year of college. After so much hard work at recovering, I am slipping backward into the pit of restriction.
Eating disorder recovery is one of the hardest processes I have ever endured. Many times, I long to flop down on the ground and die. After a long and painful year, I finally broke inside and could not keep trying to move forward to a healthier place. Giving up by restricting and fantasizing about self-harm seems simpler.
However, even at this low point, I do not want to let these last five weeks mirror my Freshmen year. So many things in my life are different from then. Sure, I still feel ugly, unloved, untalented, and friendless. But there are arguments to be made against those beliefs. Since Freshmen year, guys have told me that I am beautiful, family have stood by my side through at my worst points, directors cast me in several shows, and even tonight friends supported me in buying a salad and actually eating it. Those are all beautiful blessings that I would not have foreseen as a Freshman. I studied at Oxford, was accepted into Disney, traveled to London, was paid to write for a website, applied and was hired at a job…So many steps forward have been made.
So, how can I remember those instead of stopping food intake, hurting myself, or contemplating suicide? There are a few steps that I need to take.
- Be honest about how I am doing. Hiding this will only make me feel more alone and motivated to continue.
- Ask for help. I cannot do this by myself with no support.
- See my family more often. Right now, they are the people who can ground me and speak truth into my life.
- Find friends who can help to keep me accountable and show that they care about me being alive. It feels like no one cares if I live or die. I need to see that this is not true.
- Not listen to people offering weight-loss advice. This is just hurting me even more.
- See a therapist more often. She just suggested that I see her less because I will be leaving soon. That is the last thing that I need right now.
Those are just some first steps. However, they seem pretty feasible although not easy. I refuse to let this semester end without my graduation. My mother warned me that I will not graduate at the rate that I am going. Part of me know that this is true. Something must change.