• elenaa


Updated: May 13, 2020

TW: Eating Disorders

Sometimes when I think back to where I was a year and a half ago it's hard to believe and process my experiences. Not going to lie, sometimes the pain and sadness I experienced at the time comes back. Sometimes, I feel sad for the broken and hopeless version of myself I was. Not in a way that asks for pity or sympathy, but just acknowledging how much pain I was in in order to place me where I was.

I had no control over my behaviors. Everything I thought and did was fueled by an overwhelming compulsion that I was unable to resist on my own. I was a prisoner in my own mind. I felt nothing, but at the same time, felt everything. My days were scheduled, planned, organized, and structured. Each day, my rigid rules and behaviors only got more limiting and restrictive. Each day, I would sneakily find a new way to hide and protect ED.

No one knew I was in pain. I was smiling.

But my heart was stopping.

Numbers. All that filled my head were numbers. Hours of sleep. Miles to run. Ab exercises to do. Calories to eat. Calories to purge. Pills to take. Meals to avoid. Meals to have. Liters of water to chug.

Number of nuts. Number of sit ups. Number of carrots. Number of squats.

The number on the scale.

Number of heart beats in a minute.

Hold my breath and the number will go down.

Hold my breath and the number will go down.

I'm not doing enough.

I can push myself more.

I'm not enough.

The compulsion I felt controlled me. I had no control and no choice but to comply by the rules of my mind. If I was closer to death each day, I was not trying hard enough. I was failing.

Don't ask me how I'm doing.

I'm fine.

I'm fine.

Leave me alone.

I'm sorry.

I feel the security in the predictable outcome of my actions. I feel comfort in my pain. Let me do this. I have to do this.

Next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Florida.

Walking up to Coconut Creek was arguably one of the hardest things I had to do. I walked onto the center's premises knowing I wasn't going to leave for a while. I walked into the reception room knowing this experience was going to be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do.

What I Remember

I remember the 5am wake up calls to get my vitals taken.

I remember the hospital gown I wore and the line I stood in to see if I gained any weight overnight.

I remember looking at the days menu and dreading each mealtime.

I remember the food journals, the listing of my intrusive thoughts, the self hatred.

I remember needing to get signed off after each meal, and all the ways in which my tray was examined to ensure I ate every last bite.

I remember dreading meetings with Sam - my nutritionist - who only ever increased my meal plan.

I remember having to eat 7 times a day. Force feeding myself to "complete" each snack and meal.

I remember the thick, viscous texture of Boost.

I remember planning each snack and each meal to make them the lowest calorie options.

I remember feeling excited when the number on the scale went down, and I felt like I was allowed to eat.

I remember having a panic attack after the second day of being there.

I remember being in the telephone block room, curled up in a ball, and begging for someone to take me out of there.

I remember the 200 yard "walk" we were allowed to go on twice a week if we had completed all our snacks and meals 3 days prior.

I remember the urge I had to exercise, and all the rules and regulations that prevented any "excessive movement."

I remember feeling accomplished and happy every time my meal plan was increased, another boost was added, another snack was added, because it felt like I was doing a good job at my eating disorder.

I remember feeling happy when I woke up drenched in my sheets at night, because it meant I was likely hyper metabolizing.

I remember looking in the mirror and crying.

I remember all the checking and measuring.

I remember all the new ways I found to hide my body under loose, baggy clothing.

I remember all the crying.

I remember all the pinching and squeezing, the scratching and rubbing.


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