Hi!! Hope you are having great weekend so far! What is everyone up to? Halloween is just around the corner…I want to hear what everyone is dressing up as! I just got done baking three dozen lemon cupcakes for a special order (recipe coming soon!) and this weekend I have a baby shower to go to for a dear friend of mine! I tweaked my lower back somehow and I am hurting bad…so I am trying to take it as easy as I can.
Sorry…too cute to not share with you now!!
I am trying so hard to be positive and upbeat, but this has been a hell of a week for me. I feel like writing this post will help get what I am feeling off my chest…so if you don’t want to hear some serious shit, then probably don’t finish reading this post. I promise I will be back Monday with a yummy recipe and a happier tone. So, those that know me personally know that I have been dealing with Anorexia for the past six years. It has been a rough six years for me, which all started with a traumatic incident with my ex-husband, which ended up with me being on the receiving end of a black eye and then a very public criminal court trial (my ex-husband was arrested for domestic violence and a few other felonies—but we are going to leave it at that). A year later, that chapter of my life finally closed once the court case was settled and my divorce was finalized. So I was single and independent, working my ass off, because work took my mind off of things. So maybe I never really dealt with everything that happened, and honestly I don’t know if I still have. So if life started to feel out of control (which was pretty much every day of my life for too long), I would restrict what I ate as a way of asserting my power and control over at least one thing in my life. Well this restriction in eating spiraled completely out of control to where I was down to 94-pounds. I spent three weeks in the hospital at ACUTE at Denver Health back in 2014 and gained enough weight to be medically stabilized so I could go back to work, because that was all I wanted. But once I was back at work, work once again became my focus and priority. Anorexia is more than food…it is mental too. If it was just as easy as “eating a cheeseburger” or whatever similar advice people have given me, then I would have been “cured” a long time ago.
Well… long hours working patrol, with an extremely busy call load, in a very busy city, led me to go back down the same road I was at in 2014. I would get busy at work and wound up skipping lunch, only eating twice a day and then working out after my eleven (or more) hour shift. I dropped back down to 95-pounds and had no energy and was constantly getting sick. Never mind I was working patrol wearing 30-pounds of gear and working overtime on my days off. Family and friends were concerned about me again, as well as my supervisors and coworkers. So after countless people expressed their concern about my health– and my own desire to be done with Anorexia– I decided to go to Eating Recovery Center in Denver, CO. It is one of the best eating disorder recovery programs in the country. That was in February 2016 and I came home at the end of March after gaining almost 20-pounds. I have been working from home with my team here, trying to gain the last bit of weight before my doctor will let me go back to work. I am at the hardest part of my recovery and I have been having some dark days….hence this past week.
That’s me at 95-pounds last year. I still remember that day…I had just picked Jack up from the groomers and was getting ready to go into work for an FTO meeting (it was my day off).
The most current picture of me. My weight now at 116-pounds.
I just still feel sick all the time and am just not happy. It is such an adjustment to be one way for six years, and then to completely change. This week I threw out the last of the clothes in my closet that don’t fit. I literally have one pair of pants hanging in my closet (from Stitch Fix). I just feel like I am in someone else’s body but still have all the eating disorder thoughts. As James tells me, “physically you are two-thirds of the way there, but mentally you are only one-third of the way there.” Very true. What people don’t understand is that there isn’t one thing I put in my mouth that I don’t think about a million times before and then a million times after. And then there’s always an immense amount of guilt and shame that goes with eating (because my eating disorder has lost and I can hear it screaming at me)– and I eat healthy and clean too. I am not talking about feeling a little guilt after having a double-double bacon cheeseburger as a cheat meal. I could feel guilt over eating carrots….so I am not even to the point of having a cheeseburger. True story. My mind is constantly thinking about what I ate, what I will eat next, should I eat next? If I am having a conversation with you, I am 50% engaged and the other half of me is thinking food disordered thoughts.
I think there are a lot of misconceptions about Anorexia and for the longest time I felt so ashamed of this disease. Because there are other people out there with Cancer and other life threatening diseases that didn’t choose to be sick, so shouldn’t I be able to just get over my eating disorder? If only it was that simple. But I did not choose Anorexia and I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. Anorexia is the #1 cause of death out of all mental health disorders…probably because it it mind and body (and it’s not about being vain—I did not like the way I looked when I weighed 95-pounds). And once you have it, I think Anorexia is always lurking around trying to weasel its way back into your life.
So that’s a readers digest version of my life with Anorexia. I am still here trying to fight for recovery, even though this week I have felt like giving up. I try, try, try but can’t push past this point. Twice this week I made lunch, sat down to eat it, but then just threw it away. The only times I have been happy this week are when I am asleep…I wake up early to eat breakfast, but most of the time I go back to bed until 10 or 11am because I feel so sick after I eat, it’s the only thing that makes me feel better. But I have hope for the future…I just can’t let myself get sucked into this dark hole. There is not much point to this post…just me wanting to share with you my journey, which is very personal to me. If you know someone who looks like they are struggling with an eating disorder, getting help sooner, rather than later, makes a huge difference. They may be resistant to help (like I was), but sometimes they just need that push towards recognizing they really do have a problem and need help. I am lucky to have such loving and supportive friends and family, and a supportive employer, supervisors and coworkers, who have done everything within their power for me to get better. I have been awed at the love and support I have felt from so many people and there are not enough “thanks” in the world that could express my gratitude.
I wrote this post because I needed to speak the truth and hold myself accountable. I want nothing more than to get better and be able to eat like a normal person. Sorry if this came off whiney…that was not my intention. I just hope if I have reached one person who is struggling like I was/am, that maybe I can help encourage them to get help. I am open to any comments and questions. I have had several people ask me about my eating disorder and my journey, so I hope this answers some of those questions and helps people to understand eating disorders a little better. Anorexia is a coping mechanism for me…so without that, I have had to actually figure out a healthy way to deal with how I am feeling. And I am a work in progress. Thank you for reading the blog and my post today!!