Sometimes Eating is Hard

I’ve been trying to write a post for this blog for months but I can’t find the time, more like motivation to write something, anything. In June it will be one year since I re-entered treatment for the third time. Although I can’t remember the exact day at the moment, it was all a blur my first few days there but maybe it’s for the best.

That’s the crazy thing about treatment, people who have never been have their own idea of what treatment is like based mostly off of madly representations in the media but one thing they do get right is that it’s a completely different world. To go there you have to put your life on hold. Jobs have to be quit, school has to be put on hold. You can’t even live at your house or sleep in your own bed for months at a time and the bed at the center is never as comfortable as your real one.

I know I annoy people when I talk about my recovery and history with an eating disorder. I know many of them probably don’t believe me because I am fat instead of severely underweight. I also know that I talk about because if I don’t I will die.

Some people want to applaud me for talking about it but they don’t realize it’s for my own twisted, selfish reasons. I don’t want to die and if I don’t talk about it, how hard it is I know that this disorder will win. It’s easier to talks to group of people in class or chapel, people who I don’t know very well if at all. People who I don’t care if they dislike me for it or think I’m a liar. But with friends it’s harder. People I care about, who know me, they’re rejection would hurt much more. And it hurts just as much when I do bring it up and they don’t know what to say.

I know the situation well. They’ll look at their hands or behind me, peak at their phones and then silence of the worst kind. Then to erase the awkwardness I crack a joke and change the subject let down that they don’t understand but how could they? They’re lucky they can eat like a normal person.

They can eat and I can’t.

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Women are Trees

Women are beauty

With God made thighs carved out of boulders

Rivaling the strength of mountains

They carry us with a grace no man can compete

 

So why daughter do you hide them?

Decorating them ways that were never meant to be there

Learn from my mistakes and sprout wisdom from them

 

Why dear sister do you crave the toxic fear of living?

Of the thing critical to your survival?

I know the high of floating among the clouds is so enticing

But is it worth dying?

 

I know friend that the comfort is exhilarating

But at what cost?

The pain and guilt that shadows you afterwards

And the damning circle that continues to loop is nearly inescapable

Is the lullaby of temporary calmness worth the shame?

 

Too live this life is to endure an exhaustion that carries one to such a deep sleep

A coma that one  may never recover from

 

Do not precious loved ones mistreat your plant of life

With too little sun or too much water

Pamper it as the child it is

Recovery from the blazing heat of illness

And grow into the strong tree you are meant to be

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A Granddaughter’s Guilt

I have so many regrets and they all come crashing down in February when I’m reminded of how many things I took for granted before Grandma Sharon died. My last Christmas with her I don’t think I even realized it would be her last because the reality of her situation, of how drastically my family dynamic would change didn’t sink in until she was place on hospice a month later. When her bedroom in the back of my family home became a tomb.

I get so angry when I think of the things that I’ve forgotten: her smell and sound of her voice, her laugh and calm tone in her words. But I get even more furious when I think of how I acted. Yes, I was only 19 and weeks from entering treatment for the first time but in my mind, that’s no excuse. Instead of staying by her bedside with my mom who was losing the only immediate family left besides kin, an amazing husband, and a loving niece. I hid in my room and did what I’ve always done best. I ate, loaf after loaf of bread in toast form with no shame because honestly who was paying attention to me?

And the night she died I was asleep instead of with her. Even when she was gone I couldn’t grow up and do what needed to be done. I kissed her forehead goodbye more for my mother than me and ran to the kitchen. A turkey sandwich at 2am. I scampered off to my room just as the body bag walked through the front door.

I did her so wrong and treated her so poorly in her weakest moments. I ignored her and shut off from the world and now I can’t remember most of her last 2 weeks and I’ll never forgive myself for that. I sang at her memorial service but was too centered on myself and worried about what others thought of me instead of singing for her.

And in truth I’m crying tonight more than I did when she first died out of sorrow and guilt. A woman who loved me so unconditionally and I couldn’t even attempt to return the favor.

Some granddaughter I am.

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Grandma’s Month

It has begun

The month of history and memories

To celebrate a woman that will never meet my children

What a loss for them

 

My tears of sorrow and grief highlight my cheekbones

Covered by flushed cheeks

And I realize your voice is lost to me

 

Sometimes I close my eyes

And think I hear your whispers

But realize its simply a fragment of a dream I wish to be true

 

It scares me to think that with each

Year, month, day, and hour

More details of you fade

And I fear I won’t have any love to pass on

To those who were never gifted to know your smile

 

When I find myself to ill to move

I wish you were there to nurse me

To drive with me through life

With a calm low voice

Warning me of dangers

And patience that mirror only a saint

 

Although I do not want to join you

Sometimes I wish I could

To see your face and refresh my photographs of my memories

For the coolness of your skin on my lips

Is the last thing I recall

And the first I wish I could forget

 

The blur of life that continues

One you’re gone loses purpose in this month

But I press on out of dedication to you

And stubbornness to me

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I Feel Like My Body’s Betray Me

Its hard to function, go to school, and have a life when you can barely get out of bed in the morning and the only thing making it possible is the fact that classes will be failed if not attended.  I don’t talk about it much (mainly because I didn’t even fully understand my diagnoses until a few months ago) but I have an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s. This causes my body to mistake my cells as viruses and other things that need to be eliminated to keep my body healthy. So my body is essentially attacking it’s self mainly, my thyroid. With my thyroid under attack constantly it results in it not functioning fully or properly making it under active. This results in symptoms like:

  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Heaviness in Limbs
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Tingling and loss circulation in hand and feet
  • Swollen feet/ankles
  • Sensitivity to cold

These are just some of the symptoms I’m dealing with every day. Having to call out of school because I physically cannot leave my bed or to go sit in urgent care in hopes that I’ll get a referral to a specialist (I didn’t) is frustrating. Especially since I am making a huge effort to take care of my body. I’m eating regularly and healthily, drinking plenty of water, getting more than enough sleep, and taking my medications and still my body betrays me and refuses to function.

And the most annoying thing is there is nothing more that I can do other than learn to live with it. Medication helps greatly but any dosage change could take weeks to actually take effect. Besides I can’t even see a specialist until I’m established with a primary care doctor who can give me a referral.

I’m spending most of my days right now sleeping and that’s so infuriating because I did not come to school to sleep. I came to learn, grow, and build relationships. I thought I was ready to start a new chapter in my life and put my health issues behind me but I was wrong.

Peace&Love,

Rai

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Love?

Lights flashing,

World spinning,

Quickly!

Move your lips as fast as you can,

Until the only noise is your heart jumping out of your mouth!

And then, silence.

 

I sigh in relief,

Until a tidal wave of anxiety,

Bigger than any building I’ve ever seen takes me.

 

I jump,

Hoping that someone will catch me,

And convince me that the wave is merely a puddle,

Too shallow to even drown in,

And maybe in reality that’s all it is.

 

But right here and now it feels like a battle that’s gone on for eight years too long,

With millions of casualties.

 

And while I’ve survived and many have not,

The idea of peace seems like such a far-off dream that not even God can bring it to me.

Though He promises,

I sometimes cannot help but feel venom passing through my lips,

Liar.

 

Yet even in these times of darkness I feel a sensation of comfort drift over me,

Maybe I’m crazy?

Perhaps I’m mad?

Hopefully it’s love,

Yes, let’s go with that,

Love.

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I’m Getting Antsy

Well it’s been 24 days since I entered treatment and I’ve been given my first pass home for the night last Sunday. I was excited to be home, thrilled actually but I was also nervous. This, my home is where I binge. It’s my comfort place and when I was home at that very moment the muscle memory of eating nonstop was kicking in and the sweet treats in the pantry were so tempting.

And there was no reason to. No one was fighting at home, there was no yelling or reason to be stressed but I was craving food. And as I’m writing this I don’t even know if I’ll post it because of the stigma around fat woman, eating, and eating disorders. But if I do I want you to know one thing, this is hard.

Eating disorders and mental illness are hard and can take innocent lives but for me, my Binge Eating Disorder is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal with. Sure, once upon a time ago I was diagnosed with EDNOS and struggled with sever restricting but that’s the crazy thing about eating disorder, they change. Often with you.

I’ve had to face things I’ve buried deep inside myself. I’ve had to and still am fighting the voices in my head, online, and in real life that tell me I’m worth nothing because of my weight.

And I’ll probably have to fight it for the rest of my life or until society changes their views on women like me, whichever comes first. But things are getting better. Slowly but surely and they will continue to as long as I’m not afraid to put in the work.

 

Much Peace&Love,

Rai

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