March 7th, 2016
I’m in Friends & Family group now. I just got off the phone with my best friend from Residential!!! It was really nice to be able to talk to her on my break. It’s so weird to think that they’re all still in Florida, though. I spent this morning at Starbucks after bringing Mama a latte to work. I thought I’d spend my time there reading Decoding Anorexia, but ended up messing around with the idea of moving to Hawaii. The idea of sunshine, rainbows, lush grass, palm trees, the ocean, sandy feet and salty hair, and fresh coconuts just gives me this sense of butterflies. It’s like I’m…excited. It’s a feeling I haven’t had about something non-E.D. related in I don’t know how long. Just the possibility of it seems so surreal to me. It reminds me that when I’m healthy, I can do (virtually) anything I want. This past week, I haven’t wanted to do much of anything. Seriously, if I’d have been offered a plane ticket to Spain, I hands-down would not have taken it. So, I’m taking this fantasy of living the aloha lifestyle as a good sign. At the moment, the things I have lined up for me over the next month aren’t too exciting. As a matter of fact, they’re incredibly anxiety-provoking. Going back to Corvallis, which I keep realizing is coming sooner and sooner, is absolutely terrifying to me. I have so many disordered memories that originate simply by turning onto Highway 34, not to mention walking through the same halls I once walked through engaging in serious E.D. behavior. I vividly remember passing through the M.U. inhaling the scent of P.F. Chang’s, genuinely feeling as though I would die if I could just get a LICK of that Kung Pao Chicken on my tongue. And then, robotically walking away as quickly as I could, knowing I was only taunting myself, and proceeding downstairs to the convenience store to buy myself a Sobe Lifewater and three packs of sugar free gum. Even the girl who works at that store is a trigger for me. I remember sneaking by to see who was working, and if it was the same person who’d sold me the three packs of gum the day before, I’d have to wait until the next person started their shift. I remember a day that I was sick, and was supposed to open at work. I did open, but I looked (and sounded) awful. I was so exhausted, but the bummer about working at the gym, was that I couldn’t get away with not working and still getting to work out. So, I decided I would stay, because there was no way I was going to miss a workout. Unfortunately, my boss came to me and told me I could go home…so I had to go upstairs to the most crowded cardio room, and try to find a machine near the back that I could use and still remain relatively out of sight, in hopes none of my coworkers would see me. I’m still not sure if any of them did.
Then, there’s the whole issue of eating on campus. I’ve never eaten on campus. Never. Not once. Freshman year, it was only in my dorm room, during the 30 minute period I allowed myself between the hours I deemed appropriate that day. Other than that, the only time I met up with friends for something on campus was for coffee. Yes, black coffee. If I was alone there would occasionally be sugar free vanilla added.
It’s exhausting having an eating disorder. There’s so much work that goes into it. But there’s also so much satisfaction that comes along with it. There’s this sense of, “I’m doing what almost no one else can. I have willpower and strength like no other. And as distorted as that sounds, it’s really hard to imagine myself walking back onto that same campus every day and setting a whole new pattern. A new start sounds very refreshing. Does it sound like an escape? Maybe. But as long as the eating disorder’s under control, is that such a bad thing? To have an escape? To completely start over? I don’t know. What I do know, is that the idea, that something like that is a possibility when I’m healthy, is very encouraging. And that, is something to be thankful for.