The following is an entry I wrote last night. I wasn’t sure why, but I didn’t feel right about posting it before I went to bed. I decided to wait until morning and re-evaluate. I now know that Jesus was going to give me a word of encouragement. See that below (past the blocked text).
I want to cry.
I am not going to cry, but in this moment, I really, really want to.
This last month has been really good for me. In fact, I’d say it’s been one of the best of my life, over the span of the past few years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t tell the whole story.
I’m still not weight restored.
I’m really, really, really close. So close that it makes me mad to think about it.
But I can’t get myself to just get there.
To be honest, I’d been feeling a sort of complacency about the whole thing.
I have everything (mostly) I want right now. I’m getting to go to school. I’m getting to live on my own (with friends). I’m working a job that I love. It’s easy for me to get home and see my family, and I love that. I feel like I’m finally learning to balance my school life, social life, and work life. Things are good.
Granted, I’m still not getting to work out. I hate the number of appointments I have to go to each week. And I’d be very happy to be five pounds lighter. But, realistically, knowing that I’m in recovery, I kind of feel like I’m living the best of both worlds.
It wasn’t bothering me that I wasn’t fully allowing myself to recover (AKA being weight restored), until something of mine was on the line.
I’ve been planning a trip to Italy with one of my best friends, Maddie, for the past few months. She’s studying abroad there, and my dad was able to get me a roundtrip ticket using frequent flier miles. I get to stay in her apartment with her, so other than food, the trip is basically costless to me.
Pretty great deal, right?
Yeah, it is. I’m stoked about it. Maddie and I have been planning everything down to the last second. We’ve already booked train tickets for a weekend trip to Paris, two Airbnbs, and mapped out the best Holiday markets for shopping.
There’s a catch though. I can’t be below my goal weight and go to Italy. My mom and I had initially agreed that I would cancel the trip if I wasn’t there two months prior to the departure date.
Well, well, well.
The trip is now 36 days away, and I’m still not there. I’m not about to cancel my trip to Italy, and the eating disorder’s sure not about to just go ahead and gain the last bit of weight that I need to.
As is true when procrastinating anything though, now it’s crunch time. The past three months I’ve been moving along ever so slowly — gaining a pound, then losing it, then gaining half a pound back, then losing it, etc.
I’ve yet to get myself to the point I need to be at and stay there.
Were it just some arbitrary number, a pound or two wouldn’t really make a difference. But it’s not. It’s the weight that’s proven (time and time again) to stimulate my hormone production. I haven’t had my period (again) for a couple of months now, so that’s the real concern with getting back to “that number.”
I like the weight I’m at now, though. I’m comfortable here. And more importantly, I’m eating (relatively) normally here. I keep arguing to my dietician, “Maybe my body just doesn’t want to move from this weight! Maybe it’s just happy here. Why else would increasing my caloric intake and decreasing my activity not cause me to gain weight, if that’s what my body wanted?”
Yeah, no. Apparently I don’t get to ask that question when I’m twenty years old and in premature menopause.
I already tried countering the period argument.
I don’t plan on having kids, and while I know my mom’s rolling her eyes as she’s reading this right now (she thinks I’ll change my mind), I’m pretty confident in that. It’s not a new development, but something I’ve been pretty sure of the past couple of years. It’s not that I don’t want to give birth to my own child, trust me, I do. I just don’t think it’s right for me. There’s mental illness aplenty on both sides of my family, and I have no desire whatsoever to impart that on any unborn child. Especially when there are so many already born children who need homes.
So, there’s that argument. Why is it such a big deal that I have my period if I’m not going to have kids anyway?
Well, because apparently your period is responsible for more than just helping your body make babies. I know, I should know this. Didn’t I just take anatomy this summer? It’s rather convenient how much I forget about health when it’s about my own body. If I want to be able to ski when I’m thirty, hike with my friends in the summers, and take my dogs on a walk when I’m forty, then I need to have my period. You can’t do those things if you developed severe osteoporosis before your 25th birthday.
Ugh. Crazy how that works, huh?
So, anyway. Back to why I want to cry.
My mom called me a couple hours ago. Italy came up. Actually, I (stupidly) brought it up. I’d FaceTimed Maddie earlier in the day, and told my mom about it. Then came the question.
Mom: So. Italy. What’s your plan?
Me: What plan?
Mom: Bridgette, come on. We talked about this. You cannot just keep procrastinating making a decision about this trip. The agreement was, if you were not weight restored two months prior to the trip, you weren’t going. It’s well past that. What’s the plan?
Me: Yeah, okay, I know. Um… Well, I’m not going to cancel the trip. So, I’m just going to go.
Mom: Even if you’re not weight restored?
*heavy breathing on the other end of the phone…I can tell she’s MAD*
Mom: Are you serious?
Me: Um… Yeah.
Mom: You are playing a game. We had an agreement.
Me: Mom, what do you want me to do? Cancel the trip if I’m not weight restored in two days?
Mom: Yes. I think that sounds like a good idea.
Me: UGH! I don’t even think that’s possible.
Mom: Bridgette, you know it’s possible. This should’ve been done a LONG time ago. Two days or you’re not going.
Me: Mom, that’s not realistic! Stop it! … What about a week? If I’m not there in a week, then I don’t go.
Mom: Okay, fine. If you’re not there in one week, you are not going.
Me: K… Well, I see Tara (my dietician) tomorrow. I’ll ask her what she thinks, if that’s even a good length of time. It might not be enough.
Mom: Okay, Bridgette, you do that. I bet you she’ll say that two days would be enough time.
Me: Yes, mom, I said okay! Goodbye!
Mom: Okay. I love you. Goodbye.
Me: Yeah, love you. Bye.
So that’s how the conversation went. That’s why I want to cry. Because I know it’s crunch time now. I know that my weight needs to be at that mark one week from today, or I’m not going to Italy. So NOW I care.
We’ll see if that’s enough to get me there.
I’m going to have to work very hard over the next seven days.
So…not very uplifting, huh? Last night was one of those times when I was kind of in a ho-hum, woe is me, we’ll-see-where-this all-goes kind of mentalities. It certainly wasn’t the attitude of a fighter. I hate it when I get like that! It happens more often than I care to admit.
This morning, as I opened my devotional, just like I do every morning, I asked Jesus to speak to me. I was feeling empty and agonizing the day that lied ahead. Not in terms of events planned…that part I was excited about. My roommates and I are going to Brad’s playoff game in Salem tonight, and beforehand, we’re going to dinner with my mom. I’m excited for the game. I’m excited to see my mom. I’m excited to hang out with Claire and Anna.
What I’m not excited for is the increased amount of food I know I need to eat today. For my dietician appointment at 9:30 this morning. For the actual eating at the restaurant tonight. For my phone appointment with my therapist tomorrow morning. It’s fair to say I was actually dreading those things.
Then came the word from God. My devotional referenced the first and second chapters of the book of Ezekiel, so I turned to it in my Bible. What I began to read brought me to tears.
Do not be afraid, though briers and thorns are all around you and you live among scorpions. Do not be afraid of what they say or be terrified by them, though they are a rebellious people. You must speak my words to then, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious. But you, son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not rebel like that rebellious people; open your mouth and eat what I give you.”
No, the words “open your mouth and eat what I give you” were not actually bolded in my Bible. But that’s how they appeared to me! I interpreted this as the briers and thorns as being my eating disorder, or other things not of God that would discourage me from moving forward in my recovery.
I need to listen to Jesus. I need to do what He says. And in this case, that’s what my treatment team says…as much as I may not like it, and as much as the ED may try to rebel.
This morning, I am encouraged. I will continue to move forward. I will submit to recovery, because I need to if I am submitting to Jesus. And just like I said it will be yesterday, it will be hard. With Jesus though, I can do it.