"I think I am coming to the end of my metamorphosis.
At Adelphi, I was a caterpillar. For awhile. In March, I huddled into my cocoon, desperate for warmth, salvation, quiet. Renfrew provided and in May, I became a butterfly.
Now, I am flying towards the sun, wings outstretched, eyes open wide.
Not a single net in sight."
. I am very glad to have my life today. I feel exceptionally lucky for this heart that beats, these legs that walk, these fingers that can hold a pencil to write. Maybe I don’t look the way I want to look. But, in honesty, even when I was sick, I didn’t look the way I wanted to look either. It will never be enough. I can get as sick as I like. It will never be satisfying enough because there will always be someone sicker. And even if I came to be that ‘someone sicker,’ what benefit would there be to that? There’s no medal for being sickest, for being thinnest. Maybe I’d feel better if I were. But in the end, I’m proud of myself for sucking it up and saying ‘this is sick enough’ and accepting that I was still eligible for help, even if I wasn’t the sickest I could’ve been. This is about mental restoration. The last time I was far too focused on the physical restoration to give ample time to the mental aspects of it, and in that, I think I did myself a great disservice. I deserve to be here because I deserve to live just as much as someone 40 pounds thinner. I’ve been 40 pounds thinner. And you know what? It sucked. Being at the lowest low is exactly what it implies – low. And I am not low anymore. I have people that love me, and a lot of them, at that. And I am surrounded by good people here. For the most part, anyway. I need to continue to accept the support and cease closing myself off to everyone. Cease being the ‘cranky’ one. I can be the positive one. The motivated one. Because you know the fuck what? I am motivated. Fuck this life. I don’t want it anymore. I am so much better than this and always have been. I understand why I’ve accepted it, embraced it even so, but that doesn’t mean I have to continue to do so. Maybe I want to die a lot of the days. It’s hard to find motivation to live after convincing yourself for so long that death is just another purge away. but I will find it. Even if I have to search the every corner of the universe, I will find it. And I will hold it in my hands, close to my heart, and I will say, ‘I will be free.’
April 17th, 2009
I had a moment of clarity last night and I’m trying my best to hold onto it. I want to get better. I cannot promise I will never do this again – that is far too overwhelming – but as for right now, I have no interest in using my symptoms and want to focus on finding health. Six years is nothing to brag about. It’s been too long and I’ve been too weak. I think throughout all of this I’ve neglected to step outside of myself and observe what I was doing. I did last night and it made me so fucking angry. If anyone else in my life were to force themselves to vomit, and that violently, I’d be so, so, so, so sad. I remember how I felt about Lindsay. It destroyed me. I just wanted to help her and I couldn’t. this is the same thing. I could never look at myself objectively because I was far too wrapped up in getting rid of my food. But, everyone else who knew what I was doing was torn up about it. And I couldn’t understand why. What’s the big deal? What does it matter? It did fucking matter. I’m so angry about it. So angry that I kept doing it and kept thinking it was okay. who gave me permission to abuse myself? who said it was acceptable? I’m ashamed. Proud that I’m making these strides but ashamed that they’ve taken this long. It wasn’t the same in Florida. I feel far more clear here. Maybe it’s the medication. Who knows? All I know is that I’m happy to be here and happy to have another chance of recovery. I’m going to do it this time. No more bingeing and purging. No more restricting. No more calories, weights, numbers, meal plans. No more jeans that are too big and boobs that shrink. No more isolating, hiding out in bathroom stalls with red cups, my hair tied up. No more. This is the end.
I’m going to do this. I’m going to beat this. That voice, that awful, demeaning, loathing little voice that has been resounding in my head for six years is about to get squashed. Six years. It’s so hard to think it’s nearly been that long. Six years of starving, bingeing, barfing and all the in between. It’s comical how black and white my thinking is when eating disorders have so much gray area. A contradiction, through and through. That’s what it is. I have support. People love me. I love them right back. Most of them, anyway. I don’t need to do this anymore. I never needed to do it to begin with. I’m stuck in a place where I can’t remember why I did. It baffles me beyond reason. What satiation, what relief could I have possibly received from forcing myself to vomit every day, multiple times a day? How could I have felt ‘full’ when all I ever ate was honeydew and cantaloupe? The healthy part of me that has come in to play here at Renfrew cannot grasp the concept. It seems foreign to me. I did it, and I know that, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. But I feel so far away from that girl that was admitted here four weeks ago. So, so, so far away. I’m not that girl anymore. I’m glad for that, of course, but I feel like I lost her before I could figure out what was wrong with her. Perhaps it’s better that way, but I’m still ungodly curious. I know there are times I liked to think it made me feel better. It put me to sleep, if it did nothing else. It made me empty. But, there comes a time where even the emptiness feels full. And I felt perpetually full. And I just wanted to die to cease feeling so heavy. But, I couldn’t. I don’t think I want to ever again. Death is inevitable, but I’d like to hold off on it for awhile. Maybe forty or so years? Yeah. I know there is a part of me that’s going to have to compromise. If I begin living, for the first time since I’m thirteen, and I don’t like it, I can always go back. I can always try to die again. Maybe I’d succeed this time. But, until then, I’m satisfied to be here, alive and kicking.
May 26th, 2009
Death will always be something bizarrely fascinating to me. There is a line. I have crossed it three times now, three times too many. Each time I saw enough to push me back, enough to say ‘I’ve had enough.’ But, still, I was interested, and still, I went back.
I never want to go back. Interesting does not mean ‘worth it.’ Interesting does not mean ‘dangerous.’ Interesting implies it will deliver something rewarding. Death is nothing of the sort.
I know why I wanted to die. I felt like life was too much. That it had dealt me a hand that was too much to handle. But, in the end, I did handle it, even if I handled it in the incorrect way. But, what’s to say this was the incorrect way, you know? If not for my eating disorder, I would not appreciate life half as much as I do now. In fact, I’d probably be a smug teenager whining about how shitty my life is while I sat on the couch and munched on a bag of Doritos. But, that’s not who I am. I am a strong, intelligent, beautiful person, and I can finally say that, even if I don’t always believe it, even if it’s taken me my entire life to even mutter that statement. This life is SO worth it and I am so thankful to have it. And if it took six years down in the netherworld for me to realize that, then so be it. I’m glad it was six years and not sixteen, or worse, sixty. In fact, I’m glad I made it out alive. I’m luckier than most.
This is what real life is like. This is what being happy, being healthy, being normal is like. And I love it. There are days I wake up and fucking hate the way I look and everyone in the entire world. But, the truth of the matter is, everyone has those days, not just me. Those moments are not individual or singular to me and my disorder or to people who share my disorder. It is a catholic concept and one I am all too familiar with and tired of. I genuinely adore waking up in the morning and thinking, 'I'm fucking starved! What's for breakfast?' I adore the fact that I'm capable of waking up at all. Nothing is better than this and I finally recognize that. I'm not saying my life is a pocketful of sunshine. Honestly? It's not. I have a lot of shit going on, stupid shit, but the fact that I can carry on with my life even so is absolutely astounding to me. The old Jessica would have tumbled immediately back down into the abyss, but not the new Jessica. I'm standing my fucking ground. The world could fall around my feet, I am not budging. I've had enough. I've purged, binged, barfed, and starved my way through life and I am so done I need a new word for done. Do I still think about it, consider it, imagine the relief? OF COURSE. But, I know what comes after that relief - the dreaded fear, the horrible little voice that grows continuously, continuously louder as the days proceed, encouraging a farther tumble down the rabbit hole. I know that once I dunk my toes in the water, I'll be jumping in. I know myself and I know it's too easy. Which is why I'm giving myself no option. I can either live or die. And goddamnit, I want to live and keep fucking living.
I have six months on Saturday. And, I have never been more fucking proud.