Friday, June 17, 2011

I love roller coasters, but I don't want to live on one.

I feel like I'm in a much better place right now than I was last night, this morning, even a few hours ago..

I went to bed last night with a binge. I ran with the team, with a shirt on of course. I looked in the mirror before I left for the track disgusted with myself. Then I came home to start the morning off before school with a binge. What the heck.
I just felt so depressed/alone/I can't even describe it..
So I text my therapist and say, "I really do feel depressed.. I don't know what's wrong with me. :("
She responds a few minutes later by calling, but I was in class.
She leaves a voicemail telling me to call her back, and I do when class gets out early at 9:00.
As soon as she says my name on the other line, I burst into tears.. Where these came from? I have no idea.. But she tells me she is at the Union now and she would like to meet.

So I find her there and we start talking.. She says that she can notice this change in me within the past couple weeks, and it's worrisome.
Somehow this floodgate has opened though, and I feel so vulnerable, so exposed to all of my emotions.

We're sitting at a spot in the Union where I told her I remember I used to sit last fall between classes. I remember my stomach growling and me telling it to shut up. I will give you your 80 calorie non-fat yogurt in just a few minutes if you are patient! Now I cram spoonful after spoonful of yogurt and pb and granola in my mouth at night, not even tasting it. I hate both of these extremes.
But I tell her that I don't remember hurting near as much when I was in the height of my eating disorder. I didn't worry so much about others. I didn't focus on the pain I felt from others' actions, either. It was more about me, more about the food. As long as I concentrated on getting my daily calorie intake, it would all be fine.
Now, not so much. It's a good thing, really. But it hurts to feel so exposed the way I do.
[Taken in July].. I have to remember that this girl wasn't happy, either.
She just didn't feel anything, or tried not to, at least.
Anyway, we talk for almost an hour before I head off to Chemistry class.
I call her after class as she asked me to, and I find that she set up a doctor's appointment at the Student Health Center for this afternoon. We had talked this morning about how I may be suffering from depression, plus I haven't been sleeping very much.
So I go to the Health Center and she walks with me as we make our way to the doctor's offices. She tells a nurse that she'd like to speak to my doctor before he sees me. We part ways, and I go with the nurse as she has to get a few stats on me. She checks my weight, and I close my eyes. I don't want to know the number. But she says it aloud, anyway. :/ 123. What the heck. I'm thinking, "fatfatfat. Wow, you gained 4 pounds in a month. Out of control." I tear up then and there. But I try to stay calm as she checks my blood pressure/pulse rate. She hands me some forms to answer about anxiety/depression.
They were these statements like, "I am very critical of myself." or "I really worry over what others think of me.". Then there were bubbles 0-3. 0 being not at all. 1-somewhat. 2-moderate. 3-a lot. Most of my statements fell in the moderate range, with a couple "a lots", and quite a few 0's as well. I didn't have any of the panic attack symptons, just overall feeling worrisome/depressed statements pretty much.

So the doctor comes in after speaking to Dr. Tatem and tells me that based on my answers I am suffering from extreme depression. Me?? Extreme depression? I don't know.. I tell him that it's not all that bad.  I've just been going through a lot lately. Especially after my mom's relapse, it seems that every little thing is getting to me. Anyway, all of the blood work he needed was already done cuz of my countless previous visits for both ED checkups and track, so he didn't have to do much before prescribing something. He said that it looks like my B-6 levels are low, so he put me on this vitamin called Stresstabs that should raise these levels, and that will apparently keep my serotonin levels up. Then he prescribed a 10mg dose of Fluoxetine. It's not much. He said I probably won't feel any of the effects until next week. He also told me that I need to be on fish oil as well as a multivitamin. I knew this already, I just suck at taking them. Also I need to be better about taking iron! Gotta keep that in check.

Anyway, I don't really know how I feel about all of this.. part of the reason Dr. Tatem talked to him beforehand was to let him know that I don't want anything that causes dependency. My family has a bad history of addiction. P.s. I found out last night that my mom was buying adderall off my sister (who actually has ADD) for about a month before she technically 'relapsed'. Greeeeat.
So yea, he said it should be fine. I don't know.. I am excited to see if anything happens.

I really did not like this doctor, though. He downplayed everything I told him, and when he asked why I wasn't satisfied with my body I told him that I felt like I was fat. He says, "but you are not fat. You have very little body fat on you, if any at all." He proceeds to show me by squeezing my hip that I don't have fat. I understand his argument or whatever, but the point I am trying to make is that I feel fat. It doesn't matter if I really am fat at all. If you feel a certain way, then that makes it true for you.
He goes on to say that I'm "lucky [I] don't have the other end of eating disorders." He says that some people just eat and eat and eat!! I'm respond with, "Well I am like that. It's just every other day or so." He's like, "Oh no, you don't have what they have. They gorge themselves, and they're so big." I said, "Eating 2000 calories in an hour is disordered eating, no matter what size you are." But he just wouldn't kept arguing, not listening.
I find this man to be very ignorant. You could just tell that he hates fat people. Seriously, dude? He kept talking about how they eat Mcdonald's every meal and it's disgusting. "You look super thin compared to most. I mean, Mississippi is the fattest state, you know!" he tells me. Umm, yea, I know. But what does that have to do with me? Just because some people eat fast food does not downplay my problem. I don't know.. I was just very annoyed.

I came home to talk to Connor on skype for about an hour. This really cheered me up. We've kinda been on the rocks these past couple weeks, with me being weird/sad and dealing with everything that is going on. But we talked through a lot of stuff, and I am so glad that we did. Sometimes ED is on the hush-hush in our relationship cuz neither one of us wants to talk about it cuz it controls my life so much already; we don't want it in our relationship, too. But it's there, whether we discuss it or not.
The difference with this conversation was that Connor finally got to talking. He told me his feelings regarding my ED and how my going from super high- "I'm never gonna binge again" to super low-"I hate my life.." affects him. We compared it to my mom and her relapsing. So I understand that he doesn't take either one of this statements too literally because they're just temporary. That's the way I view my Mom's words, as well.
But it was good to see that my ED is not only affecting me. It affects others, too. My life can't stay like this, with me and everyone else being hung on this emotional roller coaster. I can't imagine all that I have put Connor through, and I so very grateful for him and the rest of my support team, as well, family and friends alike.
Taken the last time I saw my handsome man.. almost a month ago.
This is long. Very long. To all who have commented, and even those that just read, thank you. I didn't get to read your words until this afternoon, but they mean so much. I am going to keep them in mind as I welcome a new, stable perspective on life and myself.
I've gotta do what that one post said and learn to be happy with myself. I deserve that. Yes, I'm uncomfortable in my body at the moment, but once I stop binging and then purging through extreme exercise/diet then my body will find it's natural weight, and I'll have to accept that.

My eyes are so tired from crying. I took a nap before writing this, and I'm about to write a speech I give in class on Monday. Then I've got a bunch of Chem to work on. I'm going home after my long run with the girls in the morning, so that should be good. I was going to go home today, but with so much going on, I just needed to stay here and rest for a bit.

Btw I got a 95% on my last speech, so thank you for the good luck wishes!
Also, I walked out of my Chemistry exam this past Tuesday in tears, sure that I had failed it. I called Connor and cried. Then I cried for another half hour. I go to class the next day to find that I made the highest grade, and he curved it so much that I got above a 100%. Things like this let me know that I do worry too much..

I hope you all have a great night. Thanks for always being there for me, through my roller coaster. Hopefully things will be better soon, starting right now.


  1. I am so sorry that you are stuck on a roller coaster!! I know you feel out of control, and I so hope that your therapist can help you sort these things out--along with your boyfriend/others--y'all are ADORABLE!!

    You can do this <3

  2. haley,

    your words are deep and real and i can't respond with anything but i truly love you and empathize to the deepest level with you. i know i don't and won't ever understand everything to the n-th degree, but i truly madly deeply love you and have so much respect for you and our friendship.

    ♥ reny

  3. Guess what?!?! I will be going to the refuge with ya'll tomorrow! I'm not sure if I will actually be running with you since you are super fast, but hopefully we will still have a chance to catch up! I love you so much and I'm praying for you! You have come so far in so many ways and I am so proud of you. You know I struggle with many of the same things, so I am always here for you.

  4. Aww I'm so sorry that you're going through all of this, Haley! I hope things work out with the meds and all. Isn't it annoying how doctors can be so ignorant sometimes?! Ugh.

    I'm praying for you - keep fighting!

  5. Oh wow hun that's a lot to deal with. Just wanted to let you know the I too know that feeling of a binge so well. And how it feels like 10 steps backwards. But the longer you persevere with eating the right amount, the less the binges happen.
    I'm sorry that doctor demeaned your problems, that really hurts. You're can feel fat even though you obviously aren't, it doesn't make your feelings any less real and painful.

    Sending support and prayer.

    Thought you might like this link <3


  6. I'm thinking of you. I don't really feel in the position to give you advice I just want you to know that you're in my thoughts and prayers.

    Take care Haley and remember all things eventually work together for good - no matter how dark things look at the moment.

  7. I can totally relate to this. I don't like talking about the binging but you are so open about it and helps me process my own struggles. I look up to you so much and am so thankful for you!

  8. Angel, your weight, is your weight.
    You run, you are all muscle, and so regardless, any *weight* is muscle because you run so so much.
    I know numbers are hard, but you are stronger than the numbers.
    The bingeing I can imagine, although I am sure some is emotional, is probably a result of so much exercise.

    I am sorry you haven't see the boy in so long.
    It can be hard to be parted.

    I understand the place EDs take in relationships.
    It pretty much destroyed my relationship with my girlfriend as it was too much for me to cope with.

    But you fight.
    And that is the difference.

    The mood, yes.
    I always say you have to tackle the weight restoration and food eating, and then if after that you still don't feel right, there is a possibility there is depression there or something else.

    Love YOU xxxx

  9. Sweetie, I am so sorry for everything you are going through right now. The sucky thing about recovery is that there is a period of time where because you are starting to ease up on your unhealthy habits (ie for you, binging and restricting), you know longer have this coping mechanism to numb yourself with so you start to feel overwhelming emotional pain. What you have to take away from this is the fact that you are LETTING YOURSELF FEEL means that you are finally starting to LIVE!!! It sucks so bad at first but as time goes on, like with anything, you learn to get used to feeling emotion.

    For me, I found it so hard at first and it was so incredibly tempting to just go back to my old ways because I didn't want to feel any of it anymore. But living with no emotion is not a way to live. You are on the road to recovery and there are so many bumps and winds that it's hard to even understand how people make it to the end of it but they do.

    I'm holding your hand right now, honey. Everything is going to be okay. As Rachel said, weight is weight. It doesn't matter. I'm currently much higher in weight than i EVER thought I would be (higher than the doctors aimed for me to go) but you know what? I don't care anymore. I can't be bothered caring anymore. My weight doesn't make me who I am. It's my personality that does.

    You are absolutely beautiful, sweetie. Most of all you have such a beautiful heart. Things are so shit right now but I assure you that it's all apart of recovery and learning how to live again. It's time to start living now hun :) <3


  10. I read this last night but forgot to comment then (oops).

    I'm sorry to hear that things haven't been going well lately, but at least you reached out for help and it sounds like you have a great therapist, although your doctor sounds like a jerk. If you ever want to exchange doctor horror stories, I'm here for ya because I'm on my third doctor and this one finally "gets" my ED. I don't think they are trained on this type of stuff in med school so yeah.

    Connor seems like such a great guy and you two are super cute together. Skype is so awesome that you can talk to him from far away and actually see him too :).

    I hope your new meds and new vitamins work and make things a little easier for you. Still, you've made lots of progress and have lots to be thankful for.


  11. Hi Love. I really admire how well you can express yourself. It brings back a lot of memories and emotions for me that I barely knew I had, as I never spoke them or wrote them down. For example: sometimes when I am back on my college campus (UCLA), I see and feel flashbacks of my underweight self and habits. And I get a tinge of jealousy and nostalgia for it. I wasn't unhappy at that time...but I know that my life is so much fuller now, that I just have to feel sad for that old self.

    Your doctor is an idiot. Don't talk to any more docs about your body image/ eating disorder history unless it is someone who SPECIALIZES in that. otherwise, they are so effing dumb to not understand that the outside appearance of someone says NOTHING about what is going on inside.

    I was too afraid to talk to anyone about my issues for so long, because I knew I was still super thin and that no one would take me seriously when I said I was eating myself sick several days a week. Like sick -- just had to lie down in bed.

    I'm really glad your therapist sounds so wonderful. thank goodness for that

  12. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! Please never feel that you are!! EVER!! You've got SO many people who love and support you, and I am always here if you need to talk, ok? <3

    I agree with the other commenters- your doctor sounds like an idiot, and your therapist amazing! And just look at the difference of the photos of you in July to now!! You look SO much happier and seriously STUNNING now!!

    LOVE YOU and I'll keep praying for you!! I KNOW you will beat this- you just need to believe it too! <3 <3 <3

    P.S. CONGRATS in your exams you smart chica!! Woop!! :D

  13. It is hard to deal with so many things going at once.

    Yes, it is HARD to gain weight. I am in that process, and it scares me shitless. I do struggle with this too. I find myself going from being happy to being depressed in a flat second. I hate that I am gaining weight but I love how I am starting to look better (my skin for example).

    Recovery is not easy. And with your mom's recent is harder.

    And I understand what you mean by hush-hush in your relationship about ED with Connor. Stu and I do get like that from time to time, but it is important to get my ED out in the open and have our feelings to be addressed.

    Our EDs doesn't affect just us...but people around us too.

    Thank you for your wonderful comment to my post. :) Hugs.

  14. Praying for you Haley!! KEEP FIGHTING ~ I'm sending you a big hug full of hope!

    Congrats on your exam btw - that's *great*!!

  15. Sweetie<3
    Im sorry I dont comment on your blog too often. I read your posts and pray for you and send you happy thoughts. I cant wait till your out of all of this!! And you will be, but it sure is a long way!
    Your doctor sounded totally useless. I hate when people think they can see how you are, from the outside. I used to be really thin, and people was almost happy when I binged because they wanted me to eat. But binging doesnt do any good- nomatter what.
    Now, Im at a normal healthy weight, but my relationship with food and myself is so bad. I dont have a healthy relationship with food, and I still starve myself and can binge. But people dont worry anymore- because I look "fine". This really bugs me!

    I wish you better days to come! You are so strong, keep on fighting! And the two of you makes a beautiful couple!

  16. Sweetheart,

    Wow, you are so graceful with your wording. i am so impressed with your ability to express your feelings. i love reading what you have to say, as it helps me to know that i am not the only one dealing with this. i hate Ed. he torments me all day long. but i can never seem to ignore him. he just speaks to me like an angel. UGH. more like a devil. but i want to send you warm wishes and lots of support. you dont deserve to live like this. it doesnt only hurt Connor, but it hurts me to see you struggle. i really wish the best for you and please know that i am here to talk to at any time. just email me :) im sending hugs and prayers.
    Be optimistic,
    Megan <3 <3

  17. Hey, beautiful. Good for you for opening up so freely. Sharing your emotions instead of keeping them in will help you process them in a healthier way. I think it is such a blessing that you have a therapist there who obviously cares so much. I would turn to her with your thoughts about this doctor. You need someone who will give you the help to make you feel strong and full of life (because you deserve that) and also someone you feel comfortable and confident in. And always remember - God is there to listen and love on you too. :)

  18. I hope you have had a better week. I'm not sure why female distance runners struggle with this so theory is that it is one area of our life where there is no true "perfect score". Like with grades, 100% effort equals 4.00, absolutely perfect. With weight, when we get to our "perfect score" that perfect score is not perfect we find a new one. In the end, we actually start sliding backwards because our inability to reach perfection in this area starts to affect all other areas of our life.
    I hope that you have found comfort in this week. Hang in there beautiful.
    Love, Megg.