Today has been a whirlwind of thoughts and feelings, from one extreme to the other. I know there is no "right" way to feel right now, but I am swamped with guilt around some of the thoughts I have been having right now.
One minute I am thinking, "I wish it was me". A horrible thing to admit to- I am NOT suicidal, but I guess there is a big part of me that just wants a way out of this. I don't want to say it's the "easy way out" because I don't think anyone, my amazing friend included, would take such a decision so lightly and without thought, but having it brought 'home' somehow makes it seem like... I don't know. Not an "option" per se, but a little less of "one of those things you read about in newspapers".
Then there is this other part of me that is SO grateful to not be in that place right now. I'm stuck and I'm struggling, but I'm looking for answers, solutions, ways forward, rather than embracing the dark shadows around me. I am grateful that I didn't succeed in my last suicide attempt, grateful that I *have* what I have- ie, a chance to make things better. I don't know how or when or what that will look like, but as long as I am alive and relatively well, I have more than a fighting chance of making a life for myself.
The moments of wishing it was me are fleeting but disturbing. More disturbing due to the sheer contrast between the other thoughts about using this to really throw myself headfirst into recovery and leave this behind. Using it as fuel to fight the fire that anorexia burns, using it as momentum to swing things around and start embracing life in all it's (albeit hideous at times) glory.
Torn between darkness and light, torn between wanting to stand up and say, "Enough- I am reclaiming my LIFE" and lying down just thinking about all the people this disease claims as it's own, and wondering why I should even entertain the notion that my future won't be the same.
It's scary to think about the statistics of eating disorders- the percentage that die, the percentage that struggle for the rest of their lives. It doesn't make a pretty picture to look at the charts and tables, the graphs and results, the data, the evidence, the research studies.
But you know what? F*** it. These studies only look at small pieces of evidence. YES, eating disorders kill. Either directly as a result of the behaviour, or more subtly by eroding the soul until suicide seems like the only viable option. And I don't believe it's just a choice of recovery/sickness. I really think people make the best choice they have, based on the options they see in front of them.
So what do I see?
I see a blank canvas. I have dreams of living back in New York one day. As soon as possible. It will always be where I call "home" and it's heartbreaking for me to not be there- but it's one of my main motivations for recovery and I'm not going to get dragged down by the fact that I am NOT there, because that blocks me from taking the steps to get there.
What else do I want?
I want freedom from my rituals and obsessions. I want to be spontaneous- to grab dinner somewhere just because I am hungry and need to eat on my way to do something. I want to have friends I can meet for brunch, go to comedy clubs with, go to bookstores with, wander around and take goofy photos with. I want to go to people's houses for dinner, take day trips to the beach. I want a regular-houred office job that I LIKE (or at least, not hate), but that doesn't define who *I* am. No more "Devil Wears Prada" scenarios, but something I feel good about doing, something that interests me, something that pays enough to not have to work 16 hour days and still barely cover my rent. I want to discover what it means to me to be close to someone, to share my time and thoughts with someone who is interested in me as more than a client/patient. Someone who makes me laugh but can take me seriously when I need them to. Someone who likes falling asleep at night watching "Scrubs" and looks forward to a big cup of hazelnut coffee in the morning. I want to go on bike rides on Sunday mornings, visit farmers markets, go to swing parks and night and rock back and forth looking at the stars. I want to go camping and fall over in muddy puddles, walk in the rain and gather round a campfire at night drinking hot chocolate.
I want so much more than what anorexia will ever give me, but ultimately it comes down to this: do I want all of that more than I want to be thin?
Yes. The problem I have is believing that by giving up the body/weight control, I'll have a chance at creating the life I want. It's NOT possible to have it both ways. To "not have the cake and not eat it either" :P There is this horrible limbo period at the start of recovery, when it feels as though you are giving up the "good" parts of the eating disorder, but yet to reap any of the benefits of recovery. They come later. Much later.
How do I hold onto the bigger dreams I have for my life, whilst living through the limbo?..