February 6, 2007
Just over seven months have passed since I left treatment. Every day is still a struggle, as I fight to keep moving forward, while old habits and methods of dealing with life still infiltrate my days. I wonder sometimes if there is even such a thing as complete recovery from anorexia. After 17 years of this, some things are so ingrained in my head that doing anything different seems so foreign. So wrong.
I haven't cut in almost 8 months, which is a huge accomplishment for me. My arms, which once were covered in a multitude of scars in various shades of purple, are now mostly faint white lines, hardly noticeable to others-- even in a short sleeved shirt. I used to not care who saw them, nor what others thought. It's not that I was *proud* of the scars by any means, but I also wasn't really all that self-conscious about them either. Now, I hesitate to wear anything shorter than 3/4 length sleeve. By summer, however-- they should be completely healed.
In October, I was diagnosed with ADHD, combination type, adult form. It is a relief, in some ways, to have that diagnosis: to know that my lack of organizational and time management skills have a reason; to know that my poor performance in school over the past couple of years is not entirely of my own doing; to know that my quirkiness about things like waiting in long lines, or sitting in movie theaters, crowded shopping centers and the like have an actual reason besides merely just being weird. I started on Adderall this past fall, and the difference has been like night and day. I know some people don't respond to Adderall or Ritalin and do just fine with learning how to manage their days and to live with ADHD in a functional manner. For me, the medication has been a god-send.
In fact, for me, it has worked better than any of the antidepressants I've tried, without the horrendous side-effects of the effexor. I still have minor withdrawl effects if I run out of my prescription and can't get a refill right away (I have to have a new prescription written out every month by my dr., as Adderall is a class II drug and non-refillable.) But it has helped immensely with *everything*: the depression is nearly non-existent (though I have my days), the anxiety is minor now and at manageable levels; and most importantly, the constant stream of random, nonsensical and often incomprehensible, random thoughts 24/7 have nearly disappeared. Yes, I still think and mull things over quite often, but not like before. I can focus in class and actually get something out of the lectures. I can sit through tests without getting overwhelmed, and subsequently "drawing a blank". My GPA last semester was a 4.0. And it's looking like this semester will be more of the same.
I still have a fairly big problem with time management, and getting places on time, though I'm never more than a few minutes late (partly due to the fact that my lead foot has not yet succeeded in getting me a speeding ticket!)
I still struggle with intake and getting my calorie level up. Some days I simply just don't want to eat. I know part of that is due to the Adderall, but it's a matter of choosing the better of two evils. Adderall is a stimulant, and therefore can act as an appetite suppressant. Yet I would rather have the struggle of trying to get enough calories in during the day (and being pretty much ok with eating), than to still struggle to follow my meal plan and also fighting the guilt that follows for the rest of the day. I don't generally feel guilty for eating anymore, and therefore have rarely purged since leaving treatment. There have been a few times, yes, but not like before, when I pretty much ate about 500 calories a day, purging anything over that, and also working out at the gym for 3 - 4 hours a day. Now, I'm able to leave the gym after about half that time and be ok with it.
I know I still have issues to work through, and I know this fight is one that probably won't be over for awhile yet--- but I can only hold onto the hope that one of these days, that ever-elusive "other side" will be waiting for me.
Posted by Wendy on February 6, 2007 5:15 AM
I don't really know you (except for reading this blog), but I was just surfing the net and came across it by accident. Having read a lot of your posts, even though you haven't written in a while, I want to tell you what a strong person you must be. I look up to you, you're a complete inspiration. Thank you.
Posted by: sarah at April 2, 2007 5:43 AM
i'll be praying for you. i have recovered from my disorder, but only by the Grace of God.
Posted by: sona at May 7, 2007 2:42 PM
i don't know you. i just found this blog. and i am 17 years old and struggling as you are. and i just want you to know that you can do this! and you can totally recover from this- at my recovery center i have met women and men who have both totally recovered and they've told me that it is hard-but possible.
and i thought that that might make you at little optimistic.
Posted by: stephanie at December 30, 2007 6:52 AM
i just want to let you know, like the other commentors, that you are such an inspiration.
i am struggling to overcome bulimia after having it for only a couple of years, and hearing that you've had it for so long and can still get a semblance of what NORMAL was like before the ED gives me much hope. I'm just terrified that i will never remember what "normal" was like and never want to recover. im scared that this pain of purging and restricting is going to last the rest of my life when i wish i was just ok with my body...but im not unfortunately. thank you for your blog, though.
Posted by: alyssa at February 24, 2008 8:25 PM