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I want to kill myself. I will go to work until 8pm and put these feelings away into a neat container while I imagine the ways I could stop this agony once I am done. Has their ever been a worse human being than me? No. I never again want to be looked at the way you looked at me today. Too much truth in that. I should not be alive. I wasn’t meant to be alive. Someone should know. 

But you won’t read this anyway… 

no one will ever know and maybe I’ll survive this, or maybe it will be the suicide note that pushed the boundaries too far while I was pushed too far. Look at me, pushing pushing pushing. 

Oh! It won’t matter anyway. Hahahahahaha.

Standing on the edge the edge the edge

Please just let me jump 

Either way, nothing will ever be the same again. 
*this is what I just emailed to my therapist after a rough session. I’m not supposed to email her about anything but logistics…

Privacy vs. Secrecy

Over the last several months, I’ve begun to understand the difference between being private and keeping secrets. I think I imagined they were the same thing. As someone who grew up in a world filled with dark, terrible secrets, I have been hesitant in adulthood to hide my truth. I figured I’d spent enough time concealing my own reality, and doing a lot of damage in that process, to never need to hold back again.

And I still think that’s true. My story is mine to tell, in whatever way I please.

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Wonderful

I realized I left my last post on a bit of a cliffhanger. I didn’t intend to do that, but my life took off like a shot right after I started working. I forgot how exhausting it is to be on your feet all day!

But I did sign the contract and I absolutely love my job. My direct supervisor is amazing. She reminds me a lot of my second clinical instructor, someone I really enjoyed working with. She’s incredibly smart and our personalities fit well together. My clinic director is a classic football-loving athletic guy who seems great, too. I haven’t had the chance to interact with him as much yet. Honestly, everyone at my clinic is super chill and friendly, even (most of) the patients.

I’ve also had the chance to attend a couple of events with the company – a social event and a professional development event. I was able to meet the CEO and many other senior staffers. The whole company has a “family” vibe to it, something I know they work very hard to achieve. I felt welcomed by each person I met and was thrilled when people recognized me at the second event and remembered me!

Extra fun: my supervisor took on a new student this past Monday and that student is a current student at my alma mater! SO COOL! It’s great to have a student working with her because I’m a new grad, so there’s a lot left to learn. Having a student gives me a chance to learn alongside her as well as help to teach, which always reinforces learning.

I just love it. I keep saying that if I could have designed the perfect job for myself upon graduation, it would literally be this job. I know things may not always be quite this ideal (relocations and other changes happen fairly regularly across the company as it continues to grow) but for now, it’s wonderful.

Awesome

I got a phone call this morning offering me the position for the job interview I had on Tuesday. I immediately accepted and received  my offer letter within a few hours. My official start date is next Tuesday. This company has many clinics and I was also informed today that I’ll be working at a facility within a half-hour commute of my home (which is pretty awesome when you live in NYC).

So, yeah, it’s all pretty much exactly what I wanted.

HOW IS THIS MY LIFE?!?!!!

Gahh! It’s all incredibly exciting. I know I worked very hard to set myself for success upon graduating, but man does it feel good to actually reap the benefits of all my efforts! It’s so surreal right now. This also means that beginning in exactly five days I have to be a legit adult again and, you know, work. Scary stuff. But it certainly eases my anxiety to know that I was able to land a job at the exact company I wanted and my job hunting process was remarkably uneventful and abrupt. Win!

Throughout all of this excitement, it was not lost on me that (once again) my schedule will be completely shifting. My therapist and I have always, somehow, done an excellent job at rearranging our schedules to fit each other’s needs, but it’s something that always makes me intensely anxious. Since things have been more relaxed lately, I didn’t panic about my changing schedule as much as I usually do. But I did worry that since I’d have to cancel two of my three appointments next week (after she returns from a TWELVE DAY vacation) it would simply be too long to go without our normal sessions.

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Regret

I wish I had written a post on Friday, after I’d gotten out of session. It was a difficult session, intense and uncomfortable. But also profoundly intimate and full of rich connection.

When I left, it took me roughly two hours of slowly browsing through a bookstore to restore my nervous system to something resembling calm.

The long and short of it is that I’d begun to feel quite disconnected from my therapist. I’ve written previously about my struggles with an eating disorder and how that has tremendous power to pull me out of connection with everyone (myself included). My therapist has certainly not been an exception.

In making the decision to increase my food intake and actively fight back against my ED, the lack of connection between her and I has been that much more painful. I’m still not entirely sure what possessed me to do this, but last week after a particularly challenging (failed) attempt to connect with her, I came home from session and did a web search on her.

I put in her name and location. I’ve done this before – when I first began to see her. In another life, when I had therapists with poor boundaries and even worse communication skills, “googling” a therapist seemed like what you just did. So naturally I searched her online to see what came up. The answer: not much. Just professional stuff like her education , work history, and licensing information.

Which, I suppose, is what I imagined I would find this time around as well. Sometimes I go directly to her profile page on PsychologyToday to feel close to her and to remind myself that she wants to be doing this work and that this is literally her job. It’s soothing.

But I was wrong. There was more.

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Done

It’s strange how so much can change in so little time.

In my last couple of posts, I’ve addressed the challenging nature of battling an active eating disorder. I felt so completely helpless and out of control. I could feel myself spiraling further into self-destruction and although I also felt a sense of urgency to grab hold of something – anything – to prevent further descent, I could not figure out how to do that.

However, it would appear that a series of well-placed events and interactions have finally opened up the space I needed to slow, if not stop, my free-fall into anorexia.

After my double session last Friday, I felt unsettled. Having an ED is sort of like living inside a very well fortified castle. I think that somehow the workshop at Renfrew, combined with my conversation with my psychiatrist about ED-specific treatment (where she recommended residential treatment), followed by an email, phone call, and two-hour session with my therapist somehow had enough force to breach the castle walls.

I couldn’t quite understand what had happened, and I still don’t really get it, but I just sensed that the eating disorder was struggling to maintain its hold. Restricting suddenly felt difficult, where it normally is effortless. I found myself questioning if starving indefinitely is truly what I want for myself and being curious about other options.

Then I saw my nieces and nephew.

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Losing Connection 

Things have been tough.

I graduated. 4.0 GPA. I won the Outstanding Leadership Award for my cohort. My professors each made a point of telling my wife how incredibly proud of me she should be. I even went out with my classmates to celebrate.

But otherwise, everything sucks. I am so completely IN my eating disorder right now. I feel detached and dissociated from almost everyone and everything. I have to make an effort each day to make sure I actually interact with my wife in a meaningful way because it can be easy to just dissolve into the illness. It’s as if nothing else matters. I easily spend 99% of my energy on ED thoughts and behaviors.

Therapy has been empty and hollow. I am terrified to connect with my therapist because I know that intimacy will jeopardize my eating disorder.

And I am not ready to let go of it yet. I don’t know how.

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Random

I went to a workshop at Renfrew tonight that really just solidified how badly I need ED treatment. And I want it. I just don’t feel like I deserve it. (Yet?)
I felt so sad for myself and so profoundly envious of the other women who had been through treatment and were seemingly light years ahead of where I could ever even imagine myself being. It seems hopeless. I think I would fail spectacularly at NOT being eating disordered so maybe I am just more content being really good at it? Who knows. 
But it sucks. I want what they have. I want to feel better. I just can’t figure out how to allow myself to do that. And on the opposing side, I also really want to be anorexic, which is gross and fucked up. 

Such a mess. 

I am River

I am River.

I’m a fat fucking loser. I hate myself, every minute of every day. It feels like I’m constantly being crushed by myself.

I have an eating disorder. It’s my fault that I have it. I chose to starve myself because I wanted to make my parents angry. I wanted to make everyone angry. I wanted to make everyone as afraid as I am. But now it’s not a choice. It doesn’t feel like a choice.

I don’t get to make any decisions. The eating disorder makes all of my decisions. I know I want to be a child. I want to be small and skinny. Light. Invisible. Weightless. My eating disorder is so loud. I don’t think it started that way. At first, it was just a whisper. It was sweet and it promised me all the things I wanted. I wanted to be safe. I wanted to be a kid. A real kid. I didn’t want to think about scary, adult things. I didn’t want to have to make hard decisions and I didn’t want to be responsible for my choices.

The disorder promised me all of those things, as long as I followed its rules. Then there were more rules. At some point,  I think I didn’t want it anymore, but it’s stronger than me. It’s louder than me. And I needed it to drown out everything else, everything that scared me. And it worked, so I guess I became superstitious. Now I’m a slave to it.

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