Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Family outing


Yesterday was a pretty decent day. We had to take our son to presurgical services to discuss his upcoming MRI on Thursday. We met with the anesthesiologist. I was rather pleased with the visit. My husband was not. He had the doctor had slight words when he found out he couldn't go back with our son. After talking with the folks in radiology, we found out it is up to the anesthesiologist whether or not the parents are there. My husband and in-laws can be difficult at times with medical professionals. This is why I take the study week by week. I never know how he will be.

I am a little nervous about Thursday but I am ready. After the doctors, we took JJ to see his first movie in a movie theater. He had an absolute ball. He had popcorn and a slushy. He told us that he could get used to this. We went to see "Bolt." This was the only children's movie showing. Miley Cyrus is okay but I couldn't really get past her voice throughout the film. But the most important thing was that my son had a great time.

I didn't get the job. I'm a little bummed out but that's life. Now I am going up against reporters who have worked for the Charlotte Observer for years that have just been laid off. But I have a plan B. I figure I will just find a job. And I can still freelance so I will still be able to write and have an outlet. Plus I have this blog so I will be okay. If this had happen a few months ago, I would have been devasted. So I'm trying to keep my chin up and remain positive. Today is definitely a library day. Libraries come me down when I am stressed and upset. At least tomorrow is study day.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good Hair Day!


Right now, my sister-in-law is doing my hair. She is great when it comes to hair. She really has a calling for it. But cosmetology was not her thing. She wanted to be a truck driver more. I am glad that I am eating better and soon will be taking some sort of vitamin supplement. Hopefully, I can help my hair grow back.

The house we own is small. I’m not sure of the square footage but it’s our home. Anyway, I have a lot of possessions. A lot. I could easily take over the house so most of my things are stored in my huge bathroom. Saturday, I reorganized that room. I took all the containers out and went through them. Everything is now neat and organized with labels. This is part of my spring cleaning. There is a chance I could get a job in the next two weeks and have to move for the job. I want to be ready. I cleaned while my son played and watched videos.

When I went to bed, I was tired but happy. I still have some more containers to go through but the bulk of it is done.

I am also starting a new book to track all of the jobs that I have applied for. April will begin soon and the countdown to the end of my unemployment begins. There is a plan B if I can’t get a journalism jobs. I guess I’ll work full or part-time in fast food and freelance on the side. A person does what they have to do.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Patiently waiting!!!!!!!!!


I am at the library patiently waiting for the librarian to put out the new magazines so I can check out the previous ones. I'll probably cheat and ask her if I can put them out for her. She likes me because I give the library tons of magazines when I am done with them. Plus, they know how much I looooove libraries.

Last night, My husband and I went out to dinner for our anniversary. It was a nice dinner. I was pretty proud of myself. I ate a roll with butter, most of the salad, most of the french fries and chicken tenders. During the day, I did four loads of laundry and cleaned the house. I wanted everything to be nice. Meanwhile, my husband, my father-in-law and my husband's friends were pulling up a rotten floor in a mobile home brought for his niece. My husband was not in a good mood when he came home. On the way to Logan's, at Logan's and on the way home, this was all he talked about. I could have went out to dinner tonight but with possible bad weather, I decided no. I still had a nice dinner because I knew his attitude was not directed at me. If we weren't in counseling, I would have blamed myself. Some will think that the night was ruined but considering what happen during his day, it was a nice evening out.

Money is kind of tight right now. So for a present, I got him a really nice anniversary card and burned him a mix cd to listen to when he is on the road. With my husband on occasions like this, presents for me are yeah or nay. I don't care if I get one. But I do want an acknowledgement of the event and a present for my birthday. Call me selfish but I love my birthday.

Well library lady is done with the magazines so I'm going to get first dibs. Have a great weekend.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Starting to feel like myself


I am starting to finally feel pretty decent. I really think all this stems from the fact that my body is used to being in a pattern of restrict and release. Right now, it doesn't not understand if the eating is for real or is just a tease. I don't feel as nauseous as I did a week ago.

Today is my fifth wedding anniversary. After last year, I was really worried that we wouldn't make it as a couple. But we did. We celebrated last night at midnight with a sparkling cider toast and a few snicker miniatures candies.

I still haven't heard anything from the job interview. I am trying to stay positive but I am scared that I will never get a job. So I am trying to stay busy to keep my mind from wondering. We have lived in our home since June of last year. I have yet to really unpack. My huge bathroom is one big storage container. So I am tackling this right now. It is hard going through seven years of memories. But I am making some headway. Right now, I am trying not to feel lost and hopeless.

The study is one of the best things to happen to me. The nutritionist gave me a food journal that has me breaking the food I eat into fats, proteins, grains and etc. It is really eye opening about what I need and don't need in my diet. She reassure me that changes don't have to be made in a day but gradually. I agreed because I want to do this right.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am here!

After a long week, I made it back to Chapel Hill. It was nice relaxing drive. Today was my husband's off week. I am feeling much better. So far, breakfast and lunch. I talked with the nutritionist about my diet. I have to admit that I went to the meeting a little defensive. My last encounter with a nutritionist didn't end well. The last one treated me like I was in boot camp. But Jenn was very nice. We looked at my food journals from the first week in the program and last week. She was very impressed that I tried to eat even though I felt like crap.

Also I maintained my weight. I didn't lose anything. I feel pretty good. Well, now it is time to make the three hour drive back home. Maybe I'll stop for some ice cream.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting there!

It has been a long week. I had a great job interview. And the amazing thing, they had no idea how bad I felt. A few hours after the interview, I went to the emergency room because the abdominal pain got so bad. After many tests and drinking the contrast for the ct scan, the doctor said they couldn't find anything. I felt bad so I was given some pain meds and sent on my way.

My husband has been a trooper throughout all of this. We arrived at the er at 10:30 PM and left at 7 A.M. Saturday is a blur of sleeping and trying to eat. At least I was successful at a sleeping. Throughout out all of this, I actually wanted to eat. Today is my first day out. I won't say out and about because I am just out to get my seroquel and remeron refilled and to buy some peas. Yes, I have a craving for green peas with butter. My husband brought all of my favorites to eat because he wanted me to try to have something on my stomach. It took me all day Saturday to eat a container of yogurt and some crackers.

Yesterday, I called my meals greatest hits. I wasn't going for meals. I was just trying to keep something on my stomach. I have developed quite a fondness for grilled cheese. I did wash dishes. And then took a two hour nap. Today will be better. I dread the nutritionist tomorrow because my food journal will look so sad.

As for the hopefully future job, the editor may let me know something this week.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What a day!

Study day went pretty good. During couples' therapy, a lot of things were said. I opened up to my husband about my ED and he in turn opened up to me. We don't talk about my ED. We just do this dance around it. My husband is not the type to cry. Yesterday, he cried when he talked about I looked back in August of last year. He told me what he sees when he looks at me. He sees me at 75 pounds not the 105 lbs that I am. Yes, I have lost two pounds. My therapist is not too concern but wants me to work on maintaining. Yesterday, things got pretty emotional. I am not good at emotions so it was hard to hear but I am glad he said it. But here's the good thing that came from it--it kept the lines of communication open. Instead of a looooong quiet ride home, we actually talked.

Also during the couples' therapy, we talked about our communication style. I isolated myself in my room or ignore James. And he pretty much does the same in order not to make my ED or anxiety worse. Therapy truly works when you are ready to accept it.

Now for some good news, bad news. Good news--I have a job interview tomorrow at a paper that is 45 minutes from my home. YESSSSS! The job posted on Thursday. I mailed my resume and clips on Tuesday. The editor called me in Chapel Hill yesterday. She wants to interview me tomorrow. Bad news--I have a stomach virus. I haven't been feeling so hot but didn't think it was anything. Well it was something. This is my worst nightmare. I hate vomiting and once I get a virus, I don't want to eat anything. But I have been taking medicine and forcing myself to eat chicken noodle soup. I must maintain my weight and I am going to that interview. I can be sick afterwards.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Study day!

Today is Wednesday which means I am in Chapel Hill. Yesterday was a bad day. I was very down about the state of things. My husband and my son spent the day away from the house running errands and such. I had a chance to just think and clean. It made things a little okay.

The ride to Chapel Hill was nice. My husband drove and we had actually car conversation. It was nice. For each week, I have homework and goals. This was I was suppose to drink 60 ounces of water daily and try for three meals and two snacks each day. Well, I can drink 40 ounces of water daily. I have other liquids as well. And each day, I have two meals and one snack. I think this is an improvement for one meal and ton of junk food. I even brought soup to eat while meeting with my therapist today. She likes to see me eating.

A cousin of my husband's died and the funeral was today. The fact that he chose me over the funeral is very encouraging. Plus, I think his parents strong urged this. Lately, I have been in a blah mood. I can't my life being semi-normal (job, ED under control and marriage on track.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another week


Today is the beginning of a new week. Mondays are the days I call for my unemployment. Each Monday, I begin with the hope that this will be the last week I will have to file. I think unemployment runs out in early May so I am not stressing too much.

I saw where a reporter job has come open at a paper an hour away. I have put together a package to send them. Once again, I am keeping my fingers cross. Yesterday was not a good food day. I had two meals and one snack. At least the snack was a bowl of Raisin Bran. It is not that I don't want to eat. I just don't have the normal hunger cues others have. I am working on this. One of my homework assignments from my therapist is the positives and negatives I have gained from being anorexic.

This is a hard list to write because it's scary facing your worst thing. The thing that will eventually kill you if you don't step up and fight it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I love the library!

I am a big fan of libraries. We all have our coping mechanism or a happy place. Mine is the library. If I am having a bad day or week, I come to the library. The quiet, the books and librarians--it makes me happy. I can come here to get away from bad stuff. Today is a dreary, rainy day but in the library it is warm and toasty. So far, I am going to check out my favorite newspaper--the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. You can only check out three magazines at a time so I am going with Entertainment Weekly, Vanity Fair and People. When I get a job, I am going to renew my subscription to Entertainment Weekly. My mailbox and I miss it.

Vanity Fair just rocks! And People helps celebrity gossip addiction. I am trying to figure out the next book to read for my list.

Yesterday, I had a pretty good day. My husband and I left the beach for home at about 6:30 a.m. because I had an event to cover for the newspaper. He was so sweet and didn't wake me during the drive. I had a great time being a writer yesterday. Afterwards, it was home and out for a late dinner.

Today, I picked up our son. My mother-in-law kept him while we were at the beach. She wanted us to have some alone time. I have the best mother-in-law ever. Most of my friends say their mother-in-laws are bossy and controlling. Not mine, as my son has told, she is the best lady ever.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Reading

I read this column in my local paper about the number of books that former President George W. Bush read in 2008. The man read 40 books. How did he have time to read 40 books? I was unemployed for most of 2008 and I didn't read 40 books. This is man, known for his lack of reading, being praised by Karl Rove as a bookworm. I’m a bookworm and this made me think. In the past few years, I have kept a list of how many books I read in a year. So on January 7, 2009, I made a resolution to read as many books as possible and why I chose those books in 2009.

I have read six books since that day. There is no set criteria for what books I pick out. I read what I want to read. In addition, I have talked about magazines I like and libraries I attend. It has turned into quite a little hobby. So I decided to keep track of my reading here. In addition, I also read a lot to my son. We read about three to five children’s books a day together. He also loves to "read" to me. The boy has got some great comprehension skills. Dinosaurs and Curious George are usually top choices but we have learned about colors, numbers and the alphabet. I want to instill in him a life long love of reading and how this love of reading has kept me sane at times.

We are still at the beach. It’s nice and peaceful here. We have to return to tomorrow since I have an event to cover. But for now, I sit on the patio watching beach.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Beautiful

It may be cool and windy but the beach is amazing. I think maybe this was just the distraction needed. It has been nice. It is spring break time so the motel is full of college students. It's really nice.

I am thankful that I am at a good place in my life. For the first time in almost a year, I feel positive. I have plans and goals. I can see the future. I want to say a big THANK YOU to my friend Tracy. Without her, I would have never found out about the study. I want to be a recovering anorexic. I will never be fully free but I want to free enough to tell Ana where she can go.


I think now I will go for a walk on the beach.

At the beach!

I am in Myrtle Beach. Chapel Hill went very well yesterday. So well that my husband suggested we go to the beach for a day or so. You could have knock me over with a feather. We had a nice drive down (2 1/2 hours) and stop for lunch at a Chinese buffet. It was a little rough in the beginning. I have found now since I am eating more that if I wait too long to eat and then eat too much, it will make me sick. No binging or purging. My stomach isn't used to food. My therapist said this is why I must eat on a schedule three times a day with two snacks. Something most people do. Hey, I'm trying. Anyway, I did pretty good. And get this, I ate broccoli.

We are here. It is very windy but we can look out the patio door and see the beach. How cool is that!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We're here!

My husband and I are in Chapel Hill. We arrived early. I drove because I didn't want to hear him complain the whole way about traffic and the road conditions. Now he's a little disgruntled about paying for parking. Some days I wonder why. I love him but some days I wonder. I am excited about meeting my psychologist. And then for two hours of couple's therapy. This will be the fun part of the day.

I haven't heard anything from High Point yet. The city editor said they hoped to have a decision made by the end of March or early April. So I am praying and hoping hard. The weather is still great. This made the walk from the parking deck so much easier.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spring Cleaning

It has been such nice weather that I decided to do some Spring Cleaning. I have never really done this in the past. But what I did today gave me a since of accomplishment.

Tomorrow is Chapel Hill day. My husband and I have talked more in the past few days than in weeks. But Chapel Hill has not come up. I have made peace with the fact that I may have to leave the study. He hasn't said much but he did say how he would need to decompress afterwards. I am looking forward to it. I am ready.

My favorite tv show is Lost. Unfortunately, it a repeat tomorrow night. This is my form of decompressing. I haven't heard anything on the job front yet but I am still hopeful.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Lots of prospects

One of the things I love about Sundays is the fact there are more classified ads in the newspaper. It gives me some hope for the week. For now, my job search is my job. Everyday, I am up by 10:45 a.m. so I can eat breakfast and watch the View. Well at least 20 minutes of the View. Then I get ready and face the day. I have spend most of my unemployment taking care of my mother. This was one of the pluses. I would have never been able to spend time with her and my son. This is time that will always mean a lot to me.

So I thank Barry M. for firing me because of the time I have spent with my family. It was also time for me face the fact I have an eating disorder. This time has made me stronger and more prepared when I do find a job.

Today is my mother's birthday. She said she is having a great day. She is a work and working means she healthy so she is very happy. I will not give her age because it would not please her. My mom rocks!

Now I must go and find a Spiderman book. In addition, to being a dinosaur lover, my son loves comic book heroes. He moves back and forth between Iron Man, Incredible Hulk and Spiderman. He thinks having them on his underwear is the best thing ever. When we play pretend, I always get to be the Incredible Hulk. JJ (my son) has no concept of female superheroes. We are working on this. I want to be Wonder Woman sooooo bad!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A great weekend

The weather is so nice outside. I am excited about my mother's birthday on Monday. She has come a long way in a year. She is my hero. After being diagnosed with stage four breast cancer, she continues to work. 2008 was hard year for her but she was never negative and got up every day. She is my hero and inspiration. If she can do it, I can work on a better future for myself. She gives me hope.

Well enough computer stuff, It's time to hit the great outdoors. Have a good weekend.

Baby steps

Yesterday, for probably the first time in a looooong time, I had three meals. Usually, I have a snack in the morning and see how long I can go before I eat in the day time. And sometimes I eat dinner and most times not. So I feel really good about yesterday. Plus, I didn't freak out internally about eating. I will take it one meal at a time. Like they say, Rome wasn't build in a day.

I have started freelancing for a local newspaper and I have an interview to do in 15 minutes. I feel pretty positive about things now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Good day

Today was a good day. I spent it with my son.

The complete story of Ana and I

I have a mistress. She is strong and persuasive.
She is the only thing in this world that truly frightens my husband.

I have virtually stopped eating. I eat enough so that I still have a period and can keep people off my back. Maybe secretly, I want to starve myself to death and not have to deal with anything anymore. (July 18, 2008)

Her name is Ana--short for anorexia.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorder estimates there are eight million people in this country who suffer from anorexia or another type of eating disorder.
I am one of those people.
My complicated relationship with Ana reached its breaking point when I was led out of a hospital in handcuffs and leg shackles.
Technically, I had done nothing illegal to warrant all of the hardware. But when I walked into the emergency room and informed the nurse on duty that I wanted to kill myself, there are certain procedures a hospital must follow.
Ana is all about control. In the beginning, I thought I controlled our relationship. She knew she was the one calling the shots.
With her at my side, I have watched myself become someone I don’t even recognize. To be with her, I have lied and deceived my family and friends over food.
Some days Ana is so frustrating that I wish I could switch places with someone else so I could get some peace from her voice. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, I think about food. It usually begins with me wondering what to eat but it always ends with me not eating.
I used to love eating apples. I would cut the apple in half. Then cut each half into fourths. And then cut each of the fourths into four more pieces. It should take a person no more than ten minutes to eat an apple.
It took me an hour.

It’s not about the numbers on a scale. It’s about control. And my food intake is the one thing in my life that I can control. (June 1, 2008)

When I was 16 years old, my grandmother had a stroke.
I saw the ambulance from the school bus and knew something was wrong.
Since the day I was born, my grandmother helped to raise me. I remember dropping my backpack and running across the yard.
It was scary to see my favorite person in the whole world helpless and frail.
In that moment, my life changed. I went from being a high school sophomore to being a caregiver.
This was the beginning of Ana and I’s friendship. She didn’t show up because of any abuse or neglect.
Ana became a constant companion for a shy geeky teenager with few friends that was terrified of losing the one person who understood her.
I didn’t know how to share my fears or deal with all of the change. So my coping mechanism was to control how much and when I ate food. It would be years before I would admit that I was anorexic.
At home, nobody noticed because I did most of the cooking.
During that year, my friends and I had different lunchtimes. Instead of making new friends, I would get a Pepsi and a pack of crackers. For most of high school, this would be my lunch.
Truth be known, I am a lazy anorexic. I don’t exercise or calorie count. I just slowly eliminate eating as a priority for each day.
Sometimes I watch the Food Network so I can get a food fix. It’s sad that I watch Emeril or Bobby Flay so I can imagine what a meal would be like without her voice. At one time, I wanted to be a chef but being around so much food scared me.

Anorexia is a hard disease to explain to those who don’t have it. For some, it is just a matter of eating. For those of us in the know, it is about control. Control when there isn’t really control. (March 2, 2001).

I read once that in a day a person should eat about 2,000 calories. I probably eat 800 to 900 calories in a day.
It was hard at first but it became easier with time to ignore the hunger pangs and the sound of my stomach growling.
Eventually from time to time I would weigh myself. If the numbers were too high, I would freak out and not eat. But I still refused to admit I had a problem. Who punishes themselves for weighing 97 pounds by going to bed hungry? It is amazing how numbers on a scale could change my whole day.
There have been many signs that our relationship is very unhealthy.
At one point in my late 20s, I got down to 73 pounds. My friends were scared and not sure what to do.
There is a picture of me at this weight. It was taken at a Memorial Day pool party. At that time, I thought I looked awesome. My closest friends saw it differently. They saw a dangerously thin woman.
In January of 2001, a physician assistant voiced the truth.
Before that visit, I was sick all the time. I would have the flu, a cold or some sinus problem. It was always something. When I finally went to the doctor, she took one look at me and asked how long I had been anorexic.
I angrily informed her that I was not anorexic.
“I am just having trouble getting rid of this cold,” I said.
“No, you are anorexic and your poor body is fighting to stay alive,” she said quietly but firmly.
She gave me a prescription for my sinus infection and the name and number of an eating disorder specialist.
At this point in my life, Ana and I weren’t ready to be separated.
I crumpled the paper once I got in my car and threw it on the floor of my car. I refused to believe what she was saying.
Throughout that day, I called friends to tell them about what was said. I expected them to be sympathetic for me and angry at the woman also. But all I got were awkward silences or “I’ve got to go.”
The one person who had the guts to talk to me about it was one of my best friends (now my husband, James). In a very calm voice he said, “She’s right. You have an eating disorder. I hope you will listen to her and get help.”
A few days later, I picked the paper up off the floor of my car and called for help.
I wish I could say I sent Ana packing but that would be the biggest lie ever.
A few months after starting therapy, I looked in the mirror as part of an exercise. I avoid mirrors. I always have because they make me feel uncomfortable.
The first thing I noticed was that I was getting a little pudgy. At that time, I was 82 pounds. What scares me the most about the memory is how upset I was at weighing 82 pounds. This is the weight of a fourth grader. I was angry at myself for weighing 82 pounds.

I have always struggled with eating. I can’t remember the last time that I just sat down and ate without stressing about it. It’s not about calorie counting. I just can’t explain it. (May 7, 2001)

Ana and I have been together through a major move to another state, several boyfriends, two engagements, a wedding, miscarriages, a still born and the birth of my son.
She has always been there in the background waiting for me to call her back into my life.
Food will always be an issue in my life. When a plate of food is put in front of me, I get anxious and nervous. I hate to eat with others because I feel like they are watching and mentally recording every bite I put in my life.
Through the years, I had learned to keep Ana hidden.
But I accepted her embrace when the newspaper I loved went from a twice weekly to a weekly. She started her seductive whispering.
It started with me eating more junk food than real food. Then I was only eating certain foods on certain days. It soon progressed to eating only one meal a day as late as possible.
Then the newspaper was sold and my job eliminated.
Moving back home was stressful and depressing for me. Not only did I not have a job but I would be around people and would have to eat. When I lived alone, I decided when I ate. With others, there were semi-set meal times or torture time for me.
We had just bought a home. My mother was undergoing her second round of chemotherapy for stage four metastatic breast cancer. Everything was spiraling out of control.
With all the uncertainty in my life, Ana knew the only thing that could be controlled was how much I ate in a day.
She knew, in a very sick way, I got a high from going hours or days without eating. Once for a week, I survived on bag of oyster crackers and a container of cottage cheese.

Change is a big trigger for my anorexia. If the change is too big, I quit eating. (March 31, 2001)

It was tough relearning how to be a mother while being homesick for my former life.
“You may not work at a newspaper but you can still write,” everyone told me.
It is not a matter of blogging or writing a book. I wanted to write for a newspaper. I can’t describe how I feel when writing. The group, Coldplay, has a song called "Viva La Vida," which sums up how I feel. The song talks about a person going from a prince to a pauper. This is how I feel now.
It starts out with “when I ruled the world.” This is how I felt as a reporter. Writing was a way of expressing myself. It was my identity. I was a reporter and not just a mother or a wife.
I started looking forward to night time. When it’s late at night, everyone is asleep. Ana’s voice subsides and I don’t have to do her bidding. There is no sneaking food into a napkin or putting it down the drain. Just silence.

The doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong. He said it could be a kidney infection. It could be. But I know why my body is messed up. I always know why. (March 14, 2002)

As with most affairs, I didn’t see how it was destroying my body, my life and my family. My two-year-old son didn’t want to eat because Mommy didn’t eat.
My husband felt powerless.
One night, I overheard him talking on the phone about being so frustrated.
I wish I could tell him how self-conscious I feel about my body. Some days I see the skeletal body that others see and other days I see something else. I envy him when he eats. He doesn’t seem to worry or stress. He just eats.
I hoped he wouldn’t notice my relapse.
He noticed. He saw how fast the weight was dropping and what I was eating. Or shall I say was not eating.
He is an excellent cook whose efforts were wasted on me. He knew this but would try anyway.
“Here try this,” he said. “I made just the way you like it.”
He would buy my favorite foods. He tried anything to get some calories into my body.
My husband is one of those people who wants to help wherever there is a need.
I know my relationship with Ana frustrates and angers him. He would express his concern about my appearance and mental state. And Ana whispers that he is jealous and don’t let him take me from her.
So instead of listening to concern for my well-being, I embraced destruction of my body.
I can’t explain her hold over me. The way it alternates between craziness and numbness. How she makes nothing else matter except not eating.
There is so much that I want to tell him but I can’t so I push him away. I don’t isolate myself to hurt him intentionally. I do it because I’m scared to imagine a life without her.
So a lot of times I try to eat enough so no one will notice.
I thought I did it with finesse but my weight loss was soon very noticeable.
Ana became my constant companion who made me feel like I was holding things together. But in reality, people I loved watched me retreat and fade away. She had become all that mattered.

Believe it or not, it does scare me when I look at my body with my clothes off. I shower with my eyes closed so I don’t have to see how painfully thin I am, but I am not sure what to do. Everyone knows. Either because they figured it out or James told them. (July 10, 2008)

Some days I would see how long I could go without eating anything substantial. This is not easy when you are running after a small child with tons of energy. Each night, I would be exhausted and stressed about eating.
Being with Ana was not a secret game that I took pleasure in playing. I no longer have an appetite. I haven’t had one in years. Whenever I get a headache or became too dizzy, I know I need to eat something.
One night, something snapped. I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore. I decided that death was the only way to get rid of her.
I could no longer live with her but in a twisted way, I couldn’t live without her.
But when the day came, I realized I didn’t want Ana to win. Even though I was desperate, I wasn’t ready to give up.
Who would do the airplane routine after my son’s bath?
Who would know the little things about him such as his favorite shirt? Who would be able to say lines from the movie Cars with him?
Those things were on my mind as I sat in my car wondering what to do-carry out my plan or seek help.
With all the stress, Ana had convinced me that nobody cared if I lived or died.
But I knew one person on this earth who would care—my son.
I was barely hanging on when I walked through those emergency room doors.

My problem is causing you problems. I have lost so much control in my life that I have nothing. I can’t do anything right. I feel so lost and helpless. I have tried to ask for help but each time I can’t make the words come out. (August 15, 2008—from suicide note to my son.)

I spent a few days at a crisis recovery center. I came home fragile and scared. Ana wasn’t completely there but she wasn’t gone either. I was determined to keep her away.
The medications that I take mimic an appetite. I’m not as lightheaded as much because I try to eat small meals and snacks throughout the day. And slowly, the numbness is starting to go away. I want to see my son grow up, graduate and have a life. I want him to have a mommy who is strong.
I don’t want to do anything to hurt my son. He’s sweet, smart and is picking up on my lack of eating. This is about him and how I must save myself. (September 24, 2008)
I don’t feel as hopeless but I still feel alone. It is hard to talk about Ana.
At my lowest point, I was 73 pounds. This time I dropped to 89 pounds. It may not sound like much but it is scary when you are four feet and 11 inches.
I used to have long, beautiful hair, somewhat of a shape and a mouthful of teeth.
Thanks to Ana, I am losing my hair, most of my teeth are gone and I feel unbalanced.
And yet my mistress still desires me.
I weigh 105 pounds. Everyone says the weight looks good on me. Ana is not comfortable with those numbers because they represent me finding strength without her.

I feel at times everyone and everything is closing in on me. They try to make me eat. It is not that simple. You can’t undo years of bad eating with one meal. (August 15, 2001)

Ana is working hard to regain a footing in my life. She whispers that she needs just a little more time with me.
One day, I will have a good day. A day when I can eat, enjoy food and not think about it too much. It will be a long time before that day comes. Ana and I have begun our dance again.
Each day is a constant struggle—to eat or not to eat. I wish I could say I am completely cured. I am not and will never be completely okay.
My therapist is nice but overwhelmed by Ana. Until I find a job with insurance, I will battle daily with Ana about eating. Some days I win but most often I don’t. If I am stressed or upset, eating is the first thing to go. It shouldn’t be so hard to get rid of something that is so deadly.
Like a person addicted to alcohol or drugs, I will also have a longing for my mistress. So I keep reminding myself of what will happen if I let her return with full force.
The two of us can never be together again because the next time Ana will kill me.

It's sunny

Today has been a really good day. I ate breakfast and a semi-lunch. I had a bowl of cereal and some leftover chicken. This was all before noon. Usually, I try to hold out as long as possible (2 p.m.) before I eat.

I feel really positive about my life right now. Even if things don't go the way I want them, I know everything will be okay. I am sorry if my posts seem sporadic but I don't have Internet at home. Plus, this is a way that I have to get up each day instead of wallowing in self-pity and doubt.

As for the job interview yesterday, I think it went really well. I am one of five up for the position of reporter for Randolph county. It will be a lot of responsibility but I think I am ready for it. It will mean moving away from my son and my husband. One of the things I need right now is health insurance. After years of punishing my body, who knows what health problems lurk. And I have a scary history of cancer on my mother's side of the family so I need to be prepared. Now I think I am going to go enjoy this nice sunny day with my son. He wants to ride his bicycle.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The story of Ana and I (Part 1)

The story of my relationship with Ana is a long one so I am going to write it in readable chunks for you. The parts in italic are from my journal. I have kept a journal for about 12 years so my struggles are well documented.

I am not sure how to answer all the nice people who have left comments. So I will say it here. Thank you! After a pretty rough week, it's nice to hear something nice. Thanks a bunch.

Ana and I (part 1)

I have a mistress. She is strong and persuasive.
She is the only thing in this world that truly frightens my husband.

I have virtually stopped eating. I eat enough so that I still have a period and can keep people off my back. Maybe secretly, I want to starve myself to death and not have to deal with anything anymore. (July18, 2008)

Her name is Ana--short for anorexia.
The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorder estimates there are eight million people in this country who suffer from anorexia or another type of eating disorder.
I am one of those people.
My complicated relationship with Ana reached its breaking point when I was led out of a hospital in handcuffs and leg shackles.
Technically, I had done nothing illegal to warrant all of the hardware. But when I walked into the emergency room and informed the nurse on duty that I wanted to kill myself, there are certain procedures a hospital must follow.
Ana is all about control. In the beginning, I thought I controlled our relationship. She knew she was the one calling the shots.
With her at my side, I have watched myself become someone I don’t even recognize. To be with her, I have lied and deceived my family and friends over food.
Some days Ana is so frustrating that I wish I could switch places with someone else so I could get some peace from her voice. From the time I wake up until I go to sleep, I think about food. It usually begins with me wondering what to eat but it always ends with me not eating.
I used to love eating apples. I would cut the apple in half. Then cut each half into fourths. And then cut each of the fourths into four more pieces. It should take a person no more than ten minutes to eat an apple.
It took me an hour.

Interview

I think the interview went well. It was rough. It was first time a newspaper sent me out to do interviewsand write a story. It was hard but I did it. I am a shy person so going up to strangers was scary especially when the first 12 turn you down. But it was worth it because I looooooove writing.

I am keeping my fingers crossed on this. This is the 126th job that I have applied for since I became unemployed almost a year ago. And out of this number, I have had seven interviews. The 126 number includes all types of jobs ranging for journalism to adminstration to retail.

So I am cautiously optimist.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I am ILL! Not sick but ILL!

It has happened. And it was done through a text message last night. My husband has decided we are no longer participating in the study. He knew in the beginning this would be every week thing to Chapel Hill. He claims it’s because he doesn’t want both of us away from James Edward and that my car is on its last legs. Maybe so but I believe it is because someone doesn’t want to do couples’ therapy. He sent the text at a little bit before 9 p.m. By the way, this is a shitty way to tell someone. Speaking your mind has never stopped you before in the past. Why start texting now? My husband is an ASSHOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There I said it.


I have only communicated through text because I am furious. I mean it knew it was coming. I had been expecting it all day. My husband can help everyone else in the world. This is one of the best opportunities for an anorexic. Things like this just don’t happen. This happened for a reason.

Well this morning he called the therapist. She offered a compromise of every other week. I ended up going to Chapel Hill. It was great to get everything off of my chest. The couples therapist is really nice. I gave her my husband phone number so they could chat about this. Who knows I could still be in the study at this time next week.

I have a job interview tomorrow in High Point. Wish me luck!!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lunch

I had lunch with the editor that I am freelancing for right now. It is a nice lunch. I felt like I was back in the world again. I miss writing full-time for a newspaper. For over an hour, I felt like a normal person.

I also ate without thinking about it. This was very good.

Tomorrow is the study in Chapel Hill. I am going to get as much as I can from the experience because I know my husband will end this soon. The couples portion of this is bothering. I still think a tank of gas is a small price to pay for help someone overcome an eating disorder.

But hey what do I know.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Food Journal

My therapist in the study wanted me to keep a food journal for the past two weeks. After looking at the entries, I realize I don't eat much at all. I probably consume 1,000 calories or less a day. This is scary especially when you have an active three-year-old. If anything, the journal has shamed me into eating more so it will not look so bad with my therapist.

Even though, my husband seems to be against participating in the study. I will put my all in it for as long as possible. My husband isn't a bad person but he feels I can get just as good care by going sliding scale at this place in Charlotte. What I don't understand is how a person would want to turn free care for the cost of a tank of gas and a meal.

Beautiful snow leaving

Last night, it was blizzard like conditions. It was so nice seeing all the snow coming down. It was beautiful. Today, it is leaving us. This is South where it snows one day and is gone the next. But all this melting will make it interesting tonight when it freezes.

I have a job interview on Thursday at a newspaper. Yay for me! I hope I get this job. I have stop counting the number of jobs that I have applied for and had interviews. It is so frustrating being unemployed. One day, my time will come.

My husband is still harping on how much money will be spent on us participating in the eating disorder study. He doesn't want to participate but is using everything in the book to get out of it.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rainy day

We need the rain but it has rained so much. And a snow is expected later this afternoon. I am prepared with food and tons of books to read. The last few days have been hectic. Last night, I went out to dinner with my husband and some friends to Logan's. I did pretty good with the meal. Even though, I hate to eat with others. But I tried not let it get to me. In keeping the food diary, I have found that I really don't eat that much. It is kind of scary.

My new smile

I have great news. Last Monday (April 10), I got my new teeth.  They have definitely been a game changer. It is weird being able to smil...