Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm back

Well I've been gone for quite a few months now. For everyone viewing this, I'll give you a little update on the past 7 months.

Coming back from New York in the summer hit me hard. After I wrote my last post, my life started to go downhill fast. I have struggled with an eating disorder for many years now, using CrossFit, sports, lifting, anything active as my coping mechanisms. Perfection was necessary in my food, to be the best at everything.

I had had a pretty good summer; there were some very bad moments, but food wise, everything was manageable. Coming home, I became extremely isolated and depressed. After getting an iPhone for the first time, I downloaded a calorie counter, 'just to see' what I was eating, thinking I was completely in control. I wasn't.

As my physical health (my shoulders and back) began to deteriorate, I began to be swallowed up by my disorder. The number of calories I was eating became less and less, as my mental state declined dramatically. I became a shell of myself, a monster to anyone who stood in my way. I put a mask on for my family, but took my anguish out on other people. I refused to believe that I was 'really that sick,' that I could stop if I wanted to. Every addict believes that.

Everyone says that you have to hit bottom before you seek true help. My bottom came in December of this past year, when my boyfriend, the love of my life, decided to break up with me, 3 weeks before I was supposed to leave and spend a semester with him.

I crashed hard. I was absolutely at the lowest point of my entire life; after two weeks of ball jerking, he broke up with me on Christmas Eve, 3 days before our 2 year anniversary. I honestly hardly remember anything from December 9 until I went to treatment. I somehow managed to hold myself together to survive the week after he broke up with me. I lived through the one year anniversary of my miscarriage. I lived through running my body into the ground until it broke. I fed off the high of exercise, the rush I got, the one moment where everything truly felt ok, that life was good. But then after each session, I crashed, and needed another fix. But the next fix was never enough, because I was still stuck in the shittiest of all shittiest situation, hopeless beyond all measure, not caring about if I lived or died the next day. My food kept decreasing, first from 2 meals a day, then to one meal a day and one snack, finally to just snacking and maybe a small meal. The starvation was a way to cope; it felt so much better to feel the hunger pain than to feel the reality of losing the one I love the most. The restricting distracted me, and the exercise gave me a high. As the calories got lower and lower, my physical and mental beings wasted away, until I didn't want to live anymore.

But then on January 1st, I entered treatment at Rosewood Ranch, a center for eating disorders in Wickenburg Arizona. Then the true journey began, a journey that I never want to go through again. A good friend told me before I went into treatment that rehab will be the hardest thing I'll ever have to do. I didn't believe her, because what could be harder than the life I was living in this moment, so full of pain and despair that I didn't care about life?

Well I was wrong. Because in the 2 months in Arizona and the 1 month in California, I had to confront and face every single demon within me, every painful event in my life, examine past trauma and abuse that I pushed down for so long, tell people my deepest darkest secrets ... words cannot describe what an immensely diffult process this is. Each and every day was a mental workout, confronting not only fear foods, exercise withdrawals, and anxiety that reached the stars, but also everything internally. We had to peel back the layers of ourselves until we reached the core of our soul, the true source of the pain and fear and suffering.

I came back to Seattle on March 27th. On March 30th, my 21st birthday, I celebrated 90 days of sobriety. The past 6 months have absolutely been the hardest months of my entire life, and I honestly don't think anything will rival this (trust me, if you go to treatment, you'll see what I mean!)

As for this blog, I have to change the nature of it. I can no longer define myself by weightlifting; that kept me so deeply entrenched in my disorder that I could not find a way out. So I'm sorry if anyone was only looking at my blog to see my numbers, my lifting body, or comment on how good of an athlete I was, but you won't find that here anymore. Instead, I want to share my experiences with anyone who is willing to listen, and hopefully gain insight and knowledge from me.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the different."

Peace.