Sunday, November 27, 2011
Made this little memorial table to remember Bekah, Nine (died last year due to her anorexia as well), and Cynthia Rowland Mcclure (author of Monster within). I refuse to say good bye. I have been reeling from Bekah's death on so many different levels it feels my head is spinning. I can't even speak her name without tearing up or talk about her without crying. I feel like such a wimp because I can't seem to stop the tears which brings me to "purge" a few things here:
Last night I was up until 2 a.m. I was in urgent care two days ago from severe back pain and it hurt to walk or straighten. Last night I was in a lot of pain which kept me up as I was using a heating pad and don't take strong meds due to being a single mom. I sat here on my lap top on fb trying to help others. I noticed some girls "flaunting" their illness using feeding tube photos as profile pictures and then binging and purging and "bragging" about it yet claiming they are serious about recovery and going to treatment. This isn't the first time I have seen this. I have deleted people before who claim to be in recovery yet flaunting having a disorder and appearing to be in competition with everyone else. Some appear to even "fake" the disease. It almost feels like a mockery.
I have battled 22 years. Started with simple diet and depression! Became bulimic at age 14ish! Was good at it but couldn't seem to stop it and soon turned anorexic. My story is posted here somewhere. I didn't just spend the past 22 years having anorexia and just sitting around. I have been tormented near daily by the disease. I can tell you horror stories of what I did as I bowed down to the disease and did what IT demanded regardless of numerous hospital stays and ER trips and i.v's and medical issues. So to be told I don't understand or am too harsh or being judgemental when I comment on someone's photo or statuses makes me want to scream it from the roof top that I have lived it. I have been humilated passing out in college and treatment, in front of everyone. Yes, I have been 50lbs below normal for my height at my lowest during this illness. I have been higher in weight and been worse off inside but still battling just the same as the next. I have been "normal" weight and purging 8 times a day. I have been isolated in it and have tried hiding it too many times to count. I even overdosed in 94 and yes I ended up in ICU 3 days. YES, I GET IT. I understand it. I feel it and know it and I want OUT of it. I don't want to compare notes and be in competition with anyone!
And pain? Yep, get that too for those who say "but you don't understand the pain or I have so much stress." Really? Try court over 100 times in 4 years with an ex who happens to a be an attorney and sociopath who will stop at nothing and who didn't even meet his kid till 9 months of age. Try being in financial ruin due to attorney's fees over 26,000 and counting and still owing 6,000 plus. Try a car wreck with a big rig 3 years ago and neck brace and off work 3 months while suffering in court and losing your apartment. Try being continually harassed by your ex who violates court orders and gets away with it while being behind in child support yet files contempt against you for even filing for child support! Ty facing a trial with your therapy records and hospital records being used against you due to the courts just handing them over to the one who abuses you in court! Try working a job in foster care with such sadness and abuse that can be quite triggering on a daily basis. The list does go on. I do understand hardships. I do GET IT on way too many levels.
Just because I am in recovery does not mean I don't struggle or that I haven't "LIVED" it all! It simply means I need to get through all of this. I need to be able to say someday that I "HAD" anorexia but am fully recovered. It is hell. I look in the mirror and still hate what I see though it gets a little easier when I can just focus on being healthier and focus on what needs to be done and focus on my precious little boys.
I have to focus on me right now. I love to help and be supportive where and when I can and give what little I have but right now I need to start taking better care of me. When Bekah died I text her. I so badly wanted to bring her back as not long before her death we had been emailing and I tried to help her and she encouraged me. I wanted to hug her one more time but hold on to her and say you can do this. I bawled so much. I have been angry and upset and having extra sessions. I have tried keeping her memory alive. I have tried helping others. I have spoken about her and tried reaching out. I just can't do everything. I think right now I just need space and time. I need to work on my own meal plan as I have been a bit "off" with it this week. I need to just be me, without "ana". And I need to figure out who that is without "her".
Because of "choosing" recovery I feel I have no choice but to have a voice now and set boundaries and delete people. I even had to stand up to my neghbor 2 days ago because she called me while I was on the couch in pain and tears with a heating pad and was upset I refused to let her son in when my boys came in with one friend ( a quiet respectable friend). I didn't want a house full. I have a small one bedroom and her son is loud and breaks things and can be a handful. And she borrows stuff near daily from me. I am drained and have been for a year now and it came to blows from her end and I got hung up on. I say all this because it saddens me that I try so hard to do right and give and be nice but can't even say no to who comes in and who doesn't? No wonder those of us with this disease struggle with setting boundaries. Even being firm with my ex on the phone caused numerous lying texts accusing me of speaking derogatory of him in front of the kids which was so far from any truth. And tonight I was called a bitch in text because I confronted someone about her flaunting her illness?
I am still very raw from just so much and still finding my way and trying to find out who I am without this illness so that I can be free from it someday and can truly help others and speak on it in awareness which is a dream of mine. I am really struggling and if I don't take care of me then my recovery will truly be compromised. I am not here to be mean but here to set boundaries and learn to just simply take care of me and protect my recovery and my boys!
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Rebekah passed away Saturday morning after years of battling this tormenting disease we call anorexia. She fought hard and long for many years. Anorexia and eating disorders in general are unrelenting and torture to say the least. Rebekah felt she was a burden to everyone for struggling so long and could no longer keep up the fight~ She leaves behind her precious little 4 year old Emma and husband Stephan as well as her extended family and friends. The past 48 hours have been heartwrenching to say the least. So many of us in the eating disorder community who spent time with Rebekah in treatment as well as on fb are devastated and the grief is deep.
My head has been spinning since Saturday. I have cried and yelled and curled up in a ball on the couch with a quilt over my head. My headaches are severe, my body aches, and my eyes still burn. I can't hold a conversation more than a few minutes without crying. I am sad to say I am not alone in this as many others in our sisterhood are going through what I am due to such a great loss.
I have read so many heartfelt messages on my Facebook page, Rebekah's, her husband's, and so many in our "sorority". Those who didn't even have the pleasure and fortune of knowing her have been grieving her loss. What pains me about all of these postings is that Bekah never got to see them. She never got to truly see how much she was truly loved. It's not to say we didn't reach out to her. I know personally between she and I and our good friend Cheryl we had several emails as a group as Rebekah confided in us some personal things she felt she would be judged for by others. We tried to tell her how much we cared. How much we loved her. I know many of you have done the same. But to see so many right now, it kills me she didn't see it all. She couldn't allow it to sink in because the torment of anorexia robbed her of that. It robbed her of loving herself and of feeling like she mattered. One of the worst feelings in the world is of being a burden to others and feeling like you aren't good enough. I know this all to well as I have battled anorexia 22 years. My heart just breaks for her and her family and so much sorrow over her death.
Many of you may want to retreat into your eating disorders. I know many of you are struggling with the loss. The tears wont stop. The pain is deep. We are stunned, in shock. I have had feelings of deep anger all the way to incredible sadness and depression over this. It would be normal for those of us struggling with eating disorders to give into the behavior urges. I know for me I am in the middle of gaining weight on one of my meal plans from my old dietician Lisa Arroyas from BHC. I am on a meal plan that I should be on in patient surrounded with support but am on my own out here. I am not 100% yet but trying to get to the next meal plan. It's been excruciating the past two days. And while I have not done 100% I have made every effort to eat a few meals per day without restricting behaviors. I have allowed the tears to fall instead, more like flood! I did not retreat to self harm as I would in the past. I have not exercised like I have wanted. I have a fridge full of ensure as back up. I have purged here and on facebook as well as in session today.
I have been angry because "ana" robbed Bekah of her life for so many years and made her feel as though she was too much for us all to keep supporting her through her pain. I am angry because I look from the outside and see all she had in a gorgeous daughter, supportive husband, degree as a nurse, and so much love and support and can't help but to look at my own life as a waste at times because I don't have all she did. I almost feel guilty as to why am I here and she isn't. She was absolutely gorgeous and supported me even in her own pain and anguish because she understood the battle. She understood the depths of this debilitating disease.
When I found out about her death through a close friend of mine, Cheryl, I lost it. I immediately text Rebekah and said "please tell me you're ok???" I coudln't bear the truth. I so badly want to hug her and hold her and tell her it will be ok and that she will recover. I so badly want to have coffee with her and eat with her again like at BHC and tell her there is an end to the torment and that life will get better.
We can't bring her back. We can't undo her death. We can't hug her one more time or help support her. We can't go to starbucks with her or shop with her or wear girly things like bows and flowers and pretty dresses. We can no longer hear her voice on the phone or text her back and forth or email her. We can no longer post to her facebook or comment on her statuses. We can no longer tell her how much she means to us and how much we truly do love her and care about her.
We CAN face ourselves! We can get serious and put 2 feet in recovery. We can keep her memory alive by not letting her death be in vain. Her death has made me face my own mortality in this deadly disease as I hope it will all of you. We can tell each other how much we care about each other as much as we can and go for coffee and eat together and hug each other. We can be encouraging to each other and tell each other, now, while we are alive that we are worth the fight. This isn't say it will be easy or not to grieve. My therapist told me today I would have different emotions through all of this. She told me Rebekah didn't love herself enough to hold on and I was faced with that very truth for me. I need to find out why, while I am still here. We all do. Death is permanent.
Please do not rush through the grief and think you have to grieve fast or be strong. This is excruciating. Surround yourself with support. Do self care. Grieve in therapy. Let it out! I know in therapy today I was in tears before my ass reached her couch! She already knew as I called sobbing yesterday! I went through several tissues as I sobbed and vented. I am still hoping to keep my appointment in two days as well. Blogging helps and a wonderful friend on fb who wrote Healing your Hungry Heart (Joanna Poppink) suggested I write a letter to Rebekah which I plan to do and later burn.
Hugs and many prayers to all suffering through this.
We love you Rebekah Sharp and you will always be remembered as I promise, as do others, to keep your memory alive!
((Hugs and Love))