Sunday, November 20, 2011
R.I.P Rebekah Sharp~ another beautiful soul lost to anorexia's terrorizing grips~
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))