>It’s a Thursday morning and my little brother has gone off with my dad to do some things that they consider fun while my mom takes me to the doctor, where I haven’t been since the 7th grade about two-three years before. Before I know it I’m sent to the lab to get bloodwork and an EKG done. I’m lying down on a table while they stick a needle into my arm and babbling about this one kid who annoys me just by breathing so that I don’t think about the blood steadily flowing from my vein into little vials for testing. Then I’m lying down on another table with little sticky things placed on my chest. I wait for maybe thirty minutes while they take the EKG over and over again because the person taking it thinks the machine is broken when it gives out such a low heart rate each time. It’s not the machine, it’s me. I clock in at 39 bpm. They give me a chart that I think looks normal until we are told that it is not. I’m going to have to stay in the hospital, I’m told, so I don’t die, but only if my heart rate is below 40 bpm that night.
My mom walks out to the car with me and gets in. I say something in a light-hearted manner about the whole ordeal, as we always do about things that could be serious, to lighten the mood and keep the bad thoughts away, but my mom is already crying and moaning about what a bad mother she is. I don’t know what to do. I’ve never seen her cry before, and what on earth could I possibly say to her? I try though. I say that she didn’t notice it because I didn’t want her to; that I wasn’t exactly shouting to the world about my eating disorder. Frankly, I didn’t even really know that I had one until they told me. I let her take me to Olive Garden for lunch where I eat about 2 bread sticks, a plate and a half of salad and a bowl of soup, but I forget which kind now. I was thoroughly stuffed by the end of lunch and then it was time to move on to my boyfriend’s house.
I’d never seen him cry either, only heard it once on the phone when he was feeling particularly low about himself. I didn’t want to say it. I wanted to keep it inside and forget that it even happened. I didn’t want to tell him, but I did, and then he cried in my arms for an hour and I didn’t know what to do. I had yet to cry about it. I guess the whole thing seemed so unreal to me that I didn’t think it was really happening; that I wasn’t going to die.
That was the day that started it all. March 25th, 2010. Since then, I guess I’ve gained a few pounds. I guess I’ve gotten better in some ways. When I look back, I feel like I was so much better back then. Not in terms of health, but of mood. After I was officially diagnosed a week later at the Children’s Hospital, I went on a kind of pro-ana obsession for a little while. I had a stupid red beaded bracelet and thinspiration pictures on my cell phone so I could remember not to eat when I got hungry. Then I got a little better about those things, but I was miserable. I wasn’t allowed to dance anymore, not that I didn’t. I was angry when they first told and listened for about half a week, but then became so upset and fed up that I said, “Screw it,” and started dancing again, just not as long. I started taking pills that made me depressed and had to take more pills so I wouldn’t be depressed, but before I figured that out I was literally crying every day. Food was more of an enemy than before because now I had to eat it whether I wanted to or not, and it was most often not. I hid and cried and threw little kid tantrums in my mind whenever food came around. I lost my will to exercise because I wasn’t going to lose weight anymore. To this day I still find these things true, just maybe not to such an extent that they were at before. I still hate food. Not all of it, just most of it. I don’t mind making it, just eating it. I don’t feel like exercising anymore because if I can’t lose weight then I can certainly do other things with the time exercising would have taken up. I still exercise a little bit, just not as much as I used to.
A whole year has passed since all of that started and in some ways, I am better. I’m not so obsessed and crazed about losing weight. I still have my problems, but I know now that I just have to move ahead and keep trying to get better. Currently, I’m not really up for recovering, but I know I have to, so I ate breakfast today and I guess I’ll eat lunch when the time comes. I want to help people get better, and I want to get better. So after a whole year, I’m going to keep moving forward. Maybe I’ll even celebrate this a little bit. I’ve gained back my health and a little bit of my sanity, whatever I had before I lost the rest of it. I’ve gotten so much better and stronger in the past year. Even though I’m not done with recovery, it’s exciting to know that I’ve gotten through a year and it’s like a nice push to know that I can get through this next one.