That’s a sick thing to say, but I’m a sick person.
I’ll see posts online about people either in recovery right now (by choice or not) or out of recovery and are putting up their story for inspiration, and they’ll talk about their time spent in the hospital with feeding tubes and Ensure and all that, and I’ll think, “I did all of my recovery in my home. In my bedroom on my computer doing hours of research. With my then boyfriend. With my mom and little brother. I never once spent time in the hospital.”
I’m still fuzzy on the specifics of my diagnosis. I went in for a routine check-up, even though we don’t actually do those yearly things, but I had agreed with my mom that I probably needed help. The thought of “eating disorder” had crossed both our minds but there was no way we believed it was real yet. I remember I was wearing this pink dress and a pink bow in my hair. I was planning on spending the rest of the day with my then boyfriend, the Actor, since we had a day off of school and my appointment was stupidly early in the morning. I remember thinking, “are you serious? Are you looking at me?” when the doctor asked me if I did any drugs. “I’m wearing a pink dress and a bow. What do you think?” Then they ordered an EKG and handed us the chart, which we thought looked fine. I mean, it looked like my heart was beating in normal intervals, which it was, 39 times a minute. 42bpm was my average. They said we should take my heart rate while I was sleeping and they’d call back in the morning. You’ve heard this story. I am a light sleeper so it wasn’t taken in my sleep and they never called back anyway. I avoided the hospital through lies and the doctor’s carelessness. Or maybe I just wasn’t sick enough.
I didn’t go to inpatient care. I never was force fed through a tube (other than when I was a 3 lb newborn in the NICU) or watched while I finished a ridiculously full tray of food. I was never forced to drink an Ensure when my weight didn’t go up as fast as they wanted it to. My mom made dinner like she always did. She made my lunch for a few days until I told her it pissed me off. Just because I had an ED didn’t mean I was a little kid. I don’t have some huge recovery story. I weight 94 pounds. Today I weigh 110-115. I don’t fit the old size 1 jeans I used to wear as a product of muscle gain. Everything else I still fit. I mainly have all the clothes from back then and not much anything new. I never took pictures of my body when I was 94 lbs because I thought I was disgustingly fat, but I know that I barely look different. My mom claims I look skinner now than when I was 94lbs but I think that’s because she constantly thinks that I’m relapsing.
A part of me wishes that I had gotten sick enough. Of course I know that that never existed. I would never be “sick enough” to satisfy my standards. Still, that part of me wishes I’d gotten to go as far as I’d wanted. I know I should be thankful that I was caught when I was, and I am, but that doesn’t stop my disorder from wanting what it wants.