Okay, I fear I might alienate some people because I’m going to mention 12 step stuff but that will be my next post. First though, a little history.
When I was discharged from the military for being a crazy lunatic – actually medically retired for an eating disorder and mood disorder but lunatic sums it up better… I tried going to an OA (overeaters anonymous) meeting geared to anorexics and bulimics. It was in Los Angeles so pretty much filled a huge hall. How sad it is that the stereotype fit so well. But anyway, getting off track. The only thing I did there was berate myself for not being the smallest person in the room although to be fair, how did I know I wasn’t? I mean, I couldn’t hold shampoo in my hand because it seeped through my bony fingers. However, in my mind I was the fattest one in the room but got a sponsor anyway. She was Australian and I loved the accent, plus, her story was more insane then mine AND I was thinner than her, sigh… I certainly couldn’t have a sponsor who was smaller than me, accent or no accent! She promptly told me that all medication was drugs so I went off all my meds – you know, the ones from the psychiatrist that were keeping me sane? Um, yeah, those. Three weeks of serious withdrawals later…. I was a mess. I tried to get a normal job (yarn shop) but ended up as a dancer (stripper) because it was (a) way better money and (b) more importantly a perfect job because I felt like I was a worthless piece of shit and didn’t deserve better. Later I learned that this wasn’t unusual for (multi) trauma survivors – who knew?
After getting off the meds I was even nuttier than I was before and the ED was rampant. I ended up going to a midnight AA meeting in Hollywood and met up with a drug addict. I asked if he could help me out, meaning to escape. He certainly could and introduced me to serious drugs – shooting up speedballs (heroin/cocaine). Wow, it wiped out all thoughts of anorexia and purging! I know this is crazy but I just wanted a reprive from ED thoughts and behavior, which this was. So, 3 weeks later I ended up in some kind of program in the desert, no thanks to my brother. It was awful and irrelevant so I was back out on the streets – literally. I slept in my car after selling everything I owned for drugs. Another 3 weeks and I was in jail. So my huge long (add loads of sarcasm) career in drugs came to an end. At least I was thin, right?
Side note – turns out those drugs (upper mixed with a downer) leveled out my cyclothymic moods. When I went off them I had an episode of delusional mania and ended up with bipolar 1. Cautionary tale, eh?
I was in jail for like 5 weeks only because someone had stolen my ID and I had to prove that I was, in fact, me and in the Air Force at the time that person had escaped from prison. However, in CA just having drugs was a felony so I ended up getting probated into a year long program. It was part in CA and the rest in NY. They sent me to another program in Pennsylvania since they couldn’t handle my having an eating disorder. That program turned out to be a religious cult. No, not just a religious program that seemed cult like, an actual bonafide cult. Five years later I escape. They had pretty much spiritually raped me so I became a hard core atheist after that, or rather an anti-theist. I also jumped into the bottle since the partner I had at the time drank heavily. I was cutting like crazy and starving and puking to oblivion – a complete wreck. I did this on and off for another 5 years. Eventually I went into rehab for the single purpose of getting away from my ex, clearly not for drinking or starving.
Jump to the year 2000. I ended up with a DBT therapist who saved my life. No more cutting, got on meds, learned to communicate with other human beings (that is what DBT does for you) but couldn’t shake anorexia for anything in the world.
There just seemed like no hope. I remember when I was in the Air Force I had asked if there as any eating disorder clinics at all and they said no. Their answer was to discharge me. I then asked the VA if they had any and that I would go anywhere to do that but no, they didn’t either. However, someone took and interest and got them to pay for me to go a to a 5 week program, Avalon Eating Disorder Clinic, which was near by. I went there a few times, nothing ever stuck but I did meet my current (wonderful) nutritionist so it wasn’t all a loss. Hahaha, loss…. Anyway, when I finally got disability I went to John Hopkins Eating Disorder unit which is about the worst place ever. Not only did I lose weight (yay, except I actually did want help) but they never checked to see that I was exercising like a maniac in my room, etc. I could write an entire blog on that place but won’t. I left and later discovered that reviews of that place were all as bad as my experience.
I think I finally hooked up with my current ED/Trauma therapist after that; don’t really remember. I eventually recovered completely. Anyone rolling their eyes? Yeah well, I figured out what recovery looked like and did that perfectly. Everyone was fooled including myself because I never ever gave up anorexia. I always kept it as an option refusing to ever, ever let it go. Are you kidding? It has been the only thing that has been in my life all these years. Everything else has changed over and over and over. My name is not Lexy, it is Anorexia… that is how intimately I feel about it.
Okay, so now, insert past blogs explaining my life the last few years……… okay, back?
Nothing is working and the biggest reason is because I just don’t want it to. I never got to the point, till now, that I just didn’t care. I decided I’ll have anorexia the rest of my freaking life; which clearly would be far shorter as a result. But what was the other option? There wasn’t any. Oddly enough I always had the option of a treatment center in my back pocket but that has recently been removed due to VA policy changes. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own and was getting tired of trying. I was tired of the never ending talks with my therapist and nutritionist about all this, and them constantly asking me to give up the scale, constantly wanting me to exercise like a normal person, constantly wanting me to, well, eat. Ugh…. just TOO much.
part 2 will be what I’ve been doing this past week that has been rather significant in helping me stay on track.