Journal Day 3/National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Good morning! If you’re just joining in, feel free to start reading here or you can back up and check out day 1 and day 2.

Leaving off from yesterday, I was going deeper and deeper into a downward spiral. I realized I wasn’t happy and that my thought process wasn’t normal, but was too deep in it to get myself out.  Over the next few weeks my thoughts continued to be with consumed with food and exercise and the fear that if I didn’t keep exercising constantly I would gain weight. I was miserable at night after supper because I couldn’t exercise as much after. I couldn’t sit still, I always had to be moving even once I was done working out for the day. I felt like I still needed to get in that one last crunch. I continued to lose weight despite seeing a nutritionist, therapist and my doctor.

School ended and so did the thing that took up a good part of my day and energy. Without that, things went downhill even more quickly.

Last day of school

Last day of school 1996

6/30/96

I am really frustrated. Because my blood pressure and heart rate are so low, I can’t do diving team. [My nutritionist] is hinting that I need to gain a few pounds and that is a really awful feeling, to have lost a lot of weight and then someone comes along & tells you to gain some.

Until now I’m just discovering how sick I am. My period stopped which really freaked me out and I’m starting to look sickly. Circles around my eyes, some bones sticking out, a tired-dead look about my face. It’s scary.

Each day is such a battle for me. And by the end of the day, I just want it over with so I can start a new day and try to do better at it.

Diving team 1996

7/12/96

Today I was admitted to the hospital. Not exactly what I wanted to be doing this afternoon. I still feel like this is all my fault but I couldn’t control it so how could it be? What am I doing to myself & why?

They are really strict here. Tomorrow they’re going to start me on a 1500 calorie diet (wow!) and increase it 250 calories every day. This is very overwhelming and I don’t know how I’m going to do with it. But I’m going to try hard and get better so I can get on with my life.

Boston Children's Hospital front entrance

7/13/96

Day one in the hospital. Last night, three doctors came in to ask me questions and do a thorough examination. Before I went to bed, they had me drink 2 glasses of orange juice (it was that or the IV) because my tests said I was dehydrated.

I just finished breakfast and I feel yucky. I want to get up, do something, work off all of the fat loaded on my plate. But another part reminds me I want to get better and soon! So, I’m not going to argue. I’m going to do everything they tell me. I can’t get up until 12-that is if my heart rate is up. Now I have to stay in bed.

I was so scared last night. They have me hooked up to a heart monitor at night and every time it went off, it just freaked me out. It made me realize how sick I am, even thought I may still feel fat. After it went off a few times, and I was really scared, I just prayed.

I didn’t fall asleep until 4:30 AM and slept until about seven. When I woke up, I had to go to the bathroom wicked bad (because of the OJ). So, I waited awhile and started to feel sick, nauseous. But, I waited because they want you to go to the bathroom before you get weighed, at 8:15

Finally, 8:15 came and they did my vital signs, let me go to the bathroom (actually, the bedside chair-thing I hate) and weighed me.

-I’m really happy! At 6:30 a nurse came in and told me my vital signs were good enough so that I could get up, walk around a little and use the bathroom! I know I’m still sick but this is a step in the right direction.

Just now I’m realizing that the body I want – the one I’ve been trying to get – isn’t one of a typical 13-year old girl. It’s the one of a bodybuilder that has all day to worry about their bodies and nutrition – that’s their job. Plus, they probably take steroids and they’re not normal people.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Modern-day Stephanie writing now. I threw in that last paragraph for comic relief. I didn’t want to be a bodybuilder so I don’t know why I put that. I think I meant I wanted to look like a fitness instructor. And the fact that I assumed they took steroids and they’re not normal? Don’t think I wrote that to make myself laugh 28 years later.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave comments or questions. I love hearing what’s on your mind!

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6 thoughts on “Journal Day 3/National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

  1. Thank you for doing this. I’ve wanted to be inside your head during this time period for about 18 years now. I only wish that the 30-year-old me had been there to support you instead of the 13 year-old me who had no clue what to do, and likely fed into your insecurities and doubts. I remember the day that they told me you were in the hospital, and how freaked out and scared I was — I was so worried about you and just wanted you to be happy, but had no clue what to say or do or how I could possibly help. I’m so proud of how you dealt with it, what you took from it, and how you used the experience to turn you into such an amazing person today! Love, love, love!!

    • Are you sure you want to be in my head? It’s a scary place even for me sometimes. 😉

      We were 13; none of us knew what the heck was going on or how to deal with it. It’s hard to understand as an adult! If the shoe had been on the other foot, I wouldn’t have known what to say to you or how to understand what you were going through. You were as good of a friend as you could have been under the circumstances and never harassed me like some of our other “friends.” Heck, you even came to visit me in the hospital and you were the only friend that did. I was so grateful for that. 🙂

  2. […] from anorexia. If you missed the first few entries, feel free to go back and read day 1, day 2, and day 3. I’ll do mostly summarizing from here on out otherwise this week-long share session will turn […]

  3. I remember the day you were admitted into the hospital so well. It was one if those things growing up that just stuck with me. I’m so proud of the person you have become and I’m so sorry we were so young and I couldn’t have been there to support you better! Having a daughter myself I just wanted to thank you for being so courageous and putting this out there!

    • Hi Meg! Thanks so much for stopping by and reading and for adding your memories! Please, you have nothing to apologize for! In fact, in reading through my journals, you were one of the few friends who stuck by me. We were all so young that none of knew how to deal with it. It would be hard to manage as adults!

      You’re so sweet! I hope your daughter grows up knowing that it doesn’t matter what she looks like, no matter the pressures from peers or media, as long as she is happy and healthy!

  4. […] have that as well. If you missed last week’s series, you can go back to read day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4 before continuing below if you […]

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