Saturday, February 26, 2011

why I think NEDA week has been so hard

It's National Eating Disorder Awareness week and I am more bothered by this than I ever have been. Last year I was speaking at treatment centers, support groups, and an all girls high school. This year I just want to crawl under my pillow and sleep until it's done. What changed? I'm still doing well. I'm still hoping to get my non profit up and running and I'm still on track to get my MSW. I still want recovery- maybe more than ever. So what is it? It's the fact that as much as we all seem to think these awareness weeks or walks or facebook postings will help but the truth is that we need so much more. Yes I like the fact that there is a week and I like that people are truly trying to make others aware. But I hate that it also makes it seem that wearing a purple shirt will fix it. I hate that as much as we try to make people aware this week the people who truly need to hear what ED's are really about won't be listening. So many people already know about ED's. It's not so much about raising awareness as getting people help. I think it is important to educate people- after all that is what my entire goal in life is. But at the same time I think we need to do it more. We need to be able to talk to our friends about things we see. We need to have adults we can trust and parents that will notice. And none of the things we really need will magically happen as a result of a week of people spitting out facts.

 Don't get me wrong I think it is so much better than nothing. But this week all I feel is hopeless. I feel hopeless that so many people are struggling and can't pay for treatment or don't want it. I feel like I might not help anyone in the end. I'm about to graduate and all I keep thinking is I will never measure up to the people who have helped me. To the people out there working so hard to make this week mean something. To the people who somehow have hope that things will change. But the truth is we need so much more than I think is possible right now. I think we need a drastic attitude change in so many aspects of our society. I think we need to have more prevention than anyone can imagine. And it's scary for me to realize I could walk the stage after graduate school and do nothing. I could absolutely not make a mark in society. I am terrified of the places we are going and I am terrified that I won't be able to help because it will be too hard for me. I feel like that is so selfish. I'm sorry I can't help you because I can't handle listening to your story- it makes me want to give up. Yeah that's gonna help. So there's really just a lot going on but all this week has done for me is remind me of what I went through and am still fighting for- right when I was truly leaving it behind. I know it will always be there but I hate having it shoved in my face. I hate knowing that some people will never get it and that there is so much that needs to be done- way more than can be accomplished in a week. But mostly I hate that I feel alone in thinking that. In really wanting to get at the early causes. I'm afraid people won't accept that these things start so early in life. I'm afraid society will never be able to protect the children that deserve it. Basically it just reminds me that even with so much awareness and people out there there is still so much that needs to be done and I don't know if I can even make a dent in it. 
I don't want to always think about the people who will die or never stop struggling. I don't want to be reminded my whole life that this defined me for so long. It's like this week makes me feel so stuck. I feel like I will never be completely free especially if this is what I work my whole life to stop. I'm afraid I won't be able to do that- to protect myself. But then I immediately think that I HAVE to. I don't have a choice- these people need me and if I can't so this I don't want to do anything. I want my life to be about so much more right now and this week I just feel like it's been enveloped with "awareness" which I don't need actually thank you. 

I am just so sick of all of this I'm sick of wanting my ED of wanting to not want it, of having to deal with urges still of being afraid it will never completely be gone. I'm sick of always being around it to some extent whether it's seeing my therapist there or talking to my friends about it or awareness weeks or blogs or talking to my doctor. I just want to be the person I am- without that as still a thin cloak that clouds the real me and my judgement. I want to just be done so badly. I want to be fine I want to help people and not need help myself I want to have my non profit i want my degree I want to be working and traveling and I want to be truly educating people on the things that matter. I don't want to talk about the obvious things. I want people to learn to see what's behind the ED. What's behind addiction and struggling in general. I want people to LEARN how to react to people and learn how to handle things in the right way. I don't want to list off the ways it can damage bodies- I want people to not let it happen in the first place. I don't want to hear about the symptoms or the effects or .... I want people to realize what is really behind it. What the core issues are and how THEY can be prevented and seen and dealt with before it becomes more. So I get it. I get that people feel better when they talk about their journey or when they give stats and tell people to get help and it's possible. I get that we need to feel like we are doing SOMETHING. I get that it is all most of us will ever be able to do. But it really just makes me angry and hurt and feel helpless and afraid and wonder if any of this is worth it. I know this is far from the goal of the week. But I just don't get it sometimes. I just don't get how so many people can want to help in the ways that don't really matter. How people can make signs for recycling but not actually do it. How people talk about abuse but won't figure out a way to get children out of it. How people will hurt other people so badly and won't ever be punished or stopped. How people pay donate money without knowing where it's going or what to do to actually make a difference. 

I've been purging this week. I hate more than anything to say that because I feel like people in my life have some idea that I'm doing a lot worse than I am. And I hate those assumptions more than anything. The truth is that I'm doing so well and so excited for my future and to start grad school that I don't know what to do with it all. I don't know how to handle being really ok and wanting recovery more than I ever have. It's like I'm looking back and finally can really say I no longer want it. I no longer want to prove I am sicker or am in pain. I feel like purging was my rebellion against this week. Like my way of screaming "SO WHAT?" do you really think this is all we need? I'm not happy about it but I think it has taught me something very important and I know that slips are a part of this process. But that's all it will be and I know that and am glad I can confidently say that. Anyway this has been long I think I just need to process so many things right now so that's my goal these next few weeks. I need to deal with my decision to leave my past behind and I'm finally taking the steps to really do that. It's terrifying but I'm excited and ready. Bring it on.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I didn't get into Wash U. I think what most surprised me was that I was more ok than I thought I would be. I cried for a little while and maybe after I was just numb I don't know. I really thought I would get in. I really thought that with everything I want to do I would have a good chance. I had planned out the different things I would think if I didn't get in. I figured I would worry that I wouldn't be able to be successful if I didn't go to the number one MSW school. I figured I'd think I was a failure or not good enough. I thought I would feel like I didn't try hard enough, didn't join as many activities and who cares if it was because I was working on my recovery? I should have done better. But guess what? Maybe it was because I wasn't as sure I would get in as I was undergrad or maybe it was because I've planned out all the ways I could make me goals happen. I'm not really religious and I don't really always believe things happen for a reason but I do think they can be turned into a reason. Maybe I'm supposed to leave the campus that I've been so sick on. Maybe I'm supposed to leave the city I wanted to die in. Maybe I'm supposed to completely start fresh. A new city, new relationships, a new school, and a new more dealt with past to go with my new future. I'm annoyed I have to apply to more schools and make hard decisions. But at the same time I'm excited. I'm excited that I'm going to be graduating and going to grad school. I'm excited that I finally found what I really want to do and I know I am going to be able to do it. But even though I'm excited I have so many other emotions. I'm stressed because this semester is HARD. I'm sad that I might be leaving my friends and the people who helped save my life. I'm scared that it will be too hard to find new people and that I will just find the same people I always seem to attract. I'm afraid of always feeling alone. Of always feeling not important, that no one really cares, or that I don't matter. I'm feeling all the normal things people feel when they see a part of their life ending and a new one beginning. I'm finally really realizing my decision to recover and everything it means and all that comes with it. It's scary. I'm so afraid of what the future holds but I'm so excited at the same time. So I guess really I'm just emotional is every single way and I'm glad I am. I'm glad I'm feeling things besides those I'm used to feeling. But I think maybe the thing I'm most sad about is that I don't have many people to share in it with me. That is what I need in my future- relationships that are based on truth and trust and understanding and so many other things I'm not used to. I need to move on with my life. I'm afraid that will mean I can't work with eating disorders as much as I'd like to. But maybe that is good. Maybe it is the only way to really put my past back.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The mail

I've been so busy with classes this semester I haven't had time to write which I hate. But so far classes are so much fun but as hard as freshman year again which I am NOT excited for. I've been getting more and more anxious and stressed every day the last month probably. I get my answer this week. I find out if I got into Wash U. The number one ranked program in the nation in social work and I'm honestly a lot more scared than I thought. I was ok. I was just excited and nervous but I think I've been really assuming I'm going to get in. Maybe it's because of everything I laid out in the paper or the references of the fact that I want this more than anything. I guess I just feel like my passion must have come across. But why would it? Everyone who applies has passion on some level. Everyone has good grades and activities and personal stories. It wasn't until saturday night I realized how SCARED I was. I thought I would be fine with whatever happened. I thought I would be excited wherever I got in and ok with leaving if I had to. But I got home from work and just started bawling... I think I'm putting all my hopes on this. I know I'll go somewhere and I'll figure it out if it's not in stl. I know I will be ok- but I feel like getting into Wash U is the measure of how good I will be, how much I will be able to do, how much I will matter. And I know that isn't true. But I know it will take awhile to be ok if I don't get in and I just don't want to have to deal with that too. So for now I'm trying to trust that things have worked out with me ending up n stl when I  wasn't supposed to so maybe what I need to happen will happen. And maybe, just maybe, it won't define me as a person...:)