Hi, sweet readers! One of my resolutions this year was to post every week (so check back here each Monday for a new little blurb from me!) and another was to start journaling more. Just wanted to let you know that you can expect some more casual posts about my feelings and my life, sprinkled in with some longer prose and reflection this year (but no poetry–that’s all going in my book!) Thanks for keeping up with me and sticking by my side through it all. You amaze and inspire me and are my main hope. Happy new year!
I packed my bags and left school over a month ago with the expectancy that my life would improve.
I had done my phone intake for a treatment center that specializes in the two things that were afflicting my day to day life the most: my eating disorder and my PTSD. I consider myself to be a fairly functional and highly independent human being, but most nights, I was either knee-deep in the ravenous waters of flashbacks or working myself into the ground on the elliptical; it doesn’t take a therapist to reveal that that isn’t sustainable nor healthy. So, when asked what I needed, I said that I thought I needed help, the kind of intensive help that would allow me to absolutely pour myself into my treatment for the next month and a half or so and would condense and accelerate that healing process so that I could still have a shot at my spring semester.
I talked to friends across the country, solidified on a recommendation, and left my best friends and my favorite place for a chance at getting better, for good.
The treatment that I was banking on, the one thing that was giving me any semblance of hope, didn’t pan out.
I ended up spending an entire month at home (minus a few nights in the hospital), trotting back and forth from appointments and trying to explain myself mindlessly over and over and over. I just wanted to scream, as I sat there on every couch and filled out every check-in form. Everyone seemed surprised that I wasn’t doing better mentally, even if my ED behaviors subsided as the exhaustion of time wore on. Yet, no one was really doing anything to help me. My meds were changed, I found a new therapist (and haven’t gotten past getting-to-know-you sessions), and I joined a group (but didn’t go until tonight). I have not yet touched my trauma. I have not yet talked about why I relapsed into my eating disorder to begin with. And frankly, we’ve been spending far too much time trying to flatten out trivial details that I haven’t even gotten a word in edgewise on the big picture.
I’ve been sitting here for over a month and haven’t had a single therapy session to myself to process anything.
Meanwhile, my flashbacks have gotten worse and longer, my body image is the absolute worst it’s ever been, and, on top of it all, I am incredibly isolated.
I was texting with a friend this morning and she said, “Can’t wait to see you in a week!”
That’s when I realized that my time of waiting and hoping for some revolutionary life shift has passed.
The month I allotted myself for healing is over, and has only left me more distraught, unheard, and frustrated than ever.
I’ve never handled anger well. It’s an emotion that’s always sort of scared me, and I have trouble admitting when I’m harboring it. But truth be told, I’m angry right now. I feel like I was rejected from help that I needed and put myself out there to ask for, and was instead thrown into a catacomb of self-defense and preservation.
Nothing good really came from this month, aside from a nice week in Disney with my family.
The only good thing, I think, is my anger.
I wasn’t sure I could get better, but I wanted so, so badly to try. And I understand that things take time to iron out, and Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I’ve been hurting all month, and I’ve pretty much been hurting alone. That’s not okay. It’s not.
This is a sort of angry that I’ve never felt before. It’s the kind that knows that had I been off anywhere else, talking daily about my issues and forming community and reteaching myself authenticity, I would be doing significantly better than I am right now. It’s the kind that knows that I deserve better months than the month that I’ve had. It’s the kind that grieves for lost time and knows that what’s past is going to try to penalize the future. But I’m not going to let it.
I’m the kind of angry that I think most people feel rather often, but that I rarely allow myself to feel.
Why write this all down?
Because I want to immortalize the moment that I stuck up for myself, even if only on paper, and said, “Hey. I need more. I deserve more. I am capable of more, and I want to work for more.”
Just a few weeks ago, I told everyone I didn’t really care what happened to me.
And now, I’m angry. And that’s a sign that I do care. That’s a sign of responsibility and accountability.
This has been, hands down, the worst month of my life, and during it, I felt even more hopeless than I did when I embarked on it.
But here I am, angry, with my truth ready to fire from my fingertips, refusing to let anyone waste my time any longer, refusing to let the depths of me be overshadowed by surface level mistakes.
Here I am. I survived months of abuse, am surviving my dad’s decline, and will survive my mental illnesses. Some people would break at the outpour of just one of those things. But I didn’t. I coped maladaptively, but I coped. And I’m sorry if it was wrong. And I’m sorry if I hurt anybody. And I’m sorry that sometimes the movie in my head gets so loud that I have to slowly unreel the tape, or crush it, or go blind to keep from seeing it anymore. I’m sorry and I’m not. I’m sort of fed up with sorry. I have been through hells that you couldn’t imagine and every day I wake up to walk through another one. It is harder than anyone could know, but I am doing it nonetheless.
Maybe no one will clap for that. And that’s okay. I’ll sit down right here and clap for myself, and I’ll rest easy tonight knowing that someone somewhere in the world is clapping for me, too.