Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What I Needed to Hear

My ED doctor, M, has pissed me off on more than one occasion - mostly because she is really blunt and sees right through my bullshit ("It's not my fault I lost weight I couldn't eat because.... blah blah blah").  Appointments with her are No Fun.  There was the appointment in December when she told me I had to quit working out because I wasn't "heart safe," thus launching my ongoing fear of having a heart attack.  There was the appointment in January with my parents when she told them I needed to take a medical leave from school because of my low weight and heart rate and bone density lalalala.  Then the time two weeks ago when she made me cry.

I always dread seeing M because she usually makes me feel cornered and mad.  Since she is The Boss of my treatment team, her perception of me really really matters.  I try so hard to be clear-headed and articulate and composed with her, but feeling trapped like that makes me clam up.

My appointment today was different.  M listened, instead of interrupting me for sounding "too anorexic."  Or something.  When I told her for the millionth time that I don't want to take medication, she just nodded and dropped it.  When I talked about how I want to proceed with therapy at school (start seeing a new therapist vs. phone sessions with W), she smiled and said, "I just love it when you speak up for yourself!"

Then, as I was leaving, M stopped me and said simply, "You can do this."

And that, when all was said and done, was what I most needed to hear.  Sometimes it seems like everyone has been so eager to set up "relapse prevention" strategies that no one - not even me - has stopped to think about what would happen if I didn't relapse.  What if I turn out fine?

I needed to hear that relapse isn't necessarily expected of me. That it's not even an option.  I don't want to go back to college planning to fail.  Yes, I want to be prepared, but not all doom and gloom about it.  I want to go back to be in school, not just to be not anorexic, if that makes sense.  Hearing M say "You can do this" made me realize that someday, recovery will be over and it will all be worth it.  It reminded me that recovery isn't supposed to be the power struggle that it has felt like lately, with everyone drawing lines in the sand and refusing to budge.

You MUST take meds.

You MUST gain to X pounds.

No, I will NOT.

Recovery isn't punishment, even though it can feel that way.  Everyone is in it to help me, as hard as that sometimes is to believe.  Dear Kaylee: Open your eyes.  Don't ever for a second forget how good you have it.  That's all.

Until I see M next week for one last appointment, my job is (according to her): "Calories."


  1. My job is the same this week. I really identify with you on most of your posts. Are you going back to school this fall?


  2. Hey Ellie - Yes I am going back to school in a week! My doctor here is helping me set up a team in my college city so hopefully everything will be ready to go by the time I get out there.