I have probably just experienced the weirdest 3 weeks of my life. I moved into college mid-August, and still feel unsettled. I am not homesick, per say. Life does not feel like reality. Not in a “too good to be true” kind of fashion, but not in the opposite way either.
I had treatment appointments set up before I moved. One with an on-campus dietitian, an off-campus ED therapist, and a weekly support group in mind. I felt insanely embarrassed going into my first dietician appointment. What is there to talk about? I am 18 years old, I know how to feed my body. I know when I am doing the right thing, and feel guilty when I am not. The dietician has very limited hours and a busy schedule, so I thought that she could be spending her time better with someone else. Someone who maybe has not had the extensive treatment and support that I have. Someone who doesn’t have a meal plan or know what they need to be doing to take care of themselves. The thing is-I know. I know when I have lost weight. I know when I feel foggy. I know when that “after dinner walk” is not really a good idea. I know what I need to do. The real question is whether I am willing to do it.
I have not had one person comment about how “healthy” I eat or question me when I say that I don’t want to eat something, which is rare. In the high school cafeteria, at least once a week someone would come up and “compliment” me on how “healthy” my meals always were. Yeah, maybe a whole wheat turkey sandwich with carrots is healthy, but not if it is the only lunch I eat. I honestly don’t feel like people have the faintest idea about my eating disorder. Which on one hand, is so freeing. And on the other, so hard to deal with. Because I have been engaging in behaviors.
The reality is that no matter how stable my weight is or how frequently I eat, I still have an eating disorder. Just because someone is not noticing or commenting about my eating habits, I still have the obligation to take care of my body. The real Emily knows that having people not comment on my relationship with food is what she wants. It is the right thing. Emily wants an identity outside of her eating disorder. She also wants people to understand.
I don’t know if I am going to tell my roommates. Part of me wants to, for accountability and understanding. The other part of my doesn’t because I think I can do it “on my own”, I don’t want my eating disorder to be my identity, and secretly-if I don’t tell them, maybe they won’t catch me.
This post sounds so negative-honestly, things haven’t been horrible. They’ve been different. And I think that’s okay.