Do you remember me? It’s okay, I’m not sure if I remember myself either. I can hardly think clearly right now, and I feel like I am drunk even though I have not had alcohol in (almost) a week. My memory is crap. My reaction time is slower than molasses and if I don’t change something soon, I’m afraid that I won’t even be aware of what it feels like to be alive.
I admit it. The transition to college has been hard. I am stuck. I am lost. I am alone. But I’m not all alone. I fill my mind up with lists of numbers and menus and BMI charts and macros and constantly compare it to what I see others do in search of some fucked up kind of “perfection”… rather than filling it with the things that I know I really need.
Because I admit it: I have needs. No, Emily, they are not wants. They are needs. My name is Emily and I have needs.
I cannot keep lying to my dietician, agreeing to challenges that I know I won’t be partaking in. I cannot keep eating the same meals and snacks repeatedly day after day after day (but I switch between 3 different dinners! there’s my variety! No ED, shut up). Just eating enough calories to keep me functional without loosing (too much) weight. I am going home for fall break this weekend and instead of being excited to see my sister and dog and parents and best friend, I am scared because I don’t want to have to eat but at the same time I want to hide my behaviors. This is not living.
The problem is not not knowing what I need to do. I need to say yes to things I am invited to. I need to reach out and make myself available to receive those invitations. I need to fuel myself consistent meals and snacks spread out throughout the day. Restricting all day and then eating a pint of ice cream before bed does not help me at 4 pm when I am trying to study. I need to try dining hall food (not just the salad bar). Because even though it is not tasty, it’s part of the college experience. I don’t need to love everything I eat. But I do need to eat.
I need to make the most of my resources by doing the challenges that my dietician and I lay out. I need to feel my anxiety and realize that it is okay-things are never as bad as I expect them to be. I can be lovable. I have been lovable in the past. And I will be lovable again. I need to have failures and be open about them.
I probably do need more support right now. I should be seeing a therapist more than once every 2-3 weeks. I need to let go of the shame of my struggle and stop asking myself “why I am so messed up” and “what is wrong with me” and instead ask myself “why not” and “what do I want”.
It’s scary to want things. It creates expectations that might not be met. I’ve got one life. I can either use it or lose it. I am going to be honest. I deserve to let my feelings out.
“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn’t matter anymore.
I am thawing.”