I discovered that my ED is not really dead. The thoughts are still there, lurking.
Yesterday I had my hemoglobin checked, because I have been feeling weak and anemic. I usually am slightly anemic, but I wanted to find out if it had gotten worse. So I was suprised when the nurse told me it was a 12, which is within normal range. Following the suprise, I immediately felt...disappointed? Embarassed?
Yes, ridiculous as it sounds, having a normal hemoglobin level made me feel fat. You know how anorexics commonly confuse "healthy" with "fat"? For example:
Well-meaning person: "Gee, Lisa, you are looking so healthy!"
Me: "your MOM's healthy."
Ok no I wouldn't really say that. But you get what I mean. To someone with an ED, "healthy" isn't always a compliment.
I have the same thing with my blood pressure. I have hereditary low blood pressure, and combine that with the ED my blood pressure was like crazy low. In a sick way I guess I felt a little proud of it and whenever I was in the hospital I wouls always listen as everyone was getting their bp's taken to make sure mine was the lowest, or at least in the bottom three. I know, right? Whatever gets you through the day, I guess. Inevitably as I would start to restore weight and get hydrated my bp would rise and I would fall into a bit of a funk as I realized that I wasn't "sick" anymore. Without an acute illness to define myself by, I didn't feel special or important.
I still feel that way a little bit sometimes. But I have to tell myself that what makes me special and important is not the ability to starve myself, or throw up my food. I am special because I am human, an individual, someone with many talents and abilities. I have the ability to grow, change, love, and be loved. I am important to many people, but especially my girls, to then I am the whole world.
Why did I , at such a young age, buy into the belief that my worth could be measured by weights or numbers or lab reults? Why did I cling to it for so long?
So yes, I still do have the thoughts. They pop in and out. But I don't act on them anymore. Mostly I just ignore them. Sometimes I ponder them.
And sometimes, they make me laugh.
5 weeks ago