Or maybe… because your panic attack is not just an overreaction, your depression is much more than just a phase, your anxiety is more than nerves, your PTSD is more than just a minor freak out, or your schizophrenia is much more than just imaginary […]
Month: January 2017
The past few weeks has been a rollercoaster of events, with a fair share of highs and a fair share of lows. The holidays are a challenging time in itself.
New years was celebrated along side my wonderful friend Bronwyn. We went to a party that my coworker invited us to, and oh my it was a blast. Celebration of the night: I drank a few drinks! Though I was so scared on my first two, shaking and feeling sick to my stomach with the thoughts filling my head, I chose to push past and have a fun night as Kathryn and not as the disorder.
New Years day Bronwyn and I went on a drive and found ourselves out in Elora. We went on a walk in the snowy gorge, it was a freezing cold day but the company and conversation drowned out the reminders of the bitting cold breeze on our noses. We got a few hours together to explore until we got exhausted and headed home for a nap.
After our power nap and power dinner, we headed over to meet with a group of girls from our old Bible Study. This night started so wonderfully, conversation was held around tea and snacks, we played many games and laughed our butts off. It was so incredible to get back together again and spend time in celebration. Though the night was amazing, I found myself triggered a bit… things were said that my eating disorder did not really like… I was triggered, heard things that were dangerous yet allowed myself to listen to and I pretty much ran out and had a full fledge panic attack in the car. I went right to bed, but the next morning I woke and told my parents about what happened that night, I found myself sobbing in my moms arms for quite some time. This instance isn’t specific to this situation either, triggering can happen anytime and anywhere! Celebration of the night: The instance set me back the next few days, but it also helped me fight against the disorder even harder.
Last night I went out with Yash and Dani. We went to a cafe to catch up. We are all in different stages of our lives, dealing with different stresses and honestly, we haven’t been actively in one another’s lives since highschool. We laughed the night away, told many hilarious stories, took many selfies, and even ate food. Celebration of the night: I partook in eating a bit of the dessert with them!!! All because I WANTED TO.
Tonight was our last family dinner before Kev leaves for Australia on Tuesday! We had the family over (plus Sheldon, Jess and Ranelle). We sat around the dining room table, laughing as we sipped on our wine and ate the delicious food. Tonight I genuinely focussed on the taste of the food, every time a distorted way of thought game into my head I tried my best to fix my focus on how good it all tasted, something I am not the best at doing usually. I got through the meal and enjoyed it!
On Thursday I woke up with a sense of urgency. I felt a spontaneous desire to just get a tattoo! And what I was going to get wasn’t even a question, “Sunshine” in my mom’s handwriting…. theres a story behind it:
Anorexia is the scariest and worst thing that has ever happened to me. Everyday you wake up, look at yourself in your mirror and recognize that within you, you are the biggest threat and greatest hope – two polar opposites. Man vs. Himself. I am a huge advocate of that being the hardest battle, when you are literally fighting your own personal self all day every day. This is what it is like to have any sort of mental illness – or in my case, anorexia. Every morning I wake up, look at myself in the mirror and notice the parts of my body that are too large, too round, not toned enough, or where bone doesn’t protrude my skin. I look away. The morning starts with breakfast, and though I have no choice as to whether I can eat it or not, I sit there, listen to all the voices in my head point out the specifics in the meal that are going to make me gain weight, and I learn to say no. I learn to make a choice, am I going to listen to them or am I going to fight back? Now, before that comes across too lightly, fighting back is not as simple as just a choice. Fighting back means that the voices will scream louder, take over your actions, almost to a point of possession. And truly that’s what it is, anorexia has possessed me for two years now, and I am so tired of not being in control. I am so unfamiliar with who Kathryn was before the disorder, I truly cannot fathom what I was like, my characteristics, mannerisms, my quirks, my likes and dislikes. What I can remember though, is being at my worst in anorexia, I was very underweight, my vision was a constant blur, my head was always pounding, my eyes were always tired, I lost consciousness at least once a day, I slept my life away, my legs arms and fingers were in a constant tingle. This sounds horrible, and it was. I cannot fully explain what this haze was like, other than the absolute worst time of my life. The most sickening part though is that every once in a while I CRAVE it. I miss the haze that restriction caused. It’s an addiction I can almost taste on my lips.
So my symptoms got worse and worse, and I was seeking what I thought was a sufficient amount of help on my own. In September of 2016 I remember meeting with my doctor and being told that if I don’t tell my family soon enough that I would be placed in a hospital to live in a foreign room on an uncomfortable bed and be fed through a tube, day in and day out. To think that I don’t have control of my life now, that would have been hell. So of course, in October I sat down with my parents and told them everything, you all know this story so I really don’t need to go into the fine details. Let’s just say that this was truly the scariest thing of my life, accepting how sick I was and giving into getting help.
My mom has been my greatest support since that Wednesday evening in October, she has given up so much, added MORE onto her plate, and I would say deals with the effects of my disorder more than anyone else. My mom cut back her hours at work, has given up specific travelling, has cut down on her own time with her friends, has put me as a priority. My mom sits with her 18 year old daughter every meal of every day. She prepares mine specifically so I am getting the proper nutrients I need to gain weight and ultimately get my life back. My mom has cried with me, laughed with me, celebrated the victories alongside me, and even mourned the losses of this disorder with me. My mom puts up with the nasty and horrible comments that the disorder makes come out of my mouth. My disorder sees my mother as my biggest enemy, but I know she’s one of my greatest hopes. My mom is the exact reflection of what my Lords giving and sacrificial love is all about. My mom is my best friend, my encouragement, my guardian.
Now, I have a slightly embarrassing nickname that my mother has called me since birth, “sunshine baby girl”. This name will forever be my favourite words to come from my moms mouth. Every day she calls me that.
I bought my mom a pandora bracelet for Christmas. The charm I got her is called “inner radiance”, the sun on the charm is for “sunshine” and the sparkles resemble the kind and caring love she has provided me with. This charm represents our close bond, and I think we can both agree that this eating disorder has been the most tearing thing to happen to our relationship, yet in a way, it has brought us together.
I say this all the time but it is too true to not repeat over and over again, anorexia is the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to me, but what has come from in has been some of the most amazing blessings in my entire life.
Now to end, “Sunshine” resembles this story, something I want to be reminded of every single day of the rest of my life. It is written in my mother handwriting and will forever be tattoo’d on my body to serve as a reminder and encouragement in times when my mom cannot be here.
JoFish thinks he is funny.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.