Spiral

A year of complete spiraling. This exact week in February of 2019, NEDA Week, I can remember it. I remember the feelings of pressure, of expectations for myself to have it all figured out.

I didn’t have it figured out, not even close. Of course I didn’t. Of course I probably never will. But I began to spiral this week of last year, slowly at first and then so so fast.

The day I returned home from treatment from Renfrew on December 4th, 2018, I immediately started restricting again. I didn’t eat that evening when I got home, I didn’t eat the next day. The imaginary tally in my head of Olivia vs. Eating Disorder began, and I wasn’t scoring too hot.

One month after treatment, I was visiting my brother in Austin and I purged for the first time in over 3 months. At a Mexican restaurant after a couple margaritas and eating my weight in chips and salsa.

Two months after treatment, the diuretics started. And the weight loss supplements. And then skipping dinner. And then skipping lunch.

Six months after treatment, I binged and purged. And just like that, I was looking my full blown eating disorder straight in the face again. Again. Like it had been there quietly all along, waiting, simply growing stronger. The tally was becoming overwhelming. At this point the score was approximately:

Olivia – 5

Eating Disorder – 672,728,829

Isolation. Skipping breakfast. Running and working out on empty. Overworking. Bingeing and purging until I was sobbing on the floor. Appetite suppressants. Disgustingly full and debilitatingly empty. I was back to where I was before, maybe even worse.

And then I got a citation for reckless driving after a traumatic psychiatrist appointment. Then I side-swiped a semi truck on the highway while in a frantic binge on Chinese food while driving.

Back in this rut, back in my cycle. Or did I ever really leave it?

Car wrecks. Rental cars. Insurance calls. Money problems. Reckless spending. More bingeing and purging. I know this place well.

I closed my apartment door quickly so that the dogs wouldn’t chase me outside. I climbed into the passenger seat of Rebekah’s silver car and reflected on the outfit I’d been wearing for almost two days – fuzzy socks with slippers, worn pink and white striped pajama pants, an oversized shirt I bought in the men’s section at Walmart. I try to think of the last time I washed my hair. It had to be 5 days at the least.

I don’t remember much of what we talked about as Rebekah drove us around and decided on a trip to Sam’s Club. She got new pillow cases and sheets, some vitamins, I think some paper towels. It was like I wasn’t really there. I kept getting stuck in this vacuum inside my head, staring off into nothing. I walked around like a vegetable as she shopped.

Rebekah dropped me back off at my apartment, I tell her goodbye. I have no memory of our conversations, of which directions she drove, of any of it. It is like I wasn’t even there.

I couldn’t tell you the routine I went through when I walked back through my door, what went through my head. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I was absent, numb, and checked out. I lay in bed with the dogs for a bit.

I took out the bottle of trazodone from the mirror in my bathroom. I dumped them out on my bed, counted them. 46 tablets. 100 mg each.

And for a few seconds I held them all in my hand. And as if I was popping a simple Tylenol, I tilt my head back and swallowed them all.

I cleaned up my apartment a little bit. Text Rebekah about the dogs. Lay on the couch, and started feeling sleepy.

I text the suicide crisis hotline (741-741) because I wasn’t quite sure what to do next. And I didn’t want my mom or someone else I knew to find me dead in my apartment.

I’m still here.

And I’m still spiraling. When will it end?

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