I’m not used to doing well. It’s weird. Today, after I walked into the waiting room before my dietitian appointment, my dietish walked out of the treatment team that was meeting and told me that everyone in the room had just been blown away by how great I looked. “They were just saying how beautiful you look!” she said, smiling at me. One of the other treatment team members walked by and told me that I was glowing.
What? What?! That’s a new one. Sort of.
Since coming out of treatment, I’ve had people – different people – tell me multiple times that I’m glowing. That I’m just a picture of health. That I look good.
Whoa. Whoa there. Me? Look good? I mean, I get maybe being able to scrounge myself up to half-way decent after an hour or so with the hair straightener and several brands of makeup, but to be told that I look good when I’m wearing a baggy sweatshirt and have no makeup to speak of on… whoa there.
And then there was the dietish appointment itself. We always take my weight at the beginning, blind-weigh style, and I was holding my breath for a full five minutes as my dietish had logged my current weight and compared it with my records, until she looked up and said, “You’re good, you’re stable!”
Um, phew? Considering two weeks ago you told me I had lost three pounds and should up my food intake, what the fuck does stable mean? That I didn’t lose any more weight? That I gained back weight? How many pounds? One? Two? Three? More than three?
I know better than to ask. Numbers and I don’t play nicely together. I just have to trust that my dietitian knows what she’s doing and knows what I should be doing, and that I can just take “you’re stable” as “you’re doing okay – end of story.” Except I’m all conflicted about that “you’re okay.” Because I don’t know whether I want to be doing okay. For the past three years, I’ve become so used to hearing that shit was about to hit the fan if my recovery didn’t shape up, that now hearing that I’m doing well is just odd. I know that I should want to be doing well. I’m so tired of the ups and downs of an eating disorder, so tired of the last-ditch efforts to save myself, so tired of finding myself back at square one yet again. I want to get on with the rest of my life, finally. I want my life to be more than a constant vigilance over what goes into my mouth, whatever the motivation behind it. I just want to be normal again.
Problem is, I’ve lost most of my understanding of what normal is. What feels normal for me now isn’t normal. So I’m left in this circular loop of trying to figure out how the hell to be okay when my head has accrued several different – and conflicting – definitions of what “okay” means when it comes to me, my health, and my body.
All of this just makes me want to run away from life and take a very long nap.