Thomas A. Edison once said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” I couldn’t think of a better thing to think of at this moment. My greatest weakness is giving up- when things get tough, when I’m not producing the art I want, when I feel like I’ve given it my all, and especially keeping food a routine and healthy thing in my life. With weight you can give up endlessly…every pound that drops off that number on the scale shows that giving up on all those cravings or hunger pains is an actual victory. Or so that’s what believe. Right now I’m trying to become a unbeliever in this mentality, because if I don’t, I’ll lose until there’s nothing left to give.
I spent last summer in treatment at Monte Nido’s Rain Rock residential program. A place where people that have dysfunctional relationships with food come to gather, to gain perspective on ones soul self as well as the things that drive our eating disorders.
There’s a lot of groups, therapy sessions, tears, and FOOD. It feels like you’re constantly eating food all day. There’s people there to support you, both peers and staff…to encourage one to face a difficult meal time or deal with a part of our past that we’ve dug down deep inside our deprived beings. Deep, deep down.
Just a week ago today I was awaiting a call from Monte Nido to evaluate treatment again at Rain Rock. I was lying down and had this inner dialogue about whether or not it was ok for me to eat a small cup of yogurt. I wanted to cry. I felt like I was in chains, locked to this desire to deprive myself of a very essential thing to live. Food. I started to tear up through a familiar frustration. I couldn’t do it, I was giving up. But it was through the evaluation process and the reality that I very well may go back that I started to realize how badly I didn’t want to go back, and not because of the staff (who are amazing) or the program (which is solid)…it was because I wanted to live. I had a motivation like no other. There are things coming up that I don’t want to miss. And I’m just too tired of feeling like I am walking around in this shell of a human being- no longer creating art, playing music, or doing the active things I love to do. I want to feel alive again. And that my friend was the fire that lit that motivation.
Today I spoke with a dietitian there (whom I was familiar with from working together when I went to Rain Rock) and I wanted her to tell me what to do. I had called and left a message day prior, knowing already what she was going to say. That my weight is too low for my height and my brain is not operating at it’s ultimate level, and that in the end, I have to make the choice of what it is that I want to do. Would it be easier to gain the weight that I need to when there is a chef that prepares all your meals and does the grocery shopping for them? That the snacks are all provided and you’re monitored while correctly portioning them out- that there is accountability around every corner you approach. It’d probably be easier on some levels, without a doubt.
But today I spoke with my therapist of five years who is facing retirement in just a week (…more change in my life.) Anyway, when we first started talking about it he jumped on my going- that I’ve been stuck when I hit the number I’m at right now and then just start the downward spiral of restriction. Although I sat there, and cried…fiercely determined to fight this battle outside treatment. He heard my dedication and desire to live a better life, he knew I wanted better for myself than where I’m at right now. And I wished that he was going to be around to watch me conquer this…but he wont and that hurts. But I have a new therapist I’m working with and that’s a whole new road ahead of me. No one will ever replace the prestigious and intelligent man I’ve been confiding in for the last five years, but the work must continue on.
So I left my appointment, replied to one of my friends via text that I lean on for support, and got me and my dog in the car. First destination: the grocery store. Not a place I enjoy always going to, nor a place I like to spend my money, but I went and I bought things that have not been in my fridge for a long time. I bought bread, okay!? Then I ate, cleaned, and told myself, “You can do this.”
So away I go…to try just one more time.