Beyond my Diagnosis: Tales from an Almost Anorexic

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a new post with you all. My dearest apologies.

I got caught up in life along with having the most insane writer’s block.

This past week, I received the news that one of my friends from treatment was in the hospital. She was having heart issues as a complication from her anorexia.

The treatment recommended was that she get a pacemaker. At age twenty.

Upon hearing this news I was feeling a wide range of emotions.

Sadness. Fear. Anger. Guilt.

Sadness and fear for my friend and her family. Anger at this awful disease. Guilt within myself.

But wasn’t the one who needed a pacemaker, so why was I feeling guilty?

I spent hours searching my brain as to why I was feeling so guilty about my friend needing heart surgery.

And then it hit me.

My eating disorder voice was telling me that I should be in her position. That I should be the one getting a pacemaker. That I should have permanent heart problems.

That I have failed at my eating disorder.

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My healthy mind can recognize how terrible and awful this type of thinking is and I am so grateful for my health. But for some reason, I couldn’t shake the feeling of failure.

This is not the first time I have felt this way before. There is one particular moment I vividly remember in treatment.

It was when I received my diagnosis.

Everyone outside of treatment always called me “anorexic” or “the girl with anorexia”. I always just assumed that I had anorexia.

But I didn’t.

I was diagnosed with OSFED: true atypical anorexia.

Why atypical? Because I wasn’t underweight enough to be a true anorexic.

I felt fat, embarrassed, and like a failure.

My brain was telling me that I didn’t “eating disorder” hard enough. That I did something wrong.

By now, I have come to terms with my diagnosis but I can’t help but feel poorly about it here or there.

I often feel as though I am not good enough, in any which way. And receiving this diagnosis just reiterated the fact that I couldn’t do something right.

I had failed at my eating disorder.

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I was wrong. I had not failed at my eating disorder.

I was suffering and in a deep, dark place.

I would starve myself and make myself sick. I would weigh myself too many times a day. I would pick myself apart and hate myself afterward.

Now I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an eating disorder to me, regardless of the diagnosis.

 

-SHAYNA

7 thoughts

  1. I get ya.
    My diagnosis was/is also OSFED (hence my blog name).
    I have been super medically sick with OSFED
    Being almost anorexic doesn’t mean the same thing as almost sick. I know we get that on a personal level- we know our disease and how much it impacts us, but it’s always helpful for a reminder.

    I’m sorry about your friends health. I wish them the best.
    I have had treatment and recovery peers who struggle with medical things and i find myself almost jealous of them. As if I want to be that sick (again).
    What helps me, is when I’m thinking about wanting to be underweight, or back in hospital, or wanting a pacemaker, I think what do I really want? And it’s usually that I want care, support. I want to be validated.

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    1. I agree. When I struggle with relapse thoughts I focus on long-term goals and have to really think hard about how much my disorder takes away from me. It’s not always easy to combat them but I know that at some point it will get easier. So glad you could relate!!

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  2. I really appreciate this very honest post and your articulate thoughts! And I think the weight criterium for diagnosing anorexia is a big problem. You don’t have to be extremely underweight to have an eating disorder or anorexia specifically, and assuming that’s the case creates problems both for the medical professionals and the patients because you’re right–it becomes this competition.
    Send your friend our love and support! Hope she’s able to get to a healthier place.

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