Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Change of Heart

This week has been, well...WOW. I have no words, and I always have words. I think the best way to sum this up is with a giant no tale tells all post. Here is an email I sent to my therapist and CC'd to my mom just this evening:

I am in the depths of humility right now. I've been doing some serious thinking this week, mostly spurred by our therapy session. I've realized a few things:

I have been lulled into some serious complacency by Satan and my anorexia. Because my eating disorder patterns and behaviors have changed from what they used to be, I thought that my eating disorder was gone, and that I was fine. I truly believed (you must know I had myself thoroughly convinced) that I was doing well in recovery. I sincerely believed my body just "wanted" to be at the emaciated weight it's at, I really did. And if you don't think you have a problem, how can you fix it?

Along with the email my mom sent me imploring me to gain weight that I sent you, Brandon sent me an email this afternoon while I was napping that has had me in tears. He talked about how much he needed me to recover, to put recovery into action and not just words. He said that " time passes, I get a little nervous because I can see that I get more and more numb to having feelings of sympathy and empathy for you and your eating disorder, and closer to trying to forget about what is going on and hoping it will just go away. I don't want to be like that, it scares me." Brandon is tired. He's exhausted and worn out from my eating disorder, and it's taking its toll on our marriage. I've been very quiet today, very prayerful, very humble, and I've been doing a lot of thinking. I've realized that I keep waiting to get the tube or to gain weight when I'm not scared to, or when I can see that I'm too skinny, or that when my health is in dire circumstances. I allowed myself to realize tonight that I'm never going to see those things happen, (withstanding the potential health dangers) and that I just need to take action and DO IT.

I saw my bishop tonight, and my heart was so full I could barely speak. I want to be an equal and loving wife, and a mother who can look back and say that she did everything in her power to raise her son in a healthy and loving and RIGHT environment. I want to live to watch my child grow into a man, shaped by his mother's love and steadfastness in what is right and true. And this isn't true; not what I'm doing. I'm living a broken, hollow, pathetic version of a life, and it's time I try something else.

So, I'll get the tube. And I'll even go to work with it. My biggest concern was that I didn't want my coworkers to look at it, and think, "Oh wow! Brie has an eating disorder! How scandalous!" But upon telling my friend Alana this, she pointed out something to me that was so obvious, I wonder how I had ever missed it. She said, "Brie, everybody at your work already looks at you and knows you have an eating disorder because you're anorexic and look extrememly thin. Duh! At least if you have the tube, they can see that you're trying to get better." And that made sense. I allowed it to ring true. So I'll go to work with an NG tube if need be. I'll swallow my pride.

I'll gain weight. I've been at this extremely low weight for soooooo long, I'm not under any illusions that it'll be easy. But if I want to save my life and my marriage, I've got to, I think. As long as I can count on [dietician] to deal with the weight thing, and you to get me through the yucky emotions of inadequacey and the deeply ingrained feelings of how bad I am, (why can't I ever let go of the past?) and that I don't deserve food, then I think I'll be okay. If I can accept that I'm not a bad person, then I can maybe learn that I do deserve life and happiness and food and health (and vitamins and mammograms :).

Okay, I'm sorry this is long. I wanted to get this epiphany out before I forgot it, or before I changed my mind.


So there it is. Tomorrow I am going to make an appointment to see a gastroenterologist to see if he/she will put a G-tube surgically in my stomach, (my doctor who is a brother says this is a very feasible, very doable option) but if that can't/won't happen for any reason, I'll still get the NG tube. I've got to do it. Soon. Before I back out. I'm scared, but who really gives a shit? I apologize for the shady language but come on, Me! It's time to move on, scared shitless or not.


aLana said...

brienne brown breivik,
we both know that i am NOT a crier but i am sitting here in tears. that is the most heartfelt, truthful, realistic thing i have ever heard come out of you. i love you, hell, everyone loves you, but it's time to step up to the plate and allow you to love yourself. after all the time you 've spent nurturing others, you have definitely racked up your share of points to take a break for yourself! what time's your appt tomorrow? i'll totally come with if it'd help. maybe i should just call you... cade might wake up if the phone rings... maybe i should just text you... yeah i'll do that.

it's me, t said...

dearest brie,
i love your stinking guts. i for one am completely and utterly proud of you. if i had enough money and a car, i'd drive out there right now so i could make it in time for your apt. but i promise that when i come out, we'll go out, tube in the nose, or the stomach, and just watch, in a week, the tube will become the new black. do you think they can put a pink one in so it's pretty? i'm kidding, but i love you so much. i'm proud of you. you're super strong, and cade will be so thankful in the long run. you can do it. i love you, and this is the last time i'm ever going to call you gollum. gollum. there i did it. ha. i think we need to kill gollum, and bring brie back.

Abby said...

"hell, everyone loves you"

Alana is so right; I couldn't have said it better. She's also right-on with the part about it being time to love yourself. I used to think self-love and self-care were overrated, but I changed my mind. (Funny what perspective recovery can give a person....)

Thanks for sharing this with us, Brie.

Savannah said...

Oh my hell! I am so damn proud of you that I wish I could hug you. You are such an amazing person and this is a huge step to take. I know that you can do this, and with grace :)

Never forget how much we care and every time that you feel people are looking at you funny please oh please remember that you're a hot mama tube or no tube :) I really don't mean to make light of the situation, but we all know that I'm not the best at feelings.

I truly and utterly am so proud of you and am amazed at the life that you live, everyday. You are such a great mom, wife, sister, daughter, friend, patient(hehe), and all that jazz that goes along with being a human. I will ALWAYS be here for you. I promise. You can text, write, or call anytime.

Remember that I love you!


Devon said...

As of now, all I can really say is: I knew you could do it. You've always been a huge inspiration to me and reading this was by far one of the most inspiring things you've done. I love you, I'm in awe of you, I believe in you - forever and always.

You have an incredible strength, maturity (in some things ;) and love of life. This proves it.

I could go into the whole, 'I'll be here for you - whatever you need, etc' but you already know that.

Instead, I'll end by saying this: (I love quotes and you know this...) "The great opportunity is where you are. Every place is under the stars. Every place is the center of the universe." This is your place - make it the great opportunity for life. I know you have, are, and always will.

I adore you for forever and always

Rachel said...


I'm conducting a survey of bloggers who write about eating disorders or eating disorder recovery. The survey will be used for research and publication purposes. I invite you to take it. More information and a survey link can be found here.



Emily said...

Brie, I am so proud of you. You have no idea how much this entry has inspired ME to do the things that I need to do to get better. I, too, have been complacent for so long. You are such an inspiration to me, you always have been. I love you so much. You have no idea of the depths of your courage and strength. In this entry, in your decision... it shines through. :)

Stacy said...

I have never even met you and I just want you to know I love you so much. I am so happy you want what is right. You really said a lot of how I feel. I want this for you cause I want it for me too.
So my husband told me that if what you are doing isn't bringing the spirit then it is pushing it away. I just want to hug you, I can't express all the emotions I am having. Just so happy... so happy. It won't be easy but really really worth it. Love it! Amazing you are!!! (totally cheesy, but when I was in CFC and doing well I wrote "i am of worth" on my wrist" even if you don't write it there. write it SOMEWHERE you will see it cause you are. Your husband and son say so... they picked you!)

jana bananas said...

This was a big realization, and a big decision, and for that I am proud of you. I just want to wish you the bestest luck! This is a very brave decision you're making.

KC Elaine said...

I'm really proud of you! I'm in tears too. Ditto what everyone else said. I'm not going to write anything long because I feel like they've said it all.

The Cheese said...

Thank you all so, SO much for your comments and support. I woke up this morning really scared, but I'm not going to let me talk myself out of health and well being again, you know?

So I go to my doc on Monday morning, and should know more then. My guess is that I'll have the tube (holy CRAP!) by early next week. I'll of course keep you updated.

Again, thanks all for you love and encouragement. I honestly (and I am not joking) couldn't do this without all of you.

jana bananas said...

Excuse my dumb questions since I'm not super familiar with tube feedings... so is it a continuous feed thing so your body is always getting calories in, or is it that you just can't get in enough calories without it (even with the Boost supplements)? Or has it just been too hard to get the required calories because of the ED?

How long would the tube have to stay in, do you think?

OK, end of questioning!

The Cheese said...

The tube would be running the entire night while I'm sleeping, and maybe a little during the day, too. It's because I have so much weight to gain, that eating weight gain portions alone won't be enough - I need more calories than I can physically eat. The duration of the tube least a month, maybe more. And don't worry about the questions - it's not a big deal, silly, otherwise I wouldn't have posted this on my blog! ;)

heather said...

wow...I'm totally so proud of your realization that you need to take action. Way to go, Brie. You're doing the right thing. I have a question too. I had a tube my first time in treatment (way back in Denver when I was at Porter's)...and of course I refused it, but they wouldn't pay a lick of attention to my irrational rantings...but anyway, I assumed that if I had nutrients going in through the tube all night that I wouldn't need to eat during the day. Obviously, I was wrong, but in any case, I'm sure it changes per person. So, will you still have to eat in the day? Sorry for the question....I just get so confused over the whole tube thing (NG one, not the tummy one). I think you're making such huge steps forward and I can't say enough how happy I am that you're seeking LIFE now, rather than Ed. You're such an encouragement.

The Cheese said...

Yes, Heather, I'd definitely have to still eat with the tube - I'd digress if I didn't eat, you know? Then the plan is to slowly wean me off the tube and hope my weight doesn't dramatically drop after so many cals. I dunno. It's going to be tricky.