Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Glimpse of Light in the Dark

My blog is an invaluable tool in my recovery. I began it on a whim; because all of my friends were, it seemed, and it was time for me to join the blogolution, I was told. I was violently against journaling, and I was wary to begin a blog because it seemed, essentially; like online journaling – I mean really, it is.

But I began it. Hesitantly. And I found, quite suddenly and surprisingly, that I loved it. Passionately. It became an outlet for me, something to focus on rather than the killer inside me, anorexia. It began because “everybody was doing it,” and it transformed into a path to self-discovery. I was able to see through the haze of calories and bones and weight loss that there was more to me. I learned that I could be funny. I realized I very much enjoyed writing satirical pieces. And what’s more, people liked to read my blog. I have had many emails from people all over the world whom I’ve never met thank me for my blog and the humor and hope I write about. I was humbled. And awed. I was making a difference, however small. I was something more than anorexia.

So in April I began my quest once again for weight gain, for real and true recovery (whatever that is). And you all watched and cheered as I got a feeding tube placed, as I slowly but surely gained weight and regained health. Some of my posts were happy and funny, and some were sad, and perhaps a little melancholy as I came to terms with weight gain and some un-fun things in my life. I’ve felt unsteady with my new body, and you all kept me going, kept gently reminding me that life was worth it.

But then.

This past month has almost been unlike anything I have ever experienced before. The depression I am wandering through is heavy, consuming. All-encompassing. It stifles me, presses its profound weight on me so that it suffocates me and I can hardly move my hands or legs or head, for the weight of it wearies me. I vacillate between an endless darkness with no light in sight to an anxiety that is so jarring, so razor-sharp, that it sends me to the bathroom hyperventilating and vomiting.

I do not know what is wrong with me. I only know that I have been desperately trying to hold on, with the help of my friends and my family and my treatment team. I (finally) see my psychiatrist later this week, and the will-power it has taken to make it through to my appointment with him has taken more indomitable strength than I believed I possessed.

My parents have been fervently praying for me. My husband, so worried, has not been able to work because I could not be alone, and, in this state, could not work either. He murmurs a prayer for me every few minutes, and continually keeps me in his heart.

And then.

And then and then and then.

Today, at 3:34 pm, the fog lifted. Just a little. I could see light. I could see that there is goodness in my life and in this world, even if it is far from me at present.

I smiled. I laughed. I picked up Cade and threw him in the air and gave him hugs and kisses.

I did a load of laundry.

I showered without being prompted by Brandon to do so.

And I sat down to write this blog.

To let you know that
It’s going to be


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that I'm listening. Depression is so hard to explain, to understand, to conquer. You are amazing for working toward all three.

Jackie said...

Words cannot express how glad I am that the fog lifted, even momentarily for you B. You deserve happiness and I have never seen anyone work as hard as you to get that happiness. You are amazing. I love you so much. I can only hope to have half the strength you do.


kristin said...

I'm glad to hear that the fog is lifting. I hope it continues to lift. I know that you can pull through the rest of the fog.

Take care, Brie. You're in my thoughts.

love, kristin

Laur said...

music to my ears sweety...music to my ears!

Standing in the Rain said...


I stumbled upon your blog from somewhere else in ED-blog-land a few weeks ago and have found myself both laughing and saying to myself, "oh I remember feeling like that". From outpatient feeding tubes to vacations post ED, I have had so many similar experiences that I began to feel like I knew you..like the real you, not the blog version. Anyhow, maybe this is creepy given that I'm a total stranger, but I just wanted to let you know that I understand. The post-AN depression is awful, terrifying, and seems bottomless, but, my dear, I PROMISE you that it ends. I am living proof. You will be too.

I am cheering you on, as are so many others. Keep going Brie.

Courtney said...

I don't know why things are the hardest when you truly are doing your best. It feels so unfair, cruel, and literally unbearable at times. Thank goodness for those glimpses, no matter how short or infrequent they are, that give us a reason to hold on. I remember my therapist once saying that if you're driving in a fog storm you don't stop to futilely look for the sun. You focus your eyes on the yellow line right to the side of the car (basically your lifeline) and you keep on driving until you reach safety. Sometimes that drive drags on for days, weeks, months--but it will end.

Emily said...

I am more than well aware of what that terrible depression is like... all-encompassing, like your entire world is dark and it's hard to see. I am so glad that lifted, if only for a few minutes. And I am glad you are going to be okay. I am so concerned about you. This depression will end, and you have the strength to hang on until it does. I hope your p-doc can help!

Savannah said...

I love hearing that you have had a time in your life that you know things will be okay. Brie, your strength and endurance to truly beat this beast is admirable, and I know I say it too much, but I truly do feel lucky to have you as my friend. You teach me so much, and I look forward to your future lessons that you unintentionally teach us all, but just by being you...you're the greatest inspiration I've ever had.

love, sav

Anonymous said...

You are truly, truly amazing. I think Courtney's metaphor for the yellow line in the road is a great one. Hang in there. (There has GOT to be a "yellow brick road" pun to go with the yellow line, but I can't think of one right now. ;D)


Tiptoe said...

"Life is like a rainbow. You need both the sun and the rain to make the colors appear."

I know being in that deep depression fog is hard. Hold onto the glimmers of light you see, because they will be reminders of the hope that is on the other side.

Take care of yourself.

Kate said...

I love you Brie. Hang in there. Just keep going. It will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It will all make sense someday.

Krista said...

Grasp tight to the feeling you had today and hold on to it. Remember it when you are in the darkest of times. Cade and Brandon love and need you so much, as do we!

Abby said...

I loves you.

(I have this theory that the verb "to love" expresses stronger feeling when mis-conjugated, but I haven't quite figured out what my logic is here....)

Hang in there.

Devon said...

It is going to be ok. You've known it all along. I'm happy that, for a moment, you remembered.

We're all here for you my dear.

I love you and am, as always, amazingly proud and in awe by you.

brie said...

Thank you all for your kind words. And Courtney...loved the metaphor of the fog and the yellow line. Thanks for sharing that, I'm going to keep it and remember ir in my darker moments.

xo to you all

Sarah said...

I love you honey. You're in my thoughts and prayers.


Whit said...

I can't even put into words how happy I am that you felt a little better yesterday afternoon. You know that I love you more than anything in this world and want to do anything I can to help. Your blog just about brought tears to my eyes! You are amazing!

Love Always,


alriggells said...

I am so happy for you. I miss you and hope you know that even though I am not that great of a friend I think about you often and love and miss you

zubeldia said...

sweety, sometimes it just takes a glimpse of something to make us feel hopeful. I love you, dear Brie. I am so glad to be your friend.

Depression is such a desolate experience, and the suffering is enormous. What you've endured this past month is beyond challenging, yet here you are, showing up, holding on to the things that are good in your life. Lovelovelove, Z

Laura said...

LOVE love Loooooove the comment you left for me...the feeling is mutual!
I am glad you are up, and showered, in clean clothes, and blogging. I have never met you, I don't know you, and yet, I was worried about you!

If I could just snap out of my own depression for a moment here, and throw some advice your way...just keep blogging, and continue hugging and kissing your boy. Keep moving. Keep connected. Talk to people. Write to people. Stay in touch. Go out. Push forward.

If I had it my way yesterday, I would have stayed curled up on my kitchen floor in the fetal position, crying...all day...but I couldn't. I couldn't, because I have four little ones, and one big one, that count on me. And sometimes, I really resent that. I know that yesterday, I really resented it. I wanted someone to take care of ME! But I am a mom. And I have no choice. So, I wiped my tears, got up, drank my 100th diet coke, and took the kids out.

I do believe it will get better...and then worse, and then better again...and then maybe bad, but not AS bad, and well, you get the picture!

Just know that if you have some crazy mama in Los Angeles, who has never met you, caring for you, then you must be SUPER AWESOME to the little boy and wonderful man that are right in front of you.

Now, go give those guys some love...

Krystle said...

Keep fighting, Brie. Your strength amazes me. There is always a way through the fog, and I continue to delight in your ability to push it aside, no matter how heavy it may feel, for the joy of light, love, and life.

*Hugs & Well-Wishes*


Keely said...

I care about you so much Brie. I didn't really get to know you in person, but I feel like you are a close, close friend in reading your blogs. You can put into words those thoughts that seem to baffling or complicated to explain. I am here for you if you need anything. I mean it.

My T always says that doing well behaviorally is the absolute hardest time because your coping mech. is gone and you are essentially stripped of your AN and have to start from scratch. No one can visibly see the pain or the all-encompassing depression. But minute to minute you keep moving and fighting and start to see those little glimpses of hope, that people care, that this fighting is worth it, and that there are things worth fighting for.

I love you. (hug)

Stacy said...

I cry tears of joy for you. I am glad you see it will be ok. You are too amazing to not being in this life with all of us. Your husband and your son are so blessed to have you as their wife and mom. It will be ok and you will see that your family needs you and is better because of you and those of us in blogland... we need you too. You are a strength in my eyes.
love ya B.


jana bananas said...

I heart my Brie. I was so happy to see your new post. I thought I was hallucinating. Glad I wasn't!

Anonymous said...

This was the perfect post for me today. Thanks. I'm having similar problems and I have to tell you, even if I just feel normal for 2 hours every once in awhile, I'm so happy for that time. Hang in there and I hope the psychiatrist can be helpful.

Palmtreechick said...

I hope the fog continues to lift!

Tanya said...

Brie, I am so glad that your fog lifted. I am so glad to hear that you are able to breathe, to live. You are a priceless woman, and you are loved by so many. I have been praying for you too and I am just happy to hear that its all gonna be ok. Hugs...missed you.