Saturday, April 25, 2009

7 Years Ago Today

April 25, 2002: I am being admitted to inpatient treatment for the first time for anorexia nervosa. I am 17.
I am absurdly naïve.

I am beyond emaciated.

But mostly I’m just pissed my parents are forcing me somewhere before I turn 18 and become an “adult.”

I’m convinced I’m going to be the fattest person there. I also think, and I quote from a journal I kept at the time, that I will be “strapped to a bed being force-fed calories to get fat like I’m in some damn nazi concentration camp.”
I had no anger issues, obviously.

It happened so fast. I come home from school one day, at lunch, because of course I’m not going to eat, and I’m exhausted, so tired; always so tired. My mom is sitting at the dining room table, crying. “What’s wrong,” I ask her? “Dad and I have decided to put you in rehab,” she says.

And it’s done, simple as that. Less than a week later I leave school, leave my friends, my classes, my A.P. tests. I miss graduation, I miss everything. I disappear. Finally, like I had always wanted to. Poof, I’m gone.

The first day there, I am a freaking deer caught in the headlights. Well, a starving and half-dead one, anyway. I am asked the same questions by about six different people. I am terrified, but pretend like I am okay. I smile a lot. I don’t eat a thing.

First group I go to is music therapy. We bang instruments like children and talk about our emotions. I don’t get it. But I thump enthusiastically at my tambourine anyway, and don’t forget to smile, oh and also suck in your fat stomach it’s showing through your shirt, but keep smiling, keep playing.

I’m in therapy now, meeting my therapist for the first time. She asks me why I think I have an eating disorder, and I tell her I don’t have one. I bitterly think that my control is taken away, and that not eating for days and abusing laxatives and ipecac is normal. I do not have a problem. There are a lot of things I am unsure of in this life, but that is one thing I am not unsure of. There is nothing wrong with me.

Twenty weeks later I leave. I think I’m supposed to be better. My parents think I should be better. (Especially for that high rehab cost!) I know now, as I leave for the first time, that I have a problem.
One that still hasn’t gone away.

Treatment saved my life, quite literally. But in so many ways, it ruined it, too.

Seven years I’ve been in and out of treatment, hospitals, outpatient therapy and dietary sessions. I’ve endured EKG’s and blood withdrawals, interventions, tear-filled fights with loved ones, feeding tubes, PEG tubes, re-feeding, pain. I’ve loved the scale; I’ve hated it. For seven years I’ve been The Anorexic One, or Briethatonegirlwiththeeatingdisorder, or Hey guys did you hear that Brie B______ went into treatment again? Yeah, I totally called it, I knew she would! Seven years wasted, while wasting away.

But finally, I’m doing something right. Slowly, but yeah, I’m getting there. Eight’s always been my lucky number, my favorite. I know why, now.

I have high hopes for year eight. It’s going to be The One.

23 comments:

Telstaar said...

Go the number 8!! It's an even number too which is VERY good!!! We'll be here cheering you on Miss Brie!!! I'll be here cheering you on long after you've kicked ed's butt!

Just one comment though... as much as those 7 years could've been used differently and feel like they've been wasted, as much as it's a different journey to what I think almost everyone would've chosen for you... It's so clear that you've learnt lessons and grown in ways that perhaps you wouldn't have if you hadn't undertaken THAT journey specifically.

I wish you didn't have anorexia and I wish that you could've lived any dreams you had before getting sick and unwell...but as you have had anorexia, I thankyou for being the amazing, inspiring person who really DOES learn (just in circles and small slow steps like me) that I respect and am loving getting to know!

So, I don't think those years were wasted, I just think they were different to what you might've chosen if you'd had more of a choice.

Love LOTS Telly xox

HAFC said...

I like the number 9 for some odd reason. But if 8 is your number, go for it! I believe you can and I know you know you can. You're a fighter and have the control now. Those 7 years weren't wasted.....you've learned to be the Brie you are now and I love that Brie! You're so cool, so loving, so humble, so amazing, and to top it off, you crack me up and give me laughs that I wouldn't have if it wasn't for you. Seriously. I remember you that first day. You were in capris. I remember thinking, OMG, she is like soooooooo sick. I was surprised you could even walk. I know we're not as close now as we were for those first few years, but I'm glad I got to be your friend during those tumultuos years, you gave me laughter, even then. : )

Zena said...

Not much to say except i am crying now realizing this is no way to live...you may have just saved my life....

thankyou, Z

brie said...

Z, hang in there hon. I know things are tough but I know you can do it.

I know the years weren't "wasted," but wow it feels like it. There's a lot of regret...

Telstaar said...

Oh yes, regret is a wonderful thing *sigh* I wish regrets were over and done with, but I don't think any of us are quite there yet!!! *hugs gently*

Kara said...

You're a fighter, Brie!

Lisa said...

Eight is my lucky number. Here's hoping it's yours, too.

Stacy said...

For some reason this gave me hope. I needed some hope today.
Thanks Brie.

Brooke said...

Breezie you know eight is my favorito number too right? It really is amazing how far you have come. From being "forced" into getting help all those years ago, you are now "forcing" yourself to feel and do better. I am so proud of you and the last step you have taken with the surgery. THAT WAS HUGE towards getting better.

Love you. You inspire all who read this blog and many others as well!

Penny said...

Those years are not wasted because you are still here! We need you and love you. Through your blog you have helped everyone know what it is like to claw and fight and keep getting up and trying again, and your example is so useful to so many on different levels. You are becoming a "legend in your own time." Now just bring on "8".

Devon said...

I've always been a fan of the number 8. :)

So my 4 year anniversery was on April 20th and you wanna know what's funny - my first group was music as well. You were there. I feel like dancing was involved...and it was weird. The first lunch was eggrolls...grosssss.

Love you - we shall play soon and talk about your year number 8 and my year 21 :D

kristin said...

You're damn right, Brie! Year eight is the lucky one! It's going to be The One! :)

love you lots, kristin

...evolve... said...

off subject but, someone told me to go vote for her and i ran across this..you have twin.
look at 4 of 4
http://www.threeolives.com/o-face/#/gallery/2033

jana bananas said...

Ugh, it's too much work to go look at that pic. But I did. Kinda looks like Brie.

But I think Brie looks a lot like actress Rashida Jones!

brie said...

Hm, yeah, I do kinda look like that chick. ;) Bananas, you think I look like Rashida Jones? I think she's darling, but if you met my sis-n-law (she's the one married to my twin bro) you would know that you were looking at her twin, I'm serious. Everybody talks about how she looks like Rashida Jones - I can't even watch Parks and Recreation without feeling like I'm watching my sis-in-law...so weird...

Laura said...

I am not sure what I wasted more. The years with ED, or the years REGRETTING Ed.

Just know I am glad it led me to you.

Krystle said...

I believe in you! I can identify with this post in so many ways. You are amazing, and I know you can persevere. ♥

Jackie said...

You are who you are now because of what you have been through. I know that "Eight will be great!" :)

When I drive down 2300 east to get on the freeway, there is a poster of a girl for a sunglass business and she looks just like you! It is right on the street!

Krista said...

When I went back to CFC I brought my journal from when I was there ten years ago and on my first day I wrote "They torture you with food here... they want me to eat ice cream!" Oh the things we say in the depths of our eating disorders. I think 8 will be a good year for you!

tawny said...

oh girl! Nothing was ever wasted on you. Don't EVER think that.

I believe we are put on this life to learn. Each day is a new journey, good or bad and we will take a lesson from each moment. WE are who we are and we each have our own path and I believe we will grow and learn from it. some of us have much harder paths and trials that seem unbearable at times but in the end, those only make us stronger. They make us who we are.

You are much stronger than you were 8 years ago. You had to go through all of that crap to get to where you are today. You are much more better for it and you now bless the lives of all of those ED friends that need your strength and inspiration now.

Believe it and believe in 8!!

Sheryl said...

You go girl.. GO 8!! I just started reading your blog... so insightful... so inspiring. Thank you for all you write.. it helps.

Pattie Cordova said...

We're right behind you cheering you on.

firefly said...

Wow This was the first time I read your blog. It brought tears to my eyes. I just got out of treatment since Oct. It had been since 03 the last time I was op. Its good too see that people can get over this because I feel like I was plucked right back in the same environment and nothing has changed. I so wanted this time to be different. I'm 32 not husband, kids have my med in education can't find a job. Is there hope? If you want to get into my blog e-mail me at Saragouzou@aol.com