Do unto others
What has been done to you
~ Maynard James Keenan
I am sitting in the common area of the eating disorders clinic, at the children’s hop-sital. Tis my first day of Day Program. The time is 11:02 am. Here is what I have done so far:
8:33 am: Showed up three minutes late. Was greeted at front desk by Mumbles! She was assigned as Buddy for myself and the other new girl, Very Tall. Mumbles has lost a SHIT load of weight since she left Blah Blah Hop-sital two weeks ago.
8:45 am: After a brief tour of the facilities, Mumbles brought Very Tall and I into the common area to wait for our weigh in, where we met the other girls in the program. Only one girl here can be named after a concentration camp; everyone else is of a normal weight.
9:05 am: Disrobed for weigh-in in the Nurse’s orifice. While waiting in my blue paper robe, considered hopping on the scale and discovering my weight on my own, in case they tried to hide it from me. Then decided, ah fuck it. I was gonna tell them straight up, just show it to me, cuz I’ll just check it on my own anyway.
9:10 am: Did my weigh-in, with Green Nurse and Random Nursing Student. Green Nurse ‘encouraged’ me to step on the scale backwards, but said that, as I was an adult, the choice was up to me. I stepped on the scale, facing forwards. 56.7 kgs. As soon as they left, I whipped out Mr. Reznor and used the calculator to convert it into pounds. 124.75. I was five pounds away from my goal weight. Yes! And oh, fuck, no!
9:20 am: Everyone gathered in the Group Room for...well, Group. We all had to confess to our sins of the weekend, and what our attitudes for the coming week were going to be. I was honest, said my weekend sucked, Dick-Nuts-The-Eating-Disorder ran the fucking show once again, and that my attitude this week was that I wanted to kill him.
10:00 am: Released from Group, for a ten minute break before Morning Snack. Perused a few blogs while I waited, then followed the rest of the girls into the kitchen, only to discover that there was no snack for lil ‘ol me. One was hastily rustled up, and I sat at the table in the Dining Room to chow down.
10:15 am: Blond Nutritionist admonished me for mixing my Rice Krispie square into my butterscotch pudding. Said it wasn’t ‘normalized eating’ and forbade me from ever doing it again, even after I told her I was allowed to do it in hop-sital. Strike one, Blond Nutritionist, observed I.
10:30 am: Released from the Dining Room, we had an hour and fifty minutes to do whatever the hell we wanted - including leaving hop-sital! Who knew?!
Same thing applies for tomorrow morning, which is bloody fantastic, cuz I need to go and see Mike at Strange World so we can draw out my tattoo for Friday, and was stressing out about how I was going to make it happen. I asked one of the nurses, Greenie, about it this morning, not telling her exactly why I needed to leave tomorrow, just saying I had a VERY important consultation that I had to go to that I couldn’t miss it, when might I be permitted to leave the unit? She asked what it was, again I just said it was an important consultation, she made it sound like if I asked the right people, then maybe I could - and then I found out that I can just leave during break! Ha ha! YES! And my intuition about booking this Friday was right, we are off from hop-sital on Friday, so the time that I booked is perfect.
Now, about yesterday. I had a good day out at the wildlife reserve, walking the dogs and feeding the bears, pretty much the same as the day before, EXCEPT - oh, except - turns out me mum, who apparently had no qualms telling the neighbors about her daughter’s anorexia, also told the kennel owner about it. Why?! And for some reason, Mike decided to ask me all about it in front of the other volunteers yesterday, while we were all sitting around in the orifice.
He didn’t tiptoe around the shit, either.
We were discussing why I hadn’t brought Buchenwald-the-Lifer with my to the grounds that day, as I had thought I was going to. (I offered to be her guardian when she has passes on Sundays, as she is underage. She asked me to take her this Sunday, but then a family friend decided to come down and take care of her instead).
“So, you used to throw up your food too, right?” he asked me, in front of everyone.
Jesus Fuck! I thought, and tried to steer the conversation elsewhere, but he didn’t get the hint.
“Was it a nervous disorder? Like, was it involuntary?” he continued.
I don’t want to talk about this! I wanted to scream, but I didn’t want to embarrass him, so I just shrugged.
“No, I just stopped eating, so they put me in the hop-sital,” I said lamely. Then I claimed a desperate need for the loo, jumped up and left the room.
Later in the afternoon, as I was eating my snack of trail mix and a butterscotch pudding, Mike remarked on how good it looked, on how lucky I was! Then he looked at me expectantly, like I was supposed to come up with the right reply.
“Mmmmmm,” I said uncertainly, and smacked my lips loudly. "Yummy."
“Emmy’s just the opposite of you, she loves food,” he gestured to Emmy, and I inwardly cringed on her behalf. “Isn’t that right Emmy? You once told me that if you didn’t have to stop, you would just eat all day long!”
Ha ha! Me too, I thought, but decided to keep that to myself. Better not give the man anymore fucking ammo.
Emmy smiled gracefully and shrugged. “Yeah, that’s true,” she grinned. I couldn't help but admire the way she handled herself. I would have kicked him in the nuts.
Anyway, other than those few moments of (supreme) discomfort, Billy and I had another good day out on the wildlife reserve.
At the end of the day, it was time to do what I had been dreading all weekend.
It was time to go see Celia, my sponsor.
So anyway, I didn’t want to go to see Celia. I would have bailed, too, if I hadn’t blocked myself in by calling her on my way out to the wildlife center and confirming a time, for when I was done volunteering at the wildlife center.
I didn’t want to go, cuz she had called me on my shit a few days ago, and she was gonna do it again. Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck!
I had told her that the eating disorder was back, that Dick Nuts was once again running the Rage Kage Variety Show, that I didn’t know what had happened or what I should do.
Unlike everybody else in my life, who had expressed sympathy for my plight, and who had encouraged me to keep trying, and who had reminded me of all the work I have accomplished since I was first hop-sitalized, Celia had torn a STRIP OFF MY FUCKING ASS.
“What the hell, Kg?” she yelled, when had I told her Dick Nuts was winning the battle, if not the war. “I thought you said you wanted to get better. I thought you said you were in recovery.”
“I AM in recovery,” I started to respond, but she had cut me off.
“No, you’re not! Obviously you're not! If you really wanted to get better, you wouldn’t be acting like this, would you? You wouldn’t be thinking and acting out your old behaviors, would you? Tell me, Kagie, when the eating disordered thoughts came upon you, what did you do? Did you call someone for support, and try to talk it out?”
“No,” I muttered.
“Huh. And did you talk to your Higher Power, and ask Him for help?”
I sighed. “No.”
“So what did you do, Kage?”
“Nothing,” I admitted snottily. “I didn’t do anything. I just ate.”
“There you go,” she said. "You gave in to your addiction. Your chose to use instead of staying in your recovery."
"Whoa!" I cried. "It's not like I drank or used drugs! It's fucking food."
"It's the same thing," she insisted. "You're gonna have to start your recovery over again, with a new sober date."
"WHAT?! That's insane!" I cried.
I argued and she chewed me out for a few more minutes, then she told me she loved me and that I was a precious child of God, and hung up. The longer I mulled over what she had said to me, though, the angrier I had gotten. What the fuck does she know? I had fumed. I have to start my recovery over? Why don't I just go out and fucking USE THEN?
I let it eat away at me over the next couple of days - Celia doesn't understand me, she doesn't understand the nature of eating disorders, I don't think she is the one to help me, everyone else said it was okay. But for whatever reason, I still made my appointment with her yesterday to go over my homework from the week before.
When I arrived, we sat down in her office and started reviewing the homework, but it wasn't long before we were down to the real business at hand.
"What was your reaction to what I said to you last week?" Celia asked, propping her feet up on the desk across from me. "When you told me your eating disorder was winning again?"
I hesitated. "Initially, my feelings were hurt," I admitted. "I felt like your reaction completely negated all the hard work that I have done over the past seven weeks. And that made me defensive."
"And then?" she prompted.
"Then, I tried very hard to accept what you had to say," I said uncomfortably. Ha ha! I thought. Not even close.
"Mmmmm," she smirked. "And after that?"
I sighed. "Then I got really fucking mad at you."
"Ahhhhh," she said. "Let's look at that, shall we?"
I explained myself - that I was pissed that she would dare equate my eating disorder to my drug addiction and suggest that I have to start all over; that saying such a thing set a dangerous precedent that could have led me to using, if I wasn't so goddamn sure that I would rather shoot myself in the fucking face; that I felt betrayed by her for getting so angry with me, when I didn't drink or use, I just fucked up with my food; and it wasn't like bingeing and purging was an imminent threat to my health, like drugs and alcohol were.
"Kagie, there's something that you seem to have forgotten," she said with a sigh. "It's not just food. You've told me over and over again that your eating disorder can and eventually will lead you back to drugs and alcohol. Don't you see? The food will lead you back to death. It will lead you back to abusing drugs and alcohol, which just makes you try repeatedly to kill yourself."
I groaned, and dropped my head into my heads. Fuck, I thought. She was right. How the fuck could I have forgotten THAT?!
“I got upset with you Kagie because you chose to participate in your addiction, instead of in your recovery. Everyone else might blow sunshine up your ass and tell you it's okay, that it happens, that it's your eating disorder recovery and it's to be expected, but you and I both know that's not true. You cannot fully be in any recovery if you are still engaging in those kind of behaviors. You know that in your heart, don't you?"
"You had the opportunity to try to do things a different way, to try to do things our way instead of your way, but you didn’t take it. Tell me, does your way work, Kage?”
“No,” I mumbled.
“What?” Celia demanded loudly.
“NO, VOTER COLONEL,” I yelled.
“That’s right,” she said, ignoring my attitude. “Does our way work?”
“ZU BEFEHL, MEIN FUEHRER."
"Good girl," she grinned. "Now get the hell out of my house, you should have started dinner six minutes ago. I love you."
And she booted me out the door again.
God. I'm so glad I didn't fire her as my sponsor. Can you imagine? I would be soooooooo fucked.