I have been reading my old journal from 15 years ago and thought I would share some of the experiences I went through while trying to maintain a job and an Eating Disorder.
1. One day, I had interviewed someone that was really qualified and seemed totally marketable. I thought that my boss should come in and meet with this candidate. I stood off to the side while the two of them exchanged some conversation. All of a sudden I became extremely nauseous. Weird I thought; because I hadn’t taken in a couple of days. Maybe it’s just going to last a couple of minutes. But it got progressively worse and I had to excuse myself from the meeting. I went to the washroom, splashed some cold water on my face and headed back. I felt better. My boss left and I took over the remainder of the interview. Minutes later, I got really lightheaded and my nausea resurfaced. I couldn’t sit any longer; it just was getting too uncomfortable. I apologized and said that I needed to go get something. I stood up, started walking towards the door than remember waking up to a crowd of people standing over me. I had passed out, right in the waiting room of my office. How embarrassing. I couldn’t move. There I lay, with my legs hanging out of the door and my body dripping with sweat in front of complete strangers, and even worse, my co-workers. After a couple of minutes I was able to stand up and with the help of one of my friends we went into the hallway where I sat curled up in a ball.
A couple more people came outside as the word spread very quickly. Everyone was very concerned and told me that I should go home. I knew that I wouldn’t last the rest of the day, and decided to leave work and go take it easy. Of course I couldn’t’ say I was going to drive because I knew they wouldn’t approve, so I pretended to call my mother who I said was coming to get me. As we were waiting, the questions soon followed. Jokes of me being pregnant were first, than with total sincerity they asked why was I fainting. For some odd reason, I had nothing, no material and no excuses. I know that I hadn’t taken in a couple of days, so why the hell was I feeling like this? I was so damn naive. Did I really think that feeling sick was not a direct result of me taking handfuls of laxatives. Just because I hadn’t taken that day, doesn’t mean my stomach doesn’t forget, or rid itself so easily. At the time I was so confused and couldn’t figure it out. Now I realize just how stupid I was.
2. I remember coming in one day, feeling so absolutely horrible that I could barely move from my desk. I couldn’t concentrate because I kept having to go to the washroom. At one point it got so bad, that I ran to the bathroom so I could throw up. As I crouched down with my head in the toilet, I could see my reflection in the wall. My eyes were watering and I was sweating profusely. I couldn’t believe here I was, almost 9 years later, still doing this to myself. I went through these personal reflections quite a bit, but it just never sank in. I would question myself and feel disgusted with my behavior, but it was never enough to get me to stop. I hated myself for doing this to myself each and every time and always wondered, “How did I end up here.” I vowed to never do it again, because the pain was just so horrible that I couldn’t bare to go through it one more time. As I thought this, I knew that I didn’t mean it. Maybe it made me feel better to just say this and try and act as if I really gave a shit, but truthfully I didn’t. I mean, how could someone who really care about themselves, expose their body to such torture. When all was said and done and the following day I felt better, the rewards outweighed any pain I went through the day before. It almost made me forget how I felt 24 hours ago.
That was part of the problem. That I almost forgot about feeling like hell. All I could remember was how I felt the next morning when my clothes were a bit baggier and my collarbone protruded a little more. While going through the pain I told myself and convinced myself that it was the last time. I said it, I meant it and I was going to follow through. Until the next time when I decided that today was definitely the last time.
3. Another day at work, again I wasn’t feeling well. This time I was really lightheaded and almost found it difficult to make it to the washroom. A couple of times I had to make a pit stop because I almost passed out. We had a library where all of our videotapes were stored. It was fairly private and I knew that there wasn’t too much traffic during the day. So there I was, sitting on the cold floor with my head propped up on a tall dirty ladder. The door opened a few times as people came in to retrieve a tape so I had to pretend that I was looking for something on the bottom shelf to explain why I lying on the ground. I finally made my way back to my desk and found it almost unbearable to sit upright. I got off my chair and had to lie down on the ground. Yes, right by my desk, in an open area. I had no choice, I was going to fall out of my chair if I didn’t lie down. My friends became really worried and all gathered around me. I told them I was having really bad period cramps and was just feeling dizzy. They said that I would have to go somewhere else because it looked really bad the way I was positioned. I couldn’t’ look up and couldn’t even drink the water they were offering. Although I sounded as convincing as ever, I knew they didn’t believe me. I also knew that I couldn’t’ stay at work the entire day. Luckily my boss was on holidays so I didn’t have to explain why I was leaving. I called my mom, or so they thought. I told the “dial tone” to come pick me up at work, because I was too dizzy to drive home.
My friends went for lunch as I packed up my desk. I snuck out the side door, walked to my car, got home and lay in bed the rest of the afternoon. Little did I know that my friends realized I was lying when I didn’t come to say goodbye to them. They knew I was driving myself home and therefore must have definitely been lying about my period cramps.
It is so hard to live your life with an Eating Disorder. It is hard to work, be a daughter, a mom, a sister, a cousin, a niece, a friend, an aunt, a wife and more importantly a person. You simply cannot be a person with an Eating Disorder. You become an Eating Disorder.
I am working on becoming Lisa again and not an Eating Disorder. He doesn’t deserve it. I do.