Skin and Bones
Author's note: I wrote this mostly as a coping method, and to get it out of my soul. Most people don't know... Show full author's note »
Walking dead girlThe next day, my mom got a call from the wife. They talked for a while. I thought nothing of it, really. That they must be making plans for where to meet up the next day when we went to pick more rocks. But that night, while I was in my room getting ready for bed, my mom came in and asked if she could talk to me. I knew. Right then. In my heart. "Do you think you aren't eating as much as you normally do?" She asked gently. I looked at her, somewhat innocently. "I'm just not hungry." I replied. "Honey, you are working very hard out there, and so are the others. Mrs. P and I are just worried about you...she said she's noticed that you don’t eat much." Well, that was the understatement of the century!! We talked for a while, and I started to cry eventually. I was very emotional lately, but I think I also started to cry to protect myself. To seem helpless, like it wasn't my fault. My mom hugged me, and left me with "just try to eat more, ok?" During the time we had talked, I had confessed that I had started to keep a food journal, but that I felt like it was becoming too obsessive, so I had stopped. But little did she know that my brain hadn't stopped journaling every morsel that passed my lips. I owe my life to Mrs. P, the woman that made my mom aware of what was going on with me, and that I needed help. Without her, and God, I wouldn't be here today.
Now that I had been discovered, I needed help. I live in a small town in Iowa, and so I wasn't really sure what kind of help there was out there for people like me. I knew that there were people with anorexia everywhere though, so there had to be treatment. My mom did some research, made some calls. We found that the nearest eating disorder clinic was in Cedar Rapids, the nearest large town. My mom made an appointment for me there and a week later, there we were, sitting in the empty waiting room in the St. Luke’s hospital psychology unit.
I was home schooled, and so were my 3 sisters and older brother. I assume my baby brother will be too. So, basically my whole family came along, except for my oldest brother, and my dad, who works during the day. I was pretty embarrassed and uncomfortable about this appointment. I had no idea what to expect, and my sisters didn't even know what was going on. I didn't want them to know what was wrong with me. I was afraid they would "catch" what I had. I was also afraid they would develop an eating disorder, and I would have to compete with them to eat less. What a loving sister they have.
The first appointment I had was with a nurse named Cathy. Just us, one-on-one. She asked me questions that you might expect would be asked-"do you vomit intentionally?, how long have you been restricting food?" She took lots of notes and asked lots of questions. I left the appointment not really knowing what to think. She didn't really give me anything to work with, but I'd just have to give it time maybe. I left with a little more hope than I had when I came.
What comes first- the chicken, or the egg? This was the type of question we had to work with pertaining to my anorexia, and my depression. Had I become depressed first, or did my eating less and less make my mood plummet? I still don't know. I think maybe my depression came first, and I didn't feel like eating, and I just lost my appetite. Or, maybe I wanted to be healthier and exercise more and I ended up losing weight to an unhealthy point. I lean towards the last option, but I may never know for sure. All I know is, my body and I threw out so many hints and cries for help, but no one saw or heard. I'm not blaming anyone, but how did it go unnoticed for so long? At my worst, I weighed 67 pounds. A 67 pound 13 year old. No one can tell me that is ok. No one will ever convince me that that can't be noticed. I was a walking dead girl.