Denial and Acceptance: Such tricky little things

Didn’t write for a week. That never happens. I had to study. But I’m back now.

I took the internal medicine practical exam re-take on Monday. As soon as I reached my car after the test I broke down crying. Spent the rest of the afternoon terribly anxious and…a mess.

You see, I was prepared, I studied, I practiced A LOT, I was even confident (which never happens!). But it seems I was too relaxed (if that’s even possible) and made a big mistake in the first part of the test. The second part went well, I think. So I was worried about whether I passed or not.

And I’m still worried, though not as much as on Monday. Usually, if you failed the test, you receive an email about 2 or 3 days later (at most….usually). But if you passed the test they don’t email you at all. It’s been two days now, and I haven’t received an email. I’m much less anxious now, but I’m afraid I might get a bomb delivered to my email tomorrow. So, I probably won’t be almost 100% calm until Friday….and that’s the best case scenario.

Fuck….I really hope I passed. If I don’t pass then I fail the course and have to repeat it. Even if I got a 100% in all my other internal medicine tests and evaluations Not good at all.

In other shitty news, my sleep has been terrible for the past two weeks. I resorted to Ambien on 4 days but honestly I don’t know if it did anything. So, I’m walking around like a zombie.

And in other other shitty news…I’m tired of…not eating. It’s just difficult for me to fathom that I have an eating disorder. I keep thinking I haven’t reached that point. But I think I have, unfortunately, a long time ago.

Remember my almost fainting in dance class last week? Well, it happened again yesterday. On top of that, I’ve been having symptoms of delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis in med-speak) for at least a week, maybe more (I don’t remember). I’ve reached a point where I’m still afraid of getting fat but when I actually want to eat I can’t. Physically, I can’t eat. I have to go ridiculously slow, be careful with my meals, and force myself to eat even after I feel full with only 4 bites. And after that comes the abdominal pain, the bloating, the nausea…blah blah blah. And that’s in addition to some other symptoms I’m having that I know are due to not eating well.

But I’m not trying to create drama here. The point I’m trying to get to is that I believe I’ve had enough. Enough of the self-hate, enough of the obsession with food, enough of it all. I’m tired and I just want to live and be free. I went from cutting to not-eating, but I want to stop. I want to stop the self-destruction. I want to fucking love myself, or at least like myself. I don’t want to gain weight, but I actually don’t want to keep losing either, that’s how desperate I am.

I saw G yesterday and today too because I was in such a state (the test, remember?). Yesterday she asked me whether I’d like her to refer me to a psychologist who has more experience with eating disorders. Today I said no, and she also backed away from the idea because she’s not sure the person she had in mind does outpatient. I told her one of the reasons I wouldn’t like that is because I’d probably have to go through the humiliation of talking to my parents about exactly what I’m going through.

And she said: “About what? The anorexia?” I said yes.

But the answer was a reflex. I was too busy thinking about the word she tossed around so casually: anorexia. It was a slap in the face.

I can deal with labels. I can deal with “depressed”. I can deal with “borderline”. But for some reason I can’t deal with “anorexic”. That’s how far my denial goes. But, being the rational medical student I supposedly am, I know I have almost all the symptoms; mental, physical, and otherwise. There’s no escaping it.

But I’m going to finish with a silver lining here. As I write this I have some nasty abdominal pain, slight nausea, and am ridiculously bloated after having a relatively small lunch. I have a bruise on each side of my pelvis because I have no fatty cushion to withstand some of the stretches I do in my dance class. All day I’ve been thinking: “Do I want to keep doing this to myself?”

 And the answer has consistently been: No. I want to get better.


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