Dealing with Grief
Losing someone you love is an agonizing pain that no one could begin to put into words. Unfortunately, death is inevitable. The grieving process is a long rollercoaster and you must accept that each day is going to be different. There will be a different battle to conquer every day that passes. Various instances will trigger your tears and you must learn to acknowledge what brought them on and accept that this too shall pass.
When I was beginning my struggle with all of my medical issues, I lost my maternal grandmother. I watched her pass away after a four year battle with alcohol induced dimensia/Alzheimer's. You see my grandma was kind of like "Ten Second Tom" in the movie Fifty First Dates. Where she wouldn't remember what you said five minutes ago and some days wouldn't even know who you are. I used her as my outlet because I was young and could tell her everything without her being able to remember and tell my parents. Sneaky, I know but she helped me get all of my emotions out with no judgement.
Although I knew we would lose her one day watching her spirit leave her body sent me into an even larger tailspin and downward spiral. I wouldn't have changed being the one that held her hand as she passed, but it did affect me tremendously. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I worked out for two to three hours a day and was having massive flashbacks and nightmares. I was thinner, but I felt like I needed to be better, I needed to do better and honestly, I didn't feel like I had lost any weight at all.
Within a year I got down to 118 pounds, 53 kilos. This was when I was being IV fed and in the middle of my struggle with the parasite and bacterial overgrowth, but I still felt fat. I didn't realize my relationship with food turned into a fear of food. I would run at the gym for an hour and then do weights, then go sit in the sauna. My stomach pains were worse, my headaches were at their peak and I was depressed. I was eating bell peppers so often that I started to smell like one. I would look in the mirror and pinch my fat (skin) asking how anyone could like me. I remember this one time in my apartment looking in the mirror I had a moment of clarity, I was telling myself you are beautiful, you are skinny, you are pretty, but body dismorphia is so real I went back to acting on the same urges that next day.
Grief has a way of breaking your body down. My mind was dazed and my body was fighting to perform everyday. I was trying to show people I was strong, but realistically I was already broken.
I recently lost someone I love very much and I know I wasn't the only one afraid that I would fall back into my urges, but I'm proud to say I haven't. Luckily the support system I have around me and my knowledge of how quickly and daunting the eating disorder lifestyle can drag you down has kept me eating disorder free. It is a dark path that I never want to walk again. I have continued to eat three meals a day and a few snacks in between so I don't get hangry. I have been continuing to chase the good feeling endorphins each day by practicing yoga, walking, running or doing some outdoor activity. I have been writing a lot and have continued to use the people that loved him as much as I did, as well as, my close friends and family as my outlet.
The most important thing to remember when dealing with grief is to surround yourself with people that love you. Always talk to someone, use their shoulder to cry on, let them hold you up when you feel as though you are going to collapse. It can get very lonely especially when you feel like no one is going through the same thing you are, but you have to be honest with yourself and others on what emotions you are struggling to process. Remember to honor and respect that everyone grieves differently, I have to remind myself of this multiple times a day.
The truth is, I am finally at a place in my life where I am happy and feel strong. I could never go back to those habits because of who I was in those years of struggle. Even in the most devastating of times, I now know that life is a gift and eating disorders slowly kill you. Heaven is place on earth and I don't want to leave this planet any sooner than I have to. I've seen how wonderful and special life is, I've realized how beautiful and lucky we are to live on this planet and it makes me sad seeing so many people take it for granted. Being stuck in your own head about how much you weigh or what you look like or how incredibly depressed you are is completely overwhelming and a waste of a life. Be sure to utilize those outlets, go for walks, listen to music, cry a lot, be angry, feel every emotion because grief has a way of knocking you down, but know you can always get back up.
Rest easy my love. I miss you every day JSB.