I’m still getting used to her new couch. It’s gray suede and gorgeous, but it doesn’t give the way the old one did. The cushions are stiff, and so I perch gingerly, thinking it’s still the softest thing I’ve felt all week.

Sometimes I sit across from her knowing I am going to cry. She’s going to ask me how I’m doing and where I would like to begin, and I’m going to open my mouth to respond, and approximately nothing is going to come out. Nothing coherent, anyway. My face is going to crumple — contort into the universal symbol for IMMINENT TEARS — and then I’m going to be in for 59 minutes of not reaching for the tissue I so desperately need.

Here we go. Deep breath.


She really is so great. While I am positively losing it, raining salty splotches all over her brand new suede, all she says is: “Okay, let’s begin there! That’s a great place to begin!”

And then I am crying and laughing and feeling like something is breaking but something is also fixing, fixing, fixing.

It comes as such a big blow, every single time I realize that I’m not better. I mean, I am better, but I’m not better as in cured. And there are a lot of very smart people who believe there is no cure. Am I allowed to respectfully tune out those people? I have not done this much work to not get better.

I realized I was sick in September. Started getting help in October. Decided I was onboard in November — knowing I’d be looking at 3.5 months of terrifyingly fast (torturously slow) re-feeding.


I didn’t just leave my job to get better. I left my life. Life as I’d known it.

I made myself vulnerable, so unbelievably vulnerable. I didn’t drag my feet. I took up yoga, when it felt like I could no longer breathe without someone telling me how. I gave away 75% of my clothes, none too happily, and hid myself away from the world, when the world felt too harsh.


I am still hiding. Sheathed in soft sweaters, stuffed into stretchy pants. Stashed in the corner, hoping no one will look over at me. Praying somebody does.


It doesn’t feel fair. It doesn’t feel fair to have gained the weight and still be feeling this way. It doesn’t feel fair to not be on the home stretch.


In my lowest moment on my worst day, it feels like all of the promises I made to myself just aren’t true.

But I know that’s not the case. I know this is just another phase — maybe a funny little plateau, or one of those dreaded downward dips. We talk about the ups and downs a lot at therapy. This is a down, and there will be another up.


There can be another up right this minute, if I just take 60 seconds to appreciate what a wonderful thing it is to be able to work full-time again. Even if I need to get on nodding terms with anxiety, ASAP. (More on that tomorrow.)

It’s uplifting to know that I never question whether or not I’ve made the right choice. Not truly. I know this is the right choice. I know it even when I feel furiously envious, whenever I see someone not-sick and small, and so obviously loved. I know it even when I feel enormous and alone and so screwed up, still.

I know it’s comingall of the things I’ve never known, never been able to have. All the things I’ve never been able to experience, let alone enjoy. I know life will not continue to feel this quiet, this empty. It just won’t. It can’t. I won’t let it.


{Portland at sunset via @batmobile88, St. John’s Bridge via @karalieshaw.}


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