Those are the only two words that come to mind after this, my second visit with my dietitian/nutrionist since being diagnosed with anorexia.
It's been a month.
A month of probing, a month of agony, a month of small triumphs and big defeats.
A month of three square meals a day and one-to-two solid snacks in between.
And yet, it's come to this: "Not Good."
I've lost more weight.
I stood on the scale this morning-fully clothed and after eating a larger-than-normal breakfast and downing some extra cups of tea; I think I was hoping to boost the number, and I did- which means that I weigh under 100 pounds.
Not good at all.
I have spent a good portion of the week nervous about today's appointment, and most of yesterday was like walking on pins and needles. I even took a Benedryl or two last night, just for the sake of knocking myself out.
I have two conflicting sides with two very different opinions about today and my new "number".
Vanity: You'd think she'd be pleased. You'd think she'd be ecstatic. I mean, she's won more ground, right? I weigh less than I did before getting a meal plan, before being told I was anorexic. Is she happy?
Well, she gloated a bit at first; "Look at the number;" she said, "I did that for you. That's all that matters. You're small, you're skinny, you're so close to being perfect!" But, as it always is with her, it didn't last long. It isn't good enough. "Now," I heard her say as we walked down the hall to the doctor's office room "just a little more and we'll be done. All you have to do is figure out how to cheat on all the new ridiculous rules she's going to give you today. Just be quiet and let me take care of this: I'll figure it all out for you."
With Vanity, enough is never enough.
Prudence: Prudence saw that number, and she winced. She saw it and blinked owlishly, in dazed surprise, for a moment walking a line between dejected hopelessness and breaking down in tears. In that number she saw the numerical representation of all that she endures and hates each day: the constant cold and chill that seems to always hang over her, illustrated by blue-tinged skin and numb fingers and toes. The cushion she has to put on every hard chair she sits in, because it hurts to sit down on the hard surface if she doesn't. The unclear state of her mind these days- like a cup of tea with a few drops of milk in it: slightly cloudy and obscure, making thinking sometimes like trying to push through a long, heavy curtain of velvet. The utter exhaustion that weighs down every muscle by the end of the day. The way her chest hurts when she's ridden a bike for a mere half-hour, and is told it's probably because she's straining her heart. How much she wishes she could enjoy eating things- frappucinos, pizza, yogurt, even fruit- the way she used to. Without having to think twice. Without automatically counting calories or figuring out how to avoid eating them altogether.
Prudence just wants to stand up for herself.
So I'm facing some new rules, new regimens, and looking into new (and more) tactics and therapies.
First of all: no more "calorie-free" diet drinks or beverages of the such.
Tea is still allowed, of course, but I'm talking things like soda (if I even drank soda, which I generally don't). For instance, if it's the difference between a Diet Coke and a Coke, it needs to be a Coke.
More importantly, this means goodbye Honest Ade.
*weeps in dejection*
I miss you already!
New step number two is a bottle of ensure daily.
This may get increased.
I also am now going to see the nutrionist every two weeks instead of every four, and we are working on finding counseling sessions.
Next up are "food activities", or things to do during/after eating to distract me and keep me from losing my head. And by "losing my head" I mean freaking out and becoming Little Miss OCD. I've begun to be extremely controlling and anxious after eating, and the frantic, super-detailed job I do on the dishes (and more often than not the entire kitchen and downstairs) is just one example. So Nutrionist and I had to put together a list of things I like to do/could do after (and sometimes during) meals to distract me. I'm supposed to write these down, put them in a bowl, and draw one at random when I've finished eating or am going to (at lunch and snack times).
I sound like a nut case.
I think I am a nut case.
The hardest part is remembering- midst all of this stress and trouble, this feeling of playing a life-or-death game of tug-o-war with myself- that God is in charge of all this. That he is stronger than Vanity is, stronger than Prudence wishes she were, and is there for me through this all, waiting for me to trust Him. I keep losing sight of how important He is, how little I actually have to worry. I think I know how Peter felt when he scrambled over the side of the boat and started to walk on water towards Jesus, but looked down for two seconds, and in that short amount of time- with the stark realization of all the wind, and water, and frightening impossibilities surrounding him- began to fear and forget about God.
I can't let myself look down; I need to keep my eyes firmly pressed on Him.
No matter how cold the wind and the waves are.
I need to lean on the Everlasting Arms, despite the icy fingers of fear and hatred that grab at my ankles and pull me down.
I need to press on to Higher Ground, believing that I can first make it through the sinking sand (not by my own strength).
Oh, how I yearn for a faith that is not so frail, so easily distracted, tempted, and cast aside!