That Southern California living

I arrived in SoCal by way of Texas on December 12, 2018. And I’m still here. I’ll be honest— it’s not my first rodeo; in fact it’s not my second or third rodeo either. I think the number of stints in treatment is up to six or seven or eight, depending upon how you count it. At any rate, none of that matters. What matters is my desire to have this be the final stint. I know, I know. This statement is a dime a dozen in the treatment world, but you eventually get to a point where you truly, genuinely, and authentically mean it. The body can only hold out for so long before things start to go awry.

And things have started to go awry.

My name is Hilary. I’m 30 years old. I’m from Austin, TX. And I have an eating disorder. Which eating disorder depends upon which clinician you’re talking to, what time period we’re looking at, and how knowledgeable they are about eating disorders. I’ve been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa: binge/purge type (ANBP), bulimia nervosa (BN), and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS). In the grand scheme of things, the label doesn’t really matter— the end result is the same for all if left untreated: death. I always thought I was invincible on some level, that is until 17 years of an eating disorder & 9 years of purging finally started taking a toll medically.

In my (so far) two months in SoCal, I’ve managed to end up in urgent care twice, the emergency room three times, and several doctors’ offices due to medical complications from abusing my body by fucking with my food. I overdosed on my anxiety medication. I was throwing up blood. I had severe tachycardia (fast heartbeat). They thought I was going to have a heart attack. I’m severely anemic & exhausted. And I likely have Gastroparesis.

It has not been glamorous by any means. If you’d warned my 13 year old self what the next 17 years would look like, I would’ve had a panic attack over self-doubt surrounding whether I’d make it out alive or not. But I have. So far. And I say this with gratitude because the human body can be extremely resilient up to a certain point. And I, unfortunately, seem to have neared that point.

I used to have a recovery blog long ago. I’ve since taken it down. But my therapist when I was in residential here encouraged me to start blogging again as an outlet for my delayed teenage angst. I don’t know that I’ll stick with it or if anyone will read it, but holla at me in the comments if there’s anything you’d like particular insight into. If I can give anyone solace in the fact that they’re not alone, insights into what it’s like to live with various mental health issues while trying to be a functioning human being, or provide some sort of sardonic humor through my writing, then it’s all worth it.

The “what I purge” assignment from my dietitian. Watercolor, acrylic, & sharpie.

5 thoughts on “That Southern California living

  1. You are strong and loved. I am forever grateful for your courage, sense of humor, and unwavering friendship. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading your future posts. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Without dark, there can be no light.
    Without sorrow, there can be no joy.
    Without failure, there can be no triumph.

    You are one of the smartest, strongest women I know – and sharing your story is a gift to all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hillary, I understand your pain. My fear is getting better. I don’t know what it’s like or how it feels. I’ve been sick since I was 16, now 50 (yes I’m old) I’m being told I’m self sabotaging. I hope you see the good in yourself because I can. Good luck. I’m thinking about you. Get better, your puppies miss you.

    Liked by 1 person

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