The List

I am not an angry person.

Perhaps that is part of the reason I got sick in the first place; the fact that I have absolutely no clue how to display emotion, or even what emotion I am having for that matter, but anger is something that often scares me.

What if I get too angry and others think I am mean?

What if I don’t know how to control my anger and I do something inappropriate like hit something?

These might sound like odd fears but since I am a total people pleaser I just want everyone to like me, and think I am nice, happy, and totally put together.

Well this weekend I got angry.

I came home Friday to a missing laptop and PS3. I didn’t notice anything else to be gone, but the computer I had used only 18 hours before was no longer there.

I called me sister. She had no clue.

I called my Nanny who has been with our family since I was born and still comes over to see Linds and I. She barely knows what a lap top is.

Where could it possibly be?

It was stolen, along with my game system which we use more as a blue-ray player, but it is pretty darn curious for it to be only those two things…

My suspicion as to who it was is an entirely different post, but my blood was boiling.

First of all, Ryan’s memory card of pictures was in the computer, and I HATE losing all the documentation of our last year.

And second, have you purchased a computer recently? They aren’t $5.

It was definitely more money to replace it than I planned on spending on any sort of technology this month. Hello budget buster!!!

Anyway, I am not writing about the hostility I have toward the person, or people I think might have taken it. No, today I am exploring ANGER because when I was at dinner Saturday night with two amazing ladies, I sought out some support as to how to get back on track with recovery.

I asked my new friend Jen and she made a really great suggestion.


What did she mean? I am already mad at myself for hurting my family so much, how could I hate ME anymore than I do now?

That is not what she meant.

Her thought was to think about ALL the things having an eating disorder has taken away, look at that list and see how it made me feel.

When I did this, she was right; I was pretty darn infuriated!

I won’t tell you everything, because honestly, the list is pretty freakin’ long, but SOME of the deprivations I came up with:

Half of my marriage, due to treatment stays

2 Christmas’

My bone density (who has osteopenia at 24?!)

My personality

An amazing relationship with my mom and some other family members

Participating in any social engagement that had to do with food (um, no wedding cake or birthday desert in as long as I can remember)

Three family vacations due to treatment stays (Disney World)

Pretty much ever being present for ANYTHING

The ability to be REALLY, GENUINELY happy

MONEY….LOTS of money


Physical Activity like cross country skiing, running races with Ryan, and learning to snowboard

This is a pretty generic list, but think about it; being totally consumed by something that is almost everywhere, really prevents you from being a part of society, loving life, and actually enjoying those around you.

I can improve my bone density, and grow back my brittle, frazzled hair, and money I can make again, but I cannot re-live my actual wedding day.

I cannot use a time machine and re-do the trip to Disney World both my family and my in-laws took to celebrate Christmas last year…the one I should have been on.

I cannot just snap my fingers and earn back all the faith people once had in me.

But there is no question; the saddest thing I have lost is time.

A significant portion of my adult life has not been a life at all; not for me, not for Ryan.

I need to channel this anger, and remember my list anytime I go to skimp on my peanut butter, or take a few crackers away from my lunch. When I step on the treadmill and everything in me wants to go faster, harder, higher on an incline.

I don’t want to spend next February writing about all the things I COULD have done this year if I weren’t sick.

Hopefully Jen’s advice sticks, because Ry surprised me and changed his ticket to come home TONIGHT.

Small steps, but important steps. That is my strategy. One banana at a time 🙂


11 thoughts on “The List

  1. Ugh, I second the “so sorry” about someone stealing the technology – particularly the memory card! I’d be furious.

    This is based on my story (with appropriate caveats about how we’re all different, blah blah), but one word of caution is to be careful with all or nothing / black and white thinking, particularly as you get righteously angry at the ED and lost time. As your recovery continues, a bad moment (or hour… or conversation… or whatever) does not consitute a failure. I guess what I’m preaching (to myself as well as the blogosphere) is that a moment doesn’t need to be perfect to be good. 🙂

    You can do this. You have thousands who’ve walked this road (or are currently walking it) and cheering you on. That’s a pretty b.a. support system.

    • Anne, thank you so much for all the encouragement and advice. I agree about the black and white thinking. Anytime i get down on myself I tend to slide backwards so I definitely need to be mindful of that! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and you are SO right…I do have a b.a support system!!! 🙂 ❤

  2. This post makes me sad for you…it’s horrible how much this ED has taken from you, and how much you’ve been without. I hope that you are able to continue your steps and improve permanently. Life is good, and you are worth living it!

  3. That’s the ticket! You and the ED are *not* one and the same. The ED is your kidnapper and not some near and dear friend who has your best interests at heart.

    It occurred to me in another post today that folks with anorexia can end up with some kind of strange variation on Stockholm syndrome: “is an apparently paradoxical psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them.” (wikipedia of course!).

    You are absolutely owed your life back.

  4. CJ, you say the smartest things! You are right about how valuable time is. It is too precious to let outside forces stop you from enjoying life. I hope you’re hanging in there. Hugs!*

  5. Wow, that sounds like a nightmare! You said you may suspect someone? Well, if that’s the case, I certainly hope you can retrieve your stuff!!!

    And I definitely think that being angry, at yourself for letting yourself succumb to an ED or just at your ED (whichever way you look at it), is a motivating strategy to get better! It hurts to think of the years I spent wrapped in this ED and now that I’m at this point of my recovery, I think to myself, “WHY!?” I mean really, WHAT is the point of an ED if it makes you miserable and miss out on life? I get so angry thinking about how I believed that I had control or that my life would get better or *I* would be better in some way if I kept losing weight…

    So good for you! Whenever ED thoughts start to creep into my head, I can’t tell you how angry I get lol. But it works to get angry! Because you’re being rebellious to your ED, but loving to yourself 🙂

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