Endurance

Since the past few weekends have been spent apart due to trips, work obligations, etc. Ryan and I decided to spend Friday night and Saturday doing some of the activities we enjoy together.

Friday evening a very good friend of ours was generous enough to give us his club seats for a hockey game. I have mentioned before that we both LOVE live sports; hockey and baseball especially, so I was thrilled to have a night out cheering and watching one of my favorite teams.

There were a bunch of pretty amazing fights, nine total goals scored, and a crowd of dedicated fans that made the atmosphere pretty awesome. So between the Bears pulling out a very exciting victory, and some good NCAA basketball, I would say we thoroughly appreciated our evening of sports.

Saturday was kind of unique because we don’t get to do these type of trips near as often as I would like, but we decided to get an early start and make our way to Philadelphia to visit the Eastern State Penitentiary

For those of you who don’t know ESP was the first penitentiary in the world and served as a model for many of the famous prisons we see today. I will not bore you with a lengthy history lesson, but the facility was open from 1820-1971, and home to some of the most notorious criminals; Al Capone being my personal favorite.

We opted to enjoy the audio tour and spent a few hours taking our time to explore the site and learn a whole bunch of information neither of us knew. I obviously love history, considering it was my major in college, but throughout our relationship Ryan and I have taken many opportunities to expand our knowledge base and have mini-getaways visiting museums, monuments, and other destinations that preserve the past. Williamsburg, VA is awesome, just in case you are ever looking for a little retreat šŸ™‚

We then made our way to have lunch at a small cafe/deli and the Ardmore Farmers Market to pick up some seafood for a romantic dinner at home.

Now, the picture I am painting you is fantastic and sounds totally happy and carefree, BUT I would be lying if I said the days passed without a hitch.

Before our fabulous time at the hockey game, we had a pretty major argument about dinner.

There was a lot of crying, yelling, and toddler-like behavior on my part, and a ton of frustration and compassion on Ryan’s.

I couldn’t tell you how the blow-up began, but I can tell you there was a point where I told him to go to the game by himself; not something I am proud of at all.

Saturday started out amazingly. We had breakfast together. We enjoyed several hours of education. And then noon comes and we are sitting in traffic for the next forty-five minutes.

“I should have told you you needed a snack. You should have had something to eat by now. It wasn’t that big of a breakfast and now we wont have lunch until 2.”

“I wasn’t thinking about a snack, I was trying to have a nice ED free time for once.”

And that was true. I made a promise to myself after being such a baby Friday that ED was not coming to Philly.

It got worse because we were in an area with not too many choices that weren’t chains like Panera, Qdoba, etc.; all places I could recite the calorie count in an instant and Ryan knows I have totally safe food choices there, so we settled on a place that had a very expansive menu, but wouldn’t you know listed the caloric values right next to each item.

He gave me a few options to consider and I selected a 1/2 sandwich salad combination with a very scary component, but it didn’t seem to satisfy my significant other.

Between my walk on the treadmill that morning, our excursion of traipsing all around a 2 mile jail, and food intake he deemed inadequate, I think he met his limit.

It really was not anything that had to do with that very moment, day or lunch, but more that my progress is minimal, and he is tired.

Who am I, because I am not the same girl he grew up with. I am not the same girl he fell in love with. And I am certainly not the woman he thought he would spend the rest of his life with.

I am timid and weak, scared of everything, anxious, moody, way less adventurous than my former-self, and not much good has come out of my three years in recovery.

A lot of his emotion comes out of fear, because the health problems that come along with such a mental disorder are no joke, I just don’t see them as he does.

“Life is fragile,CJ, and you don’t even seem to care.”

Which isn’t exactly accurate….I just have trouble accepting that there is anything wrong with me.

In my mind I look fine, I feel fine and function pretty damn productively, but obviously my brain is a little messed up.

So on our drive home we talked and I really just wish I could give up…Not give up in a negative sense, but just give up control and get rid of this horrific life of imprisonment.

*(I was in a real cell at ESP, and let me tell you, it is nothing like the mental lock-down I have going on right now! I would take the concrete over ED some days.)

Looking at Ryan and the sincerity in his eyes breaks my heart, because I should be more considerate of him and his very valid feelings.

All ED does is provide me comfort for a millisecond, and the majority of the time is beating me down, while Ryan is constantly doing his best to lift me up, praise my accomplishments, and show me how much he loves me.

Why can’t I do this for him? I have to. I don’t want to lose him and I feel like everyday I am getting closer and closer to that fate.

…All because I can’t deal with the discomfort of recovery…

Discomfort, I hate you. Please go away so I can be a better wife to my husband.

Or, CJ (aka self) you can endure a little bit of discomfort because in the long run, it is way better than losing the one you love.

And yourself.

Happy Monday! Always a good day for a fresh start šŸ™‚

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12 thoughts on “Endurance

  1. Cj, I know what you are going through because it happens with my fiancee as well…he’s the most supportive person ever and helps me through all kinds of tough situations due to ED, but he can only take so much and sometimes when he finally breaks down it’s hard for me to take because it feels so awful and in those moment I just wish ED would go to hell…it’s so hard for others to understand what we are going through and why we can’t just let everything go and be happy, but one step at a time girl! You should be proud of yourself for all the progress you’ve made…don’t forget to give yourself some slack and make sure you voice to Ryan that you are so thankful for him…he seems like an amazing husband!! šŸ™‚

    • thank you so much Tayla! i hope you do the same and recognize how strong and courageous you are! we are very very blessed individuals to have people who are so kind and compassionate with a terrible and relentless disease to combat. you are beautiful and we can totally get through this!

  2. okay, so I have to take a moment to express my happiness that you gave CW a shout-out. I grew up just a few minutes from there (my dance studio is like 2 miles from it) and I’m seriously obsessed with colonial history. My second-grade birthday party was Williamsburg/Revolutionary War themed…no lie.

    Anyway, now that you know about my extreme nerdiness…

    It SUCKS the way eating disorders mess with the experiences and relationships we want to enjoy. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve told myself I’ll ignore the ED voice for this occasion or around that person or whatever–if only it were that easy.

    Don’t give up. ā¤

    • I am so glad someone else can relate to my enthusiasm for history!!! My husband and I had season passes this last year so we drove down for two long weekends to enjoy the revolutionary fun haha It seems that everything having to do with giving up and eating disorder is easier said than done. if it could just magically dissapear, i think i’d be ok with that! hope you are having an awesome start to the week šŸ™‚

  3. This makes me so sad CJ, I pray that you gather up that strength and willpower that I know is in there, and use it to fight ED. And when you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for the people that love you. ā™„ Be your strong, TRUE self! Love you girlie!

      • Based upon my ED experience, you just have to commit and do it. There is never an easier time or something that just takes away the fear, you just have to decide, once and for all, that you HAVE to help yourself. You get one life on earth, one shot to really live each and every day. I don’t think there has ever been an older (70+) woman that said, “I am so glad I was really skinny and had the mental discipline to resist all carbs, fats, and sweet.” I know it’s hard, I know it will mean countless days of tears, and I know that you will feel ugly and fat when your clothes get tighter but I also know that it is more than 100% worth it.

      • I agree, and there are probably plenty of older women who count their blessings for having many healthy years with the people they love and the memories they made. Thank you so much for that reminder. It was exactly what I needed during my struggle after lunch. ā¤

  4. you completely put into words how i feel and what my boyfriend of 6 years goes through…. it breaks my heart that as you said, “im not the same girl he fell in love with or who he envisioned growing old with.” Im someone who has to run 7+ miles a day to burn off fruit, yogurt and protein bars, is constantly running a marathon etc. and battling the ED voice in my head. I am recovering but it is the mental thoughts that are the hardest to get rid of. I cant wait to get back to the woman i used to be and simply enjoy a great meal and food with the company of those I love. It is a long, painful struggle/journey for sure. Praying for you, girl!

  5. Sounds like a few difficult situations this weekend- but you seriously dont always have a snack with you? You should be packin’ snacks like it’s your job at this point! (um, well, it kinda is your job right now) a pb packet in case you need to add it to lunch, a protein bar, ziplock of dried fruit… If you need it youve got it.
    Several years back i had someone who was very very important to me, i saw him/us together in the future. In our last conversation he said “i care about you too much to keep watching you do this to yourself- this is not something i can do FOR you and my unconditional support appears to be enabling you”. Ryan may love you so much that one day he cant watch any more. This allllll has to come from you.

    • I agree and I am really working on being more accountable. It is not my husbands job to babysit me and I really need to take ownership of that. Thank you for reminding me.

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