I still remember the smell of my room at the eating disorder clinic. My roommate occasionally threw up in our litter-bin since the toilets were close to impossible to throw up in because of all security and supervising.
Every morning between 6-7AM a nurse would come in and take a blood sample of me. I had several very alarming low rates. The worst one was my lack of potassium - the symptoms to that are common to getting a heart attack. My heart rate would switch between being dangerously low to being over 110 beats a minute while just lying in bed. Lack of potassium also makes your heartbeat stop at some points or become very irregular. I stopped my potassium medication just a couple of months ago and I’m still scared at any time when I feel even the slightest symptom.
The first weeks at the clinic I refused to eat so I got everything as liquids. I used to refuse that as well but there wasn’t really any options. Either you ate, had the food in a liquid format or got tube fed with the same liquids you could choose to drink. All choices felt like bad choices so I kept on refusing to eat for a very long time at the clinic.
The day I finally had some real food was probably the worst day during my whole hospital stay. I was in such panic afterwards that I wrote down 10 ways to escape from the hospital and 10 ways of taking my own life. I still have my hospital journal saved, but I have never deared to read it (yet).
That night, after my first taste of food in what felt like forever, was the first and last time I’ve ever hurt myself. I had taken out my self hate by starving for so long and when that wasn’t a possibility anymore my head went black and I needed something to take the pain away. I remember hitting myself in the left arm for almost an hour. The next morning my doctor was very upset and scented what had happened. It took me a while to gain strength to admit that it indeed was an outburst I had while trying to compensate for not being able to starve myself anymore.
I cried myself to sleep all months I stayed at the eating disorder clinic and I kept on doing it for a while when I had gotten home as well. I think I cried enough for a lifetime - I don’t cry very often (almost never) these days. Probably because nothing in the world has broken my heart like my disease.
This is my first post about my time in the hospital/at the clinic. I’ve gotten requests on writing about this since I haven’t written about it a lot. It’s quite hard to talk about these things since I’m reminded of my worst times when talking about it. But I think it’s important to take up these things, because I’m pretty sure no one of you think of me as the girl I just described in this post. And that means recovery IS possible. I want to give all of you that are struggling strength and hope, a reminder that it can get better. And I want to remind everybody else about what a shitty, stupid disease this is. And that it’s not something you can joke away. If your friend or family member is struggling, please take it seriously from the very beginning. Someone might still look healthy and you might think ”ah she/he has it under control”, but it takes as little as a couple of months from that stage to the hospital bed.