Thursday, November 3, 2011
things that make me think
Today I got some bad news. In one of my clinical rotations, a bitch boss hated me and borderline passed me. Which sucks because she only saw me 3 times in 6 weeks and everyone else there thought I was great. She also called me unprofessional, incompetent, not having enough knowledge, immature and told me the day before my exam that she thought I would fail. Nobody has ever had such a low opinion of me. Except my parents of course.
So I'm effectively "tagged". This is totally unfair. It means that next year, my probationary year of practice, I will be watched like a hawk by my bosses. Thankfully I passed everything and with decent marks and so I have passed the year and I don't have to do extra work, but it's the principle that matters here. It makes me feel not good enough, even though I've done nothing wrong. It makes me feel like people don't think I'm going to be a good doctor. And it makes me feel very angry, and very insecure.
But aside for my rant, a message for you girls.
As always, thank you all for the lovely comments. Even though I've never met any of you, I can totally all the support that you lovely ladies give me and when I feel down (which, to be honest, is a lot of the time), reading the words of encouragement that you leave for me, it's about the only thing in the world that has the power to lift my mood.
Having an eating disorder is such an isolating experience, I can't talk to anyone in my life about it and I have to spend a lot of time and energy hiding it from people who suspect or could suspect something. I very firmly believe that it is not possible to fully understand what it is like to have an eating disorder until you have had one yourself, which is why I value the company of you girls so much.
Furthermore, the advice I get on here, and the different points of view, they get me thinking. Here are my replies to the comments that you have left me.
Fat Piggy, Jackie, Alice ana and outside in to thin: I wish I could live away from my parents and for the most part, I do. I undertake most of my training in another city and I only come home on weekends. But I am sooo far in debt (more than $100,000 in debt) that once I graduate, I will have to live at home with my parents. I won't be able to afford to move out, at least not for 2 years.
I'm hoping that once I start working, I will be able to take extra shifts, not only to earn the extra money, but to be out of the house as much as possible and so I want to have 2 years of constant work to pay off my debt. After that, I will hopefully get a pay rise, be out of debt (or at least very close to it) and then I will move out of home to my own little apartment or something like that.
I really wish that I could ignore their comments and just take them in my stride, but in a way, since I've lived with this all my life, it is so much a part of my life that I hardly need them to say it. I already believe it all, it's just all the more hurtful when my own parents tell it to my face. At each family meeting, it's like playing a game. If I don't cry and stay defiant the whole time, then I win. And I've won sometimes. But last time, sadly, I lost the game. Still, I live on to play another day.
There really are no words to express how low my self worth is and these family meetings have the effect of a sledgehammer, hammering the remnants of the self worth and confidence into the ground. Oh what it is to weigh 121lbs and have my father say the most I should weigh is 100lbs. Crap isn't a strong enough word.
Alice ana: I've had suicidal thoughts since I was about 13. But at the time, all that consisted of was "I wish I was dead, I'd be better off dead, everyone would be better off if I was dead." I've come a long way since then. I have several different plans, most of which have been relatively "docile" up till now. For years I thought I would do a massive overdose. Until I learnt that many, many people overdose and still come back from it if they get to hospital long enough. My overdose would have to be of many different drugs, in huge quantities and I really am not sure if I can physically swallow that much. And I'm not sure if I could get to hospital fast enough and onto life support fast enough to live through the OD.
Whatever I do, it really must be the end of me, because I just couldn't face the consequences of living through a suicide attempt. The being declared unfit for practice, the mandatory institutionalisation in a mental health ward, the stigma and the being watched for the rest of my practicing life. Not to mention facing up to my family and friends. Chances are, my friends will be the ones trying to work out what drugs I've taken, pumping my stomach, putting me on life support and monitoring me.
Then I thought I would tell people I was going away for a weekend, then on the Friday night, run myself a hot bath, take a big, big dose of sedatives and painkillers and sit in my bath and slit my wrists and simply bleed out. By the time the working week started again and people realised I was missing, I would have bled out long ago.
But then I thought, even though there is a lovely, lovely way of dying, there is always that one in a million chance that someone might find me in time. I'd also have to not have a flatmate. So that's how I suddenly though, well, being hit by a train, that sounds very...final. And so I thought, if I'm going to be cremated anyway, I don't need to look good dead and so being hit by a train, that would be a very good way to go. And fast enough for me to not have a chance to change my mind. As you can see from my previous post, it is really a well developed plan.
I must be honest, I've never been more serious about killing myself. And I'm starting to get more of an urge to do it too. I always thought that I'd wait until I had done all my training and become a consultant, but I would be at least 35 years old. But I have always thought 27 was going to be my time to go. So maybe I will spend the next 5 years of my life just clinging on,
Fat Piggy, Leonie and Jackie: I am totally committed to losing the weight. Totally. But with each bit of weight I lose, I have a wee panic about what the professor will say. I don't want to upset him, really I don't. Because I am terribly fond of him, and he also has the power to halt my career whenever he wants to and force me into treatment.
But in saying that, in a strange way, I yearn for him to notice. Part of that is because I don't want him to forget about me from a career point of view, the other side of that is that I want him to care about me and if he's concerned about my weight, it makes me feel like he cares. But it is such an internal battle. What makes it worse is that the eating disorder is sort of just the tip of the iceberg. It may be the most evident one, but he has no inkling whatever of the depression, the self harm and the suicidal ideation. If he did, omg, I think he'd admit me to a mental health ward immediately.
When I worked for him earlier in the year, I was pretty upset for a variety of reasons, principle of which was my father losing his job. And he noticed. Immediately. Not only did he notice, he didn't let it go. When it was just the two fo us, he was constantly checking how I was, and trying to feed me. If he knew about the cutting and the suicidal ideation, I'd be lucky if all I got was beaten into the ground.
I live for his little compliments wrapped in love. Makes me feel cared for, and for a fleeting moment, makes me feel thin. Which, at the end of the day, is what we are all shooting for.