Light Switch

Currently the power is out in my neighborhood. Weird how seemingly insignificant events like these make us more aware, alert even. I have discussed my anxiety here before. When it was almost “healed” (the only term that seems to fit), I thought I was better, I was “brave”. Turns out stopping treatment for my issues was premature. I went to Florida to participate in the Disney College Program (which by the way is a wonderful experience). It turns out I was only “healed” enough to function at home, in a safe controlled environment, but when my structured life was thrown a curve ball, I was thrown into the dark much like I’m sitting in now. I lost control.
For those of you who do not know me well, my anxiety forces me to want control in all aspects of my life. Clearly that task proves impossible, but I still try. My eating disorder returned, not anorexia or bulimia but a disorder called “AFRID” which stands for Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, simply put a fear of eating. My fear stems from my food allergies which as I stated, I’ve discussed before. I feel like I’m allergic to everything. Even though I’ve been tested for other allergies, the fear persists. I proceeded in my last few weeks in Orlando to eat only toast, rice and occasionally broccoli. My water intake narrowed to one very forced cup a day. I refused eating in public. I feared people finding out and not understanding. Depression kicked in because as my doctor explained “malnourishment leads to lack of energy, sleep and ability to function properly”. I began feeling lost, like I would never beat this. There were days I would hide in my room and cry. I was failing at my dream of working in Disney. I was failing, not a concept I deal well with. I loved Disney World since childhood. I met wonderful people during my program. I had five amazing roommates whom I miss terribly and honestly I would not have made it as long as I did without their kindness. I really owe them more than they know. I made the choice to come home, probably the hardest choice I’ve made thus far.
Since I’ve been home, I attend an average of 3 doctors appointments every week. I eat about 2 meals a day and even though I know that is not enough, I am slowly gaining back my strength and my mental function. It is difficult. I thought that I was better and starting back at square one scares me, but I force myself to wake up every day and try. Try to eat. Try to live. I thank God every day that I don’t have a reaction, every day that I can eat, every day that I have an amazing support team of family, friends and two puppies who make me smile. Thank you to those people who remind to choose living in the light even when it is easier to stay in the dark. Hopefully the power is back on soon. As Dumbledore said, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”.