Sunday, September 30, 2012

Words of Wisdom

A good friend once told me a German quote by Theresa von Avila, “Sei freundlich zu Deinem Körper, damit deine Seele Lust hat, darin zu wohnen.” Which, when translated into English, comes to be, “Nourish your body, so that your soul longs to live in it.” This saying, this very valid and important piece of knowledge, should really be taken to heart, like loved ones you adore and only wish the best for, as it is vital that one looks after their mental wellbeing and health. 

It should really be a quote to live by, almost like a life motto, reminding you of the necessity to treating your body correctly to ensure a superb wellbeing overall. This saying should, in fact, expand to become a life lesson, like one of the Ten Commandments that Jesus deemed necessary for living a full-filled life and focused on how others should be treated while not forgetting oneself in the situation. The quote most definitely has become one for me considering what I am going through at the moment. This quote opened my eyes to the healthy relationship between food and your body that I tried to attain at first, but fell victim to a disorder that did more harm than good. It perfectly describes that a health relationship with food is a necessity to feel well and be a in a good place mentally.

I adore, as well as, swear by this saying and my belief in its requisite to follow the information it exudes, is only enhanced by the experience I am currently having to endure; the process of not only gaining my life back, but my health as well, since I fell victim to the terrible disorder known as anorexia nervosa. 

Eating disorders in general, not just anorexia nervosa, the one I suffer from, try to take over one’s mental state and mind by forcefully placing its very powerful, manipulative voice into your mind, that constantly trying to manipulate you, making you give in and accept the demands and ideas set out by that horrid voice, putting your body and health on the line by making them suffer tremendously.

Yesterday was another good reminder to me as to how much truth, knowledge, and wisdom is prevalent in this saying that I have decided to make a focal point in my new room once the apartment is done renovating, making it visible for visitors while simultaneously functioning as a daily reminder to myself as to how each and everyday should start and end , a lot like a school system where a strict set of guidelines that need to be set and followed. As my apartment is currently being renovated, it will be all done and looking fresh and fabulous, like any lady walking down fifth avenue in Manhattan, for when I leave this intensive station with a healthy body and mind, to start my new life in new surroundings - a fresh-start to my new life. Although the voice will remain, like an alarm clock constantly trying to dictate your life’s schedule; only that I will be stronger and not willing to give into it, that nasty little rascal can rot away up there for all I care. When I leave here, I will leave this hospital ready to embrace my whole life in my new surroundings with a new mindset that centers around this powerful quote.

So I’m here to share it with you bloggers out there because I feel that it’s important to inform others just how horrid eating disorders are, as they are often neglected as being a serious illness, but just look at the statistics. According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover. Lastly, 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems. I find it unfathomable how eating disorders are often pushed aside as minor cases; they should generally be taken more seriously like cancer.

All I can share from personal experience is that it is absolutely and one hundred percent correct. If you do not nourish your body correctly, you will not feel well mentally and might even end up depressed. Last night I had a long, agonizing discussion with the doctor from the station. I’ve been placed here, at the best intensive psychiatric ward of the country, not because I’m not cooperating 110 %, but because my body and all its functions are so ruined and damaged, like the most exquisite and marvelous chocolate box you can think of that you accidentally drop on the street an have a car run over them, leaving them with nothing but the remnants, which in my case, were my bones.

I was skeletal beyond belief, so bony, and so malnourished upon my arrival, that it is still unfathomable for me to grasp, even yet I am incapable of looking at pictures of myself at my lowest point; I documented my story with them so I can never stop bawling my eyes by seeing how far anorexia had me in its grasp. Here’s to list of a few of the severe conditions that have resulted from the mistreated my body for so long. Not only did all my organs start to fail, my liver especially, reaching a value of over 1800, where the normal adult range lies between 5-40 IU/L. My kidney wasn’t looking to great either. Due to coagulopathy throughout my body, my stomach and upper legs turned purple. My blood count is still suffering immensely, as I have significant lack of white blood cells, which made the doctor’s question whether I developed leukemia or not. Thanks to an injection of antibodies into my stomach, the white blood cell level rose again. Not that my red blood cells were any better, as I needed to have two blood transfusions done yesterday. Today I will find out of my blood count and whether or not it is getting better. My messed up blood count is so worrisome that I an still on strict bed rest to ensure that I get in contact with as little toxins as possible. While the organs are starting to heal in a very tiring and agonizing process, I have no clue what to say towards my blood count.

So to close off this post, as you can see from my experience, it is vital to nourish and treat your body like a temple to ensure a stable wellbeing. I genuinely hope that you will never fall victim to one. These disorders are detrimental to your health, regardless of the specific one that has chosen to try to destroy your life.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

First ‘meal’ in more than a month of being nose fed

Last night was a highlight in my recovery process and a milestone in eventually pushing anorexia nervosa out of my life for good, like you would an ex-boyfriend after finding him cheating on you several times with different girls out of sheer boredom he claims, even though you were always there for him, loving him dearly and comforting him in times of solace; almost like an eating disorder voice, only instead of whispering soothing phrases into your ears, it looks down on you, scrutinizing every flaw that you have as a person - both personality and body wise. “You’re a fat pig, you don’t deserve to eat that.” “Do you really need to eat that last bit of carrot? It’ll only end up on your thighs and make you fatter,” You disgusting fat cow deserve nothing.” Having to battle this voice continuously twenty-four-seven requires strength and endurance, like serious athletes training for the Olympics. It’s agonizing pain and tough work that I have to endure on a daily basis. 

The meal I was about to scarf down - as I was anxiously anticipating the doctor’s final approval of being able to eat something - if you could even call it that at all, was cauliflower soup with one piece of rusk. Both were things I loved to eat before my eating disorder. It is a special light diet I am on, as my eating regiment here is being monitored very precisely, even several times daily. 

The importance here is that I chose to eat this willingly and without being forced to, astounding not only my father but the helpers as well. That was last night’s enormous victory; mostly for my mentality, as it showed how strong and determined I have become through my stay here; especially after my ‘rebirth’ on September 18, with the whole idea behind 2 days, half a body that shocked me to death, and still does.

Finally, real food I thought; something other than being tube fed. I felt a sense of relief, of ultimately doing something against these hunger signals that have been foreign to me since August 2011 when this all started; that I’ve been having these past few days. It was another baby step in the right direction, definitely.

The experts here have told me countless times that the time will come when I can eat on top of my meals that I am given through a nose tube. For the past four weeks, I had gotten my meals - breakfast, lunch, dinner with three snacks in between - via this tube that I so desperately wanted to get rid off at first, as I was not fully choosing to recover until September 18, my new beginning, like a pup wanting to rid itself of its cocoon only to evolve into a beautiful, breathtakingly butterfly. 

All I want is to enjoy and feel normal around food again, which will take its time. During these past few weeks, I have been having very few hunger signals, yet wasn’t allowed to eat anything as the re-feeding process is very complicated and there is plentiful of monitoring involved - my blood work, organs as well as the calories and the amount of liquid that my body is allowed to consume don a daily basis to ensure that everything is heading in the right direction and that no complications or drawbacks arouse. I am not saying that drawbacks haven’t happened, as they have, but I have full faith in the experts here.

So yesterday night, I was informed by the doctors that I finally reached the critical weight where I am allowed, not forced, but allowed, to eat a light diet in addition, that solely consists of one piece of rusk with my morning meal, and soup and another piece of rusk for both my lunch and evening meal. It might not seem like a lot to you or anyone else, but that fact that I chose to eat this willingly on top of my regular portion that I receive through the tube for my main meals is unbelievable; so much that my father started crying as he was unable to comprehend what was happening, Me, who has fasted fifteen days at times, was choosing to eat even though the need was no there; but I’ve been having hunger signals for the past few days - which, have been nonexistent for as long as I can remember - and I want to get better, so I sporadically decided to challenge not only myself but my eating disorder as well. And that my friends, is a huge step in my recovery process as I won and my eating disorder lost once again, like the Portuguese soccer team when they face the unbeatable Spanish team with goalie of the year, and one my favorites, Ilker Casillas. 

It felt amazing to be able to eat real food again after such a long time of being fed via this tube - that not only makes me look like an alien, with it hanging down from my nose while being fixated on my right cheek, but it also means that I have made enough progress on the gaining front to not only rely on the tube anymore - and the meal itself was quite delicious if I may say so. 

As previously mentioned, my father was sitting next to me while I ate - watching my every move - on my bed, as bed rest is still an issue, completely incapable of grasping the situation; of my sheer willpower and determination to stand on my own two feet again without needing the constant supervision and daily lab work that needs to be done here. The same can be said for the helpers who were here for their night shift. They were tremendously proud of me and I couldn’t believe how delighted they are of my mindset for being so willing to accept treatment, unlike many of the other seven patients here.

The reason behind being solely nose fed for such a long timeframe is because at the hospital I was in prior, they started to put my body through what is known as the ‘re-feeding syndrome’ in which it is very likely that you end up in a coma and die. As part of the re-feeding syndrome,  you are given a certain amount of calories via a nose tube on top of regular meals and portion sizes that your body is unable to process this correctly. Your inner organs, all their functions and your blood work are so destroyed because it they been used to nothing for so long and the sudden dramatic influx in calories leads to the coma. Had I not gotten one of the eight beds here, I would not have survived; which I later found out through the doctors here and that information is completely hard to take in still, and tremendously shocking to think about how close I came to dying. They gave me two days, at most, if I had stayed at the psychiatric station there. I mean, I would have never seen my mother, or brother, or any other loved ones for that matter, ever again.

It’s been three weeks yesterday that I thankfully received a place here at the intensive psychiatric ward, the best in all of Austria. Only here are they able to nurse my body back to health; it is nowhere near healthy still, but I am no longer under a complete life and death situation; it is still life-threatening though. Blood tests, careful calorie and liquid counting, ECKs, ECGs, as well as daily talks among the four doctors that specialize in anorexia nervosa with two of the top dietitians in the country, occur on a daily basis to ensure that everything in my recovery is moving relatively smoothly.

Upon my arrival here, my caloric intake over the tube was lowered immediately that I continued to lose weight, but was a necessary step to avoid the outcome that would’ve occurred had I not been brought here due to the previously mentioned re-feeding syndrome that had started at the other hospital. Over the course of the last three weeks, my weight as well as everything else regarding my body, has been monitored several times a day to ensure that there are no signs of major complications. 

Also during this three week period, the caloric value that I received increased several times, I wouldn’t know how much or when, as the words weight and calories are strictly prohibited to be talked about between these specialists and me, like the word Voldemort is generally avoided in Harry Potter; they are simply not mentioned. I find it beneficial as I haven’t thought about my weight or how many calories I’ve been consuming. 

This process has been horrible for that eating disoedwe voice up there, yelling, screaming, cussing at me that I’m only getting fatter and am a failure, a worthless piece of blob that does not need to exist. But you know what? Those voices can go down the drain, because again, ever since September 18, my mentality has witnessed a onehundredaandeighty degree switch and I am now fully accepting recovery and the agonizing process of waiting it out here in this psychiatric ward, and to diminish the voice that remains, talking down on my twenty-four-seven - nothing but horrid images, thoughts and demands to me - as much as I can through distractions. 

It is unsure of how long I still need to stay here as weight gain and how fast your body heals and recovers after such a life-threatening situation is unknowing, it is unable to predict and say exactly how long I have to remain here. At least I have reached the first step, and to think that took three weeks is unfathomable, but I am now allowed to eat the given small light diet portions previously mentioned to my main meals that I get via the tube. The next step is to weigh enough to be able to not have bed rest anymore. That’s all I know for now, as the doctors don’t want to promise me anything unrealistic as to my dismissal, so they only let me know what the next step is. It is an agonizing process, but one I need to endure, even when times are tough.

Maybe my blog makes it seem easy to choose recovery, because I try to stay positive on it. It takes so much strength to fight and endure this long and agonizing process, but I know that it is worth it in the end, for I will gain my health and life back. Being on bed rest for three weeks and more to come; having your phone taken away; only being able to communicate through internet; limited space for personal belongings, that need to first be checked by the team in case there is something they consider detrimental in any of the patient’s recoveries; to only having a little night stand; to being forced to wear lumpy old potato-sacks when you are stuck on bed rest; the other patients here, where some, like the ‘new’ arrival that was in my room for a night that I mentioned, scare me to death that I continuously cry myself to sleep; those are the conditions that I deal with on a daily basis.

The purpose of this blog is for me to vent my feelings regarding my recovery. For me, it is a form of therapy as it helps get all the thoughts out of my head and onto paper, or in this case, the blog. 

Recovery is anything but an easy process, if it were, the death rate of anorexia wouldn’t be so incredibly high. But right now, with my mindset, and the baby steps that I am so courageously taking and making, I can sometimes already see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that’s something I’ve not been able to say since August 2011, when this all started to ruin my life.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Today is a good day, I know it

Not only was the relatively new patient from yesterday, the one that successfully robbed me of my much needed beauty sleep two nights ago, forced to move into the other jail-like room that presumably looks exactly like the one I am living in for the time being, only that I cannot justify and reassure this theory, unlike Ohm’s Law or Wien’s Law in physics, as I am still on bed rest and have not seen anything else of this station except the room, my home for the time being, well a quarter of it anyway. 

Why did I bring physics into the equation you must be wondering? Well, it's because I have started reviewing physics and that’s about the only suitable reason I can think of for the time being if that makes sense.

Regardless, the new arrival from the day before yesterday left my room, thank heavens, to be brought to the other one, where the more severe cases are stationed, those who accept their appropriate treatment the least and are a constant pain in the ass, excuse the language, disrupting the whole station at times; almost like a little kid crying, begging his parents to let him eat anything but that yucky creamy spinach that supposedly makes you as big and muscular as our good old friend Popeye - which we all know is a lie - that he is forced to choke down nonetheless. 

As was already brought up, that infuriating rascal was transported to the other room with severe difficulty, as he was transferred there by 6 mighty male helpers while being chained to his bed. None of us three girls were sad to see him leave our humble abode in anyway, as we eagerly awaited the arrival of the new patient at noon yesterday: an elderly lady with severe depression. That is good news for me, although I must say that I hope that the women can see the light at the end of the tunnel as well, because for one, it finally is an all girls room and I will ultimately be able to have my long awaited beauty sleep that keeps me sane and reinforces not only my mentality but strength towards the voice that has made itself at home in my mind as well. 

By having gotten a good night’s rest of pure, heavenly sleep in which I lay completely still, fixated on the deep slumber I was in during the night; today already started out splendid. Right now, it is 7 am, everything is still quiet as the morning routing of weighing and measuring pulse, blood pressure, etc. is not until 8, and I am sitting here, jotting down my thoughts like I always do; it has become almost like a ritual. A ritual I enjoy.

During one’s sleep, your mind stores all necessary information that happened the previous day, reinforcing you that you made the right choice by accepting recovery. It therefore cannot be unfathomable, that it is immediately a better day mentality wise when I get a good night’s rest, ridding my mind of all horrid thoughts.

I am currently relaxing on my bed, listening to non other than Ed Sheeran, who is also a comfort to me when I’m feeling down. As I got a solid ten hours of undisturbed, heavenly sleep, it left me clear minded regarding to where I stand with recovery as well as the feeling of being reinvigorated too.

The sun is slowly starting to greet me with its wonderful presence on this generous autumn day, that when I look outside my window I can see the sunlight reflect off of the leaves that are slowly turning to a mixture of reds and yellows, away from the green, symbolizing that change is coming. And I could not agree more, as this change is not only occurring in nature, but with me as well. I am getting healthier and stronger day by day and will soon be able to stop being fed via the nose tube, as my organs are still not completely up to par with all their functions. Yet they are getting better as I am nourishing my body and I actually cannot await the day they do. I earnestly ask the doctors on a daily basis, but their comments always end up something like this, “you are getting there soon, we (doctors) discuss it amongst us everyday but the damage that you have put your body through requires a slow and steady process to hopefully successfully avoid as many complications as possible.” Regardless, I am eager, like a toddler awaiting to open his ginormous stack of gifts that he is more than capable of hiding behind as a whole, anticipating the day I can eat real food again. 

Being woken by the sun is a glorious thing and I had the pleasure of that today, naturally putting me in a good mood and mindset - that’s the most important aspect. With today’s excellent start to the day, I’m sure that the rest will be just as pleasant and my mindset will only get stronger as the day progresses and comes to a close, diminishing and drowning that horrid voice. 

To add onto today’s already long list of positivity is the reality that my father is arriving in Vienna this afternoon and staying for the weekend. I have been apart from my close family for so long, that I wholeheartedly await the moment he walks through the door to greet me this late afternoon; eagerly anticipating the moment, like a puppy salivating and anxiously waiting for his goodies after having learned a new trick - to roll over.

My 'little' brother and me

To top it off, it’s my brother’s sixteenth birthday today; the sweet sixteenth that everyone awaits. Although I’m sad that I’m not there in Tokyo beside him, I know he’ll have a blast, he always does. I’ll be thinking of him all day. My God, sixteen years! My little brother’s growing up! I hope that my amazing, I must admit, presents make up for my lack of presence. Don’t get too crazy tonight Kle and we definitely need to re-celebrate when I see you next. Hope Tokyo isn’t made to unsafe tonight! I love you to death and I don’t know what I’d do without you, really. You give me so much strength during this whole process. I really hope that your sixteenth birthday is a BLAST. Enjoy it.

All these wonderful events are occurring today, so there is no need for me to be negative in anyway. That voice can go hide in a corner for all I care, as today is a day of celebration and sheer positivity. How about that ED? Yeah, thought so.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Comfort, that's all I crave

It’s hard to be all alone when times are rough, whether it be about the fight you just had over the phone with your boyfriend, accusing him of cheating, to laying in bed at an intensive psychiatric care station where you are bawling your eyes out, crying yourself to sleep every night. Nobody deserves to be left alone with their feelings, ever, and if the opportunity presents itself to call loved ones, please do so, as the feelings of being loved are magically radiated through the phone, leaving you with more courage and willpower than before.

At this intensive psychiatric ward, the best in the country, people don’t come here willingly, usually. They are forced to be brought under through court orders and all that jazz because they are in severe danger of themselves and/or others. 

But I came here willingly, that is the main difference in distinguishing me from the other 7 patients here. Only these specialists, at this unit, have the knowledge and the know-how to nurse me back to health. I am fully accepting recovery as I want to be able to live again, to run around carelessly through the meadows with friends on a warm sunny day, enjoying that nice little picnic as the sun sets over the horizon without having to worry about the numbers that have destroyed my life last year - weight, calories, and BMI.

As the other patients were forced to be brought here, they obviously don't want to accept the treatment that would however, benefit them tremendously; giving them the satisfaction of gaining their life back as well, regardless of which mental disorder, such as major depressive disorder, a different type of eating disorder, or bipolar disorder, they have fallen victim to. Like previously said, what distinguishes me from these 7 other people is that I am accepting the treatment and cooperating, like the Spanish soccer team does when facing opponents, continuously passing the ball successfully and communicating efficiently, like a team, with the experts here; slowly gaining my life back

The others, especially new arrivals, scare me to death and do not share my current state of mind. They often have to be chained to their bed so that they cannot run away like a deer would, if it noticed that it were being hunted. They are brought here under court order, and are given medication upon medication to try to get them to quieten and eventually fall sleep. And hopefully, through a long and agonizing process, not only for themselves but the others in the room like me as well, as we have to witness this madness, they too will realize that they are ill and need these specialists to get better.

The new arrival from yesterday was especially tough on me emotionally. Not only were extra strong male helpers from other stations notified and brought in to lock him down on his bed while the newly arrived, six foot tall man, just stood there standing colossal, ready to embrace the challenge - like one of the villain’s in those children’s movies that always ends up failing - yelling and screaming in a gibberish of really foul swear words and German with a heavy Russian accent. The good news is, he’s finally asleep, as he has been forced to have a vast array of medications. Yet the worst news is that he lays opposite of me in this four bed jail-like looking room. Thank God for the curtains that are capable of dividing the room into four, saving me from witnessing something so horrid. 

This all happened this night, shortly after visiting hours were over at 8 pm, so no one was there to console me, to tell me that things would be fine, like a mother comforts and solaces her youngest after she misplaces her barbie somewhere in their lovely family household. 

I had no one, it was dark and nighttime. I was, and still am, scared of this patient lying across from me. I’m scared of how he will act, of what he is capable of doing; that I’ve been crying nonstop, with tears jotting down my cheeks like waterfalls. I wanted to leave, to be with someone I trust as the situation was anything but pleasant, yet I know that I need to be here because of what I have put my body through this past year.

I was stuck.

I am now sitting here in my bed, alone, crying, having anxiety attacks and simply being scared to death to say the least; I was emotionally worn down to the extreme. Yes, I was alone with regards to the people around me, but my favorite stuffed animal never leaves my side, and while it may sound childish and immature, it gives me comfort when I need it most. I finally feel at ease holding onto my favorite, worn-down, big, fluffy stuffed animal with dear life, inhaling his scent, like a child who runs to his mommy, for reassurance that everything is going to be okay. 

Friedolin, My Savior

What I get when I cuddle Friedolin, the loveliest carrot stuffed animal there is, is coziness, support, comfort, and I finally feel at ease and the idea that everything will be all right begins to settle in my mind; that it’s worth it to keep going with recovery, even when times are tough. Because Friedolin gives me the comfort and reassurance that I so desperately crave and long for, like a chocolate-lover and his obsession with anything chocolate covered.

Friedolin lies next to me in my bed every night, being my comforter for when I am all alone, enabling me to doze off into a deep slumber, only to wake up fully refreshed and positive for the day to come, to not only get healthier but stronger as well. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


As night starts to dawn on us, and the birds disappear, everything becomes more sinister automatically, without even trying to. Same goes for that voice trying to control me. But I'm stronger than it, in fact, I know I am. I am one of the most strong-willed people that I know, and I'm sure that my parents would agree; so I see no reason to give into this voice that sits on my shoulder, whispering horrid phrases into my ears. But I refuse to listen to that gibberish; I chose recovery and am at it 100 % even if the times are hard. I need to keep reminding myself of this. Of my mentality and where I'm headed, even in tough situations.

Today's been a rough day here at the hospital because of new patients and triggers, but so what? That's no reason for me to falter. In fact, why not make it a glorious moment? Where you successfully laugh and point down at that voice, having a marvelous time. Whether it be reading a good book like I am now (three weeks with my brother by Nicholas Sparks) and not being able to find the urge to stop, to talking to your best friend or loved one over skype, who ensures you that you are indeed loved. 

Those are the things I have to focus on, the positive's. I have a family that loves me and literally flies halfway around the world to see me as much as possible, my friends are my back bone, fighting along with me, and I have the support of so many through such a tough time. I'm getting healthier, gaining weight, and my organs are starting to get better. That's all I need to worry about.

Tonight, I will go to sleep with a smile on my face. Just like tomorrow, the day after and so on. Wanna know why? Because I chose life.

Like this, a genuine smile.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Night Time

It gets worse as the day starts to end, when even the birds decide that it’s late and return to their nests. That feeling of lust and the generosity that the day has distributed, are diminished by the oncoming darkness of the moon; making appear dimmer and darker. No longer are the shopping streets overcrowded with tourists, shopaholics and the occasional spouse that is desperately looking for a present for his beloved. Only a few remain, struggling with their already large stacks of bags to venture through the last few stores. On the road, traffic dims down tremendously, where also only the last few vehicles prevail, delivering the final meals to families too lazy to cook. Everyone else is home bound, longing for that cozy and warm feeling that spreads throughout one’s haven. 

That leaves me. 
Only me; all by myself.

And it’s dreadful as the voices get louder and harder to fight off.
I have no one to talk to, left alone on an empty road, with dimming lights and nothing but a few meager unidentifiable small creatures.

It could be worse, couldn’t it?

I have to keep remembering this, it's only upwards from here.

2 days, half a body.

A New Beginning - September 18, 2012

Slowly forcing myself to walk closer and closer to the scale upon the admission to the Allgemeines Krankenhaus; to finally managing to stand on one in an upright position felt like a success to me, as scales are not a friend of mine; all they do is torture me. I was too afraid of the number I’d have to see and deal with, but knew I had to endure. I was being forced into the path of recovery one more time. The first exchange I had with a doctor there told me that I only had 2 more days to live, if even. Two days, think of all the wonderful opportunities you would miss out on if your time was as limited as this. Hearing that, while seeing that number on the lamella that has haunted and tortured my life for this past year, it was then that I realized this needed to change. 36 kilograms is all I cam think. Thirty-six, just that number. I was numb. I couldn’t even fathom that that was now just half of what I weighed almost a year ago, a healthy 74 kilograms for a seventeen year old girl. We all know that there is no such thing as half a person. It is ridiculous what I made my body suffer and have to endure in this one year that ruined not only my life, but all those around me as well. I literally lost half of myself. But the worst part is, I hadn’t noticed although it was undeniable that I had.

Somehow, having heard those two numbers Two and Thirty-Six, miraculously brought me back. Me, the real Hannah. 

I still have a long way to go to be fully recovered, because I have to face my biggest fear of eating several times a day.

But I can do this. I am stronger than this.