I was an angel, gracefully floating through cotton candy clouds while tasting the sweet flakes as they melted on my tongue. White covered every landscape and object in sight-- it was a winter wonderland, it had to have been, nothing else could possibly amount to the quiet, subtle perfection.. Warmth, love and a smile radiated from within me as it projected, creating a glow around me. Certainly, I was an invincible angel around 6 years of age without a worry in the world. I had me and the fields of cotton candy that would catch me if I fell. That's how my Saturday afternoon was spent.
Little did I know, all would change with the sun as it set.
Julie & Julia played on the television, a radiant fire warmed the room and I was cuddled up next to my mother and sister buried in blankets. It was the perfect ending to a heavenly day. All of a sudden I started shivering. "Is it cold in here?" "Uhh, no want another blanket?" My mother had a blank yet subconsciously confused look on her face. Why was I the only one who felt the chill in the room? The shivers turned to shakes, causing my joints to hurt. I had to get upstairs and to bed before anyone noticed. But by the time I had reached the top of the stairs, an anxiety/panic (what's the difference?) surfaced, and I was scared. I yelled a subtle and weak scratchy cry for help, thinking, 'oh no, this is what Dr. Stayer warned me of. She said I could go into cardiac arrest. Is this it? Am I dying?' I tried to remain calm, but a terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, also known as nausea, warned me I was in trouble. I cried over and over again until my mother found me curled up on my bed, shaking and in tears of desperation. "What's happening to me, mom? Something is not right, I think I need help!" My mother rushed back downstairs to my father, urging him to call the hospital. It was at that moment that an anomalous urge prompted me to envision my life. I actually tried to watch my life flash before my eyes (a little very dramatic, I know). If my eternal fate was near I wanted to be sure my mother was by my side. I called for her in great desperation and fear for my life-- literally. A few moments later I was bundled in a straight jacket of blankets and on my way to the Emergency Room-- ah, my favorite place.. Let the sticking, plugging and needle stabbing begin.
An hour or so later, once my heart rate was brought down to a stable level, I was released and sent home with my parents. Blood tests returned with negative results, fluids were replenished through an IV and the never failing drug, Ativan, eased the anxiety and brought out a silly, loopy Rebecca. Sunday morning I woke up with chills and a 103.5 fever, and I've been sick ever since.
Rather than dramatize my not-so interesting nor 'special' life, I thought about the impact of this winter weekend experience. Earlier today my therapist called and said, "If it's not this, it's something else. It's always something." It seems all odds are against me. Does fate want me to consider a withdrawal from school yet another semester? It seems every week, there is another force holding me back from successful weight gain and recovery, even when I am motivated. I suppose each challenge that arises reminds me to try that much harder, because God believes I can do it. I received another call today from my dad and he said, "No one will punish you for being sick and unable to eat." I abruptly replied, "Yes, I will be punished. I won't be allowed to go back to school." Concerned now, he preached, "Not if you are sick and can't eat". And you know what I responded with? I (not ED) told my father the excuse just would not do-- it wasn't good enough for me. I promised I'd try my very hardest to gain this weight despite any obstacle.
There are lessons to be learned from this weekend's experience. First, just when you think you've hit rock bottom, you may fall a little more.. Secondly, when you do fall that extra distance, you'd be amazed at the miraculous appearance of strength. Strength is on your side when all else seems loss, I am sure of it. So when you're going through hell, just keep going. You'll make it-- eventually. And give fate a fighting chance.
"I just looked out my window. And I still saw a winter wonderland."