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Monday, August 23, 2010

Crashed but not Burned.

The car slowed down as I steered the wheel towards the left at the fork in the road only to unexpectedly see a stopped van. I slowed behind and to the right, waiting for the driver to make up his mind of whether or not to turn into the parking lot veered to the left.  Soon, a car behind me slowed and stopped, also waiting in anticipation.  All of a sudden, my head jolted back, as the front mirror flew towards the back of the car and the interior of the back side smashed against the windshield. There was a crash.  The next thing I knew my hands were gripped tightly around the steering wheel, as if I was holding on for dependence of my life, as my entire body shook, and went numb.  I turned around to see a man, of about 30, in tears as he rushed to grab his baby out of the car-seat and heard sirens sounding louder and louder as the police and ambulance approached the scene of the accident.  Thankfully, everyone was safe.

Car accidents are most frightening, perhaps because they are unexpected.  Now that I've calmed down, and the shock has subsided a bit, I lay in bed, physically stiff, but in a mental state of reflection.  As I first inspected the damage to the car, I couldn't help but think, 'Great, look what I've done. This is going to be so expensive to fix'. My dad's car, the one I was driving, was just inspected and fixed two days ago, and I've already managed to undo what was refurbished.  As I stood outside the car, legs trembling, hands shaking and body aching, I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Guilt and failure took hold of every thought and emotion.  I thought I had let my dad down, even though I knew the accident wasn't my fault.  'Why me?! Why can't I catch a break?' I cried.  Suddenly a familiar voice rang in my ear.  ED decided this was the perfect opportunity to make his first appearance of the day.  The sounds of the sirens dimmed as ED's voice crescendo'd deeming messages including, 'You fucked up. Your day is ruined. The stress, anxiety and guilt you feel will make you forget about your hunger, because you don't deserve to be fed'.  I froze.  Was I really going to let an unavoidable car accident prevent me from eating lunch?  Do the two even correlate?
car accident= no lunch
I think not.

The fear of the unknown daunts me with pain and panic.  The state I was in after the crash greatly resembles the state of my panic attacks, which provokes a thought-- and perhaps a method to the madness.  Anxiety exists in many forms, and panic attacks arise in a plethora of situations.  Whether it's attributed to the stress of a final exam, moving, eating a piece of cake, or being involved in a car accidnet, the physical sensations are exactly the same:
shortness of breath
difficulty swallowing
chest discomfort
abdominal pain
Seem familiar?

While I may be faced with such sensations in diverse situations, how I cope must remain consistent.  Starving myself won't help, shutting down and isolating sure won't make the situation better and binging and purging will only add to the loss of control I already feel.  I must breathe in. And breathe out. I must assess the situation, rationally, tearing myself away from the dichotomous (all or nothing) thoughts.  Then, I must pro-act, rather than react. 

So what did I do?  I called my dad, talked to the police and waited-- anxiously.  My dad picked me up, brought me home and called the insurance company to file the claim.  Now, I'm left with a choice to make.  I can either dwell on what happened, how it could have been avoided and what I did wrong.  Or I can accept the accident for what it is, remind myself that it was, after-all, just an accident in which no one was hurt, and enjoy a mindful and grateful lunch with my family.

(courtesy of CountryHarvest)
Take that, ED.


  1. I love how you kept your head up during this situation. Today has been a crazy day for lots of people it seems. I found out that I still have a job this semester and probably can't do my yoga teacher training. I am comforting myself by eating a delicious lunch before going back to campus. I could have chosen to be destructive. But that is not going to help anything at all. I second your last statement. Take that, ED!

  2. Gosh this sounds scary, I say good on you for not letting ED use it as way to creep in. To think and behave so constructively and positively in such a difficult situation takes alot of strength and you should be proud of yourself.

    Sarah x

  3. Car accidents are the scariest - I have been in a couple and there is nothing worse than the sound, and the feel of that impact.

  4. Hi! thanks for the add, i loving your blog!
    your words are so honest, it is horrible to think that in the midst of something as terryfing as a car accident, your mind automatically skips back to ED. believe me hun, ive been there. its not fun... but what we need to remember is that just because something happens that is beyond our control, we do not need to try and claim that control through food and restriction. It is only a temporary fix, we feel better cos we know we have regained some of our power, but its false security, because the power was never ours in the first place.

    i hope everything works out ok with the car, and well done for pulling through both physically and mentally. that takes courage and you shud be proud of yourself! :-)

  5. thank God everyone is okay and safe :)

    good for you for not letting ED take over, too.

  6. While I've never been in a car accident, I have like most people, thought of that happening and imagined how I would react. It's creepy because I think if it ever did happen, everything that went through your head, would probably go through mine as well. Which does give a little "method to the madness". What is it about this disorder that makes us correlate such guilt out of things and want to punish ourselves?

    I've had one panic attack in my life. It scared the sh*t out of me. I was still pretty into my disorder and I don't like thinking about how that could have continued to be a problem if I hadn't decided to finely take control and start getting healthy. It's a very scary feeling. If that's really how car accidents feel as well, it makes me understand how you felt more after the accident.
    I'm glad your okay though, and no one got hurt!
    <3 Tori

  7. Im so glad you aare ok, but how scary! Atleast it wasn't your fault! Sorry that had to happen tho, :(.

  8. What a scary experience! I would definitely be shaken if such a thing happened...I mean when I scratched my bumper slightly this summer I was in tears for over a day so I can only imagine how you felt. Good for you though for taking the higher road- sh!t happens and it's not worth the energy thinking what we could have done differently ESPECIALLY when it's an accident like this that happened to happen to you.
    Glad you're okay :)

  9. so glad you are ok doll! this makes me want to appreciate all the people and things in my life, and be thankful for being alive! Thinking of you, keep calm sweets. All my love!

  10. What a stressful experience, Rebecca. I do not have a drivers licence, but it must have been horrible to be involved in such a accident.
    However, it was not your fault - to look for people or things to blame does no good. Take it as a sign that you are meant to be alive, and continue to grow as a human.

    You are to feel more than proud over how you rationalized your feelings, and managed to see that to starve yourself due to an unexpected happening, or due to anything at all, is NOT right. That thought does not represent you, it is a disorded force trying to break you down again. We all need, that is not to be dependent on any extern factor. We need food, simple and difficult as that. To use food as a way of coping with what happens in our lives does no good. Food is to give us life, and to sustain our lives.
    You will make this, I can feel you taking steps in the right direction with every post of yours. You are changing in a beautiful and positive way, and your ability to see what is rational and what is not is increasing.

    Keep fighting, you are awesome.


  11. So glad you are ok...what a scary experience! I think you made some very wise reflections, and it just goes to show that you are growing! :-) Love and hugs!

  12. Good job on not letting the ED control you during such a scary situation. I'm glad you were able to rationalize and think everything through.
    I'm glad that you weren't hurt!

  13. You are so inspiring to me. I'm glad you were able to handle the situation the way you did and very glad that no one was hurt. KUDOS FOR SHOVING ED IN THE FREAKING FACE :)

    thanks for all your support!!!!

  14. I'm so glad you're ok honey and that you beat that ED despite it's raging head! hugs honey! i know you can keep doing it!

  15. Oh my gosh, I'm so glad you're okay! I can't even imagine how unnerving that must have been. The most important thing is that no one was hurt and that you didn't give in to ED when it made an appearance.. forget about ME being inspiring, look at YOU!

  16. I am so glad that you are okay!!! *hugs* That sounds so scary. You should be so proud of yourself for resisting ED in such a traumatic situation- you are so strong and resilient! Your commitment to your recovery is inspirational and beautiful. Keep up the good work! <3

  17. wow that is horrific and glad you are safe but of course, it's extremely jarring to witness and be a part of. hugs!!

  18. Take that, ED. One for Becca, nil for ED! I hope you're all right! I've been in a car accident before, and it really isn't pleasant, to say the least! The accident isn't your fault, so don't let ED or anxiety get to you!

    Take care, lovie!!! xoxo

  19. that's right! don't let ED seize this opportunity to berate and criticize you! it's part of his evil ways. the accident wasn't your fault, so don't let ED make you believe something that's not true.


  20. wow, i'm so glad you're okay! good for you for staying present and not letting ED back in :)

  21. oh my god, i'm so glad you're alright! was the accident actually your fault though? it doesn't sound like it, but then again maybe i misunderstood... if it wasn't your fault then you have absolutely NO reason to feel guilty at all! but i know, ed doesn't like to listen to logical thinking and will blame you anyways.

    your realization that reacting with immediate anxiety is irrational is amazing and the fact that you were able to overcome your distorted thoughts says SO MUCH about how far you've come. i'm so proud and inspired and in awe!

    you're a total warrior princess, foreal.

  22. i am just so relieved that you are alright! and i am glad u also didn't restrict afterwards. This is a bump in the road, and you are so strong so I know for a fact you wil get through it! love youu

  23. bec, so glad you're okay! and soo super proud of you for not letting ED take advantage of the situation -- I know how easy that can be! You're my rock -- love ya :) <3

  24. I am so glad you are safe!! Don't feel bad about the crash, especially because it wasn't your fault. But DO feel GREAT about how you defied ED by eating your lunch you deserved!! Way to go!!

    Praying for you, feel better soon,


  25. I think one of the most accurate signs of moving towards recovery is how you choose to behave in intensely emotional moments. It looks like you passed with flying colors.
    I've been in a number of car accidents over the years, only one serious, thank god, and I've yet to get fully used to the sound of metal on metal...hopefully I won't have the opportunity to get too accustomed to them :)

  26. First of all, I'm glad you're okay! Car accidents are terrifying. And you handled the situation unbelievably well. You should should be so proud of yourself!

  27. Oh my gosh Rebecca! I am so glad that you are ok. From the looks of the car, that must have been so terrifying!

    I think this whole post is just golden. You are such a strong and inspiring girl, recognizing your anxiety and disordered thoughts for exactly what they are and not letting them unfluence your actions. It's a whole different ball game to bring recovery into 'unplanned' events, and you pulled it off with flying colors :)

    <3 Tat

  28. Holy moly! How scary. I'm so glad you and everyone else involved is okay. I'm proud of the way you handled the situation. XOXO

  29. Oh my :O I am glad you are ok lovely that must of been so scary :(

    Stay strong :)


  30. I am so glad you are okay. Great job on not letting ED get to you!

  31. *hugs* I'm glad you're safe hun. That's the most important thing! I guess this incident only serves to remind us how life is so fragile and we can lose what we have in an instant. Let's remember to embrace life and live it as best we can!

    I'm so proud of you for being able to stay mindful of ED's potential to take control of the situation. It goes to show how strong you are! Take care Rebecca and don't stop fighting!


  32. OH no... so sorry you had to be in this situation. So glad you're OK and I admire the way you handle this and at the same time learn from it. Take care girl, you're super strong!

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

  33. Oh god, I'm glad you're ok! And I'm glad you coped the way you did. It's all too easy to let the stress/anxiety get to you and infect other areas of your life. Be happy you're safe, enjoy the time/lunch with your family, and move on (because that's all you can do) :)

  34. Car accidents are always scary no matter how serious the damage. It seems like your dad was calm, composed and understanding. What's done is done, there's no sense in dwelling. Keep your head up m'dear.

  35. So glad you are okay!!!!!!! So scary! And way to show that ED who's boss! ;)

  36. wow, I'm so happy to hear you're okay and that it sounds like your handling this as well as possible!...

  37. I've never been in a car accident, but when my dad was in one I felt terrified just hearing about it... so I can't imagine how scared you must have felt. But it seems like you're doing a great job of coping with it! Acting on your ED feelings may seem like an easy way to deal with the stress and anxiety, but it can only cause more problems in the long run. Glad you're okay!

    And thanks for your comment the other day; I don't get compliments like yours often and it means a lot! Be back soon. x

  38. I've been in a car accident. They leave you shaky and feeling vulnerable. I'm really you're ok.

  39. Car accidents are scary--they leave you with a feeling that is hard to describe! I'm so glad you are okay!
    Isn't it amazing when you defy ED? Amazing!

    PS thanks for your amazing comments :)