Surfacing After Silence

Life. After.

Laughter in the face of catastrophe


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What is okay to laugh at and what isn’t?  I think that’s been the root of a couple recent entries that have garnered a lot of comments.  Is it okay to laugh about the eating disorder?  Where do you draw the line?

Humor is a coping skill.  It takes the edge off pain, makes the unendurable durable.

Sometimes.

When it comes to medical issues, most of the humor is black humor.  ICD actually stands for Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator.  I have one of these inside of my chest.  I also have a T-shirt with ICD written in an oval–like the stickers you find on cars.  Yes, it stands for what ICD actually stands for, but it also stands for the euphemism among cardiac patients: I Can’t Die.

 

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No Jumpstart Needed

This is my other fun shirt: “No Jumpstart Needed” written inside a heart formed by two jumper cables.  This happens to be my favorite.

So why don’t I have the Body By Ensure shirt?  Why aren’t I in every available eating disorder treatment facility group that I can be in?  (And there are people that join ones they’ve never been to, which I totally don’t get.) Why don’t I join, “I drove the MHTs crazy”–because I’m sure I did at some point.

It comes down to a big, controversial word: choice.

I did not choose ARVD.  I did not choose the fact that having an ICD is the best possible means of preventing death should my heart going into shockable arrhythmias or sudden cardiac arrest.

I did not choose to have an eating disorder.  No one does.  But at some point, I chose to stay sick. I was given tools to get better, I was given support, and I turned it all down.

I chose to recover. For me, that meant going back into intensive treatment.  For others that meant buckling down and kicking their own asses while in outpatient treatment.  Either way is hard as hell.

I am not going to laugh at all the shit I pulled to stay sick.  I am not going to laugh about the lies I told, my behaviors, the way I looked, or the fact that I needed a tube or support hose or supplements.  I’m not going to sit and reminisce about times in the hospital with others who were there at the same time.

Recovery involves moving forward.  So if I met you in treatment, I want there to be more than the eating disorder as a shared bond.  If we get together, I don’t want to talk about a time in my life that wasn’t funny at all and that I had control over whether or not I stayed there.

I chose to walk away for good reasons, and I refuse to be pulled back.

 

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November 4, 2009 - Posted by | Eating Disorders, identity, recovery | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 Comments »

  1. I like this post! I like that you recognize that you are so much more than the eating disorder. That’s what we all have to go toward, being the best person we can be. Not being the best ED survivor we can be. Sometimes we can use what we’ve been through to help others. I can say “I remember lying to my RD. Or playing my RD and therapists against eachother”. But those should not be spoken of as pridefull things but as cautionary tales, or as yes I did it too, it’s ok, but you have to move past that. Once you get serious with your team they can help you so much more.

    Comment by David | November 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. beautiful.

    Comment by Marisa | November 5, 2009 | Reply

  3. Joking about my medical issues has helped as well. If you can’t laugh at it then the only thing left is to be numb or cry.

    Comment by Andi | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. I am so glad you posted this. Love you.

    Comment by Kiersten | November 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. I wish I had a heart condition so I could wear fun t-shirts!! get it? ha ha…irony… Crap. probably just offended lots of people but that wasn’t my intention. (Lexie YOU get my weird sense of humor, right?!?!) I do appreciate your ability to laugh at yourself, Lex, when it feels right. I’s simply die if I took myself too seriously.

    Comment by slzu | November 9, 2009 | Reply

    • slzu–yes I get your weird sense of humor. always have.

      Comment by surfacingaftersilence | November 10, 2009 | Reply


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