Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Portion of Chapter from Book - Perfectionism

From time to time I'll be posting a portion of a chapter from the book as I'm writing it, these will be in no particular order, the editors will get to choose that. I look forward to hearing your comments.

The current working title is:
Just Tell Her To Stop; Stories of Families Thriving Through the Crisis of An Eating Disorder

CH # __- Perfectionism
A Heartwarming Story of Recovery and Survival - Stacy's story

When Stacy was thirteen, it was during her month-long August visit to her father's home that anorexia got a strong hold on her and took over completely. As soon as she arrived back home just before school began, her mom knew right away what was going on. In spite of getting medical help immediately, it still took ten years of her life away from her. As a thirty-something recovered person, Stacy wanted to make sure you hear what didn't work because she feels that is much more helpful than the clinical information in a textbook. Here is the story of the smartest, sweetest, prettiest and most popular girl in school who was also the best in choir and all of the many clubs she participated in.

Stacy’s Story
Gazing out over the azure-colored sea should have been calming and enjoyable. The blue ripples of water crashed against the shore in a rhythmic motion, and relaxing seemed to be the order of the day on our family vacation to the tropics. I could see my family beginning to unwind and thaw out from our freezing Minnesota winter as we sat in our comfy lounge chairs by the pool overlooking the sea. All I could think about, or I should say, all my eating disorder would let me think about–was food. I couldn't escape it, the anorexia had followed me on our vacation and would steal the precious relaxing moments from me.
Worrying about the next meal, the only thing on my mind was, "Oh no, I have to face food again, I cannot control this anxiety, but I can control what I put into my mouth." How did this happen to me? I hope they don't say anything to me as I push my food around on my plate. Maybe they will be busy enjoying themselves and won't notice. Part of me hopes they will confront me so I can get rid of this cruel best friend I've named “Ed,” “Bully” (when it switched over to bulimia), and “IT.”

Always the perfect little girl, and out of the six kids in our family, I gave my parents the least amount of trouble–that is until Ed showed up. I got good grades, had friends, and didn't try drinking like most teens. My dad is an alcoholic and even at age ten, I was able to connect the dots that I shouldn't drink as a way to control my anxieties, as I would probably follow in his footsteps.

As a quiet ten year old, I knew better than to say anything about the unspoken tension in the house as my parents’ marriage began deteriorating. I just kept doing everything really well–perfect, actually. In fact, I was a normal pre-teen girl who had an emotional issue I needed to deal with, and that was the result of never hearing that the marriage problems weren’t my fault. As is typical with kids, I blamed myself for the failing marriage. The self-blame led to a need to feel control and power, and I used the eating disorders symptoms to accomplish this. That’s when Ed came into my life and I began to abuse food as a way of coping...

If you'd like to see more of this or other chapters take a look at the website where you can purchase one or more chapters for only $9. www.hopenetwork.info

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