(Extremely triggering material, read with caution)
When I sit down to write, I normally have some idea of what I am going to write about, something that has been bothering me lately.
Everything has been bothering me SO much lately, that I can’t put my finger on it.
I haven’t been myself.
I do know that for almost 2 years I have been struggling with a relapse of a long dormant eating disorder, but thought I had kept it just barely at bay.
I identified the trigger, and am still coming to terms with it.
I had to delete something I just wrote.
I protect my secret.
I wish I could just spit it out. I’m able to talk openly about everything else, why is this soooo hard?
My dear friends, some of you really do understand where I’m slipping away to, and that I want it.
The ones who don’t, I am so sorry.
Years ago, while in recovery, I lost a very close friend to Bulimia.
Her mom and most others, who knew her, did not know her like I did.
And they blamed me for her death.
At one time, we were sick together.
We discovered our common trait while at a sleepover one night.
She had her mom order pizza, and a tub of ice cream.
Like children without a care in the world, we pigged out, watching movies and did each others hair.
I quietly excused myself to the bathroom to take care of things.
When I opened the door, there she stood with her mega-watt smile and said “It’s my turn”.
We never actually spoke directly, or shared secrets. But I was filled with this euphoria that we shared a special bond that nobody could take. We would compete with each other’s ED.
As time went on, I began to address things in therapy, while she remained sick.
I saw her less and less at the rink. (We were both figure skaters)
I heard of numerous hospitalizations, but she always turned it into a joke, like it was no big deal.
Until the last one, where she apparently went into liver failure, and her heart flat lined.
I heard about it because I had been hospitalized at the same hospital, at the same time.
She was lucky to be brought back, and taken upstairs and treated but her mom still didn’t realize she needed more serious treatment.
I remember our talk.
I was genuinely scared for her. I was doing much better in treatment. It was the first, and last time I would get the opportunity to speak directly to her about her problem.
It was Monday, July 24th, 2002, a holiday in Utah. I had the day off work, and was hoping to hang out. She couldn’t. She was getting ready to go to girl’s camp the next day. We bull-shitted and joked for a while, and then I finally broached the subject.
She denied for a while, but after letting her know she couldn’t lie about it to me, and telling her about my own feelings…she broke down. We cried together. She admitted she was afraid to die, and tired of being sick. She told me about her diary, and some of the feelings she can only write about.
I encouraged her to get some help. She agreed she would, first thing Friday, when she got back.
I told her I would come pick her up, and we could do it together.
Our conversation must have lasted 5 or 6 hours.
Friday came and went. No call. I figured she was avoiding.
Weeks went by before I called.
Her mom answered.
“Is Chelsea there?”
“Who is this?”
I identified myself…
“Her bulimia killed her”
“I have to go”
This had to be some cruel joke!!! Noooo WAY!
I looked up her obituary.
Chelsea died the morning of July 25, 2002, in the van on the way to girl’s camp!!!
The funeral had been that Thursday. I hadn’t expected her back until Friday!!! She was already in the ground by the time we had agreed to get her help!!!
She was 15 years old. An Honor student, she was already looking at a future with an Ivy League school.
I stood at her grave site, apologizing for not helping sooner.
The most beautiful photo embedded in her grave stone. It depicted her sitting beneath a tree without a care in the world.
I can still picture her face. Those bright blue eyes and a Goldie Hawn smile.
If only her mother knew I had tried. What she had agreed to the night before her death. Maybe it would bring some comfort. But as it stands, everyone got to say goodbye, but me.