What our patients can teach us…
On Psych rotation, I asked a woman with Anorexia Nervosa, how do you do it? Every day, you fight back. Every day, you bite back. Every morning, you wake up choosing again to recover. And that choice has made you stronger. Every day you grow stronger!
The woman, though, wouldn’t answer. Not immediately. Instead, she took my hand, and she looked me in the eye, and she said, “Dear, I hope you never understand. I hope you never know. I hope Ana never steals the years of your life that she took from me.”
But then, she did share, and described aloud a list of 68 Thoughts in the Head of Someone with Anorexia Nervosa, specifically 68 thoughts from her life as a newlywed, 68 thoughts she shared with her spouse. She told me to process the experience slowly, because it hurts – anorexia hurts – and it’s hard – the isolation is hard – but she also told me to remember: my friend, her joy, is still in there. And boy is she strong, stronger than she may even believe!
(This post was written and published with the permission of all parties involved. Anonymity is preserved to respect the rights of others involved in this conversation.)
© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.