In the Dark

31 10 2010

I feel like I’m lost, separated from the rest of the world and in the dark. A war is raging within and I don’t know how to verbalize it or express it. Unfortunately, the conflicting desires and constant Ana abuse wears me down and I snap at those I love, trust and rely on.

My recovery headspace is so flawed right now. I started slipping while I was traveling and upon my arrival home, was confronted by KY. The next day was extremely difficult but went reasonably well, all things considered. The next day, I was extremely sick with a quickie virus and threw up everything I ate (not by choice).

Well, that was the end of that. I’d just as soon

  • Skip meals
  • Purge (This is the BIG one right now)
  • Start cutting pieces out of my diet
  • Edge towards additional, anxiety-driven exercise

I had to fight harder not to purge yesterday than I have in months. It’s like it was when I was at my sickest but I physically wasn’t able to purge. I ended up missing my snack and delaying dinner to impossibly late times which just about killed me with the anxiety. I was *non-functional*. Today, it’s Halloween. Cupcakes and candy all around! Anddddd there’s the problem. I’m not technically Ana (not that it matters); I’m EDNOS. I have a lean towards Ana but Mia rears her ugly head quite commonly. It’s like there’s this switch in my head: everything or nothing. I have a drive to always eat LESS because I typically always eat MORE. I was a binge eater for 12 years; I don’t really know how to self-regulate. I will just as soon eat a whole cake as none of the cake and feel internally driven to do ONE or the OTHER and as such, I restrict so I don’t eat it all. Holidays are problems for me. They didn’t use to be when I was twice this size; then, I enjoyed the food to the max. Now, though, it’s a problem.

Here are some points I need to remember about the holidays:

  • If I restrict, I will end up binging.
  • If I restrict, I will lose weight but will slow down my metabolism, leaving me with uneven body conformation when I gain weight again.
  • Any food that I want is not going to disappear off the face of the Earth. I can have a bit now and a bit later.
  • I have minimum caloric needs and falling beneath those is not acceptable.
  • Just because something isn’t a perfect fit into my meal plan, it’s still food.
  • “I’ll do better tomorrow” isn’t an excuse for blowing off today.
  • Whether I’m a smaller size or bigger size, I am still loved.

Ok, I can do this. We can do this. 🙂 What are your favorite eating disorder holiday coping tips? Remember, recovery-focused!

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Home Again

28 10 2010

My 10 day trip was cut drastically short. It wasn’t due to ED that the trip was cut short but it’s probably a good thing that it was. I was starting to slip rather significantly. I didn’t feel like eating all of my breakfast yesterday and so, I didn’t. I was full at lunch, so I only ate half. I somehow missed both my morning and afternoon snack. Yesterday wasn’t very good, even though I did manage to finally meet my calorie count with a huge, calorie soaked dinner that kept me anxious for hours. Upon my arrival home, KY and I had a rather intense come to Jesus meeting regarding my slipping and my choice to perpetuate those lapses. I got frustrated and angry when confronted and informed him that:

  • At least I ate. I didn’t have to eat at all. <—- Don’t DO this! It was bad, really bad.
  • It happens.
  • It’ll happen again. <—- This didn’t thrill him, either!
  • That I just didn’t FEEL like it, darnit.

None of those points landed me in a very happy situation. A couple hours later, I had finally calmed down enough to see not only his points, but why he’d reacted the way he did. After my recent significant relapse, he wasn’t allowing any foothold at all and was stopping ED dead in his tracks. So, I’ve got it now and I’m good to try again today. 🙂





Green Eggs and Ham Recovery

25 10 2010

I’m currently traveling. Carrie, of ED-Bites, wrote a really good post right before I left. Her list is full of things that we all KNOW but that become very easy to forget. For instance, have fun, bring calorie and nutrient-dense snacks and have a back-up plan. It’s the same thing we’ve all done the entire time we’ve been in recovery . . . . but all of a sudden, when you switch up the locale, it’s like we’re on the moon. Nothing works the way it should. Everything is screwy and “different.”

For me, this is “green eggs and ham” recovery. Would you eat it here or there? Would you eat it anywhere? Would you eat it in a box? Would you eat it with a fox? Would you eat them in a house? Would you eat them with a mouse?

Most often, my answer to all of that is, “NO.” I would not eat it in a box. I would not eat it with a fox. I would not eat it in a house. I would not eat it with a mouse. I would not eat it here or there. I would not eat it anywhere!

I don’t want any part of this food at home. Now, all of a sudden, I’m on the road for 10 days. Well, it’s not really “all of a sudden.” This was a trip that’s been planned for weeks/months/huge chunk of time. I wasn’t gonna miss out. I convinced myself that I could do this and I’m determined to do it, darnit.

It’s not easy. My green eggs and ham just aren’t happening well. I’ve eaten food I don’t like and that I’m not comfortable with. I’ve chowed down on greasy local pizza because it was the only thing available. I’ve chowed down on a huge bag of trail mix because I got stressed and found myself eating it out of boredom and anxiety . . . . which only made me more anxious! My anxiety levels are already through the roof because I’ve gained a rather significant chunk of weight relatively quickly. I never dropped below a healthy weight; there’s no reason for me to gain weight. So, that’s causing issues.

The need to restrict, to cut back, to let go, is strong and intense. I’m careful to eat more than I think I need and to eat calorie-dense foods such as nuts and cheeses. My roommate for this trip is vegetarian and is VERY set on “healthy, low-calorie, organic” foods. She has very set ideas as to what “good” food is and what “bad” food is. Heaven forbid she see anyone eating a “bad” food. She goes on a rant about it. She also said something that I think has screwed up my head even worse than it was . . . .  well, two things:

  • I don’t eat corn. Pigs eat corn and have you seen them?
  • Then, she said something that someone said to her when she was heavier. She said, “They said, ‘You’re fat. I won’t sugarcoat it because I’m afraid you’d eat that, too.”

Well, I just about lost it. I FEEL like I’m eating everything and I know I’m eating a lot more than I usually do. Part of that is related to my period, part of it related to coming into this phase of recovery from an INTENSE starvation phase and part of it just stress. I eat more than she does. I feel like I eat more than EVERYONE because I NEVER see them eat.

Right now, I just am having a really hard time dealing with myself and the green eggs and ham recovery. I was determined to make it here, though, darnit, and I’m gonna eat. End of story. I like green eggs and ham! I like them, Sam I Am!





Recovery Means:

18 10 2010

Eating disorder recovery sometimes means:

  • Buying fresh, local food, just so it doesn’t have a label.
  • Purchasing single-serve packages of food so that you’re not tempted to short-change yourself and so you don’t have to measure anything.
  • Giving yourself permission to not be ok but going ahead with the general plan anyways.
  • Allowing yourself to scream and rant and cry when needed.
  • Doing what you must instead of what feels good.
  • Finding a quiet, safe outlet.
  • Learning that some things are only feelings.
  • Knowing that the only way to not be afraid of food is to eat it over and over and over.
  • Recognizing that one hotdog cannot make you gain 10 pounds no matter how you feel about it.
  • Learning that your body works the way everyone else’s does.
  • Destroying the scales.
  • Buying new clothes.
  • Getting rid of old clothes that never should have fit.
  • Using a permanent marker liberally on labels, both on food and clothes.
  • Learning that a number is a number is a number.
  • Letting go of the obsessions.
  • Finding that one outfit that makes you feel like a queen.
  • Laughing with friends, dancing in the rain and enjoying the cider or hot chocolate.
  • Realizing that you don’t have to eat less in order to make up for what you might eat later.
  • Learning to love the fact that the lies ED is feeding you don’t fit into your meal plan.
  • Relishing the fact that every bite is a nail in ED’s coffin.
  • And, last, from Carrie: Learning to forgive yourself. (I believe she said, “I ate, hated myself and then forgave myself.”)




No More Secrets

16 10 2010

As I look over this past posts, it seems as if there’s always a “starting again.” I’ve yet to see a “I just ate a huge meal that I greatly enjoyed and it was wonderful. The end.”

I’m looking forward to that day. Yesterday, I was asked about my ED and how I was doing. I’d been doing horrible. I’d fallen fast and far. My calorie count had dwindled to basically non-existent. I was sporadically purging. I was lying about my intake and activities.

I’m glad that’s all out in the open. It’s almost as if once that barrier between ED and the world is broken, it’s ok to just “be” sick. There is no shame, no embarrassment and no fear. It’s ok that I’m struggling. It’s ok that I’m having a hard time. What’s not ok is not eating or purging and not telling anyone. Well, it’s not really ok, period. Regardless, it feels wonderful to have the OPTION of telling someone, a luxury that ED strips from me quickly and completely.

ED has been raging ever since I finally told. It’s been really bad, a war zone in my own head. However, I’ve had a good day and I foresee many, many, many more to come. So, today, I make an affirmation:

NO MORE SECRETS. When the secrets come, recovery starts to slip. That can’t happen again. I won’t allow it to happen again.





Sofia Benbahmed

14 10 2010

Sofia Benbahmed is a very special girl with a lot of focus and drive. It is her goal to recover from her eating disorder and this time, to recover completely. She’s been dealing with the hellacious cycle of ED-better-relapse for years and finally sought treatment. Her insurance company, however, wasn’t on board and quickly pulled her benefits. Sofia was forced to return home and once there, she relapsed.

She launched a compaign to help secure the needed funds for her treatment. Her father is pulling from his retirement fund enough money in order to cover 28 days of treatment. Sofia, however, is going to require at least 6 weeks of intensive residential treatment while her lawyer battles with the insurance company in court. The prospects are very good of Sofia winning the case and the insurance c0mpany being forced to repay and reimburse the Benbahmed family. However, the insurance company can only be forced to do so if Sofia WINS her battle.

All of the ED bloggers have picked up the flags of battle and have been passing around the word of Sofia’s needs. A couple of people have set up a fundraiser over at Give Forward. You can make a tax deductible donation there. Please remember that absolutely every little bit helps . . . . . 5 dollars give by 200 people equals a day of care. However, if each of those 2oo were to say “My 5 dollars won’t help” then that’s not one more drop in the bucket. Please help Sofia fill her bucket up!





Anxiety

13 10 2010

Anxiety is a really strange monster. It’s intense, overwhelming and all-consuming. No matter what you do, it continues to build. As it’s building, there are frantic attempts to make it stop. Sometimes, this is purging. Sometimes, it’s self-injury. Sometimes, it’s exercising. Sometimes, it’s a drug. Sometimes, it’s music and pacing. Whatever the case may be (outside of purging, which acts as a drug and actual drugs, such as Klonopin or Ativan), nothing is really effective in STOPPING or LOWERING anxiety.

At this point, I expect many of you went “That’s not true! When I do blah blah blah” the anxiety goes away.”

However, consider that point. When you’re pacing/listening to music/rocking back and forth/crying/running/watching a movie, what’s really happening?

Time is passing. Outside of drugs, time is the only things that truly lessens anxiety. It will build, it will reach a peak and then slowly, it will taper off. Here are some things to remember:

  • Anxiety is just a feeling. You don’t have to *do* anything about it.
  • It will go away. It’s impossible to stay at the peak of anything forever. By the very definition, “peak” is a physical or emotional pinnacle. Once it gets as bad as it can get, it’ll get better.
  • Pick safe activities. Remember the key here is TIME. So, while time is passing, pick a safe activity. Play a board game. Watch a funny movie. If it’s allowed by your treatment plan, take a walk with a safe person. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself. ED and Sia have a funny way of worming into your brain when you’re by yourself.
  • Focus on something other than what you feel. Give the dog a bath. Braid your sister’s hair. Focus on your breath. The funny thing about breath is that your thoughts influence your breathing (when you get all worked up, your breath is fast and jerky) but your breath can also influence your thoughts! Calm your breathing consciously and eventually, your thoughts will calm as well.
  • Know that the more you do something, the less anxious it will make you. This is a desensitization process. Facing your fear and winning has a strange way of making anxiety see that there’s no reason for it to hang around.







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