Extended Update

1 07 2010

So it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted and I feel obligated to provide an update. Not only do I wish to do so for myself, but I also wish to show that struggles are common throughout the process of recovery.

It’s. . . . . . . it’s been a rough month. Food freak-outs are pretty common. Sometimes I eat too much and sometimes I don’t eat enough. I haven’t been purging but the battle is stronger than ever. The thoughts are pervasive, annoying, and constant. After a quick drop of a few pounds, though, my weight has been stable.

I’m having an easier time ignoring the pervasive voices and ED suggestions, but at the same point in time, some days, I just want to embrace my eating disorder with ever fiber of my being. I want to embrace the endorphin high, the sense of control, and the ability to shut the voices up.

I do, however, know that ED is an angel of darkness. While I know that the voices would shut up briefly, in the long run, they would quickly become clamoring and loud. They would make me miserable and sap every bit of self-confidence that I have. I know that the endorphin rush comes and comes strong. . . . . yet brings a crash of depression like nothing else. I know that the initial sense of control quickly fades as ana would grip my brain and body once again, leading eventually into the loathsome cycle of mia.

It’s not worth it. There are days I long for the freedom to do as my mind drives me to do. . . . . . yet I know the temporary pay-off isn’t worth the long-term struggle and pain. I’m weary fighting now, yet if I take 5 steps back, it’ll only be that much harder to regain my footing.

Until we talk again, my friends, know that the only option is to keep on keeping on. One bite, one food, one meal, one day, at a time.

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Struggling

28 05 2010
Heaven bent to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight
Truth be told I’ve tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear
Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…
We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It’s the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.
I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…
Heaven bent to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I’m lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarassed
Pretend that they don’t see
But it’s one missed step
You’ll slip before you know it
And there doesn’t seem a way to be redeemed
Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…

No, I haven’t relapsed. . . . but I feel as if I’m fighting an uphill, losing battle. Someone very close and dear to me, a man who willingly adopted the “father” role throughout most of my childhood, died tragically and unexpectedly. All desire for food was instantly stricken from me. . . . .Eating is difficult, at best, and feels impossible at worst. I bicker and fight about food, something I haven’t done in a long time. I’ve made the promises to fight. . . . . to stay strong. . . . . and I’m trying, but it seems impossible. I feel as if I’ve been driven to my knees in a world that just keeps spinning.

I purged for the first time in roughly two months the other night. I didn’t binge. . . . but I was eating emotionally. I quickly got back on track the next day; I wanted no part of that demon. I was seeking that numb, foggy feeling that purging brings. . . . . that disconnect from everything around you. . . . and it just didn’t happen.

Since then, I have struggled to eat. I met my calorie count yesterday, but with a lot of consternation along the way. The day before, I wasn’t even close. Today, I’m just struck with the absolutely MASSIVE amount of food that 1700 calories is. It doesn’t make sense; it’s too much.

Four days ago, I believed that this was going to be ok. . . . . that food was coming naturally and easily, most of the time, and it was just going to settle into a lulling rhythm. Now, I don’t know. Nothing feels the way it did, and feels more akin to how it used to.





Minor Relapse

27 04 2010

Today was not a good day. . . . . . . all in all, I spent half the day crying over a bowl of soup, and my final calorie count ended up being 1240. That’s a far cry from the 1700 I’m supposed to be at, although it was the best I could do today.

The speed with which eating disorder thoughts and habits set in again astound me. Had today not quickly been nipped in the bud by KY, I would have fallen faster and further than I think I ever have.

Caused by a number of what Nouveau Vie’s Dr. Dan calls “messy life stuff”, this minor relapse let me very clearly know that each day is a battle, a fight, and must be approached one day at a time, and that I am FAR from clear. I must be ever vigilant, watchful, and prepared.





Meal Planning

26 04 2010

Today has just been one of those really fun frickin’ days. Seriously, it’s been GRAND.

I feel like I’m choking down sawdust. It takes me about a minute to chew, and force myself to swallow, each bite. I am NOT having a good day, food wise. Today is, of course, the day that my calorie count is being upped.

1700 calories. I can barely handle 1500 on a day to day basis, and it’s being upped. It’ll be a challenge. . . . . something new to conquer.

I didn’t have a meal plan done for this morning. . . . . . not that it really would have mattered, since my alarm didn’t go off, and I had no time to think about food, anyways. Thankfully, though, I have these great nutrient shakes to go that have saved my butt more than once. . . . . . . . so breakfast was fine. I scrounged together lunch, and because I’m having such a hard time today, I’ve planned a smoothie for dinner.

The past few days have just been difficult. Flashbacks, dreams, large amounts of change, and those stupid obsessive thoughts that WON’T go away. . . . . . . . . I’m tired, frustrated, and irritable, and I HATE food right now.

But. . . . . . . . what I do know is that this, too, will pass. This is just a stage; one that must be conquered. Ed has caught me at a weak point, and I can feel myself slipping. . . . . . . . but I’m grabbing for any hold that I can.





Feeling

16 04 2010

The past few days have been a reservoir of pent-up emotion and feeling.

Al of my live, people have told me I’m incapable of emotion and of feeling. Called a sociopath and a loner, I embraced the image. Often giving people the impression they were talking to a brick wall, I come across as cold, distant, and impersonal.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m full of more emotion and feeling than most people can uncover in a lifetime. Shoved down into the crevices, cracks, and canyons that make up my very being, the emotion, pain, and feelings I’ve refused to face my entire life are starting to bubble up.

I’ve never felt more raw anger, rage, frustration, and aggression than I have over the past few days. It comes out of nowhere, and then, it sticks around for awhile. I’m not the explosive type. . . . . . . . I’m the quiet, simmering, polite type. Only those closest bear the brunt, and that’s unintentional. They come head to head with the force of my passive aggressive will, and only the strongest attempt to worm around it and through it. The rest give up, back off, and maintain a safe distance. Those who know me know. . . . . . the quieter and calmer I get, the more angry and upset I am.

I don’t think I’ve said 50 words out loud (beyond business phone calls and KY) to anyone in over 3 days.

What I’m coming to realize is that my eating disorder was not “a” tool that I used to re-direct these negative and caustic feelings, but that it was THE tool. When that tool failed me, or something was too potent to be tapped back down into its crevice, I’d turn to self-injury.

Well, I’m proud to say that this Sunday will be ONE HUNDRED days for me self-injury free. There’s not a doubt in my head that I’ll make it, because I refuse to get that close to this big of a number and not blow it out of the water.

I don’t know if this is a normal part of recovery or not, but it is what it is, and I ‘m certainly experiencing it.





Emotion and Food

13 04 2010

As many of us know, our “food issues” begin and end with emotion. On some level, anorexia is often used to provide a focus other than emotional pain and numbness, and bulimia is, as well. When you’re too busy hating yourself and pouring everything you are into your disorder, it’s almost impossible to deal with any other emotion.

Failure at school.

It’s because I’m fat.

Failure at work.

It’s because I’m fat.

Argument with roommate.

It’s because I’m fat.

Death in the family.

It’s because I’m fat.

No matter what, our brain twists everything around so that we can ignore the pain of life and focus on one thing. . . . . . . . . how incredibly fat we are!

The past couple days have been an emotional roller coaster, and I’m not really sure why. I’ve noticed the ED thinking kicking it up a few notches, and I’ve watched that, and then, done my own thing. (Yay for ACT thinking. . . . . . . . or trying, at least.) I’ve done what I’ve needed to do, but it was out of sense of obligation, and, often, to avoid stirring the pot. I know I’ll end up eating, in the end, and so, fighting over it doesn’t accomplish much. . . . . . . . well, it does, but I’m not willing to go there.

I’ve gotten a scale to start tracking my weight, since I’ve increased my activity level a good bit, and KY and I will start fiddling with my calorie count based on that data. I’m worried about it, because I’ve developed kind of a wary working comfortableness with 1500 calories, but it just about kills me to go over that. I guess that’s why I’m “in recovery”, no?

Today, I’ve picked up some kind of stomach virus, and I threw up lunch. . . . . . . . . . and had to eat again. I can’t say that I was thrilled, but I also know why KY did that. . . . . . . . to avoid giving my body and brain an out. It can be so easy to say, “Well, I didn’t purge!” and think that’s the end of it. . . . . . when in all reality, I don’t know the difference between ACTUALLY throwing up, and willing myself to throw up anymore. I’ve hands-free purged for so long that I just don’t have the distinction.

So, while I still feel relatively horrible, I have, at least, eaten lunch, and am heading to get some much needed rest.





Struggles

10 04 2010

This journey continues, and while it’s easier than ever, it’s also harder. How, you may ask, can something be both easier and harder?

Simple. Purging and fasting aren’t options anymore. While I think about purging, it’s not a legitimate out. Check, easier. Fasting isn’t an option either. Not only is there no way to do it, I really don’t want to. My energy levels, clarity of thought, and quality of life are getting better by the day. (I’m learning, though, that 1500 calories doesn’t support my running around and walking habits that I have, which I don’t really understand. Nothing has changed in my activity level between now, and when I was eating 200-500 calories a day, and I never noticed hunger or lack of energy THEN. I came in off a 5 mile walk/hike last night absolutely ravenous and dizzy. That wouldn’t have happened before, and I don’t really understand why it’s happening now, when I’m getting what I need.) So, fasting isn’t any option. Check, easier. Meal planning…… while frustrating, check, easier.

So what’s the hard part? Life. TV. Commercials. Grocery stores. I have this overwhelming drive to cut calories out of my meal plan everywhere I turn. Not only do *I* want to do it, but it’s widely supported. The message from EVERYTHING (people, magazines, recipe books, grocery stores, commercials, meal planning advocates…. EVERYTHING) is that if a lower calorie version exists, USE IT. Use low-fat. Use the 150 calorie version instead of the 200 calorie version. Just swap this brand for that one, and look! You’ve saved 70 calories! You can eat the exact same amount, for less calories. . . . . . . . . so what’s the downfall? (This is the message I see EVERYWHERE.) Before lunch today, I saw that Progresso soup commercial. . . . . . . a lady picks up a variety of Lean Cusine (which was part of my lunch) and comments on how high calorie it was, and then puts it back and turns to a variety of Progresso Light soup, which I know has at LEAST half the calories of the meal I was planning on eating. Those soups were a mainstay of my anxorexic days. . . . . . . . .but now, all the rest of the women in America are being encouraged to trade their full meals for a 140 calorie can of soup. And there she sat, happily eating her soup, and nothing else.

I wanted to eat soup, too. I wanted to eat soup and nothing else. Lunch was hard. . . . . . . . . . but I did eat it. Did I eat what was on my meal plan? No. . . . . . . but I made the calories up in ways that I was more comfortable with.

This whole “calorie cutting” phenomenon is driving me crazy. Why do THEY get to cut calories, and not me? Now, I know the answer to that. . . . . . . . . . they get more than enough, and those extra 200 or 300 they could cut a day could mean the difference between losing weight or not. . . . . but the message is still everywhere that EVERYONE needs to cut any calories that they can.

It’s hard. I’ve ALWAYS had issue eating something if I KNOW a lesser calorie version exists. . . . . . . . . and that is kicking in fast and strong.

I’m starting to lose weight again, too. Now, don’t freak out. . . . . . . . I’ve got weight to lose. I’m not even BORDERLINE unhealthy (my BMI actually borderlines overweight), so it’s ok for me to be losing weight. However, that’s kinda adding fuel to the fire, because I know how much quicker it comes off at say, 100 calories…….. which would be REALLY easy to do with a couple of minor substitutions.

But I won’t. Freedom is worth fighting for. Every time I eat something, my overwhelming thought is the substitution I could make, or the fact that I really would only have to eat half of it. . . . . . . I force myself to finish every bite, though, knowing that I’ve fought too hard to get to this point to give any ground.








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