If not now, then when?
The question was enough to fuel my morning drive to work.
Recovery has been filling my mind and thoughts, probably more than it should.
Life is going great, I have no more stress than the next person,
A good job an awesome dog
A warm apartment a running car supportive friends
Coffee benefits paid time off
The ability to run
Why does my recovery want to take a sudden stop?
I don’t think it was sudden, it never is, but the restricting became more and more, until my list of foods was as depleted as my ability to fight ED off.
I’ve begun seeing a nutritionist, after months and months of putting it off, not wanting to go, etc. I like her, she is a believer and advocate of HAES, believes in intuitive eating. Overall, I have enjoyed the experience.
Yet the battle in my head is still raging.
It isn’t as easy as the “talking back” that I hear others talk about so frequently. No, for me, it has to be factual.
Which kinda fueled the internal dialogue this morning.
On more than one occasion I have been in a room of people struggling with their Eating Disorders, whether it be in treatment, support groups, wherever.
I look around, (and no, this is not going where you think it is going), and sometimes I am almost the oldest in the room, sometimes I am practically the youngest. When I am at the upper range of age I remember being their age, being so filled of denial, and so full of my eating disorder.
When there are people much older than me, I think of that is how I want my life to be at their age?
Should my life be focused on my body and eating disorder when:
I have kids
Start another job
My kids are grown up
My siblings get married
So, if not now, then when?
I also have “Trust the Process” tattooed on my wrist, to remind me of recovery.
I’m struggling with following my meal plan given to me, and it is so difficult to listen to my body when I am hungry and not feel the need to run first in order to “earn” the food that my body needs.
I am telling myself that I wouldn’t want someone to tell/question me on how to do my job, so then why am I questioning and fighting her so much?
She knows what she is talking about and is on my side, so why am I fighting her?
I need to focus on Trusting the Process.
I may not always enjoy it or find it easy, but I’ve been here before.
With Eating Disorder Awareness week slowly but surely creeping up, there has been something that has really been bothering me.
The fucking before and after pictures.
I realize, that for some, they can be helpful. You can see how far people have come, the weight they have put on, etc.
For some though, it is a complete and total nightmare. Can we quit glamorizing the before and after pictures??! YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK LIKE THOSE PICTURES TO BE WORTHY OF RECOVERY.
YOUR WEIGHT DOES NOT INVALIDATE YOUR NEED FOR HELP!
I was one of those people who saw emaciated people and wished to look like that. I wanted so badly to be tiny like “those girls”. That was also my justification for not needing treatment. “I wasn’t THAT small.” “I didn’t look like THAT.” So in my mind, it made me less worthy of recovery.
As if somehow, my weight had a direct correlation on the amount of pain and suffering I had gone through.
Those before and after pictures do nothing but add to the stigma of how you are “supposed to look”
Why, why don’t I want to eat? I’m hungry, I know I need to, but I just don’t want to. Nothing sounds appealing. My stomach is growling though.
I take out my phone and go to My Fitness Pal; I type in the Larabar I ate, considering it “breakfast”, but who really knows what it is, and does it even matter?
I’m hungry, but I feel like I just ate. Maybe I’ll drink a little water. No, a lot of water.
I eye the speckled banana on my desk and type it in, considering that “lunch”. It immediately calculates the calories, the 19 g of sugar and the 30 g of carbs.
I’m hungry, but not that hungry. Not 30g of carbs hungry. Not 19g of sugar hungry.
Is it fear? Am I worried about foster care? Am I afraid I’m gonna gain weight?
Why am I afraid of carbs? What has happened lately to set me into this cycle?
It doesn’t make sense. It never makes sense.
I’m hungry, and now I’m out of water.
Lately, my recovery has seemed to just have exploded.
I am not saying this is a happy go lucky, I’m cured, kinda scenario.
On the contrary, I do not eat breakfast every day. I don’t eat 6x a day and track my meal plan. I haven’t measured out my food in a long time. And hell, sometimes I have a bowl of cereal for dinner.
What I am saying though, is that I no longer turn down food based on their calories or power and fear they have over me.
I have eaten cookies for breakfast, but had a salad for lunch, but those two are no longer connected in my mind. I eat what I want, when I want. If I just ate a half hour ago, and my stomach is growling, I drink some water, and pull out a larabar.
I still exercise, and the voice is still there, but it is no longer the loud screaming, jagged tooth beast demanding my every action. It is now like a snide child who hasn’t gotten it’s way and makes jabs when it can, “I mean, you did just exercise, you probably shouldn’t have breakfast.” “Or,” I’d retort back, “I have some awesome avocado toast waiting with my name on it.” It doesn’t always make the voice go away, and I don’t always make the correct choice, but I do the next right thing.
That also doesn’t mean that my body image is all rainbows and sunshine every day, but I am learning to accept my body and realize that restricting won’t do me any good, and eating one cookie won’t hurt me.
I may still turn food down, but it is because I genuinely don’t want it. Not because my Eating Disorder doesn’t want me to have it.
Do what you can, even if it means a snack! Feel free to reach out!
It was that awkward moment when I realized I’m not doing as well as I thought I had been.
There was no purging, I was starting to go out more with friends, work was at a steady lull.
I had stopped going to therapy, and had stopped going to the support group. I felt fine, so thought I’d take some time off.
I’d been so busy ignoring my Eating Disorder, that I had neglected to see it had slowly began to crawl its way back into my life. Then, Saturday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. “Holy Fuck. I’m running twice a day again.”
I hadn’t thought about my Eating Disorder, I hadn’t even been thinking about eating, and that was the issue. When I sat down and really reflected, I realized I wasn’t doing “better” I was just neglecting my recovery and becoming complacent. I hadn’t been eating, or even packing breakfast, and lunch was a joke, not packing anything for that either.
I haven’t been fully involved in my Eating Disorder.
But I haven’t been fully engaged in recovery either.
You, yeah you reading this.
I hope you are sitting down for what I am about to tell you, but not driving, that’s an entirely different sitting. I mean, I guess you could stand, but be careful walking and reading. What if you bump into someone and that person is having a bad day and picks a fight, and you are all, “Yo, I’m really sorry! I was reading this girl’s blog and bumped into you.” Then that person asks what blog (which could really work to my advantage).
Anyway, you, you reading this. Whether you are standing, sitting (not driving), kneeling, laying down, squatting or jogging, I have some news for you.
You are not special.
There, I said it.
Much like that person you bumped into while reading this, you may be ready to pick a fight.
The truth of the matter is, you are not special. Whether the person who told you this was a mom, dad, brother, sister, grandparent, (pssssttt, that isn’t true).
You aren’t the only one who:
Dyed their hair a crazy color
Got a tattoo in a weird place
Speaks a foreign language
Likes food others find repulsive
Now, I know we all want to think that we, as an individual, are special. Not sounding haughty of ourselves, but just “individual enough” to stick out. This could actually serve as a barrier between us and others, us and building relationships, us and our worthiness.
If we believe we are special, then we are also different and unique; meaning we may interpret that as not being relatable. I could be out in left field somewhere, but by also having that mentality, it can also be thought of that you are the exception to the rule or are somehow undeserving.
You aren’t the only one who:
Has divorced parent
Struggles with a mental illness
Struggles with self-harm
Had an abusive childhood
Deals with alcoholism/drugs/addiction
But by believing you are somehow special or unique, you separate yourself from others, believing you are somehow different than everyone around you.
This mentality is a huge factor, I believe, in being open and vulnerable. If we are unable to discuss our struggles and shortcomings, it makes it that much more taboo when someone finally does open up. We are able to see that “I’m not the only one struggling with _________.” Yet, if we all walk around stoic, others may believe they are the only ones and find it more difficult, maybe even impossible, to open up if they feel like the people around them can’t relate.
I found this to be true during the support group I attend. If we keep the conversation shallow, I leave feeling unfulfilled and like it was a waste. Yet, in front of four new people I talked openly about my urge to self-harm and purge. Realizing that more people can relate than they initially acted. One lady in particular, was quite, until I mentioned my struggle; she opened up about how she copes and what works for her. It was great to see strangers who were able to come together over one very taboo struggle and talk openly, because I know, I am not the only one.
Trust the Process!
Slightly drunk, sitting on my knees wavering back and forth, watching him clean up the dog shit off the carpet, it was then that I realized, he was too good for me.
If there was ever a competition for who has the worst choice in men, I’d probably come in top ten, somewhere under Charles Manson’s wives, Hitler’s wife, and those cliché women from those Lifetime movies.
Ever since High School, my chose in men was much to be desired. The hot football player with a temper who would smack me for sassing. A drunk who also fell into drugs, but was there when I needed him, except that he drugged me and took advantage of me.
Ok, maybe he isn’t “too good” for me. Honestly though, I just don’t think I am in a place where I can accept someone’s compassion and thoughtfulness towards me.
While my eating disorder is currently like a sedated lion. I’m hesitant that at any moment it may wake up, pissed at the world and I must be on my toes, ready.
So, I don’t want to throw a relationship into the middle of that right now.
We had our first “fight”, even though we are friends. (Everybody knows we are a couple, except us). He asked if I wanted to go hiking on Saturday, I said “sure, just text me”.
Saturday came, I took the dog to the park, went running, met up with a girlfriend for breakfast. By that point he had texted me, but I was enjoying time with my friend.
It ended up getting blown out of proportion, him feeling “disrespected”, “shitty”, etc. I took some time to breathe, and responded the following morning. It was expressed by me, that while I heard what he was saying, and I apologized for not answering my phone, it was also not fair to me to be guilt tripped when no actual plans were made.
There was more, but isn’t worth it. Work has been slightly awkward since we are coworkers, but that is just another reason I’ve made it clear that I don’t want to date him.
“Insanity is doing the same thing
over and over again
and expecting different results.”
This isn’t the first, or even second, time I’ve left group and felt like it was a waste of time, effort, gas, and regretted going all together.
This evening was nothing different. It takes the “same shit, different day” motto to the extreme.
I feel like I have been going for so long that I know everyone, their back story, and what they are bringing to the table every week.
She is sick and feels like shit.
She so desperately wants to be in a relationship.
She sleeps all day, and struggling.
Sure enough, I was right, I even called it earlier when I was in my appointment.
Not wanting to even go this evening, one of the girls texted me asking me to come. So I threw on my Nikes, put a baseball cap on and hid myself under a comfy hoodie and headed to support group.
If we were all making progress or something, that would be great, beneficial, something.
It just feels like something has to give. Maybe we need a group exercise, or an assignment, something to pull us from the perfunctory routine of what seems to be a whiny venting session. Or maybe I just need to quit going so often, that way when I go, it is something new.
I sat there, trying to listen, be supportive, but it was the same things I had just heard the week before. My ass bone grinding against the uncomfortable chairs, and being able to smell myself since I had yet to shower post run.
The thought was even there, “Text brother, get him to call you. That’s your way out. Answer your phone, and leave.” Still, I was trying to give group the benefit of the doubt. I may have said two words tonight. It just didn’t seem worth it.
Same shit, different week.
I could have bitched about my head hurting.
Whined about work.
Praised my awesome lunch.
Bragged about a delicious apple cake.
Instead, I sat there. Knowing what would happen if I opened my mouth. Not so much praised for the good, but fixated on the bad.
I would talk about how I ran today, but how I had a black bean burger yesterday for lunch. It would quickly become a “How often/much are you running?” “Oh, well are you eating lunch every day?” I understand where they would come from, but it just didn’t seem worth it. I may just be being a stuck up bitch, but lately it just hasn’t been beneficial at all, and I don’t think I am getting anything out of it.
I don’t see me returning for a while. Think I’m done re-living the same Thursday of my life over and over.
After leaving my therapy appointment yesterday with K, I was so tempted to just tell her I had plans next week, and I would just call her to schedule. That would be my “out”. I had been in that place before, sitting across from a therapist, pretty much being told, “I’m feeling stuck.”
To me, I guess this isn’t interpreted as an expression of hopelessness, but more of a disappointment, at the end of their rope, I’m at a loss, mentality.
My stomach sunk, I stared out the window. My internal dialogue became louder than K.
“You’ve been here before, with T.”, “Oh, God, what if K is done with me?” “I’ll just cancel my appointment next week, like the day before.” “What did she want from me? Should I lie and say how great I am?”
I got home and it occurred to me that if I had been in this place, twice, then, others must be going through it as well. I did some Google Research, and was not disappointed. One of my favorite quotes I found stated, “I find that stagnation in therapy matches stagnation in life outside the therapy room.” –John Duffy
This feels so true currently in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good job, a place to live, a great dog, I feel super blessed and pretty even keel right now. Not much of anything is going on currently, good or bad. I explained to K that I would love nothing more than to come back and say how I had 3:30 snack, and 6:00 dinner, but lately I just haven’t made eating deliberate, so it goes to the wayside.