Therapy today was productive and I took home a good amount of homework. Yet, as I drove back to the office, all 42 miles, which provided me enough time to realize how little of the truth I told simply in hopes of looking and sounding “better” than I really am. Classic move.
I pull into the parking lot, car park sounds so much better but I severely digress, weighing (pun not intended) all of my options. Do I send an e-mail in hopes it will go unnoticed for a few days? Do I shut up and move on with my day as if I hadn’t seen her just an hour before? Or… Do I send an e-mail letting her know that at the end of session when she asked if there was anything else, that in fact there was something else?
As I roll in my chair back to my keyboard I try to lose myself in work hoping I’d figure it out later and deal with it all another day. Ana didn’t want me to be honest. She didn’t want her secret out, that she is in power not me.
I’d say maybe half an hour in and my recovery side, the “angel” side, tried screaming over her telling me to tell H how much of a relapse I have been in, that nothing is okay, and how much I don’t want to do this anymore. Recovery side of me actually won and I sent her an e-mail with the direct link to my website here so that she can truly see what a shit show my life has really been. Maybe this is me willing to give recovery another chance. Maybe recovery me felt strong for essentially ratting myself out. Whatever it was in that moment, I sent the e-mail and moved on with my day. To say I didn’t stare at my inbox from there until I clocked out would be a terrible lie.
For now I choose to believe somewhere in me wants a better life than what Ana has provided me for so many years. I choose to try and see that, year after year and relapse after relapse, this isn’t what life is and how life has so much more to offer. I have to fight to live and be at least okay with the one body I have and will ever have. For today, I may have been in complete restriction, I am choosing to nourish tomorrow.
Sitting here looking at my legs and seeing my stomach and feeling that they are there has me beyond uncomfortable. Once again she takes the lead and back down I go. I have to let her win because being in this body at this size is too much. I can’t do this anymore. I know this is a blog of recovery but most posts are of me giving over my power to Ana. When will I ever be in recovery? Is recovery even possible at this point? This all started when I was 15/16 when I was first diagnosed. I am now 32. That’s shameful right there. I should be over this.
By society’s standards of the “ideal” lb for 5’5″ woman is between x and x. I am on the higher end where should be in the middle and I prefer to be under the lowest ideal number. Why am I ever striving to be the absolute smallest I can be? Why am I chasing the need to be tiny, to be light, to not take up so much space?
My body has helped me carry my nephew through a rough hiking trail in the Mohican State Park. My body helped me climb the tower to the top of the castle and view the beautiful autumn colours. My body got me halfway up the fire tower even though my courage to continue to the very top ended at the fourth flight with still four to go. My body allows me to run for fun. All of these amazing things and the constant goal to be tiny is so bizarre. I deserve to take up space in this world. I have been blessed with a body that allows me to do so many amazing things so why am I hell bent on destroying it?
I think I need more therapy than just once a month.
I’ve been on vacation and ever since I have been back home I’ve tried to really sit and evaluate my life. I went soul searching i guess you could say. Sadly, I quickly realised that when I really sat with myself in the quiet I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the quiet. I didn’t feel comfortable just sitting. My mind was slowly calming down but my body was on constant go. I spenty vacation enjoying life, enjoying the relaxation. What my mind couldn’t let go of was her. Constant body checking. Constant nagging of when I ate and how much I ate. A very intense battle knowing I need to leave her behind. I love hiking in the mountains but I hate that my mind always goes into how many calories I have burned and how much muscle verses fat has been distributed. She is constantly there. She is constantly challenging my will to live in recovery.
Here I sit so uncomfortable in my own skin. I am hyper aware of every breath I take, the fact that my legs need shaved, and the sound my stomach just made was enough to think careflight was passing overhead. That is her in and out. She always makes you hyper aware of every cell in your body. All I want to do is strap on my running shoes and just hit the trails.
Now that I am back home that all looks like a far away land I’d dream to go. It’s not though. It’s a six hour drive south of me. The beautiful Smoky Mountains are my home away from home. I think that is part of why she was able to follow me through the mountains and on those mountain bear country trails. She is my best friend but she is also a silent murderer. I need to be strong and take back my power. Since I have been home, I haven’t had the strength to let her go. One day she will just be a voice of whispering winds. One day I will get there.
I stared at my nutrition shake for what felt like forever. I couldn’t do it. I felt that if I just pour it into a coffee mug then it would be easier to drink. Simple right? An expensive nutrition shake cannot be wasted that easily. What was easy just three weeks ago is now a mountain I cannot climb. I put it back in the fridge and walked back to my desk completely defeated and empty. I had nothing left in me and I mean nothing. I left work early because I just didn’t have anything left to give. I drove home in a flood of tears. What happened? How did it become so severe again? Where did I go wrong?
Today is a new day and I am going to fight like hell to give my body the energy and nutrition it so desperately needs. I did it! I ate my morning bowl of cereal. I am current fixated on Frosted Shredded Wheat. I poured that into the bowl and added the almond milk. Though it took time I was able to finish the whole bowl. Success for me. I did it. I fought back!! However, I start to feel that draining of my energy so I pop in both of my headphones and fall into Hillsong United’s 100 billion times, Know You Will, and Another In The Fire. As I fill my ears and heart with worship music and feeling the chills that these songs bring gave me the energy to keep pushing forward.
I let my guard down. I felt like I had a positive grip on fighting for recovery today. I took a walk on the treadmill at lunch. I had brought my computer to work so I could work on this blog. Needless to say that’s when I lost my grip. I added up every single calorie. I calculated the in and out. Since my FitBit took a crap I’m back to handwritten math. By the time I came back from the gym I knew I had to fight again. I have to keep fighting because I am worth so much more than this. I deserve to live a life that doesn’t revolve around numbers, food, exercise, and so forth. Yet, I caved. I forced myself after what felt like an hour to drink my nutrition shake, which had been in my line of sight this whole time. So I didn’t listen to her. I got a coffee mug and poured my chocolate Orgain shake into the cup. I took the first two sips. I did it! I am winning again.
Unfortunately, my brain had other things already set in motion. After successfully fighting her and drinking my shake a bit I put it to the side so I could keep working. That was all it took. As they say, out of sight out of mind. Though I could still clearly see it, I was immersed in my work that it became an after thought. I checked the clock as I was nearing the end of the day only to my horror that I still had a mug full. I broke. I tried to hold it in. I tried. But the first tear fell and a wave of anger and panic hit me. How could something so damn easy as drinking something I have been drinking for the last two years, albeit, begrudgingly for a solid eight months? Why am I different in that three weeks ago I would just open the cardboard like material box and drink the shake as if it were nothing? Fully acknowledging the nutrition I was getting through the shake that I wasn’t getting elsewhere. I lost that victory that I thought I had gained.
As I sit here I want to know how it feels to not have a voice, your very own voice, dictate a nonsensical moral value in regards to what you eat and how your existence in this world is meant for you to be tiny. I want to know what it is like to look at food as fuel and not a death sentence. If I continue to let her win I will die. Ana is literally the deadliest mental illness. It beats out Bipolar and Schizophrenia. An eating disorder, anorexia, is the deadliest mental illness.
I need to take my power back. Linda’s power, not Ana’s. Something so simple caused me so much paralysing fear that almost drove me to ask someone else to open the shake and to pour it into the mug henceforth not being able to back out of drinking it. You get 4 shakes for $9-10 dollars. That’s a lot to just pour down the drain. But I did it. I ended the day with the mug completely empty. I won.
Now as I close, can we leave some ways to combat the panic and fear surround meals or snacks? Let us know what has helped you. I want to be able to build a solid toolbox that me or you can reach into that can guide us in our recovery. Our ED thrives in secrets and hopefully with these honest posts we can each reach out to each other as we work to put ED behind us. I don’t believe in a full recovery in the matter that this will go away forever and that I won’t fall again into old behaviours that can lead me to where I am today. I do believe that as long as I choose to be transparent with my struggle and I ask for support that I can be I can reach a recovery where I will be without behaviours and without these chains that are holding me today.
Tomorrow will be a better day. Tomorrow will be a successful day. Let’s do this!!
I don’t understand how I got this bad this fast. Lying and sneaking. Losing almost 4 in two days has made it worth it. Feeling empty feels so powerful. I get to control this. No one else. Not even her. Ana has always been there and she always will be. Last night Mia stopped by real quick and I haven’t felt that gross in a long time. I definitely didn’t listen to her and give in to those behaviours. I really wanted to but I didn’t have the energy. It is sad to know that my intense back pain was the only thing that kept me from engaging in a nasty behaviour.
You know she is winning when you cry over the thought of your normal nutrition shake and a wonderful honey crisp apple. 250 for the shake and 48 for the apple. Count in coffee of 182 (creamer) and that is still under 500. These very two items have become a staple in my diet and now she has me crying. I don’t understand why. It is 3:00pm. So that totals to 480. My tdee is around 2,000 and my BMR is 1,400. So my journey in recovery reminds me that 480 for a daily total can be a death sentence.
But today, July 01, 2022 I choose to keep trying to climb out of the hole. Recovery is a wonderful thing. I just gave up on it. I gave up on me. I can either try again with recovery or I can die trying to be tiny. I want to live. I really do. I need to relinquish the need for control. I need to do better.
Where is the white rabbit? I lost him. He went that way and I think he went down that hole. Oh dear Alice, don’t follow him.
Oh but I did.
Numbers, numbers, numbers. These have filled my head and dance in my vision. You take up too much space. You ate too many. You can’t eat today. You are too heavy. You didn’t run. You didn’t workout. You sat too long. You didn’t have enough steps. Your stomach growled too loudly too many times. You are just as broken as your Fitbit. Too much.
And so the road we know can be all too slippery. Once you get too close you will fall. Every single time. It isn’t that you fall but that you get back up and climb back out of that hole and move forward every single time.
Right now, I’m moving like a sloth so ever slowly moving forward.
I want to find my “enough.” But where do I find it?
I know you cannot find “enough” in being thin enough. I know you cannot find it by being sick enough. I know it will never be found in skinny enough. So, where do I find it?
Can someone lead the way? Right now it is too dark in here and I need someone to guide me out.