Friday, April 17, 2015

You Are NOT A Lost Cause - Truth Time

I stumbled across this picture and really it was just what I needed. Lately things haven't been going right - really about a month ago everything fell apart and functioning is getting harder by the day.

There have been so many times where I have come to the end of what I can handle and thought about just giving up, either by ending my life or at the very least slipping back into my eating disorder - partly because I feel it will help me forget (which rationally I know won't happen), but mostly because I truly feel like it's what I deserve after everything that's happened. I won't go into details considering I have no idea who will stumble across this, but with everything that's happened I genuinely feel like everything was my fault and that I bought every event my way because of one thing or another and now I am too weak to handle how it feels. In regards to slipping into my eating disorder I feel like I truly deserve all the pain (both physical and psychological) and mental torture that comes along with it and I guess in a way I feel like slipping back into my eating disorder will be a slow suicide rather then the quick (though maybe not so painless) pill taking or wrist slitting. Therapy at this point has only done so much and really I don't feel any closer to working through the other events (not ED related that have lead to this point.

Yes, that is how personally feel, but stumbling across this photo made me think about what everyone has said about those situations who I've told. None of them believe that any of the events were my fault and even though I find that hard to believe I guess I need to try and start to because they can't all be wrong. In regards to therapy I also need to remember that the person I see isn't specialised in this area and her area of specialisation is eating disorders. I need to remember just how lucky I am to be under her care and having the level of trust that I have with her. Without that trust I would still be trying to deal with this on my own and having it inhibit my therapy sessions on my ED with her. With her having to know about those situations allows her to finally figure out a bit more why I think the way I do at the moment. Also without her help I wouldn't ever get to see a therapist who specialises in the area I'm struggling with. Currently with her help (she is doing all the organising since I don't think I could do it myself) I am starting to look into getting to see someone who specialises in this area while also continuing my sessions with her and hopefully fully heal from everything I've been dealing with.

I need to remember how far I've come from where I was this time last year (in a hospital bed) and even in regards to how I feel at the moment, the fact that I am still alive and managing to resist slipping back into my eating disorder shows that I am stronger then I think. I have the support of so many people and I should be grateful for that and also that I am currently finding treatment that can help me heal from the things I went through.

Yes, it will be hard but it won't be impossible to get back to the happiness I used to feel. I need to remember (as well as everyone that is reading this) that I am NOT a lost cause.

Small Steps to Freedom From an Eating Disorder

Today has given me a small glimpse into what life before my dieting soon to turn into an eating disorder began.

My eating disorder (like everyone else's) focuses a lot on details.. For my ED in regards to packaged food its always having to get particular brands and flavours of things and if I can't get what I need (even if their staples) I will have to go without until I can find them. Sure, I may look around for something similar but normally I will walk away empty handed.. Very rarely I will come away with something different and if I do it will only be because its lower calorie then my usual choice and if it's good then the lower calorie option will become what I always have.

Today has been a lot different. Not having what I would normally have for breakfast (this time I was without apples and sunflower seeds) leaded me to take the plunge and go for the readily available yet higher calorie options of peanut butter and a banana to replace them. Normally I wouldn't have done this especially considering there were a few other lower calorie options that I could have had. But I decided to go with what I really felt like rather then what me ED wanted.

Now onto lunch.. Decided to have soup because it has been such a cold and miserable day but didn't have cauliflower which is what I could normally add in to help thicken the soup and also didn't have bread to have with it. Those may not seem like big things not to have but then my mind went into the whole "well you might as well go without" frame of thinking which really just leads onto a slippery slope. So instead just went without with the cauliflower - since a few less vegetables one day never hurt anyone and instead of having part of the carbohydrate made up with corn and some with bread, just had all the carb made up by sweet corn. Yes, the soup wasn't as thick as normal but it still tasted the same and really that's all that matters.

These are things that I (as well as anyone with an ED) struggle with everyday and really considering it's become such a normal part of our thinking we never even notice it happening. All we feel is the anxiety and dread when we find out there isn't any of X ingredient that you would normally have. On both meals today I actually caught myself starting this thinking and really made me think but why? Why am I so afraid of having something a little different if that's what I truly want or if that's all I have at home right now? Doing both the things is NORMAL while being afraid of them is not. I've come to realise over the past few weeks just how prevalent my anorexia and my preoccupation with food still is even after being over year in recovery and being weight restored for about 9 months. But just because it's still around doesn't mean that I will be living with it for the rest of my life, it just means that I have a lot more work to do on getting through this and being rid of this illness. I'm in no way kidding myself, it's going to be harder then ever especially with different circumstances happening in my life right now. But I am determined to one day be free of this.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Life Outside of an Eating Disorder.

More often then not people struggling with or in fact even in recovery from an eating disorder say that they don't know who they are without it, hence this is some of the reason they try to hold onto a little piece of it (myself included). Even though we know that this logic is flawed, it's petrifying to try and think of a world that doesn't revolve around food, calorie counting, exercise and anything else your ED may entail.

But if you think about it the way we think about it actually makes a lot of sense. Just think about how much time and energy you put/are putting into your eating disorder, at it's worst it's an all consuming thing, it becomes a part of you and in the darkest times may even seem like your only friend and the only way to cope with everything else that feels out of control in your life.

From my experience I saw my eating disorder as mostly as a means for control and order at a time when I felt that everything that was happening was completely not how it should have been. Also in some sick way it was a last ditch attempt to maybe some how fix what was a big shift in my life - even though pretty much by that point I wouldn't have been able to pull myself out of the disorder even if I wanted to - But I thought that finally getting treatment may help fix a problem that was completely out of my control and to be honest had nothing to do with me in the first place. But with all those good intentions recovery didn't help mend that situation.

Yes, recovery didn't have the desired effect I wanted it to but really since the situation didn't involve me I really shouldn't have thought it would. But recovery has taught me so much about myself and just how strong I can be. I remember what it felt like when I first TRULY laughed when I started being in recovery from my ED. It felt completely foreign and uncomfortable but most of all UNNATURAL. If you have ever met me personally (and have actually gotten to know me considering I'm pretty shy until I get to know someone) then you would know just how out of character that is for me. When I was younger I used to laugh at anything and everything, yet my ED and depression took that away.

Recovery is about finding yourself again, finding those old and new passions you have, laughing when you find something funny even if it feels unnatural because one day soon it will feel like you had never stopped. But most of all life outside an ED is about freedom. Freedom from rules, routines, numbers, rituals... Just living life to the fullest the way you want to, having a week where you don't exercise here and there, eating as much as you want at a buffet with your friends because the food is that good and not worrying about it because in perspective its one day/week out of the hundreds upon thousands you are going to live.. But in saying that also why waste that one day/week listening to what your ED says when you could be living life?

Your ED is only there to bring you down. People say they feel like a "bad/fake anorexic" where in reality the only "good" anorexics have been killed by the illness.