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In two minds about recovery. TW, sorry.


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So I haven't been posting lately because I didn't want to bring people down with my negativity. I'm 18y, female, 162cm, recovery from anorexia.

The weight gain of 11+kgs got too much to handle and I cut back, which was stupid I know. I just felt so out of sorts because it was so fast and I wasn't at all comfortable with how I was.

So I increased the exercise :( and cut the cals back to 1800, which I have been sloooooooooowly losing weight on - like 1kg in about a month. 

Anyway, I just don't know any more. Today I had a massive break down cause I saw a photo of my mum and dad holding me or my brother I think as a baby. First thought: she (mum) was so pretty then! And second: I've missed out of 18 years of my life, or what I can remember of those 18 years worrying about food. And third: I wish I had a *normal* family. My parents have split up in the last month, and I had a dream the other night that Dad died. I was shocked by my own reaction in the dream - I didn't cry (in my dream). What the?!?!!? I should have felt ... something. But I just didn't. I don't know. But that really disturbed me.

Other thing. The other day I was at the supermarket and I saw a lady with anorexia. She had osteoporosis, was all hunched over and looked like death. My first thought when I saw her? I want to look like that. I wish I was kidding. But I'm not.

Anyway, I don't know where I am. I want to cut the exercise, it's exhausting me at the moment, and half the time I am hungry and want to eat. But then I'm like, oh just one, two more kgs because then I am X weight. I don't feel like I want to get unhealthy skinny again, I just feel so.. blah. 

What is the point of this post? I don't even know. I am in two minds. I want to be happy, but I don't know life without this illness. I want to be skinny, but not unhealthy. I don't know. Sorry for the rant, I think I just needed to get it out. 

And PS. I am really sorry to all the people who I have tried to help, if you read this and feel like I was lying or trying to trick you - I wasn't. All the things I have said to everyone have been true. Please don't let me drag you back.

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Let's look at it this way.

One timeline split: the ED usurps control again. You restrict, obsessively exercise, and you're almost dead.

You've lost everything. Your family, your friends, your passion. On your hospital bed you lay, and perhaps the ED is finally at peace. You're a skeleton, you're it, you're at your 'goal'. Yet at the same time, nothing will ever be good enough for it. It won't be happy until you're dead.

There is nothing left. There is no future. You might be old with osteoporosis, but where does that leave you anyway? You have barely lived life. You die. That is all.

In this split, the ED wins.

Now, let's look at the alternative, the path you've been choosing and trying to take now:

You are beating your ED. There are days when it will be angry, but you know there will always be a new sunrise. In this future, you have your hobbies, and whilst your parents may have split, you love them and vice versa.

There's life for you to enjoy. When you grow old and weary, you're not dead - you're just beginning another journey. Retirement, travelling the world, or enjoying a cup of tea with a butternut biscuit when the sun is setting. Life recovered from an ED is certainly preferable, nay? There is love and life on the horizon.

I know the position you are in. There are the two conflicting sides and interests. You have to remember the ED is the confused voice. It is mistaken. You don't need to listen to it.

Remember this: the ED is confused.

It's not necessarily evil, it's wrong. It's confused. You need to fight it, you need to blow it off. It's silly. It's stupid. It doesn't know what's normal, right, good.

What is right, what is good - that is left up to your own future, not the ED.

One more point I will touch upon: exercise. It isn't easy to cut down, but I've gone from exercising all day (have a look at my first posts) to an hour and a half. That ain't too shabby.

Baby steps. That's it. Cut it back by five minutes each week, and it'll be okay. Keep tight.

Thanks for your response. It made me look at things again. And kudos to you, you've come a long way - it's massively inspiring. But then I was like ah well I'm hungry... so now I've had a massive binge. 

Ohhh gosh I haven't eaten this much in months.

I had a bowl of almonds, a few pieces of Cadbury chocolate, 1/3 block of dark chocolate with almond, and ... I don't know how many salted cashews.

Ohh I feel like such a freaking failure. Tomorrow is a new day, yes. But I'm so terrified. I don't know how to eat 'properly'. Hunger signals? Yeah, don't have them, or at least have no idea how to respond. 

I know I won't gain *real weight* from this but I feel like purging. I'm not going to, but I feel so guilty. I just want to run and run but it would take about 6 hours to burn off what I just ate in the space of about half an hour! 

OH gosh. I need to find a happy medium. I feel sick :( :( :( :( :(

Are you at your body's optimal point? Have you eaten enough lately? Have you completed internal repairs?

There is every likely chance your body is still needing extra energy. Also, even at the age of 18, you are still growing. If you've read Hedgren's posts, you'll notice that even after recovery and non-ED people have days where they eat extra to prepare for growth!

You won't gain from one day, either. I had days where I would eat a lot more than normal, and the next day my brain felt freed and more clear (ED-wise and cognitive processes).

Wait...a bowl of almonds, a bit of chocolate and cashews? Pfft! I reread that, and my dad and mum just had nuts, chips and cordial. After dinner!

That's not a binge...!

You're not a failure at all. In fact, the very opposite. You're alive, you're fighting the ED. Food is not the enemy; it nourishes your brain, your body.

You don't need to run. Do something to occupy yourself, or go for a short walk. Get your brain moving and ignore ED. It's throwing a temper-tantrum and it needs to go into the Naughty Corner.

No one can save you from your ED except yourself, 'cause you have to go against the cognitive processes.

Can you figure what you maintain on? Maybe you could try roughly figuring out what to eat to prevent any ED behaviours returning, then gradually introduce intuitive eating once you sort out weight/hunger signals?

Deep breaths. And yes, tomorrow is certainly a new day. Remember that, no matter what, THE EATING DISORDER IS ALWAYS WRONG.

I LOVE YOU! I feel much like you do, and struggle just the same. Its a hard battle, but you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. I've had to apply the Narcotics Annon. to my life, espically when I'm dieting. Take it one day at a time, if you don't want to eat, make sure you MAKE YOURSELF eat something healthy, so your not trying to run it off later....

 

Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, out loud

"I am a beautiful person. I deserve to be happy and I derserve to be in control. I love myself and I only want to be healthy, not hurting." When your life seems to be out of control, food is the only thing we THINK we can control, and it is the easiest for us to do at times. You are powerless over the actions of others (parents divorice) and the only person you are responsible for is YOU, and keeping you SAFE and HEALTHY.

 

I don't know if this made any sense but as a stranger, I love you for being open and honest about your cravings. Don't be embarassed about them because the more your open up about it and talk about it, the less likely you will be to relapse back into an active eatting disorder. When you think your thoughts are too negative to share, that means YOU need to let them out so they don't pull you down.

LOVE AND RESPECT! KEEP YOUR HEAD UP BABY GIRL! YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS :)

 

Don't be sorry, I feel like this a lot too. I think about my future and want to recover, but sometimes I still miss ED, just a little. I can relate to the story about the woman in the grocery store a little. When my great uncle died, he was sick for a long time and was like a skeleton and I remember going to his funeral and wishing I looked like him. How insane/slightly disturbing is that?! But it made perfect sense to me at the time because I was so screwed up.  At the same time, its hard to give up something you're so used to having. You lose yourself in the ED and it becomes you. Its hard to find your real self again, but you can do it! So you had a little bump in the road, but now you have to get back up, slow down the exercise and  increase the calories. You probably lost weight so slowly because your body doesn't want to lose weight. It is sad to think about how much life we've missed because of EDs. But we can't change the past so we have to look toward a brighter future. You can choose a future with ED or without it, but I think you know the better option!

Thanks everyone for the support. 

ginger I am a bit skeptical of the set point theory - I was always overweight as a child and never had a healthy set point. Ahhhh and yes it most definitely was a binge. When I say 'a bowl of nuts' its like... 800+ calories' worth, more like 1200. :\ I used that calculator to work out my maintenance - and I really think it's wrong. I came out with 3200 calories, because I don't spend a lot of my day sitting down. And if it was that - I've been losing weight too slowly for it to be accurate with the 'deficit' I should have. I'm trying to learn how to intuitive eat, which actually for the past day or so has been 'working' if it's not too early to tell. I read somewhere that when you start to think of eating, it's time to eat. So I've been trying to do that, it's been hard breaking the rules about times of meals for my ED but so far it's got my calories a little bit higher than they have been, and not outrageously high. I really appreciate your advice though, it helps to know I can find it here.

philose thank you for your kind words. What's the Narcotics' Anonymous method? I feel that EDs are on par with addictions so I'm interested to see if I can apply any of those ideas to my own struggles. I hope things pick up for you too.

soxgurl thank you. I know what you mean, I used to volunteer at a nursing home and would come home triggered by emaciated women who couldn't move due to degenerative muscle disorders. I've been managing to increase calories by a little bit the last two days, so one step at a time. How have you been going? I really hope things have picked up for you. 

jsw83, I think the important thing in recovery is to know what works for you. :) I guess it really is trial-and-error! You seem to be doing great now.

Remember that people do sometimes 'binge' - though not in the clinical sense. Everyone will have points at which they eat more than usual. It's food, food is meant to be enjoyed, too.

I like that theory about the inuitive eating. I think I will keep that in mind for myself, thank you :)

I wish you all the best. PM me if you ever need a hand!

Original Post by jsw83:

Thanks everyone for the support. 

ginger I am a bit skeptical of the set point theory - I was always overweight as a child and never had a healthy set point. Ahhhh and yes it most definitely was a binge. When I say 'a bowl of nuts' its like... 800+ calories' worth, more like 1200. :\ I used that calculator to work out my maintenance - and I really think it's wrong. I came out with 3200 calories, because I don't spend a lot of my day sitting down. And if it was that - I've been losing weight too slowly for it to be accurate with the 'deficit' I should have. I'm trying to learn how to intuitive eat, which actually for the past day or so has been 'working' if it's not too early to tell. I read somewhere that when you start to think of eating, it's time to eat. So I've been trying to do that, it's been hard breaking the rules about times of meals for my ED but so far it's got my calories a little bit higher than they have been, and not outrageously high. I really appreciate your advice though, it helps to know I can find it here.

philose thank you for your kind words. What's the Narcotics' Anonymous method? I feel that EDs are on par with addictions so I'm interested to see if I can apply any of those ideas to my own struggles. I hope things pick up for you too.

soxgurl thank you. I know what you mean, I used to volunteer at a nursing home and would come home triggered by emaciated women who couldn't move due to degenerative muscle disorders. I've been managing to increase calories by a little bit the last two days, so one step at a time. How have you been going? I really hope things have picked up for you. 

I'm glad you've been able to increase some, keep going! We don't want to become like people who are dying. We are young and should be living. Its ED that's doing this to us. I am doing pretty well, keeping my calories up and no relapses yet. Mentatly, I'm still not all there, but like you said, one step at a time! You can do it.

Jsw83

Recovery is not easy, its the hardest thing any of us will prob ever have to do in life.

I just wanted to tell you to stick with it, keep pushing on, fight the irrational thoughts and behaviours and see them for what they are - Anorexia trying to take control of you. The real you does not want to be like this for the rest of your life.

It has taken me 9 yrs to recover from a bmi of 12 to 21.5 with very little ED thoughts and behaviours now, and regained my period after 19 yrs without it.

My parents too are divorced and it was a messy one too, their disordered relationship had alot to do with my ED, a way of controlling my out of control home life and me punishing myself for not been reason enough for them to stay together. Life can be so tough, but you are your own person and what ever they are going through now you have to look after yourself, easier said than done i know. Therapy or a really good friend who you could confide in now for support would be good.

It is Anorexia that is making you unhappy, you will find happiness when you are free from it and get to full recovery I PROMISE YOU THIS. Keep pushing forward.

Sandy xxx

Aw, hun. I wish you would have messaged me!  I truthfully haven't been in the best place either but I always love to hear from you whether you're bearing unfortunate news or not. 

I'm sorry you're kind of at a lull in your recovery right now. Don't let this turn into a relapse though.  You were made for so much more and you can turn this around and things will get better, I promise. I'm sorry about the parents situation.  When my parents divorced, I surprisingly took it well...a little too well, according to my therapist.  Maybe I was a little numb from my ED but I've begun to finally start confronting emotions that I feel about not having my dad in my daily life anymore even though I've been separated from him for 2 1/2 years now.

Remember, PM if you need to talk <3

sorry for the self-absorbed posting, I just don't know what to do at the moment.

I'm at a healthy weight, but the binging has returned with a vengeance. tonight... I have probably had 2000+ over my usual intake. I feel sick but still want to eat. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!

I had my dinner, and then extra veggies, and then m&ms, and then some dried figs, and then some almonds, and then some milk chocolate, and then half a block of other milk chocolate, and then a pb sandwich, more chocolate, a bowl of salted cashews... ohh gosh. WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS TO MYSELF?! And I still feel like eating. This is ridiculous. 

I can't keep doing this. I am just going to end up obese and this bingeing will never stop. I'm destined to be fat. Like, I never could understand my body, that's why I was fat as a kid. I'm too scared to tell people that, like, the people who I know. When people say 'oh you're so healthy, the exercise and you never eat chocolate' I'm so scared that I'm only like this because of these rigid rules. I'd rather be like this though than fat my whole life. I'm too scared to cut the rules because of where I will end up. If I exercise 'for pleasure' I'll never exercise again in my whole life. I'm just inherently lazy and this is the only way I can keep myself from getting fat again. AND IT SUCKS. but I guess it sucks less than the way life used to be. ohh boy. MY head is stuffed up..

I'm so sorry for the rant. I'm really in a bad place at the moment. :(

ginger thanks again. I'm not doing great though. The intuitive eating worked for like 2 days and now I'm back to stuffing my fat face. I'm sorry, I feel like I've let everyone down.

soxgurl you're so strong - I wish I could keep your positive attitude. I'm glad to hear you're doing ok though, it's inspirational and I'll try and remember it tomorrow. You're right, this illness kills. But at the same time, i'm not engaging in anorexic behaviours at the moment. I feel like I'm slowly going back to bulimia, I don't know. I'm a mess at the moment - I'm sorry.

sandy your words are really inspirational. I just feel like such a mess at the moment - I'm not underweight, I'm just in a hell hole mentally. I've had so much to eat, I just feel like I'm going backwards. I don't know what I'm doing. I know I am my own person but this feels like such a big part of me. I don't know who I am without it. I don't want to be making excuses but I just feel like such a failure. 

mckenna I'm sorry. Sometimes I think that people don't want to hear from me, and that it would be better to just throw my thoughts into the open so that I'm not weighing down on people who I care about. I don't want to drag you backwards - you've told me about your own struggles and I feel like I would be triggering you if I were just to lay this all on you. I appreciate it though - you are really good to talk to. x

rs thanks. I checked out your blog and you seem to have a good attitude. I really hope you manage to fight through this - a lot of the time I feel like I'm destined to be this way forever. It doesn't have to be like that for you though. All the best.

Sorry to hear you are in a bad place!  But you can get into a good place!  One of the things I think you must address is the exercise issue.  Lots of people, when they were children, were technically 'overweight', myself included.  I never exercised but when I started wanting to lose weight, I exercised every day and became so afraid to stop is case I got my 'old body' back.  At this point, i was 83lbs.  I am by no means recovered, and only weigh 94lbs now, but have chosen not to exercise in my recovery.  The weight I am gaining though, is by no means going back on in the way that my childhood body looked.  I am gaining in a whole, more womanly way and it is soo relieving.  And I am 21!  So at 18, you most definitely will not 'get fat' if you do not exercise, any extra weight you gain will meerly add to your adult body appropriately as it needs to.  just because you are at a healthy weight, it doesn't mean that weight is where your body needs to be!  By trying to control it, you are not only sticking to eating disorder rituals but, like you said, setting yourself up to eat what your body needed during the day in the evening. 

Exercise can be anything and everything.  A walk, dancing with your friends in the evening, cleaning even ;).  I am sure you can exercise for pleasure in some way!  You will get over this and be free of it, you just have to step outside all your comfort zones. 

I'm sorry. I'm sorry I'm so self-absorbed with all this posting. I feel like... I don't know. I think I'd best shut up.

jenni thanks. I think I'm just in a dreadful state of mind, but I wish you the best with your recovery efforts. I think it's great that you're not exercising, I wish I could have cut it when I was gaining weight because now it's a mental barrier and I can't seem to overcome it. 

 

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