Finally came a point I could, and do use my energy in activities besides myself. I have been promoted with two raises at my job in the past year. Like any anorexic, this mental disease is something I wake up with every morning. My choice is to FACE IT and ACT as soon as I roll over in the morning. The other option? To give into the evil demons that haunts my head with horrible body images. Never again will I allow myself to head down that beaten path. I will speak up before I slip, and I will fight myself ten ways to Sunday to make sure I stay level headed. I’ll be the first to admit it is ridiculous and disgusting for a 24 yr old to have once believed the thoughts my mind has hounded me with. In a way I can compare it to bipolar disorder. There were 2 sides to me, one that tells me I’m ugly and fat and the other that I try to bring out ALL THE TIME now. With each passing day it becomes easier and almost like second nature.
So what is the aftermath? When you don’t die, you live. I survived. I will never say I have not struggled along the way. There were forks in my road, but I took the one less traveled; I took the survival path. I am determined to get through. I really believe God does NOT throw anything my way I can not handle. It is hard as hell, but it gets better. Life is a gift, a cherished gift which should be a blessing to everyone here. You get one go at life, make the most of it.
This battle is in no way easy (nor will it ever really be over), but I’m now able to control my emotions and I actually have feelings again. I’m not just a walking breathing entity of nothing. I cry, I laugh, I make other people laugh, and am finally starting to feel the *spark* I use to have in myself.
The blame? I blame myself, I blame others, I blame God sometimes, and I blame society. The real blame is on me, I should never in my “right mind” have let myself get away with some of the antics I pulled. I’m working to sort through my blames, and get on with life, and only time will heal my punishment to myself. I have been discouraged throughout my fight because looking back, I see a selfish and immature individual. I cannot change the past, and can only make the future brighter.
As much as people would like to believe it and would like to treat the weight, my eating disorder had nothing to do with weight. It had nothing to do with my size, or my appearance. It was a control, a security and a safety. Trust me when I say I have “been there.” I know the thoughts, I know the torment, and I know the desire to release freedom from within and how much strength it takes to do just that.
This battle is nothing I could do when I was eating a set number of calories and “this many portions” of a bazillion food groups a day. It’s overwhelming, its nonsense, and it does not work regardless of what conventional wisdom may tell you. Food is just food and fuel for me to gain weight and live. This battle and war was been won, by yours truly, with so much support from a group of outrageously wild, fun loving, and straight forward people.
Will I have to be vigilant for the rest of my life? Will I constantly have to be self aware of my body and my thoughts? Anorexia is a creep. It is a nightmare that sneaks up at the most obnoxious moments. Am I strong enough to face the mental illness every time? Will I be totally encompassed in relapse before I am even consciously aware of it? I hope it does get easier. I feel like I have been in recovery for my entire life already. I want to start living it, not recovering from it.
Does it get smoother, less time consuming? I don’t know, I’ve never been there. Anorexia though, I have “been there, done that.” I never want to go back. Will I know when my habits start to submerge from the ocean I’ve worked so hard to burry them in? Will I listen to another who informs me they are again worried about me? It’s not like it has not happened before. I would never listen, never admit, and never accept the realization that I indeed needed help, and I needed comfort.
Sometimes I feel the need to rationalize everything I do. Actually most the time, I rationalize and wager with myself about every choice I make. If someone else, an outsider could experience my thoughts they would think I’m a lunatic, so encompassed in nothing but obsessive thought and behavior. It is all distorted and makes no sense. From my body image to my food choice. But then it happens to me and I experience it. It all for some reason makes sense. The distorted nonsense makes sense….to me. It’s “normal” might I say for myself. Is this the safety trap I have been living in for the past 3 or so years? This trap is set so tight I don’t even think a mouse could work it. When I am caught up, I disregard the real world, I hide from change, and I don’t accept or participate in any of the chaos of the world. But that is life, the life I need to be living. Life is chaotic and stressful but its fun loving and ever flowing too. It’s a great ride and I need to jump on board. Why do my distorted thoughts always make sense to me? Why do they calm my tension and stress?
My self-image. Will I ever see myself in the mirror again as other people see me day in and day out? Will I ever stop critiquing myself and comparing myself to something I am not? Something I will never be? When I was 92 lbs I didn’t think for a second I was skinny in the least bit. The number itself took me for a fantasy ride, but looking at myself, I was never thin. And today at 115 or so I don’t admit I am skinny or that I am a thin person(even though I am actively gaining weight still- I WANT BABIES). Why don’t I see it? Does this self perception make me fall back down the stairs I climbed so hard and long to get up? Will I throw myself back into relapse without even recognizing it? That is my biggest fear. I would love to be able to pinpoint what exactly it is that causes my anxiety, my OCD behavior and my anxious manner.
I need to exert this obnoxious control on everything I do. I don’t like change and I don’t deal well with it. I can’t help but be flourished with positive vibes from my head when I skip a meal and negative vibes when I eat more than I have planned. Why does it matter? Why do I care? Why can’t I once and for all let go, wake up like a normal person. I want to roll over and be thinking about the people I love, everything I can do in a day, and all the joys I am missing while lying in my bed. I would love to now what normal people think about. What goes through their heads everyday? What do they think when they look outside?
Then there’s my self security. With change in life come unpredicted outcomes. I don’t like that. I am uncomfortable not knowing what the result will be, and how it will turn out. That’s why recovery is so damned hard for me. I don’t know the end result. I think I live my life looking at the finish line, or the result. Of everything. Before even acting on a thought I am thinking about the next step, what will follow after and the end result. It is a securing thought to know what the outcome will be and be able to manage my thoughts and actions before they happen.
I don’t think it ends, but I need to learn to practice control only on the things that matter most. I can control how I treat others, my emotions for the most part are even becoming more controlling. But will I be so high strung for the rest of my life? Is it just a process I must learn to control, learn to live with and push past?
I won’t lie. I don’t ever jump for joy to eat. I like food, don’t get me wrong; I will never deny that. I am absolutely puzzled at how food can run my l every desire thought and actions. It is sad I get a high feeling though from a skipped meal, or even when I see someone shoveling in a bowl of pasta or French fries. Will I ever be able to “settle” on full and sit around okay with it? What is it about being full that makes my antsy, nervous and preoccupied? I will never ever be someone who can skip a meal unplanned or “forget to eat.” It just won’t happen.
I feel like recovering has it’s ups and downs, highs and lows and slips and falls. While I do not remember a majority of what happened at all during my worst times, I have flashbacks, old memories and old comforting thoughts slip into my mind every so often as to remind me that security is still there. Like my mind wants me back at that stage of repulsive obsessivness. There are days I remember the once forgotten rituals I use to do, the lies I use to tell and the food I use to throw away. It is horrendous. Everything was a lie. I thought I was a pro at it. No one knew anything was wrong with me, and anyone who questioned it got shoved away.
And the counting. Will it end? It’s in my every move. From the tiles on the bathroom floor while I am peeing, to the pews in church while the sermon is being conducted.
I need to learn to say yes. To every opportunity, every suggestions, every social gathering and every chance I get. It boils down to a choice, a personal choice and I know this. That choice is what I fight day in and day out. Discovering zero carbohydrate living is the golden ticket, a simple choice. Not strings attached, no thought involved. While I have never strayed from it once I found a home here, food is still not easy. It is still not “okay.” Eating until I’m satisfied is not fun, nor enjoyable. When will it be, or better yet will it ever be? I recognize it, but I always compete with myself for 100%. Only I can help me, and only I can recognize my fears and my anxious nature.
I don’t look to others for approval and no one needs to tell me it’s fine, ok, or anything else. What I want is the approval of myself, from myself. In the mirror, in my eating, in my job, my friends, my social life. I want to be comfortable in my own skin, okay with who I am, and who I want to be. I don’t want others to see problem with me, so I choose. I choose to hide my feelings and not expose any matters which bother me. My emotions all stay inside me in their raw content. Call it self pity if you will, but I want to accept myself. Sometimes I wake up and I immediately want to be left alone and be isolated. I don’t know why, if I did I would fix it, but the feeling comes over me some mornings.
” Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway.”
– John Wayne