It is surprisingly easy for me to pinpoint where my problems are. Yet dealing with and progressing is like convincing a sober person on Bourbon Street flashing boobs for beads is a great idea. My feelings from day to day are based around remorse, guilt, regret, frustration, and living in a body and self I do not trust. Guilt is single handedly the most powerful feeling I experience everyday. Guilt starts in the morning. I wake up and my immediate thought is what I weigh, how my food affected me yesterday and how it will effect my mood in the coming day. The number on the scale, that stupid stupid number will either make me feel guilty for eating or ‘fine’ for not moving up or down in weight. I don’t want these thoughts but regardless they intrude my every morning. Self talk works for me but only to an extent. I can change my thoughts and talk to my mind otherwise, but it seems either way I am still going to get the self hate and self tormenting thoughts that scatter my mind all day. It is like a constant back and forth battle. I get frightened, uneasy and full of anxiety.
I am guilty for putting myself through this ED
I am guilty of dropping out of college twice because of my ED
I was guilty of quitting one job due to my ED
I am guilty of not fully recovering the first time and relapsing
I am guilty of over indulging in food
I am guilty of using or not using food for emotional reasons
I was guilty of vanity to have a six pack in my cheerleading uniform
I am guilty of lying A LOT my first go at recovery
I am guilty of throwing massive amounts of food away at points in my life
I feel guilty when I eat
I feel guilty when I think about food
I feel guilty when I look at food
I feel guilty when I am full
I feel guilty when I am starving
I feel guilty when I gain or when I lose weight
SEE HOW CONFUSING THIS IS!? It is like either way I go…the bottom line is I have no idea who I am. NO FREAKING CLUE. This regret based around food is incredibly hard to figure out how to push through. I do not want to feel ashamed for eating and thinking about eating for the rest of my flippin life! Why am I ashamed I eat? Because in my mind, I am such a failure that there is no way in hell I deserve food.
See, in my mind, I deserved what I got with anorexia. I was stupid enough to start a diet, dumb enough to starve myself and compulsively exercise and I was so selfishly into my self and the disease that I deserve the health problems I got, and to lay it out there I do not think I deserved to live through the bad times of anorexia I did have. I think I am guilty of living through that time and do not feel deserving of recovery. I do however think I deserve to suffer because I put so many important people in my life on the back burner, I ruined so many relationships, and I lost any heartfelt connections I had with my family members. I do not think I deserve to be happy nor do I deserve recovery. Maybe it is low self esteem? But I do not necessarily think I have low self esteem. I know in my heart I can and will accomplish tasks and perform well at my job etc etc and I know I am sane enough now to EAT every single day. But I am tortured with guilt and shame through some amazingly free floating self torture in my mind.
It starts with one decision, to eat. My mind does not approve of this thought so I am already battling with myself something I do not think I should be doing. But, if I do not follow through I will still feel regret because I do want to recover. If I follow through I will be flourished with undeserving fat-talk thoughts and a big ol will power dilemma of self control. How do I keep this from being the inevitable? Pretty much I pre-think out how my actions will influence my behavior and my mind because I cannot get past the fact that I deserve to be happy and successfully do this damned recovery thing.
It also plays into relationships. Nobody “knows” me. Like no one. Not even my parents. There is not one single person in the whole world that I can simply let my mind rest and be around (save maybe my dog). I always feel like I am putting on an act that is not me because hell, I do not know who ME is! Take guys for example. I love having crushes. I love luring guys into my life. I love when they get attached and for aN oh-so-short period, I enjoy the attention. And then I freak the fuck out (excuse the French!). I will not allow myself to emotionally attach to anyone. I don’t let myself actually fall for a guy. I cannot convince myself I deserve to be happy. And to tell the truth, I do not think any guy deserves me. I have the world’s worst anxiety and panic problems over letting someone into my little world that I simply can’t allow it because it causes me so much distress.
What I (think) mean is that no guy deserves my “total package.” I come with a crazy ass mind that I do NOT want to ever put anyone else through. No guy deserves to be put through the agony and shame I feel everyday WITH me. I refuse to do that to a person. So, until I figure it out, I will not let myself get attached to anyone, and I will keep pushing away guys, getting scared and getting annoyed by them. I am annoyed because I annoy myself with this safety bubble I live in. Having someone else in the bubble with me causes stress, change, and opening up. I do not know HOW to open up. If I try, I am speechless, again because I cannot figure out WHO I am. I will continuously back off and again, feel regret over it.
Reminders of how much I have screwed up my past is constantly, like a song, played over in my mind. It is like a constant clock tick extolling how I messed up, I am ashamed of it, and I deserve to suffer the consequences. Maybe I should really talk this out with someone. Well writing it out seems to help but I feel like I sound hopeless! Having regrets, especially ones I don’t talk about, is also a way of refusing to let go of something, and that’s not healthy for my mental well-being. If I can find a way to explain to my mom (maybe?) that I feel guilty every time I eat because I do not think I deserve food and I am ashamed to eat then maybe getting it out there, voicing it and ACCEPTING it will help me. Anyone done this? I do not know how to deal with regret. Regretting this ED and my past is ultimately going to play a role in my destiny. I have a constant reminder of my mistakes. Expressing it may act as a lesson from my past mistakes and allow me not to make the same mistakes twice.
Like in a bad food outing. One set back or screw up will happen inevitably. However accepting that I screw up occasionally, learning from it and moving on is key. If I don’t move on and accept that life isn’t going to flow easy shmeesy all the time then I can get on with it. I don’t need to agonize over every food every day and be bombarded with whether or not I deserve anything I get in life.
Everything happens for a reason.
So, is where I am now- this confusing, self hating, and identity-less undeserving being the person I am supposed to be right now? Am I learning from this? Is this supposed to happen because the path I’m on is what I am destined to take? Does everything really happen for a reason?
What I do know is that there are no do-over’s in life- at all. I can’t go back, I can’t change the past, and I can only accept the past, somehow. But that doesn’t change the fact that I do not think I deserved to live through the past and be able to experience happiness now. I am so so lost on trying to find myself. I do not know what I like. I don’t know what makes me happy. I don’t know how to be exceptionally social or what I like to “do for fun.” Isolation is safe for me and comfortable; but that is no way to live.
I disapprove of my self, and I think that is where my problem arises. This disapproval protrudes into my eating because being undeserving of my self equals being undeserving of food. The two cause the stress and anxiety and constant panic with eating. It is like I contaminate myself with this hate and it is flowing through many aspects of my life. Is my past repressed or suppressed? I know what I did, I have thought about what I have done but I don’t think my guilt is consciously related to any particular cause. Does this make sense? While nothing caused my eating disorder, nothing caused per say this guilt and regret.
I kind of fear recovering simply because I will be normal. Normal is strange. I do not know what it is, but it is not what I am now. I will be discovered by others with this normality and be forced to open up. I will not have my safe mind traveling 93468534 miles a minute everyday. I won’t be so acutely aware of my habits and my eating disorder because it will be a thing of the past. Fear of the consequences? I don’t know why I would be but I am. I fear the consequences of eating normal, of thinking normal and of socially in life being normal. I was once there, and it’s kind of like there’s a block of sadness that is keeping me from getting back there. I am avoiding the inevitable. I need to and will repair this mental block and this bubble will expand in my life.
Goal– to change the belief in my mind that I am undeserving, to change my disordered self agreement that I am undeserving of recovery and of food, health, and mental wellbeing, and make a conscious effort and choice to change my habits. Oh golly, this is so hard and so stressful. I have been in this “world” and so use to my mind for so long that changing it seems like a life long process and task.
My head so routinely plays over the same thoughts, the same anxiety and the same you-will-feel-this-way-for-doing-that crap everyday. The harder I battle to change my mind, the madder I get, the more stressed I get and I have this drop-of-the-pin irritability I cannot control. EVERYTHING pisses me off, everyone who crosses my path had better not look at me nor speak something that will tick me off. It’s crazy I get so worked up and panicked.
Thought: Recovery is not going to HARM me. That in itself, is an amazing realization…I just made. Geez this blogging and writing thing is great sometimes. I am scared of recovery, but why? It will not harm me- it can’t! It is adaptation. Changes in ones environment takes time. I will eventually adapt to recovery, I feel the process may be lifelong and a struggle.
Of course my nerdy neurological self did some reading up on brain health and fear:
“Several aspects of learned fear are important to keep in mind as we explore the neural basis of this form of learning. First, fear conditioning occurs quickly. Quite often, a single CS-US pairing is sufficient to establish a memory. In the wild, rapid identification of a threat followed by efficient behaviors boosts chances of survival. Second, once acquired, fear learning remains accessible throughout the life of an animal. Survival is also enhanced if danger, once learned about, does not have to be relearned. Third, defensive responses to stimuli previously associated with physical harm sometimes weaken through experiences that show that the stimulus is no longer harmful. However, the original learning can often be recovered either spontaneously or as a result of stressful events months or years after they have been weakened. Fourth, fear motivates other kinds of behaviors, such as avoidance and approach. Once these behaviors get ingrained, they become part of their own reality, determining the behavioral patterns of an individual.”
-Joseph Ledoux, Social Researcher
I am “conditioned” to fear food, because of anorexia. I acquired this fear over some three years I suffered enhancing the danger and survival of well, me. Recovery throws up defense mechanisms from my ED 24/7 at warp speed causing me to stress about recovery when really there is nothing to fear or harm me IN recovery. The fear motivates my set backs, my anxiety and my panic.
GUEY- A lot on my mind. I need to make some changes. I am scared to change. But…
RECOVERY CANNOT HARM ME
“Guilt is anger directed at ourselves” -Peter McWilliams
To add to the incredible length of this post, I stopped at the Farmer’s Market yesterday to re-stock on the foods i get mad about overconsuming, but hey- brave through the storm. what don’t kill me will only make me stronger! Here’s what I got!
Have a great day of eats! I am battling through now- but it won’t always be a battle, rest assure I will beat this.
AND PS- HAPPY FAT TUESDAY!!!! MARDI GRAS MAMBO!!!!
Laissez les bon temps rouler