WOO….Sorry for the mini blog break guys. I have been so busy with work. And you know why? I have so much energy and I have been putting it where it needs to be. I have been trying to get a raise and stay caught up and excel in my job. And if anyone has experience in accounting they know this is damn near impossible. I have been doing a hell of a job though. Also, father’s day and my parents anniversary was this past week so I dog sat this past weekend, got gifts, etc etc. and my little brother is home from Fort Bragg!!!!!!! He is at the house(my parents) until he starts school at State, pending he does not(FINGERS CROSSED!) get redeployed overseas again. He is the same ol big headed full blown walking testosterone guy he was before haha. He is obsessed with lifting weights and protein powder lol. I had a bunch of rice protein Jay Robb samples I wasn’t going to use so I gave them to him. I like Jay Robb whey isolate…anyone tried it?? I have been using it to help weight gain. I like vanilla. Mix it with coconut milk, cream and ice for ice cream… yum yum!
Well, my pre-req… step two in EDA anonymous deals with sanity and admitting to a higher power. I have not exactly decided or figured out what my higher power is yet. Obviously, it can’t reall be God, in this case a higher power just means what I look to for sanity in ME to admit for help.
Step Two — We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Here is what my workbook says for step 2:
Sanity- my problem with people knowing I suffer- Turning insane thought into sane
The idea of “insanity” makes many of us initially think of people who are completely out of control. That isn’t us, is it? Sometimes we’re not out of control but overcontrolling. To consider our own behavior “insane” can seem far-fetched. Isn’t an insane person somebody who can’t use their mind? Most of us are very much able to think logically, aren’t we? Maybe we’re even thinking too much at times. Besides, the idea of “insanity” can create visions of hopelessness. Are we dangerous for ourselves or others? Should we be locked away in a psychiatric ward forever? Are we useless burdens on society? If we’re admitting to acting “insane” at times, does this mean we’re declaring ourselves worthless?
No, it does not. However, it might be helpful to closely examine our ideas of “worth.”
“Insanity” can mean many different things. Maybe you need help. Have you acted irrationally because of your eating disorder? Have you weighed yourself several times a day? Do you ever feel different about your size from one moment to the next, okay now and grotesquely overweight just a few minutes later? Do you compulsively compare your body with other bodies? Do you obsess about what you should or shouldn’t eat? Are you terrified of gaining weight from even one bite of food? Eating disorder “insanities” express themselves in myriad ways.
How can we stop “insane” thinking and behaviors patterns? When trying to WILL ourselves into progress, we are reinforcing the very attitudes that created our current unhappiness. Are we broken? Do we need a miracle cure? No we’re not and we don’t. What we do need is a vision of what sanity looks like. We need to find hope. We need to trust that we can patiently learn to live sanely. Are we working towards finding a sanity we never before knew? Are we being “restored” to whom and how we were before getting lost in obsession? It doesn’t matter. We move forward. Now. We find inspiration. Sometimes we feel discouraged. Sometimes we feel hopeful. We keep working. We slowly move, step by step, towards a saner and more balanced life. Removing our personalities’ “bad” parts, so that only “goodness” remains, doesn’t work. Insanity cannot be removed. It can only be replaced with something stronger. When we’re overworked, we need to develop trust that we’ll be okay even if we work less. When we’re scared, we might need courage to face our fears. We need clarity to see that what we’re afraid of isn’t that scary after all. When we feel torn between different options we need the willingness to choose one and let the others go. When we swing back and forth between extremes, we need balance. All of this takes time and practice.
This is where the idea of a Higher Power comes in. Finding a Higher Power does not meaning looking for a cult or a guru. We find lasting truth and hope in our own practice. Trust and hope borrowed from others is only temporary. Kind people (in person or through books) help by sharing experiences. We learn to listen. We find out what applies to us by giving it a try. Some things work. Others things don’t.
We take what works and leave the rest.
A Higher Power sustains us through this sometimes difficult process, and beyond. Until we have built the necessary skills, a Higher Power can work as place holder. Then, when we have more skills, our HigherPower helps us grow further. At the same time a Higher Power helps us learn to love ourselves, even though we’re not perfect, and others, even though they’re not perfect either. What is difficult now gets easier over time.
Our concepts of Higher Power change and grow with us. It is okay not to have it all figured out. There are as many ideas of Higher Power as there are EDA members. Some members consider the support of their EDA group their Higher Power. Some people consider their own inner wisdom and their deep desire to get better their Higher Power. Some people consider the love they feel for friends and family their Higher Power. Higher Power can be a set of habits and attitudes which gives your life direction.
The concept leaves room for all different belief and value systems. It encompasses any spirituality and religion. When we are active in our eating disorder we are using it as our higher power. We trust what cannot be trusted. These behaviors offer little true peace or comfort. Many of us were at war with food and our bodies. Finding sanity means developing a different relationship with ourselves. Hope creates peace.
ANDDD here is my week in review with workbook questions answered!!!!
- I USED to be in this place where I only wouldn’t act on my urges/problems if I found a good reason not to – like, if I came to terms with eating, then I’d eat. If I hadn’t come to peace with eating, I wouldn’t eat. And it had to be downright necessary and perfect. I always had a choice to eat or not eat. If I didn’t really believe that eating was to my benefit, then I wouldn’t eat. But now, I’m in this place where I know I have to eat even if I don’t come to terms with it. Even if I can’t get out of my head, I know skipping a meal isn’t an option. I have to say fuck it and eat. It’s only as hard as I make it and I remind myself the more I regularly eat, the sooner I will get hunger or some kind of hungry sign.
- My body is catching up & filling out
- I had meal shakes 4 times as snacks. I like the vanilla.
- Even when I forget why this is the right thing to do, I still know it’s the right thing to do
- Some days I do feel okay when I wake up and good about myself. Eating all my food everyday is okay some days.
- I can recognize and act on times where I realize, I don’t know why I am doing what I am doing or trying to get away with and realize I am only fighting myself because I am scared of all this new routine
- I make/plan meals I know I want to eat. With this whole eating when I don’t even get hungry is frustrating so I end up losing sight of what I want and like. I made a list of foods I want to eat or catch myself thinking about and made sure they were included throughout the week. It made the overwhelming-too-much-at-once-I-would-rather-have-this-than-that thing go away. I can rest assure that what I may want will be there later, or can be planned in. This is very re- assuring.
- My BMI is not in a dangerous zone! It is considered on the normal but low end
- I have gained 6 lbs in the last month. I have NEVER accomplished this truthfully before(use to screw with the scale at the doctors office)
- Walks make me feel good. They level out my whack blood sugar. My head clears, I feel better.
- I have rough mornings where I wake up, feel full and like the previous days food is still in the top of my stomach, undigested. I feel expanded, and, because of those feelings, I have a hard time liking myself and, as a result, I have had a hard time connecting with others and being an enjoyable presence to be around. All I want to do is disregard food when this happens. I took the choice out of my life debating whether or not to eat so now I have to eat, there is no choice. I HATE THIS. I debate and think about all the things I can do to ‘get away’ with starving but when I focus on what I want right now, starving is not getting me anywhere. The only thing I am ‘getting away with’ is dealing with myself. So I eat and hate myself. I feel guilty, gluttonous and ashamed. I want to scream 24/7.
- I hate having to force myself to do things my brain does not want to. Everything about me and all this so fucking confusing and it all feels wrong, like I am going and getting no where.
- I constantly body check- grabbing my stomach, noticing my legs touch all the way up my body now, my face is fuller, and my arms are chubbier. My head however, expands this into a mental picture of a spare tire, turns 6 lbs in weight gain into a 500 lb nightmare. I literally feel every pound and when I walk my head reminds my I have a stomach jiggling ever step of the way.
- I FEEL LIKE I am ALL belly.
- My body is catching up and my head isn’t getting the message. Erin said it takes over a year for your brain to start ‘working’ in a sane way once you weigh enough. This makes me frustrated and I think recovery is pointless if I will ‘look’ fine and still be a mental nutcase for at least a year. No wonder everyone relapses.
- Not being ‘to terms’ with my head when I eat makes digestion incredibly uncomfortable. I bloat and my belly pops out as soon as I eat and I suffer incredible indigestion for hours. This feeling, and knowing if I can’t get myself to calm down when I eat makes it that much harder. Being around people when I eat and am not okay with makes it worse. I tend to not chew and just inhale, swallow and leave the room silent and pissed
- I get confused and question why I would want to gain weight to begin with
- I can’t stand when people tell me they wish they had my body. A lady at the post office told me she wished she had my body. At corner market, a lady informed me she was gonna follow me shop so she can eat like me. All this makes me assume I look fine. I don’t feel fine and I question why someone would want to eat like a fat person or look like one.
- I informed a couple people after a lot of questions on my recent break room visits for food or making a drink I am working to gain weight, and they couldn’t believe I ‘had’ to gain any weight- that I looked fine and it was ridiculous. Makes me feel like maybe I need to lose weight.
- When I do things I ultimately get pissed about or pull me the wrong way, I need to admit “I don’t know why this just happened right now, I’m feeling insecure and fat and out of control.” This is reallllllly hard to do b/c I am stubborn, independent and get frustrated with myself.
- My BMI is not in a dangerous zone anymore. This makes me think I am fat. I cannot be in front of a mirror
- Separate my mind and body before eating.
- Weigh myself ONCE a week, no more no less, and don’t act on it just be accountable for it
- Make eating peaceful
- Keep not allowing myself options & debate in whether or not to eat
- Stay busy in a way that I am not stuck sitting with myself over analyzing, debating, worrying, and ultimately sitting on the pity potty
- Do something nice and for myself….need to come up with something
- Find ways to calm down in public when I get anxious/nervous without having to totally leave or displace myself from the situation
- Sign up for a group/volunteer experience at St Thomas
- Keep a sane level with the fact that I define my whole life by the fact that I am independent and control my body, can take care of myself and fight my own battles and have no problems. This simply is not true.
- Change my standards- Understand I am an adult woman, and will have an adult woman body, not a pre-pubescent one
- Work on people pleasing. I always worry I did something wrong. If there is a problem I always assume it is me
- Look to inspiration to change ‘insane thoughts’ into ‘sane ones’- i.e. this is ‘my’ thought, how would mom view this thought (she is a healthy happy individual with no food problems)
Understanding my ‘Sanity’ and where it all went wrong:
I am not the person I define myself to be. I have a need to know I am confident and self sufficient. It is scary to admit I am not- like I have let the world down. In college when I began a ‘diet’ post freshmen semester gaining probably 50lbs in like 3 months I thought I was on the right track. And there in, at that time my second semester freshmen year in college: I switched majors, tried out for cheerleading against my parents wishes living in a lie, lost my soon-to-be graduating boyfriend, had to bring my GPA up from a failed first semester, and started a diet to drop my freshmen 50 I was being constantly teased and informed of. I had lost all the control I had previously had, and along the way had no idea why I was in college or what I wanted to do. I grabbed onto the one thing I could control. My food, my body and the scale. I became absolutely obsessed. I was continually praised by guys, girls, coaches and pretty much everyone as successful at a time where I was lost. I was able to handle a lot, do it well and all with a smile on my face. I didn’t complain; I did not show pain.
This praise became increasingly incongruent with how I was feeling. People seemed to have more faith, happiness and confidence in me than I did. I started to feel scared that people would realize I’m not as they thought – people would see that I do fail, I’m not always good at things, and sometimes I could really benefit from some help. Back injuries, broken or pulled muscles, a starving stomach, maintaining a size 0 jeans, being first in the 2 mile run every morning at practice, being the only one who can finish the push ups, lunges, and crunches and doing it all without question or a wink of pain. People admitted to me they were jealous, shocked, and questioned my ability all the time to do it all and remain happy. I made a mental pact with myself to maintain it all. It became a ‘known fact’ I would run miles around Frostburg and go to the gym afterwards, that I would drink bottles of Bacardi because it was practically carb-free but only touch beer when absolutely intoxicated beyond recognition. I lived off coffee and diet soda. It was so satisfying and confidence boosting- I had total control. This did not at all happen over night though. I developed man habits, opinions and distortions as I literally lost my mind.
No one knew how fucked up in the head I really was becoming even before dropping a good amount of weight. But there was more, after my freshmen semester I maintained a 4.0 and argued my way for good grades, I afforded tuition on my own and maintained a job, school, excessive social life, and cheerleading. There became such an unrealistic standard of what I should and needed to be, all determined by other people and their praise, and my determination to keep the control I had on my body. I had to starve- there wasn’t a question in it. I had to be the first to cross the finish line. I had to run. I had to lift. I had to do my schoolwork perfectly and beyond expectancies. I had to make people confident in me and my abilities.
In a quick fashion I became skinnier. It all happened overnight to me; I never noticed it. I never for a second thought anything I was doing was wrong. I was keeping people happy and no one was worrying about me. Then I started isolating myself. I wouldn’t eat around anyone. I had to be forced to go out at night. Alcohol became my go-to for energy and happiness. Everything about getting to a forgetful drunk made life livable, at least until the next day. I would spend every extra second in my room studying or rewriting papers I had already done. I started finding excuses to have to go home every weekend to avoid people and life. I was so anxious I could not conceivably calm down enough and see the present moment. Each time I came home to be told I looked good enough, and to start eating more. I fed off this, it gave me confidence knowing I had control. I couldn’t eat more because it was the only thing I knew how to do and do right. I had so many tallies, calculations and numbers were running through my head every second. None of it meant anything but I had to have it going on. It was stress relieving and comforting. I hated myself, I hated my isolation, I hated my body, food and the scale. I rationalized I was fine because I was alive, and due to birth control had a period every month.
My cheerleading coach and boss who was the football coach started questioning my excessive running and if I ever ate. I became unable to hold up the stunts I once flourished in. It was a struggle to throw basket tosses. I was so dehydrated. I was so tired. I couldn’t sleep. I did everything in my power to make sure my muscles would ache in agony every single morning I woke up. I didn’t want to spend hours standing on the sidelines cheering because I didn’t have the energy, wanted to run, and needed to have my tallies going in my head. Routine became my comfort, my everything. I couldn’t turn to people because they expected me to stay sane and perfect. I couldn’t possibly admit a struggle. Every morning I had to run before work. Every evening I had to go to the gym after tumbling practice. I had to get on the scale. I had to live off the food I managed to convince myself I needed before drinking0- I had this incredible amount of high strung energy from starvation and I couldn’t lose it. None of this had to do with my thinness or my body- it was all control. I relied on nobody but myself now and trusted no one. I loved the agony I went through mentally because it reassured I had control. I fed off people’s concern- it was so distorted and sick. I detached from life when I realized I was no longer pleasing everyone. Everyone was wrong. I was always ‘just fine.’ I wanted to be left the hell alone. I knew what people expected out of me and I couldn’t stand for anything less. I had to keep at it.
I had no self image perspective- it was pure hate. I was full of hate, for people and the world. I hated everything but I was always fine and happy. Everything was either perfect or not a possibility at all. It was all black in white. I was either all in or all out. I didn’t know how to see between the lines. Then I decided it would be a good idea to move to Mississippi- if it ultimately was or not I will never know. It gave me the chance to start fresh. New people would not have this self perception of me I was convinced everyone had. I wouldn’t have to keep my unchangeable routine or body and would have the comfort security of my family and still be ‘home.’ This however did not exactly work as I had pictured it. I didn’t realize I had lost all control over anything I thought I had perfect control over. I wasn’t controlling anything I was doing but regardless, I was still doing it. I began to despise my own parents and wished everyone would leave me the fuck alone. I wanted out- of everything. This is where life gets fuzzy and I stopped remembering things. Events or anything that took place for the greater portion of the first 2 years I lived in Mississippi I have absolutely no recollection of. I was so scared and so confused and numb to life.
It took my taking advice and force of my parents, which was totally alien and ‘wrong’ to me because everyone was bad, to get help. But, I did it to please them. The line I will never forget was my mom saying ‘I won’t lose you. I wont let you die.” If there is ever one thing you don’t want to hear it is that concern from your own parents. I went and got a meal plan to please them. I went to a therapist and yapped off what I knew she wanted to hear. Then one lady tried to tell me my parents and childhood was to blame. The nutritionist told me to eat tofu, low fat yogurt and whole grain bread. This is where I lost hope in ‘the industry.’ From there I beat around the bush about understanding my problem for a few years. There is no cure for eating disorders and people/doctors can only do so much. Getting healthy enough to live my life is ultimately my choice in this fight.
I pretended when I moved to Mississippi and forced to help, for a long time that I was doing better, twisting my mind around and lying about things I don’t even remember. I became one living lie. Everything was a lie. Food was a lie. Weight was a lie. Progress was a lie. Ability was a lie. What I wanted was a lie. Until I put on the initial get-me-off-death-row 20 pounds I had absolutely no mental sanity at all. I couldn’t fight it because I had to lie. It is all so sick. Once I was ‘heavy’ enough to see the problem I wanted to start working on it, hence my fascination with the human body and nutrition- because I saw the problem, and wanted to please everyone else. I had no idea what was right or wrong before then, I just wanted to be out and better. I was put on exercise restriction and tried my best to abide by some meal plan someone else gave me. But, as it has been the whole time, it wasn’t about my weight or the food- it’s the realization that I had no control over the disease but lived in it thinking I did. It is nerve wracking to see this reality.
I took up a grand interest to learn and understand more about the human body, endocrinology, metabolism and health than at all necessary. I have studied textbooks in the past couple months on exactly, down to the cell how the body works, what affects it, and what is good nutrition for the human body. I studied mental illness and eating disorders. This very aspect has ultimately forced and convinced me to get well, because I understand what is wrong. I, to a reality extent understand what anorexia is and why no one ‘gets it’ and ever will, I know what I am putting my body through, and I know the risks/malfunctions of my past and problems I am encountering in food intake/digestion/blood sugar/sanity all blow, but I know why it is happening. I more than know what I need to do now. While I have known for a while, and still know this, forcing myself into the change was and is a lot harder. I don’t know what it was, maybe an in and out admittance, or my problem beating around functionally living and getting ungodly sick of it that made me decide I need to take everything I know or have learned and produce health in myself.
Now, the past year or so, I feel like I am trying to pick up as that college freshmen 6 years ago who took so many wrong turns in life and still is left with no idea what she should be doing. I still see myself as that girl. My maturity level, my life in general and in the mirror. It is like I lost 6 years of my life I will never get back. I am stuck jumping from age 18 to age 24. I missed out on so much. I feel absolute remorse at the fact I couldn’t control my urges, my problems, and actually despised my own family/friends to the point of hate at one time in my life. I WAS NOT that girl. But I have to accept that really, that was me, I just wasn’t in control. I have no idea who the fuck I was. I feel so bad and there is not a damned thing I can do to get back what I have caused and the years/happiness I have lost, not even to mention the damage in my relationships and agony/frustration my family has suffered.
Sanity- my problem with people knowing I suffer- Turning insane thought into sane
Sorry this is so long! How are you guys doing? Anyone have step 2 experiences they would like to share with me???