WoW Lets get real here. I am so fed up with how the eating disorder industry, just like every other medical industry handles recovery, disease and nourishment. Almost every aspect of it I disagree with. From doctor’s advice, to medical advice, to nutritional advice, to exercise advice, to meal timing/frequency advice. But I disgress, this is a recovery based blog so I will stick to only exploiting the eating disorder recovery system here at my own free will. I really do NOT care what anyone thinks about it, but regardless I hope you THINK about it, consider it and really see the true potential. Recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Life can be free and real again. Life can be in the moment again.
First and foremost, anorexia nervosa is a mental illness. Some of you seem to think I disagree with this but I don’t. I think it is a developed mental illness nonetheless. There is no denying the fact that the MENTAL (keyword) illness is a real disease. However, when you popped out of you mother’s womb you sure as hell did not have anorexia nervosa. No, you didn’t, you DEVELOPED it just as someone with insulin resistance develops diabetes. Insulin resistance develops as a result of constantly high strung blood sugar mishaps coupled with some good ol western food. Anorexia DEVELOPS after repeat episodes of malnutrition. You may just start out with a zinc deficiency, not even realizing you have it. One causes the next, and before you know it your zinc deficiency leads to a K2 deficiency, leads to inflammation and leads to the absolute inability for amino acids to cross over your blood brain barrier, leads to countless other manifestations of this disease. This DEVELOPED malnutrition essentially IS anorexia nervosa, the mental illness.
Now, with this mental illness come many inabilities. You cannot see yourself as you really are. You cannot slow down your racing mind. You cannot live in the world as a human because your every aspect of life is in YOUR world, your developed mental world of malnutrition. What doesn’t help here is a family telling you how your ripping them apart and how the doctor is bending over backwards to try to ‘save’ you and your manipulative attitude or behaviors. It happens, it did to me, but it sure as hell is not necessary. If anything, a constant hounding in the presence of a mental illness feeds it. Anorexia gives you this sick rebellious desire to literally create chaos in your own mind and push everyone away to try and prove something that doesn’t exist(the ‘mental part’).
Here is where I lose my way with conventional treatment. You go to the doctor/psychologist/inpatient treatment whatever it is you’re forced into. You’re told to talk about the fact you have anorexia nervosa- admit they say your problem. Tell someone out loud you have anorexia nervosa. Wake up in the morning and discuss anorexia nervosa.
You wind up waking up in the morning now to take a piss ‘with’ your admitted anorexia nervosa. You look in the mirror and feel fat because you have ‘anorexia nervosa.’ You try on outfit after outfit essentially believing you are the fat whale you see in the mirror because you have anorexia nervosa. You skip breakfast because you have anorexia nervosa. You are mute all day and constantly keeping some sort of impatient movement going until you go to bed. This is all done with anorexia nervosa. You have a shit fit when you see someone order McDonald’s because you’re every desire is for massive food consumption however you have that biological predisposition to be one of the few people who can keep food restriction constant- power. There is no ‘rebound’ like a yo-yo dieter gets. Anorexia nervosa has power. You see? This makes anorexia the EXCUSE FOR YOUR EVERY ACTION.
So what was the point? From the time you wake up, every minute of everyday as soon as you start treatment you ‘have anorexia nervosa.’ and can play off it as an excuse. Cant eat enough ‘because.’ It comes with you everywhere. Every thought, whether it is distorted or it is sane comes with ‘anorexia nervosa.’ Every activity, every food choice, every word out of your damn mouth, and every thought in your inaccepting head.
DOES NO ONE GET IT THAT YOU’RE PUTTING THE FUCKING MENTAL ILLNESS ON A PEDASTOOL?!?!?!? Giving it this euphoric reality is the BIGGEST problem I see in eating disorder recovery. Do you need to accept you have a mental illness, yes. BUT IT DOES NOT come with you after that everywhere. IT SHOULD NOT live as an excuse for the rest of your life or some fallback source of comfort. It’s called the pity potty and getting the fuck off it, it’s called growing up, it’s called no longer living a selfish fake reality, and it’s called getting real. Your mental illness will continue to be ‘real’ until you are no longer malnourished.
This brings me to problem number 2. As soon as one is thrown in conventional treatment it is all about food and weight- in my opinion these two things have NOTHING to do with the mental illness but EVERYTHING to do with recovery.
Recovery is recovery for a reason. Recovery encompasses ONE THING, acceptance. Accept your disease and accept CURING IT, not living with it, not dragging it along with every minute decision in your life, with every waking thought, and with every food choice. If you do this, you haven’t accepted, and essentially you have not started recovery in my opinion, at all. Weight gain or not, until you accept you still have anorexia.
Don’t single yourself out. You aren’t different, you allow yourself to BE different. No different rules apply to you because you have anorexia nervosa. You play by the same fucking rules as everyone else in this world. When you have NOT accepted, you can’t grasp the idea that the same rules that apply to average Joe also apply to you. You truly, REALLY TRULY believe that different rules apply to you simply because you need to carry anorexia with you everywhere you go. You need to ‘eat every two hours’ because you’re anorexic. You need to eat X calories a day because your anorexic. You need to go to psychology appointments and rant about family stress, financial stress or whatever it is that bugs you because you’re anorexic. Sorry but I call bullshit on that. Everyone has rants and annoyances and it sure as hell isn’t because they are anorexic. You let other aspects of your life from relationships to job work to expenses to the inability to take road trips all exist because you have not accepted recovery from anorexia. You need to accept. Stop wearing this untouchable shield of abnormality about what you think you can and can’t do because of a disease. You can’t eat normally because you have a mental illness?? Really, that’s bullshit. Whatever you discover normal to be for you, you cannot do it without accepting recovery.
The hardest and most agonizing step in recovery is accepting. Regardless of how you ‘got’ where you are, how malnutrition took its toll on your body, or how you swear you’re different from me or the next person YOU ARE NOT. Another thing, EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. YOURE RECOVERY AND MINE WILL NOT BE THE SAME BECAUSE THEY CAN’T BE. We are not the same people; we don’t have the same bodies. I am fucking sick of hearing how someone thinks my recovery was a breeze because I got strong, or tell me they would have no problem shoveling in food if they knew they would look like me. WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK!?!?!?! Do you think I knew what I would look like??? Really, I can’t tell the future. Do you think I went into recovery trying to mock someone else?? NO I RESEARCHED FOR MYSELF I LEARNED FOR MYSELF. Do I know how much YOU need to eat, how much YOU need to gain?!?! Well fuck no, whenever you’re no longer malnourished and YOU are back. My journey (NOT YOURS) lead me to Paleolithic eating and evolutionary studying because I understand and trust it CURES MALNOURISHMENT. I started at Free the Animal. Richard provided me with a tough love real attitude about food and nutrition. If I have a recommendation for understanding good health I would definitely check out : http://perfecthealthdiet.com/ because I agree/guarantee 100% this will cure your malnourishment.
Instead of creating an alternative reality for yourself called ‘conventional treatment’ where less than 20% of anorexics ever recover (this means that 80% relapse) how about you ALLOW yourself to accept recovery. What does it really mean? This acceptance thing I drag on and on about?? What it means to you and what it means to me may be different things. You have to find the power in yourself to understand your true and REAL potential in life. Accepting to me means:
- anorexia gets no pedestal, no recognition
- there aren’t meal times and meal plans
- there aren’t calorie goals outside weight restoration and however the hell you achieve that is up to you- read, learn, trust
- weight gain
- trust in other people
- hormonal highs and lows
- bloating, puffy face, maldigestion, constipation, diarrhea
- sitting still
- crying with yourself because you sit in the moment
- laughing until it hurts because something so stupid made you laugh
- looking like a woman
- accepting a growing body
- accepting an elevated mood, new opinions, new ideas
and so so much more is involved in acceptance. I no longer wear my anger as a reason to be rebellious and ‘act anorexic.’ I accept my opinions, feelings and moods because that’s what applies to normal people. No one was dealt a good hand of cards in life. Everyone has to accept something at one time or another. Whether it is as mind altering and drastic as malnutirition or anorexia is a far cry from easy though. You will never, ever in your entire life accomplish something bigger or better than recovery. Never, not child birth, not marriage, not winning the lotto and being rich. NOTHING will ever come close to accepting recovery and rediscovering your life.
You’re probably pissed, because I am trying to change your behavior and thought process and anorexia doesn’t like that. Well, knock it off the pedestal, get off your pity potty and accept real life, real recovery. No one gives one shit about this except for you. You may have hounding families, doctors and dieticians losing hope in you or you may have no confidence in your abilities, but screw them all and screw your anorexia.
You won’t break, but until you BEND you cannot accept recovery. No one cares what you weigh or how you get there, they WANT YOU BACK. YOU, the person they remember, and the person YOU probably forgot about. You can’t fathom who ‘you’ are until you accept recovery. When you live with the disease you don’t see an alternative, and there is no fighting and curing anorexia because you don’t accept that there is. No matter how much I may gloat and tell you that you need to accept, you swear and put faith in ‘anorexia is a biological mental illness.’ I disagree, you may be predisposed to worry, stress, elevated cortisol, and certain behaviors due to genetics BUT YOU WERENT GIVEN A GENE FOR ANOREXIA, ie, you were not born with it. It is the manifestation of malnutrition. You inherited strong genes of control and willpower that gave you the strength to be one of the sick few who can starve themselves. It works against you but is your best bet in accepting recovery. Distinguishing your willpower away from your head and TOWARD recovery and your heart will help you immensely.
The way to accept recovery is to combat your mind. It’s sick, it’s distorted, and it is convinced you possess this inability to retain calories because of the hard ‘work’ you put into living with your disease. The work is done. That damage is there. It is up to your ability to accept recovery that will help.
Don’t try and explain it to anyone, they wont understand. It is ALL YOU. It is ALL IN YOUR HEAD. Talking to someone about your fear of eating 3500-5000 calories a day who is not anorexic…does that make sense? No because they sure as hell cannot grasp the concept. It’s like a schizophrenic telling you what a seizure is like. How do you explain that control, and power of purity from starving to someone who hasn’t experienced it? You can’t, because you have a mental illness and they don’t. So accept it, and accept recovery.
You’re not blind. Anorexics are incredibly, obnoxiously smart and sly people. Your slyness may be the reason you find recovery to be so hard because I venture a guess that 99% of anorexics still carry the badge of disorder with them everywhere. Being stressed about finances is NOT anorexia. Being worried about a mate’s long road trip out of town is NOT anorexia. You allow it to exist in other aspects of your life. If you allow it to play in then you’re STILL malnourished. KEEP GOING AND KEEP EATING.
Ask yourself what it would feel like to live under the same rules as everyone else. Then ask why you can’t.
You have not accepted.
You need to understand that you, and only you have created with mental unreal world that only YOU live in and you believe. It ONLY exists IN YOUR HEAD. Acceptance is right here, right now up for your taking and only YOU can seize that power. Only YOU can accept recovery. And the reality, only YOU can kill yourself with anorexia, not the mental illness itself- accept that and try to live with that….makes recovery look a little brighter already. Only YOU can make yourself well. Your family loves you; your support team loves you but until you accept recovery you cant allow them to help and nourish you. The access you allow or don’t allow yourself in life is purely your own.
It won’t be easy. Ever. But it will be better, even great.
When you initially accept recovery, the weight gain will be rapid- all in your belly, ass, your face and most likely upper arms. But you have accepted this because you have accepted recovery. You have accepted that it doesn’t last forever and life is better with the absence of a mental illness. You accept that at first, your metabolism is shot. The body will grab on to the calories because you are malnourished. Give it what it needs and it will give you a body you deserve, can love and trust. YOU NEED support through this period, accountability and trust because you should now be willing to accept it but need a shoulder to cry on- find it. It is beyond painful to go through this weight gain. It is just like a drug addict in detox.
So, breathe. Anorexia is a mental illness, malnutrition is the physical manifestation that causes the mental illness. It is a symptom of what is going on, the cure for the disease.
ADMIT anorexia, but ACCEPT recovery.
Only YOUR mind can decide to eat or not to eat. Only your mind can accept or not.
Treat your mind, and the body will follow.
Me showing off my increasing muscles because yes, I am damn proud of myself 🙂 But let’s not forget, I was once where you may still be…
And the HERE AND NOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!