Sunday, August 7, 2011
Facing the disease/disorder NOT the food!
Just a few fun photos from when I took the boys to legoland a few weekends ago. It's been such a rough road with so much court with my ex who loves court, loves to lie, loves to create chaos, and loves to try and control (I don't say this lightly, court at least 90 times in 4 years.). Anyhow I take them to local places that are free or inexpensive but we have yet to do a real vacation but they loved this. We went for 3 days and even to the water park there (photos of that will be next blog! and yes I went on water slides in a bikini!) It was just the 3 of us and so much fun.
I have been gone from here a while. Just busy with the boys and work and let's not forget court court court.
For those just coming aboard I have been in recovery from anorexia nervosa since 2009after basically fully relapsing and spending 3 months in treatment. I have battled for 22 years but had about 7 years where I was "ok". 7 years of no diet pills, lax, etc etc etc. I don't want to put it all in case some of you get too triggered or are wanting destructive ideas. Because with that comes medical bills and debt and job loss and and and. You get the idea.
At this time I am struggling but not fully. I eat ok and have a therapist I see weekly, often twice a week. She holds me accountable. But with so much stress it makes it hard for an appetitie these days.
Anyhow I was on FB tonight and a gal who has a forum for those of us struggling had posted on her status asking us when did "ed" or "ana" etc appear for the first time. There were many responses. Some blunt and oh so tragic. Some spoke of how the disorder creeps in. It reminded me that though I started with bulimia at age 14 over being teased about my ass and being weighed and looked at with dance and drill team, it started ever so quietly years before. I remembered even in elementary feeling "big" and " in the way" when a teacher twirled this petite girl around and then went to do the same to me and said "whoa you're too big". I was 11 and tall. But he said big! I started to look down at my body, my figure. Looking at photos back then I was very slender but back then I kept hearing "big". I didn't just "turn" anorexic. More damage needed to take place for that and it did. It was around 14 that a girl taught me how to purge after I hit puberty and a boy told me I had a big ass. And so my story began and all those years of dieting, going from bulimia to anorexia, being at Remuda Ranch I focused on looking "down" at myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I hated me because I wasn't pretty or muscular enough or thin enough. I was in the way. Even being at Remuda Ranch I was unable to allow recovery to sink in because I insisted I was in the way and bigger than every girl there. I was bad at Remuda. Got caught a number of times but it didn't stop me from struggling and being sneaky in the program because I was focused on the symptoms. I was focused on the food and my body etc. I couldn't get past it and even refused Chandler as they called it then. I wanted to be a "successful" anorexic and wasn't thin enough to be that and therefore went deeper into it.
For years I struggled with facing the food, the behaviors, my body. And while all of this is treated in recovery I was trying to face and treat the wrong thing. It was yet another way to cope. Like a quote I heard in prince of tides " if you hurt the body, you won't notice the coming apart of the soul." I hate pain. I hate "feeling". I even hate the word "feeling". It was through my therapist a few years ago that I learned eating disorders are about relationships and about how I "feel" about myself and where I belong in this world. So when she made me go into Reasons in '09 for 3 months it was there that I was able to face the disease/disorder and what it was really about which so was not about the food. One of the main reasons I even relapsed with such drastic weight loss was because of court and my ex and not being able to protect my son. I felt such agony as Jack screamed and cried and reached for me every time he had to go to his fathers because some judge made him go despite proof and documentation of what was happening. I couldn't protect my baby boy and I couldn't control how the courts would rule. I felt I had failed my baby. I couldn't bare the pain or get the visions of him crying and reaching and kicking to get to me. The only thing I could do was lose weight. I could focus on that. I could control my body. No one could interfere with that. I had to focus on something else because I felt the pain would push me over. Being at Reasons helped me to realize I can face the pain. I can sit with it. I can process. I can ask for hugs when I need tangible comfort. I can write about it and share it with my therapist.
I still hate pain. I mean who likes to be sad? Who likes to hurt? I have two friends right now in mind who hurt so much and having such a hard time. I look up to these 2 ladies. They are strong women with careers and children and have so much to give but right now they are both going through tremendous pain and my heart just aches for them. I want to fix it. I want a cure. Just like in my own life. I wish my ex would stop. I wish court would end. I wish I had the funds to finish my degree. It kills me I struggle so much. I get triggered at work and with court and I struggle at times with "ana" thoughts. There are some nights I have been in so much pain I have had to just simply sit and cry and go bed only to realize that I am ok after. That it didn't kill me. That I didn't need to starve or purge or self mutilate or do anything but "feel" and know that it's part of life and it can and does get better.
Avoiding the pain through eating disorders or whatever else you may use only prolongs the inevitable of feeling and that's if you are lucky to have survived the eating disorder. There have been many who died trying. I don't want to be one of them.
Please know you deserve help, therapy, treatment, support. It's a long process, not to be rushed. There is hope and recovery is possible. It sucks sometimes but it's far better than the alternative, death!