Evicting my inner critic

I haven’t been posting in quite awhile because I’ve been afraid to come back here. I started this blog out of desperation and loneliness, out of a desire to connect with others like me. It’s embarrassing to be 40+ years old and battling an eating disorder. We watch the stupid after school specials and either it’s a young girl who dieted too much and became obsessively anorexic, or a competitive athlete trying to shed a few pounds who became bulimic. But I’m not 16, I’m not a gymnast, and I don’t eat a single carrot stick with my girlfriends.  Continue reading

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Disproving denial

So I’ve talked about voice #1 – “the bitch” – the one who berates me, tells me I’m stupid, makes me feel like an awkward 12 year old girl with braces left on the side at the junior high dance. But there’s been another voice of late. She hasn’t shown up in a while, but I’m actually glad to hear her. Madame Denial. That’s right – I’m glad to hear Madame because it means I’m getting somewhere. She only shows up when she’s threatened. Continue reading

Too loud, too big, too much, too intense, too me.

When I was about 8, I came home from school and complained to my mom about some of the kids who were teasing me. I’d just started a new school where I barely knew anyone, and I felt isolated and alone. My mother listened to me for a moment, and gave me two pieces of Mom-Wisdom that hit me at my core, because when you are 8 and your mom tells you something, She Must Be Right. She’s Mom. She’s a superhero. Listen closely to her Mom-Wisdom. Continue reading

The perpetual cycle of shame

Long before I ever started therapy, I struggled with an overwhelming sense of shame.  On the surface, I was ashamed that I had to resort to purging to handle my issues with food, and that sometimes I had to hit or hurt myself to feel better.  I felt terrible and weak that I did these things, so much so that I only told one person about my self-harm, a then-BF I dated in college.  He later figured out the purging when we went to a mexican restaurant and I came back from the bathroom with a flushed face.  Ironically, he was angry that I had “wasted” the food (I didn’t – it was delicious, which is why I ate it and then purged it) and never expressed concern about my purging, or even how I’d been lying to him the entire time.   Continue reading

Seven minutes

T says that it takes seven minutes for the urge to pass.  Seven minutes.  I look at the clock, 9:14 and I think all I have to do is make it to 9:21 and I will be ok.  Like a computer, my mind starts to analyze the possibilities, every stream, every branch to look for an opportunity.  I could go for a run but it would take me more than seven minutes to get ready and the wet heavy fog that is pervading the city today is not what I want to run in.  I could run but it is late at night and if I get attacked then my love would know and I would have to go to the hospital and People would know, and that cannot be.  A minute ticks by, and the anxiety in my stomach grows.  I can feel every bite, every calorie, every fat gram that I ate in my perfectly reasonable and healthy meal but to my haunted stomach, it does not feel reasonable or healthy.  It feels foreign and the urge rises up within me and I need to find other options. Continue reading

Lying vs. letting the crazy out

One of the hardest things about having an ED is the lies you tell your family, your friends, coworkers/fellow students, medical professionals, and of course, yourself.  I’m just at the point where I’m telling a few close friends – and I think this is hilarious, given I’ve had ED with me in some form or another for almost 30 years.  Each lie is different.  With friends, it’s pretty easy.  “I have a sensitive stomach,” or “I have food allergies,” or everyone’s favorite, “I just ate.”  Coworkers don’t really care unless they’re nosy, in which case I’m not going to tell them anyway because they probably gossip.  Doctors are tricky.  For years I haven’t told most of my medical providers, in part because some members of my family see the same docs (e.g. my MIL, husband, and I all see the same dentist).  While I’m fairly confident the doc wouldn’t betray my trust, I have zero confidence in the people who staff the office.  One little slip and I’d pay for it forever.

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The road to somewhere else

This blog isn’t about my story.  It’s about all of our stories.  It’s for anyone who has ever looked at themselves in the mirror and said, “I’m not worthy,” or “I’m not good enough,” or “I’m hideous.”  Anyone who has kept their secret far away from everyone they care for, to try to hide the shame and embarrassment.  Anyone who looks at a stranger or a celebrity who is thinner and thinks how undisciplined I must be, because I couldn’t help but eat/binge/purge/cut/hit today.  That’s me.  That might be you.  We’re not alone, and we’re not freaks.

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