It’s been a long & winding road…

I stopped blogging awhile ago. I’m not sure why – just time had passed, I was busy, I was working on other things, and I was trying to write my blogs in my journal. But the issue is, so much of my recovery history is here. It’s here because I wanted to be public in a non-public way. I wanted my experience and pain to help even just one person. I wanted this disease to mean something.

To catch up – I’m older, duh, but not wiser. After a disastrous episode on Abilify where I gained 20 pounds in a month (and no, I’m not exaggerating), I was able to lose 10 but the last 10 have hung around. So I’m 10-15 over where my set point weight was. To look at it another way, I’m only 8 pounds less than I was when I started Weight Watchers because I didn’t fit in size 10 pants with Spanx. I’m not a 10 – still a 6 (I miss 2 & 4 but not 0), but shapewear when I’m not in jeans is my friend. I have a belly pooch I cannot lose, but my breasts look decent, and I think my face looks okay, but not as good as it did when I was at my old set point.

I am also “sober” since June 6, 2015 (my last purge) with AA. Nope, not an alcoholic, but a self-described anorexic/addict, my addiction being compulsive behaviors (eating, exercising, self-harm, self-abuse, and many different types of avoidance from running errands to calling people to video games, TV, and even reading). Addicted to reading? No. Addicted to avoiding. Addicted to hurting myself. Addicted to hating myself. Because I’m not addicted to alcohol, I only attend open meetings. Did you know that anyone can attend open meetings? And that each meeting is very different? I have a great and supportive home group that keeps me going. And one of the things I’ve learned is that when I don’t think I need a meeting, or I’m tired, or I don’t want to go = I need to go to a meeting. Even a crappy meeting is better than no meeting at all.

While I’m sober, I am not fully sober but my new sponsor says that’s ok. It’s ok because she gets it, as an anorexic/bulimic, depressive, alcoholic, drug addict, self-harmer. And I think I have issues! She lost so much because of her compulsions, but then again, so have I. I still self-harm, restrict, hate my body, etc. but I don’t purge, and that’s something.

I’m still married, although my husband is currently checked out of our marriage (i.e. we rarely talk about anything non-transactional, sex is rare if ever, and he’s asleep before I come to bed, and gone before I wake). I’m cutting him slack right now since MIL had a mental breakdown, complete with hallucinations and delirium, this past week. Still I miss him, and with feeling fat and hideous, I’ve been shopping around and flirting with men. I’m not sure I could bring myself to meet someone, let alone screw them, but I think about it. I really do.

I see my shrink once a week mostly because I can’t afford twice a week, and my nutritionist once a month, because she really doesn’t help me much but my insurance pays for it. She helps me come up with ideas to eat but I’m not on an eating plan. I just don’t skip meals. I skimp all of the time, especially as of late, because I am so disgusted with my body and my weight.

My work contract is up for renewal and I’m freaking out and avoiding. My dad is still dying, between his stage 4 melanoma and advanced dementia. My sibs are pretty much checked out of the whole dad-thing, but they think they aren’t. I’m behind on everything, am avoiding doing work right now, yadda yadda.

The hardest thing right now is that I was in a car accident three weeks ago and hurt my neck, shoulders, spine, and right arm even though it was pretty low-speed (I was rear-ended). So I have doctor’s visits, orthopedists, physical therapy, and constant pain. CONSTANT pain. I’m not supposed to lift, exercise, do yoga, walk the dog (he pulls and weighs 90 pounds), drive more than 20 mi… really do anything except be. By the end of the day I am in so much pain I have no choice but to take a vicodin, but I try to avoid that as much as possible. Being numb is not a good thing for me.

And of course, not exercising is aggravating my anorexia. And yet I dismiss my disease because I feel fat and am nowhere near a dangerous weight. My depression is – eh. I’m now on so many uppers it’s bizarre. I’ll do another post on the meds that I take and why – it’s hilarious.

I doubt I still have my followers, but if you are there, or you read this, please leave a little comment. This world is too scary and overwhelming to be in it alone.

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Now that I’m a post-grad…

I “graduated” IOP two weeks ago. I didn’t realize it was such a big deal (very few people graduate – they either move down, or move out/quit). There was a rock ceremony which sounds silly but it was very humbling, hearing people I thought I barely knew say wonderful things about me. Afterwards, I felt like celebrating, only I didn’t know who would understand why I’d want to celebrate. So I drove home, stopping for a hot fudge  Continue reading

What I believe (or better yet, what Ana has me believe)

T asked me to write up a list of my beliefs. Knowing my anal-retentive perfectionist tendencies, she declared that I could not create a database for my list or write up an optimization formula, or even benchmark it against other people’s belief lists. So I wrote one, and it was okay, but I realized that there’s another side to my beliefs that was staring right back at me as I looked in the fridge tonight and saw nothing 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

Lost in the wide weird world

I saw T today – not my usual day, but she’s going on vacation (grr – happy for her, not happy for me, but whatever).  We were talking about how I amazingly went to three parties this weekend and didn’t purge, largely because I planned ahead on stress (I ran) and food (I tried to eat before and after but that didn’t go as swimmingly as I’d hoped).  But I didn’t purge.  *bow and clap*

She got that look on her face – you know the look.  Not judgmental, because that doesn’t work with me.  Not scolding… just…. curious.  And so she carefully asked me why I didn’t get around to eating after yesterday’s party even though I’d barely eaten all day.  And I had some lame comments but not really excuses… until I said in frustration that I’m tired of having to plan my food all of the time.  I wish I could just have an IV hooked to my body and never have to eat.  That earned me the double-eyebrow-raise.  And T doesn’t do that often.   Continue reading

Glimpses of light

Recovery is weird.  I expected it to be two steps forward, one step back – but always moving forward.  After all, I’m doing the work – I’m seeing my therapist every week, my nutritionist most weeks, my psychiatrist every 3 months.  I take my meds for sleep, my meds for depression, my meds for anxiety, my vitamins for my deficiencies.  I’m trying not to overwhelm myself, taking time for myself, exercising more frequently, getting sunlight, writing in my journal, trying to stick to my meal plans… What else is there?  Did I cover all of the mandatory “recovery bases?”

tomb-raiderSo I’m on target, on track – right?  All should be good with the world as I battle my demons.  I feel like I’m Lara Croft, fighting off some giant serpent.  But instead of slaying my dragons, I stumble.  I have days where I can’t think about anything other than purging.  I have days where I feel high because I forgot to eat and I think – wow, this is amazing!  I can not eat and feel fantastic!  Of course I feel like I’m going to pass out, but at least I’m thin!  Woohoo!  And I have days where I pull over in my car and cut my arm in nice neat slashes so it looks like I fell and skinned my arm and no one except T will know.  If I tell her.   Continue reading

Control, woobies, and Linus’s blanket

Oh, this is a big topic.  It’s pretty much a requirement that if you write about an ED, you have to address Control.  Everyone under the sun says that EDs are a response to a need for control in one area of our lives.  I get it, I really do.  I’ve read the books, I’ve seen the videos, I’ve heard the mantras.  “Let go and let God,” or “You only lose what you cling to,” or a billion or so other quotes and phrases.  I am a control freak, a perfectionist, an overachiever.  I love control.  I live for control.  I love to track everything I do, from fitness to food to steps.  I adore charts and all sorts of metrics and trend analyses.

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I love the movie Mr. Mom.  Yes, it’s an old movie and it’s dated, but it’s fun and harmless.  There’s a great scene where the dad accidentally vacuums up the little boy’s blankie, which he calls his woobie.  All sorts of things happen to his woobie – it gets smaller and smaller until finally the boy and his dad agree it’s time to let his woobie go.  Sort of like in Peanuts with Linus’s blanket, but Linus is much tougher.

Through the work that I’ve done with T & D, I’ve given up a lot of woobies.  I’ve stopped purging (mostly), I’ve tried to stop self-harming (eh), I’m trying not to eviscerate myself whenever I make a mistake, and I’ve started talking about my ED and my depression with a select few friends and my husband.  With my team’s encouragement, I also gave up tracking my food and my online membership with Weight Watchers.  I also gave up counting and calculating WW points.

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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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