I have no words. I can’t seem to express myself the way I want to. There are these differing feelings just below the surface, but they’re not coming out. The words aren’t forming. I’m not even sure where to begin.
I found out last week that my midterm for my class is a take home. It’s such a relief because I was worried how I was going to study to produce something I was proud of. Now I can write it all out, but I’m having difficulty. I understand the subject matter and I’ve formed my opinion. I’m just having a difficult time getting started. Well, I have a good intro paragraph (I think), but then I’m stuck. Everything I’m writing isn’t good enough and I end up deleting it. I’d like to have a rough draft done by this evening, so all I have to do is revise until it’s due on Thursday. But if I don’t get anything done today, then I won’t have anything to revise and I’ll be stressed and struggling to finish it in the evenings. I don’t want that.
Part of my worry is that I’m not smart enough to get this done. While I’m pretty sure this isn’t true, I’m still doubting my abilities. More likely, this is difficult because I haven’t had to really write anything in the past 10 years. Not anything that’s going to be graded anyway. I’m just out of practice. I know it will become easier the longer I’m in school. But there’s still that part that this is how it’s going to be from now on. I’ve already used up my writing talents when I went through school in the first time. What makes me think I can do it again?
I took my new medicine for the first time yesterday. I didn’t experience any side effects, so that’s positive. And my digestive issues were greatly decreased, which is great. It’s just what I wanted, but… I was consciously restricting because I knew I wasn’t going to have the issues anymore, so there wasn’t going to be any compensation. I’m going to gain weight. I don’t want to gain anymore weight. And that’s what the scale showed this morning.
I logically know that my weight is going to fluctuate day to day. It’s not supposed to stay the same. But I still don’t like that the numbers went up. And now I feel like doing whatever I can to get the numbers to go back down. I know I can’t do that. It will really interfere with my school work and life, but the thoughts are still there. Some of the follow through is still there. And I’m not sure what to do.
I’m taking a much needed study break. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Going back to school is a much more difficult task than I envisioned it to be. Well, I knew it was going to be difficult, but didn’t quite realize to what extent. The material isn’t difficult to understand, as I do have some knowledge in European history after the Enlightenment, but it’s just bit more tedious. All the reading is making my head spin. And I’ve realized that I read a lot faster when I’m reading for pleasure, regardless of my initial level of understanding of the material. But all in all, I am enjoying being studious. I love learning.
I just wish that the eating disordered thought wouldn’t creep in so much. In the middle of reading an article, I find myself staring off and adding up the calories I’ve consumed, or about to consume. There’s no relief. Just a whole bunch of numbers in my head. Then there are all the thoughts about food. What I’ve had, what I’m going to have, what I would really like to have. And the thoughts about my and my body. I’m too fat. Not smart enough. Not working hard enough. These thoughts are a plague on my brain.
This morning I found myself negotiating to eat breakfast. This in and of itself is not new. It’s the way I operate. But I had something new to add to the table. I couldn’t eat breakfast (no matter how hungry I might have been) unless I did at least an hour’s worth of studying. It’s just one stipulation after another. I can’t take a break until I’ve read the next chapter. I have to get through the next 10 pages before I can get something to drink. It’s just on and on like that. There’s no respite. And on one hand while I’m used to the negotiating, now there’s something new being thrown on the table and it’s taking me a bit to get used to it.
I don’t want to give up going to school. I really don’t. I think I’ve finally figured out my scholastic path (assuming grants and scholarships are given) and I’m really looking forward to it. After a decade of kind of knowing what I want to do, then debating it, I can see it now. But I also see the eating disorder blocking my path. And I don’t know if I can do it with the eating disorder there. I know ways of working around it, but I also know how much harder that is. And the proof is in this past weekend. Who knows how much of the reading I’ll actually remember? But I do know that I will remember every morsel of food that passed my lips and my weight each morning.
I’m going to be really honest here and say that right now, I’d like nothing more that to focus on losing weight–however that may be. It’s true. It’s the thought that plagues me the majority of the time I’m awake. I’m constantly thinking about restricting and how much I think i could get away with. I do let the number on the scale dictate what kind of day I’m going to have. I’m not too keen on solving my digestive issues because every little bit helps. My scope of vision is really tiny. All I see are numbers and fat and weight. All I care about is doing whatever I have to/can do to get the number on the scale lower. It’s a fairly sad existence. (I would say “life,” but I’m not really living.)
I need to change my stance. I need to change my viewpoint.
Quite honestly, I know I can’t accept a new job or start school with these thoughts still going through my head. But it’s so hard to change my way of thinking and the habits. I know small changes are good and are a step in the right direction, but every small change seems huge and daunting.
There’s the decision to choose recovery.
I feel that I can’t stay in this limbo for much longer. It’s not that I need to pick a side–I just need to actively choose recovery every day and make recovery minded decisions. I need to start aiming towards recovery.
I’m not naive. I know that I will have slips and make mistakes and sometimes lose my way, but as long I’m still moving forward, then it’s okay.
Or I can stay actively engaging in the eating disorder. But we all know that doesn’t really lead anywhere. I can stay just sitting here at my job, not really doing much of anything. Bored out of my mind. And complaining about it.
I know what I need to do. But following through on it is a different matter completely. I am literally standing in my own way. For some reason, I just can’t make the healthy decision.
I’m trying to push through the barrier still holding me in this relapse. But I can’t seem to figure it out.
I’m really trying here:
I’m talking more in therapy than I ever did. I’m telling the majority of my secrets (probably 1 big one left, but that’s a story for another time). I’m being honest about my behaviors. I’m making connections that I never have before.
I’m back on a meal plan. I’ve got specific times and food that I have to eat. It’s not pleasant at all, but I don’t feel like I can trust myself to go back to eating intuitively right now.
I’m putting speed bumps in for then I have urges to act on behaviors. I have a list of things to do and I go through them one by one until either the urges pass or I have to start it over again.
I’m actually taking care of my medical issues. Working on the digestive issues. Got my eyes and teeth checked. Regular doctor appointment scheduled for next week. And lady doctor scheduled for mid-June.
I’m not hiding things from my husband. I’m being super honest with him. He knows what I’m going through and is there to help or just hold my hand.
However, because everything is so multifaceted, there’s also this to consider:
I am HUGELY apprehensive about talking about my “big secret.” I’m really scared that it will be too much for me to handle and I won’t be able to function.
I’m skimping and rearranging my meal plan. I know it’s really not okay, but it’s the only way I can make it through the day without wanting to punish myself.
Sometimes, I can tell beforehand if the speed bumps won’t work. Even if they have in the past.
I really don’t mind the digestive issues. Actually, I do–when I’m in the midst of them. I kinda miss them now.
He also doesn’t know when/how to challenge when the eating disorder side is more in control than the healthy side.
I understand my fear of #1, but I also know at some point, I’m just going to have to jump. And #5 can’t really happen unless I tell him. But #2-#4, I don’t really get. I know it’s all still very disordered behavior, but I had previously been able to get past it. The last time I went into treatment I didn’t mess around with my meal plan. I don’t think I’ve been this pessimistic about alternative coping skills. (Not that I’ve ever been gung ho about them, but just not so negative.) And when have I ever wanted to feel like crap for days on end?
It’s just very frustrating to want to hurry up and get back in recovery, but not be able to because I’m standing in my own way.
One of the first things I do each morning is step on the scale and record my weight. I’ve done this for the better part of 12 years. And it’s probably been a positive thing for the majority of those 12 years. It was a reality check. I could look at the number and see it was basically the same as the day before. So in reality, eating the ice cream (sandwich/dinner/extra cookie/etc.) did not make me magically gain 15 pounds overnight. I had the proof right in front of me. And as much as I may have wanted to, I can’t dispute the proof.
But since the start of this relapse, getting on the scale has been much more ritualized. I get up. I play on my phone for 10-15 minutes. I go to the bathroom. I take EVERYTHING off, including my rings and any stray hairs that might cause the scale to not tip in my favor. I step on the scale. I close my eyes and breathe until I hear it beep. I look down. I step off. I record my weight on my phone. I curse myself because the number isn’t magically 15 pounds lower. I step in the shower and try to wash away the nastiness. Rinse and repeat again tomorrow.
I get so upset if the number isn’t lower than the previous day. I spend the majority of the day trying to figure out where I can restrict my intake a bit more and not have my husband notice. Or if I want to punish myself for a particularly ugly number, I’ll have some dairy. It does the same thing as laxatives, without the laxatives. (And this way I can honestly say I’m not taking laxatives. Look how I can rationalize anything… ::rolls eyes::)
Now, if for some reason, the number is lower than the day before, I just stand there in disbelief. I get on the scale again to double check. When it’s still the same, I logically tell myself that, “It’s just water weight,” “Don’t be too happy with it,” and the ever popular, “You could have lost more.” But I’ll have a small smile on my face when I record the number. A small part of me is proud the number went down.
It’s never enough though. I want the number to be lower still. And probably even lower than that.
But for right now, I’ll settle for tomorrow’s number being lower than today’s.