Doors Closed

I’ve really been struggling with the eating disorder since my husband left.  It’s such a fight to eat.  And now that I’m sick, my appetite has disappeared.  I love seeing the number on the scale go down and am having a really hard time seeing the number go up, even if it’s less than a pound.

I can see myself going downhill quite rapidly.  I see little things creep up that I wouldn’t see normally until I was at a much lower weight.  Actually, they don’t so much creep up as smack me in the face.  Then I obsess and I have to find out more, even if I already know all about it and am rereading the same book/website.  Some of it is kind of worrisome.

I’m having trouble sleeping.  Last night, I barely got 3 hours.  I’m having a hard time paying attention and find myself spacing out quite often.  I’m depressed.  I don’t want to do anything, except lose more weight.  It take a lot to convince myself that it’s okay to eat.  Then it takes a lot to actually eat it.  I’m having a hard time with fluids, too.  The rules and obsessions and routines are becoming more intense and time consuming.

The eating disordered thoughts were really loud last week and in a moment of clarity, I called to see if I could find a therapist that is covered by my insurance.  (I wish I could see my old one, but I can’t afford her.)  The search isn’t going well.  I don’t have any out of network benefits and I haven’t been able to find anyone.  Then in a moment of clarity (weakness?), I called two treatment centers about their evening IOP programs.  It’s not looking good though.  These were the only two who would be willing to work within my school and work schedule.  Got a definite, “No,” from one and waiting to hear back from the other.  I’ll probably get the same answer though.  My insurance sucks.

But then I remember that I want to continue to lose weight.  I really don’t want to be stopped this time.  Not yet anyway.

Standing on the Precipice

I’ve been trying to distract myself for the majority of the day.  I’ve really wanted to just binge and purge all day or, at the very least, just dig out my laxatives.  And I’m not sure how much longer I can hold out.  I’ve tried to do homework, watching a movie, playing games on my phone and computer, taking a nap and the urges are still there and just as strong.

Last week, I had been thinking that it might be worth it to try to go through my insurance for a referral for a therapist.  I would love to continue to see the one I was seeing as she knows everything already, but I can’t afford her.  Even with her sliding scale.  The person I called was rude.  After I told her the symptom usage, she asked my weight.  I’m already embarrassed about my weight and it just kills me every time I have to say it out loud.  I lied and told her I weigh ten pounds less than I actually do.  She basically said I was fat.  Actually, she said, “Well, those symptoms haven’t made you thin.”  Yeah.  Ouch.

I’ve just been replaying that conversation over and over in my head.  Every time I go to eat something, I hear her words again.  I feel so guilty after eating, if I eat at all.  All I want to do is lose weight.  As much as I can, as quickly as I can.  I just want the food out.  I want to be empty.

On a good day, I can fight the urges and the thoughts with minimal usage.  Yes, I’m probably still technically engaging in behaviors, but you know what?  It’s better than completely consumed by the eating disorder.  Not really in recovery (but closer than I’ve been in a long time), but not completely consumed either.

I’m just too exhausted to fight it anymore.

I Can Stand on my Own

When my husband and I first started dating, I was in a bad bulimic phase of my eating disorder.  (Not that there ever is a good bulimic phase.)  It was rough.  It wasn’t something that I could keep a secret for very long.  So I said something that I had only said from a therapist’s couch.  It started with, “I have an eating disorder,” and slowly grew to include all the self destructive things that I did.

He never outwardly judged me.  And was always willing to be there.  No, he didn’t like it when I used behaviors, but he always held me after.  I learned that I could count on him when I began feeling the urges.

I have been through a lot of therapy.  Both on my own and with him.   I feel that in the past 4 years, I have really grown and am not so entrenched in my eating disorder.  I learned I didn’t always have to go to him when I had an urge.  I was learning that I am more than the eating disorder.  I started school.  I started reading (fun and homework) again.  I was starting to enjoy myself.

That’s when everything shifted.

We started fighting constantly.  We each said hurtful things.  I cried.  He sulked.  And somewhere in between my intense summer schedule and him working late and coming home wreaking of whiskey, we stopped talking to each other.

During one fight, he admitted he didn’t know how to be in a relationship with me when I wasn’t so involved with the eating disorders.  In front of my therapist, he admitted to not knowing how to fix me now.

I am not broken.  I don’t need to be fixed.  I never did.  I just need love and support while I worked on healing myself.  I am not an object to be repaired.

He doesn’t quite get that I don’t need my hand held all the time.  I am quite capable of standing on my own.

Invading Thoughts

I think I’m starting to see how much the eating disorder really is taking over my thoughts.  Yesterday’s post was meant to weigh the pros and cons of the options I have.  Not a rant of recovery versus staying in the eating disorder.  I guess I never quite realized how much and how loud they are.  There is no room for anything else.

Just last night, I had to rattle off a long list of stuff to my husband so I could get it out of my head.  And I’m sure I forgot a few things.

I want room in my head for other things.  I want to seriously debate the pros and cons of my options.  I have 3 possible options now, and all of them are positive and I smile when I think about them.  But I wonder what it would be like to have more opportunities like that.

How can I plan to possibly go to school, if the only thing going through my head are the eating disorder thoughts?

How would I be able to start a new job, if the only thing going through my head are the eating disorder thoughts?

By the afternoon, I can barely remember what I’ve read in the morning.  If I can’t do that, how would I be able to study for exams and be proficient in what I hope you be a new career for me?  How can I have confidence in learning a new computer system and add different responsibilities?  How can I include other things in my life without having the eating disorder take over?

I know what needs to be done.  I know I need to talk to my therapist and husband.  I know I need to eat.  I know all this.  I just can’t seem to get past the block in my mind to actually do it.  I can kinda do what’s needs to be done.  Just put one foot in front of the other and keep going, but the thoughts are still there.

Screaming at me to stop.

Throwing a fit when I disobey.

Punishments appear out of this air.

Do this.  Do that.

I’ll do anything to quiet the noise in my head.

Anything.

It’s just getting to be too much.

I know I have both good days and bad days.  And days in between.  I just feel like I’m really struggling to make it through each day with out stopping and crying.

I want to think about something else and not have my thoughts wander back to the eating disorder.

Choosing My Path

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.

maybe it’s because i don’t deserve it.

Digestive Distress

One of my biggest fears is that I am responsible for my digestive issues; that even though I stopped taking diuretics and laxatives 10 years ago, the damage from the pills and other eating disorder behaviors has been done and it’s all finally catching up to me now.  I was afraid of that the colonoscopy and endoscopy would show the effects of years punishing my body.  But there was nothing.  Everything was normal.  I tried a lactose free diet.  Then a wheat free diet.  Then both.  Nothing helped.

Part of me was relieved–I didn’t cause it.  The other part was frustrated.  Even if it was me, I wanted an answer as to why my stomach was having such issues.  I wanted to be able to work on a solution. (i wanted proof that i really was/am sick, then it would be okay to get treatment.)  But there’s been no reason for it.  Luckily, the digestives issues aren’t every day, like they were at the beginning of the year, but it’s still bothersome.  It’s annoying to always have to know where a bathroom is because I might need it on short notice.

I’ve been in contact with my gastroenterologist, but there’s nothing to be done until my insurance approves the capsule endoscopy.  Well, technically he did say I could take Pepto Bismol, but I can’t stomach that stuff.

All of this just plays into my eating disorder.  I don’t want to eat because I’m just going to end up in the bathroom 20 minutes later.  And I really shouldn’t eat that much anyway because I’d rather be losing weight.  But I’m sure that I’ve messed up my metabolism so much that I’ve barely lost any weight since the beginning of the year.  I hate that.  I want to recover from my eating disorder, but I don’t want to gain any weight.

These Lonely Nights

My husband has been working late this past week.  I’ve been alone in the apartment each evening, not really knowing what to do with myself.

There was the attempt at cleaning, but I’ve been absolutely exhausted because of the anxiety that I only had energy to clean the windows.  There was also the attempt at going to bed early, but that resulted in getting my second (or third) wind and not falling asleep until late.  And let’s not forget about the desire to read, only to stop halfway down the page because my eyes hurt (and I kinda really had no idea what I had just read).  Or attempting to finish one of my many started-but-not-quite-finished projects, but, once again, there’s just no energy.  (Or is it laziness now?  Because I’m sure if I really set my mind to it, I could do something.)

But instead–wait for it–I sit on my couch and play games on my phone and I’ll cuddle with my puppy.  But when my concentration wanes, it’s back to staring at the TV.

I, more often than not, go on these magical rides on my trains of thought.  And it’s usually not a very positive thing.  I berate myself for being ugly, stupid, fat, lazy, etc., then again for not doing anything to change it, and once more for good measure because I’m still struggling with an eating disorder.  It’s not a pretty cycle.

During these times, I’m much more likely to engage in eating disorder behaviors.  And it’s a lot hard to justify not going through with them because I am along.  I have an easier time fighting the urge when there’s someone else there with me.  They don’t have to know what I’m doing, but just having them there makes the fight easier to win.  I try to fight the thoughts when I’m alone, but I just don’t have the energy.

I thought I was ready for recovery, but maybe I want to hold on to the eating disorder a little bit longer.