Goodbye Friend

My friend died.

Not just my friend, my teammate, a person I counted as family – but the family you choose, not the one you’re stuck with cuz of birth.

I spend more time with my sports team than I do with any other people. I train with them, compete with them, socialize with them, chat with at least some of them daily. They don’t know about my struggles with food, and I may not go to them when I have problems, but that is on me not them, choosing to keep certain parts of my life separate from them is because that is how I am made, not because they wouldn’t accept me.

He died in an accident while on vacation.

I can’t get his face out of my head. I keep seeing him smiling, joking, doing these goofy push ups that he does…did. fuck. I have trouble speaking of him in the past tense.

It just doesn’t seem real. I keep hoping someone will say there was a mistake, he was confused with someone else and is actually fine.

At the same time I keep getting over whelmed with thoughts that one of his family members had to pack up his stuff in the hotel, and make arrangements to get him back home, and give notice to his landlord, and he shares a business with his long-term girlfriend, what’s gonna happen there? His dying affects so many people in so many ways, the hole where he is supposed to be hurts so many.

This past summer he was in my suv when the team was car pooling to an away festival. He brought a ridiculous amount of fresh fruit and kept feeding me while I was driving (not actually putting food in my mouth but just making sure I kept taking some), I ate almost the entire ride, it was crazy. He insisted I keep eating the fruit because it was important for the driver to stay nourished. lol. He was odd like that. And he always wore this hat, blue baseball cap style, but it has this piece of fabric that comes down from the hat to cover the ears and neck, he got it on one of his previous trips to Hawaii. It is a goofy hat, but he had a great smile and he didn’t care that his hat looked goofy, just that he had sun protection, so he’d wear it with flair. And he wore the same jacket for practices and during crap weather on race weekends for years, this blue and yellow water/wind resistant jacket. It was horrible, but so him.

He was full of life, and so nice, not just friendly but honest to goodness nice. He’d help out anybody with their technique, but not in a jerk way, just in a helpful way. He was all about the team, and what was best for it. He was easy going, and had a great smile, and was generous, and sporty, and up for a challenge, and loved to live life.

I hate the idea that his last moments on earth might have been filled with fear, or pain, or confusion, or despair. If ever a person deserved to live to a ripe old age and die peacefully in their sleep, it was him.

I don’t know the circumstances of the accident, none of us do, the family is keeping that quiet and we are respecting their privacy. I don’t know if I want to know, I want to pretend he died in some non horrific way, but a snorkeling accident doesn’t make that likely.

I’m going to miss him. I’ve been crying since I found out last night. I basically alternate between crying and sleeping so I can escape the pain.

The team is getting together Tuesday for dinner at a restaurant he loved so we can all be together. I don’t know how to share my pain, how to not hermit when something horrible happens, so I’ll have to figure out how to maintain my composure by then. For now though, I’m going to go cry some more, because he is now a person I write about and talk about in the past tense, and that is just not ok.

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Intrusive Thoughts

I’ve heard a lot in recovery about this whole “ed voice” and “intrusive thoughts” deal. Basically, there is your voice, and there is the eating disorder voice, your voice gets drowned out a lot by the eating disorder voice. The eating disorder voice is pretending to be your friend, pretending to want what is best for you but it is actually telling you to do things that are bad for you, it is hurting you.

When you think about engaging in any of your eating disorder habits, that is your eating disorder voice. When you have negative self-talk, or you hurt yourself, or you resist getting healthier, that is also your eating disorder voice.

Some people in group have described their eating disorder voice in such a way that it sounds as if they legit have a second voice in their head, a monster scary voice, that orders them around and they either succumb to the voice’s demands or they fight back.

I have never really understood this idea because I don’t have some scary monster eating disorder voice yelling at me to do or not do things. I just have my own thoughts, my own ideas, my own thinking in my head, and that is what guides my choices.

Because of this I often wonder if I really do have an eating disorder, I mean, how can I have one for real if I don’t have this scary voice in my head, right?

For the last couple weeks I have made a ground meat, mixed veg, pasta, mix, all combined with a tomato pasta sauce. It is boring as fuck to eat, but it does take away the decision on what to eat if I am supposed to be eating but am tired, or can’t make a decision, or just plain don’t know what to do. If I top it with a bit of shredded cheese it becomes a miracle meal in that it contains all 4 food groups. It is something my dietitian approves of, even if I hate eating it because of the pasta, and the bland taste…I suck at cooking, sigh.

So I have a tupperware container filled with this meal in my fridge, just waiting to be eaten.

Mondays after work I usually have enough time to go home, chill for a bit, have a cup of tea, then head out to a weekly drop-in group. A couple Mondays ago I had to stay late at work and didn’t have nearly as much time. On my drive home I was calculating how much time I would have at home before having to leave again to get to group and I remember thinking I had the perfect reason to not eat before going, because there wasn’t enough time to make anything. Then out of nowhere I thought “good thing I have that pasta meat dish I made, I have enough time to warm up some, eat, and still get to group”.

Where the fuck did that come from?? I don’t think things like that. If anything, I think the opposite, I think “hey, time is tight, perfect reason to not eat!” and I am glad I have a justifiable reason to skip eating. A reason that I can use as a defense if anybody asks me what I ate, or if I ate.

So it would appear that if I have intrusive thoughts they come in the style of thoughts encouraging me to eat.

That is so messed up.

Next thing you know I’m going to have a random thought to throw out my diet pills, or not binge, or not burn myself.

I don’t know what, if anything, having this intrusive thought means. Does it mean I am getting better? Does it mean all the thoughts I feel are just me are actually my eating disorder and this one random healthier thought is the real me breaking through? Is it just a fluke thing that will never happen again?

I dunno. And I don’t know how to figure it out. I just know it freaked me out and has left me wondering, and ruminating, and dissecting, what happened ever since.

That’s Messed Up

There is a blog I follow that is exerts from a book written by a guy who had cancer. Each post is from a different chapter in the book and includes pictures from that time. It starts with his diagnosis and as of the newest chapter I just finished reading he is in round 2 of chemo and basically living in hell.

Along with the text he includes pictures from the time he is writing about. So the post I just read is written about Christmas eve and day and has a picture of him by the Christmas tree. He is gaunt, he has lost a third of his body weight by this time, he is a skeleton (his description). It can be hard to tell what his body looks like because he is always wearing 4 layers of clothes due to always being cold but you can see the changes in his face,

This most recent picture, I guess because of the lighting, he still looks super thin, underweight, an all that, but the dark circles under his eyes aren’t as apparent and he doesn’t look sick, just really thin.

And I realized, as I stared at that picture, that I was a bit jealous that he was that thin.

I also wondered if he, as someone who is now healthy, ever looks back at these pictures and longs for the days he was that thin.

That my friends is some messed up thinking.

I highly doubt he looks at those pictures and sees anything beyond how sick he was, how sick he looked, they probably bring back to him how crappy he felt, the hell he was living through, things like that.

But do I think that?

Nope. Not me. Not messed up me. I think how sad I would be if I was him, looking at those pictures, missing how skinny he was.

I have some pictures like that, where they really show how skinny I was, and I love and hate those pictures. I love them because they show me being skinny, they show that I was once able to get skinny and give me hope I can get there again. I hate those pictures because they taunt me, they make me scared I’ll never be that skinny again, they make me mad that I was skinny and screwed it up and got fat. It is so hard to get back there, and those pictures remind me of how far away from that I am.

Me looking at pictures from when I was skinny and longing to look like that again, to me that isn’t messed up.

Me looking at pictures of a man sick with cancer who is in the midst of chemo treatments and wondering if he misses being that skinny because I am jealous of how underweight he was, that is crazy messed up.

 

My Line

Everyone has a line that when they cross it they go “shit, this isn’t good, I’ve gotta fix this”. Or something to that effect. I crossed my line so accidentally that I didn’t realize I had done it until the damage was done.

And now I feel I have to do something about it. Well, sorta. I felt more strongly about needing to do something about it yesterday, when the pain and injury were worse, today, as it is healing and less painful I’m not quite ambivalent but close to…I imagine tomorrow I’ll be even less inclined to take action…I wonder if eventually my line will move?

Maybe that is how it happens…you cross your line by accident, have a day of “gotta fix this shit”, then the next day comes, you realize the world hasn’t ended and you’re still able to function and are less worried, and over time your line moves, so that next time you get to that same point that caused panic only yesterday you don’t even feel a twinge of worry.

That should be unsettling, but I sorta don’t care…

This probably doesn’t make any sense, lemme explain.

I don’t cut myself, that’s not my thing, but I do burn myself, which when written down like this sounds horrible but it really isn’t. I make sure to not burn so bad I will scar, or impede my ability to function, I don’t burn myself where people will see, it’s not a big deal.

Except apparently it is? At ED recovery it got discovered by my case worker and my dietitian and they didn’t take it well. Not that they freaked out or anything, but it became this thing that required more meetings and talking, and it is what ended me up having to go see the shrink. They take it way more seriously than I do.

A couple months ago I burnt my arm more than intended, second degree, and ended up with a small scar. It is annoying and I don’t like it. I have extensive first aid training so I am able to competently tend to my own burns, but even with tending, I got that stupid scar.

I told myself I wouldn’t do that again. I wouldn’t second degree burn myself again, I’d not take the risk of another scar.

Notice I don’t actually care about being injured or what it is doing to my body, it is pure vanity driving this decision. That and if my case worker notices I am bandaged up again it might open up more intense discussions etc and ugh, no thanks!

Well, two nights ago I accidentally second degree burned my arm, different spot, but still…not good. I didn’t mean to, I swear! And I didn’t realize how bad it was until Friday morning when I was at work, I scratched my arm and hit this massive blister that is surrounded by smaller blisters and a hella lot of red skin.

sigh.

So I tended to it.

Today when I took the bandage off to wash the wound I discovered that the freakin massive blister that was hard only yesterday has burst (I probably bumped it and didn’t realize) so my chance of a new scar is pretty high. Oh, and infection, the chance of infection has increased also.

Yesterday, after discovering it, I was upset. Upset with myself for doing this. Even though it was by accident I was still upset. I don’t want another scar. The blisters are in a spot that make it easy to bump and cause more pain. I’m going to have to wear long sleeves for at least a week to keep the bandage hidden. Basically, I am upset because this injury will affect my day-to-day life for 3-14 days (depending on speed of healing). It is one thing to burn myself when the damage is minimal and I am not affected the next day but this, this is affecting me and I am annoyed by it.

The whole being upset thing caused me to seriously think about my whole burning myself deal and I was motivated to want to make changes to stop the burning. I didn’t know what to do and I just kept thinking I should talk to my case worker, tell her what I did, tell her I want to change, ask her for help. I don’t want to go on meds but maybe there is something else that can be done.

Today, with the blisters healing, the pain less noticeable, my being over 24 hours from the time of injury, I care less about stopping myself from doing this again. I am more inclined to think that since this was an accident it doesn’t really count and what is the big deal, don’t blow things out of proportion, stuff like that…which may be my brain trying to rationalize irrational behaviour so as to stop me from recovering (and if that doesn’t sound like a sentence made by someone who is in treatment I don’t know what does! lol)

But yeah, I crossed my line by accident, and now I’m wondering if my line will end up moving as a result…something to ponder as I go re-bandage my arm. *rolls eyes*

War

I feel like I am at war with myself and I don’t know which side I want to win.

Lots of people talk about the whole eating disorder voice, how you have this voice in your head that tells you what you can and can’t eat or how much to exercise, or whatever – it is different for everyone.

But…I don’t really get that, I’ve never connected with that whole “voice in my head” thing. The choices I want to make, the rules I have about food and exercise, the way I look at food, it doesn’t sound in my head like a different voice trying to take over, it sounds like my voice, my thoughts, my choices, it is just me. Plain ‘ol me. Not some internal demon trying to take over.

I am the one making the decision to eat, or not eat, and if I do eat deciding what I will eat. I am the one in control. I don’t feel at the mercy of some voice in my head.

Sometimes this makes me wonder if I don’t really have an eating disorder, because I don’t identify with this idea of having a voice that sounds different than mine in my head.

This uncertainty, combined with my natural defensiveness and instinctive rebellion against authority is making this whole recovery deal a bit hard to grasp, or believe in.

Hence the war.

The dietitian I am seeing wants me to eat certain amounts of certain food groups daily, spaced out on a loosely timed schedule.

I don’t like it.

But do I not like it because I don’t agree with the plan on a nutritional level, or because I don’t like being told when and what to eat, or because I am feeling judged for how I do eat and feel like being given this framework to follow is a set-up for showing how flawed my choices are? They are all viable options for answers.

Every time I try to follow the plan the dietitian made I fail. Actually, not true, I managed it for two days, and I became permanently bloated, my abdominal area was distended, my stomach hurt all the time, I was miserable, so I stopped. I had to stop, what she wanted obviously wasn’t working. There is a flaw in her plan and no point in continuing with it when it is doing me damage.

That is my rational reasoning behind not doing what she wants.

I feel she won’t agree with that reasoning though…

This is getting off topic, mostly because I don’t really know how to put in to words what I am feeling, sigh.

I feel…

hmm…

I feel like I am at war, with myself, with my dietitian, with my case worker, with the world. I feel like I know what I want to look like and all I really want is help getting there but instead I have people trying to sabotage me and take me in the other direction.

I am getting fatter every day. I’m scared to step on the scale but I can see the fat in the mirror. I am losing some of my bones. I am getting rounder. I am contemplating joining a gym again even though I can’t afford it because winter is here and I won’t be able to run outside soon. I am terrified all the time, terrified to get dressed because any day now my clothes won’t fit. Terrified to look in the mirror because I am so fat and disgusting. Terrified people are going to start commenting on how big I am getting. Terrified my recovery team will somehow force me in to eating more – I’m not sure how they could, I’m out patient, and an adult, so they can’t force admit me, but the fear is there. I am terrified to be left alone near food because I feel I’m losing control and will just eat everything visible if given the opportunity. I am terrified that I’m losing my willpower. I’m terrified that I’m going to hurt myself again even though I said I didn’t do that anymore and I always keep my word. I’m terrified I’m going to get so desperate I’m going to pull out my laxatives and diet pills again, even though I said I’d stopped using them, because desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m terrified for the chest pains that come with the using of the pills, I’m more terrified that every day I am more and more ok with the chest pains coming back if it means the pills are working.

I am terrified.

And I hate it.

This battle is internal, and I don’t feel it is against some weird outsider voice that is in my head, it is against my own voice. The battle is me against me, the weak me and the strong me. The me that wants to be skinny badly enough she’ll do anything to get there, and the me that forgets the end goal and caves when she sees a pastry.

Why is how I think about food so wrong? Why am I supposed to look at it as fuel, or enjoyable, or as something that makes me healthy and strong? Why can’t the way I see food be ok?

If the things I think about food are my own thoughts, not some random voice’s thoughts, how do I know which is the right or wrong choice to make? When I think “I ate twice today, that is plenty, no more food for me” it seems like a perfectly rational decision. A decision that is my own. Not an invasive thought from my eating disorder. Just like when trying to follow the nutrition plan the dietitian gave me I struggle with doing what she wants because my thinking doesn’t align with hers and why is my thinking wrong and hers right?

I know I am not making sense, I told you I don’t know how to put what I am feeling in to words *rolls eyes*

Maybe I’ll figure out a better way to describe what I am feeling another day, shrug.

For now I guess I’ll just stay confused and at war.

Just Stop

Can people I know just stop dying, please, for like a week or so, because seriously man, I need time to catch up on all the grief I am feeling…or should I say trying to not feel cause who has time to grieve when people keep dying?

Ugh.

I feel like a selfish brat being all me-me-me while people are dying but ya know what, they don’t feel anything anymore, it is the people left behind who have to figure out how to process all the shitty feelings and some days there is just too much to process and you end up wanting to shut your eyes, cover your ears, and yell out la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you! until it all goes away.

Ironically, the person has already gone away, forever, it is the feelings that won’t go anywhere until you either stuff em down with food, or alcohol, or drugs, or some other numbing system or you, ya know, deal with them…which is not a thing I know how to do.

Normally I am dealing with one dead person at a time so while it sucks balls it doesn’t overwhelm like now. But right now I’ve got one dead person, one going to die any minute person, one grieving person because someone they know died, and one more person who could go either way (dead or back to some semblance of living, though the quality of life they would have is suspect).

sigh.

I know I’m coming across as glib but that is the only way I can deal right now. I have no appetite, but when I am around food I find myself eating out of reflex since usually I manage high emotional situations with binges, so I’m trying to stay away from food so I don’t mindlessly binge. I don’t mind the restricting, I could definitely use some low cal days to counteract some higher cal days last week, and the week prior, aaaaaand ok fine, the week before that too.

My eating has not been on point ok?

Now it is getting worse and I kinda don’t care. Thanks to some of the stuff I’ve learned in recovery I sometimes know the choices I am making aren’t the right one, or the healthy one, and I sometimes stand in the kitchen and think “the dietitian would want me to do this” but then my brain goes “but you’d rather do that” and more often than not I go with what I want, not what my dietitian would want, cause ya know what, it’s my life and should be my choice and her choices are making me fatter, so fuck that.

I know the mere act of living involves dealing with death, and yes I know there is no getting around that, but oh man does it suck. And going back to the selfish thing, I could really use a bit of a break from the death part of life, even if just for a short amount of time, if only to stop me feeling like I am drowning and can’t get my head above water for anything beyond a quick desperate gasp of air.

drowning 2

Bulimia or OSFED

Last week I got my diagnosis, sort of. I am either Bulimic or have OSFED. shrug. To be honest, I don’t really care what my diagnosis is. The doc said something about a sub-type restrictive, I wasn’t paying too much attention though.

He asked at the end of our appointment if I had any questions and I said no, I always say no when asked that by anyone, and inevitably I come up with a question when it is too late to ask. sigh.

I don’t understand how I can be labelled bulimic when I don’t throw up. I thought a core component of bulimia was throwing up…isn’t it?

I guess because I use laxatives and diet pills and exercise to counter act the food I binge eat those are being counted the same as throwing up…that is my best guess anyways. I’ve always wished I could throw up whenever I wanted, it seems a much more effective way to get rid of the food I binge on but I can never seem to manage it. Actually, that is a lie, I have very rarely managed it, but I never throw up a large quantity so I’m definitely not getting everything out, which makes it seem not worth the trouble. Plus, I like my teeth and don’t want them to rot out of my jaw due to all that bile eating away at them.

So here I am, a person who restricts daily, except for when she goes bat shit crazy and binges, and when she binges she then takes loads of pills to try to rush the food through her body, and who increases her exercise to try to mitigate the damage all those calories are doing to my body.

I don’t feel better having a diagnosis…not sure if I was supposed to feel anything by having it. I’ve read how some people become so attached to their diagnosis, it becomes part of their identity, I don’t seem to be having that problem here.

Guess that just goes to show how we are all different, shrug.

Today was a food gong show and I am so not happy with myself. ­čśŽ I was out of town (only an hour away) and was about to start the drive back but had to get gas, I was super hungry, as in that level of hunger that can’t be ignored. I wanted to ignore it because I was actually driving back in to town to attend a dinner with my team so I knew I’d be eating within an hour and a half or so, but I caved and bought some almond M&M’s.

Why do I do these things?!

I started eating them sooooo quickly while driving, it was insane.

I didn’t eat the entire bag, I managed to get a hold of myself and stop, but I’m not sure how many are left in the bag because while driving I sorta put the bag off to the side and tried to pretend it wasn’t there, then hid the bag in my glove box when I got to the restaurant, and left it there when I got home. ┬áMaybe I only ate half the bag, maybe three-quarters, maybe all but two of them, I just don’t know.

So there I was, feeling nauseous from the influx of chocolate and almonds and I was going to dinner. Ugh. We went to a Congee restaurant and I had no choice over what was ordered, the menu was pre-picked by our coach, and when I got there I was late so everyone kept pushing food at me so I could “catch up”. In situations like this I lean heavily on picking vegetables and shrimp, I don’t touch the rice, I usually don’t touch the noodles but tonight I did, and I took some of the beef and some of the chicken. It is all served “family style” so think Asian restaurant where all the food comes on platters that are placed on a large turning platform that is in the middle of the table and you take little bits of whatever. So when I say I took “some of the beef and some of the chicken” I literally mean two bites of chicken and about 4 bites of beef.

The good side to when we go to this restaurant is because it is expected you take a little bit at a time and put it on a smaller plate you never are expected to have a full looking plate and it is super hard for people to keep track of what you ate. So if I am strategic and time things right I can get away with only eating 3 or 4 bites of food the entire dinner.

Tonight I wasn’t strategic enough and ended up with more, and when I think about how I have no idea how anything was cooked or what was in any of the sauces or marinades I shudder. I imagine I ate over 1000 calories in that meal alone and that horrifies me.

It gets worse though.

We then went for coffee or tea and donuts after the dinner. It would have been worse and been ice cream but people wanted somewhere closer so to the coffee shop we went. I ordered a tea (that part is fine), and a Tim Bit (that is a donut hole). I thought it would make me look like I was blending in while everyone else was eating their cookies or donuts but it actually made me stand out because everyone thought it was so strange I ordered one Tim Bit and they kept commenting on it and teasing me about it. It didn’t actually bother me too much because that has been my go to for years, a single Tim Bit, you get the flavour of the donut with less of the guilt or calories.

When I got home it all came crashing down on me though. The M&M’s, the dinner, the Tim Bit. How can I fix this?? I couldn’t go running because (1) I’ve got this weird, super high level pain in both my hips that isn’t getting any better and is preventing me from running, and (2) it was really late, and dark, and chilly, and not safe to go out. Instead I pulled up workouts on YouTube and did some of those. I usually scoff at home workouts but this one got me sweating and moving a lot and it made my stomach feel better, like it moved the food along a bit faster. Thank goodness!

So now it is almost 2:30am, I am tired and going to bed soon, my stomach is growling which confuses me since I ate a lot today, and my hips ache and make me feel like an old person.

Not my finest day.

I guess though, since my one and only thought after dinner was how to get rid of that food, and throwing up is not a real option for me (though I keep trying), and my workout was specifically chosen to help mitigate the damage eating did, that counts as the purging part of the bulimia diagnosis?

I dunno…and like I said earlier, I’m not so certain I care. I’m not married to the diagnosis, or even to the idea of having a diagnosis. I wonder if there is a real point for me to have it, besides doctors being able to label me I mean.

Just one more thing to ponder I suppose.