Category Archives: recovery

Trust Issues

I don’t trust people.

This isn’t a reflection of you, or of any specific person, it is just a fact. I know that people suck. They will let you down. They will not be there when you need them. They will hurt you. They will ultimately do what is best for them no matter who it might hurt.

That’s fine. I know all this, I’m not some naive idiot who thinks the world is a good place and so are the people who inhabit it. I would rather be strong, and ready, and have the knowledge that people can’t be trusted, then be shocked when something happens and I am confronted with this information abruptly.

Thing is, because I don’t trust people, I generally expect the worse from them. Maybe not right away, lots of people are good at hiding just how ruthless and uncaring they are, but eventually something happens and you see through the cracks.

My case manager, I think that is what her title is, confuses me. She is soft-spoken, she makes eye contact, she has open body language and gestures with her hands when she talks (not in a violent way or a trying to create distraction way, in a friendly open kind of way). She doesn’t get mad when I swear, or don’t do a good job, she has…I guess it would be compassion…for like, everybody…or so it seems.

I don’t get it.

I keep waiting for her to yell at me. Or tell me to do a better job already. I keep waiting for her to push me harder than what I am able to deal with, to try and break me.

Instead of forcing me to do something, she suggests, she talks about something then asks if I would be open to whatever it is she was talking about. No demanding I do something. No “if you don’t do this then I’m kicking you out of the program”. Just a question about if I would be open to trying what she talked about.

I really don’t get that.

I met with her two weeks ago, I had filled out one of our weekly forms where we answers questions about how we’ve been doing that week. It is kind of a snapshot so they know how strongly we are engaging in our eating disorder behaviours. I wrote that I had self-harmed. Didn’t really think about lying on the form since I figured they probably weren’t read by anybody but she called me to ask about what I had done, how I was doing, did I want to come in and chat. I didn’t really want to go in and chat, what was there to say after all? I gave myself second degree burns on my arm because I didn’t know how else to deal with a situation. Does that sentence really require a face-to-face conversation? I don’t think it does…Somehow though I ended up agreeing to go in and see her.

We chatted. She asked if I would be open to meeting with the shrink they have on staff, he could talk to me about medications that might help, stuff like that. I said no. I told her the truth, which was I was uncomfortable with being in a room alone with a guy. Well, I don’t think I worded it quite like that, but that is the gist. I can deal being in close quarters with a guy at work, or in a public space, where there are lots of escape routes and they aren’t really all that focused on me and only me. But in a room with a closed door and no one else to keep them occupied? No thank you! She said she would be there for the first meeting, and after that if I wanted she would come to other sessions.

See what I mean? She could have just told me to suck it up and go see him, but instead she offered to be there not just for the first session which she would be there for anyways but follow-up sessions also. Compassion. That woman has it in spades.

I also told her I don’t do medications. They aren’t my thing.

So she let it drop, just suggested I keep it in mind as something to consider for the future. I lied and said I would.

Then this past week we had a meeting, the 8 week group I had been in ended and there are post-group meetings to discuss things, see which group I am being put in next, stuff like that. Again with the paperwork. Again with me not lying about stuff I did. I really need to just lie on these stupid forms already, sigh. I told her I wasn’t sure if some of the stuff I did was technically considered self-harming because it wasn’t cutting or burning myself. She didn’t actually say, but I think the decision was that the things I had done are self-harming.

She again brought up seeing the shrink. Before I could say no she said he is booking all the way into August so not like the appointment would be right away. She also said he could give me lots of information about the different medications, I can research and make my own choice, I am under no obligation to take any pills, but it might be a good idea to talk to him.

She wasn’t mad, or pushy, but her face had an expression that I don’t have a word for…like…ugh, I just don’t know. But when she made that expression when suggesting I see the shrink I felt like if I didn’t say yes she’d be disappointed or something and apparently I don’t want to disappoint her since I said yes to a meeting with him.

What the fuck.

So now I have an appointment the beginning of August to see the shrink and talk meds. I guess the meds are to somehow help me not self-harm. I don’t really understand how that works, but it scares me. The idea of taking something and it being able to affect my decision to self-harm or not, what the fuck is it doing to my brain that some pill can affect a decision like that? I worry they change who you are, make you less you somehow. I dunno, I probably sound crazy. I just don’t like the idea of popping a pill, having it mess with your head, and everyone being ok with this happening.

I may back out of the appointment, I still have lots of time to decide. Maybe if I manage to not self-harm between now and then she won’t even get that expression on her face if I cancel…it’s a thought…

dreaming

Permission

Last night, around 7pm, I realized I hadn’t eaten for 8 hours. Now, 8 hours is nothing, I have gone upwards of 48 hours with nothing but tea and diet coke, but at the 8 hour mark I started to feel hungry.

I knew I could resist it, fight it, not give in to it, and eventually the feeling would pass. I was really tempted to do all of that. I had a weigh-in the next day and if I didn’t eat that evening then by my weigh-in time I would have gone without anything solid in my stomach for a little over 24 hours. Add in some planned dehydration and it would be a great weigh-in!

But then this niggling thought entered my head, telling me normal people would eat something. Not just a small bite of something, but a meal. Normal people eat more frequently than every 8 hours or longer. According to the nutritionist I see, they eat every 3 to 4 hours…something I find ridiculous but whatever, shrug.

So I sat, and I wondered if I should eat, and I really couldn’t figure it out. I would think “yes, I should eat something” and then I would sit there paralyzed by a bombardment of thoughts…

  • what should I eat?
  • what quantity of food should I eat?
  • I ate 8 hours ago, do I really need to eat again so soon?
  • what kind of food prep am I going to have to do?
  • I’m tired, do I really have the energy to cook, maybe I should go to bed instead

I sat, curled up in a ball, staring at the kitchen for almost an hour, not knowing what to do. Even when I would decide I was going to eat I just kept sitting there, scared. I felt like I needed someone to tell me it was ok to eat, but who is going to tell me that? The only one I live with is the cat, he certainly isn’t going to tell me anything. I have no one I can reach out to about this, and even if I did, what would I say? “Oh hey, can you please give me permission to eat because I can’t give it to myself” They’d think I was a lunatic.

Eventually I went in to the bathroom and stared at myself in the mirror, trying to tell myself it was ok to eat. When I wasn’t able to do that I tried telling myself why I should eat, that didn’t work either. I don’t have any catch-phrases to tell myself, little inspirational quotes to get me believing I should eat. Hell, I couldn’t even come up with a plausible lie to convince myself to eat.

I ended up telling myself “you need to eat because…well, just because” and left it at that. I made a deal with myself, I could listen to music and dance while cooking, as long as I cooked and ate something. I couldn’t dive right in to it so I cleaned for a little bit and after a while started prepping my veggies.

I made roasted sweet potato and beets. I keep trying to roast root vegetables and they never turn out as good as they should, sigh. These turned out edible, but not amazing. I paired them with two little sausages so I would have some protein in there. I’m supposed to eat something from all four food groups every time I ate but I can’t quite seem to manage that yet.

That sweet potato had been sitting on my counter for 2 weeks! I bought it with the intention of eating it but couldn’t bring myself to cook and eat it. Too dangerous. Last time I tried eating one it sat on my counter for so long it sprouted these long stalks and I planted the thing outside to see if I could grow my own sweet potato…fyi, it worked, but only kinda. I had to plant it in a pot and one cutting resulted in 5 sweet potatoes but the pot was too small and the potatoes were tiny. Ah well. I really wanted to not have to do all that again with this one so I’m kinda happy I managed to eat it, even if it didn’t turn out as tasty as I wanted…I should’ve steamed it, it always tastes good done that way.

After I ate that I didn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day. I’m super pissed I ate it because I was up at weigh-in today, I’m sure if I had fasted I wouldn’t have been! Arg. So annoying.

I’m told that eating a “healthy amount on a regular basis” will not have me gaining huge amounts of weight and getting fat but one meal put me up over a pound! It’s hard to believe the counselors when the results of eating are easily seen in the number on the scale. If it is a choice between believing what people tell me or believing the scale I gotta say I lean heavily towards believing the scale, how can I not when it gives me concrete truth?

beauty

I Suck At Self-Compassion

Alrighty so the way my ed recovery program works is I am in an 8 week group session that meets once a week and once every two weeks I meet with a dietitian. I think I could actually meet with the dietitian more often but I’m not ready for that…same with my case worker, I think I could meet with her more often but I’m scared to ask and seem too needy. I do meet with her at the end of each new 8 week group for a check-in and actually, she is co-running the group I am in right now so I guess if I was really super duper struggling on the day I have group I could maybe ask her for a minute, but again, I haven’t actually tried asking because pfft, I don’t do that! 😉

After the 8 week group session is over there is about a month where I go to drop in groups (there are two or three to choose from) and my case manager decides which of the next 8 week groups she thinks would be good for me.

My first 8 week group was the Education Group, pretty much everyone starts with that one so we all have the same starting off point education wise about all sorts of things regarding ed.

The group I am in now is the Building Compassion Group and oh my god I suck at it! *rolls eyes*

It would appear I am not good at having self-compassion and not only that, I have massive instinctive road blocks around the topic aaaaaaand my brain goes completely blank when I am trying to come up with an example of self-compassion or self-care. I feel like I am failing this group…I don’t know if that is a thing, oh god, what if that is a thing and I have to repeat it? I so don’t want to repeat this group, ugh.

We have homework, and talk about stuff from our past and how it relates to our eating disorder and we talk about how we should talk to ourselves in a kind and caring way and blah blah blah. I am supposed to try talking to myself the way I would talk to a friend if they were going through the same situation, the theory being I would never be as mean to my friend as I am to myself but that doesn’t really work for me. We also do this guided meditation type thing at the start where we think of something about ourselves we are unhappy with, then let ourselves feel the pain associated with that, then be kind to ourselves and acknowledge that we feel the pain because we were hurt and to talk in a compassionate way to ourselves about that situation to help us move past it, or embrace it, or something, I dunno…it all sounds like new age hippie crap to me. sigh. I can manage to think of something I don’t like about myself, and even manage to feel some of the pain associated with that thing I don’t like, but that is as far as I get. There are no compassionate words coming to mind to say to myself, there is no acknowledging of a situation that was beyond my control and letting myself off the hook, there is no coming to terms with stuff.

I don’t feel I need to come to terms with anything. I believe that if something hurts you then you should use that pain to make you stronger. Use that pain to build a stronger defence so when something like that happens again you don’t get hurt again.

So yeah, I think I am not properly grasping this whole compassion thing.

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I couldn’t find a thinspo image that seemed right for this post and that got me thinking maybe I shouldn’t always put a thinspo image because ya know, I’m supposed to be trying to get better and scrolling through all those images isn’t exactly good for my frame of mind, so does not putting one of those pictures on my post count as a self-compassionate act? I feel it should count and I want a gold star for it! 😉

 

 

What My Stomach Feels

This may seem strange to other people but…I don’t really know what the sensations my stomach sends out mean, at least not every time…do other people know how to decode the sensations they feel in their stomachs? I think they probably do, which just makes me a weirdo in yet another way. *rolls eyes*

I gained another pound this week. Last week I lost 0.4lbs so it is safe to say I am NOT impressed. I want to be going down in weight, not staying the same, or going up, and yet, if you average the month I stayed the same. sigh. I go up a little. I go down a little. I go up a little. I go down a little. You get the idea. It sucks!

I can’t find the correlation between what I am doing wrong and the weight gain, I mean ok sure I had a couple binges in there…maybe more than a couple, but I counteracted the binges with restricting days and increased activity so I thought things would be ok.

They are not ok.

So I made a promise to myself, which I already hate because I loathe people who break promises but oh man, this one is freakin hard and I shouldn’t have done it.

I promised myself that every single time I eat something I will eat along with that meal or snack either some fruit or some veggies. I haven’t been eating them very often because well, oh geez, the explanation might need its own paragraph…

Ok, so I tend to not eat fruits and veg not because I don’t like them but because they are not a safe food. You would think they would be safe right? I know a lot of people who have veggies for safe foods because they are low cal but I don’t track calories I track Weight Watcher points. In the land of WW fruits and veggies are 0 points, which means you can eat as many as you want and it doesn’t count against your daily points – your Daily Points being how much food you have to eat in a day. So say you eat a 3oz chicken breast and a cup of veggies, you count the chicken but not the veggies when tallying how many points of food you eat.

But! Just because something doesn’t have points in the land of WW doesn’t mean it doesn’t have calories! Or fat! Or carbs!

If I eat those zero point foods then I don’t have enough space in my stomach to eat food that has points. I also mentally can’t handle eating that much food. So…I cut the zero point food out of my world. Not an absolute cut them out, I eat a tiny bit of fruit and veg, but not very much. I figured I was doing a good thing, all those people on WW who eat their daily points worth of food aaaaand eat fruits and veggies, they are taking in waaaaay more calories than they realize! I was being smart, seeing the flaw and adjusting for it.

However, in my more rational moments I realize I am not eating a well balanced meal plan and maybe the lack of ya know, food groups, is affecting my weight loss?

My safe foods are:

oatmeal, PB2 (powdered peanut butter), bread (two slices a day max), protein pancakes, eggs (one a day max), egg whites (two a day max), turkey bacon (two slices a day max), light shredded cheese (20g max a day), plain chicken breasts (2 per week max), 3oz salmon (1-2 per week max), greek yoghurt OR light cottage cheese (2-3 times a week max)

This past week I was craving corn flakes like crazy so I snagged some from work and added those in to the rotation but otherwise, it doesn’t change much. Obviously I don’t eat all that food in one day, but that is what I rotate between.

So yeah…not really seeing fruit or veg in there. I was eating bananas for a while, I was on a real kick with them and ate one a day, and before the banana kick I was also eating apples, the occasional orange, but like I said, I had to stop because if I eat an orange I am full and can’t eat food that has points that I am supposed to track, which means I end up under my points for the day and according to the program rules that is really bad. Like, epic bad.

Back to my promise to myself…I am now swearing that for a week, every time I eat something I will also have a piece of fruit or some veggies.

So tonight after working out I ate veggies with my chicken…and then I didn’t know what my stomach was doing.

It felt weird, it was making noticeable sensations and I have nooooo idea what they meant. Did they mean I hadn’t eaten enough and was hungry? I decided no since I’d just eaten a full meal by anyone’s standards. Did it mean I cooked something wrong and was getting food poisoning? I decided no because I didn’t throw up. Did it mean I ate too much? Quite possibly, I’m not great at understanding portions. Did it mean I ate when I shouldn’t have? Also quite possible, except, I was back from working out for 2 hours and according to the rules of WW and of people who seem to have this normal eating thing figured out, I should be eating.

So what the hell?

My stomach is making all these weird sensations that I can feel, that are distracting me from the tv show I was trying to watch, that are making me get up and move around because I can’t stand to be feeling them, and I don’t know what they mean, and they are freaking me out!

It is so much easier when I don’t eat, I can identify the pain from not eating, the feeling of my stomach giving up on getting food that day, the feeling of being empty.

This? This sensation that came right after I ate, this I can’t identify and oh man I do not like it.

How do I make it stop??

back 2

All Over the Place

I have been all over the place lately with my food…some days eating an entire order of bread sticks and half a pizza, other days eating 1/2C of oatmeal and calling it a day. I can’t get a handle on it and frankly, trying to figure out how to get a handle on it is exhausting.

The other day I realized I had spent 8 hours thinking about food. It was Oscar Sunday and I usually let myself have something as a treat for my dinner when watching the Oscars. So while at work I kept thinking about what I was going to eat, I was jumping all over the place with ideas: pizza, sushi, ice cream, home made burger with fries, egg on toast…and more. I couldn’t decide because every item sounded delicious and as soon as I thought about it I wanted it.

I eventually decided on pizza, specifically half a frozen pizza I had in my freezer, because I could track the nutritional information, it would be a treat, and it would then be out of my freezer.

Well, something went drastically wrong when cooking it and it became inedible. Not like, a tiny bit burned or something, I mean totally not a thing that can be eaten any longer and I had to throw it out.

Not impressed.

No way in hell was I going to take time away from watching the Oscars to cook something and I now had pizza on the brain so I ordered in from Pizza Hut.

Why do I do that?? sigh.

One 9″ pepperoni pizza and an order of bread sticks. Really all I wanted were the bread sticks and a dessert from there but I was trying to show some level of restraint…as if pizza is ever showing restraint? *rolls eyes*

I ate half the pizza and alllll of the bread sticks. My god I love carbs, Mmm! Weirdly, they weren’t even that good, I just couldn’t stop once I started.

Then I was in crazy levels of pain…I’m having some gastrointestinal issues and eating in large quantities makes the pain from those issues flare up. Not cool.

The only up side I can see is it makes my ice cream experience from two weeks ago seem… wait, I was going to say “not so bad” but it was bad, it was a whole new low that mortifies me. I had a tub of ice cream and I made a rule I was only allowed to eat it when standing up. The actual ice cream was mediocre but the peanut butter and chocolate cups that were in the ice cream were super delicious so I stood at the sink and dug out the peanut butter and chocolate cups, letting the ice cream go down the drain.

Who does that??

sigh.

So yeah, all over the place food wise…don’t even get me started on the mini cream puffs from last week at work…

I learned yesterday ED recovery takes 3 to 7 years…I’m in week 7…that is just depressing…

Not Imaginative Enough

I tend to think of myself as someone with a pretty decent imagination but when it comes to getting past my eating disorder and being “normal” I just can’t imagine it.

I can’t imagine not always worrying about what I am eating, or not eating, checking nutritional information, tracking my food, denying myself something tasty, labeling foods as “good” and “bad”, eating more than 7 foods on a regular basis, judging myself and every action or inaction I take with food, adjusting my life to accommodate my eating disorder…the list goes on…I just…I can’t see it…

At group today there was a guest speaker, someone who went through the program and has been recovered for years. She was there to talk to us about her experience, some of what she went through, answer questions. She was a good speaker, easy to listen to, seemed comfortable telling her story, answered all questions asked of her buuuuuut I dunno if I believe her.

Not that I am saying I think she is a flat out liar, just, I don’t know how anyone can claim some of the things she says, let alone someone who used to have an eating disorder.

She says she doesn’t weigh herself anymore, like, at all! She also says she doesn’t track her food intake in any way. She eats intuitively and she eats whatever she feels like eating, so if she wants fish ‘n chips she has it, if she wants a doughnut she has it, whatever she wants to eat she eats it and has no guilt about eating that particular food.

Is that even a thing? An actual possible thing?

I don’t think it is…

She says she exercises because it feels good, not to punish herself for something she ate.

Yeah sure, ok.

Here I am restricting my food intake because I so desperately want to binge but I am trying so hard not to and the only way I know to not binge is to not eat. If I eat something I’ll eat everything, so I eat nothing…or barely nothing, and what I do eat is a safe food. Which fyi, the list has gotten drastically smaller for what I consider safe. And that girl is saying she eats whatever she wants and has no guilt?

Not only does she apparently not engage in any eating disorder behaviours she also doesn’t have any of the thoughts. My brain is a constant swirl of ed thoughts and she says she has none of them? Not even vague lingering ones? What would be in my brain if it wasn’t always thinking ed stuff? It would probably be the most quiet, boring, brain in the world!

I don’t know how todays meeting was supposed to help me…maybe it was meant to inspire me? Let me know I can recover? Show me actual proof of someone who made it to the other side?

All I feel like I saw was a woman who says she doesn’t think or act a certain way but in gaining that she also gained weight and is not fat exactly but not thin…not where I want to be…why does recovery always seem to involve ending up larger than you want to be? Why can’t people recover but stay thin? Aaaaand that is a rant for another day! lol

I dunno…I don’t see what I am getting from these sessions…maybe recovery isn’t for everyone and I am meant to stay the way I am?

unwinnable-battle

Flare Up

So apparently the stress of an upcoming first session at ED counselling makes all sorts of ED behaviours flare up to crazy levels. sigh.

This past week and a half I was either restricting more than I had been or wanting to binge eat soooooo much. I knew I was freaking out about today but knowing why I was going crazy didn’t help me to stop going crazy or stop the urges or stop the behaviours.

Why does self-awareness not help stop the urges and behaviours? Seems if I am going to be looking internally at myself and figuring shit out the least that could come from it is lessened ED behaviours.

I guess I am asking for too much *rolls eyes*

So this first 7 weeks is Education Group. Today was sort of an intro to what to expect for the entire 7 weeks as well as talking a bit about why we develop eating disorders, what purpose they can serve, things like that. The group is run by two people and they divided us up in to groups to work together on some little projects. I didn’t mind the two other people in my group but oh man there is a woman in the larger group that I wanted to smack. She is so full of anger and has what appears to be absolutely no control of her anger. Ugh. She is constantly muttering under her breath, swearing, making sharp angry movements and noises when something is said she doesn’t like.

I get it, this process is most likely gonna suck, and she learned today that there is no guarantee of recovery and even if you do recover there is a chance of relapsing and you can even get part way through recovery, say move from Stage 1 to Stage 2 and then relapse back to Stage 1 before moving forward again to eventually reach Stage 3. I don’t see why learning this admittedly sucky information necessitated her behaving so demonstratively and so immaturely.

I guess I shouldn’t judge her too harshly since it has only been one session, and I will try to have a more open mind in regards to her behaviour next week but I really hope she doesn’t keep acting like this.

On another note we are supposed to make sure we are nourished before coming to the session so that we are better able to learn and pay attention. Uh, hello, I’ve been restricting my food for years, I am perfectly capable of learning when malnourished lol I don’t usually eat before noon so no way am I eating before going to this session, it starts at 10am! Who eats that early?? They provide Boost and some sort of bar, maybe a granola bar, not too sure as I went nowhere near either item. If we don’t eat prior, or if we feel the need to eat we are supposed to help ourselves. We are also welcome to bring our own snacks and eat while in the session, as long as we aren’t disruptive about it.

I don’t know why but this strikes me as ridiculous.

Eating some sort of Boost drink or bar when I don’t have the nutritional information is so not gonna happen! And bringing a snack and eating it in front of others? No thanks! Or even just eating in general at that time of day? Nuh-uh!

I’m curious to see if anyone else eats something in front of the group…

hate

stress