Not A Team Player

Ryan is a fantastic husband.

I don’t say that to brag or make people think, “oh how wonderful for CJ, she has a great man.”

I am saying it now more for my sake, to remind me that although it is important for me to get healthy for ME, it is also important for me to get healthy for US.

He and I are a team and so far I have been a pretty shi*tty teammate in this marriage.

In the back of my mind I knew/know this. The poor thing has put up with me being away from home about half our duration of being husband and wife.

And I have seen him put up with a lot…I mean I seriously tested the limits many times.

I don’t know if I ever told you all this but we knew I was going to Princeton hospital the day before I was actually to be admitted. You know how insurance is, that stuff takes forever.

Anyway, the morning/day before I left I was a freaking nightmare. I knew it was my last chance to use any ED behaviors that caused me comfort. And since my anxiety was sky-high, because I felt like I was being “forced” to go, I of course engaged in them all.

I wasn’t supposed to be running. My heart rate was on average, about a 35-40 bpm and I had some pretty serious cardiac issues, but that a.m. before I was to leave, I crept out of our bedroom, tip-toed out the door, gym clothes discretely packed in a bag, and went to my beloved treadmill.

My gym has a glass wall, basically, right next to the cardio equipment….

So I am running away, only about a mile into my soothing stride, music blaring, thinking how fabulous this all feels, and out of the corner of my eye I see a man with a hooded sweatshirt, sweatpants and a hat, casually stroll by the windows.

Oh sh*t!

Guess who.

He looked at me, shook his head and walked right back to his car, speeding away and not answering a single one of my calls or texts.

I did not get off the treadmill, of course, since I still had about an hour to go, but I did make the attempt to contact him and tell him it would be fine because I was going away tomorrow and it was the last time He would have to worry about any of this…

Was/Am I nuts?

The answer is, ABSOLUTELY!

I also had an incident on our one year anniversary trip that I am not so proud of, which you can read about in my past post “behind closed doors.”


Yesterday Ryan came to have lunch with me at school.

He sat down and sighed.

“What’s wrong hun? Are you ok?”

“No. I am tired.”

I knew what he meant. He wasn’t sleepy tired like he wanted a nap, he was tired of dealing with all that comes with living with me. (I should say merely existing with me)

We don’t go out. I am in bed early. Restaurants are pretty much out of the questions unless I pre-approve them. We don’t have other couples as friends anymore. And we cannot do any of the activities we used to like to do together because most of them involve some sort of physical activity.

I have taken ALL of that away.

Not to mention I look disgusting.

Contrary to what I may believe in my sick and twisted brain, Ryan, and really any other male I have talked to, is not particularly attracted to bone.

It isn’t fun to hug. It is hard to be intimate because the body tends to look more like a child than a woman. Clothes don’t necessary fit right. And sometimes I even look tired and sick, when I am feeling fine.

As you all know the past few weeks I have not done well. I kind of threw my meal plan out the window and just decided to take things into my own hands, which really was not a good idea, and it is starting to show.

For thirty minutes we discussed the frustrations of being a partnership and living with someone who is a pretty sucky companion.

He can help me all he wants. He can do his best to reframe, encourage and support, but unless I actually do what I am supposed to, recovery is kind of a wash.

As one of my commenters pointed out the other day, if I cant do it for me, the least I can do is think about all those I love, who hurt because I hurt, and who seriously just want what is best for ME.

They aren’t being selfish or conspiring to make me fat. They are just trying to keep me alive and give me a quality of life, while putting their lives on hold.

It is a shame I have been too consumed with myself to step up to the plate, but I really really REALLY need to join my team.

Please, someone, something, give me the strength to do so, because although I have spouted out positive words, or written posts about how I am going to change my ways, not much progress has been made.

I need to listen to my own advice…

Stop waiting for tomorrow and do it today, because life is way too short to procrastinate on a task that is SO important.


18 thoughts on “Not A Team Player

  1. Hi CJ…my heart goes out to you. It’s hard to read your comments, as someone who has been there before. But I am someone who has been there and come out of it. It wasn’t fast or easy. In fact, it took years and slowly but surely I came to a point of real recovery. Today, I still have a lot of anxieties and thoughts but I’m able to table them in exchange for rationality. I don’t know if you are religious but I believe part of my recovery was answered prayer. If nothing else, just putting it out there and knowing you are trying. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before but taking every moment one at a time an replacing every possible irrationale thought with a more rational one in its place is a good plan. It can be painstaking but it is worth it. I really hope you are able to get through this this time. Hold on to the TRUTH that there is something better…peace about this. The little steps that feel like they aren’t working add up in the end….

    • thank you so much for the advice. its funny you mention religion because prayer has been very calming for me through the recovery process. God is a wonderful outlet to turn to during major struggles so thank you for reminding me of that.
      you are so sweet to share your experiences and it is nice to know there is light at the end of the tunnel! thank you again!

  2. it’s funny, cuz i threw my “force myself to eat” plan out the window and like you…it made me worse…which proves this cannot be “natural” 😦

    about ryan…i was thinking this while watching “the bachelor” the other night…the bachelor and one of the girls went out on a date and he was like “want to get ice cream”..and she was like “definitely” and they both got huge big cones and gobbled it up…

    • omg the bachelor! i was thinking that same thing this week when i watched it, like, “man i wish i could do that!” spontaneity is certainly not my strong suit!

  3. Been in a similar situation (also with a wonderful, supportive, patient, longsuffering husband), done that. It gets exhausting, and only makes you (us) feel guiltier, and it all just sorta spirals from there. *sigh* I’d learned how to shut down emotions a long time ago (I know, it sounds horrible… another – NOT recommended – unhealthy and damaging coping mechanism) and retreat into my head. Which didn’t help at all with the crazy, vicious ed voice living there.

    BUT… even though sometimes each moment and decision is a struggle, you *still* have a choice. Is it easy? Oh heck no. Does it take a freakin’ long time? Yes, it can. Does it ever get easier… the thoughts get quieter, but it can still be hard.

    As long as you’re still breathing, you can keep going, and fight it. Fight it by making the choices that will keep you alive. Fight by eating that banana with nut butter and oats for breakfast, with a side of greek yogurt (and yes, tears might ensue when you get overwhelmed; cry, but keep going). Fight by resting (ahem… I should listen to this one, I finally learned that my husband absolutely loves to have movie date nights, which involves snuggling on the couch… I don’t love the sitting, but I love him, so I try).

    You *know* what to do. Give yourself permission to heal.

    • i do have a choice and the choice is often not easy, just as you said. but also like you said, even if i make one bad decision, as long as i am still breathing i can fight. thank you so much for reminding me of that, and helping me have the strength to eat the snack i did not really want this morning. 🙂

      • Woo-hoo girl! Awesome job on having a snack!

        Those dang feelings get in the way sometimes of what we need to do in order to heal, or take care of / be gentle with ourselves.

        Feelings are real (duh). And they can be very strong. But they’re not necessarily reality. I’m not talking about the “fake it till you make it” mindset, but more recognizing that there are feelings, and that those feelings can actually harm us if we wait to feel something before acting.

        Do what you know you should… for yourself, for your wonderfuly husband, for the future – your future, together… and eventually the feelings will begin follow. Until then, keep acting as needed to heal.

  4. CJ..

    I am so sorry to hear that you are still struggling so much with ED. I can’t imagine how tough it must be everyday, however, you have SO many people who care about you and are rooting for you to get through this. You are so open and honest on your blog and hopefully you will be able to look back on it someday and be proud that you overcame such an obstacle.

    Thinking of you!


    • Quinn! thank you so much for your message! it is so sweet of you to share your concern. i often check in on your beautiful family on facebook. you are raising such a precious child 🙂 xoxox

  5. Take out the mirrors at the house. Stop buying food with nutritional ingredients on them. If they are in a box then have Ryan take the bags out of the box so you can’t look at calories. I know that your body is going to feel “weird, fat, uncomfortable” but it won’t stay like that forever. I was the same way.
    I was unfortunately left because of my eating disorder. There are plenty of pretty girls that don’t have eating disorders, unfortunately my long time boyfriend of the time realized that there are girls that would love to get a burger with him and not cry on the way home.
    My goal was to be one of those girls..
    You have an amazing guy and he won’t be around forever if you don’t make progress.
    Eat for him. You are so lucky that he’s stayed around this long. If you can’t do this yourself then get in a program, get the help you need. Life is way too short to be obsessed with food and unfortunately people start to leave you if you don’t do this for yourself.
    You can do this. One meal at a time. Take those stressful nutritional informations and avoid looking at calories, avoid mirrors, and know that your body will feel weird for a while but soon you will be back to being a NORMAL person.. Just keep going!

    • thank you. i am so sorry for your experience but i appreciate that you shared to help me learn from it, as well.
      i hope you are doing better hun. please let me know if there is anything i can do for you. thank you again for giving me strength ❤

  6. CJ my heart just breaks reading about how much you are struggling. I can’t imagine the pressure you must feel to recover and I’m sure it is overwhelming. Even though I have never been through anorexia, I have definitely had my own share of health struggles and there have been so many times when I was trying to hard to keep everything under control that it felt impossible.

    In those times I was able to just completely surrender to God and give all of my problems to Him. I was able to say, “God I cannot do this. This is more than I can handle.” In completely surrendering I always feel a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. God can do anything CJ. He can heal you and He wants to heal you of this terrible disease. He loves you so much CJ and wants you to be healthy and thrive. Just let go of your control and completely give it over to Him. You may have to give over control every minute or every hour but it will get easier. He knows what is best for you – even what weight is best. You just have to trust Him.

    I thought this vlog Tina did was awesome and even though she is talking about binge eating I still think it is very applicable to anorexia too. I love that she prayed every day “God help me to love myself like you love me.”

    I apologize for being so wordy but I just wanted you to know that even though I don’t know you I am praying for you. I know that with God’s help you can overcome this once and for all.

    • thank you so much. again, i appreciate your wisdom and strength you have shared with me. i am hoping with prayer i too can gain the courage to beat this. i really do need to start trusting more.

  7. CJ, your honesty consistently leaves me humbled. It’s hard not to like your husband knowing absolutely nothing beyond how you frame him. And before I turn my attention back to you, has he got any counselling support at the moment?

    Without generalizing, male friendships offer respite for men but not necessarily direct advice and input. Whereas females tend to get in there, roll up their sleeves and offer up ideas and advice to support their friends.

    Obviously you are used to being a close, connected and honest couple and so your default is likely to talk to each other to get advice and support. However with the management of a chronic condition, that default can weigh both of you down further (which is why I offer up the idea that Ryan ensure he has outside support to buoy things up a bit).

    As I touched on in my last comment last time, you are indeed a team, however each of you needs some individual attention and support to deal with the chronic condition. It is somewhat like when a family loses a loved one — it’s very often not the case that the family just pulls together to support each other. The grief itself is so intense and personal that the family needs outside support just to avoid flying apart at the seams.

    Basically you are all maxed out and while you want to reach out and support each other the energy just isn’t there.

    And that brings me to a rather challenging idea for you: what about a return to an inpatient setting, or an outpatient day setting?

    Now before I create massive panic on that front, let me explain a bit the idea so you can roll it around in your mind and perhaps come up with more ideas that are more suitable.

    I know you have a brand new job and I expect taking 2-4 weeks off is not particularly feasible or a good idea, however you need some kind of setting that supports a more intensive focus on practicing the non-restrictive life you have to apply to pull an eating disorder back into its remission state.

    I am also not really too keen on an inpatient setting for you myself as you don’t need medical stabilization and a militant focus on re-feeding. You do however need more intensive daily cognitive behavioral therapy; more prohibitions on having the time to exercise; more emphasis on developing positive connections with your body (meditation, relaxation exercises, slow yoga…); and more guided practice on getting out an eating anything and everything as the opportunity arises.

    Some inpatient settings can support this tune-up approach, others cannot — so it depends. Outpatient programs are more likely to offer the tune-up approach.

    It’s just not at a shoulder-to-the-wheel phase where you can will yourself to get up and unlock the prison of restriction you are in right now. You need a break from being the only one responsible for getting the remission to happen. You need a team that makes it happen alongside you and that’s not your life team, it needs to be a treatment team.

    While the eating disorder will fight the idea of relinquishing its control, keep in mind that there can be tremendous relief to handover all the responsibility to get back on track for the real you that is locked in the ED dungeon wondering if it will ever be heard.

    Sorry for the very long comment.

  8. I know you’ve been having a hard time the past few weeks (months?) but the fact that you’re writing about it and aware of it, shows how much recovering you made since you started! You are realizing what is going on and how you’re going to deal with it, aware of your loved ones feelings/emotions, etc. I’m sending you all my love CJ and hope you feel super strong tomorrow and have a great time doing things you love this weekend!

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