I have to say, and I do not tell you all this enough, but my gosh the support you have given me, especially in the last few weeks where I have actually been honest about my struggles, has been massively helpful, and amazingly kind.
I am continuously blown away by how wonderful you all, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.
As I have said before, the ED world is pretty darn lonely, so even if it is just as “bl-iends” I really appreciate the connection.
After reading a lot of your comments and reflecting on the downward spiral of my recovery, I have come to a few conclusions; pretty obvious conclusions if you ask me.
One, all the triggers were there, and I did point these out as they were occurring, but never applied or processed how detrimental they could be to my efforts.
New job, potential change in residence (we are actually staying in our present home due to the sale falling through…I hate to say it but I am slightly relieved), the knowledge of Ryan’s three week vacation, and the worry of my loneliness, looming…
These three things alone are enough to cause me immense anxiety, but along the way there have also been other “little” things that have started to unravel a bit.
For example my “poor” review at work, family troubles, etc.
And if you compile all these things together, for me, they create a recipe for disaster.
It is not even the actual events necessarily but more my reaction to them.
I shut down, I outwardly ignore the emotions I am feeling inside because I want to be able to handle everything myself. Gosh forbid I would cry or ask for help, because I am superwoman and can take on the world without any assistance, thank you very much.
But while I am trying to convince the rest of the world I am holding everything together, internally I am falling apart.
So the cycle begins where I beat myself up because I, in fact, cannot handle adult stressors very well, turning my attention and negative voice to saying, “You do suck at your job. You are so fat. No one likes you. You are ugly. You are a loser…”
The normal tape that continuously runs through my mind, berating me for never being good enough.
So essentially I DENY that any of these things are red flags, and try to make it seem like I am totally fine.
My husband, however, is smarter than my antics and points out that I am not doing nearly as well as I try to make him believe and it is starting to show, physically, emotionally, and mentally.
He basically called me out on my meal plan skimping, and my maintenance of my exercise routine, regardless of the lack of adequate nourishment, which I hate to admit, if he hadn’t said anything, I would have continued the destructive pattern.
“Hunni, I am doing everything I am supposed to. See! I am eating this. I am having that. I am challenging myself, don’t you see it! I listened to my body and didn’t go to Zumba when I was sick! See, see, see!”
The truth is I really wasn’t doing what I was supposed to. I was tricking both myself and my loved ones into thinking I was breaking all my ED rules, stepping out of the box to defy all my “normal” activities; but I was cutting corners, adding bulk to my meals by low-calorie veggies and liquids to make them seem more voluminous, and ultimately no where close to my caloric needs to gain.
Now I have to tell you, recovering from an eating disorder is NOT all about meal planning, food and energy expenditure equations. It has the most to do with developing healthy coping skills, establishing a positive relationship with myself, and working on the underlying issues that have essentially led me down this path, BUT, none of that can be fully accomplished without proper nutrition, because the brain does not fully function when it is starving.
There is a whole bunch of science that proves this and can be much better explained by reading the “Minnesota Experiment.”
Anyway, as my meal plan started to disintegrate, so did my cognitive capabilities.
I am more irrational than ever, my ED parameters are tightening and a lot of my old tendencies are coming back.
All of these things I denied until I was catching up on one of my favorite recovery sites.
In the forum there was an interesting tidbit of information that if a past restricter cuts their intake by as little as 250 calories, the cycle can easily be ignited…aka, relapse.
Uh-oh. When I had the flu a few weeks back, that deficit was definitely happening, and as the days passed, my “acceptable” nutrient range slowly started to dwindle.
Subconsciously I knew all of these things, but I chose not to acknowledge them until recently, when I confessed to all of you how dishonest I had been.
So after a very wordy post, about how I should have admitted, or at least been aware that the backlash of my actions was going to occur at some point, my hope is that if you, or someone you know is struggling and the signs are there, DO NOT IGNORE THEM!
The longer you wait to take a positive action, the harder it is to actually do so.