From 1-10

Edit: I have a post below that I wrote Wednesday evening and is still very much how I feel today, so I decided to keep it.

BUT

After reading all your comments from my WIAW, I want to express my appreciation. I have a lot more to say in response but I will save that for tomorrow.

Just know that I was being so open about my eating to demonstrate that I KNOW it is not a recovery focused plan.

Thank you all for your input and you will definitely be reading more of my thoughts tomorrow.

Again, thank you all so much for your honest, support and suggestions. I can never accurately express my love for this community.

********written 2/1/2012********

Someone asked me the other day how badly I wanted to recover, on a scale from 1-10.

I would say an 8, because I no longer want to live in the ED prison that is my head, but I also fear that I wouldn’t know how to go about life without a structure and some methods for coping, regardless of how destructive they may be.

But then she posed another question, how WILLING was I to do what it takes to recover.

Now this is a different story.

Sadly, using that same rating system, the number is much lower, which as stated above, is part of the reason I gave myself an “8” for desire.

I absolutely want to feel better about myself, not be constantly pre-occupied with all the things that come with being sick, and physically, not have any problems with my health, but if I am completely honest about my willingness to change all the things I would have to in order to fully overcome this disorder, my number is low.

Why?

Because I am scared.

I told you all this before, so forgive me if I sound like a broken record, but a few things have been swirling around my mind the last few days as far as what I am scared of and it occurred to me that what people think and say, is a huge factor in my reluctance.

This may seem obvious and like a silly thing to even care about, but I have always been concerned with people’s opinions because I want to fit in, have a place in their world, or be liked by all.

I am a people pleaser so when I don’t meet someone’s expectations, I do not like it.

Not too many people make comments about me getting smaller in regards to my body or any sort of achievement, but when I expand, it is like I am finally noticed, and I cannot stand that I am acknowledged for a growing body.

Even the “you look so healthy” comments make me feel like a completely out of control individual, which is very contradictory because I am probably MOST out of control when I am restricting or engulfed by ED thoughts.

My twisted brain believes people are looking at me thinking, “oh my gosh she is letting herself go physically, what must her mental state be like?!”

As I said, this makes absolutely no sense because biology proves that my cognition and processing capabilities would be much better in a more well, weight-restored, state.

Anyway, you are probably wondering what is my point?

I guess I keep thinking I am defined by the person I am right this very second; sick, rigid, obsessed.

I know people think other things about me, as well…I mean, I try to be nice to everyone, be a hard worker, etc. but I am scared as I change physically, the mental and emotional alterations that also take place, will be too much and I will be a whole different CJ.

Ryan and I had this conversation a few days ago; I am not a smoker, nor have I ever been addicted to cigarettes, but he said he would almost prefer that I struggled with that rather than an ED.

I am not discounting how hard it would be to quit smoking. Again, I have never had to do so but I have seen people attempt multiple times and it seems as if it is a major challenge.

But, AND THIS IS JUST MY OPINION, a cigarette can be taken away.

You don’t have to purchase a pack. It is not an essential thing a person NEEDS to survive, so in essence, it is removing a tangible thing from a person’s life.

I do believe their might be some stress-issues, etc. that would have to be worked out, but the majority of the work is abstaining from cigarettes.

I feel completely overwhelmed by the fact that an eating disorder can ONLY be defeated by working on mental, emotional and physical aspects of one’s existence, simultaneously.

Many in recovery actually turn to other addictive behaviors during their journeys because these three components are way too overwhelming to handle.

Again, I have never had to overcome a smoking habit, so I could be completely off base and maybe it is equally as difficult, or differently difficult, but either way, I personally find ED recovery to be a challenge because it is changing my ENTIRE BEING.

Not only is my body becoming different, but my emotions are insane and I am going out of my mind with no way to handle the stress of trying to be a completely “new,” ultimately better, individual.

When you really get down to it, my problem is I don’t have an identity.

I was always too busy being the person I thought everyone wanted me to be, rather than figuring out who I was/am.

Eventually, since I couldn’t please everyone, it became too much for me and I turned to an extremely maladaptive way to manage how overwhelmed I felt/feel.

It is such a double-edged sword because without my unhealthy methods (as in the recovery process) my mind never shuts up, and with them, it really doesn’t ever stop either. The behaviors are just the only thing that keep me some-what “safe and comfortable,” which is presumably why my willingness to change meter is so low.

But since being sick, in this respect, tends to be the most fatal of all psychiatric disorders, I know I need to endure the discomfort in order to live.

I just wish I remembered that more often.

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7 thoughts on “From 1-10

  1. You do have an identity! You are an amazing wife, daughter, sister, and friend to those around you. You clearly have a huge passion for alternative education and know that you want to continue to help these students in the future. You are very humble about your accomplishments and clearly put others before yourself just as Jesus did. Girl you have so much going for you and don’t give yourself enough credit. You’ve got to beat this ED so that you can accomplish your dreams!

    • Meagan, every day you help me with your kind words. thank you so much for continuing to encourage me, even in my darkest times. it means more than you know ❤

  2. this post really saddens me because it seems as though each day ed is defeating you hun and it should not be this way.YOU DO have an identity ,you are a wonderful,smart,beautiful and sweet woman who has a loving family and husband and blog friends who support you all the way.I want you to want recovery on a 10 level not below that.Recovery does bring changes that might fright you at the beginning but believe me it is worth it,with time you become adapted to the new you.As woman we need curves,it is normal for us to be something more than skin and bones.When someone says you look healthy you shouldnt interpret it as you look fat because its not real,its not the truth.This ed wants you to believe this so that you remain stuck in the bottomless pit you are in and it wants you to stay there because thats what you have become accostumed to but NO YOU MUST defeat it and get out of your comfort zone.Believe me when I say that gaining the needed pounds and changing my relationship with food has transformed me into a new Daybelis.A person who wakes up excited to eat oats,who appreciates the freedom of being able to run without feeling weak.I know I have a long way to go but for today I have come a long way and I am going to pray for you because I dont want you to lose it all and relapse due to this ed,its not worth it

    • Daybelis,
      you are such a wonderful friend. I have been hesitant to email you this week because I didnt want to drag you down. I am so so so proud of all the acommplishments and strides you have made, even since we began our relationship. thank you for the cnouragement and as always you are my prayers, as well! keep up the fight girl! you are inspiring!

      • and you are inspiring too and please you dont drag me down with your emails we all struggle and i love talking to you….I will always be available to hear you out and to lend you a hand.I am proud of you too and you should be because though you nnight feel as you havent made progress you have believe it or not.Opening up and expressing your inner battles is a major step and at least you know what you need to do to change…you just need to do it now…love you girl and will pray

    • i wish i felt this way..but i’m on the binging end now…being underweight is not justification to binge this way 😦 i’m doing it all wrong 😦

  3. Your identity is already there underneath it all. It’s a horrible “Where’s Waldo” exercise where the eating disorder keeps creating Waldo-lookalikes to distract you.

    I know that you have had an awful lot to have to consider and assess lately.

    That the willingness and confidence levels on a scale of 1-10 are so far apart is not as bleak as it might seem. If you have the willingness (I badly want to), then others will help you build the confidence (but I don’t think I can do what it takes). As dark as it seems, having the willingness means you already have the map in your hands, you just need the rest of us to provide you with the compass points and the “you are here” and “you will be there” markers.

    As much as there is an ‘arrested development’ hijack associated with anorexia, you are not the sum total of those compulsions. The process of taking of the shackles off of the drive to restrict is not that you become an unrecognizable you, rather you become the essence of you. The essence of you has always been there and always will be, no matter how much you want to please others and fit in.

    CJ you are going to be o.k. You’ve had a lot thrown at you but that is because you have the inner strength, wisdom, warmth and compassion to integrate it all. And you will. You may not be able to see the essence of yourself just yet, but the rest of us are already well acquainted with her and we like her just fine!

    My confidence rating in you is 10. So you lean on me and everyone else here until your own rating goes up, and it will.

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