Step 1

As I told you all yesterday, I was overwhelmed by the response to Wednesday’s post about my daily eats.

Not overwhelmed because I expected you all to say, “oh my gosh CJ you are eating fine, don’t change a thing,” but more because many of you took a lot of time to present suggestions, offer support and even share your personal stories with me.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everything you do for me as a community, because even though it may not seem like it, blogging has been one part of my life that helps encourage me to be better. All of your comments, e-mails, encouragement and bl-iendships are such a blessing and as much as I try to express my gratitude, words really cant express how much All of that means to me. So, thank you. You are all amazing.

And since I got such a wide array of responses, I spent a lot of time processing how they all made me feel, and potentially what I could learn.

I definitely agree with wanting to incorporate more whole foods, things without labels that actually come from the earth and not produced from a huge giant factory; that has always been a goal of mine and I have discussed that in a few previous posts.

I was doing MUCH better in that respect before this relapse.

I didn’t look at a yam 2 months ago and have an immense fear of the ginormous size or how many calories would go into my body if I had it as a dinner side.

I was creating more balanced meals that my husband and I could enjoy together, rather than me trying to hide my measuring utensils as I prepared dinner.

All off these more “healthy” behaviors started to deteriorate as my body weight lessened (remember how I told you obsession increases in congruence with starvation? Case in point…)

So I do know that a pint of Arctic Zero blended into a smoothie could easily be replaced by natural fruits, yogurt and milk made as a frozen beverage, but my brain does not allow me to choose the latter option because the caloric difference, for the same volume of drink, is quite different.

I see the small serving size of that delicious and fresh option that I could have instead of my HUGE monstrosity of an Arctic Zero one, and my starving body and brain chooses the bigger portion, eating disorder selection, every time.

It always comes down to, “what will take away the gnawing I feel in my stomach, with the least amount of calories?” and the answer to that, typically guides my menu for the day.

Half of me does not want my life, or days to be consumed by these thoughts, especially what really lies behind them which is essentially, “you don’t deserve the same as everyone else,” but that yearning to be healthy half also knows that it is no longer in control.

My eating disorder voice has become too loud.

It was getting softer for a while, but the tables have now turned and unfortunately, my disease has taken on a life of its own.

What am I trying to say?

I cannot do this alone, because I am not able to fight hard enough at this very moment.

I am exhausted, feel defeated, and don’t have enough confidence in my own willingness to overcome being sick.

For a while I grappled with the idea of just living like this forever; partially sick….just enough so I can be semi-comfortable, with a “too-small” body, but that I wouldn’t die.

Sounds fun right? But someone very close to me said the other day she was just happy that I learned to manage my life and not become a statistic. She continued saying she wished I could have a better existence than that, but if that wasn’t possible, at least I was still alive.

So I took that idea and thought, “She is right. As long as I can live on the edge, everything will be ok.”

I posed this to a very trusted friend, who is pretty much an expert in the field, and she said there are people who chose to survive that way. There are some that even can sustain their lives for quite a while in that fashion, but their brain and memory starts to disintegrate…early on-set dementia, bones continue to break down and anatomy will have more wear and tear than those who are in a more healthy state.

Ultimately, there was a pretty big list of things that WILL happen if I elected to be in limbo; not health, but not hospitalization-required ED…

Do I really want that poor quality of life?

How could I possibly do that to Ryan? The person I love so much and who has been there for me through a rough, almost three year marriage.

I hate myself right now because despite the answer being NO I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT THAT LIFE, FOR ME, OR FOR MY HUSBAND, I cant seem to make myself eat a proper meal plan.

Hello?! Get a grip CJ. Re-read what you said half a page ago that this is TOO much for you to handle.

…I think that means I need to reach out to those who are physically around me, and actually ASK for more specific help.

To this point I have just stated my need for support, and that is all well in good…of course I need support…but maybe it’s not enough. Maybe I need the decision making process to be out of my hands.

I am not one hundred percent sure where this leaves me, but isn’t the first step to beating an addiction admitting that I am powerless over the vice?

Well here it is, I have absolutely lost control and I am powerless to my disorder.

That is pretty darn embarrassing to type out.


17 thoughts on “Step 1

  1. You HAVE NOT lost control. As long as you are still trying, even a little, to become healthy, you have not lost control. There are always going to be set backs in whatever you are trying to do, but it is about standing back up, brushing yourself off, and getting back at it. So stand up CJ, and do everything in your power (which does include asking for help) and get yourself back on track. You proved this summer/fall that you are capable of making the best food choices for you and I know that you are strong enough to start doing that again. You are a smart, beautiful, kind person, always remember that. YOU ARE WORTH IT.

  2. awwww, hon…. feeling embarrassed is one of the worst! It *feels* embarassing, probably because we’re so intent on trying to maintain absolute “control” over things. BUT… it’s really, really, nothing to be embarassed about. It’s actually a huge step towards health, since denial is the enemy of trying to overcome just about anything. And the level of emotional intelligence you have and are continuing to gain is pretty impressive (and I’d love to figure out how you manage to get inside your own head and figure out what you’re thinking, I’m trying to learn that skill)!

    You are not powerless. Part of your strength is admitting that there is a problem – and that you need some help (maybe a lot of help) to overcome it. Powerless is quitting. Powerless is saying “it’s too hard, I’m done.” Even if it’s a hard day, even if you feel discouraged, even when you’re just so tired of being sick and tired. You’re alive. You’re breathing. And tomorrow morning might have one of the most beautiful sunrises you’ve ever seen (literally… there’s just something about a gorgeous sunrise). Hold on. You’re powerful, you’re beautiful, and you’ll make it. You’ll be okay. You’ll live again. That makes you powerful.

    • I love the sunrise. sunrises on the beach or in the mountains are especially beautiful. but you are right…everyday I am breathing is another day I have to try! thank you for reminding me of that 🙂

  3. Dear CJ-
    I have been reading your blog for the first time this week. I have also struggled before with an ED. I look at my life then and now and it is unbelievable what recovery has brought me in my life. A wonderful husband and two beautiful children. None of which would have been possible with an ED. You deserve a great life and not one in which you just “exist”. Life is wonderful! I know it’s hard work. You can do it. Do it for yourself! Do it for the life that you know is out there for you! You are stronger than you think.
    Prove everyone wrong and prove to yourself that you can do this.
    Dont feel guilty for what you have put your friends and family through. It isn’t going to help you recover. Today is a new day. Embrace that.
    You can do this!!!!

    • thank you so much for the encouragement and CONGRATULATIONS on your life with a wonderful family. that is inspiration in itself! thank you for the comment and thank you for reading 🙂

  4. You may feel embarassed, but that is one strong statement that you made. That is the 1st important step and the next includes actually doing something about it. Do you think a little help from an inpatient program is called for right now? I just hate to see you so stuck (wanting to change, but not able to actually do it). Think it over. I’m here for you in anyway I can be.

  5. Absolutely not embarrassing. It’s courageous. You can’t fight it on your own, you accept that and are reaching out to those who can help you.

    You should be applauded for your honesty and I really hope you get the help you want. You will regain the control when you’re good and ready to, and you’ll be stronger for it. 🙂

  6. Hey girl – I know tons of people probably offer you this – but if you want to just text me any time you’re struggling or your mind is trying to convince you of something you 100% can. like 50 times a day, no question. I will always be here for you!!

    • thank you Clare! I have actually been finding a lot of inspiration from your posts and recipes for more clean eating. I think I am going to make the pumpkin bars this week for my lunches 🙂

  7. Wow that must have been a really tough post to write and an even tougher conclusion to come too. I truly hope that admitting you are powerless over this terrible disease has lifted a huge weight off your shoulders.

    “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
    2 Cor. 12: 9-10

    This is exactly what you have done, so now just rest in Christ and know that He will get you through this. I am praying for you every day.

    • Meagan, I love hearing from you. Thank you for the verse. It was exactly what I needed. I have been trying to pray more lately, but I always feel like I am doing it wrong. Isnt that weird, thinking God is judging my prayers?! I know he isnt but its horrible that I think that way. Praying still helps!

  8. I wish I could say something that would help, but being in your position before, I know that nothing but my OWN will and determination was what truly made the difference in my recovery. Going to support groups and meeting with therapists were pretty much meaningless to me…

    And I feel even more powerless to help you since I no longer am in the same position you are… I’m at the stage now where if I’m hungry, I eat. Yes, I still worry about the calories in the back of my head, but I eat nonetheless and focus on the goodness of the taste, and the great way it makes me feel by taking my hunger away so I can concentrate on other things. I still have some ED-related THOUGHTS, but no longer have ED-driven ACTIONS. That’s the big difference in me now from where I was about half a year ago. And because of this, because I’m healthier, it’s actually surprisingly difficult to try to think back to the time when I succumbed to my ED and let it run my life. I guess I just got so sick of it that I will do anything to ignore it/beat it… and that’s where I am now. If anything, hopefully this serves as an example that you CAN beat this… but… you can’t keep holding on to these ED habits that you have. You have to let it all go completely… and consistently! And within weeks, you will have a different mindset… within months, you may even surprise yourself.

    • im so glad to hear you are doing so well, Jess. That gives me hope that I can someday get there too. You give me great feedback and advice because i know your understand exactly where I am. Thank you for always giving me positive encouragement. You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

  9. embarrasing,,,we all know that feeling too too well

    but what is really embarrassing is being in denial (my sister was and is like this…bones…and full of denial and excuses..pathetic)

    “Aimee Liu” has a new book out (a 2nd book, not the 1st one) that looks interesting…talks about people’s “turning point” in their recovery

    also,, i just saw this

    let us know who u reach out to…hospital..inpatient,..anything…u see,…i LOST 2 jobs dduring the last 5 years cause of this….i was always a stellar student and employee…but when it all started for me…things suffered

    i t hink that it is the same with u…i think u are super smart and hard-working too..but like me…u start to suffer (so don’t take “poor performance reviews” as ego-hardship…instead see it as a red flag that u need to be a “fulltime recovery employee” and anything else is just distraction)…

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