Reaction To Last Week

I had Ryan read some of the comments left on my posts from last week, because I was pretty hurt by the things said in regards to my family; more specifically about him.

I don’t think anyone intentionally meant to imply Ryan was a bad person, enabling me to continue destructive behaviors, “quasi-recovery,” or no recovery at all, but for some reason I feel the need to come to his defense.

Without Ryan I would probably be dead.

I am not trying to paint him as the hero either, because trust me, there are days when I wish he would just leave me the hell alone. Those are typically times when he is taking away the things that bring me the most comfort, like exercise time, or my safety snack and replacing it with something more difficult, but he is only one man and I have essentially asked him to be my treatment team.

Sure I have a nutritionist, a few doctors who I see and a new therapist (who many of you also had a problem with) but Ryan plays more roles than a husband really should and it is all because I put the pressure on him to do so.

The easy thing for him to do would be to leave, which is exactly what I expect.

My biological dad did. The variety of men I got close to when my mom dated them, they moved in, coached my teams and then one day their stuff was out of the closet, all did, too.

People just leave. I saw it first hand.

For a while I never even considered getting married because I doubted any relationship could last, and then when I did, not that I ever want to get divorced, but I guess I just assumed with how difficult I was being when I got sick, Ryan and I would just part our ways but Ed would still be here “faithfully” by my side.

Maybe that is why I find “him,” meaning Ed, so “necessary” to my life…because he has always been with me, regardless of if I wanted him to be or not.

Anyway, I have actually been very blessed with my partner because even though we quarrel, he gets frustrated beyond belief, and we have had a few years of ups and downs, he has consistently been supportive, loving, and a positive element in my life.

After he got through reading the words written by the readers of last week, he closed to lid of the computer and asked which aspects bothered me?

Before I could formulate an answer, he continued, “Because I agree with everything that was said. You do need to work harder, I think you should go to a program, I have been saying that for months.”

He is right. He has been almost begging me to go away and get this over with once and for all. Heck, he threatened to pack my bags for me on numerous occasions, but I reply with my normal defense…

“It hasn’t worked in the past and it won’t work now. If I truly WANT to recover, it will not matter where I am, I will make it happen.”

And I do believe in my heart this is true, because in every facility I have ever been I have broken the rules and engaged in Ed behaviors out the wazoo.

Exercised in the bathrooms…hid food at any and every opportunity…determined which staff was easily manipulated to get what I want as far as exchanges and alone time…

I did all of that because I was not willing, or ready to surrender.

Am I now?

I think you can all probably answer that question. I am not ready to give up the comforts of an Ed life because I am scared as hell and convince myself that I do not know how to live any other way, but I HAVE to just suck it up.

Now is the time you are saying to yourselves, “how is this any different; heard this all before…”

And you have, but the other portion of last week that really hurt my feelings was when people told me to stop writing.

I am not a great writer, nor do I think everyone should read what I have to say.

I certainly do not want anyone to take my posts and think they should be some sort of model for their own recovery. My gosh that is the farthest thing from the truth!

But I started writing a little less than a year ago because it was a good outlet FOR ME.

It helps relieve my stress, takes time that I would normally be physically active or want to be physically active and gives me something I feel is productive to do without requiring movement, has allowed me to make connections with others, sort through my thoughts, get support, and a whole slew of other things I appreciate more than I can even express.

Blogging has helped me way more in my recovery than it has been a detriment, but if you feel what I write is hurting YOU by reading, then as sad as I am to say this, come back when you are ready and it will no longer be a trigger.

I write for me and I really hope some day I can be an inspiration to others, but right now isn’t that time.

Just know, if you are also on a journey to find balance, you are not alone, and it is the HARDEST thing in the entire world.

It is repetitive. It is a mental illness that requires strength, courage and perseverance. And if it takes a person six months or sixty years to overcome to horrific restraints it puts on a life, neither one is wrong as long as you end up happy and free.

I realize this is quite a jumbled and scattered post, but I had a lot of emotions after the variety of feedback received in the past few days; some of sadness, but all comments made were much appreciated.

As I have said before, thank you for always being honest. Just another one of the fabulous things blogging has provided for me is friends, and that is hands down, my favorite aspect of all.

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19 thoughts on “Reaction To Last Week

  1. If anyone is doubting your relationship, they are seriously people that you DON’T need in your life. How dare they! Ryan is your rock (just as Toly was/is mine) and I totally get that. Without him, I think you would be a lot more lost and no where near the person you are. People suck CJ. I commend you for continuing to speak your feelings and doing this because it helps YOU!! I love you girl!

  2. I had similar reactions when i was inpatient. No one really knows what is going on, but I do know sometimes I craved my mom to be tough on me, because I was not strong enough to do it by myself. I would sit and wait for mom to tell me I HAD to eat my snack, knowing I was going to say no, but that secretly I really wanted it, and needed her to yell at me to make it okay. Some words in those posts were probably harsh, but take that as a driven mechanism to push to the next level. You are a sporty girl like me, I used to take the mean things people said or did to help me move on. (People can be cruel, and really naive about an ED)

    I had to laugh at the exercising in the bathroom, ( I did that too) or go out with the smokers so I could walk laps around the parking lot, or drink just to the line they wanted you to drink of your juice… I remember calling Jordan and telling him some of the things I did, thinking he would laugh- but he didn’t- he got mad, that was a turning point, I remember I slowly stopped some of my sneaky behaviors. (drank the full glass of juice, stopped drinking all that water before weigh-in) It was just a shock when he got mad, I was probably sad I wasted my phone time with him mad at me, but I think it only helped me.

    • Wow. I was the same exact way, thinking my antics were funny, like “HA i totally pulled a fast one!” but ryan would get so upset that i wasnt taking my health or the time spent away from our family supposedly recovering, seriously. thanks for sharing your experience. it gives me a way better insight into my own! i hope you are doing well!!!

  3. I always read every single post that you write and I LOVE all of them! You seem to always have something I can relate to so thank you for that šŸ™‚ I do think you are an inspiration through your writing because you have inspired me in many ways…and I think you write pretty darn well!

    The biggest thing is that you love writing and it’s an outlet for YOU. Keep up the good work Cj, I know how hard this battle is but it will come together for you, I know it!

    Hope you have an awesome week love! ā¤

    • awe thanks hun! you are awesome! we can totally beat this, and having support, especially through blogging has been reallyhelpful for me! i hope yu had a nice holiday! ED free ā¤

  4. I know u don’t know me but here is a huge hug! what you are going through is so hard! it is hard b/c its a battle of the mind. CJ, I was so happy to hear that you keep feeling a little tug on ur heart from God. God wants more for you sweetie! He loves you so much and wants to bless you with more than you even realize u want/need! I went thru treatment centers years ago and played the games. I agree you have to want to get well, but I personally experienced recovery without 100 percent wanting to. there was part of me that loved it and wanted to hang on for dear life. Its a horrible disease, but God died so YOU can live abundantley! you r in my prayers!

    • I love hugs! thank you!!!!! and thank you for saying those seriously nice things. I also believe God does not want me to live this way and i am hoping that helps guide me through the difficult times that lay ahead. thanks so so so much for the support and encouragement ā¤

  5. You are so right, and I couldn’t agree more; finding balance as well as fighting the voices that try to keep you from it is SO HARD. It is the hardest thing I have ever been through/ am going through in my life.Sometimes I think it helps me to think, “I am strong, I am so very strong. It takes a special person to battle through all this and not give up. God knows I can and will get through this. I am determined to be happy, and my strength and perseverance will get me there.” Because we all need to give ourselves credit for the battle we are willing to fight and the healthier, happier life we refuse to give up on. When I read your writing, that’s how I feel… “She is strong and she is going to do this. She has a special, strong spirit to fight this horrid battle, to survive the ups and downs, the crazy, painful ride this disease has thrown her body on. She NEEDS to do this because the world needs people like CJ.” You NEED to do this CJ; for yourself and your happiness and your well-being, for your husband (who is just as lucky to have you as you are him), for all the people who you are going to touch in your life. Just let go. Let go and let God. ā¤ You will not regret all that will come with recovery. ā¤ And give yourself credit along the way. Tell yourself, "I am strong and I can do this!" And then tell yourself again.

    • I am sad you can relate so well to what I write, but it does help to know I am not alone, and that I am not triggering EVERYONE. you are such a special friend Jocely, so encouraging and sweet. I really do need to let go, and now that i feel i am starting to do so, it is so hard and i just want to crawl back into the arms of ED, but i know I cant. thanks for all the encouragement. it is helpful things, such as the ones you say, that can push me through those moments of weakness, so thank you! thank you thank you thank you!!!!

  6. I didn’t comment last week (…obviously, haha) partly because I’m in no place to give recovery advice, but mostly because only YOU can know what you need to do. Yes, people can endlessly say, “Oh, it’s just your ED saying this” or “it’s only the ED that wants that”, but at the end of the day, your ED is not a person, a demon, or really anything other than a part of you. And you have the insight, intellect, and experience to recognize which of your thoughts are healthy and which are disordered, even if it’s not always easy to admit them.

    Screw what any of us (including me!) say. This is your life, and no two people (or their eating disorders) are the same.

    The only thing I *would* say is DON’T stop writing. It’s absolutely not your fault if someone is triggered or bothered by what you write, and if anyone feels the need to blame YOU for their own struggles, they’re in need of help of their own.

    Take care and do what’s right for you. ā¤

    • i think you are exactly right. we all KNOW whwat we NEED to do, it is just a matter of doing it, and making “healthy” decisions more frequently. it seems to only get easier with practice, its just practicing that is the hard part. thank you for encouraging me to not stop writing. it was so hurtful when someone suggestd taking away the only thing that keeps me sane, other than ED, somedays. i hope you do the same, and publish your book so I can make sure if gets on the best seller list! i better have autographed copies!!!!

  7. Enablement happens because you, as the care provider, as so torn between “My loved one is an adult” and “My loved one has a problem that is far bigger than her/his ambivalence will allow for (meaning: letting them come to their own epiphany for the need to change could be fatal)”.

    I spoke from personal experience of that slide from support to enablement as I have dealt with addicted partners in my past (not my current husband).

    I don’t consider myself a bad person for having fallen into patterns of enablement anymore than I would ever consider your husband to be a bad person (or you as well!) Enablement is circumstance-based, not person-based.

    There is no question that you are extremely ambivalent about wanting recovery, and because of that, you are right that no matter the location (inpatient, residential or at home) — it will not be successful while the ambivalence remains in place.

    Here is the conundrum that your husband (and the rest of your family) faces:

    1) If we wait for CJ to develop enough intrinsic motivation to recover, then she will successfully do so no matter where she chooses to undergo treatment (including at home). However right now she is sufficiently undernourished that her brain is compromised. And that means there is next to no possibility of her developing the necessary intrinsic motivation to recover at all in her current state.

    2) If we override CJ’s current ambivalence and have her admitted to an inpatient or residential treatment program, then there is a possibility she might be sufficiently nourished for long enough that she is able to move herself from ambivalence towards decision and action to recover. However, there is an equal possibility she will do what she has in the past and simply hunker down with her eating disorder and undermine any effort to be a) medically stabilized or b) develop some intrinsic motivation to recover.

    The circumstances that surround an un-willing patient mean it is difficult to find any path to ultimate success. And clearly that is not your fault or his fault — again it is the circumstances created by an eating disorder.

    I never meant for the term “enablement” to have any kind of moral judgment attached to it.

    Your focus should likely not be to “suck it up” or “tough it out” as there will inevitably be increased anxiety followed by a rebound back into severe restriction and over-exercise. You cannot suppress your desire to support an eating disorder because the cognitive capability is limited and once exhausted the emotional panic slams into you with full force.

    Rather, it is probably a good idea to determine where you can be sufficiently re-fed (in no matter what circumstance — because it doesn’t matter if you hide food and manipulate staff if the energy is still going in such that the brain has a fighting chance to think its way around the ED) so that you can really mentally assess how to develop intrinsic motivation for real recovery efforts.

    As I mentioned in my recent blog on social anxiety, the safety behaviours that are developed to try to alleviate social anxiety often generate the very situation the patient is trying to avoid. The same is true with a fear of being abandoned by your husband. Clinging to your safety behaviour of always faithfully having the eating disorder to depend upon is the very mechanism that can bring your true worst fear into being.

    The real you just wants a husband (and not just any husband, but the one you have!) and not an ED-gatekeeper. “Ryan plays more roles than a husband really should and it is all because I put the pressure on him to do so.”

    I don’t believe you put pressure on him to do so; I believe that the circumstances of a pernicious eating disorder have all of you (you included) enabling the eating disorder while trying to buy for some time in the hopes a miracle might appear.

    And I also believe that miracles don’t appear, they are made. You have to carve out enough space for solid re-feeding and that’s how your miracle will be made.

    You know that it takes, on average, 7 attempts for someone to quit smoking. How many times have you been in inpatient and residential care so far? Maybe you just need to follow the recommendations used for those quitting smoking — “Sure the last attempt failed, so just set a new date and go at it again. You will succeed eventually.”

  8. wow… that last comment took all of the words right out of my mouth and then some. Gwyneth you are a smart smart woman and I think its remarkable that you took such thoughtful time out to write this to Ceejay. I have so much I want to say to you, CJ, but I think Gwyneth did a brilliant job. I want to tell you about my experiences too. Sometimes you need to give that thing that, at one or two or three + points didn’t work another shot because it could end up saving your life. Keep trying, keep writing. I love you tons. xoxo mare

  9. I have recently started to follow your blog as I am trying to find other pro-recovery blogs to help keep me motivated. I recently have been seen by a specialist therapist and am about to start on the run for 1-1 therapy. The thing I have come to realise is that it is also affecting my partner more than I maybe realised. He is also going to see someone as part of a group drop in once a month to help him learn to cope and how to support me on this. Last night he did not say anything when he learnt I had no breakfast or lunch again. Is he condoning my behaviour – not at all. I think people are quick to criticise the sufferer but presume those around you must be allowing it because surely they can force you to sit and eat. I think that he is still by you shows how strong he loves and cares for you. Alas there will always be people who don’t see that. Stay strong

    • Hey hun it’s taken me a few days to write back bc I’m embarrassed that no, physically Ryan isn’t overly attracted to me. We’ve had this conversation many times and he still tells me I’m beautiful bc he loves me and who I am but having a physical intimate relationship is hard. I am very much looking forward to that coming back šŸ™‚

    • that is so great that you started to see a therapist! and my husband and i also do counseling together. it has really helped our communication and being open with one another in a safer place. i hope you and your partner can also find that sam safety. stay strong hun, and if there is anything you need, please let me know!

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