Eating disorders are full of paradoxes.
My thoughts and actions often contradict one another, or themselves, because my life is dictated by two voices (Ok, I sound crazy here, forgive that description), which I often personify as ED and CJ.
CJ desperately wants to be a healthy individual and always has, but the negative portion of my brain has been too loud for far too long and most times totally warps reality, obviously.
I will be completely honest here and tell you what you probably already know; I want to rid myself of this horrific lifestyle, but the thought of gaining weight and feeling out of control is terrifying.
Since we have been home I feel like I have ballooned up a gazillion pounds, and I am starting to panic. Scientifically Ryan continues to remind me that isn’t really possible, but between it being the week before my most dreaded time of the month (meaning edema and an obsession with chocolate and nut butter…) and being back in the stressful environment I call work, my body image sucks.
I look in the mirror and see someone disgusting and expanding by the second, but paradoxically sometimes when Ryan touches me, almost wincing when he comes to a jutting bone, I know I am completely ugly and sick-looking.
I want to be the girl I was in college when I was a pretty “normal” eater, with a great appetite for food and also life, and didn’t really think about lunch beyond “man, that was good.”
I was reminded of this when one of my lovely friends at work sent me a picture she found when I was at a good point in my adult-life and pointed out how much happier I looked physically and in spirit and it made me sad because that is all I want, I am just very fearful of what it takes to get there….
…the awkward body shape before the weight redistributes, the emotions that gaining weight could invoke (I have a lot of issues with family and weight gain…comments from when I was a child that made me feel inadequate or unacceptable, etc), and the remarks people will make along that way that typically send me into a tailspin…
Of course the phase of the Buddha belly and strange looking limbs is pretty temporary, but it still sends me in reverse anytime I make progress. So last night while laying in bed, and crying (literally crying which is happening more lately but pretty odd for me) about how I don’t know if I can do this, Ryan asked me what it would take for a change to occur? Would it have to be a major medical issue? Death? Would he have to leave and walk out the door for me to realize everything I was doing isn’t worth it?
A very scary, but valid question.
…I have to backtrack a bit and tell you about our final day of vacation…
We stayed one evening off the ship in Genoa, Italy, so we were not rushed around after disembarkation to get to our plane. As we explored the city and enjoyed the sites, we reminisced about the past that was really quite spectacular before all the hospitalizations and crazy food rituals. We also talked about the future and the picture-perfect Weaber life.
He has so many goals for us and really wants to go back to school next spring in order to start making them happen, but he is terrified to leave me for such an extended period of time. He knows my history and even on night shift I tend to perform poorly on the recovery front.
“I might have to stay at my parents when I go back to school,” he said in a very small voice.
A few days earlier I told him I knew I made him put off continuing his education for a while and that I no longer wanted to be the reason he wasn’t enrolled, so he needed to go back regardless of my condition.
“I don’t think I could give school my everything when I came home to something that reminded me so much of a patient everyday….it is too preoccupying and I would worry constantly.”
I really don’t blame him for these thoughts and actually, I have been quite blessed to have someone stand by my side through these past three years of hell.
He assured me it would only be a temporary move until he finished his studies, but that if I didn’t make a change soon, demonstrate my journey was going in an upward trend, him moving out would have to become reality.
That is the LAST thing I want.
Some of my other underlying causes of why I punish myself have to do with abandonment (I will absolutely save that topic for another post) and Ryan has really been the only person in my life to demonstrate that he unconditionally wants me for me, so why am I engaging in behaviors that push him so far away?
I have explored and discussed my beliefs of why I am the way I am in my relationship in past entries, but would him physically leaving be the only thing to inspire me to get better?
I hate to think so, but that could be my rock bottom.
I pray to God I don’t need to get there in order to do the right things, but this has been running through my mind for a week, and I am scared.
Question: If you have been through recovery or a rough time, did it take a “rock-bottom” experience to make you change your ways?