Figuring It Out

My mom came home Monday and Tuesday, which always sends me into a bit of a panic because I want to make the house look presentable to her standards, and for her to look at me, laugh with me and ultimately have the same amazing relationship we had before.

And I want her to actually WANT to be around me other than just watching some DVR or surface conversation that is just getting awkward and forced.

As I have told you before she was my best friend in the world growing up (some may say that is inappropriate and wrong for a mother daughter) but I loved the time we spent together and just miss the old us.

Anyway, things have improved slightly, since this is the first time in my process that we are attending therapy together, and she hears from someone other than myself how difficult and terrifying recovery can be.

On Tuesday was our appointment and although it was an extremely difficult hour, I am hoping her words, in addition to the post discussion in which Ryan was included, will somehow make me be more pro-active in getting to where I need to be.

My mind was really cluttered when we drove out of the parking lot of the counseling center, and neither one of us really said much on the ride home. I was terribly, and I mean TERRIBLY, SHAMEFULLY moody for the rest of the evening, until Ryan got home from his day out and asked me how everything went.

I couldn’t even tell him because it was pretty much all a blur.

I know I cried a lot. Was probably more honest than I have been in a long time (not purposefully, but I seemed to be more open and willing to share the guilt and anguish that plays through my mind relentlessly). And I admitted I don’t really think I can handle this journey alone because I feel like without an eating disorder I will no longer be a person.

Let me explain and this is something I think everyone in recovery tends to find a struggle.

I am the go-to health recipe finder, fitness coach, advice giver, etc.

In my office I am the one who doesn’t eat the donuts or bagels in our lunch room, doesn’t attend outings or participate in anything social that involves food. I am the one with willpower, damnit, and if I start gaining significant amounts of weight everyone is going to think I am a gluttonous, out of control person who is of no use anymore because I obviously don’t abide by my own rules or what society says is healthy.

Let’s just face reality here for a second and establish that I am not the picture of health, so people could think I am a total crock of s*it right now anyway, nor does it make me special because I skipped the really nice lunch our principals bought AND let us leave work early for at a local restaurant.

That is not self-control, that’s being silly and isolated.

Regardless of the rationality I just spoke, I still have the enormous fear of jumping full force into the unknown and making an attempt to discover who I might be post-ED.

Or maybe I am not worried about who I will discover, but how everyone will perceive me?

That is probably a much better way to put it because I have spent my entire life trying to fit into roles that I didn’t necessarily like.

Sometimes I didn’t want to study for hours in college but that’s just what everyone expected; CJ studied on weekends, displayed enormous discipline, and anything less than an A was just unacceptable.

I wasn’t ready to take the first big girl job offer after college, that required hours sitting at a desk and following strict procedures, and was in an area that I didn’t have passion for at all, but it was considered such a great opportunity if I didn’t take it I was irresponsible and foolish!

Sometimes I just wanted to not have such a structure and plan, but since that was the label I had, I took it to an extreme level in pretty much all aspects of my life and look where I am today; now petrified to figure out who the heck I really am.

I can say for certain, my dreams have always been my own. For example, I have ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS wanted to work for Disney World, or in the travel industry in some capacity.

I LOVE to go new places, see new things, meet new people, and I would LOVE to make someone else get as much enjoyment out of their vacation experience, as I would want on my own.

I would even like to be a travel writer; sharing my opinions, reviews, and again, provide people who don’t necessarily love to take a lot of time and plan their holidays, use my advice to have an AWESOME adventure.

These are the things I wanted for my life, I just never really pursued them because a.) I was scared that field wouldn’t want me or think I was good enough (insecurity of failure, hello!) and b.) people just kind of laughed off my WDW ambitions as a kid-like joke.

I acknowledge that not every person in the universe has their dream job and they just suck it up everyday and go to work, so I should push these things aside and perhaps be a bit more practical, but I am saying that if I can determine what CJ really wants in that area of life, I should be able to figure out others. (And hopefully relinquish being scared and maybe just recover already!?!?!)

This seems to be a much jumbled post and I apologize if it is confusing, but the point is I think sometimes I use being sick to my advantage now; as an excuse to stay where I am, and justify why my life is not much of what I had hoped (except for my amazing husband, of course!)

These are just thoughts, but I am hoping if I can chisel away the pieces that fuel the negative voice in my mind, then maybe I really can get better.

I HAVE to get better, and I WILL, Disney World, or not.

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18 thoughts on “Figuring It Out

  1. as always, i can relate! so right that what we are displaying ‘is not self-control’ and what we are doing is ‘being silly and isolated.” I too am the one that doesnt go to the catered staff lunches or partake in having cake at someones bridal shower or join in with my students for a special pizza lunch. While I might think Im exhibiting great healthy eating habits and self-control, I truly am missing out on so much. I cant tell you how many meals out with friends and outings/parties ive turned down over the past decade out of ED fears. How I wish I could have the opportunity to change that. All I did was isolate myself from people and hurt relationships. You know all this though, and I’m sure youve been there.

    • ughhh i hate how i feel like I wish I could change the past, when really I am not working hard enough to make a better future! I just want to be fun, spontaneous, enjoy life, and i am sure you do too. we can do it!

  2. CJ I truly believe that God gives us desires like these because they are part of His plan for us. For me, the years of GI issues I struggled through made me fall in love with the field and now I am on my way to becoming a GI doc. I do not think God would give you those desires unless He wanted you to do something with them.

    I know pretty much nothing about the travel industry but I remember reading a blog once where the girl was travel agent of sorts for Disney. Also, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it but there’s also a traveling nurse job where they go to a new place every 1-6 months I think. I know you said Ryan is going back to school but once he’s done (and you’re healthy) it might be a fun way to see a lot of new places.

    You’ll figure it out. Just trust that God’s plan is perfect for you and that pray for courage to pursue the desires He has given you!

    • Ryan and I have talked about him being a traveling nurse so many times! or actually on the cruise ship we were just on, they have a medical staff at all times! how cool would that be??!
      I definitely agree about God’s plan! I need to trust that He is in control and I should just surrender.
      ❤ xoxox

  3. Hi CJ! I can totally relate to your post – when I had an eating disorder I didn’t know who I would be without it because it consumed so much of my time. I couldn’t tell you what I liked to do or what hobbies I had – I liked working out and cooking! For me, it was about quieting the mean voice in my head and listening to myself … figuring out what I wanted, what I liked to do, and stepping outside of my comfort zone. This is still a process for me as I’m not working at my dream job and I don’t know where the next few years will take me, but recovery from an eating disorder is the first step. Then you will have the mental clarity to start thinking about all of these other things!

    • I agree the mental clarity aspect is not there! disordered thoughts are a huge pain in the ass that tend to take up the majority of space in my brain! I cant wait to be a bit more free and adventurous to actually figure out my interests! thank you for the encouragement ❤

  4. Hey!

    I can totally relate to your dreams of working in the travel agency (I’m working towards a degree in journalism to become a travel journalist!) and I know just how powerful passions can be. It is thoughts of my future career that pushed me towards recovery. How on Earth was I going to make it in a business that required constant change if I was stuck in the same old routine? I couldn’t.

    Gaining the weight was literally the best thing I’ve ever done. People still come and ask me for my advice on fitness, loosing weight etc. It does not matter that I’ now 40 pounds heavier, I’m still a heck of a lot thinner than most of them. People will actually be able to relate to someone who isn’t so thin.

    No one wants to look like you do now, trust me, I’ve been there. You mmay think they envy you. They don’t. Most my friends have now expressed their relief that I do not look on the edge of death’s door. Skinny is not always better or prettier and only now that I’m on the other side do I realize that.

    Love & Support,
    Rachel

    • Thank you so much for sharing your experience!!! Especially since it turned out to be so positive! Goo luck in your program to be a travel journalist! oh my gosh that would be amazing!!!

  5. I loved how honest this post was. I think a lot of people can relate to what you’re saying – but it’s important to remember that you can still be you – fitness lover, healthy recipe giver – and be healthy! I think people are a lot more self involved than you give them credit for and will most likely not even notice if you put on weight (while it might feel like a massive amount to you, I’m sure it will look gradual and healthy to everyone else) – and if they do, it will most likely be for the better. They’ll see you looking healthier, and happier and more at peace with yourself.

    I think the biggest thing for you will be to start living your OWN life. Don’t worry what others are thinking and doing because ultimately, it’s your life and you need to do what makes YOU happiest and healthiest. 🙂

    • Thanks Cait! I think you are right that people definitely worry more about themselves and barely notice something as insignificant as my weight fluctuations…total distorted thoughts that are more than annoying!
      Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  6. I can tell you that the initial fears when starting full-force recovery are centered on the weight gain and fears of eating out of control, etc. But as you get healthier and put on the weight that makes you look like an attractive, healthy human being, your mind suddenly awakens with the rest of your body and soul. I may still struggle with exercise on occasion now or still can’t break the habit of knowing how many calories I’m eating and being tempted with cutting corners here and there, BUT, I am able to finally get closer to my dreams. I am back in the city I had to essentially escape from to go back home and face recovery since it was here that I fell into such an awful trap and couldn’t bring myself out of it. When you get healthier, dreams become the focus and the drive and ED diminishes more and more… please give it your all!

    • I am so happy for you Jess. I think you are doing so well in recovery and I appreciate everytime you share your story because it gives me hope for mine!

  7. I felt the exact same way. I was the type A perfectionist that got her job and had to love it and succeed. It was really scary for me to admit that I didn’t like it and wanted to do something totally different – less structure, less money, etc. But it’s SO FREEING to just be you! People respect you so much more for being human and not just a perfect robot. You can do it girl!

  8. I have an idea…instead of saying, “I am the one with willpower, damnit, and if I start gaining significant amounts of weight everyone is going to think I am a gluttonous, out of control person who is of no use anymore because I obviously don’t abide by my own rules or what society says is healthy”

    what if you said,

    “I am the one with willpower, damnit, so if I don’t start using my willpower to conquer this disease and gain significant amounts of weight then I am going to be an out of control person who is of no use anymore because I am too thin to survive and function.”

  9. I can understand this so much! One question to ask yourself-you said ‘everybody expects that’ who? Where did you learn that you had to be perfect to meets everyones expectations?

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