I Regret Everything

As most of you readers know, I’ve been struggling with a spectrum of eating disorders since an early age. I exhibited signs and symptoms of behavior from around 6, and actively began restricting knowing full-well what I was doing at age 11.

I’ve been in and out of treatment centers, inpatient, and have seen so many therapists and psychiatrists it’s a wonder I even think there’s hope for me at all. Especially on top of my many other ailments (both mental and physical).

Last September I started seeing an eating disorder therapist. In December she referred me to a psychiatrist. This has been my care team.

Today was the first time Matt came with me to a therapy appointment. I’m desperately trying to remember everything that I said.

For those of you who may not be aware, eating disorders are at least 95% lying and keeping secrets, avoiding the truth, over-justification, and investment in our own secret “safe” world inside our eating disorders. Some of us are more enmeshed in our secret eating disorder worlds than others. It’s to the point, after decades, that I literally do not know what’s my personality coming out or if it’s my eating disorder talking. About almost anything? I can make any life situation about how fat I am etc. And I always could! Not just since I’ve gained all this weight. All this fucking weight. How did I gain so much weight? “RECOVERY?!” You fat fucking joke.

I’m getting off track.

Today I spilled some secrets. Just last time I admitted to a friend that I’m not ready to give up my disorder. I don’t want to recover. I want to lose weight. Now that my eating disorder has swung from undereating and purging to overeating and purging it seems so hopeless.

My therapist tries to assure me that it’s a common swing, and actually confided in me that this means I never actually recovered when I thought I did. The disordered thoughts and thought patterns along with behaviors and mindsets followed me all this time and manifested itself differently over the years. So that’s real comforting, as you can imagine.

So what secrets did I spill? Big ones. My secret dinners. That when I joke around about food or “I went to the gym last week I deserve a treat” seemingly off-the-cuff jokes are really just me being good at making things normal and ok in appearance for what I think are others’ benefit.

I’ve talked about that wanting things to be normal before, too. In another post I qualified it with “I don’t want to be a drama queen” around friends, and I want to be seen as normal. Not broken. But…. I think I knew which side is showing its prevalence recently. Stupid fucking fatass piece of garbage.

Oops lost my train of thought.

I don’t want to let go of my secrets. Because once I start undereating full time again (restriction is easy until I feel pressured (mostly by my own self) to act normal or fun about food) then I’ll desperately need these secrets back.

They’re usually the cliche “I already ate” or “I don’t feel well” or “I didn’t even go to the gym today I can’t have toast” you get the gist.

Eating disorders are fucking impossible and I feel horrible. The worst part? “You don’t have an eating disorder. You’re just weak.” Not just from my own brain, but this happens in others’ minds as well. I know it does, because I read it online when I see mentions of Binge-Eating Disorder.

I think now I’m just ranting? I feel so lost. If eating disorders are part of my personality then I’m almost okay with it staying. I like to think I’m pretty down to earth and easy to hang out with. I’m empathetic and my-own-brand-of fun. I’m hardcore but nice? I don’t know I don’t know. Just like the anger. That’s me too.

My therapist called me defensive and I said “NO I’M NOT” as a joke, but…

This has become almost incoherent.

Happy Monday.

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I Don’t Get It

This doesn’t make any sense. This is something I’ve stressed over for years. This is an issue that I’ve only recently found a phrase for. It’s analysis paralysis.

We use the term when we’re playing board games, because there’s one among us (ahem, Matt) who tends to really take their time making decisions during their turn. When I was a reading a lovely book describing the biology of anorexia, the term popped up and gave itself a whole new meaning for me. As you can imagine, it’s weird hearing it described as something as harmless as a board game decision now.

I experience analysis paralysis consistently. It’s all food related. Imagine that.

From “yes you can eat” versus “no, you can’t eat” to the oftentimes more confusing “to eat this, or to eat that?” my mind is almost always in a state of near panic and exhaustion.

I plan what I eat in advance. It’s like a hobby. Usually, I plan for a “healthy” daily plan. I make sure I have a nice balance of food I like, but not overdoing it, and I make sure I get the food I need. I try to stay within reasonable parameters for sodium, carbs, and saturated fat. Cholesterol I never worry about, and I’ve practically given up on getting enough iron and protein. I had been a vegetarian for too long. Anyway moving on.

I plan out these meals to try and make my day to day life just that much less stressful. Wouldn’t it be great if I could live life not worrying about what/when/where I’ll eat next and how much this/that/the other thing is in the food and how many calories I’ll have to burn off at the gym later? It would be so great. So I plan.
Then, I decide I’m still hungry after my allotted lunch. Now, my relationship with my satiety signals are all kinds of messed up, and I can’t really tell the difference between hunger and gas. Also, I won’t know I’m full until I’m in physical pain from my pants’ button digging into my spare tire. So I decide I’m hungry, and then the wheels start turning.

So many options.

I could have a sandwich after work. But I’m hungry now. Get breakfast biscuits out of the vending machine? Then I can’t have a full sandwich. Then I’ll have breakfast biscuits now, and a frozen dinner when I get home. But that’ll be too many carbs, wouldn’t it? Ok. Breakfast biscuits. Broccoli. Then, for dessert, some chocolate. That’ll put me 100 over. I don’t want a sandwich anymore. If I’m going to be 100 over, fuck it, I’ll get a pizza. But then I can’t get my breakfast biscuits now. I want something now. I’ll have a diet soda and an apple now, then order a pizza. No I’ll get taco bell. No I’ll sit at the bar at Red Lobster and treat myself to dinner after work. No. You have to behave. Ok, so breakfast biscuits now, and I’ll just figure it out later.

Notice the changing between Is and Yous. It’s necessary I promise.

That’s a very abridged version of what happens in my mind most of my waking moments. I’ve driven around excessively because of this issue. I do laps in the grocery store unintentionally. I’ll leave the house intending to get a taco, decide I want 20 different things on the way there, change course 3, 6, 10 times, only to stop at a taco shop 4 taco shops away from my house because I can never make up my damn mind.

I’m just doomed.

Usually I just decide to binge. It makes the analysis shut up. Instead of overthinking, I just insult myself a lot and feel hopeless. It’s much more comfortable.

To Have and To Eat

The last 2 months have been full of experimenting. Not the fun kind with the beakers and the BOOMS, but the brain kind. I switched to a cheaper SSRI because of the beginning of the year/deductible thing, and this new medicine has me in kind of a funk. It’s annoying. I feel tired all day on my own, thanks. I don’t need a pill to multiply that fatigue by a bajillion (which is what it feels like).

One of the most frustrating parts is that I don’t fall asleep near as quickly as I’m used to. Though, that could be because I started by taking it at night; usually an hour or so before bed. Now, I take it 12 hours earlier in the day. It’s helped a little. I get a rush of energy when I need it during the day instead of when I should be sleeping. That late night rush was helping me get a lot of reading done at night, though… One thing I was hoping it would help was the appetite. I still get the cravings in the morning for ALL THE FOOD, and I still wake up with wrappers under or around my pillow. I still overeat, and I just can’t make myself ditch the soda. Soda is disgusting. I love it so much.

The reason my doctor prescribed this was not primarily because of depression, but instead it was supposed to help my anxiety. I stated that my grades had slipped because I can’t make myself focus (don’t get me started on trying to write. All of my blog posts end up as train wrecks. Can you imagine my essays?), so this was supposed to do the job when I couldn’t afford to take Xanax everyday. It hasn’t really been helping. I feel like I’ve avoided a lot more social situations than before, and I feel like my outlook on the future isn’t as bright as it may have been previously. I haven’t been on it for very long, though. I’m hoping it all evens out and does what I’d like it to do.

Yes, I’m far better than I was around the breakdown days, and even 3 years ago, but I feel like I’m very slowly, steadily, slipping again. It’s almost like I’m trying to fool myself. It’s weird and I hate it.

And this ain’t my first rodeo. I know I can’t take “happy pills” and expect immediate improvement with no effort of my own outside of my wallet. I’ve been sleeping as well as I can, doing things I enjoy doing, and trying not to 100% avoid people.

I’ve had 2 panic attacks this month, when it’s been several months before that and almost a year before that… Okay now I’m getting pessimistic. I guess we’ll see what happens.

Happy Wednesday.

Fun fact: this particular drug is supposed to be good against one of my eating issues, so that’s neat. Okay bye.