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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Criticizing Nostalgia

*Contains BMI-related numbers. I don’t normally make trigger warning announcements, but I also do not usually mention my own BMIs. Do with my warning what you will.*

Admonishing my reverie for my bathroom scale’s golden days. The slightest of gravitational strains. The purest state of ingesting.

I have never been truly sick. That is to say, I’ve never been “on death’s door” because of my eating disorder. I’ve only ever flirted with the idea of living dangerously. My blood tests and vertigo were terrible. My pallor profound and my eating only precise. But I always skated away when doctors and therapists started to wonder. Dodged and ducked my way into an EDNOS diagnosis and unmonitored food trays during most of my psychiatric ward stays. That’s good, right? It’s kind of bad. It’s bad-good. They didn’t even make sure I didn’t purge. *high five?!?

I’ve only ever maintained a normal or slightly under normal weight. BMI of 17, rest in peace. Now that I’m fat and old I can’t help but look back and miss it. I don’t miss the crying and the late night, long-winded workouts before I was old enough for my own gym membership. I don’t miss passing out or almost getting caught sneaking out to the gym.

That’s right. At 15ish I snuck out to go the gym. When I wasn’t secretly boozing. Ahem.

When I could see my ribs and my hipbones protruded too much to lie on my belly at night I didn’t even get to appreciate it. Even a few years back when I was BMI 21 I didn’t have a belly “pooch” wearing spandex running clothes and I could wear TANK TOPS without hating my life. TANK TOPS. And shorts. Ugh, I miss shorts.

And swimming! Haven’t swam in years. Last time was in a gym. Before that?…. I don’t even remember. Probably childhood.

Even when I met the standard for “thin” I thought I was too big for the world. But I guess that’s usually in people with a literal disease preventing them from knowing their relative size.

Did you know there’s a euphoria that can come with not eating as much as you should? No wonder eating disorders (restriction, mostly) are such a slippery slope after recovery.

None of this was supposed to mean much. I just wish I could go back in time with a decent body and/or get skinny again.

Damnit.

The Recovery Shame

I’m ’bout to get real real with you guys. It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, and it’s because I thought about being less personal. But I just want to be frank with you guys.

I hate being “recovered.”

I’m making a pause now to let you readers who don’t know me imagine what I mean by recovered. Do I mean from drugs? Gambling? Porn?

It’s all 3.

No it’s not.

It’s eating disorders.

Now, I put the word recovered in quotes up there because though I don’t partake in the daily activities of an actively disordered eater anymore, I still have so many thoughts and bad feelings and bad self-esteem surrounding me that I feel like a cheaty faced loser saying I’m legitimately recovered. I’m more like, I don’t know, in remission. The behaviors aren’t there lately (purge free since May?) but it’s very much an undercurrent.

I’m sure lots, maybe most, of the humans who have recovered from an eating disorder of any kind often think “man, I could easily go back to that. That’d be great. I could be so skinny. Eh, nah.” But what I think a lot of the time isn’t “I could go back” so much as it’s “I should go back.”

Cuz I get a lot of hate. I hate being recovered because I’m chubby now. I shouldn’t care that I’m chubby. I should embrace it and whatever and be happy I’m healthy (not really but whatever) and whatever.

But I’m really upset.

I fucking hate myself.

And there are people who see me at work who may notice the panic in my eyes when I pass the snack bar, who may notice I eat lunch 3 times, and there are friends who I accidentally admit to having 2 separate dinners to… but they wonder why because I’m too fat and I obviously eat too much.

There are those IN THE SAME HOUSEHOLD AS ME who comment on what I eat being unhealthy or that I eat too much or that I should exercise more/better.

These comments come from a good place but damn. Let me pretend to be a normal American. Jesus.

I hate it. And I hate it.

I hate being a regular chubby first-world unhealthy loser. I hate liking fast food and beer. I hate thinking about food ALL THE TIME whether I’m trying to lose weight or not.

I hate how I let the idea of being a happy healthy person made me fat.

I’m legitimately overweight now. And it makes me so sad. And I try not to let it. I think, hey. I don’t have like serious weight-related issues, right? I’m fine? I’m smaller than some people, right? Does that matter? Should I even make that comparison? God what should I do? What is normal? WHAT IS RIGHT WHAT IS HEALTHY WHAT AM I DOING I’M KIDDING MYSELF I GOT FAT.

I meet new people and I just know they’re judging me for being fat. Like you don’t know me! I was skinny once, too! Shut up! Shut up those thoughts! Stop it!

This could be a post about how fat-shaming is bad but it’s not that it’s me hating myself for letting myself get to a non-disordered weight.

It was so much easier not kidding myself into thinking I had a healthy mind.

Right now, I’d take the bloodshot eyes, the inflamed esophageal lining, and the lying and wasting over this shame and remorse.

 

Snuggly Wuggly

Remember back in the day when I made that post about how my daily routines really helped my depression?

Well why in the hell doesn’t that apply to me anymore?!

Since I’ve moved in with Matt my “routines” have been all over the place. Sure, I wake up for work at roughly the same time everyday, but it’s mostly a hectic mess just trying to get to work on time. I have a basic order of things, but the order of things doesn’t include breakfast or checking my stories or touching the cat or appreciating the pretty colors and bird sounds that come with early morning…

I’m a hectic spazoid now. Mostly because I can’t make myself get out of bed. I’m a nasty, habitual snoozer. I never really used to be except on weekends… Now I snooze 3, 4, sometimes up to 5 times before I actually start waking up. And “waking up” is basically just checking myfitnesspal food plan for the day and putting off GETTING OUT OF BED as long as possible.

Man this is unhealthy. I am in a rush every morning and I hate it but even when I try to change (set my alarm later so I can’t snooze as long, make Matt help me wake up, pop a mint in my mouth after the first alarm, etc) the efforts are usually futile. It’s frustrating.

Somehow, someway, I will become good at mornings again. It’d be so cool to have breakfast/cat/crossword puzzle time in the morning again.

To be fair, it was a lot easier when I worked at the restaurant at 10:45 in the morning versus my now 8:20 in the morning. Especially considering 8 was when I would wake up. I do NOT see myself waking up at 5:30 just to enjoy the mornings. Though, it’d be kind of nice…

At least I’ve been getting to work on time more consistently recently. Yay small victories.

This room smells like a mix of chocolate mint candle and bowl of caesar salad from dinner I’ve yet to clean up. I’d better hop to it.

Peace.

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.

Lately

Recently it’s been a bit difficult to make myself talk about things in blog form at least once a week, but right now I’m a few beers in and figured I’d just go for it. Let’s start by complaining about things!

All I want to do is play tennis and read books. Why do I have to do all of this adult stuff? Why doesn’t Matt want to share just one car with me to save money when we grow up? Why do white strips make my teeth hurt so badly?

Who controls the traffic light by the gas station? Honestly sometimes I think I wait there for 3-5 minutes like, I need to go home. Why am I such an obnoxious drunk?

Why do pill bugs like my basement so much? Why does my mom always take my little vacuum and not tell me? I can’t find it. I don’t know where it is.

Why doesn’t my Marauder’s Map prop actually make sense? Why can’t I portion control? Why am I so anxious all the time? Why do people think tipping $4 on $74 is okay?

Maybe I should stop with the why’s. I have a stack of mail from the last two weeks I’m too afraid to look through. And a growling stomach begging to be stuffed with goodies and no calories left to do so today. I have homework to be done and a concert to go to in two days and sweater to buy for the dress I need to fit into. I have to unpack my overnight bag and get ready for bed and start a load of laundry and maybe journal a little about my insecurities and my frustrations and my goal weight.

I need to dust and organize and vacuum and plan how many calories a day I’m allowed to have this week to get down to where I was last week. I need to work out again because I’m anxious and I need to complain to my journal about being anxious and hate working out and I need to finish that one episode of Merlin that I never finished from that one time I forgot I had to take a test.

Have a happy Wednesday. Sorry for the rambling. See ya later.

Talking About Food Again

Last time I only briefly touched the issue of going out to eat with friends. A lot of my close friends and I eat out a lot. At least a few times a week, I’d say. One of them is a chef at a local restaurant, the rest of us just appreciate tasty food, and aren’t really in a place in our lives where cooking our own dinners every night would make a lot of sense.

Every Monday we head over to the neighborhood Old Chicago for beer, happy hour food, and pool. The fiance and I usually eat when we get off work a couple more times a week. Nights like tonight, we’re meeting friends for sushi when we’re all off work. Now, I did work out today, and I believe that I should eat when I’m hungry regardless of calories, but sushi and I have a very strenuous relationship. I love it so much that I will throw “dieting” out the window to have a Las Vegas roll or some tempura fried crunchies on top (I had this roll at Kona, but I don’t remember what it actually was. It was a roll laid flat with edible claws sticking up? It looked like crab claws, but more little. Anyone know what that is?).

Thus far I’ve basically reached my calorie limit for the day. Even with the run I took. I munched a lot at work because it was slow and my coworkers kept ordering delicious food. I kept stealing things like french fries and biscuit pieces from their plates. I also really like to have a drink when I go out. Wine is great with sushi!

I’m very stressed out about what I’m going to do at dinner tonight. When I order more than half of my meal to go, or when I stop but still say I’m hungry, my friends will say, “You deserve a cheat day!” when unfortunately I don’t feel I do. Maybe I’m still more disordered than I thought. Is everyone who’s mindful about their net calories this anxiety ridden when it come to situations like these? I had a cheat day last week where I consumed double my limit for the day and then some. I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin, but I also just want to eat all the sushi, burgers, and snacks that I want. Ah, inner turmoil.

Edit: The roll with the delicious crunchies is called a Spider Roll! The crunchies (not actually very crunchy this time, as there was more meat in these than I remember) were actual pieces of actual crabmeat actually tempura fried and actually delicious. The more you know!

Also! (Last thing) I recently downloaded a dream recording app for my handy kindle fire, because actually writing things with pens can be so tedious. Especially when details in things like dreams can be so elusive. So I’d expect a dream post or two every now and then. I’ll still keep the Tuesdays and Thursdays theme going, but dreams are so interesting. I’ll warn you in the title if it’s a dream post.

Happy Dreaming.