My moods are bad and everything feels super shitty. Trying to stay positive (at least on the outside), but Shley is a struggle sandwich. A fat, messy, rotten old struggle sandwich.
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.
This is a topic that doesn’t come up on my blog very often. Mostly it’s just because it’s very difficult to describe what’s going on. The more “downer” experiences are somehow easier to write about than the manic ones.
Right now, I’m in what the psychiatrists call “mania.” Mine is more of a hypomania, but that’s because I’m bipolar II. Fascinating.
I noticed it really kicking in last week, because I started staying up later, thinking I could accomplish more on less sleep and in less time, and planning. I always plan a lot more when I’m hypomanic. Like, months and months and sometimes years in advance. For tiny little things like grocery trips and what gym schedule I think will work the best. Things that are difficult to stick to. I make goals for myself I won’t keep once the depression comes back.
On top of that, I’ve put in so much overtime at work that my managers are consistently telling me to take a day off. But I don’t even feel the overtime right now! 80 hours and I feel like I just had a whole week off. I have to take breaks a lot because I can’t focus and what was I doing wouldn’t this work better? Yes this. Let’s do this. We do this now.
There are so many thoughts in my head the only way I can think to describe it is a lightning storm over the entire planet and every lightning strike hits a transformer and all the sparks ignite huge fires across the globe and everything’s blowing up and exploding and it should be exhausting but I don’t feel it.
LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS NEW THING SEE THIS THING LOOK AT IT DO YOU SEE IT MATT LOOK LOOK WHAT I DID LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THIS OTHER THING NOW ARE YOU LISTENING MATT THIS WILL CHANGE OUR LIVES.
Luckily it doesn’t normally last long. I know the crash will be intense, because it always is. But I’m prepared, and have the tools, for when it happens. I may even sleep for a day. Who knows?
I’ve been staying up late, planning, reading, learning, wanting, needing, expanding, and no human should be sleep deprived and so productive.
I’m sorry I’m so bad at explaining it, but I do feel like it’d be worth mentioning this idea on this blog of mine that mostly just features my psychoses.
Blogging is oddly therapeutic, you guys. I recommend it. A lot.
Speaking of the things I do while I’m manic: social media. I post so much more to social media! Like someone how my “friends” will start to actually care what I do on a daily sometimes more-than-daily basis? As if. But I post it all anyway.
I’m overall very, very thankful that I have a very manageable experience with this particular disorder. Bipolar is very nasty, and for some it’s downright debilitating. I just don’t have it all that bad. The depressions are the hard part.
You know, come to think about it, the hypomanic might even explain the weird visual/auditory sensations I’ve been having. Seriously. I’ve been seeing things? But not really seeing. Just like, sensing? It’s so weird. I can’t even write about it. This is the worst blog in the world. I wonder if like not-quite-hallucinations are part of manic episodes. I should google that.
That’d be a lot more comforting than what I was feared was going on. For a while I just thought it might be sleep deprivation. I know for a fact that that can make you hallucinate.
I think this more recent swing into I CAN DO ANYTHING MODE has been going on for just a little under a month now.
Brains are weird.
My bones are cold. There’s a constant, aching chill, and find myself shivering then try to stop myself. But I can’t feel warm.
My jaw hurts from the pressures of keeping it together. The urge to sob and scream and burst into hysterics all mingled into my ready smile should someone look my way.
It’s always the corner of my eye. Or not so much the corner, but just barely beyond perceptibility. Dark shapes, light shapes. Metamorphosing into some terrible nightmare fodder. Humanoid, demanoid. “It’s just my imagination” I tell the slowly-growing shadow. My jaw aches.
I’m quick, though. They’ve always told me I have “wit.” So while in the company of others I laugh and I joke and wow so normal until a moment’s silence and I remember everything terrible that’s ever been and ever will be while the shape in the doorway grins at me and reaches out then I think of a clever response and get a few laughs.
Silence is painful. There’s a hum, and it’s not just from all the concerts. I know. It physically hurts. Drives me to tears when I wake at night. Because they’re trying to reach me. That faint hum before the speech, the dying to say what can’t be said and I’m afraid of what they’ll say. So I put the pillow over my head try and snuggle up to the warm mass who snores and moves away from me and I’m forever left alone in my head with these new ghosts and the old ghosts who won’t leave me to a moment’s peace.
When I drink my cheap, fruity liquor I’m too engrossed in my phone and trying not to have drunk face that it’s peaceful for a moment. But heaven forbid I have to pee or go somewhere else alone because they follow me and they take advantage of my fear and my tears and they laugh and I have to pretend I’m not scared out of my goddamn mind because no one likes a drama queen.
I’ve hallucinated before. It’s been years. And I’m terrified.
I’ve been desperately trying not to be so whiney or dramatic (hence the infrequent posts) and even to friends I’m like eh I’m depressed but whatever but damn it even as I type this they’re brushing me on the shoulder and trying to whisper in my ear and I shudder and try and remember where I was in my thought.
And I thought being coherent was difficult before.
Is this the bipolar? The dissociation? The stress? Have all the many, many, long years of too-frequent nightmares started following me into daily life, desperate to be heeded?
What the fuck is wrong with me?
It’s almost the anniversary of my last utter descent. Makes me think it’s bipolar. I made a promise it’s almost impossible not to think about. Even now my pants are sticking to my hips and my sleeve to my arms and my jaw hurts and my usual hurts hurt because everything hurts but it’s “just stress.”
But you know lol everything fine it’s good 🙂 how’re you?
This post was by far my most popular. It still gets hits all the time. I feel like I’m cheating people out of scientific research. All my posts are whiny hubbub.
Sorry to people who come here for that blog post. But thanks for reading.
As for as my experience regarding the content, I still experience this frequently. Dissociation disorder is one of the more forefront factors in my daily life. Unfortunately. I know when it’s happening like coming up for air after diving for hours. I realize “oh hey this day feels funny I’m so gone lol what’s a blue mean” and then back under I go.
These days usually house my extreme actions. Also they’re related to the mania (thanks bipolar) and lead to the over-zealous goals that are never accomplished and lead to the ever-present feelings of failure and worthlessness. Just, dissociation in general I guess. Also binge eating and basic poor impulse control.
It’s a curious phenomena I don’t see referenced very often. Either it’s under-diagnosed, not usually an issue for people, or just kind of rare. I see borderline personality disorder a lot more often. Which is another one of the boxes I get to tick on health history forms. Now that’s a weird issue. Usually associated with the “temper tantrums” (my stepmom called them that when I was in high school. Really it was just a long-beaded-timeline full of acute psychoses) we think people who “just want attention” portray.
Anyway, this is why I have to usually put aside time to watch movies, play video games, or read books during the day. I have such a difficult time processing reality as reality at any given time as is, adding to that by incorporating unusual narratives, intense emotions, or generalized anxiety just exacerbate my already pathetic-ness.
What was I talking about?
*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.
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.