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.

Advertisements

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.

 

What? My Mind is – What?

Let’s start with the question(s) of the day:

Why can’t I fall asleep at night?
Why do I wake up several times each night?
Why do I find myself nodding off all day?

Now onto the rambling.

I’m so bloody distracted recently. I left the garage door open because I honestly didn’t think I needed to close it. What, was it going to close itself? I’ve been forgetting what conversations are about halfway through. The inner turmoil has been so back and forth in my head that I’m surprised I’m still in one piece. Don’t ask me how I’ve managed to stay employed at my job. Clearly, my focus, motivation, energy, and overall worth has plummeted.

It doesn’t help that there’s a new distraction in my happy place of employment.

I love my job I love my job I love my job.

I’ve been thoughts and word vomiting all over anyone in my vicinity. It’s as if I’ve forgotten that no one cares what I have to say. I’m an awful conversationalist, and even worse at attempting funny. Just stop, self. Dammnit, self. Can’t you fucking behave yourself like a decent, nonintrusive member of society, self? Honestly, you can’t do anything right.

You can’t even exist well.

The first time I remember being fully aware and accountable for my attempts at “dieting” was fifth grade. Have I talked about this? I don’t remember. One of the other Ashleys in my class said she was fat and needed to diet. She was smaller than me, so what the shit. Everything about me was wrong. This could be my salvation.

The jerks at the elementary school did not let me get away with skipping lunch. I claimed no lunch money in the line, and promptly sat down at one of the cafeteria tables. I’m reading a book when the counselor and the salad bar lady come up to me with one of those nasty OPS-standard garden salads with Unidentified Meat A, accompanied by Weird Squishy Stuff Probably Supposed To Be Vegetables B; All over a bed of brown iceberg lettuce.

“She thought she could just skip lunch!” The nerve.

So they’d give me free salad. Evil, evil people.

If I remember correctly, I took my lunch to school every now and then. Yes, I pulled the usual “Ignore everything in the bag except the carrots” move, but damn my stomach grumbling was distracting. I’m very prone to being grumpy. Being hungry does not help the matter.

I remember going clothes shopping with Mom and Stepmom and stuff around that time. I knew what kind of clothes I liked. I liked jeans and tshirts. The occasional khaki skirt.

I remember crying over what a tshirt looked on me for the first time in fifth grade. I was so unnaturally shaped. So uneven. Blobby. Ridiculous. Deformed. Top heavy. Bottom heavy? Pizza faced. Fat. Just overall wrong. Everything about me was just wrong.

I hear tell that at one time my 6-year-old self refused a brownie from my father until I ran laps around the apartment. Interesting.

It’s snowing outside. All I want to do is read and eat but I can’t focus and I can’t I can’t I can’t.

The Prestige

I’ve done it.

I’ve finally figured out what keeps me from being a good server.

It didn’t come to me in a dream or epiphany, but rather steadily over the last few weeks.

Since I started in the service industry at the very beginning of 2012, I have improved a great deal. My mind and body sync up a little more nicely now, and I owe a lot of that to having to “deal” with people all day. I started as a hostess, moved on to a bartender after a few months, and now, I do a little bit of everything from bartending, serving, hosting, even training new employees and I even know how to work in some (easier) parts of the kitchen. Getting along with and connecting with my coworkers and feeling an actual desire to do well at this job helped me gain a lot of my sanity back.

As mentioned, I started serving after bartending and hosting for a while. I didn’t like just being a hostess. All these servers talking about their tips and tables and knowing when to bring salads and all the menu items and where everything was… so dreamy. PLUS they got to wear the long, slender-like pinstripe apron I wanted to be able to wear. Two giant pockets. Anyway I started bartending because the managers thought I’d be good at it. I was. Everyone I worked with loved me because of my work ethic. I always strived to do everything the right way, while also being a crowd pleaser overall. Then, I started getting bored.

Yeah, I got to wear an apron and serve tables sometimes, but this apron was tiny, and I wasn’t really making any of the tip money I kept hearing about from the servers. I wanted to know how to dole out change from my personal bank and carry big trays more than twice a week.

The servers all seemed to be in a special club, too. They just glided like serving was the most natural, easy, and financially rewarding job. Sometimes it got really busy, but as long as the hosts didn’t seat them 100 tables all over the restaurant, they normally seemed fine.

Then I got to be a server. My hours in this job code increased, and I kissed the bar and the podium goodbye for a time. I got to wear my heavy apron and get my own server book to put pictures of my loved ones in. I got to take orders and sing happy birthday and complain when I got a table who wouldn’t give me the time of day… just like I’ve always wanted! (At least for the year leading up to that point.)

Unfortunately, I started serving full-time during the busiest time of the year. During our namesake promotion, I served tables for 50 hours a week for a little bit (while overtime was allowed) and made a lot of money, and a pretty high cost. I had my first panic attack at my new job. Not only had I gone over a year without one, but it had been so long since a job stressed me out. I had to go home early and I cried so hard I threw up repeatedly. Every time I walked back to the kitchen for biscuit refills or tea pitchers I’d start balling and heaving.

I think it traumatized me a little. I used to be really gung-ho about being this great server who cared about everyone and never made less than 20%.

Eventually, I stopped caring.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not heartless or lacking compassion. When people come in for a birthday or anniversary I really do care! I think it’s exciting! Everyone should be able to feel good about going out and having fun on their special occasions. On the other hand, I can’t make myself talk about more than the bare minimum. I do the singing, I do the little jokes, but I don’t let myself really care. People have started to scare me so much, that I just don’t really care about them as much as I used to.

It really sucks because I think of all these connecting things I could say, but I never get out there to say it, because I’m afraid they’ll look at me funny or say it’s none of my business. Things of that nature.

It’s gotten worse. It’s why I’ve actually asked to go back to seating tables instead of serving them, but in reality, I can’t support myself on those wages anymore. I tried getting a second job to help my brain cope with serving to make the most out of my hours, but I hate the responsibility at the new job more, therefore causing me to raise my hours serving tables again.

Maybe this is all the new anti-depressant’s fault. Who knows. Either way, I can’t wait until I graduate and get to work at home with my cat.

Breaking Schedule Intentionally

Last night during class I had a craving for a cheeseburger. I figured “whatever. I ran today,” so I went to Burger King to get my cheeseburger. The young lady at the window asked me, “Are you always this polite?”

“Yes. I’m sorry if that’s unusual here.”
“It’s just… refreshing.”

Pathetic. When politeness becomes so rare it needs to be mentioned. While it’s nice that not being an asshole doesn’t go under-appreciated,  it’s sad that people being rude and jerkfacey because they can is the norm.

When I started my service job I was told to expect the bitches and the fuckheads because people go out to eat after a long day or a long week and they want everything perfect and a reason to take their life problems out on somebody.

Have you heard of courtesy? Have you heard of positive self talk? Figure out something, man, because you’re not special. I don’t give a shit how your day was. Don’t you care about anyone besides yourself? (A great book.)

The warning was nice, and it definitely was heeded because now I successfully fear every potential tip that walks through those doors.

Sorry for the swearing. I’m at the end of my filter’s rope. Too much frustration on the inside. Thank goodness I’m going to a metal concert tonight.

 

P.S. All I did was use my pleases and a thank you.

Books and Things!

I’ve shamed myself. Lately I’ve been so preoccupied with food that the things I really enjoy doing for the sake of doing them have been shoved under the rug. Or, more accurately, left collecting dust on the nightstand.

My poor book has been abandoned. I’m either working or studying, sleeping, or dealing with food and exercise in some way. I’m always too beat to put the thought into remembering what character does what and who is with who in this book. It’s very web-like and I was super tired the first day I started it, so now I pay the price. (A very good book, though. Highly recommend.)

This almost ties into that boredom post I made a while back. Remember that? I want to do so many things for so many reasons. Either it’s to improve myself or the image I have of myself or it’s to benefit others in some way… Sometimes, though, I get overwhelmed and don’t accomplish any of it but decide to feel sorry for myself instead. I find these two circumstances to be similar.

It hasn’t taken me this long to read a book in a long while, and it’s not even a long book. I’m just slacking for no reason. I frustrate me so much. Also, my cat forgot it was mother’s day (typical) and I’m broke because no one wants to eat at the restaurant I work at, seemingly.  When they do eat there it’s as if they forgot how to leave a decent tip. I like to believe I deserve far more than $3 on a $40 ticket. Would you be able to live off of $3? Remember, I have to tip out to other employees and pay rent. Sorry, got off track.

Livemocha.com is great, by the way. Started using it the other day and I’ve already learned the whole German alphabet! There were some lessons but I forgot them. I’ll retake them eventually. Sometime before our (possible) trip to Germany would be grand!

How off topic can I get today? I love sprinkles.

Okay so happy Sunday and I hope you have a marvelous whatever.

THE Food Post

You may or may not have noticed yet, but I’m a little bit preoccupied with food and food related things. I talk about my issues with food, I talk about my grocery shopping and the documentaries I’ve seen about food, I go out to eat a lot… Little known fact: I also love to cook! Lately I’m so much more into food, food talks, food thinks, and eating, that I’ve decided to dedicate this post 100% to food! Food and words, at least.

Before, I had mentioned that cooking myself meals everyday isn’t going to happen at this point in my life. Too many days I come home after working 12-13 hours and the next few days (my “weekend”) are spent just recovering, so I’d rather eat something that’s delicious, fast, and nutritious. The nutritious is a bonus but may be sacrificed for the delicious factor. Priorities. Anyway because of this I like to spend one afternoon/evening a week (up to 3 hours) just cooking a lot of Just Bare chicken, turkey bacon, enriched/whole grain pasta, extra lean ground turkey meat, cilantro rice, roasting vegetables, and preparing for the 5-7 days to come. I package meals or bits of meals into little tupperware containers and take them out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I also keep a stash of fruit where I do homework because magically I always crave something when I’m trying to concentrate.

Before, I would think of this as a disordered type of behavior, but overall it’s proven to actually be good for me. I don’t make my meals tiny, I make them reasonable. I’ll usually be content after a tupperware of food, and if I’m not, then I also keep a stash of 100 bags of almonds and walnuts. I’m trying to be nice to myself in all the ways!

My favorite staple is spaghetti. I could eat it everyday. It’s a great breakfast, too. My spaghetti is easily packaged into 5 tupperwares (Target brand, because they have hearts on them!) because the extra lean Jennie-O turkey packages have five 4oz servings. My target brand spaghetti sauce has five 1/2 cup servings. My target brand (notice a trend?) enriched spaghetti noodles are easily weighed, separated, and cooked to any yield. Sometimes I’ll cut the serving in half and use 1oz of pasta for a tupperware, sometimes I’ll splurge on the whole 2oz. I also just LOVE putting sweated (sweated because I don’t use butter and I don’t know what else it’s called) red peppers, green peppers, onions and jalapenos in my spaghetti sauce. The turkey only really tastes good if you let it simmer in the spaghetti sauce anyway, so I let my vegetables do a lot of their cooking during that process. And I never forget a healthy splash of hot sauce. I’ve even been thinking about making my own natural-like spaghetti sauce. Maybe one day. 

Today I just made a delicious one time meal. The intention was to mimic Red Lobster’s southwest chicken sandwich. It’s SO good! Complete with onion rings, bacon, and barbecue mayonnaise… it’s over 1000 calories. My sandwich was going to be a Jimmy John’s style unwich, but I saw a little green bug on my lettuce and decided against the lettuce. I know produce has bugs, but I just couldn’t do it today. I opted for mashed cauliflower. Not a bad choice, right? Should even be a little healthier. I just cooked my 2oz of Just Bare chicken (a really cool brand. You should look for it) with a little pepper in a nonstick skillet, added a slice of turkey bacon, and put it over my mashed “potatoes.” Originally I had wanted some avocado, but Target didn’t have any ripe ones. It has failed me. Still delicious, and only like 250 calories or something. Oh, the sacrifice. 

Now I’m a little further than feeling contented, but at least I know I probably won’t want to snack later. The prepackaged meals thing is probably going to last a while in my house/future apartment/house. The best part is I only have to do a lot of dishes once or twice a week! I hate dishes. Does anyone actually like dishes, though? Probably not.

Happy, whatever.

Note: I know If it’s Target brand tupperware it’s not actually tupperware, but it’s still tupperware in my heart.