Why not anorexia?

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This is how I feel all the time.

To make up for binging and purging 3 times yesterday, I haven’t eaten today. This was fine until around 6pm. Up until that point, I wasn’t hungry and I legitimately felt incapable of eating. My mind and stomach were both anti-food.

However, about an hour ago, I suddenly felt famished. I tried to fill it with water and ice. It’s not working. Now I feel dizzy and nauseous and like I might involuntarily throw up at any moment.

This frustrates me.

Before I started purging many, many years ago, I restricted only. I would fast frequently. It wasn’t uncommon for me to go a week or two weeks straight without eating. Now, if I even think about not eating, my body complains.

Maybe it did then too. Maybe I was just always so weak and dizzy and sick that not eating for an extra day didn’t seem like a big deal.

However, now that my body is used to receiving food on a daily basis, even if I don’t keep it down, I definitely notice the difference and I don’t like feeling this way and it triggers another binge purge cycle. I don’t want to eat normally, but I don’t want to binge and purge either.

I miss restricting. I miss fasting. I miss my collar bones. I don’t miss my hip bones or ribs as much because they would poke into things and it was painful to lie on my stomach, but I miss my collarbones so much. I miss the way my wrists used to look.

I often feel like a failure at having an eating disorder because I switched from restricting to binging and purging. I didn’t know when I started purging “out of necessity” that I would end up this way. I wish I had just stuck it out and let everyone find out and just not given a fuck.

I can’t take it back, and I can’t seem to find my stride in restricting anymore. I just want to not eat today, but I know that more than likely I will end up eating tonight. I will end up hunched over the toilet. I will end up lying in my bed hating myself more than normal. I will wake up tomorrow awash with guilt, bloated and sick, sore and aching.

My throat is perpetually raw lately. Somehow that bothers me less than the weak, dizzy feeling I get when I don’t eat. Even eating with my sore throat bothers me less. I don’t know why I tolerate some things better thanΒ  others.

Maybe I just need to ride it out and get used to those feelings again. Or maybe this is the wrong time to make plans to go back to anorexia since I start treatment on Monday. I don’t know.

Maybe now I should just end my verbal diarrhea.

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44 responses »

  1. I could really identify with many of the things you say here and somehow that made me feel less ‘weird’. Do try not to go down the anorexic route – it’s hell. And try not to sabotage your treatment plan although i know from experience, this is easier said than done. Thinking of you and sending hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was anorexic before I started purging. I started purging to hide my eating disorder because people were commenting on my lack of eating. I preferred it that way, back before the purging. I felt so in control, now I constantly feel out of control. I hate that.

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  2. I hope you are doing well, and that you are still in treatment. I’ve been focused on my own recovery since Sept 2013, and I know it’s hard, but it really is worth it. Stay strong and keep fighting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am still in treatment. I should hear today whether or not my insurance will pay for me to do the partial hospitalization program instead of the evening intensive outpatient program I’m currently doing, as my team thinks I need to go up to a higher level of care. I’m really nervous about possibly going up, but I think it might be what I need right now.
      How is your journey going?

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      • My journey is going okay. Had a little bit of a setback recently, but I am getting through it. It helps that I have a great support system in my husband and friends. I have found that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is more helpful for me than Analysis. For me, the hardest part is always letting go of the voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough. Just remember that the you that is separate from your ED is worth fighting for, and keep trying. As a friend told me when I started my journey, give yourself credit for the small achievements and keep going. If you can do that, then in time it should all get easier to handle.

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  3. Being able to not struggle with binging and purging for some time has been a great blessing for me. However, anorexia is no better. It is sad that some regard it as better than bulimia. Both are awful. I hope that you can find relief and hope to get away from this awful struggle. You deserve a wonderful life!

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  4. The honesty in this blog is just scary. I don’t like what I’m reading but I can’t look away. Our issues are different but the core of the suffering of lack of control is the same. I wish you the best.

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      • One thing that works for me (if I remember it in time) is that I am not my thoughts. I am what is recognizing the thought. If a thought comes into my head to drink. I don’t have to go with it. I don’t have to fight it. I recognize it as a thought and that’s all it is. I watch it as leisurely as I can and eventually it starts to dissipate. It may come again a minute later and I watch it again. If it comes with difficult emotions, I see that is also a thought. The emotional pain that comes from feeling I am worthless is a sensation, and only an energy. It is also not me. Whatever I can see is not me. My body, my thoughts…whatever I can see is not me. I am that silent witness that sees the thoughts. I am what is looking at the computer right now. Not the thought that says, “who is this asshole? What does he know? What a jerk?” Right now is Ok, unless I am thinking about it. Thoughts are not wrong, they are just thoughts.

        Liked by 4 people

        • That is a very profound way of looking at things. It sounds like Buddhist teachings. We have a thought but we also have the Witness to the thought. We are not our thoughts. We can observe our thoughts and become separate from them. Easier said than done though. It takes practice and I am still working on that.

          My biggest problem are my emotional states as I have bipolar disorder. I have to remind myself all the time that my brain lies to me at times and so I cannot act on my feelings. Realizing that they are just artifacts of a dysfunctional brain then I can at least partially dismiss those thoughts and with practice I hope to do better.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Wishing you all the best as you continue treatment. As Laura says, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often helpful for those with eating disorders. Anorexia and Bulimia are both hell, and I will keep you in my thoughts. Thanks for your honest sharing.

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  6. I appreciate and admire your honesty in your post! I remember feelings like this too when I was still sick, and indeed, bulimia is less “glamorous” than anorexia in a lot of ways. I thought anorexia was better because it meant self-control (which I wanted desperately!) and my disorder proved I lacked control…which just added to my shame. I really, really believed it was about the weight and look of my body (I had a thing about my collarbones too, actually), but when real healing began was when I realized it wasn’t about those things nearly as much as the deeper things that needed attention, but I was afraid to face. I had to get in touch with the part of me that wasn’t the eating disorder and let her start guiding my life instead. Recovery does suck…but it’s just the dark tunnel…eventually, there is the light. And it’s better than you think it can be…and it’s certainly better than the life our disorders offer! I know it’s hard to comprehend freedom you haven’t yet experienced, though. Just keeping believing and hoping! BTW, I do recommend the book, “8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder”–I’ve read a lot of the ED books out there and thought this is one of the most helpful. Best wishes to you in your recovery journey!

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  7. This makes me so sad 😦 While on some level I can understand where you’re coming from, I’ve struggled with anorexia for much of my life and I would never wish it on ANYONE. That being said, I can remember thinking on at least one or two occasions in the past that it would be “easier” (as if any type of eating disorder could be easy) to have bulimia, because then I could at least hide it. But I’d like to propose that there’s another option neither of us considered: why not HEALTH? Why do we feel we have to choose one of two equally horrible diseases? There IS another choice! It’s not easy, but as I’m sure you’ll agree, neither is trying to live life with an eating disorder. I wish you the best as you travel that third path πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have an unhealthy relationship with my weight and after last hospitalisation developed bulimia. I dont think I have it bad but sometimes it is. I dont understand though because sometimes after days of no food (I love food by the way and find it comforting) I just get such a compulsion to eat and I binge badly 😦 I don’t know how this happened. Well actually, I have gastritis and I was so stressed my food was coming up on its own and I had to go to hospital (another time)…so I had to start eating less, (I already had Gerd). Otherwise, Id like to know how this comes about. It’s a relatively new thing for me πŸ™‚ hugs

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  9. I relate to this so much. I often find myself thinking, “how is it possible I ate the same amount in a week back then as I do in a day now?!” (not that it all stays down, of course…). I think the movement between eating disorders can be one of the hardest things to cope with. It does highlight that eating disorders are definitely not a choice though.

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  10. First, I’m so glad you’re in treatment, and I understand the need to write honestly. But as a person who suffered with both anorexia and bulimia for many, many years, I urge you to do all you can to get healthy. With bulimia especially, I had such huge blinders on–thanks to the disease–that I couldn’t even believe I’d ever be normal again. Good therapy really helped, and once I was really able to start living without EDs, life got so much better. I am, however, plagued by throat issues and bad teeth, and those things aren’t fun. So the sooner you can stop, the better. You deserve a good life. Everyone does, and your illnesses are holding you back. Please be strong and try to get well. I also have a very dear niece who has been hospitalized many times for anorexia and she is in long-term residential treatment now. That seems to be working, but very slowly. Again, you deserve to be living a happier life. I will keep you in my thoughts and wish you all the best. –Mary

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  11. I don’t know who you are, but I love writing to keep myself sane too. I also know that it’s up to you to make a change to your life, and like most have said over here – it can be treated, and you will get better. I can’t tell you how hard it is, since I don’t know for myself since I don’t have an eating disorder – but I hope that your mind releases its grip on your body and that monster goes the hell away from you. You deserve better – everyone does, but you especially because you write to keep yourself sane – and I hope it’s working. All the love in the world – M.

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  12. Verbal diahorrea is so much better than the type that comes out the other end. The more you talk/write, the more others listen/read and respond the more chance you have of finding some answers, some progress, *something* in your mind to help.

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  13. Hello, A2eternity. Thank you for liking “Checking In” on healingforhearts.
    I have been in recovery from anorexia for 23 years now. As I read this article and some of the comments, I was reminded of the lies eating disorders seem to tell us. One of mine was, “There needs to be less of me.” I think it was as I learned some truth about who I am; that I really do belong in the world that I began to make some progress. Like you, I was sick most of the time, which added to my poor regard for myself. I also remember having to learn how to recognize things like hunger pangs again. I had a nutritionist who helped me when I started eating. She really did a lot to get me through the nausea and discomfort of having food in my stomach again. I also felt like a failure most of the time. My own sense of that was that I knew Anorexia isn’t “normal,” but it took a while to grasp the fact that it was the problem, not me. All told, I needed about 7 years to really get on my feet. You will need your own period of time. My best encouragement: Hang in there; you are precious and worth all the investment.
    Blessings on you.
    Hannah

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  14. You are not defined by this struggle nor will it ever win, no matter how many relapses you have. You are strong and sometimes strength is seen best in those struggling to survive. I know your pain and I wish you comfort and hope you find love and strength. Be well.

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  15. As a parent of a child with an ED I just hope you can find treatment. We have gone three years since diagnosis, and I’m grateful every day that my child has worked hard to make good choices, healthy choices. I know you can too. Life is so challenging. It is easy to lose sight, get lost in one’s head. I hope you have the support you need. I pray you do.

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  16. thank you for reading and liking my post on my daughter’s struggle with her eating disorder. Your technique is different and the trigger the same. Control. Eating or starving your emotions. Believing that negative chatter in your head. Obsessing about what others think about your appearance. Feeling out of control therefore a failure.
    I know this not just because of my daughter’s experience and struggle, but because of my own. I struggle to eat and almost every day have no appetite at all… so many reasons, so many experiences, so little honesty with what that voice in my head tells me.
    Were you abused in any way? Fearful of your safety or security? Wanting to look like the skinny girls around you?
    I had it all. Most of my life was survival mode with horrible people who called themselves family chiming in on my appearance. Looking back, I was in a verbally and emotionally abusive life. I’d never been taught to tell them or the voice in my head to SHUT THE HELL UP.
    That’s not who I am today. I am sad for that little girl and teenager who had no one to protect her. Sad for the young adult who became a master of hiding it all.
    There did come a point when I pulled all my bravery together and escaped with my children to safety. Started over and have felt more love and dedication than I ever imagined.
    Remember this- YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THE ROOM. This disease makes you only focus on YOU. That’s not a life or even an excuse- it’s the easy way out. It’s so easy to just FOCUS ON YOU. Why bother with anyone or anything else? YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE IN THE ROOM. THE FAMILY. THE WORLD. Open up your brain and tell the voice SHUT UP. Ditch the scale. Buy foods you can eat endlessly- veggies and dip, yoghurt, make turkey rolls with that new greek yoghurt cream cheese, pop real popcorn- not the microwave crap and drink a gallon of water a day.
    After a week, get a pedometer and start counting your steps. Get sunshine- Vitamin D kills depression.
    Yes, all this advice and I haven’t eaten today. My reason is different. After a very successful career my husband asked me to stay home with the kids. 18 months later we were divorced and on our own. I fed the kids first. Then felt guilty for eating at all. Then afraid of the grocery store because what if the check is denied? With every check I stock up for my kids but struggle to eat because what if_______? I just got insurance again a month ago and know I’ll need to address my issues. It’s easier to take care of everyone else.

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    • Thank you for your comment.<3

      My mom was (is) the same way. She would often go days without eating to make sure us kids had food. We were very poor, and she would feed 7 children on $10 a week. How? I have NO idea. But I do know that part of it involved denying herself so we could eat. I noticed and I saw and when I was a teen, I started taking the same stance. If I didn't eat, maybe she could.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I never thought about it like that. Thank you for the insight.
        It’s amazing how many women put food in a control situation- myself included. It becomes all consuming and a foe- who’s going to win? Me or the food? We give food a power over us we’d never let a human being have over us.
        For me it started when my dad started calling me 2 Ton Tillie. I was about 8. From that point on food had a completely different role in my life- a controlling role. Recently I was going through old pictures and saw that I was never overweight (except after having a baby). But I wore baggy clothing to cover myself up because I thought I was fat. When I got into a very public career (broadcast) it didn’t help. I had a boss once tell me I’d be a star as long as I “didn’t get ugly, fat or f-ck up”. No one ever knew the lengths I would go to lose weight. Popcorn only diets, laxatives, starvation, over exercise, throwing up (I was never very good at it- made too much gagging noises!), diet pills, speed, and more.
        After a very difficult divorce I just couldn’t eat or if I did it went straight through me. I lost a lot of weight and my family got worried. It actually pissed me off. It was OK to allow my dad to call me names or let me believe I was fat. But when I was really skinny they suddenly acted concerned.
        Someone should have stepped in and protected that little girl. Let her know the truth. Fought to save young teenager from the man who molested her for years.
        I’m going to my daughter’s Family Workshop at her eating disorder clinic next week. I’ve fought so hard to protect her over the years it allowed me to ignore my own issues with food. I may get busted at the Workshop.

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  17. Oh man do I know what you mean. Thanks for liking my poem today, I just followed you and I hope to keep up with your journey as you struggle through words. ❀

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