My fibromyalgia was so bad yesterday. My whole body hurt. I spent most of the day in bed because it just hurt too much to get up. Because I was in so much pain, I didn’t go to my DBT group or treatment. Even though I didn’t go because of a legitimate reason, I feel like a naughty child who skipped school.
Also, because of the pain yesterday, I didn’t work on anything school-related. I am now behind and feeling overwhelmed. I have a test due today I haven’t studied for and discussions I need to post that I’m lost on and an assignment due tomorrow I haven’t even started. Plus, my fibromyalgia, while not nearly as painful today, still hurts and has me feeling absolutely exhausted today. I just want to crawl back in bed and forget I’m a person for the day.
It’s Easter Sunday. Gone are the days of Easter baskets filled with candy, and I can’t say I’m sad. As a recovering bulimic, a basket of candy would just be asking for trouble. However, I at least expected my family to get together today.
I tried several times to firm up plans with my family to get together today for at least part of the day, and everyone reassured me they wanted to get together, but no one would actually commit to anything. I feel disappointed. I feel relieved that I don’t have to worry about an Easter dinner, but disappointed that I am not with my family today. It makes me miss my late sister and her kids even more than I normally do. She always got everyone together for holidays. She planned elaborate get togethers. She had a knack for planning and getting people together. I don’t have that. And I miss her today. And I miss my family today. And it makes me both want to binge and purge.
I had to give up my scale today. I cried when I walked past the spot where it normally sits. I miss my scale. It’s so hard not weighing myself obsessively. It’s so hard not knowing that number. It’s so hard giving up that control. Imagine the song below is a song to my scale.
I miss my scale so much, and it’s only been gone less than a day. I might do some art around this. My scale really is the voice inside my head. It dictates so much about how my day will go, how I will eat, how my mood will be, how much I will exercise, etc. I feel lost without it.
We had a blizzard yesterday. The snow got so high I couldn’t open my front door. We got almost 2 feet of snow. Due to the storm, treatment was canceled last night. We did have it tonight. I have only 2 weeks left before I transition to outpatient. I’m excited and nervous. Next week was supposed to be my last week, but my therapist felt I could benefit from an extra week and my insurance approved it. I’m relieved to have an extra week, but also look forward to transitioning because of all the extra time I’ll have. I have gotten a lot out of this program, but going every night has been a little exhausting. With the end of the semester coming, I look forward to having the extra study time. I need it.
The other morning after weighing my head was so loud I didn’t want to eat breakfast. My mind was telling me all sorts of things like I don’t deserve food, I am unworthy of food, I’m too lazy and fat for food, etc. I just wanted the voices to stop. I drew out what the scale was telling me, with myself in the corner with my hands over my ears trying not to listen. The brown background signifies the overall mental confusion in my head that morning.
The other night I had an ice cream sandwich. I immediately felt the urge to cut. I felt like I deserved to be punished for eating the ice cream sandwich. I felt like I had done something reprehensible and needed to atone for it.
Luckily, I was able to distract myself long enough to keep myself from cutting (partly by doing this picture).
I know I’m probably going to get a lot of hate for this, but there it is.
Why, you ask, do I hate fat people? Well, technically I don’t hate them, they just make me acutely uncomfortable. When I am around fat people, you see, it is a blaring reminder to me that I am in fact very fat. All I can think about is how fat I am. I don’t know why they have this effect on me, but they do. I can think of nothing else when they’re around except how fat I am.
I bring this up because there is a new lady in treatment who is fat. I don’t say that to be demeaning, it’s just a description of her body. But I am severely uncomfortable around her, and that makes me feel like a bad person. I feel like a hypocrite. Like a complete ass.
Several weeks back, in art therapy, I drew my eating disorder. It had a butterfly coming off the front, hanging down in front of my face, that signified all the beautiful lies my eating disorder tells me. Last week in art therapy, I made this big butterfly out of clay (about a foot across) and last night I painted it. I used some of my favorite colors, blue and pink and pearl. I painted it gold so it would be flashy and pretty. I wanted it to look like something I would want. I wanted it to truly represent the desires that I have to reach out for that butterfly. To embrace it. To look only at what my eating disorder claims it can offer me.
This morning, I took it outside and I smashed it. I actually used that knife sharpener that’s in the picture because I wanted to stab it, but not with something sharp like a knife. That seemed dangerous. So I stabbed it repeatedly with the knife sharpener. I found it strangely satisfying to watch the pieces of the wings crumble and break apart. It felt somehow freeing. Like, “No, I’m not going to listen to your lies anymore! I’m going to live according to my values, and my values don’t align with the lies you were feeding me.” I feel like if I can stop looking at the butterfly, I can see the eating disorder for the hideous monster that it really is. Goodbye, butterfly.
In experiential group last night, we made collages of what our lives look like just surviving and what they look like thriving. The left half is surviving and the right is thriving. I put a woman punching a punching bag because living with my eating disorder feels like I’m always in a fight for survival. I put “Keep calm OR carry on” because I feel like I can do one or the other, but not both at the same time. I put “To the brink” because I feel like I’m always at the brink when I’m in survival mode. I put “everything easier” (it originally said “everything Easter” but I altered it) because my eating disorder promises it’ll make everything easier. I put “the master” because my eating disorder is literally my master when I’m in that surviving mode. It says “wake me when it’s over” because I just don’t deal with anything, I let my eating disorder deal with it for me. It says “comfort first” because living in survival mode means taking the comfortable route instead of the brave route or the right route. I put “look good” and “you can lose weight while enjoying this” because those are both lies my eating disorder tells me. I put “frizzled” and “whipped” because that’s how I feel all the time in survival mode. It says “Now what?!?” because the rules are ALWAYS changing with an eating disorder. I put And for our next trick” because the eating disorder is always trying to trick me. And finally, there is a woman standing on a scaled with the words “what’s your number?” because the mood for that day, the rules for that day, are always set by what the number says on the scale that morning.
On the thriving side, it says “do more than one thing and do them well” because I want to be able to do more than maintain my eating disorder, and I want to have the focus, health, and cognitive skills to do them well. It says “fear of nothing” because I want to get to a state where I’m not living in fear of food, calories, not exercising, the rules in my head, the judgments of others, etc. It says “the best stories” because I feel like only after I’m thriving can I start to accumulate my life’s best stories. I put “Burn bright. Burn true.” because I want to radiate who I truly am as a person, and be genuine and authentic, not isolate, not lie, not hide. I put “love” because it’s my most import value and I want it to be my guiding passion. I put “no regrets” because I’m tired of living in constant regret. It says “feel good” because I want to feel good about myself, I want to feel good physically, and I want to feel good about who I am as a person. It says “a great finish” because regardless of how I started out life or how I’ve spent the last 31 years, I can have a great finish. I put “experience more” because once I am thriving I can truly experience life, not just get through it. I put “stronger” because I am getting stronger every day and want to continue to do so every day after. I put a picture of a lady with two small children because I want to start a family. I put a picture of someone celebrating their birthday with cake and friends because I want to be able to do that. I put “start every day full of life” because I think it’s a great motto to have. And finally, I put a woman doing a handstand because she looked carefree and I want to be carefree.
I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend in myself the last several days. I’ve been thinking to myself, I have 3 more weeks of program, then I can stop following the meal plan. Or. I have 3 more weeks of program, then I can go back to restricting, but I won’t binge and purge anymore. And I’m perfectly ok with thinking these thoughts. I justify them. I tell myself how much better I’m doing now than I was 7 weeks ago and that this means it’s ok to “restrict a little” when I finish the program. After all, I mostly wanted to stop the constant binging and purging, and I’ve gone 2 whole weeks without doing that. I could probably go the rest of my lifetime, right? I will never again slip up, even if I stop following my meal plan, even if I go back to restricting, I’m sure I can keep those behaviors at bay now.
Also, the last couple of days, I have been contemplating halving my meal plan. If it says 3 proteins, I’ll eat 1 and a half. If it says 2 starches, I’ll eat 1. I haven’t done it, but I’m justifying in my head why it would be ok. And I have a feeling the longer I continue to justify it, the more likely I will be to actually do it, even while still in the program. Besides, it’s not like they care if I restrict. I’m fat, so it’s not a problem for me. This is the vibe I get from my therapist. Just like I can’t have a problem with exercise. She knows I workout at least twice a day, and she commended me for it. Thanks. She didn’t bother to ask what my motivation for working out is, whether it’s compulsive, whether it’s increased since I stopped purging, I can’t have problems with exercise or restriction because I don’t fit into a certain mold. Well, fine, my eating disorder loves that, and uses that to justify all sorts of things.
So yes, I am having a problem with justifying. I know it’s going to get me into trouble. The problem is, I sort of want that.