Desperate times, desperate measures

Living on my own is starting to jeapordise my recovery. I’m going a few days without purging, then having a bad run, then having a few good days, then a bad streak again. Structured eating has kind of gone out the window. I’m not really making proper meals so seem to be permanently snacking, which makes me feel worse as I feel like I’m eating all the time but also isn’t actually enough to fuel me. On one hand things feel good and I’m  in control of life, but I’m starting to be out of control again with eating/recovery. 

I’ve been at this long enough now to know where this might lead me. I don’t want to be back there. I don’t want to be ill. I want to be thriving and living my lovely life. Recovery has stopped being a priority and it shows.

So, I have moved in with a friend, just for a couple of weeks to get back on track. I’m still keeping the house, and fully intend on getting back there and managing on my own, but right now desperate times call for desperate measures. My friend knows about my ED but probably thinks im more recovered than I am, she doesn’t know about the latest blips, I’ve just told her I could do with some company for a little while and she’s happy for me to stay as she lives on her own too (yes I have amazing friends). 

I’m hoping this will get me over this a little hump and then I can start implementing more long-term maintenance solutions. I know I have to learn to do it on my own but right now that seems too big a step, so moving in with my friend and copying her “normal” eating habits (oh those incredible people that just get on with the complex task of eating three meals) seems like the best idea for right now.

 Recovery takes actions, I can’t wish or talk myself better, so this is the action for right now! *rolls up sleeves and puts brace face on*

I’d like to hear what actions others have been taking- do share! 

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8 thoughts on “Desperate times, desperate measures

  1. I can’t really pinpoint anything that helped me. I think my eating disorder started for two reasons. 1. I lost a ton of weight after having jaw surgery because I couldn’t eat and it was the only time people complimented my appearance. 2. My life was out of control with depression and other issues (being a teenager was one of them). Being anorexic made me feel like I was in control of something.

    I think I started getting better when I deluded myself into thinking I had control by substituting it for another unhealthy behavior. I would also emotionally binge eat, which doesn’t solve anything. I finally got over that by working out. That has been key as well as trying to stay on track with eating about every 3 hours because I work out so much.

    The two behaviors feed into each other. Working out de-stresses me. If I don’t eat enough, I perform poorly or not at all. Then I get depressed and stressed out. So that’s how I make it work. There are still times when I think about being anorexic again, but I like being strong and happy versus thin and depressed. It’s taken a long time to get my head that way.

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    1. It’s a relief to hear you say you eat about every 3 hours! Lots of people say every 4 but I’m so hungry if I wait that long, but I feel so ashamed of being hungry then (why would being hungry make me a lesser person? – twisted mind). Regular consistent eating really is key – thank you for the reminder!

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  2. Structured eating for me is key. Breakfast 8am, Lunch 12-1 and tea at 6. Maybe a snack if I’ve got a busy day in terms of work. As soon as I skip any meal, I then make bad food choices and improvisation leads to a whole heap of mayhem. I also plan what I am eating the next day and send it via text to a person who has suffered with food difficulties. She acts as a witness and I am therefore more likely to stick to the plan. I also have erradicated certain food from my diet because they are trigger foods and as much as I hate to admit it, it’s as deadly for me to even take one bite in the same way that giving an alcoholic a single shot of gin in madness. No cake, no biscuits, no chocolate – it always ends in the gut wrenching need for more, never satisfies, always ends in purge.

    Also, I don’t weigh myself. Because that brings on the insanity and behaviors. Without the scales, I am free to live and experience my day authentically without a number dictating the state of play.

    Good on ya. You are taking massive action, you got this. xx

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  3. You can do this. You are doing this! I think that was such a brave thing to do, to be self-aware enough that you need to do something to change, and actually take action and make that change. Incredible, just incredible. I hope it’s the first step forwards in the right direction. Stay strong and you’ll go far, I believe in you always! Xoxo

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  4. Hey xxx I agree with Annie, you’re doing the right thing in taking action and I applaud you from my soul for being able to admit that these little slips will only lead you into spiralling into further trouble xxx that is exactly what would happen – you are aware and brave and strong and doing the responsible thing xxx and you fully deserve that lovely life and also – you’re still recovering – its a fragile and precious thing – I feel it too, I’ve had enough of relapsing shite! recover and quality of life is waaaaaaaaay better and worth fighting for but it doesn’t come easy, we have to fight to keep our balance – we’re still vulnerable. Moving in with your friend and tapping into her rhythm sounds brilliant 🙂 I am rooting for you and sending your all my support and good wishes. Actions that I take/am taking/have in my action list are… remembering to take it one day, one meal, one moment, one breath at a time. The eating disorder makes me afraid to plan the future, to imagine coping with life without it, so I just focus on today – I tell myself it IS ok for me to eat my meals and snacks today – this is how I create safety and security and nurture the confidence which comes with trusting myself to care for myself. When I notice my mind is full of ed thoughts e.g. preoccupied with my size, my weight, diet plans, exercise ‘shoulds’ I imagine if I was talking to someone I trust, who cares for me, what would I tell her about what is going on in my life right now – sometimes (actually maybe all the time) there is something that I’m not regarding as a problem because I think I ‘should’ be able to cope with it but in fact it often turns out to be a relief to talk about that thing even if it is small…or too major to feel like there is any point in even addressing it… Those are my actions! self-kindness. I also say to myself that there is no winning or losing – there is just drawing a line under any slips and then going on the do the next right thing whatever that may be (usually eating a snack or meal) !!! Also here is my regular eating time plan – just coz I saw you mention four hour gaps above – four hours is the maximum time between eating – its NOT the ideal its NOT the goal. I have three meals and three snacks a day and there are only so many hours in the day !!! so it is often only two or three or one hour between eating… Four can be triggering for me and if I go over four hours I am guaranteed to start experiencing a deluge of ed thoughts…
    XXXXXXXXXX keep taking wonderful care of your precious brave important self XXXXXX sending solidarity 🙂 Em

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  5. I know you may not want to hear this but your post is exactly the type of posts I need to read before going into treatment. You may feel worse off due to behavior but your *attitude* gives me huge hope of recovery after treatment. I’m under no delusion that I will be fixed. Treatment is simply to break the cycle of behavior and then I’ll have to do the real work and build a real foundation “after” I get home. Your actions are probably more amazing then you may realize.

    1. I need a treatment center to break the cycle. You have “chosen” to go to a friends to break the cycle.
    2. I need to learn what the hell self-care looks like. You “are” doing self-care by doing what you need to do regardless of comfort.
    3. I fear I’ve lost the rational voice of recovery. Your rational voice is loud and clear.

    Can you see the example you are for those of us still really, really struggling? I don’t want to negate your struggles though and I know it is like a living hell at times. I have been in recovery before but this time I hope will be different and a part of it is this community on wordpress I’ve been so fortunate to bump in to.

    Also, I live alone, have always lived alone. It is extraordinarily difficult because, in essence, we have to be accountable to ourselves. Right now I can’t so I’m going into treatment. You recognize that you can’t either so you’re going to a friends. And even though she won’t know you are being accountable to her, you are. I was starting to do that. I would put myself with people I knew I’d be safe with. It’s almost like a half step toward self-accountability.

    Living by ourselves is a necessary step but the bigger step is in becoming our own parent, if you will. I was never parented so have no idea what that looks like. Your post though show’s a wee bit of it. I’m so happy I’ll be able to have my phone with me so I can continue to read posts like this. That isn’t to say you won’t have tantrum posts, like I just did, lol… but even those are helpful because the reality of recovery is that it isn’t all peaches and cream.

    One thing on eating. I eat small meals all day long when I’m in recovery. It works better for how my body operates. I simply can’t do the 3 meals a day and a snack thing. It’s too restrictive and formal.

    “*rolls up sleeves and puts brace face on*”

    Yes! Thank you for this visual! I guess I’m following suit with the action I’m taking… how does that saying go?

    Inch by inch everything’s a cinch, yard by yard everything’s hard.

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  6. Just realizing that you need a little more guidance right now, even in the form of simply being around someone, is incredibly strong. It shows that you are really trying to get on top of it, and it’s inspiring.

    Living with someone does help me, but I think I started to make little changes, like staggering medications so that if I were to purge, I would throw them up, and I really do need them to feel OK, or when I felt like bingeing I would drink tea and do something else with my hands. CBT had helped a lot.

    Everything is one step at a time and you are so self aware! Good luck, and I’m rooting for you 🙂

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