Give it time 

On Monday 18th January 1993 I declared in my first ever diary that I was too fat and I was going on a diet. (In fact I wrote ‘I’m to fat’ – clearly I wasn’t proof reading my entries!)

That statement was the beginning of a near-lifetime experience of disordered eating. 24 years have passed -which is probably more than a lifetime for some of you- and I am still working on recovery. 

It’s taking a while, I have sprints and bursts, and then pauses and set backs. I’ve taken some diversions along the way. I’ve thrown myself in fully, then pulled myself right back out and run and hid. However I can say that for the past few years I have been really trying. I don’t even know what the destination is somedays, what will recovery will look like for me?,  but I know I’m working towards something that is better than before. 

I owe it to the young scared version of myself to aim for a life without fear of food and hatred of my body. I can’t re-do the past years but I can set the tone for the next however many I am lucky to get. 

I’m prepared to be patient and to give it time. I gave ED so many years, why would I not commit to giving recovery the same? However tired I am of fighting, it’s still a better day than without trying. 

So on Wenesday 28th June 2017 I shall declare not that I’m too fat, but that I’m too determined to not see this through. Recovery- I shall give you all the time that it needs. 

(And now I shall go meet my friends for pizza and wine because when you can do that on a Wednesday for £10 why would you not?!) 

The wonder of strawberries

Strawberries are back on the menu and life is better for it!

For some weird twisted eating disordered reason strawberries were always a ‘not allowed’ food. I think it was part of me liking them and therefore they were considered a treat that I was not allowed. 

However, this summer brings strawberries as a snack/dessert and I’m enjoying them nearly everyday! Plus they’re grown in the UK so I don’t have environmental flying fruit guilt. 

I wonder what other foods I had miscellaneously banned which might turn out to be amaxing?!

A nugget of gold from my counsellor 

I’ve been lying low the last few weeks which generally means I haven’t been having a great time- just the usual low mood eating disorder crap coupled with horrendous body image as I have gained some (necessary, according to my counsellor) weight. I felt like I was just stuck in the same kind of place I’d been in before and with nothing new to share about it, just needed to ride it out and hope it passed. 

I had a much needed session with my counsellor yesterday and she has managed to inspire a kindling of fighting spirit. She reminded me that all the horrible voices are thoughts are part of the illness and while they might grow stronger as I fight them, recovery will be what eventually silences them.

I talked about how awful I feel at what might be my set point and how I don’t think I can tolerate being there, that I have too many bad memories of feeling so rubbish about my body and about how out of control I felt that I didn’t see the point in getting there to bring that all back- if I’m going to feel rubbish I would prefer to be a lower weight and rubbish. 

But then came the nugget of gold wisdom from her- she reminded me that I have never been well at that weight before. So while I have been at that weight maybe about 4 times, at all of them I was still purging, or bingeing and purging. I have had this eating disorder for 20+ years now, really my body doesn’t know what it feels like to be well for any extended period of time, I can’t predict that I will feel the same as I did before as it won’t be the same as it was before, I wasn’t structured eating, I wasn’t not binging, I wasn’t not purging, I wasn’t not restricting. 

This little fact gave me hope that maybe things will be different this time and that I need to keep trusting the process and be open to the possibility that maybe after all of this things will be okay. I just needed something to cling on to to convince myself to keep going and I think she provided it in that once sentence. I need to remain optimistic that maybe I can gain weight and actually be okay with it. Eek!

Why does being told ‘I’m doing well’ make me feel sad?

This is a genuine question! I saw my GP today and he mentioned he had seen my notes about me going into panic mode after being weighed. I told him it threw me completely for a day but I managed to pull it together and get back on track. He said it’s clear that I’m learning from the process and that I’m able to reformulate experiences with a recovery mindset now. He told me I’m doing well and that I will beat this as long as I stay motivated and engaged. 

I left the appointment feeling sad and anxious. I took the feelings on a run to get to make sense of them. I had a bath with them, lighting some candles and doing ‘self-care’ to get used to them. I ate dinner with them, even though they were telling me not to. I’m now in bed, but they are still there, looking at me, trying to bring me down. 

I’m worried about how bad being told I’m doing well makes me feel.

I’m worried I’ve become attached to my counsellor and GP and that if I get better I will miss them. Am I feeling sad about that inevitable loss? 

Is it ED twisting my thoughts telling me that doing better equates to being greedy and weak?

Am I angry that being told I’m doing well simplifies the torment I go through some days to make the ‘right’ (for life, not ED) decisions?

Why is it that being told I’m doing well makes me feels this way? Am I just being attention seeking? 

Is this ‘normal’? Does anyone else feel the same? I want to get better, I want to make progress, yet I don’t want to be told I’m doing well. What is up with that? 

Answers on a postcard…

Getting back up after a knock 

Tuesday was a hard day, and while I felt a little better yesterday I did hide in bed all day and throw routine out of window. It perhaps wasn’t the best idea but I just had no capacity for anything else so I just gave myself the day to feel down but on the understanding that today I would get back to it.

I don’t really feel like embracing the world today but I’m going to do it anyway. I know what helps me so I need to implement it even if it feels hard. 

  • I got up with my alarm
  • I made a proper lunch and snacks
  • I had a pre-run breakfast and prepped my 2nd breakfast
  • I’m going for a run now
  • I chose a nice outfit rather than defaulting to safe baggy clothes
  • I’ve written a manageable to-do list for the day
  • I’m meeting a friend after work even though I feel like hiding
  • I have planned a proper dinner

The drop from feeling great to being down is always a rough one, but I need to accept my brain doesn’t always play ball with me and that this will happen. What matters is my reaction to it. A knock like this could have previously taken me weeks to come out, but I know more now and I know that it won’t happen without effort. 

I’m drawing on all the great strength I find through you lovely blogging people, and sending you all good vibes for anything you’re facing today x