13 December 2015

Where's your head at?

You know those times in recovery when you KNOW what you SHOULD be doing and what needs to be done, you THINK about doing it (a lot) but actually changing and DOING isn't quite as clear. Habits (of a lifetime, in some cases) are difficult to shift, especially if they bring some comfort or control. 

Add to that scenario the fact you've had 4 years of pretty full-on treatment and know EVEN more about yourself and your eating disorder than anyone else in the world. Plus, having coped with some pretty horrendous bouts of anxiety (and survived!) for 25 years. Not forgetting that for as much as someone shares and is open, they don't always say an awful lot about their daily inner monologue.

Hi, I'm Sarah, and that's where my head's at. 

Let's be honest with each other shall we? I was fully discharged from eating disorders services back in May. Since then, life has been rocking on rather well (as much as I doubt everything or sweat the small stuff!) I have the tools to keep swimming, and that's what CBT is about after all. A toolbox. Work is stressful, but I love my job. I've started dating a great guy (I'll come back to this one in another post!) and I'm slowly getting some sort of social life back after 5 years of shutting out the world for anorexia. But something is not quite right.

First things first, recovery and scales aren't great bedfellows. No, I haven't got any in the house. But as agreed with Dr. B, I weigh myself monthly at a local leisure centre. I step on the digital scales, print off the little slip and keep an eye on trends. Here's the crunch. Since May that trend has been downwards. I've lost weight, around 4-5kg actually, without really noticing or caring to. Yes, of course I've been conscious of not GAINING too much, tell me someone who's had anorexia that doesn't feel that? But losing. That's not been my aim, but restoring it back to discharge weight (which wasn't actually my target, I never reached that) is another thing. 

Even last night, sat in front of the TV drink hot chocolate with a Christmas tree Raffaello chocolate, after eating my usual dinner and pinching two humbug mints and my dads that afternoon and after a week where I've eaten out two or three times for Christmas meals AND been on the rum - I felt GUILTY about being 'indulgent'. This morning. Yes. I feel bad about it. I know my diet is still controlled to an extent, and although I don't panic about eating out like I used to, or even like last weekend, going to a three-course meal with no idea of the good prior to bring seated, I CRAVE my day-to-day diet. I deal with different food plans by reminding myself 'it's exception rather than rule' and I do tot up 'rough' calories in my head or try to fit it into my old structure to cope with meals. I also still deny myself food I know I like, and still categorise groups of foods I should have daily, when I know too well Ms. F would pull me up on it back in our dietician clinic.

These are old thoughts, they don't panic or stress me out, I just let them whizz about my head a while, just doing their dance while I carry on with life. I think I'm just used to hearing it. 

Before people tell me the same old, "are you being honest with yourself, others and do you want full recovery" advice....hear me out, I've told Dr B via email all this. He's warned about my weight - which means my BMI is not as healthy as it should be - and suggested a few things. But again, I've got to change and act and want to, again, don't I? I've got to find the time and energy to face it, again. Do I want to? Not really. But do I like the fact I've lost weight? No. Do I wish I was heavier/healthy. No. Do I like my body? No. 

Does this sound familiar? Yes. I also know the fear of doing what needs to be done is greater than the reality, after all I've already put these kilos on before. This time I'm swimming alone, and more than ever I probably need to stop letting all this fly around my head unchecked or challenged - and start drowning them. 


  1. Always here if you need me because I don't want you to end up back at the beginning Sarah, and I'm sure you don't either xx

  2. Hi Sarah
    Not sure where my head is at. I do know that reading your blog is enlightening as you bare all. I appreciate your candour. I have no advice to offer, no real support to offer. Just want you to know when I see your posts I think oh good, Sarah has written something, and it's usually thought provoking, and I am just slightly a better person for thinking about what you have written.

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  4. I want to give you some words of wisdom, but unfortunately like with most people who suffer from an eating disorder, advice is easy. I find we are great at preaching and giving the best advice possible, but when it comes to taking it ourselves...not so much. I guess all I can say is that it is a downward spiral. I always thought I was immune to relapses and anorexia definitely proved me wrong there. The mountain is worth climbing - but you know what you need to do...now it is time to do it (what did I say earlier about not taking my own advice!). Easier said then done...

  5. Maybe look back at some of your earlier posts to remind yourself of what you're going back to if you don't face it. You know the ED mindset clicks back into place with weight loss below a certain BMI. You can do it :)