28 May 2013

Postcards from Suffering and Recovery

Wish you {weren't} here...

I usually post when I am feeling 'on top' of my thoughts, drawing upon themes, analogies and issues that therapy's thrown up or that I have happened to 'figure out' in recovery. But I wanted to share something different, in the hope that it helps map the progress that can be made and the difference a year (or two!) can make. 

This first part is from a journal I kept BEFORE recovery, I was was very ill and 'anorexic' but it happened to be a significant day {Choosing to do this today was unplanned, I wasn't sure what looking back would bring} The second part is last year, 10 months into recovery

...as for today 28th May 2013 is still happening, I am living it. Recovery is still happening. 

28th May 2011

I don't even know where to start today - I really don't.

I am off work today - I got sent home yesterday afternoon after collapsing and told to have the day off today - everyone thinks its stress - I know I can't make it in to work because I am not able to function properly at the moment - probably because I have eaten XXX or below cals a day for 50 days now. That sounds weird to say/admit to myself. I know this is affecting my life. I know it is.

I had the most honest, open and frank conversation with my housemate/BFF last night - we were up til gone midnight talking about her, her depression, me, my problems with her boyfriend, my problems with work and life and in the middle of it all. I just told her how much weight I'd lost. That was MASSIVE for me. Bigger than anything I thought I was capable of.

I told her about Ana. About how I hadn't pushed her away but that Ana was pushing her away. I hated lying to her - but Ana was making me. Convincing me that if I told my housemate that I'd be a fat bitch again - that I'd gain. That I would have failed at my goals. It was so weird to say it all out loud - and I can't explain how that feels this morning other than I feel SO different.

I have told her that I am not ready to maintain or gain or change the way I am eating - nor have I told her my UGW - or how much more I want to loose - or how close I am. But I will not keep it secret - I will at home be able to relax and measure and count and let Ana carry on making me restrict - but I am not going to let Ana push away her . Does that make sense?

I also admitted that one of my big things is a fear of gluttony and over-eating - which is where my standards of what this is and how it is defined have got more and more restrictive. I hate to think of myself of gluttonous - it makes me feel sick. With my OCD and anxiety issues I am scared of sick - I am scared of people over-eating- I hate it - I hate to think I am going to over-eat or look gluttonous. 

Now I think eating more than XXX kcals is overeating and this is where I am at. I see eating crackers - garlic bread - chips - etc, as gluttony and I believe I am better than this - and eating them is gluttony - does that make sense? I am only JUST today for the first time in 20 years of having ED thoughts realising this, that it's been Ana all along,  it's early days. VERY early days.
I slept the best I have done in a LONG time last night. 

So anyway, today -  
Weigh-In  XX  with a VERY slight loss of 0.2lbs. 

{I went on to list the calories I had eaten, the calories I had planned, how many I'd undershot it by and what I had burned off. I have taken this out so not to trigger}

NOTE TO ANA - See, I have told someone I feel happier and I can still restrict the way I want to. You don't own me. We are going to be walking around shops and I have gymnastics coaching later - so est. steps burn is about XX cals.  I feel in control today. 

{Later} I'm so scared of being XXlbs again, I really am.  I won't gain that much will I? How will I make sure I don't gain it all back. What if I freak out and pig. What if I go back where I came from? I feel sick. 
Again - eaten too much. I might as well give up.... Frankie and Bennys - soup and salad I feel so fat. I want to die . I don't think I can do this any more...

28th May 2012

I just keep thinking I need to send a disclaimer to everyone one of my friends, everyone I meet or will be seeing soon to not to expect me to be thin or thinner that I was the last time they saw me, or to expect me to look like I have anorexia. I just feel like I need to stop them being shocked about the weight gain and stop them being disgusted about how I don’t look thin any more. That way they won’t feel awkward or wonder why I am fat again when they see me. Maybe that way I will be less defensive or negative about looking the way I do and they’ll know why I am fatter again but I can tell them my head is still a mess. Maybe I won’t be as embarrassed about being so chubby now.

Like another thing, I am really starting to HATE that I can feel my bra digging in to my back. I would just like to feel okay in my clothes. Why do I have to be so broad and wide and have such a FAT back. I would just like to be 32 D or something with NO extra fat bulging. Not chubby with back fat.

I know I am playing scenarios out in my head, like being on the beach or at the spa next weekend and I expect or want people to see perfection but if I think about it logically that is ANA trying to tell me that I am letting myself and others down with this body. It is Ana trying to convince me that I was closer to perfection at my lowest weight, that would make people admire my body, be jealous of me for once. That I would have felt the BEST with the BEST body. But I am AWARE that it’s BULLSHIT, because like W said to me, other people don’t see anorexic bodies as perfect, just other anorexics and Ana herself. AGH. 

I don’t know what’s worse; having these sub-conscious thoughts that I want to be thin or my lowest weight being better or the fact that I am aware that they are my ED thoughts trying to convince me that Ana can make me more desirable. I know it’s hard, I know it seems so real and unreal, aware and analysed and unaware all at the same time, but I guess that is recovery, and it is HARD. Right?

But right now I am resenting all those people with eating disorders that are in recovery that stay skinny that they are just lucky, like people without eating disorders that are just skinny that don’t have to deal with looking like I do and what is worse is I know it is going to get worse too.

It is so hard because I DO trust W and F literally, with my life, but I am terrified that they have worried about my quick gain in weight but just aren’t telling me and when people tell me I am doing ‘so well’ with WR I just want to SCREAM and my head SCREAMS so much. It really just feels like the most I have ever messed up, ever.

“Never underestimate your power to change yourself. Never overestimate your power to change others.” Wayne Dyer

“Hope is the surfboard of life: It never sinks, and if you balance well, it gives you a beautiful ride.” Patti Gaulrin

And with that last quote, I know I need to find some sort of balance to enjoy life and balance won’t be at either end of the scales – it is NOT black and white, good or bad, fat or thin. I KNOW this, I KNOW I do. But I don’t believe it. Most of the time, I’d like to think balance is good, healthy is good but I just have hope, not complete sight of it. 

Maybe I will just KNOW when it feels more balanced – rather than being able to pre-empt it? But that doesn’t help me know anything NOW does it? When all I feel is FAT and don’t have much balance in my life at all. I just have a crappy life, no job, no home, I feel lonely, have no money and then I have this weight gain. It all feels VERY negative and not very fairly balanced. It is. 

My recovery is to be continued.....I am a work in progress and the next postcard from recovery will show MORE progress. This much I know. 


  1. I can completely empathise with this, and scarily similar time frames too.
    Keep going love. It gets easier, the volume of the noise in your head can (and will) get turned down :) xx

  2. It is all so confused on the surface but reading it makes perfect sense because its all happened or is happening in my head too.

    In one minute we can push anorexia away, loosen her hold, but the next we get shaky and run back to her because it's all we know.

    I am in recovery still so I am struggling, but I keep faith that things will only get easier the more distance I put between ana and myself.

    When you talk about the pressures of being thinner to other people each time they see you I completely understand. I think the only way to get rid of that is to rid yourself of the 'thin' identity. Become something else other than 'thin'. You can do it

    xxxxxxxx http://katiejess.blogspot.co.uk/