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I’m a Mess

July 9, 2011

I’m struggling. I am struggling a lot.

In a matter of about 3 weeks, I went from intuitive, healthy, non-restrictive eating to restriction, counting/measuring, and serious obsession. Pretty much, I have the same behaviors that I had last December. I wake up and make the breakfast I planned out the night before. Then I spend most of the morning trying to calculate a lunch that will be a “proper” amount of calories. Once I decide on lunch, I do the same for dinner. Then I eat lunch. After lunch I drink as much seltzer, coffee, and diet Snapple as possible, because I’m still hungry. I usually crack and eat dinner at 4:30 or 5 o’clock, though I have lunch at like 1:30. Once I’m finished eating, I obsess about what snack I’ll have. I mentally make a list of what foods I’m craving verses which ones I’m “allowed.” 

Eventually, I’ll settle on what I’ll have, and then obsess and fantasize about eating it until “snack time” comes and I’m allowed to eat it. Once it’s eaten, I obsess about breakfast for the next day, and won’t go to sleep until I know exactly what and how much of it I’ll have.

It’s been such a rapid and drastic downward spiral. I haven’t had a proper serving of nut butter in a week or two. I don’t eat chocolate or pretzels or ice cream any more. I count calories and weigh/measure everything. I try to make my meals as big in volume for the least amount of calories. I’m just over 111 pounds (the weight at which I got my period back.) I lose one more pound, and I lose my period. I feel guilty for eating anything not “approved” or planned or measured. I have increasingly strong urges to purge. (Though I’ll clarify that vomiting scares the shit out of me these days, so as much as I may want to purge, my fear does overrule the desire.)

This sucks. Seriously, I’m such a mess right now.

I’m sooo fucking stressed about school, for one thing, and I think, in some fucked-up way, I’m using food to cope. Another is that I leave for Hungary in 3 weeks. The food there is sooo good, and I usually gain 5 pounds each time I go. I’m scared that I’ll gain so much this time, and my ED voice is telling me to lose a few now so that I can eat without worry once I’m there.

Gosh, I should be stronger than this. I know I used to be. What happened? I have so many fricken problems right now. I’ve started crying frequently again. I cried last night for some stupid reason (I don’t remember what.) I cried this morning because I was driving myself crazy obsessing over food. I was in line at a gas station today and started crying because I switched lines and the line I had been in started moving faster than the line I switched to.

I really don’t have anything else to say, just more of the same complaints, so I’ll end here. Sorry this post is such a jumbled mess, but I guess that’s because right now, I’m a mess….

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. Laura permalink
    July 9, 2011 2:55 pm

    Bryana,
    I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling. If you need support, please email or facebook message me. Things only get worse if you don’t fight this with everything you have. I know that you have that fight in you, now you have to do the hard thing and fight through that anxiety and fear. Have you told your parents, therapist and/or dietician how much you’re struggling? You have to be honest with the people who support you so that you can get the help you need. You know that your eating disorder will only make your life worse, not better, and you have to want recovery more than your eating disorder.
    Maybe you can’t go back to intuitive eating right now, but you need to step outside your comfort zone and face the anxiety and fear. No matter how bad those feeling are, it’s better than allowing them to build and masking them with more harmful behaviors. You have to challenge the behaviors that have come up in the past two weeks – try eating more of the things you crave, step away from the excess liquids and instead eat when you need to, reincorporate fats and fear foods, etc. You know what you have to do, and I know that the hard part is actually doing it. But you CAN do it.
    As for Hungary, I think you know that losing weight before vacation is just a convenient excuse to lose weight. You need to GAIN weight, not lose it.
    I hope that something I’ve said has helped. Remember how good it felt to be doing well in recovery? You can get back there and get back on track. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.
    -Laura

  2. July 9, 2011 4:01 pm

    First off…sounds like hell. Honestly, reading what you wrote was actually helpful to my recovery because It is so obvious how obsessive and abusive an ED can be. Recovery isnt easy hun. It takes A VERY LONG TIME and bumps come and go. The important thing is to remember that tomorrow YOU CAN START OVER. Actually, right this very second you CAN START OVER….if you want! Nobody is “pushing you”. Recovery has to be our own choice or will never do it. You need to find a reason to recover. For myself, I ran into a BIG BIG BLOCK in recovery when my body became healthy. WHY? Because the only reason I wanted to recover was for my health. Sounds like good motivation but its really NOT ENOUGH. You need to have a plethora of reasons YOU want recovery. ED will fight you in many dirty, crappy ways. You need to fight back with many different weapons! Get the picture? So make a list. If the list is hard to make, then talk to other people in recover and ask them why they are recovering. Ask them to remind you of all the shitty things ED makes you do. Ask your family what kind of person you are when you are obsessed with food and dieting. Then start new. Forget about the past month and move on. STOP WEIGHING YOURSELF BRYANA! SERIOUSLY. If you ever want to recover.. you need to stop it. Throw away your scale. So many of your posts are about you being upset because of a “number”. Weight is stupid, it doesnt tell us anything. People can look SO SO SOO DIFFERENT at different weights because of muscle and different body composition. So do yourself a favor and let go of the weight thing. I dont weigh myself anymore and I COULDNT BE HAPPIER about it. I hate the scale and I HATE stupid numbers. I can tell you that you USE to sound happy when you were intuitive eating. You sounded like you were enjoying life, food, and dance. You were being kind to yourself. Try to remember that and get back to that point. Bleh, I cant really offer anymore advice. One thing i’ve learned in recovery is that nobody can force you to recover. If you want it, you’ll do it. If you dont, then you point. Plain and simple.

  3. July 9, 2011 5:04 pm

    Bryana, you are in my heart. Love you my champion, we’ll get through this period. Okay? I am with you.

    Recovery is not easy, all of a sudden we can find ourselves lying flat on the ground with ED screaming at us. Do not feel like a failure for struggling, because you are never, EVER a failure. You are a true fighter, but ED does not give up easily.
    You made so much progress in short time, perhaps your mind was not present all the way and truely got the chance to reflect upon all the changes that occurred. That happened to me once. It was a period of rapid progress and physical health was so close, but my mind had not thought it all through so at some point I got really scared by all that happened. So scared that I let ED into my life again, as I had not realized that ED could never provide me with anything good. We know that. That is why you are writing this post, because you do NOT want to let ED destroy your life again. In this way it is incredibly positive that you share your experiences with us, instead of letting ED silence you so it can continue torment your mind.

    Sit down and try to think of all the positive aspects of recovery, picture life without disorded thoughts and desires. How would that be? Is that a goal worth fighting for? I believe it is, and I am quite sure you agree with me. Then think about how much negativity ED has managed to give you in just a couple of weeks. From being a happy and strong person, it has made you feel sad, confused and weak.
    Isn’t it drastic how much of a contrast it is between living a free life as compared to a disorded one?

    As Dana said, you need to find a motivation to recover. Perhaps several motivations. Write them down, keep them close to your heart. Read them whenever you need that extra reminded of why you are fighting. What are your dreams and hopes? You need your health to live to actually experience these.

    As for your trip to Hungary, I understand 100% how ED disliked / absolutely hates that trip. But, what is that trip actually meant to be? About calories? Or are there other, more important values attached to this trip? You will be seeing family, sharing love with other people. That is why you are going to Hungary, and that is what you need to try your very hardest to focus on. ED is convinced you’ll gain weight, but if you do – so what? Is it the end of the world? A healthy mind would say NO! If anything it will only be positive, as that extra nourishment will make your body even stronger and more at peace.

    You can do this my dear, YOU CAN! Start changing today. Start pissing off ED. It will feel like hell, but it is worth it. I promise you.

    ❤ Allways here, allways believing in you. ❤

  4. July 9, 2011 6:42 pm

    I know that you are struggling right now Bry, but the worst thing you can do is beat yourself up over it!
    You’ve got to move on and aim for healthy eating!
    You know that you are only hurting yourself by eating less than you need, and look what it is doing to your brain! Destroying it!!
    You are so beautiful, and you are letting your weight and food define you.
    That is such a big nono, I can’t even tell you how upset I am with your ED.

    When you go to Hungary, you are going to eat what you want (I hope), but that does NOT mean you’ll gain five pounds. And if it does, then so what? Obviously that weight will fall off just as quickly as you gained it if you are not meant to carry it.

    Our lives shouldn’t be determined by food/numbers.
    Remind yourself that you have accomplished so much with your recovery, and the only way to keep going is to tell ED to f*** off and start eating. Stop obsessing.

    Love you so much! I’m always here to talk.
    Facebook/text message/email, whatever.
    ❤ Haley

  5. July 9, 2011 7:05 pm

    Sadly (but in some sick comforting way) I can completely relate to what you’re going through. I think it’s obvious here that you are using food as a means to cope with your stress over school and your trip to Hungary. Vacations should be EXCITING times not stressful ones. Ya know it’s completely NORMAL to gain 5 or more pounds when you go on holiday, right? But once you get back home and start eating what you normally do those extra pounds will drop off! I Know you don’t want to lose your period again after fighting so hard to get it back. It’s just not worth this, Bryana.

    I think your trip to Hungary will be a good thing for you right now because you’ll be able to snap back into reality for a bit. I’m sure the way of life in Hungary is so different to the way of life back in the US. Whenever I go back to England, I see how different the way of life there is to how it is for me back here in New Zealand. My grandparents have simple taste and just go about their day not stressing too much about food. It’s a different setting and it’s a time to relax because it’s not often that I get to go to the other side of the world.Vacations aren’t just about food, sweetie 🙂 When I come back from England or trips from overseas I tend to be in a mindset where I just can’t be bothered to deal with my ED behaviours anymore. Hopefully this will happen to you 🙂

    You seriously ARE stronger than this, honey. I want to ask you this. And I’m asking BRYANA *not* your eating disorder. OK, would you rather be a slightly higher weight than you’d like and be HAPPY or would you rather be thin and miserable? To me being thin = illness, isolation, infertility, depression, GUILT, obsession, restriction, unwelcome stares, feeling cold, osteoporosis and early death. Being at a healthy weight whether you like it or not = happiness more often than not, socialising, fertility, healthy skin, hair & bones, FUCKING DELICIOUS FOOD, chocolate :), friends, sexy curves & most importantly FREEDOM! Which would you choose?

    I am currently battling the same demons in my head but I remind myself that I chose to recover for a reason. It wasn’t because I had nothing better to do. It was because I was miserable as fuck and I was depressed and having suicidal thoughts. I longed to be the way I am now yet now that I’m here I long to be back there again and it’s just completely sick and twisted. I would rather be big and healthy and have bits on my body that I’m unhappy about than be uber skinny and unhealthy and be drowned by thoughts of food exercise.

    You have worked SO FREAKING HARD to get to where you are today. Don’t go back now.

    xxx

  6. July 9, 2011 9:17 pm

    Girl, I completely understand your stress about going on vacation and possibly gaining weight. I just got back from vacation and it was hard to not restrict during it, especially since I couldn’t exercise as much and I felt ‘fat’. But I came back, and I look and feel the same as I did before my trip and I realized it wasn’t worth all that stress because nothing happened. And even if you do gain a few pounds, so what? Sometimes we need to break out of our comfort zones, and vacations are supposed to be fun, not stressful. You deserve to be looking forward to your trip, not suffering and restricting because of stupid ED.

    Recovery is full of ups and downs. Sometimes we do so well for so long and then ED creeps up on us and we struggle. Don’t beat yourself up over it, but definitely try to fix the problem. Talk about it with people you love and trust and who can help you.

    Like Katy said, weight does not matter at all. I know that I can be a hypocrite about it, but it really is true. It’s hard to see when ED is clouding your view of yourself and screwing with your brain. Really, would your family and friends suddenly be disgusted by you if you gained 5 lbs? I highly doubt it. Honestly, I don’t think you’d even look any different. You might even feel okay about it, because at least you had fun and enjoyed yourself, instead of letting ED control you. And when you go back to eating normally, you’ll lose any weight you’ve gained.

    Don’t let this struggle bring you down. You are beautiful and so much stronger than this. You deserve to be happy and enjoy Hungary without restricting.

  7. July 10, 2011 9:36 am

    Seeing ED bombard you with all of this just makes me so sad, and so angry at ED. I totally understand your fears about vacation. Those same thoughts pester me all the time too. The truth is though, you most likely won’t gain weight. I always try to remind myself that our bodies know what they need, and if we just listen to them as best we can, we will be fine. Our bodies aren’t out to get us, only ED does that. I know, I have trouble believing that I could possibly be wrong and my body knows more of what I need than I do, but it is the case.

    Plus, if you do gain a bit over your trip, who is to say it matters one bit? How does gaining a little bit of weight reflect upon your worth? It doesn’t. You are amazing Bryana, and you are at any weight!

    and love, don’t let this stress about food and calories make you feel like a failure. The fact that you are challenging those thoughts, and asking for help, makes you a CHAMPION!

    Stay strong Bryana. I believe in you 110 percent, and I am here for you whenever you need anything at all okay?

    All my love ❤

    Scott

  8. Sarah permalink
    July 10, 2011 12:14 pm

    Oh Bryana,
    I so know how you feel! Please keep fighting though. It’s been a rough two weeks for you and while that’s not how you’d hoped the past few weeks had been it’s how they were. So you must simply accept it and move on…move on with recovery! I know the things that are making you so stressed are still coming up in the near future and so moving on might seem difficult, but you must do what seems to be the hardest thing right now. You must eat and take care of yourself.
    Before I went IP I felt the same way you did….I knew in my heart that ed wouldn’t get me anywhere or make anything better in my life. Yet I had so much stress and anxiety that I grasped onto him so tight and couldn’t let go no matter what I did. The sooner you loosen your grip the BETTER, girl. Ed feels so good, so stress relieving and comforting at times like these…but it’s a trick…all ed will do is slowly kill you. Body and spirit! Everyday you don’t meet your body’s needs you’re doing a bit more damage…it adds up my dear! You deserve so much better than this!!
    If you can’t do anything else but fight ed today than that is okay. Do WHATEVER you must do to get your food in, eat your full nut butter servings etc. today…as impossible as it may seem you’ll be surprised at how much easier it wil be to do again tomorrow once you’ve gotten back on track one day. I promise you, girl.
    I’m always here for you!! 🙂
    xxx
    Sarah

  9. July 10, 2011 5:08 pm

    Bryana,

    *Hugs* I empathize with you so much, girl. It makes sense that during this time of stress th ED voice is louder and more obnoxious than earlier. That said, you’ve gotta keep fighting- fight the thoughts, fight the behaviors. I agree with everything said above; is losing weight/being thin really worth all of the pain and suffering you’re dealing with? It doesn’t sound like being underweight has ever brought you happiness, peace of mind, or confidence. Does depriving your body of the nutrients it needs really help you cope with your stress? It sounds to me like it’s making everything worse. That’s the sick irony of eating disorders- we turn to them for comfort, but then they cause so much destruction and make our lives hell. I try to remind myself that my worst day in recovery is better than my best day in relapse. YOU CAN DO THIS, Bryana. You are more than this eating disorder and you deserve more.

    Thinking of you,
    ~Jess~

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