Do not compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to who you were, who you are, and what you are becoming. You are not what you’ve done. You are unique and a creation of something bigger than any human can fathom.
Continuing on with my attempt to withdraw and abstain from laxatives, I am on my second day. I’m fighting a pretty bad cold and my appetite is extremely low due to that, so I have to find ways to get in calories, and usually once a couple days pass, I then start wanting laxatives again.
Like I’ve said a lot recently — I have never had a laxative addiction until recently. It’s a really hard habit to break, and I am trying to stop the cycle. My therapist had me do a pro and con list of laxative use. Here is what I came up with, to the best of my ability right now:
Short term cons:
1. I always end up needing more.
2. Gets in the way of work and daily life having to run to the bathroom frequently or at inconvenient times.
3. False sense of security.
4. I still don’t eat as much as I should.
5. I feel sick if I don’t use them/cramping if I don’t use them, bloating if I don’t use them.
Long term cons:
1. I will have to initially keep adding more and more because my body will adjust and stop working right.
2. Dehydration, heart palpitations (recently experienced this)
3. Eating disorder gets stronger and I risk returning to purging behavior.
4. I now have another addiction to fight.
5. If I don’t get control and quit, I will never be able to rely or trust my body.
6. Long term use will damage irreversible internally. Will end up needing them for the rest of my life.
7. Could aid in a full relapse.
8. Avoiding emotions and painful items then causes avoidance and empowers denial — never fully facing things, nor fighting anorexia, and I won’t get better.
9. Decrease in health.
10. Withdraw, detox is painful emotionally, mentally and physically.
11. If I keep using them, I keep staying in the problem, not the solution.
12. The longer I use them, the deeper the addiction, and the harder to come off of them in the future.
Now I guess the best thing I can do is work on it. And make it through one day. Someone told me in AA, choose, one day at a time, “Today I will choose life, not laxatives.”
Also, in an effort to be proactive in relapse prevention, I was told to list a bunch of acceptance statements, and here is what I have.
1. I have anorexia but I am taking steps to work on it and prevent a spiral or relapse.
2. Although I have anorexia, I am no longer purging. This is improvement.
3. I am getting better, but I am not better yet.
4. Using laxatives will only intensify my anorexia, causing vulnerability factors
5. When I think I need the laxatives, I don’t need them. I need support instead.
6. Right now I am struggling, but I am not where I was.
7. Using laxatives is a problem because I have a laxative addiction. It is NOT okay to use them.
8. If my weight is dropping, and my fat image is increasing, something is not accurate.
9. I do not see what other people see.
10. I need to learn to trust other people’s perception and honesty regarding my weight and self-image because they see things accurately.
11. Even if it is hard, I need to trust my team that I am underweight, and eating food will not make me fat. If I need help challenging ED statements like this, I need to tell someone so they can speak the truth.
So I guess currently, my biggest struggle is continuing to stay off laxatives and work on acceptance. it’s hard to see it in print, that I am still battling my anorexia, and in fact, my body image has gotten confusing lately. I am not sure if my lists will help anyone else struggling, so I posted them. That’s about where I am at right now after my doctor appointment this morning.
Okay. I’ll just say that I am completely disoriented. I’m confused, obviously, but know that I am at work. Dissociation can be a bitch sometimes because when you lose your whole day, and lock your keys in the car, in the ignition, and don’t even remember leaving your car… that’s just dandy.
Since yesterday I have been in this blur. I feel like part of me is overly dramatic about my friend, but I just care about her a lot and still fighting my anorexia, I haven’t won my battle yet. I am still struggling with laxative abuse. I don’t understand because I never had a problem before with it. I’m not sure where my weight is, I am sure that it’s a little less than it was when I came home, but I don’t think I’ve dropped.
The last time I was at my doctor appointment, I lost almost two pounds, which caused my doctor to get nervous. But I didn’t do it on purpose. I describe my whole purpose in using the laxatives was so I could know my food was going out, digesting. (But I guess realistically, my food isn’t even digesting, it’s just watering out.) This addiction is new to me and I know I need to kick it before it turns into another dangerous eating disorder behavior. That makes me worried.
Due to my loss of present, having keys locked in my car, we ended up calling the dispatchers of our county (since I am a journalist, we are in communication with police), and they were supposed to come and help me get into my car, but then an hour and a half passed and I didn’t think logically, “Hey, call them back” because I was crying like a baby (I just cry all the time!). So after an hour passed I came back in and called and then they were in within 2 minutes. Woah.
Then by the time I got home, I didn’t even remember the previous eight hours. I took my medicine, got in the shower, and I am pretty sure I felt like I was gonna pass out because my medication was acting weird and I was tired, so I was falling asleep standing up, I went to sleep and woke up at 11 a.m. Totally missed my dietitian appointment, had to reschedule. Not to mention I had bad dreams — I guess I was processing all the overwhelming fears, but it just surfaced in my dream. I came into work and sit here thinking, “Uh, what the F#$%@”
It’s 1:37 p.m. and I remember it being 11 a.m. yesterday. Total disorientation. And I don’t know what to think of my eating disorder. I mean, it has been worse where I was purging 24/7 and binging aside from my restriction. But now that I have mended my b/p behavior, hopefully, my anorexia stronger than it was. But I am not dropping weight, and I am in control of it right now. I am still in recovery, but I’m exhausted, and really going through something right now. I need to figure some crap out and then reassess my life. I feel like I blinked and everything was dramatically different.
This seems to definitely describe my life this past year. It gives me chills – P!nk is an amazing artist with brilliant recovery songs. Even if some are not specific to recovery, they have been inspiring during my recovery, getting sober, and living again.
Ever worry that it might be ruined. Does it make you want to cry? When you’re out there doing what you’re doing. Are you just getting by? Tell me, are you just getting by?
Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame. Where there is a flame someone is bound to get burned. Just because it burns doesn’t mean you’re gonna die. You gotta up and try, try, try.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post today, I completed my fifth step last night, and recently finished steps 6 and 7. While reading the chapter about these steps, I came across something that struck me, and I decided I need to attempt to my best ability to think about it and try and practice it.
While talking to my sponsor, I became emotional about only one incident: my sexual assault. But it was not until I was trying to find any way that I had contributed to the situation, and other than sneaking out and disobeying my parents as a teenager, I could not find any other part in it. Then I realized that I had connected a piece of information that is often hard for me to grasp: it was not my fault.
So, while reading this chapter, when I came across a specific verse, it caused me to think in a way that was a little more compassionate:
“We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us .This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.”
“For when harboring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit.”
Now, the question is, how can I apply this to my life? I know eventually comes forgiveness, but I am not there yet, however, I can change my perspective and look at it a little differently, or at least a little more self-forgiving. It is a perspective of: Well, he is mentally or spiritually not right to do that to a girl. So, where do I take that and move with it?
It’s been a very difficult two months. There have been some intense moments, obstacles, mountains to climb, holes to climb out of and doubts. I’ve had fears, and uncomfortable emotions. But things are changing: Healing has started.
Healing is not an overnight process, nor is it something that is easily accomplished. In fact, it’s a rather difficult, tiresome and weary road. A lot of the time, the fight process takes a long time, for we often lose sight of what we are fighting for. Emotions get intense, memories hurt, and people break our hearts. Life is heartbreak. But, life is also love and nothing touches the heart like knowing someone is thinking of you, supporting you, lifting you up when you can’t stand, hearing you-not just listening to you, believing in you. People keep you alive, by simply loving you enough and not giving up, when you have (numerous times).
The scariest part of healing is life’s growing pains. Our journeys and battles give us terrible stretch marks, and heartaches. But here’s the thing; someone wise once told me that she believed in people’s ability to truly heal. I thought she was a little farfetched, maybe too optimistic… unrealistic, but I sit here today, standing corrected. And now, I am starting to believe.
In order to move on, heal, let go, we need to be able to tap into a difficult emotion: forgiveness. Courage also comes next, for we need to be brave and trust those who want to help us and face what got us into the place we were to begin with. We have to look at ourselves and not run away and we need to accept ourselves: past, present and future.
Past is hard: often it’s the thing we need to face to heal and recover. The present is also hard, because we are affected by what we’ve done and what we’ve gone through in our lives. The future, harder, because we need to have blind faith, often, be vulnerable and walk forward not knowing what will happen. I’m learning.
Yesterday, I found myself struggling to make a right decision. I stood in a bathroom stall, fighting my head and urge to purge. I had only had one slip since being home from inpatient, however I was struggling yesterday. I found myself, for the first time, ever saying to myself:
“No. I will not hurt myself because he hurt me long ago. I will not hurt me because he did and I will take care of myself now, because I couldn’t then.”
I made it through my urge. I stayed in the present, and I accepted the past. Ask anyone: radical acceptance is difficult for me, always has been, but today, and this week, I’ve reached a new level and can honestly say that I accept what happened to me. It’s not okay, but it happened. I accept that I made mistakes, because it was how I survived in each moment. Why should I hate a girl who was scared, had no idea how to manage, was deeply pained and didn’t know what to do? Shun her? No… I let it be. It is what it was and today, I do what I need to do in order to not fall into a trap of false security. I try.
So what now? I focus on forgiveness. I have to try and forgive someone who hurt me, badly. For some reason, I am no longer angry, but sad and also grateful, that I CAN find grace in a painful situation. It just takes a lot of time and trust in God and the people supporting me.
I made my decision on Sunday and while I have much to blog about with the intense amount of stuff that has happened this past week, I have dropped by to give a brief update:
I will be leaving on Tuesday for inpatient treatment, then possibly transferred to residential. This is the biggest and scariest thing I have done in my entire life.
The next two days include packing up and storing my entire apartment, leaving, giving notice and meeting with my job to discuss medical leave for a month. Following that, I will then be driving down to see my parents and breaking the news that I am going away. I am anxious about this; but I want to fill them in on WHY I am doing this and WHY I am giving up everything for this. Then, on Monday, I have a final doctor appointment and a final therapy appointment.
On Tuesday I begin a terrifying and hopeful journey to recovery. I know what it’s like to be free from drug and alcohol addiction. Now I want to know what it is like to be truly free of all. Thank you for ALL the support, comments, writing, etc. Due to my journey, I will not be posting BUT I will post when I return about my travels and treatment and regaining of life and self and getting closer to God.
So please don’t unfollow or unsubscribe. I will be back to tell all and share this amazing experience; also share how this entire process played out and how it all unfolded.
Stay healthy, stay well and I will return.