Tag Archives: recover

Exposed: My Story (Update Nov. 19, 2014)

Eating. Drinking. Smoking. Snorting. Weighing. Hurting. Burning. Cutting. Starving.
Purging. Praying. Stripping. Weighing. Binging. Dying.

These are words are verbs, actions. These words are not who I am, but things I have done. These things don’t make up a person or even describe a person. They are things that people DO. Why? For myself it is how I survived in the world starting in my very late teen years. These things were my way of living, dying, punishing, forgetting, numbing, functioning and coping. These are my sanctuary, my safety and at the same time, a double-edged sword that was jabbing away at my soul, my spirit and my life. (Read full story)

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Do you see this little girl?

945971_10151874063161477_2020789806_nLook at this little girl, the silly smile on her face
see her tiny dimples, and sunglasses perfectly in place
She’s only a young toddler, the entire world before of her
But if you knew the road ahead, your heart would become heavier

Do you see this little girl, innocent and small?
Her parents love all of her as they watch her learn to crawl.
She’s only a few years old, but has an old soul
Always laughing and playing, her future still untold

You focus on her smile and the light in her eyes
It’s hard to believe years down the road a darkness will rise
You couldn’t see the shadow, even if you wanted to
Inside this little girl, a disease began to grow

She will be bullied and taunted, pushed and shoved
Her heart will shrink and she’ll feel unloved
Her once loud laughter will shrink down to silence
Her bright smile will fade, and she’ll meet quiet violence

People won’t hear her, so she’ll turn inward with her pain
What used to beam sunshine, only storms inside and rains
Her hope will begin to dwindle as she slowly slips away
But it’s only going to get darker, from glitter to gray

She will find her way to fit in after yearning to be wanted
She takes her first sip of alcohol, takes sobriety for granted
Turning into the life of the party, she’s the center of all the jokes
She just wants to be loved, but people prod and poke

She’ll give up on trust and love by the time she’s nineteen
When a man twice as old as her gets on his knees
Her voice is gone, she can’t make a sound as she sits paralyzed
She turns to stone, gives him his way, and inside breaks and cries

By now she’s lost her faith in God and turns to worship booze
Now an alcoholic, she’s lost her ability to choose
Not long from now, it won’t be enough as she rolls a dollar bill
She’ll snort away her problems, as heroin moves in for the kill

Nothing takes away her despair, her stomach full of guilt
She throws up her food, her shame, the life she could have built
When puking isn’t enough, and starvation is the only way
She turns her brokenness inward, stops eating and fades away

Once a healthy baby girl, she is dying inside and hopeless
No matter how much weight is lost, all she see’s is ugliness
She screams and yells, but no one else can hear
So she runs to the blade and she slices and tears

This little girl, now 21, is hollowed out and empty
This shell of a woman, no where to go, steps on the stage for money
Do you see this dancing girl, a friendless and pained daughter
There’s no way out she’s become her own slaughter

Now rewind time, back inside the playpen, look at the girl there
You wouldn’t know by looking, but you can see me if you stare.
You see, I am this little girl, now grown up and fighting to live
While I can’t protect her, I can try to help her forgive

Nothing could have prepared her for the broken road ahead
But she needs you here, she needs you now, because she’s not yet dead
Listen to the little girl, and when she asks hold her hand
Because I am her, all grown up, and still need help to stand

Return

I know this blog has been lacking with posts and updates or anything else from my jar’s collection of loose screws. However, I’m back. I stayed inpatient for 30 days and then continued on to another three weeks of full day program. There was a lot of growth, recovery, pain, setbacks, and support. I don’t want to get into too much detail right now about where I am at with ED. But I promise I will. I will share chapters of my life from the last six months.

Thank you dedicated readers and friends.

I hope all is well.
Love always,

Brittany

Let’s talk about body acceptance, in any point of recovery

“One of the biggest problems about recovery is the inconsistency of it. Some days, you are a superhero. You eat all of your meals, and still find beauty in the fullness of your stomach. However, the not-so-wonderful days are the deterrent. You wake up, and cannot find a thing appealing about yourself. When beauty is no longer the goal—you just want to not hate yourself.

Then, you find yourself wishing you knew you were skinny when you were skinny. You hate that wish. It is the creepy uncle that no one likes who sits in the corner and stares at everyone at Thanksgiving. But you cannot help but think it. You were not skinny, you were dying. You were trying to be invisible; you were trying to shrink away from life. It got so severe that you just stopped functioning, didn’t you?

You may not have known you were skinny, but you knew you were dying.”

Michelle K., Bad Days in Recovery

tumblr_mzayiqlhfx1sm41mbo1_500While browsing the internet, I came across this quote, or section from a writing: Bad Days in recovery. I never heard of this piece before, and I am very keen on books and articles regarding eating disorders. From self-help to fiction to biographies. This is an interesting though, and poignant because it’s so, so accurate. Michelle describes a piece of any eating disorder so profoundly and accurate, that for me, especially, I forget that piece to recovery.

Lately, I find myself at a new point of recovery. Technically, I’m not in recovery yet, but I am working IN recovery. Five years ago, my life spiraled out of control and I found myself praying to a God I didn’t want anything to do with to simply “don’t let me die.” Other times, I found myself checking my pulse, only to reassure myself that my heart was still beating and my night-long purging and starving did not kill me without my permission.

But in a sense; that’s what we do. Our eating disorders, all very different, say, like a fingerprint, take on an identity and drive of their own. I mean, on the surface, isn’t that what we are so obsessed with in the midst of our behavior? Getting thin or skinny? Obviously, all of us anorexics, bulimics, binge-eaters, or combination of all three, know that while we are primarily focused on being “fat” or fearful of getting “fat” that we merely do what we do because we are not ourselves. We do what we do because we are sick. We do what we do because we cannot cope with emotions, past traumas, current issues, adulthood, relationships — and the list goes on and on.

Many of you can relate with me, when it comes to being in different points of recovery. Whether you’re newly diagnosed, or in treatment, out of treatment, or in sobriety from your eating disorder behavior, one of the hardest things; if not the hardest, is the acceptance of allowing our bodies to physically heal. We have to let our body’s restore to the shape and size God created, instead of doing everything in our power to shrink it, get rid of it, or change it. I have been struggling with this more that I think I ever have.

Two years ago, I thought the hardest part was stopping my purging, eating more than once a day, while accepting that I had to put on more than 10 pounds, at the very least, to even be considered stable. What I’ve found is that ever since being discharged and rebuilding my life, I still struggle with my anorexia. More so than restricting, I really find it discouraging when I know my body still isn’t at it’s set point. It pisses me off that I cry over the “bulges” and “fat” I can see and grab. And when I’m told, “you still have an eating disorder” I cling to the fact that, well, no, it’s not that bad because I am not as small as I was when I was dying.

Truth. Sometimes I find that I get more upset and depressed over the fact that I feel so much worse lately in a body that is 25 percent more than it was a year ago. I fight myself to keep it at that weight, to not go over, but to not drop too low. And I find myself thinking, “well, I wish I had the body I had before if I am this miserable” or “how the hell can I have an eating disorder if I weigh more than I did before?” It’s as if I find myself feeling like a failure in recovery, but also as an anorexic. It’s sick and twisted. How can I come to terms with my body now, let alone another 25 percent more? How? I haven’t been inside that body for five years. In fact, I’ve never been an adult in my adult body.

Even if I can’t accept it right now — maybe I need to accept this: I don’t know that I am skinny, or thin, small, or not where I need to be, but I know I’m dying when I purge like I have the past several days because I cannot tolerate my body. I am terrified of what it will and is becoming. On those bad, bad, bad days, like Michelle says, it’s turmoil. Trapped in this limbo of a purgatory. Between fully restored, only halfway there, halfway sick, halfway recovered. Let’s start with a simple step of accepting that when we are not living, when we are not eating, when we purge, even if it’s just once every once in a while, or if it’s in a minor relapse that needs to get under control. I know logically, that I’m dying when I do that. And that is an eating disorder.

Let’s try to accept this thought — by not purging, we aren’t dying. I may not accept that my body is bigger than it is (even if it’s a minimal change because of where I am at), or that I’m not as thin as I was; isn’t it time to try and radically accept that? I’m not as small as I was, but I’m also more alive than I was. I may not like or accept my body now; but I can say that I accept that I need to learn to accept this, before I can let my body 100 percent back to where I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 134:19).

We are at war

There seems to be a lingering sadness that revolves around the confusing and gripping reality of eating disorders. The truth behind the baffling disorder leaves many of us stumped, scratching our heads wondering why? Or how does something like anorexia or bulimia root into our minds or bodies, that stimulates a false image and drives us to starve ourselves or binge or purge?

When I was at the worse my anorexia was, I was unable to eat and if I had anything in my system, even if just water or diet soda, I was forced to make myself purge. Human beings were not created to destroy our bodies and yet, for most of us, it’s the only way we survive, cope with life, or manage things.

We often go cross-eyed over the data and facts but when we stop and simply look at who is suffering from such an addiction you can’t help but plea, why can’t you just eat? Can you please stop making yourself throw up? I often ask myself why can’t I see my body how you see it? Why can’t I stop obsessing over calories and weight? Then you look again at the young woman or man starving themselves to death and it’s your daughter, it’s your mother, it’s your sister, it’s your friend, it’s your brother, your father, you cousin, your son. Or– It’s you.

It’s a very confusing thing – banging our heads against the wall, wanting answers, wanting cures. But there’s no clear way to know how to approach this. I’ve been fighting this for years, relapsed many times, have had slips, and managed long-term months of sobriety from my eating disorder. But it always comes back to why can’t I stop?

While looking around on my blog, I came across this advocate blog from the perspective of a man who fought anorexia. The insight is wonderful and there needs to be more education on the truth that eating disorders don’t discriminate. The only answer I can assure anyone is that people ARE fighting. People are fighting back. People are pulling together and going to war against a monster that destroys lives in an effort to regain those lives.

Action against will

In AA we learn to do the opposite of everything we feel like doing. Don’t feel like leaving the house? Go to a meeting. Feel like isolating and not talking? Pick up the phone. Feel like drinking? Don’t.

It’s been a difficult process to apply that principal to the recovery of my anorexia and bulimia. But while it’s not easy — it’s simple. I’ve been really trying to push myself and do just  that. Don’t want to eat dinner? Eat it anyway. Wanna throw up dinner? Don’t. Eating disorder thoughts running your mind and screaming at you while you’re trying to do the next right thing? Keep doing it.

I’ve been eating healthy, and following through with three full meals a day. I’ve been cooking, meal planning, creating grocery lists. I’ve been eating when I want to. Eating when I don’t want to. It’s a clear concept that once I double or triple my intake, then my body is going to change. Today, right in this moment, it is about choosing to accept my body for what it is, allowing it to reset, reshape, and take the form God originally created.

That is fucking scary, no? But I am doing it anyway. I am reaching out and really praying. I surrender my will daily and have been praying for God to help me to give over my will with each meal and eat like I am intended.

Food isn’t a poison and yet, it’s what the body and mind fight so hard to keep away. The eating disorder takes on a personality, and identity of its own. I call my eating disorder — That Bitch or That Bitch Anorexia. Because it is a bitch. But while she keeps screaming at me that I am a failure for each bite I take, that I am going to blow up if I don’t stop, or that I will become fat and that’s just hell, or bad things will happen, I still continue to try and push forward.

Surrender is great. But it’s scary. And that’s okay too, right?

Taking action despite the thoughts, feelings

While I was away on my vacation and reuniting with my roommate from treatment, I had so much laughter, fun and also perhaps a bit of a spiritual awakening.

Probably the biggest fear that I had was bringing home what I had gotten from being away. It’s sometimes easier to do well and move forward in recovery when you are out of your element, and what is normal. It’s easier to break away from such self-destructive behavior and then mold into pro-recovery approach. While I was away, something in my head simply connected. I could prepare and eat three full meals each day while enjoying some snacks and not blow up like my head imagined.

I truly felt decently comfortable in my body and didn’t have too much stress about continually being healthy. Minus a few urges in my head that were instinct like – you can get rid of this – or – just go back to how you were before you left for vacation. Those aren’t my thoughts though, in a sense. They are the way I have been living for years.

When I came back home, I managed to stay motivated, manage meals, eat continuously without restriction, and it was going well. I think it is this moment of a miracle when you choose to be alive and to continuously move forward one choice, one step, one meal at a time.

Now, I find myself falling into a rut today. I feel uncomfortable and full off and on and for some reason, today I’m mentally having a harder day. I’d like to shut off the ED thoughts and voices, but I guess right now I just have to acknowledge they are there and just NOT give into any of them. Is that what recovery is about? Continuing to do the hard thing despite how you feel or think? Despite the feelings and the urges, and the constant thoughts that follow you through the day and not giving up?

I truly didn’t think I would get to this place in my recovery, but God worked a miracle and turned me into a miracle. For that I am grateful. But right now I am scared because I have never, at least any time recently since being away in residential treatment, have I lived through the behavior or health with the simultaneous sick mind. It’s frustrating and exhausting. I guess now is, how do I keep moving forward while everything is still there, crystal clear and loud, screaming in my head?