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.