I always have these niggling -recovery- thoughts and questions than run through my mind now and again..things that I cannot turn to the nearest human and clarify or gain peace of mind from, because they just.don’t.get it. And I know full well that the feedback I get will most certainly make me believe I am a looney-bin who dreams up diseases. Yeah, not cool guys, not cool. Therefore I am eternally grateful to Amanda for giving today’s Thinking Out Loud a theme that I can use to my advantage..by reading up on everyone’s take on eating disorders, and hopefully be inspired and maybe even get some answers on persisting little pestering questions I have. Because just when you think you’ve got it figured out..you don’t.
1. I kind of really want to get my family to read up on the NEDA website, but I’m so reluctant to make a big deal out of my eating disorder. I mean it is a big deal of course..but my parents tend to get really touchy on the subject and since it appears to them that all is well and good, it’s almost like it’s painful for them to be reminded by my anorexia.
2. I’m grateful that I have found the strength to soldier on without a team, or a family whose knowledgeable on eating disorders, but there are times where I wish I had a sense of structure pushing me on. I’m not following a meal plan, I’m not weighing..the growing freedom is liberating but at the same time, I’d like to ‘know’. To get weighed and have someone tell me where I ‘stand’. To have someone explain to me, why my body becomes tender and feel bruised when I eat to the point of satisfaction? Because really, how blissful is ignorance?
3. I’ve got to admit I am slightly worried about developing an awareness of recognising when I’m full. It can’t be possible to be so constantly hungry! My weight-gain concern has shifted to worrying about if I am over-eating or not. Recovery is so much more that just reaching that weight. I want to be able to gain a sense of intuitiveness once I’m in a good place.
4. I forget how ‘delicate’ (I’d rather not use the word weak) I am right now. When I was at my lowest weight I didn’t feel delicate, though I obviously looked it. I felt strong and in my comfort zone, in a twisted nauseating way. Now I tire easily and I hurt ridiculously quickly. Every tiny scrape cuts through skin..a day of extra moving about leaves me swollen and sore. Do you know what’s frustrating? I feel like I’m doing the right thing by putting little strain on my body and yet I damage so easily by the littlest of things…
5. On Saturday I jogged from the office to the house – about 10 metres! – not a fast intentional jog. As I slowed to a walk I felt some strain in my right foot. Sunday morning it was slightly achy and swollen and gradually worsened as the days progressed. Right now (Wednesday) it is painful to the touch, and the big downer..all ‘shoes’ are kinda off-limits.
6. I seem to have alternate ‘hangry’ days..less traumatic than every.single.day. It still drives me to desperation when I start eating and am overcome with such hunger in feels like I wouldn’t want to stop eating. I do of course. Stop that is. But it never fails to get me in a tizz when I cannot wait after lunch for a decent while for my next snack, and simply have to have it “NOW”!
7. I went through two bouts of ‘trying to recover’ and relapsing after a short while before I made up my mind to just do it. I didn’t even know I was ‘relapsing’, but it took just 3-4 days of restricting to end up in a really bad place. The more I travel forward, the less appealing any form of restricting – as a means to achieve control in life – becomes. Which brings me to ask..what was the building blocks behind your eating disorder?
8. I remember it all fairly clearly. I couldn’t cope with feeling like a failure. It seemed like in every area of my life I was not doing as well as I expected of myself. I was partaking in a physically and mentally demanding sport, and as I lost weight, my quality of performance decreased. Only it didn’t seem to matter at the time. I felt like I was achieving something. And I was. I was surely succeeding in destroying myself.
9. There was one person in the integral start of my journey who could relate to me and understand me better than any other human in my life…and that was my Coach who had also had anorexia due to the exact same ‘life issues’ when she was a teenager. She spurred me on at every lesson and our time together was more than just training. When I think back..I can see it served as therapy to me. She knew me before the dreaded ED took its grip on me, watched my spiral downward..voiced her concerns -to me and my family -and gave advice at every session without making me feel alien She had this way of ushering me in the right direction with such tact, that I actually took her words to mind, instead of pushing her away. I’ll never forget how she glowed with joy, when she said, in her words “I see the sparkle in your eyes has returned. But you’ve got a long way to go. And you’re going to get there, just keep at it!”
After growing close to her in our 5-6 years together, she passed away after suffering a stroke one morning. She was only in her 40’s. I was worried on how I would handle the grief weighing heavily on my heart. But I knew that I could not let it send me falling. When she left, I quit the sport and dedicated myself to giving my body the rest that was long overdue. I associated it too strongly with my Coach to continue. It turned out to be a good decision, for only then the weight started to come on. My body couldn’t cope with any additional stress. As off recently, I’ve been thinking about her and missing her terribly much..longing for our talks about life together as I absorbed the powerful movement of a horse beneath me. And since I am tearing now, I’m ready to leave it at that. A very much all-over-the-show stream of thoughts, but at least it’s all part of the randomness going on at http://runningwithspoons.com.