Sunday, 8 April 2012

I miss the old me

I remember very early on in my treatment my gp asking me what percentage of my time do I spend thinking about food/diet/eating/exercise - and I replied very matter-of-factly, because it didn't occur to me that it was a problem, that it was all I thought about. I was very happy with this. These thoughts made me happy. I loved thinking about what I was going to eat. About planning my day ahead. About calculating calories in and calories out - and then being rewarded for my excellence with the tumbling numbers on the scale.

I miss this so much. Now those bloody numbers just go up. They mock me and my failure.

My thoughts were so comforting then. They were not scary, and dark, and mean, and unkind. They were bright and happy and kept me company.

I don't know at what point they changed from being light and breezy thoughts to being crushing dark thoughts, but I long to get back to the point before. The point where they filled my every waking moment - but still made me happy.

Was this ever true though? I feel sure that it was. But I'm also sure that everyone on my treatment team would try to tell me that it was never the case. That my thoughts were never good or comforting or warm. That they were my nasty, manipulative ED voice that I must stamp out and not listen to.

But I'm not so sure. I really feel that before I lost control of it, it was a comforting thing. Almost a hobby.

What annoys me the most, I guess, is that everyone else in the world is allowed to have these thoughts, are allowed to want to lose weight and plan for how they will do - and they are praised, not made to feel dirty and guilty.

It's very confusing wanting to hang on to something that everyone else says is wrong. I just want to go back to how I felt before everyone explained eating disorders to me. Before everyone else decided there was something wrong with me.

I don't think there is anything wrong with me. I'm sorry, but I don't. I know I'm not supposed to say this. I know I'm supposed to have moved past this and accept like a good little girl that I have a problem that everyone else wants to fix for me. But quite frankly I have just run out of things to say to everyone.

I'm overweight. I'm enormous. I don't exercise. I eat. I hate myself in a way I never did before.

I never argued with my gp before. I never looked away in shame when she talked to me before. I never resented people's help before. I never cried like this before. I never froze up and just completely lost the ability to speak before. I never cut myself before. I never burnt myself before. I never had so little control over every aspect of my life before. I was never this exhausted before. I never had so much unwashed laundry before. I was never this isolated from my family before.

Rambling again. No answers again tonight. Sorry, I guess eventually if I just keep writing I'll find a point.

No guarantees though.


Anonymous said...

I miss the old me too. I miss how much control I felt I had. I know am so filld with anxiety that I want to die sometimes. It also makes me mad that I eat so much and my exercise is so limited. I feel like a child with all my snacks. Normal people can skip meals and loose weight where I am just supposed to stay heavy and eat. I really just want the old ED back to give me the control and calmness back. The anxiety is overwhelming without ED.

Daniella said...

This post really resonates with me. I have really felt the same way over the past few weeks. Recovery is hard and I really miss the person that I was (or thought I was) when I was deep in the eating disorder. But I think (and this is just my opinion) that we are both choosing to only remember the positive. Choosing to just remember the good parts. (which when missing it, sounds like a lot) But that isn't the whole story. There are two sides. And I have realized (with friends and my treatment team helping me out) that the negative far outweighs the positive.

I know this comment is probably not very helpful. But I am just hear to tell you that I understand what you are feeling. One thing that really helped me is making a list of all of the positive's of recovery; all of the things that I have gained since letting go of the ED. It's hard, but it helps.

Hang in there. You are much stronger than you think. And I really appreciate your honesty.

M said...

Oh PJ, I'm so sorry that the Ed is so loud at the moment.

There must be something attractive about the Ed driven way of doing things, otherwise why would we have done life that way for so long.

But, as Daniella said, it's not all good. Remember the panic over eating a mandarin and the lady on the phone who stayed on the line for an hour while you ate it? Remember not having much energy? Remember being afraid of anything you hadn't prepared? Remember being terrified that the world would stop turning if you didn't run that day? I remember. I remember your fear and distress. And I remember your bravery as you have stood up to the ED, reigned in your exercise and started to feel again.

It's not all pleasant - in fact, often dealing with feelings is harder! But it allows you to be true to yourself, make decisions about what is most important and what you really want, PJ not the ED.

It sucks that other people can skip meals, monitor calories, exercise til they drop. But that's life! Sometimes it sucks. But you need to do what is best for you right now.

And those extra kgs? Sure, they make you feel ginormous, but the reality is that they were needed. Most of them went inside on internal organs and didn't change what you looked like on the outside. And the others? They stop you from looking like you are going to break. You're still small sized. The harder bit is believing that this size is right and good enough.

Keep fighting. Keep writing and sorting out what you think. Keep talking to your therapist and untangling these confused thoughts.

It will get better - sometimes it just gets worse first!

HikerRD said...

The shitty part about recovery is starting to feel things; no one tends to focus on that part, though. You're being real, and it certainly doesn't feel good--for you, nor for those who care about you and your wellbeing.

The negatives of recovery are quite clear to you right now. Do try to consider the reasons why you pushed to get here and the benefits you must be forgetting.
And even if you can't read this and take it in now--please reread the words of support from your readers when you are in a better place.

We are all here for you. Really.

Jennifer said...

Once again, I so understand and feel this same way right now.
Nothing else I can say, cos I feel everything you have written, so anything else would be hypocritical...I'm sorry you are going through this, because it really does feel dreadful.
Lets try to focus on "this too shall pass"...xxoo