I once said, more than once actually, 'Anorexia was hell..... recovering from it is F#*cking HELL' and, I meant it.
Nearly 3 years ago, just after my 30th birthday, I left in-patient treatment and f#*cked up. My weight plummeted and I became physically extremely unwell, again.
My issue right now is: what went wrong? What happened that has meant that the last 3 years, until recently, have been an ED hell, even after making a full PHYSICAL recovery. In fact- Christmas this year was about the best time, ED wise, I can honestly say there has been for about 5 years. I'd managed to get my weight back to where I was comfortable, after the un-even, unbalanced recovery gain of too much fat and not enough muscle- uneven distribution and a well buggered metabolism!!! (see Minnesota Starvation study- it's what happens)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minnesota_Starvation_Experiment
I consequently had to re-go through recovery at home with my family (husband and young son) and at the same time- carry on with normal life.... go to work, run the house, look after my son and his needs and carry on like usual, regardless of the unbearable struggle to come to terms with having to re-gain a lot of body mass. This is where the 'Escapism' kicked in- BIG TIME.
It seemed like a big black tunnel ahead. I'd not got my head into 'true recovery'.... I should have stayed at the hospital a lot longer in order to come round to that but chose to leave.
I knew I had NO choice but do what everyone wanted and EAT or risk losing everything I'd got. So I ate.... I let them feed me, I ate what they wanted me to. I drank alcohol- it fitted in with our 'normal' life of going out at the weekend and having fun and drinking with friends-LOTS of drinking and partying on Saturday nights, while my son is at his Dads for the weekend. I smiled, I went to work, I ate, life went on, I binged, I vomited, I drank and vomited late at night in despair when the pain of holding it all in became too much, I gained back weight, I looked more normal, LIFE WENT ON. And I was so terribly unhappy.
And the more 'healthy looking' I became, the more people around me assumed I was doing really good.
"Hey Sar, you're looking really well... how are you?"
"Um, yeah..ok... not actually too good- this is real hard and painful but, yeah...."
"Well you're LOOKING really well- keep it up"
YES... I WILL.... and I'll keep the pain all inside and not let anyone down because I can eat till i'm blue in the face and the monster inside that causes my ED hell will continue to stay there, sniggering at me for going with the flow and trying to eat him away when it doesn't matter whether I'm emaciated or obese- he'll still be down there, somewhere.
Life became pretty erratic, life at home was really quite unpredictable and dangerous and none of us was happy. I made friends outside of our social circle and detatched myself from 'home life' as much as I could....We had a few good days, then a terrible weekend, then maybe one really good weekend we fighted, we screamed at each other, I'd go on drunken food binges and vomit, and worst of all- I had these episodes where I would just suddenly 'click'... lose all control and let rip to the point of physical violence- this WASN'T the alcohol talking- this was the suppressed ED which occasionally the anger would build up from it to the point of overload on a scale too big for me to deal with-usually late at night after we'd been out on another 'mad' weekend and had what would have been 'fun' with friends. And I could NEVER tell when it would happen. It was almost certainly alcohol related, as these thing usually are- I even tried to blame the alcohol for it and say that maybe I had an addiction to that...? But I sat analysing and trying out new ways of living and it became all too clear that the root of EVERY DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR came from the ED.
No-one got it.
Only me and my husband knew the awful hell that was still going on and all our friends, with whom we socialised just saw the 'old Sar' - looking healthy- smiling- out enjoying life- drinking and frolicking about- just like before......
This carried on until November 2008, what.. 4 months ago now.
After one particularly bad drunken ED fuelled rage, I finally realised that I COULD NOT carry on with it. I decided there and then to get a 'Plan of Action' firmly into place.
I cut completely back on all alcohol, only to give myself head-space and actually experience the bad feelings ED was still doing to me. I didn't drink when we went out and I went home early and felt the anger but woke up feeling stronger. I battled it and challenged it and fought through to sort out the 'real' feelings and can say that it was the best thing I could have done. By Christmas time, I'd managed to implement a nice, happy, tranquil way of living, with sensible, if still ED controlled, meal plans. My weight settled back down to where I feel happy (although others expressed concern that I maybe started to look a little thin, I KNOW from my clothing etc that I'm still within healthy) and life is far more qualitive than has been for years.
And I guess this is where my whole blog actually starts.
I started to read other blogs, some of which are added to my blog list and started to get ideas for staying well and actually enjoying the process of staying well. I realise that I'm at a point where weight loss is not an option to stay well but I'm well enough to start enjoying eating good food and challenging the ED behaviors, which, so far, what this blog has been about!!!! And what it will continue to be about.
I have lost a few 'friends' over this new-found way of recovering properly, the way I should have let myself recover from the start- but if they can't understand my reasons for temporarily (or however long it takes) stopping the all-night drinking and 'fun'stuff for the good of finding a level way of living, then I really cannot make room for them in my life right now. Yes, I would like to have lots of fun doing those things again but right now, there's more important things to sort out to ensure a long-term decent lifestyle. And i'm in no rush- I just want to get it right this time.
And it's hard, and ED's suck and wreck lives but i'm NEVER giving up fighting it, I'm too worth it for that.