07 June 2010

Disconnected

I will eventually feel better, right?

Today begins my fourth week at the River Centre Clinic in Sylvania, Ohio. I am trying to learn and grow. I am trying to overcome my desire to dive back into my safety net of anorexia nervosa. I am confronting my demons and anxieties.

BUT IF I HAVE TO EAT ONE MORE BITE OF FOOD I AM GOING TO SCREAM!!!

I feel full all the time and I hate the feeling. My stomach hurts constantly and I am often nauseous. The amount of calories I eat in one day sustained me for more than four days during my most severe restrictive periods. I am eating mechanically; the concept of enjoying food is completely foreign to me. Frankly, I can't wait until bedtime when I don't have to eat anymore.

This worries me. I am still in the weight restoration phase, in which I am trying to reach what both the clinic and my doctor agree is a minimum healthy weight for me. Most likely I will not reach that weight before I return home and thus, I will have to continue to eat that many calories until I do. I also have learned from past experience that as a severe restrictor anorexic, I will most likely have to maintain a higher-than-average caloric intake in order to stay at a healthy weight.

I also hate the inflexibility of meal planning. It causes me a lot of anxiety on the weekends when I bring my meal plans home and have to make substitutions for one reason or another (mainly because our small town's grocery stores lack some of the foods on my weekend meal plan.) It also makes me feel weird to have to take my own food to social functions, like brunch at my brother's last week or lunch at church today.

It makes me feel disconnected from what's going on around me.

That is a real problem. I live in Sylvania during the week and at home during the weekends, and I often feel lost between the two places. One morning last week, I woke up and instinctively reached out for David. I was half asleep and started to panic as my hands couldn't find him. Then I realized I wasn't at home.

It really was the start of a very disconcerting week. Everyone there has their own issues, and sometimes it is harder to deal with some issues than others. I often wished I was a turtle, able to withdraw into a protective shell. I am trying to absorb such things as distress tolerance and mindfullness, or being in the moment.

But sometimes my emotions start spiraling out of control and it becomes hard to calm myself down. My anxiety can reach such a high peak I feel either like I am going to die or I want to die. The only other outcome I can envision in these moments is me literally exploding.

I have decided I need to change some things about myself in order to both recover and live (as oppose to just existing.)

I cannot let people push my buttons. The week also started with an anonymous comment that said in effect that I was not that thin and I am an Ana wannabe (I deleted it, as I will delete all comments that I deem are triggering to either myself or people who read my blog.)

But I allowed that comment to stay in my head and the eating disorder part of my brain had a field day with that, constantly whispering that this person was right and what I really needed to do was go home and lose more weight.

So I veer between feeling disconnected from my body (am I too thin? or do I need to lose weight? who is right? why can't I see the reality of my physical being?) and trying to trust those who tell me I need to remain in treatment and that I have not yet reach a healthy weight.

Trust. Who can I trust when I can't trust my own eyes nor my own thoughts at times?

It's a very confusing time.

9 comments:

courtney said...

trust your doctors. don't listen to some ass hole on the internet. they obviously know nothing about eating disorders at all or the illness that it consumes you in. the doctors are there to help YOU and fight for YOU. keep your chin up and keep fighting. it will only get easier the longer you do it.

*HUGS*

kourtnee said...

Hi! I was at the River Centre clinic twice in '09. If you ever need someone to talk to about the stresses of treatment, shoot me an email at

kourtney_is_a_beast@hotmail.com

I'd be happy to help you out.

Stay strong- it gets easier!

K8B said...

I also suffer from very high anxiety as I have a life threatening heart problem, despite being only 45! What I have learnt is that it is possible to just 'be' with the anxiety. I have a meditation practice that helps a great deal. When I am very anxious I am able to just sit and let the feelings wash over me. They are just feelings and however terrible they feel nothing bad is going to happen as a result of them unless you act them out in some way. You won't explode and you won't die! I focus on my breath, just watch it moving in and out. It takes a lot of strength and courage to just sit and allow the feelings to occur and then to disappear - but you have those in bucketloads!
Karen

lisalisa said...

I am so irritated that someone would leave such a dumb comment! Of course you were thin enough (if there even is such a thing)! Don't listen, and don't let the ED tell you you have any "unfinished business". It's time to close the book on this and begin the rest of your life ED-free.

Thinking of you :)

Grace said...

If your doctors think you are too thin...you are too thin.

Most of us with eating disorders are sensitive people-pleasers, so I know it is hard to ignore when people make mean comments. The fact is, people that feel the need to make comments like that are just reflecting their own insecurities by attacking others.

The most important thing is to do whatever your doctors tell you...it will get easier with time.

Hang in there!

Lindsey said...

The answer to your first question, about feeling better eventually. The answer is YES.

"The amount of calories I eat in one day sustained me for more than four" - that's why you need to be here. Learning to eat mindfully and in a healthy manner. You will get to where you need to be with food someday. Where it'll be enjoyable and not mechanical.


Even though you're bringing your own foods with you to functions and events - at least you're THERE! You're being present in those moments with others. That in itself is a HUGE step from staying at home and avoiding the events altogether. You should be proud of that accomplishment.

That person who left you that comment is a douchebag. Hearing that pissed your eating disorder off and it's probably wanting to challenge that comment right now. YOUU cannot let it do so. You know what you've struggled through and you know your story. Don't let an asshole ruin the progress you've made.

Best of luck.
Love, Lindsey.

bananas said...

You should really stop allowing anonymous comments!!!!

Nicole said...

I often feel disconnected from everyone around me as well.

I am so proud of you for how hard you are working at recovery. Keep trying and keep fighting. You are doing such an amazing job!

Believe in yourself <3

*hugs*
Nicole

Anonymous said...

im also a severe restrictor in the middle of the re-feeding phase. its really hard.. props to us both :)

i really feel ya with all the fear about gaining weight, especially when we cant even see what we look like. and how its so hard to trust anyone.. i cant even trust my own eyes, thoughts, decisions, feelings, etc. its scary i think.

my therapist told me something that has been helpful. when ive gotten upset about weight gain, etc, she asks me "but how do you feel?". shes right.. the eating has made me feel better in many other ways.. energy, memory and concentration, depression is less, im more social and outside of myself, etc..

i wish you the very best..

Shannyn