10 November 2010

Grieving anorexia

I have been struggling yet again with my recovery from anorexia for about a month now. The all-encompassing anxiety has made it so hard to eat, and I have dropped a few pounds and the old voice trying to convince me to lose more weight has awaken from its slumber.

But I haven't been able to put into words what was really bothering me until my friend, Carrie at ED Bites asked me if there was something she could do. That opened the floodgates and I cried as I wrote her the following:

I just can't seem to get past the all-encompassing anxiety to continue to eat enough to get to my healthy goal weight. Dr. Sackeyfio assure me once I reach that weight, eventually the ED thoughts and behaviors (i.e. restricting, self-harm, etc.) will stop. But I can't seem to take that final leap, and I think I allow myself to be triggered by a number of friends who either have relapsed or given up on recovery altogether, and the fact that it seems like so few people I know can't seem to stay in recovery.

The frustrating part is that I was so close, and still could make my goal weight if I pulled it together. Also, since I am so close, everyone around me (except my husband) seems to think things are fine - I don't look emaciated like in the winter and spring, so I'm all better, right? But I wake up every morning scared to death to face the day, I burst into tears for no reason at the weirdest times (like right now while writing this) and I can't seem to stop restricting, but I of course I'm eating something, so it's not like a full-blown relapse, right? (I'm being sarcastic.)

I need people to hear me and maybe I'm not saying the right words. I'm grieving. Grieving the loss of my too-thin body. Grieving the fact I am 45 and most likely will never have a child. Grieving for the person I was pre-anorexia. Grieving. And everyone wants to see happy smiles and recovery full-speed ahead, and I am failing them. And I can't get the voices in my head to shut up and let me eat; instead I hear that I don't deserve to eat, I'm a fat pig, etc., etc.

I'm afraid I will be one of those who don't [recover], and it makes the future look very empty. I'm tired of weighing myself and counting calories and worrying about every bite . . .


Kelly J. said...

Praying for you, Angela. I'm sorry you're struggling right now. In your heart, you know you are strong enough to beat this. Don't let your traitor mind deceive you. I have faith that you will get better and be happy again.

Anonymous said...

This is a really poweful read. And important discussion to have for those in recovery. I was just discussing this with my mentee last night! I struggled too with giving it all up and grieving it, while clinging to some things for a while. I eventually kept doing recovery over and over and standing back up and going pushing fighting, slipping, standing up again, etc. There was this moment where things just connected and one time in a stressful time period I didnt even CONSIDER negative coping skills and I was shocked! Like - when did I get so damn healthy?!?!??! When I found I could cry without wanting to cut myself, when I could be stuffed without a breakdown. I dont know when it happened, there wasn't an ah-ha connect moment - it was gradual and just smacked me one day. I think grieving is important, but also think we need to keep pushing forward, being proactive and doing recovery. In time things will connect and fall into place. That is the hope! I know for me- I kind of liked the up down drama of the whole thing, while also hating it at the same time. And when I got healthy, I missed this rollercoaster, and definitely had to watch myself because I would create fights with people, just to experience highs and lows in emotions. I think for me recovery was 1) ED recovery and 2) Learning how to live - and it still is a journey, I still fall smack down, and learn lessons. I have accepted I am a work in progress and dont judge myself. I try very hard to see the lesson, be proactive and stay in the moment while letting go :) Hugs to you!

Missy said...

I agree. Very powerful read.
I, unfortunately, have no words to offer. Only my open "ears" (eyes) and my commiseration because I relate to what you are going through.
Especially the having a child part (I am 32 and haven't had a period in almost 10 years).

Again, no words but many prayers and love,

Ashley said...

You have been living with Anorexia for a long time. In order to heal and recover from it, you do need to grieve it, because it has been a huge part of your life. To move on, this is something you will need to work through. Hugs.

EmilyH said...

I feel your pain so much that it's like you took the words right out of my mouth. How horrible that ED can take the joy out of our lives, but I believe that we can take it back. I, perhaps like you, am constantly taking forward and backward steps toward recovery, but we have to never stop believing that it's possible. As long as we have hope, we can keep working toward recovery. I believe in you!


I Hate to Weight said...

i'm with you, angela.

i'm sure you're not going to like this and it's just a suggestion, have you considered inpatient treatment while you're stabilizing?

i never wanted to, so i understand. still, you're recovery and your hanging in there and your very life are so important.

it's just a thought.

no matter what, i'm praying for you

sarahlynn said...

Thinking of you, Angela. I wish I could make things better. I hear how much you're struggling, and I understand more than I can really articulate. But I encourage you to share this with your therapist/whoever you trust most. Because this is important - and I think you can learn to grieve for all this and move PAST it. *hugs*

I Hate to Weight said...

i read something you read on another blog. can you take a leave of absence from school so you can do whatever you need to do for your recovery?

there have been times in my life when i have put everything aside accept my addiction. that's how i gave up drugs. i did not do anything else but go to treatment and not do hard drugs. that was it. and it's been 3.5 years. nothing is as important as your health. nothing

i'm praying for you.