26 December 2010

I am not always strong

Today I did something I've never purposely done since developing anorexia.
I threw up my food.
I had tried to unsuccessfully several times before, but for one reason or another, it never worked. Then I read how other people do it. And this time it did work. My stupidity never ceases to amaze me.
I was feeling very desperate because I had ate some Christmas treats — two cookies and a small snack bar.
Little things, really. But all of the sudden the food felt dirty inside me and I knew I was not worthy of eating. So I threw it up and then called for my husband, crying about what I had done.
I am very ashamed of myself. I didn't want to admit to anyone that I did this. But I promised I would always be honest on this blog.
This has to be one of the worst things I've done since developing anorexia nervosa. I feel like a hypocrite, writing about recovery and about being positive and forgiving oneself. I even underwent the anointing of the sick on Thursday. So many people are trying to help me fully recover, and then I go and do something like this?
Why do I keep learning new ways to hurt myself? Why do I keep learning new ways to keep myself from recovering? Why can't I forgive myself?
I am feeling a lot of pressure. To gain weight and recover. To write honest and helpful posts on my new blog at HealthyPlace.com. To finish up an incomplete class. To complete some freelance articles.
I think part of me doesn't want to recover. I've thought of that before. It is a hard thing to admit. Who would I be if I weren't anorexic? As each year passes, the memory of who I was fades and the person I have been becomes stronger. Sometimes it feels as if I will some day become trapped for good, and that will be the end.
Some people have accused me of romanticizing anorexia. Well, there was nothing romantic about puking up Christmas cookies into the toilet. There is nothing romantic about starving yourself until it hurts to eat, and the food makes you feel dirty inside. I cried and prayed constantly for all this to be over. I just don't understand why recovery seems to be so hard. It's not like I've been afraid of hard work before.
But each time I try to make a step forward, I find a way to shove myself three feet backwards.
There is definitely nothing romantic about any of this.


Ashley said...

My heart breaks for you. It is not because of the act that you had done to yourself, but because of the pain you experienced from the act.

I still do find you to be very strong and brave. Now, the defintion of "strong" doesn't mean tough, always making right steps forward, and feeling invincible. No. Being strong, to me, means you are willing to admit that you make mistakes, that sometimes you are not always so nice to yourself, honest, open, and willing to stand up after falling down.

See, the last few words "willing to stand up after falling down" is what makes you a brave person.

Hell, who says that recovery has to be a beautiful, and straight line to "healthy me"? Whoever says this is wrong! Recovery is a very jagged, uphill, curvy, downhill, and long journey to "healthy me".

You admitting that you purged is an act of being strong because you did not lie or hide it. You could have. But you did not.

Be gentle to yourself. I know it is easier "said than done". Let God take care of you. Let him carry you when you are down.

You are NOT a failure or a "fake" just because of this. Keep that in the mind. Hugs. (thought you need a hug.

lifeafteranorexia said...

Aw, hon. I'm very sorry. I know how you feel. I know that doesn't stop it from being hard or from hurting, but I offer, at least, a sense of understanding. I developed bulimia after my first attempt at recovering from anorexia 5 years ago. It was my new way of compensating for extra recovery calories. But I urge you please please please PLEASE don't let yourself go down that path! I got to the point where I threw up 8 or 9 times a day. Stopping the bulimia was, next to losing my father, the hardest thing I have ever gone through.

There is definitely nothing romantic about having an eating disorder, and I'm glad you realize and admit that. I know that it's tempting to blame yourself, but you really shouldn't. You aren't stupid. You have an illness. That doesn't make the behavior okay, but you shouldn't beat yourself up over it. What's done is done. All you can now do is let go, move forward, and try with everything you have inside of you not to do it again.

As for recovery, that's sort of how it goes sometimes. One step forward, three steps back. But if you keep taking enough steps forward, eventually it gets easier. Or at least it has in my experience.

Please try not to be so disappointed in yourself. You are beautiful, strong, worthy and fully capable of getting better.

Take care of yourself and God bless


Silly Girl said...

I understand what you is happening to you. You do not romanticize anorexia. You tell the truth and you help others.

There have been plenty of times in the past two years that your words have kept me from making a error. You had a setback. Thank you for being honest with yourself and realizing what you have done.

Recovery is not easy and it is not pretty. It's hard. There will be good days, bad days and those we don't want to discuss.

Thank you for being honest. Take things one day at a time. Please don't let ED win. You are strong effort to defeat it. Take care of yourself.

I Hate to Weight said...

Angela; i did the same thing too -- "learned" how to throw up later in my ED. and then all bets were off.

it's really important that you noticed that maybe a part of you doesn't want to recover. that part needs to be recognized. (hope i don't sound "know it all-y". this is just how it went for me.)

you've done hospitals so it seems like you can tolerate going to inpatient treatment.

if you do decide to go to treatment, all your assignments will wait. and they are NOTHING compared to your life!!!!

when we surrender to God and give up control, sometimes we need help letting him help us find a better way. in treatment, we don't have to worry about anything and people who know better guide us.

i don't mean to preach or tell you what to do. i just think of myself with alcohol and drugs. living through my own decisions and choices just lead me down a dangerous path. turning my life over to God and those who know better -- well, that saved me.

whatever you do, i support you and care about you. take such good care, angela. love, melissa

Anonymous said...

I know you are feeling pressure but you CAN do this. Dont sell yourself short, just dont GIVE UP!


Pen said...

You are very brave to admit what you did. I totally understand about your being unsure about recovery. Maybe that's my problem too. What will I be and or do without this? I honestly don't know the answer and to just do it and see what it's like doesn't motivate me enough. Inpatient does sound like a good idea. Sticking with it when you get out is so darn hard, but worth another try. I never thought recovery would take so long but maybe this is just the way it is! Don't give up!

K8B said...

My husband does most of the food shopping and cooking. This helps me a great deal as once I had conceptualised the food that I had eaten as symbolic of the love and care that my husband has for me itbecame impossible to throw up. It felt like throwing away and flushing all of his love for me literally down the toilet.
I hope that this idea helps you as it helps me.

Anonymous said...

i am so sorry youre going through this. i can assure you there IS A LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. you need to accept it, map it out, and shoot for it. accept what you did but accept it will not ever happen again. we all make mistakes, but learning from them is what sets you apart

Harriet said...

I have a strange sort of respect for my eating disorder (and the part of myself that clings onto it). The eating disorder is filling a need. That need is real, and I need to listen to it and find other ways to honour it before the disorder will ever finally go away.

When you've been entrenched in the illness for a long time, food and weight dominate your thoughts, and therapy often starts revolving round food too. How to reduce anxiety when confronted by a buffet, how to think more realistically about body image, etc. People forget that however painful and prominent these things might be in their lives, they're just surface issues.

You need to go deeper. "Why don't I want to recover when I've got all these people to help me?" sounds like quite an accusatory question. Ask yourself, gently, "Why do I still need anorexia? What is it giving me?" Because it's giving you something, or else you wouldn't be hanging on to it.

In some cases I think it just becomes addictive, and you need it the way a heroin addict needs her next fix. It no longer serves any concrete purpose. That is definitely the case with me. I ended up seeking out a therapist with a specialism in addictions, and she was a wonderful help. I'm a lot better than I was, and I think 2011 might be the year I leave it all behind. I'm grieving for it. It's like losing a friend, even if it was a bad friend. I don't know what kind of life I'll have or what kind of person I'll be, but if I don't let go of anorexia/bulimia I will never find out. And that would be sad.