Well. I’ve had a couple of days.
Like most days, things have been good and they have been bad. I LOVE Christmas, and so I’m so looking forward to it. And at the same time, I feel myself sliding backwards.
First off, I have a dear friend who is much younger than me and who was in my partial hospitalization group. This lovely girl is just amazing–and anorexic. She has had crazy trauma in her life and, as is my pattern, I sort of adopted her. We text a lot and I am always there for her. I adore her so and I want her to be OK.
Except she’s not. She’s relapsed in a big way and over the past two weeks, she’s slid into her ED. Finally, yesterday, she came to a place of realization and knows she needs residential again. Hallelujah!! I’m so damn excited–I truly thought she was going to die. And I would just have to sit here helplessly. But it appears she is making the right choices. I did all the things I could for her–researched places, talked her into going home early, talked her down from her residential freak out. I did what I always do.
During all this, in a sly, subtle way, my own ED began creeping in again. I felt myself getting more and more anxious with my friend, more and more anxious and competitive. My ED has started to tell me, “look how she is still alive. You could do the same and still be fine.” My ED says that I’ve gotten huger, I need to remedy this. Immediately. Especially because Christmas is coming up.
And then, I start making the little choices that spell “bad.” My boyfriend’s mom wants to know what to cook for me because I’m vegan and she is Midwestern so Christmas is a dairy/meat fest. My ED senses opportunity. I ask for veggies and hummus, salad, boiled potatoes . . . No bread because I’ll eat that. My boyfriend tells me there will be food on the table constantly and so that is three days of constant eating. My ED is putting up a bulwark against it.
My family wants to know the same thing: what can we get you to eat? Hummus and veggies, salad, salad, salad . . . Another three days of constant eating. And stress–because as much as I love my family and my bf’s family, this is stress, right? So, with a plan in place, maybe I can control how I fell.
My ED is gleeful.
Today I woke up and hobbled downstairs on a broken ankle to find the scale my boyfriend hid from me. I didn’t find that same one but I did find the one he hid in the summer. I weighed myself. I am down 3 pounds and I haven’t even been restricting. “Think what can happen if you DO restrict,” says ED. And so I have been.
I’ve been counting the calories, typing them in Livestrong (my drug of choice), and calculating how to keep losing. I’ve had a small breakfast, I’m downing coffee, and I’m planning the entire day to a T so I don’t have to eat much.
Sigh. This is the beginning of relapse. I know this and though I’m disappointed in myself, this knowing gives me hope. Because I also know that I now have to find the strength to shut these voices out and to go back to intuitive eating. I have to do what’s right for me. Holidays are so very hard . . . and I don’t know how to ask for the help because I don’t know what help I need.
Send good thoughts my way, please. I will send them your way, too! I know how hard this is and I also know that this is just a bump in the larger recovery process. I know I can start making the right choices again–I just have to dig deep. Wish me luck, darlings! I send luck and strength your way, too.