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  1. #1

    Showing inside pain

    Hi. I was just wondering if anyone here has ever knowingly let their eating disorder become worse because they want someone to see it. I know that eating disorders go way beyond attention grabbers. But, well for example...
    Usually when you're feeling stressed or anxious or depressed your eating disorder tends to be triggered, right? At the same time, some people say that eating disoders (maybe especially anorexia) are ways of displaying your inside pain on the outside. I'm not sure if this is a way of showing your pain to yourself, others, or both. Anyway, I swear there have been times when I want my boyfriend (never my parents) to notice that I'm not eating or that I'm losing weight. And then, my brain flip flops back and forth. I want him to notice so that he can try to help me. Then, I'll reject his comments and concerns because I don't want to be helped. Then, I'll start thinking about it as like a test in my head - if he can come forward and really help me, then he really cares about me.
    I'm writing this right now and it's making me feel sick. These feelings are so deep down that getting them out in the open like this it's really scaring me. I feel like I'm possessed or something. How can I be so disrespectful to myself and to my boyfriend by being so self involved?
    I guess what I'm trying to say is, these days my "ed feelings" have been stronger. I've tried to tell my boyfriend about it, but he just says that I should stop thinking like that and that everything should be OK. That drives me crazy, because he obviously doesn't understand. And he's not a professional. Now, I know that it's my responsibility to see someone if I need to. But, it's almost like I want him to tell me to go and see someone. But, that's stupid thinking on my part, because then I'd probably just reject his idea anyway. Man, and I thought I was independent!
    Last night I was so moody when he got home because all I ate all day was a pear. But, the night before, we went out together and I had the best dinner I've had in front of me all week. It was so tasty and then I cried when I went to bed because my stomch felt too full and I didn't want him to touch my stomach. OK, being drunk didn't help. What's going on?! It hasn't been this extreme in a very long time. Usually, I just let those feelings go - I don't cry about them.
    Well, I'm posting all this to you guys, but I know what the obvious answer is going to be. I have to pull myself together or I'll end up sick and having to find some kind of professional out here. Could be difficult though.
    Another thing. Sometimes, I don't think he's taking me seriously enough because I haven't lost a lot of weight yet (not noticeable). I hate to say this, but deep down it motivates me to lose weight.
    Of course, I won't lose to much. Just some to make it noticeable and then start trying to eat normally again with exercise. Ya, I've heard that one before (from my own head).
    OK this is getting really long so I thank anyone who actually gets through this. I don't know if I'm looking so much for advice as for just someone to listen.

  2. #2

    Showing inside pain

    hey Dianna! I'm glad you posted w/ all of that on your mind, obviously it'd be better if things were going better, but if we all had perfect lives or have never encountered a problem I think a lot of us wouldnt' be here.

    I think a lot of what you say makes sense. Wanting to get worse in a way so that people will notice. For myself, it's more wanting to get worse so that I will feel that I am at a point where I am "worthy" of getting help. And yes, if I could make myself be skinnier I know it'd be almost a fool-proof way of someone noticing where as all these years no one has, b/c I may look sinny but I am w/in reasonable range, you know? I think it is a way of showing your pain to yourself, or escaping that pain, and yes, consciously or unconscioulsy crying out for someone else to see your pain. This isn't only about getting someone's attention as some people think who dont' understand ed's, but it's a way of saying "I'm hurting, and this is the way I am dealing".

    What you do w/ your b/f, I do w/ my friends... I won't eat, knowing they will pass some kind of comment but as soon as they do I jump at them, making up every excuse I can think of or changing topics. And they go along w/ it, why I don't know, and I'll be screaming inside wanting them to say something. But you're totally right, wanting someone to acknowledge your pain and taking their help are two different things. It's ok to say you're hurting but to take their help is almost like giving in.. but you and I know it's a sign of courage.

    the other thing w/ your b/f is, that as much as he can be there for you or get you to forget about things for a few hours etc., he's not a professional (as you said) and he doesn't know how to deal w/ this and even if the fact that he is your b/f puts him in a position where he can't "fix" you, as much as you may "test" him or want him to do so. If you really really want his help, tell him what it is that you need, tell him "I am not doing okay and I need you to be there for me and help me go see someone". Even just write it on a piece of paper and give it to him. He probably doesn't know how to help you or how bad things are.... The trick is to let yourself get help, as you said.... would it help if someone else were to suggest help to you? ie. can you let a friend know and tell them you need their help more than you can your b/f? You know though, no matter what he says or does, until you're ready he won't be able to help you in any way..... it doesn't matter how many people comment on things or suggest I need help (in terms of general issues or those few who do know ie. on here) until I am willing to take that help, right?

    If all you had to eat was a pear and things have been much more intense lately in terms of eating, thoughts, emotions etc. I think you're right, that you should probably go talk to someone..... you're already trying to make yourself get worse so someone will notice which means you are crying out for help so you should consider getting help hun. He may not be taking you "seriously", again, a lot of people don't understand ed's and the fact that you don't have to lose 30lbs in order to "not be okay"- talk to him, tell him how you've been feeling and if you feel like he doesn't understand or can't help you get help reach out to someone else.... someone will understand. Once you try to lose "a little bit more weight" where do you stop? When is enough enough? Why torture yourself if you know now things aren't ok? You do deserve to get help, and you are not okay, and losing more weight will not make your pain any more valid, only more visible....

    there must be someone who can help.....? have you tried? I know the culture thing may be a barrier but they do have doctors too and they do know what ed's are, even if it takes a lot of searching it'll be so worth it. I really hope that you'll be able to reach out and I hope for you that you will do so now and not later. It's not fun going back down that road.....

  3. #3

    Showing inside pain

    Thanks for replying so quickly! It sounds like you really do understand what I'm talking about. The reason I was curious if anyone felt the same as me is because there's always that question of "Is she just doing it for attention?" Not only with ed's, but with other things. I remember in middle school when someone would say that they thought about killing themselves and others would say "Oh, she just wants attention". Well, in my opinion even if the person never kills themself or even attempts it, why on earth do they need that kind of attention? Obviously something is wrong (even if it's not too serious) and it should be addressed.
    Now with me, as I know from what happened in my past, it obviously goes way beyond needing attention. However, that element of it is still there. Do you know what I mean? It's like a way of expressing hurt so that you/others can see it.
    Well, right after I posted the first message I called my boyfriend at work to see how he was doing. I apologized for my behaviour last night and explained to him that it was because I hadn't eaten all day. He said that we would go out for dinner together tonight. I explained to him that it wasn't his fault I didn't eat much yesterday, I had all day to eat something before he came home. I told him that I just didn't want to eat, and he obviously understands something because he could have been so angry at me for the way I acted last night (I won't go into detail) and he's not angry at all. I feel much better, but I know that I can't rely on him to get over this. One thing I've learned is that there's nothing wrong with relying on people for some things, but ultimately you have to rely on yourself. If you can't rely on yourself, then what happens if someone can't help you or come through for you?
    Well, I think I'll see how next week goes. I could start looking up some doctors in the English-speaking areas. I know that seeing someone never hurts, but I'm also trying to save up money to go to school when I finish this contract. Is it possible that I can get through this on my own for now, or is that too risky? I've pulled myself out of it before. Well, I'll keep you posted.

  4. #4

    Showing inside pain

    hey again... now worries about replying. :0) yeah, I do understand, and all of that sounds very familiar in one way or another. I remember too, when I was in hs and even now sometimes that people attributed someone's attempt to kill themselves or starve themselves or si to seeking "attention"- and yes, it's a given that if it's noticable you will get attention, especially if you're a child/teenager b/c adults are supposed to protect you and for peers, anything that's different is reason enough to talk about it. But you're right, something is still wrong though, b/c if they just wanted attention they could play sports or join a club or do theatre etc... why would someone intentionally hurt themselves (no matter which way) if they didn't somehow think that they deserved it, or were upset w/ things, or were just really lost and confused, right?

    I think this has just become, along w/ other things/obessions/habits, our way of expressing ourselves, our way of dealing and making sense of things that make no sense, our way of crying w/out actually doing so. And yes, deep down, I do want someone to take me aside and say that they care and that they'll be there for me so I guess it is about getting attention too, but everyone needs attention on some level. All of us want to be acknowledged and accepted for who we are, so wanting to be noticed does not mean you're a bad person for it.

    I think it's good that you were able to talk to your b/f and that you told him why (the eating thing) b/c you dont' want to apologize for things that make no sense to him, b/c you shouldn't have to apologize for who you are, but your actions in that situation. my point is that you shouldn't be too hard on yourself, but do try to let him help you if you can... does going out for dinner w/ him help you though?? in a way it forces you to eat and take your mind off things but if afterwards you'll feel really bad for eating out (b/c you'll prob. eat differently) then I don't know of how much help that is... and you're right, there's some things in life that you can rely on others for, in fact should rely on others for, but there's also things that only you can do or be responsible for. you can ask for a professional to help you walk through your issues and your b/f, friends etc. to lend you emotional support and keep you company, but you can only rely on yourself for taking that step and taking recovery or maintaining recovery into your own hands. I always thought that some day someone will notice, some day things will be "fixed" and if they can't I will be able to- and I've realized that no, no one will fix this for me, no one will even notice unless I speak up, and I do need their help b/c I cant' do it alone but only I can take that step and not only ask for help but accept it and work w/ it from there. and that's the hardest part of all, opening yourself up to people, accepting your vulnerability and saying "no, I'm not okay".

    the other thing is, $ is somewhat of an issue too (b/c I don't want to tell my parents so I'd have to pay) but one thing to keep in mind is one, only you know whether you actually need help or not, but also all the $ in the world won't make you happy or help you live your life w/ out this stuff if you don't work on those issues..... you've taken those steps b/f and you got better but that doesn't mean it's a free ride from ther (we wish!) so if you feel like you're falling don't let yourself fall so deep that you can't get out again. can you maybe go to some clinic where it'll be less expensive? or what about a univ. clinic even if you don't go there as a student? some offer services for the public and at reduced rates... could your b/f maybe help you out?

    Is it possible that I can get through this on my own for now, or is that too risky? I've pulled myself out of it before.
    I so wish that I could say yes, it's possible.... but I think that depends on a lot of things. It may be possibe to continue on an "okay" level now but even if eventually these things will catch up w/ you. And what worries me is that you are already restricting and think so negatively about eating and have plans to when it'll be ok to accept help (ie. lose more weight so it's noticable) that it really doesn't sound like you have things under control... those aren't healthy things and they do mess w/ your mind. I'm trying to tell myself too that I am bigger than this, that I can do this on my own, that I'll either do what you're trying to do or that I can get better myself, and same here, it has happened, I have pulled myself out of this too, but then why, why are we back at the same place or close to that hell hole again??? There must be something that's bugging you to have fallen back in this, trying to figure that out will probably help you a lot. I know you have willpower, if anything you have that, but it is risky. And right now you're still 50/50, right? There's still that doubt of "what should I do, is this okay?" If you really can't go talk to someone or won't at least let your b/f know and other people in your support system and pm me if you need and keep us posted here. all the best.

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