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Me1

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I am anorexic. I have been since I was eleven. I started skipping breakfast and dinner, then I would only get a breadstick at school lunches... And eventually I stopped eating completely, save for water and maybe a few pretzels or crackers. Once I hit 8th grade, it was just half a brownie every other day at lunch. Then I stopped eating everything.

When I was thirteen, I was five three(the same height I am now) and ninety pounds. My mother found the cuts on my arm and sent me to a mental institution. Turned out I like it there, I was very comfortable. Save for the meals... if I didn't eat anything, they would have sent me to a clinic and put a feeding tube down my throat. I ate toast for breakfast, and a salad for lunch and dinner for a week there.

For a year afterward, my parents monitored my eating habits. I gained thirty pounds, and I had never felt more disgusting in my whole life. Now that my parents don't pay attention to what I eat, I can go back to water fasting. I started a fast three days ago.
I love the feeling of an empty stomach, and I love watching the pounds and fat drip off of me. It makes me feel cleaner, more attractive. Worth something.
But on the other hand, I hate knowing what I'm doing to myself. I hate knowing that I'm destroying my body, possibly shortening my life. Putting my loved ones in hopeless pain.
But I can't stop, I don't want to stop. I'm afraid of getting hideous... well, more so than now..
If I don't want to get better, how am I ever supposed to stop disappointing my family and becoming healthy?
Does anyone else here struggle with this problem?
 

David Baxter

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If I don't want to get better, how am I ever supposed to stop disappointing my family and becoming healthy?
Helping you to learn how to want to stop is part of what a competent therapist with experience in treating eating disorders can do for you.
 

Me1

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I hope that she helps. I'm giving my last one another shot, as I said in another post.
 

David Baxter

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No "shot" at therapy should ever be your last, Shan, just as no "shot" at life should ever be your last.

Even if this attempt doesn't work, that isn't evidence that therapy doesn't work. It's only evidence that you haven't yet (a) found the right therapist for you, or (b) reached the point in life where you are truly ready and able to make the necessary changes.
 

Me1

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Well, I'm definitely going to try to stick it out this time. I like my last therapist, her name is Carol. She's a very sweet woman, and she knew that I love art, so when she found out, she brought in some clay for me to work with while we talk. Nice way to get me relaxed, I suppose. :) I have a lot, and I mean a lot, of other things that I need to talk about.

Especially since this is something I'm not sure I want to get over, anorexia will not be one of the first things we talk about.
I'm actually really scared now to go back to therapy. I was the one who asked to go back, and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm scared witless.
 

David Baxter

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Shan said:
I'm actually really scared now to go back to therapy. I was the one who asked to go back, and I'm looking forward to it, but I'm scared witless.
That's fairly normal, Shan. You go to a therapist when you know something needs to change. But at the same time change is scary...
 

Me1

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Yeah... but living like this is scary, too. I already know that I've got social anxiety disorder, general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia(which I've almost completely beat, so this okay), anorexia, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

...o___o

But I've been having new symptoms of something. Carol will help me figure it out, I guess, but at the moment it seems like either BPD or BD. Or just me being looney.
I blow up at my friends and family, sometimes completely cutting off the relationship, and then all of the sudden I go back to them like nothing has happened... I can be in a normal to happy mood, and then all of the sudden having an anxiety or panic attack, or sobbing hysterically...
I always think that my friends hate me... I think my boyfriend is only with me out of guilt, because he knows how much I care about him, and doesn't want to feel responsible for hurting someone. (He has mild paranoid schizophrenia, when we freak out at the same time, it's quite interesting. o__o)
Sometimes I'm completely oblivious to how other people feel, or I want them to "stop complaining and help me." I feel alone, even though I have two amazing friends and an amazing boyfriend.
I always feel empty, like nothing is real, or like I'm not here... I'm not good enough for anyone else.
Things hurt my head, like patterns, metal, or fluorescent lighting... I'm not sure where this fits in. When I say hurt my head, I mean make everything chaotic, and go to fast, or look like a pop-up book.
Sometimes certain objects catch and hold my attention, and they look fake, or the wrong size.
Sometimes everything goes too fast, and my mind races to try to catch up, but it doesn't work.
And then there's the hideous thing I see in the mirror, but that's my anorexia, I think.
Sorry for rambling, especially in the wrong section of the boards. I'm sorry.
 

David Baxter

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Shan said:
Yeah... but living like this is scary, too.
Yes, exactly. Even though the idea of therapy can be scary, one usually is ready to go anyway when it gets to a point where it is less scary than continuing to live "this way", whatever that is.
 

Diana

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Your own power

Hi Shan! I understand what you mean by a love-hate relationship. It's really difficult to make changes, especially when you feel like you've accomplished something by gaining control over your food intake and your weight. The problem is, as you gain this kind of control you become more and more out of control. Kind of a paradox I guess. I'm so sorry that this happened to you at such a young age. How old are you now? Obviously you want help, and that's the first step to overcoming the side of you that doesn't want to get better. One thing that helped me during my recovery process, is to think about how powerful my mind actually is. Just think about it. You've been able to starve yourself for long periods of time without giving in to your natural cravings - a very dark power. Therefore there's no reason why you can't put that power you have in a different direction - to get well and nurture yourself. You totally have the ability to do this. I understand the feelings of pleasure from having an empty stomach and not completely wanting to get better - I still have these feelings. But, I've also rediscovered the joy of having some physical strength and of replenishing my body with food. And you must ask yourself how much you really want to limit your options. For example, I'm not sure if I'll be able to have children with my fiance when the time comes that we want to. It's possible that I can, and if I can't it might not have anything to do with my past anorexia, but it also might. Anyway, keep looking for and accepting help - your doctor, this forum, whatever. I wish you the best of luck and I'd really like to hear from you again.
 

David Baxter

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Diana said:
One thing that helped me during my recovery process, is to think about how powerful my mind actually is. Just think about it. You've been able to starve yourself for long periods of time without giving in to your natural cravings - a very dark power. Therefore there's no reason why you can't put that power you have in a different direction - to get well and nurture yourself. You totally have the ability to do this.
That is an amazingly powerful concept, Diana... I must admit that never occurred to me but I think I'll swipe it for future clients.

Thank you for this insight!
 

Diana

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No problem

I'm happy to give insight, and I hope that Shannon sees this and can take something positive from it. I like this concept, but it's scary sometimes. Power can be a very scary thing, especially when people realize how much power they have. I guess if you're a completely balanced person, your power will only be directed towards being good to yourself and others. But, who is COMPLETELY balanced? Well, some people - at least they can constantly bring themselves back into balance. I don't want to sound funny, but I recently saw the new Star Wars movie - when Anakin turns into Darth Vader. He was able to do this because he had so much power. He could have been the "one" - the saviour for the good side. However, his mind was plagued with fear, and this caused jealousy, anger and hatred. So, what happened? He turned to the dark side.
The thing is, what should we be afraid of? We are all of part of what surrounds us, so why should we be afraid of it? Shannon, you have all the potential in the world - and this goes for all of you out there. I know, I still criticize myself all the time, but this doesn't have to continue, and I have come a long way. Although I truly believe in this concept, it's hard to live by it, but we must at least know it.
 
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Well, my mind is not powerful at all. It is very weak. I fail at most every single thing I try. I can starve myself for long periods of time, but I also give in to eating too. I think it's a wonderful thought, but for people who struggle with both anorexia and bulimia it's a very depressing thought because we do give in to those hunger pains and feel very weak and out of control. I'm in my thirties and my life is pretty much wrecked anyway. I don't know. This probably makes no sense.
 

Me1

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Thanks for the advice and support, Diana. :)

I'm sixteen now, closing in on seventeen a bit more rapidly than I'd like ^__~.
I wish I could get myself to be okay with eating... but every time I take a bite of food, I get this feeling of disappointment with myself, like I let myself down. I also get extremely disgusted. I'm so afraid of starting to eat again, I don't want to balloon up to 130lbs, like I did for the year that my parents forced me to eat. I've never felt so disgusting and unworthy in my life. Even looking at pictures from then, I still feel like I could have done better. I could have tried different techniques and tricks to avoid gaining so much. Going from ninety to 125-130lbs... Doesn't feel great. I'm currently at 112lbs, and I'm five foot three inches. I haven't been controlling my food intake as much as I should, but I still avoid lunch and dinner, and for breakfast I have an Instant Breakfast, which is powder plus milk. lol
I've been water fasting for five days, and I'm starting to lose more again. I haven't checked the scale since I started, because I'm afraid of those big numbers.
I guess I need to change the way I think, but it's that fear of getting disgusting, unappealing, and unworthy of anything that keeps me from doing so.
As for the kids thing, I'm pretty sure that I don't want kids. I know I may change my mind in the future, but the poor thing that comes out of me will be so messed up, I think it would be cruel to pass on my genes.
 

Diana

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I guess I don't understand everything about bulimia janetr, because I've only been anorexic. However, I still believe that your mind has as much power and potential as everyone else's. I'm sorry, I'm not trying to simplify things or pretend to understand everything about your situation. For some reason I just believe that everyone has the ABILITY to see the wonderful person who they really are. I'm not trying to frustrate you - there are times when I still cry, or almost cry because I can't find a shirt to wear that looks good, or I see my stomach getting bigger in the mirror. I'm not saying that any of this is easy. I didn't mean to downplay your situation in any way. I also wasn't trying to imply that giving into your cravings is a weakness. I was just trying to demonstrate how far your mind will actually take you into doing things or thinking in certain ways. I guess I'm also just trying to give hope to everybody, but I must understand that every individual person's situation is different. Perhaps that's why this forum is a good idea, because it allows so many different people to participate and helps us to understand each other. I really hope the forum will help you.
Shannon, I understand the disgusting feelings that come with eating. I went tree planting in British Columbia at a time when I really shouldn't have. I was doing hard physical work and I had already lost a lot of weight before I started. Everyone used to get on the bus and just start eating all this junk food from the store, and I wouldn't eat anything. It would make me so angry and depressed to watch them eating that stuff and at the same time it gave me a sense of accomplishment - "I don't need to eat". I know this is all tied up in your self-worth, so please keep seeing your therapist, or if you stop then find another one. You deserve to feel good about yourself.
 

Me1

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Ahh, I'm scared. My mother is calling Dr. Carol tomorrow to set up my first appointment in a year or so. I think I might tell her that I changed my mind, I don't want to go back.
 

Diana

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I understand that you're scared. Please give it a try. Keep us updated and vent to us whenever you need to.
 

Diana

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I replied and it ended up on page 2, so I want to reply again so you'll see it. Shannon, please give it a try. You can vent to all of us here whenever you want/need to. Good luck!
 

Me1

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I think I am going to tell her I changed my mind, because I did. I don't want to go back. Nuh uh. Scaryscaryscary.

And thank you for being here for me, it's nice to know. :)

But I'm not going back. O.O
 
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Diana, I think your thought is a wonderful one. I wish it was true for me. I don't binge. I just meant giving in to eating normally which feels like eating too much. It just feels so weak to do that. And I'm in my mid 30s and have been dealing with this for probably 22 years so I just feel that it's too late for me. It's only me though. I think there's lots of hope for other people. Maybe we all feel this way sometimes?

I do know this. Eating disorders will really mess up your metabolism as you get older. You can barely eat and not lose weight or even gain weight. The old tricks that worked when I was younger don't work anymore at all. And I don't really get hunger pangs anymore. My stomach just hurts mostly so I don't feel like eating anyway, but it is so much harder to lose weight. It just messes you up so much in so many ways and I deeply regret wasting so much time on it even thought I know it is a disease of sorts. I just wish we could all appreciate ourselves and our health and not be so hard on ourselves.

Shan, it's up to you what you do, but I would strongly encourage you to deal with this now.
 

Diana

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Hey Janet. Thanks for understanding what I was trying to say. I know you feel that it is too late for you now 'cause you're in your mid 30's and you've been dealing with this for so many years. But, have you ever read the book "Ageless Body, Timeless Mind" by Deepak Chopra? It's not new - written in the '90's I think - but it gives a very interesting concept of aging. Not that you are old at all, but it's a good book for someone of any age to read. It might be interesting/helpful for you. It might help you to see your future in a more positive way. Yes, you're right. There are times when we all feel hopeless in certain aspects of our lives, and that it's impossible to change things, so you're not alone. But, there are things we can do to try to change this view and then change our lives. I also wish that we could all just appreciate ourselves and our health. I feel that this will be haunting me for the rest of my life, no matter what I look like or what I do. Will there ever be a day when I don't think about what I eat, and I don't look in the mirror at my stomach obsessively? Right now I don't know, but I guess we all have to try to do our best.
Shannon, I would take Janet's suggestion. Why don't you try the therapy with that doctor, and then look for another alternative if it doesn't work. I don't know what therapies you've tried in the past, but some people find group therapy helpful - takes some of the spotlight off the individual person. However, some people might feel less comfortable with this. The point is, obviously your parents want to help you, so I'm sure they can help you explore all the options. And even if something didn't work in the past, it doesn't mean it won't work at a different time or with a different doctor. I know it's scary because you feel like you're putting your control or behaviour in someone else's hands, but 1) that's not entirely true, and 2) sometimes we all need to take other people's help with many aspects of our lives.
 

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