• Quote of the Day
    "Don't let what you can't do interfere with what you can do."
    John Wooden, posted by David Baxter

haunting

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Nov 11, 2004
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Well Christmas was a little different this year. I am glad that we did not have to be near my family. But I felt in a spot to have to eat. We went out on Christmas eve for a special meal with the kids. I had a hard time eating but did. I felt uncomfortable during our meal and was in so much pain afterwards. I wanted to run to the washroom to "feel better", but I couldn't.

I had a bad day yesterday as well. I don't know what was wrong but I was craving sour foods so bad I could not resist. I ate pickles and drank the juice. But it did not help. I kept eating and this is not like me at all. I was again in a tremendous amount of pain. I locked myself away in the washroom for sometime, then felt better. But I could not even look anyone in the face I felt so ashamed. This holiday was a huge struggle. I gained 4 pounds and now I am freaking out. I had planned on lossing at least 25lbs while my doctor was away, but I gained some back.

My due date is just days away. I had planned to try and find a place where I would be safe for this day. Now I am pending this freak out mode over this weight gain. I can't eat for 2 weeks, I just can't. After my episode last night with the food I am afraid to do this again. I would rather not eat and get caught up with the circle of purging.

I know in my mind how aweful it is to actually think that I am free and clear with my doctor away. That I can get away with limiting my intake without someone at my heels. Then on the other hand I think that I could die if I attempt to be at the weight I sooo want to be. One of my doctors asked what this weight goal was. It did not go over to well. But when I read about ED's and the fact that people do this for years or for a life time and they survived--well why can't I then? Why can't I continue and feel like I have some kind of control, some kind of accomplishment in my life. If they can get away with it then why can't I?

When my bf asked me what's going on in my head and I tell him--I shock the hell out of him. He said everything that he has read and what he see's me do day after day--I am the same people in these books. I can read them and only see that they accomplished what they wanted to. I don't see what he see's with the medical aspects. So why is it that we can read the same book yet we get a different perspecitive of the contents of these books? (does that make sense)?? He always says that I talk like a person that has an ED. I think I sound like me-being what makes sense in my mind yet does not to him.

This weight gain, my due date, and sooo many other things are hitting so hard I feel lost. Even though I exsist in an adults body I feel like this lost child that wants to hide away. Part of me wants to die, and part of me does not. What scares me is the unknown of which one is going to win. I know I am the one who decides this in the end but right now nothing seems real. The consequences of this ED make me feel happy at times. I can die with something.......... not sure how to explain this. Yet I take so many others with--leave the ones behind that don't deserve this. Why do I feel happy about the thoughts of dying from the ED? Someone told me that they thought that this ED is my way of killing myself but won't admit it to anyone. Well I am admitting it now. Sorry for venting this but everyone tells me to be honest, well this is what I think. And as much as this can anger someone, its what I think. I could lie and say I am fine, that I can eat, drink, be happy, and not feel like dying. But its not true.

Haunting.
 

haunting

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Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
142
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I think thats the only way janetr..... one hour at a time. I lost what I had gained and I am happy about that but in some ways not so happy about it. Between not eating and over use of laxatives-- well not the best thing.

I called a health and fitness center today. Maybe if I could feel better in a healthier way this ED would be easier to fight. Not sure but will give it a chance. I have an appointment next week. I am not really that unhappy about my weight--I am not over weight by any means. Just want to tone I suppose. Its this depressed feeling I have. The date that I am worried about is so close and the SI thoughts are so strong. I am trying to put things into perspective and not sure if I will succeed.

Haunting
 

hollyh

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Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
21
Points
1
I understand all too well

Hello Haunting,

I am new to this site and while I came to it for very different reasons your posts drew me in and I wanted to share with you my experience with eating disorders/anorexia. You sound like you are in terrible pain, both pysically and emotionall and I hope I can be of help to you.

When I was a teenager (I am now in my early thirties) I was "diagnosed" with anorexia. I resisted this diagnosis because I felt I was healthy. I was extremely athletic. I was a long-distance runner and cross-country skier and I had been dancing since I could walk. I never thought about my wieght, because I did not have to really. I was always thin. Period. I rationalizd that I was not trying to lose weight (and I wasn't, at least not conciously) so I must not have a problem. My mother constantly worried about me and with good reason, because for an athletic, active teenager I was always getting sick. Finally, after a visit to my GP, he told my mother and I that I was anorexic. He said I was dangerously thin and that if I did not put some weight on he would have me admitted to the hospital.

I was horrified. I raged against this diagnosis and fought constantly with my mother. I felt totally misunderstood and thought everyone was against me, simply for being thin. I never purged. I simply exercised maniacally (I did not think so at the time). I also ate pretty normally, but certainly not enough. I stopped menstruating for about a year and thought nothing of it. Aside from getting constant lingering colds and being able to buy my clothes in the children's section I thought I was just like everyone else. I never felt suicidal. I never felt conciously depressed. I just never really felt anything.

I know now that I was attempting to control my life in the only way I felt I could, through my physical body. It gave me a great feeling of power to be able to control my body through exercise. I was like a drill sargent with myself. The more people commented on my "thinness" the more in control I felt. Of course that feeling of power was just that, only a feeling. After a while I stopped exercising so much, but that is when I started purging. A new form of control. With purging I began to feel really awful and have more health complications, including hair falling out and painfull kidney stones. And finally, bent over the toilet, purging and feeling truly bad and awful I had sort of a reckoning with myself.

I realized I would eventually kill myself slowly and painfully if I kept doing what I was doing. It was, believe it or not, the first time that thought had ever entered my mind. It had never occured to me that along with the power to control the way my body looked I also had the pwer to kill myself. The thought was horrifying. I did not want to die.

I would love to say that I was instantly "cured" by that realization. I wasn't but I had made a decision to try. It took years to really get over my eating disorders. I had several setbacks and several accomplishments. The two are not mutually exclusive and tend to come hand in hand when working through something so big and meaningful. Today I consider myself recovered. I am healthy and I do not exercise maniacally or purge. I do not believe there is a real "cure" for eating disorders, as they are often a result of a pattern of thinking that is sick, but I whole-heartedly believe there are ways to work through that thinking and become healthy again.

In the effort to inspire you to get through this with all the strength and power you can I will share with you some thoughts and ideas that were very helpful to me. You might want to try looking at your eating disorder not as something that many people have, but as something unique that you have, and have to deal with. What does it mean in your life? How has it affected your life personally?

In my case I separated my body from my mind so entirely that my own body was like a stranger. I had disconnected from it.
I had a very hard time watching my body change. I was a teenager and young adult. I wanted full control over my body. It horrified me to think that hormones or other natural contributors could change my body. So, I had a lot of work to do on this particular area. It helped me a lot, as cliche as it may sound, to accept my body as a human one, subject to all kinds of natural changes that were not only normal but healthy. The female body is constantly changing as we grow and mature and become adults and mothers. I had to accept this and learn to love it as hard as it was for me at the time. When I did this I felt a tremendous sense of relief. That might sound crazy to you, but I really did. It was like I could let go and trust my own body to be okay and not just okay, but beautiful. This for me was huge. I believe this lead to my recovery. I had finally stopped trying to exert amazing amounts of control over my body. I called a truce in the sort of unconcious war I had been waging with my body. The physical peace created and emotional sort of peace. Or maybe it was vice versa.


I do not know you well enough to advise you in a more personal way. I know that eating disorders have some common themes, but otherwise I feel they are uniquely personal to each who suffers them. I think you owe it to yourself and those who love you to look at your unique issues and do some serious soul searching.

I resented anyone who tried to help me or who worried about me. I thought that letting them help me would be giving up some of that ever important control to them. So, I understand how difficult it can be to deal with people who are concerned, worried and want to help. I can tell you, however, that this is something you can conquer, but it will not be easy and no matter how many people you have supporting you and helping you, it will be you, in the end who heals yourself.

I hope what I have written is helpful and useful. I wish you all the best as you work through this.

Holly
 

haunting

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Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
142
Points
16
Wow Holly. Your story is amazing. I thank you for sharing this.

Everything that you said here made so much sense. But I just don't know how to get from point A to point B and so on......to the part where I can say, "Hey I do love myself and want more than this."

I have thought so much lately. Actually thought about what this is, what I am doing to myself. It is not just a simple ED, its part of me and I know I am powerless to stop. I thought I could fight this on my own. I thought I could get mad enough, as I do realize what this is doing, to say the hell with this!!! I do get so angry that when I am sitting there after being in the washroom for most of the day in so much pain I feel like a sharp knife just finished rushing through my guts-----to yell and scream at the mirror and have the will to survive. To honestly beat this thing..as it does and has to come from me...only me.

But I feel so stuck in the HOW TO. I am so afraid to let this go as it hides what is hurting the most inside. How do I let go of something that protects me from the truth?? Does that make sense?

I would love to oneday be able to write a story like the one you have shared Holly---one with happiness, strength, success, and total admiration for what you have accomplished. I think what you have overcome is truely amazing and I also think you have some good "tools" in helping others fight this very illness. Oneday I wish I could do the same...

Thanks Holly for sharing this....takes courage in my eyes to accomplish what you have.

Haunting
 

hollyh

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Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
21
Points
1
Hi Haunting,

It was your courageous story that inspired me to share mine. Whether you know it or not (or feel it or not) the couraqe you have shown in simply seeking help and honestly discussing your situation with others here is part of the journey to getting well. I am sure you will also be able to help others once you are well, and perhaps that will serve as a little extra motivation to perservere when it feels hardest to do so.

One of the common themes of eating disorders is a feeling of severe loneliness, as if the rest of the "normal, healthy" people do not understand. Because of that alienation it is perhaps easier for those who have suffered through an eating disoarder to help others who are suffering through the same. It is like being part of a strange club. Thinking that seems strange to others seems familiar to us. I think a part of the healing process is support from people who understand.

Just know that the road is long. You are human. Do not expect miracles. Slowly, slowly you will get there. As I said, I found my personal path to feeling better and getting better in fits and starts. It was a mixture of failures and accomplishments but somehow it worked. Sometimes I had to be honest with myself and set a goal like: I will not purge for a week. All the while looking forward to the week after so I could purge. Sometimes I would not make the week, but when I did it made the next goal a little easier and gave me a boost of confidence. I guess, the other thing was that I tried not to punish myself for my failures too much. I guess I felt like trying and failing was better than not trying at all.

I don't want to give you the impression that it is at all easy. It is not. I still have days that I don't feel so great about myself, but I managed at least to break the dangerous cycle. I think you can do the same.

And, yes, I totally understand how hard it is to let go of something that protects you from seeing the truth. That is really the root of it, somehow. Just like for me it was about control and I so totally did not want to give up that control. I was so scared of what would happen if I did. And you know what, nothing happened. I was fine. I think if you actually see the truth about your eating disorder it will not be nearly as frightening as it seems to you now. You will realize that you are stronger than it.

Perhaps you could start a little project of writing your story for yourself as well as for others. Writing helped me out enormously. I think what you are going through could eventually turn in to a success story for yourself as well as others.

Keep me posted,
Holly
 

David Baxter

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Holly, I have to echo what Haunting said: Wow! Thank you for posting this.
 

hollyh

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Jan 10, 2005
Messages
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1
To Dr. David Baxter,
It is my pleasure to post my experience if it can be of help to Haunting or anyone else. I rarely have the opportunity to discuss my experience with others in a constructive way, and was glad to have a chance to do so here. Plus, it is still very beneficial for me to write about my personal experience because it reaffirms the distance I have put between me, and my healthier lifestyle today and the me that lead an unhealthy and even destructive lifestlye years ago. So, I owe you thanks for providing a place to do so. -Holly
 

Sonz

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Joined
Sep 30, 2004
Messages
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6
Haunting, Ive been having some trouble keeping up with all the posts but Im wondering if you have ever considered medication, I only ask because that is what my doctors have adviced. Im starting tomorrow, its suppose to help contro the impulses. I dont know, I guess we'll see, just thought I'd throw it out there.
 

haunting

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
142
Points
16
Holly, you are without a doubt an extrodinary lady. Your story has sent tingles through my body and I can feel your strenght when I read what you have written. Your courage here is conmendable!!

I do see that I should set more goals for myself. But like you said, its a long fight and it is going to take time to start this process of recovery. My fear is that if I set goals, even small ones, and I fail---I will set myself even further back. But I really don't have much more to fall here do I? And have so much to lose if I let this take my life.

I ate tonight, and wayyyy toooo much!!! It hurts to an extreme that I am sure you know how it feels. I had started my "cycle of insanity" but stopped myself. I actually STOPPED MYSELF. And my mind is going nuts as I can feel the pain from eating, knowing I allowed it stay in my body. But I will not purge, I am taking control this time. Me taking control, not the illness. I won't lie and say I did nothing else. I did take some laxatives. Which is not good but I did not purge this time. I can't expect a sudden miracle can I?

But I got to see my little girl smiling at me while WE ALL ATE supper for once. When she saw an extra plate set she looked at me with such delight. She said, "Mom, your eating with us?" I smiled and said yes. Then my son's voice rang in happiness that his mom was sitting down with them,eating and enjoying our time together. And as I type this I cry and smile all at once. Smile cause I can see their faces even now as they are in bed. Smile cause I see them happy from a simple thing as their mom eating with them. And I cry cause I feel this pain. I feel this pain as I have done this for such a long time, I have hurt them as they have watched me hurt myself. And I want it to stop. I want them to have a normal, happy childhood with good memories. God I love those two and never want to let them go. What better gifts could one receive then such beauty?? As they are my gifts and I am lucky to have them.

Please keep helping me as oneday I want to be healthy as well and help someone who feels lost and ashamed. Oneday to help someone else to Holly is something I long for....even just one person

Oh, and to answer your question Sonz: yes I have been on meds. My problem was that my stomach can not take them right now. Without proper food and liquid intake something like prozac can be really hard on the tummy. I do have major fears with meds but they do help. I encourage you to give it your best try and hope that they help you. Please let us know how this goes....I am pulling for ya!!!!!

Haunting
 

hollyh

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2005
Messages
21
Points
1
Hi Haunting,

Wow. I am really proud of you. I know just how difficult it is to make even the most minor positive change in a behavior that feels like a second skin. It does not matter that it may not be recognizable as a positive change to anyone else. This is your jouney. Your kids noticed the positive change and that is really amazing. They love you unconditionally and that is exactly the kind of love and support you deserve as you go through this.

I totally understand the fear of failure. It can be paralyzing. I still experience it in my life. Maybe it never really goes away. What is important is that the fear to TRY will go away. To try and fail is really all we can do. It is courageous and admirable. As I said before it is a series of steps forward with some steps backwards mixed in. Any sucess story has that element. Afterall, you are only begining to figure out what works for you. You have to find changes that you can live with and trial and error is a part of that process.

When I tried to stop purging it was hard as hell. Like you, I hated the fact that the food was still in me. It made me physically sick and emotionally disgusted. Then, I guess I could say (and I know this only in retrospect) that I reached a point where I realized that purging made me feel pretty much the same way- physically sick and emotionally disgusted. So, I had to choose between two nasty options that both made me feel awful. Ultimately and with difficulty I chose the one that would not eventually kill me if I kept doing it. It was a slow process. It did not happen over night and it did not feel like a huge revelation. I took to it slowly and bitterly. It did however get easier with time. Now, looking back on it, I know that it was a decision I made and it took a lot of strength, but back then it did not feel that way. I still felt bad most of the time and struggled with the urge.

I am not a nutritionist so I will not even attempt to advise you in that area, but in my personal experience after I gradually and slowly stopped purging and came to grips with the food "being in me" I was of course, horrified by the prospect of gaining weight. Surpisingly, to me at least, I did not really immediately gain weight. I had, however, done such a number on my digestive tract that it took a while for my natural metabolism and appetite to kick in, but it did. It also took me a while to relearn how to eat without guilt, fear or worry.
I can honestly say that I now eat with out worry or fear of gaining weight, but it took a long time to get to that point. Our minds and bodies are both extremely resilient. There were times where I totally did not believe myself capable physically or mentally of getting past the purging thing.

It seems as though you are in the process of discovering your pitfalls, the issues that hang you up and need to be worked through. This is a good place to be. You have shown courage by sharing your evolving story with others and being honest about it with yourself. Whether you know it or not your story is already a sucess story. You have already taken some very difficult steps that serve to inspire others. Keep it up.
And, of course, keep me posted.

Holly
 

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