Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Stepping Beyond The Shame

Last evening I went to my therapy session. I really didn't believe that I would be capable of listening to what my therapist had to say, but I did listen, and yes, I did hear. My therapist and nutritionist are urging me to see my primary care physician. To be honest, I wasn't sure that I was even going to blog about this because it is humiliating, and embarrassing, but I know that it is something that others suffering from eating disorders may deal with, and that is laxative abuse and dependency. I have taken laxatives for many years in order to produce a bowel movement. The longest that I have gone without taking stimulative laxatives were the thirty days that I was in treatment for my eating disorder. In treatment, they give you stool softeners and fiber, but that is it, so the entire time I was there, I was constipated and miserable. As soon as I was discharged, I got myself to the nearest Wal-greens, and, sweet relief, I have been using laxatives about once a week ever since. I know that this is ultimately damaging, so while my mom was here visiting, I tried to get off of them, and of course, ended up with the same results, which is constipation, and discomfort. My nutritionist thinks that some of my weight gain is fluid retention and possible blockage from not taking the laxatives, so even though I'm dreading this, I'm going to call my doctor and get an appointment to see her about this problem. Last Wednesday's appointment with my nutritionist really freaked me out when she said that I was continuing to gain weight on a meal plan of 1100 calories, so that was when I went back to taking the laxatives. Hopefully my doc will have a good plan for getting my system back to functioning normally. Right now, I'm really afraid of this meal plan, and have been restricting since last week. I really want recovery and health, but the increased weight is absolutely terrifying to me. I so desperately want to live a normal life, without all of these constant worries, fears, and obsessions over my weight.
Throughout this past week, my husband has been so supportive and reassuring. He has never once shown frustration, anger, or disappointment over this setback. My entire team has been patient and gentle, yet firm where they need to be. I'm so grateful that they never give up on me, even when I'm so ready and willing to quit.


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Sassy Mama Bear said...

I am fighting in a deep abyss with my depression and anxiety and oddly something that kicks in when that happens is reaching out to others rather than helping myself.
Just remember that recovery is a rough road, but YOU never have to travel it alone. Your husband and family seem to truly love you and support you and that means more than you can know, because not all of us who suffer with something have that in our lives.
Just remember there is always light, we just need to look harder for it.
Sweet hugs,

Anonymous said...

at a girl!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that you have loving support

had to stop by cuz you had a hummingbird on your entreCard thingamajig :)

Jennifer said...

I am so glad that you went to the appointment. You are handling so much, and I am also glad you have a support system. A normal life is well within your sights. I know it.

Anonymous said...

I went to the link you provided:

"In many cases, an individual will take large quantities of laxatives in hopes that it will flush all of the calories out of their body before they can be absorbed.


It will actually aggravate a number of other painful laxative abuse symptoms like acute constipation and edema. Often times, the individual will find themselves in a winless situation as they use the laxatives to emotionally feel thinner; however, over time, the laxatives will cause the body to actually hold water, thus making them feel heavier."

So the discomfort you are feeling may be from fluid retention but it's not because you haven't been taking the laxatives, it's because you have been taking the laxatives.

You are actually creating your own vicious cycle, because what you think is "helping" you, is actually doing you harm and has been for years.

It makes me sad that your therpist and nutritionist didn't know about this sooner.

Chungyen Chang said...


i had some previous experience with eating disorders (binge eating), and a history of major depression, so i know how hard it can get. sometimes the guilt you feel can be so overwhelming that it seems like there isn't any point in going on. but there is, i can promise you that.

all emotions, good or bad, come and go. none of them are permanent. the universe is made of balanced forces and life is one of them. if you are going through some bad stuff right now, there's bound to be some good eventually. just hang in there!

best wishes. <3

Greta G said...

I love your blog! It's absolutely stunning.

I am in recovery from anorexia and bulimia and I admire your candidness concerning the anxieties eating disorders inevitably bring forth, as well as your courage to keep doing the footwork.

Remember...Progress not perfection.

I'm going to add you to my blog roll. I would love for you to add me to yours.