Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ashamed And Afraid


I have a friend who has recovered from anorexia, and she is a wonderful role model for me, and also someone that I always have a lot of questions for. This week I have really been struggling, and so I contacted her for some support because I'm very scared and confused right now. This was an e-mail that I wrote to her~

I'm struggling a bit and have some questions for you. Did you ever feel like you would be happier if you could have your eating disorder back? I feel like I wish that I could restrict I used to, and like I have lost something. I think that I was happier before. I miss the euphoria that I used to feel when I was restricting. I'm also starting to purge which is something that I've never really done, and it scares me. That just started this week, and I have told my team about it, but haven't had any sessions since it started, so they haven't been able to help me to figure out what the hell is going on. I just don't understand why I'm doing this.
I'm so ashamed of the purging, and it is also very frightening because it feels like I have no control over it. I wasn't even sure that I could write about it here, but I do like to be honest, and share what I'm going through. Anyway, here is what she wrote back to me, and her words were very comforting. It helped me to not feel so alone.

She said~"Yes I did go thru that. I think it is part of letting the ED go. It is hard to feel all those feelings and deal with reality I guess you could call it, but it isn't true that you were happier with ED; that is just what your mind tells you as an excuse to fall back. I always say I need a running start to get to the next step of recovery. I fall back just a little to test the waters and once I know it is still there I can move a step forward. Did you ever read Eating In The Light Of The Moon? She has an analogy of a log in the river. Something like the log is ED and you are trying to let go of ED and get to the shore but you are scared and insecure so you hold on. Then you find the courage to swim around the log grabbing on occasionally for security until you feel strong enough to let go and swim to shore.
The purging is probably trying to test the waters with your team and maybe a need for more help to get to the next step. I use to try new things all the time when I felt I wasn't being heard or I felt I was dealing with something all alone. And actually further in my recovery the more extreme these things would be. I know it sounds weird but I think I felt I needed to be really bad because I was doing so well. Recovery is so hard and I know you are dealing with a lot right now. Is Dave ok? Did they find something to help him? That has got to be something on your mind and a thought of being out of control because you can't control that. I think you need to find a new motivation. Something that you really want to do but ED is holding you from doing that. that is one of the reasons working at Renfrew has been so helpful. They depend on me and the women there depend on me so I feel I have to "healthy" to stay so it keeps me going in the right direction. Well, and also my Harley. :) If I was in the midst of ED there would be no way I could even lift my Harley to get on none the less drive it. Try to find a new motivation to get you excited. How is your poetry book coming?
Take care of yourself and see what wonderful things you have in your life worth living a healthy life for. Make a list of all the things you want to do. And then find a way to do them. I believe and have seen it work that if you put your mind to something anything is possible. I doubt myself a lot but I have done some pretty cool things I never thought I would ever be able to do. You just have to push through that thought of I can't and that nervous feeling like you are going to fail or something because it is totally worthy it."
Isn't she so wise and wonderful?


Anonymous said...

Your children should be your first and most important motivation. Why do you keep losing sight of that and why aren't they enough? My heart breaks for your children.

LilysGramma said...

Angel, forget about what Anonymous said, that person is obviously ignorant and does not understand the pain you are feeling, and a coward for not to even put his/her name. I think you are doing a great job just being in recovery. You are so fortunate to have a friend like the one in your post who understands what you're going through. She is truly wise and compassionate. Keep up the good fight! Thinking of you. God Bless.

Angel said...

Thank you. I appreciate your kindness and understanding:) She is a wonderful friend. I agree with you that anonymous is a coward. He/she frequently leaves me words of "wisdom."
I will keep on fighting.

Anonymous said...

I do understand the pain as I have been in the EXACT same position. But I did not survive my illness by surrounding myself with people who coddled me and did not challenge me. How does that help? If your illness is strong enough to draw you in, why aren't the thoughts of your kids strong enough to pull you out?

Angel said...

I wish I had the answer to your question, but I don't.

Dorothy L said...

I think people that are trapped in a dark place need someone to definitely show them a spot of light. Through support and not coddling they can find their way to that light.
The comment on coddling is correct as so many families/friends tend to disable people suffering from any type of addiction and yes eating disorders are also addictions.
To support the is a tough love in many cases even though each person does tends to react to different types of support...try not to disable them.

**Angel I have 'Ashamed & Angry' on my Body weight/Body health section in my forum.

Thank you ever so much for your support and light!

Have a very positive day!