Tuesday, August 03, 2010
A lot has been going on internally, emotionally...regarding food and life. And that's what losing weight and getting healthy is all about, right? Anyone can lose weight...but that does not make them healthy. In fact, some of the most UNhealthy people are experts at losing weight.
I was always one of those people. I could drop 50 pounds quickly. But I was obsessed. Hard on my body. Pushed it beyond healthy limits medically and physically.
In the past week, those old patterns have flared up again. In joining Spark, I made a commitment to myself to become healthy (as healthy as a disabled,-close-to-48-year-old body will allow)...and by that I meant emotionally as well as physically. I had, prior to the past week or two, made every effort to eat well, nutritionally and to give my body what it needs. (being an almost-vegetarian, I struggled a bit with getting enough protein, but I know I need to work on that more.) But last week, I noticed something ...something very disturbing to me. When I looked at my reflection in the mirror, in a shop window, even in my shadow while walking in the morning....I no longer saw a me who was noticeably a THINNER, (having lost 50 pounds thus far), but my reflection began to mock me...and began to swell from the middle.
I began to fall into old patterns of panic and misperception. I was eating less and less, feeling more and more frightened, and more and more self-hatred.
I knew I was in trouble.
I'd struggled with anorexia for much of my young adult life and have always had tendencies in that direction, as far as my body image and my obsessiveness about my weight were concerned...but had managed to stay at healthy weights since I was about 30. And suddenly, here it was again, in full roar, sucking me up; consuming my thoughts; poisoning my attitudes; draining my motivation and energy; filling even my dreams at night; stealing my sleep; and taking away my joy.
The night before last, I laid awake all night engulfed in a horrible depression...The kind I had years ago, which caused me to try to end my life; the kind which made me literally spend years, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. Yesterday, I was terrified.
I do NOT want to go there again!
My family needs me now. My daughter herself is struggling with an eating disorder and poor health now at the age of 18 and she CERTAINLY doesn't need an anorexic, depressed mom.
I need me now.
So, I started to reach out...on Spark. Something I'd never done in the past years of my Eating Disorder. I joined a recovery team here at Spark. I asked for help in the "Panic Button" section of the message boards. (At first I was politely told that it was not within the realm of Spark's expertise to advise me and that I needed to see a professional. When I explained that due to where I live, transportation issues and finances; that this would be impossible, finally someone suggested an online forum and informational site for ED, which I joined yesterday.)
I think that the most important thing that I did differently (at least thus far; the battle is not over yet) was to not withdraw. I forced myself, in ways that were safe for me (online and not in person) to be honest with someone about my struggles. It wasn't the actual HELP I received which changed the tide in my emotions, but the act of ASKING for it that was new and different and helpful to me. In past years, if I'd been rebuffed when I asked for help, I would have responded with a "F*** you" and pulled back in anger and sadness and would never have tried again. But this time, I persisted. And that persistence was satisfying to me...albeit terrifying simultaneously.
Last night I slept well. For the first time in a week. I woke tired and dragging (maybe due to the lack of food in my system or maybe just to a deep sleep), but went out for a long walk through these beautiful mountain roads to a lake owned by my community. I rested for a while on the dock, looked out over the morning beginning to dawn...and worshiped my God...The One who made all of that beauty...and thanked Him for the Light which is beginning to dawn in me.