I feel like you should probably assume that trigger warning when I post a blog, but I’m also not going to be a person who is offended by something that is a legitimate psychological fact, a trigger. I have them, I’ve learned a lot about them in treatment. But anyway, yes, we’re going to discuss the bumpy road that is recovery for a bit here today.
Currently I’m sitting here looking at 22 days without a binge. That’s not 22 days without eating disordered thoughts. Trust me, they come up daily. That includes guilt and shame after eating a perfectly normal thing that I wanted, that is reasonable, that society tells me that as a person in a larger, or to use a word I’m going to own, fat, body, I should be ashamed of eating. I had a single serving of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream last night. That ice cream scared the every loving shit out of me. I was so worried it would set off a binge that it has been sitting in my freezer since I got home. I bought it before I left for treatment. Last night, I decided that at snack, after a week of being back, after my first three days of work without calling out, leaving early, or having an episode, I wanted to give myself that challenge. And you know what. I finished that single serving and was satisfied. It tasted good.
Fifteen minutes later, I was freaking out that I’d eaten it. The shame and guilt and worthlessness kicked it. If I’d had an Rx rescue anti-anxiety med, I’d have reached straight for that. Pre-treatment, ED me would have binged something. My ED voice was screaming. I wanted to eat everything in my house. I didn’t want to feel what I was feeling, and having left my phone (and therefore my hotspot) at a rehearsal, my usual numbing agent that didn’t involve food, binge watching, was not allowed. So I sat with it. I took an anti-anxiety supplement that we used in treatment a lot first, and then I sat, using some grounding techniques, and made myself listen to what my body and brain were each telling me. I got about 5 minutes in before I fully dissociated, but it was a start and the reality is, I made a choice. A choice I wouldn’t have had to make if I’d been allowed by insurance to stay in treatment (still bitter, still salty), but I made a choice.
I’m sure I won’t always make the right choice. I know this path is going to be rough. The reality is this, I will never again put myself on a diet, because I now know that I can’t restrict without binging later. I’ve learned to listen to my body, at least, I’m starting to. It’s still fuzzy sometimes and getting the hunger cues when I’ve eaten something challenging is like wading through muck because they’re clouded by shame, fear, guilt, and self-loathing. I will continue to do yoga as my exercise for now, and walk the doggo, because while going to the gym in treatment, I fully dissociated, and I was like “whoa, that’s new”. But was it? I spend most of my life walking through in a mostly dissociated state. If I remember things, it’s mostly in a depersonalized, derealized way. Because of how yoga connects to the breath and the body, I can’t dissociate. I stay grounded. I’m forced to stay in my body, even when uncomfortable feelings come up.
In short, I will cheer for everyone of you with everything that you do in pursuit of health. I will be happy for you. If for some reason you see me not participating in things like that, understand that when I do, my ED voice may get loud and demanding, and I may have to step back. If I ask to change the subject when the diet talk or weight loss talk comes up, it’s not because I don’t care about you, it’s because those feelings of needing to control, to manage, to go back to what I’m trying to recover from are strong. They’re bombarding from all sides. Television, the internet, every aisle of the store (this is why I love instacart, oh my god, shopping alone would never be okay right now). I’m asking you to give me a reprieve. Please understand. Maybe, hopefully, a little farther down the road I’ll be able to ask you all about everything you’re doing and join in, but right now? Right now I have to protect my brain and heart from the talk that makes ED his strongest self. He’s kind of a dick and he likes to take over the conversation in my brain.
That’s all for today. Much love!