Friday, October 2, 2009

I Can't Lie.

It looks as if everything is pretty much in my favor these days. I'm making friends at school, even at work. I go out and have fun with friends. I'm doing well in Sculpture and I'm at least passing Algebra enough to get credit for the course. I'm eating well enough. It takes some serious planning on the days I work due to the crazy hours, but I'm doing it.

And I am scared out of my mind. I'm not sure why. I cried myself to sleep last night. I don't know where the tears came from, but I got home from work, curled up with a pillow and just cried. I feel like I can't keep this up forever, and I'm terrified that the day the ball drops will be coming soon. I have such a hard time accepting that this all real. That I am truly at XXX lbs, eating XXXX calories a day, and doing okay. It just doesn't seem possible in my mind at times. It feels like I am stuck in a safety bubble, looking out from within its clear and ever so slightly rainbow tinted encasement. Touching the world through the translucent skin that protects me from damages of the everyday.
I hate planning what I eat. Its frustrating and time consuming. I usually end up eating the same thing for days at a time because I just don't have time to figure out other ways to reach what I need. And it makes me feel like I am still so, so entrenched. Like I'm just balancing myself between recovery and ED. I know in reality, its not true. I've taken myself out for spur of the moment Starbucks lovin', eaten food from the mini-food court in my store. Things I never would have done awhile ago. But still. I feel like I'm stuck. I'm scared of what will come to be when I move out from this protective zone I've managed to build that keeps me safe from reality. I cannot always be calculating to such great ends. Its just not what I want to do with my free time. But what will happen when I get fed up, and decide to just let it go? I don't know. I do know I am reaching that point. I am afraid its a sign that the AN is trying to worm back in. I'm scared that I still can't truly trust myself to eat enough day in and day out. I know at some point, I have got to try to fly. Even if I crash and burn, I know I will not create the wreckage I did last year, and that if I do start to slip, I will have the strength and resolve to pick myself up before things get bad. I KNOW this. So why am I still so depressed? And why do I keep questioning whether or not I truly have the strength and resolve to keep going?

I think a part of it may be that my birthday is in 16 days. I'm turning twenty one.
I know, I know. Traditionally, this is one birthday everyone gets excited for. And a part of me is.
Another part of me is horrified. I'm twenty one and a college freshman. It hits me now just how much time I wasted, how much I lost. Many times over the course of the last year, I literally forgot that I was even 20. I still felt like I was 18, 19. Its because I spent so much time in a world where everything was on pause. I wasn't living my life. I was fighting for it. It never struck me that the rest of the world was moving forward and changing. But I see it now. I know I can't go back and fix it. I can never get back the years I lost to this illness. I try not to let it break me up inside. But when I realize how old I am, and I remember how much different I dreamt of life being at this point in time, its saddening. I wanted things to be so much different. I do not regret my mistakes. I really don't. They've led me to be the person I am now, and they've brought me many good friends. But after seeing it all fall apart so many times, its just hard to really believe that this year can be different. Sometimes I don't even believe I'm really still alive - that's how surreal my life has become. I yearn to trust it, and to have faith that yes, this will be a good year. The year I finally eat cake on my birthday and drink (cheap) liquor with friends. The year when I finally free myself from this constraint.

I obviously still put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to excel in every thing I do. *sigh* At least I know what I want, and that should offer me some sense of direction. I just wish this would all stop feeling like a dream so I could really believe this state of health and contentment was here to stay, and not something that I was going to lose.

12 comments:

  1. lovie,
    i can really relate to how you feel, i have felt so similarly in my life before, but we must have hope, and when we think that recovery is only temporary that is our ED just trying to suck us back in, and fool you that it can't be real, its like ED wants you back, but you my dear are stronger than your ED and you know it! and you must fight this as hard as you can and stay on the recovery bandwagon until it doesnt seem like you are juggling anything anymore...i know that i am in no place to talk, but i know in those 2 months that i thought i was "recovered" i had the same thoughts, i felt like it was a dream... eating was getting to be so easy and i wasnt even upset over how i looked etc, and life was just so much better then...and i know, i know in my heart that if i didnt take the path i did it july then i would still be on that recovery train and doing amazing, but it is true that recovery takes many years, and the way you are feeling is definitely so normal for someone with an ED...and with time you will start to feel like your ED is your past, and more wonderful things will open up in your life so so much more things than you know, and your past history with your ED will be a memory...hang in there... and i think meal planning, if its stressful, i know it is for me as well, but as you said have the same thing everyday if that's what it takes, a recovered woman that worked at renfrew IP once told us that she had a pbj sandwich everyday for a year to keep her on track. :)

    xo
    Eliza

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  2. Hello, I have been recovered for three years or so. There are some days where I keep track, others that I don't, and it all balances out. But it took a while to get here. There are days when I cry too, but that's normal. It's normal to get scared, angry, deliriously happy, etc. That's life. Being sick focused all our emotional energy on slow suicide, now, we feel and sometimes it's tough. But you are doing this and it is amazing. I am inspired by your posts and have total faith that with each day you live it will get easier. Sure there are waves of fear that the floor will drop out from under you. Everyone has those fears. Life is intimidating and inspiring at the same time.

    It took me a while to get my undergrad degree but now I am working towards my MA degree and applying for a PhD degree. I never thought I could do this, not even before I was sick. Who cares if your 18, 25, 42, none of that matters. It's what you while in school that matters. Some people go through college only to emerge with no direction (and end up going back after being stuck in a crappy job for years, even decades). I understand that you are a little self-conscious, but I feel like you are an inspiration. You are your own, with an individual journey. Life really is not a race (no matter how trite that sounds). I believe in you, and life may not always be sunshine and rainbows, but it is LIFE. And you are living it, and you are beautiful.

    BTW, kudos on the art projects, they rock!

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  3. i think you are doing tremendously well, and you need to give yourself credit for that! it is definitely annoying having to plan out your meals and make sure you get enough to eat and all of that, but once you reach and maintain a healthier weight for awhile, all of that will fall into the background.

    and don't worry about being a freshman at 21. i am taking time off from school and probably won't graduate on time with all of my friends, but you know what? it's ok. there are plenty of people out there who take longer to get through school. and plenty more who don't go at all! my cousin is 26 and still doesn't have his college degree. so really, there is no rush. having an ED is exhausting and time-consuming, and recovering can seem even MORE stressful and obsessive at times. but just know that we are all rooting for you, and know that i definitely know how you feel. i want to be able to just wake up and eat what i want for breakfast, but i know that i can't trust myself to do that yet because i probably won't eat enough.

    enjoy your 21st, have some cake, have a few drinks, and pat yourself on the back for how far you've come in your recovery. you said in previous posts that you didn't think you'd make it to 21 at one point, and now look at you--not only have you made it, but you are making real progress and actually LIVING life! kudos, woman!!!

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  4. I thought I'd point out you were saying that you would be "old" 21. 21 is not 80. ;) 21 = people still trying to figure out who they are, where they want to go, what they want to do. People may act like they've got their shit together, but I bet a lot of people around our age are wondering, Is this my life? Will this last? My brother graduated on time, and he doesn't have anything going for him despite that degree title under his name. In my opinion, these sorts of things are what you make of them. I'm going to graduate from a less prestigious school than my brother because I transferred for the sake of my relationship (a big risk on my behalf!), but it doesn't matter because I know I'm smart and I know how to make this school work for ME. Make your life work for you. No point in trying to make your life fit neatly into the puzzle of someone else's.

    I think Anonymous up there is on the ball. Crying at the end of the day because you're depressed and stressed, feeling surreal, somewhat loathing a birthday... I don't think that is because you are a person who experienced ED. I think that is because you are simply A PERSON. Just like me. I've felt all those things :) Still do sometimes. Life is surprising that way, but I like it.

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  6. Oh Tori. I have nothing to say but this: You are strong, and you've come so far--be proud of your accomplishments! It's OK to have 'down' days--like Mitri said, every normal person has ups and downs...don't let it discourage you. Don't waste time regretting the time you've spent fighting this disease. Instead, be proud of the fact that you can say you're 21 soon, and almost recovered.

    Take care!

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  7. hey sweetie. i can relate to a lot of what you wrote. ill be turning 20 my freshmen year in college. i look the kids at school and everything they have accomplished so far and I feel inferior.

    I am so proud of you for doing well, for enjoying life. I think you are experiencing emotions of being a person, not of being an eating disorder. Crying because your stressed is a normal HEALTHY release.

    Keep moving forward, keeping working hard, you can do this! lots of love girl

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  8. i had a couple of hours to think about your psot and some more things popped into my head. i think most importantly is that we stop beating ourselves up for being the age we are still being a freshman. if you feel bad about it remind yourself you're not alone. take me as an example. i am in the exact same postition. but do you know how many people quit their college degree and then return when they are around our age. life is not a linear equation and we dont have to always follow the main stream. we can go our own way as long as its a healthy way.
    i can completely understand what you are sayign with the eating thing. i was just like you. i ate the same thing for days, weeks and i would feel so empty and bored. i felt like my tastebuds had died off or something. i dont now why or how i came to the way i eat now but one day about 1 month ago i dedcided to turn it all around. i decided that i needed to do this for my health and for living a normal life. i cook different food everyday. i started with only my dinner and then slowly started adjusting other meals too. its spossible. but you have to want it. just like the weight gain this is a process. it doesn't happen ovrnight. browse the internet. find the FIRST recipee that appeals to you. i am saying first because you will find 1000 that appeal to you. so pick the first one and make it. dont dicuss it in your head. just do it! that's how i ate for the first 2 weeks. of course i had weird feeling beofre my meals but i feel so much better now and i feel stronger. i feel like i have control of my life but in a postive way.
    if you need anything, any advice or want to talk PLEASE msg me on facebook.
    you can do this tori
    loads of care

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  9. Dear Tori,
    I understand you and your worries. First of all, I think you can be so proud of yourself for making it this far. And you know what? It IS kind of surreal and unbelievable what you did, but it a positive way: it's incredibly strong! Maybe the fears are ED-related and that's OK, but remember that tough days are a part of life, everyone has them. As long as you don't react with ED-behavior... And as for the 'comfort zone'. Maybe you can try to not plan certain meals for a while (a few days) and see how it goes. Just make sure that you will start planning again immediately if your weight drops. But on the other hand, like you said: you're taking so many steps (starbucks, food courts, whatever) and you're just living out there. Accept the thoughts but realise that you can be so proud of yourself! And I'm proud for you... xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

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  10. Hey Tori!
    I'm sorry to read that you're struggling at the moment. I think there is nothing more frightening than not knowing where you stand and if our own life feels like a dream.
    But I truly believe that you're doing the right thing!! Being aware that this might be difficult or get there, is a huge step!
    Acknowledging where you weekness is and trying to confront it! Wow this is seriously brave!! And I'm looking up to you!!
    I send you all my strenght to overcome this (hopefully) last mountain and I'm certain you well succeed!!
    Hug n.

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  11. I guess there's the question of do you trust yourself? Feeling like letting go can be different things. I know people aren't in recovery from an eating disorder, don't think about food for the most part. They remember it's there when they make social plans, get bored, get hungry, or see free cake in front of them lol. And it could be that you're starting to get that kind of freedom - or perhaps you feel like it's too much? I know that making sure you're getting a certain amount can be tim consuming, and most people don't have to deal with that. I think this is going to take a lot of reflecting and honesty with your deepest thoughts to have things come clear for you. I hope you're doing well though! For real :)

    XO

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  12. Tori,
    you can't think of how well you are doing as just a phase or as being just temporary because then ED just takes advantage of this to "wake you up" from this "dream."
    It isn't a dream. Keep your chin up, and stay in this recovered phase until it is natural.
    I remember when I first felt recovered, it DID feel like "WTF this can't be real!", but I tried to keep going on, ignore those thoughts, and just listen to my body and the "WTF feelings" went away.
    I felt so liberated!

    Anorexia is like Freddy Krueger in a Nightmare on Elm Street.
    He can't attack if he has been forgotten, because how can people dream about things they don't know or even have in the back of their mind?
    Once people remember him, he shows up kills them! The more people talk about him, the stronger and more common her gets.
    Catch my drift? You can't recover from ED unless you let her go.

    But please be proud of yourself for coming this far. You are an incredible and inspiring young woman, who I look up to. You comments on my posts always set my mind straight and how well you are doing is amazing.
    But don't settle for just this!
    Keep this state up and try not to worry about it. I know that seems like pretty lame advice but... try to block these "its just a dream thoughts."
    I don't want to see you back in that cage...

    And I had that problem too where I felt like I had to plan SO much to make cals. That kind of kills the joy of food a little too because maybe I end up not feeling what I planned, you know?
    So what I am doing this time around is this for example:

    Say i have to eat 3000 cals. All I plan is this:
    Breakfast: 850
    Snack: 150
    Lunch: 800
    Snack: 200
    Dinner: 800
    Snack: 200
    ........
    When it gets around to those meals/snacks, I think about what I want. What IIIIIIIIII want. And I MAKE it work.
    Oh I want an apple pie larabar? No problem, thats 180 cals, i'll have 5 almonds with that.
    Dinner time.... I want some mac and cheese! A cup of that is 580... okay.. i'll have a salad with some dressing and a 1/2 of some light ice cream with that.

    You can make things work easily, spur of the moment to eat well :)

    sorry for such a long comment...

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