Last night at group therapy, we were going around talking about how we did with last week's goals and talking about this week's goals. I like the program I am doing because it is lots of different problems and we all help each other through life. I do not like the program I am doing because it is lots of different problems and therefore not always e.d. recovery sensitive. For instance, in my smaller group, there are four of us. I am the youngest by at least 20 years. All three of the others have a goal to lose weight. The goal itself didn't bother me when they each said it last week. What did bother me was talking about how we did with last week's goals.
I found myself getting frustrated when one said he had exercised 6 times last week. I couldn't figure out why it bothered me so much to hear these nearly strangers talk about having a goal of losing weight when it doesn't typically bother me when someone I know and love says it. Big Mike suggested it doesn't bother me with those close to me because they have taken the time to hear my heart and understand (as well as they can, anyway) my struggle. It made sense but didn't resonate with me. I was still frustrated. I was on the verge of a panic attack last night listening to it all. My tell tale right leg started shaking beyond my control. My hands were shaking and I had to remind myself to breathe.
Today in talking about it with my friend from MOPS I realized what bothered me. I wasn't bothered by the fact that they had goals of losing weight to be more healthy. I was most bothered when one said he had exercised 6 times last week and one said she was down 2 lbs this week. I was frustrated that they were allowed to and applauded for losing 2 lbs in a week. If I lose 2 lbs in a week, my husband starts to worry and keeps an eye to see if I need to go to my doctor or nutritionist. If I lose 2 lbs, it is a bad thing. I know that, but it doesn't make it easier to hear someone else say it and hear everyone praise her.
I am jealous. I am jealous that my friends can concentrate on their weight and diet without it ravaging their bodies. I am jealous that my friend can lose 2 lbs in a week and be on the right track. I am jealous the my friend can exercise 6 times a week and not have anyone think he is obsessive or get reprimanded. I am jealous that I am not supposed to want to or worry about losing 2 lbs, or 5 lbs, or 15 lbs and yet those around me are allowed and encouraged to. I am jealous that I have to be wary of my knowledge of nutrition because I use it to harm myself instead of help myself, but those around me can count calories or eat healthy meals without it harming them.
I am hurt to look at my body and wish it were ok to be just 5 lbs lighter. I know where that thinking leads me though. Soon enough 5 turns into 7 and 7 turns into 10. It never stops. Even when I was much sicker than I am now and occasionally could see how horribly ugly it was on me, I still wanted to go lower. I wondered what it would be like to be ____ lbs. Even when it hurt, even when it was ugly, even when it hurt those I love, I still wanted to go further. It is an addiction like no other. Even when I didn't want to continue, I still wanted to go further.
And now here I find myself, frustrated, jealous, hurt and lonely as I listen to those around me tell what for them is a success story and for me is a relapse story. Anorexia is a lonely road, somedays more so than others. I need to feel understood. I need someone to know that it was hard and somewhat hurtful to hear others achieving the goals that I am not allowed to pursue.