child of God, wife, mother, recovering anorexic who longs to see the beauty in herself that she sees in the world around her

Monday, July 4, 2011

still fighting part 2

Thank you ladies for your kind words and encouragement on yesterday's post.  I know it gets easier.  I read once that it takes 7 years to be considered "recovered" from an eating disorder.  I had my 7 healthy years and now I battle again and it sucks!  My first recovery was gradual, to the point that I cannot honestly say what or when the turning point was.  I think I got so used to making the right choice that one day I realized I hadn't thought about making the right choice in a while.  Those were good years.

I must also give some credit to my kids.  Unlike many with eating disorders, I was thrilled with the prospect of pregnancy.  Nearly 2 years of trying, one of those years being spent regularly in a fertility clinic, when finally the test came back positive.  I was so relieved and thrilled that I was finally going to be a mom, the only thing I had always known that I wanted to be, that it was easy to take care of me for the baby growing inside of me.  And there is a distinct beauty about a pregnant woman.  You don't see fat, you see life (at least I do).  Anorexia stayed at bay for a long time.

When I was pregnant with my 3rd I dealt with severe depression.  My husband had just started working overnights, had been diagnosed with a medical condition and I found out I was pregnant all within 2 months time.  I thought my depression was purely hormonal but in looking back through my journal from that time, I realize that hormones made the emotions worse but surely didn't cause them.  Before my doctor put me on anti-depressants, I had to remind myself that my baby would suffer if I stopped eating.  I was so stressed and lonely and depressed that the struggle came to the front of my mind again, after 7 years of being healthy. 

I got through the pregnancy and infant days.  Two summers ago we had an emergency room trip every month, one of which ended with emergency surgery and hubby off work for 2 weeks to recover.  The stress was insane.  The money was so tight that I felt like I could barely breathe.  I felt guilty eating enough to get good and full.  I felt like I was taking food from my kids if I ate.  Someone heard me say that and grocery gift cards came pouring in.  I ate but it was starting to cross my mind again, a lot. 

Last year I started to struggle again, but this time for real.  I started having nightmares again.  I haven't had them as badly as I used to in a long time.  The nightmares were often and once again my husband was waking me up as I cried and thrashed so that he could hold me and comfort me.  I tried to get back on track.  It was really hard.  I made it back up to 2 meals a day and then WHAM relapse hit me like never before.

Last summer I was drinking a Starbucks when suddenly I remembered someone telling me how many calories were in my drink.  I completely freaked out and restricted like I never have before.  I started examining every calorie.  I told my husband he was trying to kill me when he accidentally brought home 2% milk.  I went insane.  I quit drinking coffee because the cream or milk were still too many calories for my disordered brain.  I love coffee so this kinda scared my hubby. 

Long story short, I was healthy.  I used to know how to take care of myself.  I relapsed HUGE after the time that I should have been considered "cured".  And it is daily a struggle to remember how to take care of myself again.  I wonder if I can hit bottom so hard after 7 years of "sobriety", will the fight ever really be over?  Like for instance this morning my taste buds asked for chocolate.  Orange got mad that I wanted chocolate and said that I shouldn't have anything at all to eat.  She kinda felt like I should be punished just for even thinking about chocolate.  My healthy part of my brain settled the debate with cereal that vaguely has the texture of cardboard.  At least I ate, right?

That is why I ask questions about if the battle gets easier.  My mind and body were warring.  My healthy mind won but my body still didn't get what it wanted which was chocolate.  But orange didn't win either so I guess that is a step in the right direction.  I get tired of having to think about it.  It shouldn't be a struggle just to eat.  I shouldn't beat myself up when I need to take care of me.  It really is ok for me to eat, shower, paint my nails and do something for me.  I just wish I could convince orange of that.  I wish that she would quit telling me that I don't deserve to be taken care of.

Thank you again for your support.  I know one day it will all sink in to my thick skull and reach my brain.  I know it will get easier, I just wish it would happen sooner.  And until that day I will just keep fighting and let the Lord be my strength.

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