Lapsing

TW: EATING DISORDERS

I’ve been trying not to post about this, partially because talking about my disorder helps to fuel it, and partially out of a disordered hope to not “jinx it”.

Things have been slipping, eating-wise. I was doing well for a long time, so this lapse was surprising. It’s only been 10ish days, but I don’t remember the last time I restricted for that long.

I did lose weight after my breakup due to depression, and it was hard gaining it again. The time between regaining my appetite and returning to normalish eating could be considered a lapse, but it didn’t last long. And even so, that was over 9 months ago. Before then, my lapses had been a couple days at most since Fall 2015.

So whoops.

I don’t remember what started this. I have been trying to eat “healthier” and “more balanced”, so that could have played a role. I’m not uncharacteristically unhappy right now.

This also feels quite different from other lapses. I am usually driven by a desire to lose weight, and I turn things around when the restriction starts to impact my mood. This “turning things around” usually feels somewhat relieving, as it improves my mood and satisfies my hunger. It also ends the constant battle in my head.

But this time, I have been largely driven by anxiety. The thought of eating makes me feel panicked. I feel like Anorexia has already taken me captive, and there’s nothing I can do to change this. I don’t necessarily believe that I can’t be happy with an eating disorder; and the prospect of losing weight, while not my main motivation, seems worth it. I don’t feel like me. I feel like it’s 2014 again, and Anorexia has taken me captive.

While part of me is horrified at this development, part of me is also thrilled. I can see a subtle weight difference already, and it’s intoxicating. The high and the confidence boost of restriction are addicting. I feel like maybe I’m doing things right. Maybe the alternative to this is eating crap all day and being fat and hating myself. Maybe this will make me happy. Maybe this is all I have.

I feel like crap physically (my body has such a low tolerance for this shit now), I’m more anxious/depressed, and it’s hard to study for my calculus final, but YOLO? I don’t know.

Sarah

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How Far We’ve Come

The past few days have been rough; but ironically, it is during my lapses that I begin to truly appreciate how far I have come in my recovery. The life I am living now is one I could not have imagined just one year ago, and I now hardly remember the deep, dark hole where I used to spend every moment of every day.

When I think about the hell I lived in for much of the past year, I feel sickened. I cannot believe it was me who experienced that, and I have no idea where I found the strength needed to claw my way back towards life. This all might sound incredibly melodramatic, but I cannot overstate how absolutely awful I felt every single day for so long.

During this past year in recovery, I have eaten meals while wiping away tears, while gripping my utensils with trembling hands. I have eaten meals while my mind screamed at me over every single bite. I have eaten meals while feeling completely lost and alone, with no hope in the world for the future.

But through all that pain and suffering, I somehow managed to get here. I was able to move away from my parents’ house to a better living environment. I was able to return to school and see my friends again. I was able to socialize and meet new people. I was able to start dating an incredibly sweet, beautiful girl.

I still have bad days. But with each passing week, the bad days become fewer and farther between. I sometimes go an entire day without thinking about food. I have allowed somebody to see me naked. My life isn’t perfect, but it is good. Sometimes, I feel truly happy.

I could wrap this up with a moral about things getting better, and recovery not being a straight line, but that isn’t the purpose of this post. I just want to put everything in perspective, and to appreciate how far I have come in the past year.

December 8th will mark exactly one year since I began my first stay in the Day Hospital Program, and I plan to write another post to commemorate that milestone. Until then, I hope everybody is doing alright.

Sarah