Discomfort

I must be do something right. I’m feeling very uncomfortable. And I’ve been reassured again and again, that change is uncomfortable, so I guess this is change. Whether it’s short or long term change, is yet to be determined. In the meantime – I’m feeling very uncomfortable.

I haven’t been writing about my eating disorder struggles much of late. I’m trying to distance myself a little from the “normality” of having an ED. But then on the downside to that, not writing has left me obsessing more.

I recently made a commitment for more changes, so I’m working towards those at the moment. The biggest commitment, is eating regularly. Not a new decision – I’ve been doing this on and off for a while. But the more I eat regularly, the more I hate it, and the harder it becomes. Naturally, the more I eat regularly, the more my weight escalates as well. I am repeatedly reassured that over time I’ll stop wanting to binge and then my weight will definitely stabilise. This I am promised.

So I’m trying to be positive, have a little faith and trust in my team, and I’m (reluctantly) eating regularly. A little alarm goes off on my phone every three hours and I consume something. Initially eating was accompanied by lots of purging (no surprises there) but today and yesterday I made a terribly concerted effort to not purge. So I’ve eaten five times each day and kept it all down.

I hate every minute of it.

The past week was emotionally difficult for a variety of reasons, and over the weekend I had a return of major fatigue, spending most of the weekend sleeping. I still feel really fatigued. I’m sure it will go – it usually does – but fatigue makes it hard to eat well. I think we all crave sugars and carbs and all things bad when we’re tired.

Anyway – my point is I’ve also had an escalation in anxiety and depression and that’s all tied into forcing myself to eat food and keep it down.

Can I just reiterate, I hate every minute of it.

With all the upheavals I also had my first slip in a long, long time with self-harm – it was the only way I could think of (at the time) to manage the anxiety of keeping food down. I know – in hindsight – that there are far more effective ways to deal with the anxiety. Old habits die hard. And naturally with the return of all the other nasties, has come a major increase in suicidal ideation. I am really safe – I absolutely promise! – but ideation is more about a desire than an intent. I have no intent.

My goal for now is to keep ploughing through the discomforts. I’ve been here before – eating regularly and doing the “right” things – before it all feels too distressing and I slip. Catch 22 – ’round and ’round we go.

I’m not sure how long I need to keep pushing at this – eating regularly and keeping the damn food down – but I’m sick to death of stopping and starting endlessly, so I’m going to really push ahead for a time. Part of me is putting caveats in there: “If I can’t fit into those pants I’ll stop. If I eat regularly I have to eat sparingly. Make rules, rules, rules. Exercise more to make up for the food intake. Drink more water. If I can’t fit into my pants…” Endless caveats and signs that it’s time to “go back”.

Unless you’ve had an eating disorder (or other significant addiction) I imagine it’s very difficult to comprehend how much safety there is in the insanity. It feels safe. It feels controlled. It feels like home. It’s not easy to change – if it were easy, we would all make changes. It’s not just hard either – it’s foreign. Unfamiliar. Horrifying. There’s not many positives to be found and experienced in the early days of recovery. All the benefits are in “the future”. Wherever, whatever, whenever that is. So putting myself through major levels of anxiety and depression and unfamiliarity and fear and self-loathing for the sake of a possibly improved future that I don’t even want, is not an easy or comfortable path.

The fact I’m feeling very uneasy and uncomfortable, is apparently a good sign. Practice makes perfect. Success breeds success. So many little sayings – none of which make it any easier. I wonder how long this phase lasts? This too shall pass – like a kidney stone.