Sunday, July 17, 2011

What I Want

First of all, thank you so much for the sweet comments on my last post.  It really means a lot to me that people read all the way through my sloppy ramblings, and even take time to reach out and be supportive.  Just from that alone, my outlook is hugely improved.  I tend to get so wrapped up in my own crummy moods that I forget there are a ton of awesome, smart, caring people out there and I am not totally alone in this.

ANYWAY....I hope I didn't scare anyone away with my weepy whiny update.  I have been taking steps to turn this around and be proactive instead of letting it turn into a full-blown relapse just because I am too tired to care.  Already, things seem way less overwhelming and out of control

I feel like I'm sort of at a crossroads in terms of recovery.  I have definitely been slipping back into my old anorexic way of thinking, but I've also had a glimpse of what health feels like over the past few months and I'm not so eager to give that up.  My mind is majorly conflicted.

Part of the problem is that I have always viewed recovery as giving up parts of my life.  Recovery is: Not starving.  Not working out excessively.  Not being Anorexic.  The extra weight on my body feels like a loss instead of a gain; I have lost being sick, lost my ability to skip meals, and lost my identity as the thinnest person in the room.

Now, I am finding it helpful to focus on what I want out of recovery.  My disordered thoughts have been around for so many years that it feels strange to imagine living without them, but I've been trying to reframe recovery in terms of what I want to have, not what I am giving up.

Here are some things I've come up with - things that I want from life as a recovered person, rather than things I can never have because my fear of letting the anorexia go trumps all of it:

1. Saying YES to invitations without worrying about whether food will be involved.

2. Saying NO to invitations because I have better plans (or just want alone time), not because I am trying to avoid dinner out.

3. Using alone time to kick back and chill out, NOT to fit in an extra gym session or skip dinner or mope over the suckfest that is my life.

4. Being able to drink more than one shot before falling over (I kid...sort of.  Empty stomach + low body weight = extremely low alcohol tolerance).

5.  Having a closet filled with clothes in one size that consistently fit from week to week.  Not discovering that my favorite jeans are too tight because I bought them X pounds ago when I was bony and unhealthy and have since porked up from re-feeding but still refuse to throw the jeans out.  Not discovering that a cute dress now looks baggy and stupid because I haven't been sticking to the meal plan and am fast approaching bony and unhealthy once again.

6. Running because it feels good and I can.  Skipping the run when sleeping late sounds better.

7. Eating when I am hungry.

8. Eating lunch at 11:30 if I want, even though Lunch Time isn't until 1:00.

9. Eating a snack at 2:00 even though Snack Time isn't until 4:00 and it's been less than three hours since I last ate (can you tell that my food schedule is a little rigid?)

10. Not having a food schedule.


  1. Really great list, and even greater that you actually sat down and made it.

    I think a really important thing about recovery that often gets lost in all the anxiety and such is that it's about gaining way more than weight. You really are building a new life, as scary as that may seem, but it's like building a mansion for yourself after living in a crummy apartment for years. Lots of logistics and stresses to get it finished, and some nostalgia for leaving a place that has been home, however uncomfortable, but in the end it's definitely for the best and definitely what you deserve for all your effort in putting it together brick by brick.

    I also think that it's pretty much impossible to go back to "the way things were." Especially if you were essentially still a child or adolescent when the issues first surfaced. You're the same person in many ways; the ED never takes away all of you. But it will inevitably change you, sometimes for the better. The recovery process inevitably us self-aware, more confident, and stronger in many ways that never would have happened without such a challenge under our belts (bad analogy there maybe, sorry). Hang in there, it's obvious that you are an extremely smart and capable person, it's just a matter of channeling the drive in the right direction.

    And don't hesitate to vent when you need to, I didn't see a single word of your last post as whining. Writing is an outlet, so let out in it. ;)
    Take care and treat yourself kindly.

  2. Sounds like the starting of a good path. I wish you well in your steps to recovery. I'm rooting for you! :)