Thursday, February 9, 2012

More than Sick

I think one reason my mood sucks lately is that I've been feeling pretty useless. None of my classes are super interesting yet and I'm still in waiting-mode for summer stuff, so there's not a whole lot going on to make me feel "accomplished." And I hate that. I also hate feeling like I can't function without meds and therapy, but I also worry about what would happen to me if I gave those up. So I'm begrudgingly sticking with it and hopefully seeing the benefits soon.

It really bothers me not to have clear projects and goals. My treatment team would say that recovery should be my biggest goal right now (and they're right), but recovery honestly doesn't feel like something to accomplish right now. It feels more like something to endure. That distinction makes it hard for me to embrace the meal plan and therapy stuff when I mostly just want to look the other way and pretend it isn't happening. Not the easiest thing to do when I'm in treatment three days a week, but still.

So I've been getting the urge to seek out new projects, organizations, something to get myself involved in outside of school and treatment, and to make a difference somewhere besides my own narrow life. There are a couple of options, and I'll write more as things materialize, but it is definitely satisfying to have some plans in motion. I want to remember how to do things besides eating (or not eating), to remember that I have thoughts and talents and interests. Anyone can count calories; so what? I can do better than that. Anorexia has made me incredibly one-dimensional. I don't like who I am when I'm sick - not because I'm fat, but because I'm boring.

Last night my friend and I somehow ended up talking about stuff from middle school and high school, and I realized that there were times when the eating disorder wasn't front and center in my mind. It's been a pretty dominant part of my life since I was about twelve or thirteen, but it wasn't always this all-consuming force. I used to be interested in things like books and music and movies and clothes. I still am, to a certain extent, but it seems like everything takes a back seat to the eating disorder. My weight is approaching healthy, I don't exercise excessively, and I eat a reasonable amount of calories, but the mental intensity of the disorder is more powerful than ever.

It is dawning on me (I'm slow, evidently) that this won't resolve itself. That I won't wake up one morning and promptly decide that life is preferable to a slow death. That right now, I need to be proactive about pulling myself out of this and finding life beyond the sickness.


  1. It's hard, it's hard to push yourself, one quote I like by Winston Churchill "if you're going through hell, keep going" I didn't know how to get better, I didn't know I could get better. But if you provide the right conditions (regular food, low stress) your mind will be able to heal itself, slowly. So if eating sucks sometimes then just keep trying to do it because you're creating the right conditions to help yourself heal :) I was told that once and it helped me a lot, just do what you can.

  2. EXACTLY! These are all the reasons why I decided to focus all of my energy on NOT using any ED behaviors - not cutting corners on the meal plan, not counting calories, not exercising, not body checking, etc. etc. such a narrow focus makes one boring and makes one lead an incredibly self-centered life. If you can't get out of your own head, and if you can't maintain an optimal weight and energy level, then how can you be a good friend? contribute to the world? be there for others? These are all the reasons why I began to recover - and when it wasn't going so well after years and when i'd slip all too often - those are the reasons why I FINALLY agreed to leave my job and spend a year in residential and day tx. Sounds like an awful year, right? It wasn't though. I'm ever so grateful for it and I have such a satisfying and whole and fulfilling life now.