Sunday, November 30, 2014

Recovery Ramblings

Hey everyone, sorry for my freak-out the other night. I'm still feeling very defeated and humbled, and hate having to face the fact that my eating disorder is not gone and I am not recovered. It is certainly less present and all-consuming than it used to be, but it's still here and that really sucks.

I suppose I shouldn't minimize the fact that despite all the ickiness swirling in my head right now, the thought of restricting has not even occurred to me. It's literally not an option anymore. In fact, I've even considered actually upping my intake for a while to see if that helps my hunger signals stabilize and evens out my brain a little. If that isn't a sign of recovery, I'm not sure what is. Now I'm just left with all the obsessions and anxiety and self-doubt.

Also, I joke about this all the time, I know, but it has occurred to me that I'm probably underestimating the extent to which PMS messes with my head/body/emotions. I am pretty stable and okay about food and weight stuff the vast majority of the time, but the times I do freak out and lose it tend to be during the week before my period. These are the times I find myself bursting into tears for no reason, ruminating about my weight, panicking about calories and exercise, and Googling things like "metabolism" and "BMR calculator" and "WHY AM I FAT."

The raging PMS is definitely a post-anorexia phenomenon. I can't remember having period-related mood swings like this even when I was a teenager (before I lost my period for several years starting when I was 18), although my period was always pretty irregular so it's hard to say for sure. Also, I was a teenager and mood swings were kind of par for the course.

Don't freak out - I stepped on a scale when I was at home. The number was around where I expected given that I (A) had just eaten lunch; (B) was wearing jeans; and (C) was in the middle of blow-drying my hair, so my hair was soaking wet and I was holding a hair dryer and a brush. Actually, the number was probably a tad lower than I feared, but if I recall correctly, my mom's scale always ran about 2 pounds low. I'm not sure what my point was here, but just reporting that I did weigh myself but the number was relatively meaningless and it didn't really affect me that much. Still terrified to weigh myself "for real."

Sorry this was rambly. Just trying to update you guys and also make sense of some things in my head. In summary, ED's suck and recovery is complicated.


  1. 1. I had no idea I wasn't the only one who weighed w/an indeterminately large amount of stuff on..... Somehow knowing I wasn't over whatever # appeared was nice, but knowing the precise number was insufferable.

    2. I am post-call and have too much to say and too little brain power to say so concisely or precisely-- but this: consider having an IRL doctor do some labs/talk to you about what you're feeling when you're super hungry/dizzy/icky/awful. I couldn't go longer than 3 hours sans food, if I skipped a meal or delayed to avoid "spoiling" a later meal I'd get dizzy, shaky, and then ultimately feel ill and not want to eat +/- cry. For years I chalked it up to residual eating disorder whackadoo stuff, until it got worse for a variety of reasons, and a real expert doctor pinpointed the cause, gave it a very simple fix, and now I feel regular person hunger (and hypoglycemia terribleness if I don't do what I'm supposed to). It was a bit of a mind struggle after a decade of being told/telling myself hunger = normal, etc, to realize that what I was feeling was not. It still is. But anyhow, something to keep in mind, no clue of the association of such dysregulation w/ed's etc.

    This is the world's longest comment, but yeah, something to consider?

    1. hmm that's hadn't even really occurred to me that it could be non-ED related. I guess I still tend to assume everything is, in some way. I was going to try to track my appetite super closely over the next few weeks to see if PMS might've had something to do with it. It just seems so weird that no matter how much I eat (e.g. Thanksgiving dinner) or how inactive I am (e.g. sitting on my butt all day long), I'm still starving every couple of hours. I am also convinced I get hypoglycemic easily, but I have no proof. I will definitely investigate this and keep you posted. Thanks for the insight.

    2. Oh and re the weighing with heavy stuff - yup it definitely helps me to "justify" the number in my head, although I still would mostly rather not know. Seeing higher numbers freaks me out no matter what. I used to waterload quite a bit at my old treatment center because they would give me a lot of ultimatums about going IP if my weight stayed below a certain number, but I got blind-weighed there so I never actually saw the number. I weighed myself "for real" at home and that was the number I went by.

    3. The solution for hypoglycemia with like weirdo disorders (including "accelerated starvation response") is uncooked cornstarch. Gross, but they make some decent (extend) protein bars with it or you can mix it in (cold) milk. I had a hard time recognizing/accepting that the crazy intense must eat feeling wasn't "regular hunger" but once I got on a decent regimen, I realized what regular I feel like eating hunger was like (vs. I might die now hunger). But the like world-changing-ness of not walking around constantly hypoglycemic is worth the mental gymnastics.

      And yeah, oof, weights. I somehow got off the weighing thing a few years into the disorder, and didn't know my weight (and refused weights at day programs/providers, somehow that was okay...) until I was IP and the psych decided to "confront" me about things and showed me my weight graph on day 3. In an ideal world, weight would just be a number like my contact prescription, but I'll settle for willful ignorance for now.

    4. re cornstarch - that is totally bizarre but I am intrigued

    5. This is the basic gist-- of how to plan it.

      The biochem is beyond my memory, but essentially-- uncooked cornstarch = v v slow release glucose. So if you can't form glycogen or otherwise can't autoregulate, it gives you a steady dose glucose.

      I've been experimenting with various concoctions--

      It's v strange-- was afraid I"d like, not get hungry or be more confused, but instead I'm like oh-- is this what normal hungry feels like! so v v strange.