Thursday, February 10, 2011

Getting it all out.

(Warning: This post will be very emotionally tainted. Usually I wait till most of my emotions pass before posting, because then I get a better perspective. But I need to get this off my chest now, so I apologize for the way it's presented).

Let's start at the beginning:

My family has always been involved in some way during my recovery. Some times it's been for the better, others it's been for the worse. At the very beginning stages when I wasn't sure I wanted to recover, they pushed me to do what was best for me. They monitored my food intake and weight, and set me up with medical help as soon as possible. Then the situation got tense. Sometimes having your family TOO closely in your recovery can be detrimental. They don't have any experience in treating eating disorders, only what they're read from on-line articles or heard from others. All they want is their little girl (or boy) to become the same person they once were. In my case this resulted in a lot of mental stress, tears and not a little misunderstandings. Finally they decided it was better to back off, hooked me up with a psychologist (who had no experience in treating eating disorders) and hoped for the best. This was the time I made the most progress - I gained weight, stopped counting calories and obsessing over meals and meal times. Suffice it to say I was doing better then I had in a long time.

Today we sat down and had a very emotionally loaded discussion. They are still unhappy with my progress, primarily because I'm not fully weight restored yet. I am no longer a minor, yet they still treat me as if I was a naive adolescent. A lot of things were implied in that conversation : that I didn't WANT recovery enough, that I wasn't pushing myself hard enough, that my unwillingness to seek professional help was caused by a fear of recovery and most of all that they would not support me or offer me any help if I didn't recover "their way".

I won't lie and say that didn't hurt. It hurt because I want recovery more then anything else, that I have made steps in the right direction that go far beyond just weight gain. And I HAVE gained weight as well, just not quite as much as I should yet. I feel shaken and disoriented, because the support system I thought I had just came crumbling down. There are so many things they can't understand about my illness, so many steps of progress that they ignore. And it's just hard to be judged in that way.

Although I do have a confession to make. I have NOT been making much progress in my weight gain over the last 2 months. I kind of stopped caring about it and figured since I wasn't exercising and was eating "normally" it would just happen. Apparently it isn't happening, although I haven't weighed in for almost 2 months. Not knowing that number gives me a feeling of freedom. I eat what I want to and simply don't give a damn. But I've come to face the fact that I probably need a safeguard to keep me from (even accidentally) slipping back. So that's definitely something I will be working on.

But today will be rough. I feel weak (emotionally and physically as per my recent sickness), tired and overwhelmed. For the first time in a long time I feel completely alone with my demons, and they are growing larger by the moment. My appetite is absolutely non-existent and depression is slowly settling over me like a dark cloud. I will go out for a long walk later, because that's something that usually helps clear my head. I just hope I am strong enough to face this alone.

And it doesn't matter if no one believes me, because I know I want to recover. And I will keep taking steps in the right direction, even if I receive no outside support.


  1. L, I am so sorry that this is happening. I know what it is like for parents and the people you care about to not understand.
    In the beginning, my parents had no idea how to handle what was happening. I felt like they didn't recognize the progress I had made. My therapist suggested I try to sit down with both of them and talk about EVERYTHING. Try to explain what I was feeling, tell them what things they did that hurt me, what I most needed them to do and not do. They were so at a loss themselves that they just listened to what I had to say, and agreed to most of it.
    Now, if I eat a piece of chocolate, my mom will comment, "I'm so happy to see you can eat that again." Hearing that makes me feel so strong, and very proud.
    Do you think you could go back and ask to have a calm conversation about what you need from them as support so that you can get better? If you let them know that trying to force you to do anything will most likely slow things down, maybe they can agree to encourage you in the way you need to be encouraged. The last thing you need is for them to leave you to do this by yourself. You don't have to face this alone. You can do what they want and gain weight, but do what you want and gain on your own terms.

  2. I'm sure your family didn't mean to make you feel as if they were pushing you away or pressuring you more than they thought was necessary. Like you said, they don't understand eating disorders. No one that hasn't gone through this demonic experience really does. So as hard as it is, we have to have patience with them :/
    I agree with Bryana that maybe you should have a conversation with them about the support that you both want and need right now. Be honest with t hem and let them know that maybe you haven't been focusing as much on weight gain these past couple months as you should have been; but you plan to work on it in the future! It's hard for others to see the progress, and it's even hard for us sometimes! You've just got to take it one day at a time.
    I am also in this state where I haven't gained in a while. I'm not depriving myself. I'm not going hungry; yet, I am still restrictive at certain times, and I also have a tendency to fear the weight gain.
    We've just gotta be strong, though. You can do this! :)
    <3 Haley

  3. Hugs!

    You know how much progress you have made. I see that you are so determined to get your life back and get rid of the ED. You also are responsible enough to admit that you haven't gained, which shows that you really do care about challenging yourself. I agree with Haley - one day at a time. That's pretty much my mantra in recovery.

    I'm sorry that your parents are having a rough time understanding. Mine struggle a lot too - it's such a complicated thing for them to grasp when they haven't suffered from it. Be honest about what is triggering or upsetting (or just downright annoying) to you. And remember, underneath everything else they are simply concerned about you.

    Take care!

  4. Hey hun. So sorry that the progress is not going as well as planned and there are some family relations causing your anxiety.

    I never really had much family involvement during my recovery (since i was always away at school) but i just want to reassure you that you'll be alright. the tough times are what make us stronger and really, you can only move forward. i know how much you want this, but it just takes time. it always does.

    i too haven't weighed in for over two months and it is liberating! i love not knowing the number because it makes things so much less stressful. I suggest keeping your knowledge of your weight that way and just trying up your food a bit at a extra piece of bread here, some more pb're gonna do great honey.