My Anorexia Recovery Update

The ups and downs of anorexia recovery

The ups
Eating public is highly uncomfortable, I don’t like doing it. But it was time for my snack. I reminded myself that if anyone notices they just see a person eating. For many people this is so normal they wouldn’t even notice. If they had noticed they wouldn’t see an anorexic eating, they would just see a guy eating. Do I identify myself too much as an anorexic, rather than a person with a mental illness? The seagull was the only one who noticed.

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Two hours later and I’m now in a cafe and am about to have two chicken salad sandwiches. My meal plan for today is two ciabattas with jam, but I can’t get that in a cafe. I took advice from somebody who is further along in their recovery than I am. As chicken is on my plan (day 5) then I can have the chicken, I’m used to it, and it means that I’m not introducing a new food unplanned. New foods are tricky and are best eaten at home. It feels like everyone is staring at me.

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The downs
I purged on Wednesday. It’s irrelevant how I purged, but I did. That’s a relapse. It left me feeling distant from the people who love me and my support network. Purging brought up feelings of shame, guilt and worthlessness. I felt useless and had thoughts of not attending my self-help group. Addictive behaviour makes my world smaller, and hand on heart 💓, I deserve better.

The love
Despite fearing rejection I got honest. I told people that I have built trust with, my long-term friends, and I also shared about it in a self help group that I attend. I was treated with love, gentleness, kindness and understanding. People called me after the meeting and helped me to explore why I did it.

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The why
I have so many thoughts about food, about bingeing, about starving myself. Its obsessive, it dirsturbs me. I hate those thoughts. The way that I purged isnt important. It takes those crazy food thoughts away from me and brings some relief. But it also puts me at risk in so many ways. My paranoia and anxiety increase.

The solution
Shopping is a trigger for me. I need to stop walking around shops just to be around food. I need to either shop online or just shop at the co-op. I know where everything is in the co-op so I can go in with a list and shop quickly. As shopping is a trigger I could message a friend before hand so that I can remain accountable, and to have someone else that cares about me aware of my discomfort.

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I also need to be patient, loving, kind and gentle with myself. Recovery is a process – it’s not an instant fix. Some days I will struggle, and some times my thinking will drive me mad. I’m going to have to learn to sit in discomfort. Many of my peers in the self help group have been recovered for years. I can’t force myself to be at their stage. I need to give myself permission to be where I am, and to keep moving forward. Hope will help me with this. Knowing that others have been through this and come out of the otherwise is inspiring.
Richard, I love you. Richard, eating is the loving thing to do. You’re so worth it.

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The last half of the sandwich was so hard to eat. It looks to much for me. But my therapist, nutritionist says this is the right amount for now.

UK Based Eating Disorder Charities

BEAT

Men Get Eating Disorders Too

Men and Boys Get Eating And Exercise Disorders Scotland

International Eating Disorder Charities

United States

NEDA

Canada

NEDIC

India

The Minds Foundation

Australia

NEDC

Peer Support groups

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous

Smart Recovery

Over-Eaters Anonymous

Eating Disorders Anonymous

Two vlogersI have found useful who are in recovery or recovered

Megsy recovery

Tabitha Farrar

17 Replies to “My Anorexia Recovery Update”

  1. i used to describe myself as a bulimic. it took a lot of work for me to describe myself as a person first – i am a person who struggles with an eating disorder. i relate to overly identifying with the eating disorder-it becomes the only thing we see about ourself.

    i’m sorry you purged. it’s hard, it’s make you feel so awful in your own skin and it gives you the chance to beat yourself up for not being perfect enough. it’s just another way the eating disorder attacks. i’m so glad you are carrying on with your meal plan regardless.

    you are doing well. be so very proud of yourself for doing things that are hard and scary. i believe in you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I love the message to yourself. Today on Woman’s Hour I heard a clip of Caitlin Moran saying we should treat ourselves as if we were a puppy. We wouldn’t kick or berate a puppy. We would forgive its mistakes. We would talk kindly and give the puppy reassurance. I really like this wisdom.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank-you for sharing that! It’s good to know someone else has these thought processes. I don’t struggle with anorexia but I do have a mental disorder. I struggle most with allowing myself to feel a certain way and not have guilt/shame inducing thoughts because of it. I have so many struggles with family members. Just an example: a while back my daughter was severely sick and I asked one of my cousins what she thought of medical marijuana. Well I didn’t find out until yesterday that my cousin must have been offended by me asking “her” that. As she is telling another family member while eating marijuana gummy bears. Anyway, this was told to me and I automatically felt guilty for maybe making her feel bad. Then, I was like why should I feel bad? The fact of the matter is she was my go to person cause I knew she was into natural stuff. It was almost a scenario of when Bill Clinton said he smoked marijuana but didn’t inhale. That is a very petty example of how small something can be and my thoughts get consumed and I have shame/guilt. It seems like every conversation with every family member except my husband and a couple of friends escalates into that. I feel the stigma just sayin. And I get so over it sometimes it’s exhausting. These cycles in my brain are exhausting too. But thank you for being so honest and helping me feel like I’m not alone. It’s good that you seem to have a huge support system. I only have like 3 people that are totally understanding and don’t see my illness when I’m talking to them but they see a person. A person that sometimes struggles. I love reading your stuff! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re not alone. Mental illnesses are devastating, and have similar symptoms. Unfortunately even when the major symptoms are controlled, either by medication or lifestyle changes – we are still left with our negative thought processes and emotional responses. These are the real challenges, and are extremely hard to address and change.

      I also have bi-polar type 2, so I have an understanding of how destructive it can be for you, and the consequences of our behaviours and automatic impulsivity.

      Liked by 1 person

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