Gone for now

I feel I need a break from the blogging and go on a short hiatus; I am overwhelmed with university applications and so on and need to take a breather from the online world. Take care everyone.

Binge-purge cycle

This post is one I thought I would leave un-posted, but instead, I feel I need to get this out of my system and stop pretending that life is all beautiful.I am struggling, and I need to address my struggles. Below is what I wrote:

* * *

Things seem crazy and disorganised in my life right now. A week or so ago, I asked for help online and posting the following:

3rd August 2010 entry:

I’m away from home at the minute, staying at someone else’s house where there is A LOT of binge food. In my house most of the cupboards are bare and most of the food is in the freezer. I’ve basically ended up binging almost every single day…and I’m spending so much money on food from vending machines that it’s really hitting my wallet (considering I have no income until September). I’ve also been purging by self-induced vomiting every few days which I rarely did in my AN days. I’ve tried to eat my full mp that I normally eat, but then I end up binging even more.

My old [treatment] team said it would be impossible that I would “never stop eating” but right now my biggest fear has come true — I am literally eating myself to obesity. I don’t know how much I have gained…but I will weight myself on the weekend as I’m at home and my local shop has a scale (despite knowing I shouldn’t) to see how much this has cost me.

I feel disgusted with myself as an anorexic, because this seems like bulimic behaviour and I ought to have the self-control and discipline to starve myself like I used to be able to happily do. I told my mum, broke down for a day, and did not leave bed in my depression and ended up being told she has no idea what to do and that I should contact my T. I can’t contact my [psychologist] between our fortnightly [appointment]…at least she never stated I can and I don’t have her e-mail. I see my [psychologist] on Monday.

I’m back home on the saturday too. I’m wondering whether or not I need a blood test. I think I ought to, just to make sure things are ok, but I feel really awkward asking for one (you know the NHS, uk fishies). I feel embarrassed and not even sure if it’s necessary. I think I should ask my GP for a phone consult, and see what she thinks…but I feel really stupid and I don’t want my mum to overhear me talking to my GP about my issues.

You guys are my only source of help right now. I need to stop binging and have no idea how. Eating my [meal plan] isn’t helping and I have no real new stressors to address so i have no idea what is causing me to binge other than the fact that there is so much food around ….

In the end, I blew all the blood vessels in my eye which remained red for a week, ended up feeling really sick, and purged every other day for about two weeks. It was a major step back after not engaging in obvious eating-disordered behaviour for so long.When I was really ill with anorexia, I only ever self-induced vomiting around 3 times, the last time being in October, 10 months ago from this episode.

But I have moved forward, and looking for answers too.

What lead to the binges?

In retrospect, I think it was my inability to tolerate intense emotions of stress (due to interpersonal arguments, being away from a safe place like my own home). Or, I shouldn’t say inability, but rather a lack of practise at tolerating strong emotions. This is something I have talked to my therapist about in our last session.

My body needed food as the activities I was doing was burning more calories than I had anticipated. I did not (or did not want to, for fear of not trusting myself) listen to my own body which was asking for more food. In future, I feel that I need to pack a bigger lunch, say, another sandwich, if I know I am going to be burning more.

What lead to the purging?

Panic and profound guilt. And fear of gaining weight (I technically do not need to gain weight).

I felt guilty for the types of food I ate, bad foods as my eating disorder (and, to some extent society).I felt this made me a bad person, rotten to the core.

* * *

How are things now?

Today, I look at this post, and although my last purge was on only a few weeks ago, I no longer feel to perpetuate the cycle. Why the difference? I think it is because school is back on my agenda (even if only part time) and my life is more structured and predictable. However, I realise I need to step outside my structured niche at some point in order to move forwards and ensure this does not become a repetitive problem.

Life Beyond…

My internet was down for a little over two weeks, and, aside from that have been incredibly busy so my apologies for the lack of posts!

I have spent most of my time volunteering in animal sanctuaries, veterinary practises, farm and wildlife hospitals and so on. I need this experience in order to apply to university which I shall be doing this year (a year late due to my eating disorder), and it has been a lifelong ambition. I remember when my psychiatrist said to me, bluntly: “Well, I certainly don’t know of any dead vets working.” It was a joke, but a very serious one: my eating disorder stripped me of any meaningful future. So, now, after initially being forced to gain weight to my target, I am choosing to try to stay there.

I remember the summer, two years back. I had just entered outpatient treatment and was not gaining so much as a few grammes (I was in fact shedding it very fast). I was told by psychiatrists to get a car lift to school — a 15 minute walk was too much for my heart — but I decided to go and work with animals on a farm where the physical task was quite demanding, against medical advise. What really amazed me is that I actually ate extra on top of my meal plan, even when the anorexia voice was at its strongest. I managed it, because I was motivated and because I knew I could not realise my dreams of a career in veterinary medicine with the degree of eating disorder that I had. I had lost a lot of things — weight, friends, almost a place to live, everyone’s trust — but I knew that is I lost my future, I would have nothing left to live for.

The future is a scary place for me. It is mysterious, unknown and the path as yet untrodden by myself. A future without an eating disorder, I realise, is not one of only flowers, it is one of real life which comes with a lot of connotations, but all I know is that it has the potential to be fulfilling; it is a life without so many barriers, outside of the prison that the Eating Disorder creates.

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