Fighting to Overcome


I know I’ve written the last few entries about my eating disorder and not a lot about my bipolar and borderline personality. I have been learning that all of these mental health issues are intertwined and one doesn’t out do the other.

I can tell you I have incorporated a change in foods for healthier eating because I am gluten sensitive and there are also dyes that I am reactive to. Sugar is a huge factor in setting off my rage moments. I learned that there is evidence of removing these items and the reduction of Bipolar outbursts. I also take magnesium, zinc and B6 for improving my sleep.

Here is a link http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/gluten-free-society-blog/gluten-a-cause-of-bipolar-disease/

Dealing with my eating disorder is not even so much about the disorder itself, as it is about feelings, self worth, etc.

Since ED has been outed he has been an ass! He knots my stomach every day, he cramps my lower stomach and I get diarrhea. I talked about this today in group and I was asked if I am angry. I am, very angry.  There is a lot of today’s session I had a lot of problems with and couldn’t work on.

One exercise was to write out “How Significant Figures in your Life Dealt with Feelings”

The piece of paper had two columns. First Column was Significant Person 1 / Second Column was Significant Person 2. 

Then there are the 4 emotions:  Sadness/ Anger/ Happiness/Fear.

I froze.

I stared at the paper, blank thoughts in my head, I realized I couldn’t write the two people’s names and let my counselor know I couldn’t do this exercise.

I feel anger, and I know it is super deep.

After group ended, one of the facilitators wanted to check in with me. I told her I am not sure how to safely express my anger. Yet there is also fear and sadness. When I do allow myself to feel those feelings and a small tear wells up in my eyes, it quickly goes away; ED fights me and I want to be able to fight back, take control of MY life but I know I’m fresh in recovery, and ED is still very powerful.

I feel like I am in the fight for my life.

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Mechanical Eating and ED


Toolkit today was about mechanical eating. Honestly, I thought that meant one ate automatically without thinking. Seems it is about learning how to become aware of how to eat in a healthy way from ED. ED likes to sabotage all the time! My group members, like me, expressed and addressed various concerns.

I have various concerns, clearly ED  based. The first asked was how do you know when eating to enjoy is not a binge?  Our facilitator “K” gave us 2 examples:

Subjective Binge: This feels like a binge but doesn’t feel like what a normal person would eat.

Objective Binge: This also feels like a binge but it is excessive.

The emotions often felt are numbness, guilt, frustration, anger.

How do you stop an over eating binge? You stop before the binge beings.

We are all welcome to meet with the dietician, work on a meal plan for what would be healthy for me and see how it goes. I can say that my stomach rolls with knots. I’m afraid to meet with the dietician. I saw the number calculated  for how much I could be eating per day and it scares me. But I’m learning that is ED who is scared, not me.

I’m sure in time I will meet with the dietician, but not now. I struggle with just outing him and the consequences of that and  realizing how ED affects my daily life.

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ED is Everywhere


Today I have seen what happens when ED is happy. I did my weekly routine and there are losses, ED is very happy. Of course he is, there are losses involved, which means I can treat myself to something but it must be something small; overindulgence is not allowed, it goes against perfection.

We went to the movies on Friday night, I ordered the kid’s size popcorn with water. Why do I mention this? Simply because it is an observation and how much ED controls everything I do. What size is my meal, what do I eat, not eat, drink, not drink.

I met with my therapist on Friday and we spoke about what had transpired and she said that all I am going through right now, is the beginning of change. Change so that I can begin to feel emotions. She related it to having an addiction. Alcoholics give up alcohol, drug users give up drugs and even though the issue with an eating disorder can be about food, it isn’t always.

During our session, we did talk about exercise, I told her my history of over-exercising and that now I am afraid to simply go and enjoy. That I start off with the best of intentions an hour x2 a week, may grow to x3, x4 or x5. In my past I used to work out 2 hours x4 days with 3 hours on Saturday. I was addicted.

We discussed how I have a good support system, I have my spouse, my therapist, and my groups. I can check in with them and if I feel like I am overdoing it or have over indulged to bring it up and it can be explored.

My psychiatrist and I spoke this week and I asked him if it is possible to overcome an eating disorder. He said that it can be controlled.

I know I am in a vulnerable place, but with just learning how much ED is in my life, is it really possible to overcome him and have control?

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Reactions


I wrote this out yesterday but I hadn’t blogged it out.

The darkness hovers over me, my secret is livid that I cracked him open. I am learning that fr a few days he subconsciously decides to upset my stomach where I am not hungry. Daytime mostly. Night time I feel anxious, I pace in my house, I say out loud “go away, just go away!” I try to eat a meal, but stop, I feel uncomfortable.

I know this is new for me. I honestly never expected or experienced many of these emotions or feelings. How long will I continue to feel this way? What do I do to get through this?

I’ve decided to stay focused on exploring these emotions, surround myself with people who understand what I’m going through and take things day by day.

When I exposed  ED I admit I never thought through the result of breaking him open and 3 days later the waves of emotions are fierce.

But I will get through to the other side one way or the other.

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My Self Critic is Angry!


Last night after posting about opening my Pandora’s Box which you can read here in case you haven’t https://sexyonthedarkside.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/pandoras-box-i-opened-it/, I experienced an incredible amount of anxiety and emotion.

“ED” (short for eating disorder and this is how I will refer to him from now on) is mad (and I say that politely) because he has been “outed”. I could hear him yelling at me that “he has been there for me since about the age of 12 when no one else was and this is what I do to him?” Over and over,  I walked up and down the hallway of my home, saying “go away” and yet I knew ED is mad.

I started to experience anxiety symptoms, a knot in the pit of my stomach grew, my hands shook, I became warm and just wanted this feeling to go away.

My spouse was home so he was incredibly supportive as is my dog, Blaze. He just senses and knows when I really need him. When I went to sit down on our bed, he laid between my legs and he just stayed there, knowing I needed him. When he sensed I was in a better place, he put himself to bed in his kennel.

Today I woke up feeling very tired, which makes sense because I didn’t sleep very well. My stomach has been feeling not well either. I suspect it is all to do with yesterday.  I also called my therapist, she said that I had a huge day yesterday. She also said that ED likes secrets that is how he thrives! So it makes sense ED is mad at me.

I am to be kind to myself today, to feel whatever emotion that comes up and to not stuff them down. That’s hard, because I have always been seen as “strong”.

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Pandora’s Box — I opened it


For over 30+ years I have kept you in silence, only listening to you inside my head and doing as you asked me to. In the privacy of my home did I answer to the self loathing, self abusing behavior,  especially when I stepped out of your line and rules. You always said that so long that as I did what you wanted, I would see the benefits of the perfection.

Today in group therapy, we were asked to write a love letter to you. Right away I felt my heart race, I started to shake and I got up to go get a glass of water.  Clearly, I needed few moments to think. The first question asked  “What do you love about your eating disorder?” I muttered that to myself as I walked up the hall, how do I answer that?

So below will be the exact words and questions asked. I could put it in flowery words, but that simply is not me. I’m sure as my 18 months of recovery program goes along, I will realize more about myself and perhaps change some of my thoughts. But for now, in this moment, this is what I said.

  • What do you love about your eating disorder?
  • What does it give you?
  • How has it “been there” for you…helped you copy… give you solace?

I love that my eating disorder gives me power. It gives me confidence when I try on my smaller clothes and they fit me. But I also hate my disorder when I start to feel uncomfortable and he beats me up inside my head.

My eating disorder has “been there” with reminding me how pretty I will look if I follow through with the plan. That “ED” loves me and reminds me that my family doesn’t.

It has helped me to cope by reminding me that by staying on the program, I will have a good number on the scale tomorrow.

As for solace, I’ve only ever experienced negative. Perfection is everything.

 

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Acupuncture helps my Bipolar


I struggle with sleep and with lack of sleep creates mid insomnia, the chaos goes on and on. I have recently noticed that with returning to acupuncture, it has been helping to quieten my mind, thereby quieting my stress and the behaviors that follow.

I have just gone back to seeing my acupuncturist twice a week now. My body is not in sync and it is important that it is. What this means is my bowels are constipated and when I’m exhausted I want sweets and other chemically laden foods that I normally would never eat.

I’ve also learned today that there is a point on my body that when flared I become very cold, which means I want a hot chocolate (because we are in Winter); hot chocolate has sugar in it. This all plays with my mental illness.

I find all this learning amazing because my body has been in a state of chronic pain, which means that it will take a while to get the symptoms to reverse; but it is absolutely possible. I do see results and the trick is to quieten my mind so my body can do its own work.

The reason acupuncture helps my bipolar is it quietens my mind and it helps reduce my stress.

 

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