Monday, November 23, 2015

Monty Python Had It Right

Hello world, I am still here!  I post so infrequently I doubt anyone actually reads my blather anymore.  Still, it feels good to put a piece of myself out there.  Cathartic.

Why am I posting? I AM PREGNANT!  Seventeen weeks today.  It is so unimaginably weird, and surreal, and... I don't know, amazing.  I have never felt less sure of myself.  Or more sure of myself. I am elated. I am terrified.  Mostly I try not to think about trying to squeeze a watermelon out of my body through a hole the size of a lemon. 

Onto obligatory ED news.  I am still 100% purge free since spring.  Amazingly, I am also mostly binge free as well - can't even remember my last true binge.  It is liberating being able to tell my ED to fuck off, mate.  But, to be completely honest, there is a sense of loss.  It was so easy and convenient to have something to embrace anytime life became difficult.  Bad day?  Nothing a giant carton of ice cream won't cure.  Husband piss you off?  There's always a trough full of mac and cheese to make you forget.  Never mind the high must be followed by the low of purging.

So what to do when your coping mechanism is taken away?

I haven't figured that out completely yet.  My support system helps me through the worst of it, even if they don't fully understand what they're helping me through.  I found that compartmentalizing life helps.  I was recently passed up for a promotion at work.  It was strictly political. My department is falling apart, and they needed to hire someone who could help shoulder the burden.  Unfortunately, the person they wanted would not accept my current pay-grade (give me the promotion, hire her to replace me).  So after stringing my along for six months, promising me the position, they gave her the promotion instead.

On a strictly unemotional standpoint, the move makes sense.  The person will be an incredible asset to the department.  She currently works for a department under my purview, and I am continually impressed with her abilities.  That doesn't stop the hurt. 

I have stepped up for this department every time it was asked of me.  My entire time here has been spent completing duties above-and-beyond my pay-grade.  Maybe that was the problem. I made myself into a doormat, and now my organization thinks I will lie here quietly and continue to let them walk all over me.  Or... maybe they don't care if I leave.

And there is the kicker. With the announcement I lost all self confidence. Maybe I am not capable of continuing the duties required for the promotion.  Maybe when I stepped into the role six months ago, I did a shitty job and no one told me.  Maybe I don't deserve the promotion.  Maybe I am not as important to the structure of this office as I thought.  Everyone is replaceable, right?

Things got dark for a while.  I am a worthless failure.  I am incapable of doing right.  Why bother trying, it won't accomplish anything.  My first instinct was to starve, starve, starve.  Which leads to binging and purging and more starving - because oh god, the emptiness feels so good and the binging comes with such glorious numbness.

Then I thought of Little Peanut, now the size of a turnip all cozy in my womb.  I thought of my husband, who tells me every day that I am beautiful (despite my protests that I am turning into a fat cow) and that he loves me.  I thought of the dream home which I now own, and live in, with my wonderful husband. I thought of my amazing and loving parents who live down the street.  Of the brother who has become a cornerstone of my life.  I thought of my two happy, incredible dogs who adore me above all else.  Everyone I love is in good health.  I have food in my fridge and enough money in my bank account to live comfortably if not extravagantly.  All things considered, my life is picture perfect. 

So here is where compartmentalizing comes into play.  Being passed over for a promotion sucks.  But it is not the end of the world.  My life is not ending.  Everything does not suck.  Everything is awesome.  So my career has stalled a bit.  No worries, I can recover from that.  Maybe not here, in this department, but elsewhere.  Meanwhile, I will put in my eight hours and then go home to snuggle on the couch with my silly poodlie-face and old scruffy-butt before going out to play in the snow.

If you need a little pick me up today, I recommend this video.  Because, as in most situations, Monty Python says it better than I ever could.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Just Like a Delicious Chocolate Bunny

I have not purged in several months.  I rarely binge.  There are days that will go by with no thought to my ED.  If you have not tried therapy, and you actually (really, truly, completely) want to recover, it may be just the thing to help you get you on the right path.  At least, it worked for me.  Is working for me.

There are still bad days.  It is difficult sometimes to separate normal thoughts and reactions from the niggling voice of my ED.  Today has been rough.  I have not eaten yet, though I have tried.  Everything is too much, and the one bite I managed tasted both bland and overwhelmingly awful.  There is a spike of fear at how good it feels to be empty.  My hollow stomach matches my flat affect.  It is so hard to care.

Monday, February 9, 2015

I'm Not An Expert, But...

Telling your patient their ultimate goal weight is perfectly reasonable and attainable probably isn't the best thing to say to someone suffering from an ED.

Monday, January 26, 2015

So Horrifyingly Gross I Had To Share

Well, I had a truly disturbing experience at the gym this morning.  While getting ready for the day, a woman was prepping for a swim next to me.  Not unusual.  Except this lady was so large (400+ pounds, easy) she had to sit while doing her prep work.  She sat in a chair, butt-naked, in the middle of the main walkway letting out these, almost constant, loud grunts of exertion.  Tie back her hair, grunt.  Bend over, grunt. Lift her arms, grunt.  Step into her swimsuit, grunt.

At this point I’m thinking, “okay, she’s a little obnoxious, but good for her getting to the gym!”  Then she stood up.

There on the chair was the largest, nastiest, skid-mark I have ever seen.  Thank goodness she had put down a towel first, or the chair would have been ruined.  I waited for the lady to deal with the issue, but she just walked off and left it there!  Chair in the middle of the walkway, huge skid-mark for everyone to see.  The implications are horrifying: a) what if the cleaning staff just wash the towel and throw it back into circulation, b) how much feces is this woman going to leave floating in the pool water?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of any person who pursues fitness.  And I’m sure it must be extremely embarrassing to be so large you can’t properly wipe your behind, but to leave your soiled linens in the middle of the locker room for someone else to clean up?  That’s disgusting and inexcusable.

I was so grossed out by the sight and smell (YES, THE SKID-MARK WAS SO LARGE IT FILLED THE LOCKER ROOM WITH ITS STENCH) that I wasn’t able to stomach breakfast.  Ick.

Ahem.  So that’s how my day started.  Hope yours is going better than mine...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Does The Good Outweight The Bad?

I just got off the phone with my "coach", i.e. over-the-phone goal coaching offered through my work.  He was the one I finally told about my ED.  He was the one that offered the resources I used to schedule an appointment with a counselor.  Turns out, my honesty has lead to me being "excused" from the coaching program.  Read: Kicked out of the program because I am too damaged.

Don't get me wrong, I really couldn't give two fucks about the coaching program itself.  Not once in the six years I participated did it help me reach a goal.  That was done on my own, with determination and hard work.  I sign up for the program for one reason, and only one reason: it is a requirement of qualifying for a large discount on my health insurance.  When I asked about this, my "coach" informed me that I would have to contact my Human Resources department to find out if the requirement can be waived.  Sorry, nothing else he can do to help.

Now I have the choice of paying an extra $600 a year for health insurance, or fessing up to my employer that I have an ED.  Fuck.  Fuckity. Fuck. Fuck.

This whole reaching-out-for-help thing better pan out, because it is already wreaking havoc on my life.  On that note, my first counseling appointment is tomorrow morning and I have ZERO idea what to expect.  Any advice or hints would be much appreciated.

On a complete different note, have you guys see this amazing video (only 1:30 minutes, not a huge time commitment)?  As someone who touts exercise as a cure for pretty much any ailment, I'm incredibly excited.  The U.S. would do well to follow suit with a similar campaign.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Dedicate This Post To Ruby

I did something terribly, horrifyingly, wonderful today.  With sweaty palms and shaky legs, I held my phone to my ear and spoke the words out loud, "I believe I have an eating disorder, and I need help."  The voice, canned and tinny, barely missed a beat.  It spouted out resources and reassurances.  It said they would follow up in a few weeks to see how treatment was going.

Two calls later and I am waiting for a counselor to contact me to set up an appointment.  My stomach has been one continuous somersault.  I am not entirely sure I am ready for this, yet I am incredibly excited to begin.

I have Ruby to thank.  If you don't currently follow her blog, you really should start.  She has been a huge inspiration to me.  Watching her change her circumstances and life, and seeing how healthy and happy she is because of those changes, has shifted the way I think about Addiction and Eating Disorders (they deserve capital letters, really, they do).  Unlike other recovery blogs I follow, Ruby is not afraid to talk about her pitfalls and relapses.  (Seriously, some blogs make recovery look unachievably easy.)  Instead, she uses each stumble as a learning opportunity.  Without fail, she picks herself back up and continues on.

So, Ruby, if you're reading this, thank you.  I don't comment often on your blog (or on anyone's for that matter), but I read every one of your posts.  Hmmm, just now realized how much of a stalker that makes me.  Ah well, all the same, keep up the amazing work.  You're changing lives, you beautiful woman, you!

Monday, January 5, 2015

WIll It Always Be This Way?

My mouth waters as the scent of baking bread fills the house.  A standing mixer has temporarily taken up residence in my kitchen.  Its presence is meant to make my abundance of holiday baking easier and less time consuming.  It has had the added benefit of tempting Penguin into rolling out loaf after loaf of his amazingly delicious bread.  I've eaten more refined carbs in the last two weeks than I have in the last year.  Up until last night, I've even been okay with the intake.

I finish the last of my vegetable stirfry and place the empty bowl in the sink.  Penguin's most recent loaf, a rosemary and cracked pepper soda bread, sits on the counter.  I decide there is a just enough room in my stomach for a thin slice.  Dry, no butter.  My fingers wrap around the knife handle.

"Geez, my bread is going to make you fat again."

The statement immediately sparks a fight or flight response.  I drop the knife and step away from the cutting board.  A gnawing hole opens in my stomach, grows and eats away at my insides.  I want to cry and scream and run away.

...make you fat again.

I smile at him and comment, "yes, I have perhaps been overindulging."  Leaving the bread where it is, I excuse myself to the bathroom.

...fat again.

I purge as quietly as I can.  I purge until I am empty, clean and pure and full of shining light.  The euphoria is short lived.  

Will is always be this way?  Will every stupid, thoughtless comment put my ED in control of my actions?  Because I know Penguin's comments are unintentionally hurtful.  He is naturally skinny, and has been all his life.  Him and his daughter (who is 5'8"and 98 pounds) constantly joke about "getting fat" after a big meal, or a weekend of splurging.  To them, it is just words. 

Still, the comments hurt.  It hurts when he jiggles my belly fat with a grin, even if he does the same to himself.  I don't know how to tell him how much it hurts, without revealing everything. 

I'm just rambling at this point.  Nothing will change.  It never does.