I have recently come across this website and was going to post in the forum but im not sure in ready for the public yet! However I really needed to tell someone how im feeling right now even if they dont respond and something inside tells me that you ‘will get it’.
I have struggled with bulimia since I was 18 and I guess you could say I am still in ‘recovery’. I have just turned 25 and am really trying to understand the way I feel right now and working out if it is normal.
Ok.. so Im at the stage where I am in the normal weight range and I no longer binge or purge on a daily basis. I do on occasion but only if I really feel it is needed. I eat and maintain my weight because I know its the right thing to do but inside I feel more miserable than ever! Its strange because people seem to think that if you are a certain weight then you must be fine but I can’t seem to stop the way my brain thinks.
They only way I can really explain it is that its like everyone is telling a non smoker to smoke – does that make sense. Its like I don’t want to do it and its because in my brain it tells me that its wrong and unhealthy to eat, but I do it cos people around me tell me thats what to do.
I feel like maybe I would be happier if I accepted that the eating disorder is who I am and by trying to be ‘normal, I am going against it and am becoming more unhappy.
So my question is- is this a normal way to feel when you recover or is it just me and theres something wrong with me? Im just not sure I can carry on living this way and am reaching out for an answer!
Anyway i hope that I will hear from you however if not thank you for listening.
Wishing you a happy new year!
Trying To Be Normal
Thanks for reaching out. So you’ve asked a whole load of questions here so let’s start at the top, the “top” being what I feel is the most important part of your commentary which is asking
“Am I normal?”
First and foremost, what the hell is normal anyway? I personally think we live in an eating disordered world that is quite pathetic actually. I will venture to guess the majority of individuals who are concerned about you, judging you and the like — have eating issues themselves. So let’s just forget about what everyone else thinks. Let’s also stop striving to be “normal,” what could be more boring and unoriginal?
I want to talk solely about you, and what is going to be the new normal for you. ED’s suck, you’re not going back, and when you get that silly notion in your head (like when you say you binge/purge only when you really “need” it – you never need it let’s get that straight right now); let’s figure out how are you going to combat that voice. I recommend a journal. One that you carry with you everywhere. One that remains private to you. These words are for no one, no parent, no therapist, no friend — just you.
I want you to document what is going on when you suddenly “need” to do your ED behaviors. Even if you don’t go through with a binge or purge, what are the thoughts that precipitates this event? This is your core issue. I am going to venture to say its stress, anxiety or something you feel you can’t handle and you’ve convinced yourself that FOOD or denying FOOD or getting rid of FOOD is the big answer to your prayers. Isn’t it odd how we convince ourselves of this over and over even though we know its not true, or valid, or rational, or sane? Kinda scary, but not rare at all — nor is it insurmountable. I mean seriously, how is FOOD going to solve all of our problems?
Once you’ve got about a week under your belt with the journal, go back and read through it. What is the common thread? What do you learn about yourself? Now you need to accept yourself. Whatever your weight, your body shape, the size of your thighs, or what have you. That’s you and your job is to be the best you can be – which is certainly not being a binging purging machine, what a waste of time, energy and talent.
You are 25 now, and adult — an amazing woman with your entire life ahead of you. Your ED is part of you but it’s not you. It may even turn into a good part of you, such as in my case, I found a way to make good out of my past ED hell. Find your passion, follow what intrigues you, discover your passion for LIFE. This ED crap isn’t life — its just the thing holding you back from it.
Finally, let’s talk about recovery. I don’t think we ever fully recover.
Now don’t freak out about this, its all good really. I believe our ED sticks with us in some small fragment but it slowly but surely turns into a positive. It becomes are part of our past that we were able to conquer, but its always going to be there whether we like it or not. The way I see it, its a blessing. All of the horror of it becomes a positive, it turns into strength, and self commitment, and freedom. I say this because I know you can’t see this on the horizon, but it is there for you. Just trust me — its waiting for you, but you are going to have to work for it. Toughen up. Stop worrying about the nonsense of normal. Focus on yourself and your needs.
Your first step towards this brighter furture is to stop worrying about what others think about you. Easy to say, hard to do, but it is the secret to kicking this ED thing out of your life for good.
Be sure to keep me posted on how you are doing.