National Eating Disorders Association

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Harley2014
Am I paranoid

Hello all. This is my first post in the forums. A little about me, my wife suffers from bulemia, and has been struggling with it since she was discharged from the military in 2014. She has gone through three separate ED recovery facilities in three different states, with one requiring hospitalization. When she is not acting in her ED she is full of energy, and funny, and, basically, she is the woman I fell in love with.

There is a cycle that repeated itself...a trend if you will. She will be discharged from a recovery facility, told to follow up with guidance from a therapist outside of the facility, she will ignore that, and then slowly relapse back into her ED, until it is time to seek a new treatment facility.

I feel like she is back into that relapse phase again. This time it is even more worry some, because she is pregnant, and I am absolutely terrified that she may be causing harm to the baby.

I say “may” because I have no definitive proof of her acting in her ED. All I have are the signs that I have seen before when she has struggled previously. If I ask her about them, and she tells me that I am being paranoid, and that I am being triggering with my questioning/concern. I do not want to be triggering, I want to be supportive.

This is why I’m here. I’m looking for some guidance from those who may have been in my shoes at some point. I’ve already contacted the hotline for resources, because I want to be supportive, but at the same time I want to take care of my own well being. The whole thing just sucks, and I’m very exhausted when it comes to ED being involved in our lives.

BobJ48
Harley

Hey Harley,

Yes, I can see where you might be paranoid, if you've seen this same pattern before. And now with the child coming as well…

And just what you said about that period of time right after when the person gets discharged from a program. I don't know why we don't hear more about the importance of that in ED recovery. Like you said, they may do OK within the confines of a program, but then suddenly they are out in the world again, and living among many of the same things that may have set them off in the first place. Its a dangerous period alright, and it's common to see people backsliding again. Which can be upsetting for them as well as for their loved ones.

You wrote :

" All I have are the signs that I have seen before when she has struggled previously. If I ask her about them, and she tells me that I am being paranoid, and that I am being triggering with my questioning/concern. I do not want to be triggering, I want to be supportive."

Well exactly. How do we go about "being supportive" in ways that actually feel supportive to them ? That certainly is the trick in all this.

One thing I might try and avoid is expressing your own worries. "I'm so worried that you might relapse." What I mean is, not to say things where she's going to be made to feel responsible for the feelings that you're having. Of course we are going to have feelings, because who wouldn't, but try and watch with how you word things.

A more supportive-feeling approach might be to be concerned with how she is feeling. If you follow what I mean. Try and put yourself in her shoes, and then base your responses off of the fears that she might be having. People feel supported when they believe that the other person gets it about them. So that's a direction I'd go in if I were you.

And do stay in touch. Sometimes it seems to take a few days before peoples' messages show up here, so you may not always get a response right away. But do keep checking, OK ?

Bob J.

Jacob98
Feel ya

Dear Harley
Thank you for your post. Reminds me that I’m not the only one struggling with this. My wife finished her last program about a year ago and has slowly slid back to many of her old behaviors. She fights it ever day but it is hard. Although the recovery program has been super helpful and has improved may things it didn’t make all the problems go away. I think pregnancy is a challenging time because it certainly magnifies everyone’s emotions and fears. My thoughts are with you.

Jacob98
Oh

Oh and we have two young healthy children.

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