National Eating Disorders Association

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iwanttolive
s.bower

Hi. I don't know if you post under working toward recovery or maintaining recovery. I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for reaching out to so many with your story. You have been very supportive and encouraging many. I have a faith based group at a church I used to go to but my parent's still do and I go for certain things, as with this weekly support group and Biblical teaching. We all find it immensely helpful and it is the highlight of a lot of people's week. I am glad you are doing well. You are newer into recovery and as time goes by, you will be able to say, wow, it has been blank amount of time and I am feeling great. In the twelve steps it speaks of a higher power. Do you have one? You don't have to answer if you don't want to, I know it is a personal question. How does having a higher power affect or help you in your recovery? I am interested because I haven't gone to 12 step meetings but I know of others that do, and there is one that is an off shoot, one for mothers of addicts. The one I know of is Christian based. Most of my support groups have been Christian based, but my last few therapists are not Christians. My current one is excellent and has been very helpful in guiding me through some very difficult times. We are now going to do exposure therapy which we have been tipping my toes in. It is time for the foot to get wet. Difficult but necessary. I am glad you are seeing a therapist along with the 12 step meeting. That is great, and it is good to hear how helpful the 12 steps have been for you. Take care,

iwanttolive

s.boewer
Thanks

Hi- Thanks for the kind words and support. I read a lot of your posts and I am always impressed with your ability to say the right things to so many people. I do have a Higher Power or God, and it is the foundation of my recovery. My belief in God goes way back to my youth, but through the use of the 12-steps my belief has grown and I have become more spiritual as a result. I wouldn't have found recovery without a trust in God, it is what has helped me the most. I see a therapist also and go to two different 12-step meetings as often as I can. Actually, make that three different 12-step groups because I go to Nar-Anon to deal with codependency issues in my relationship with someone who has an addiction and is currently incarcerated. For me, something just clicked one day in therapy while processing some old trauma, and I literally let go of my many obsessions around food and body image. Since then I have been able to eat normally without guilt or over exercising or fasting to make up for it. It just got too tiring to keep restricting, counting, weighing and fretting all of the time. It seemed much easier to just accept my body and let do of all the endless behaviors I carried on with for 34 years. I honestly just changed my entire outlook on things and let all of the chaos of my ED go, and I felt relieved and at peace. I am grateful that I can work out and use my body everyday to move around and live my life and I am healthy. At almost 50, the flaws and things I hated for so many years don't matter and I am just happy I am healthy. I am also recovered from a heroin addiction and a meth addiction. I did drugs for one reason, to control my ED, because when I was high I didn't care about food and I stayed at a low weight while eating pretty much whatever I wanted, although it wasn't much. So I had to deal with both addictions at once which was challenging. So, yes, to answer your question I do believe in God and that is the foundation of my recovery. I work in a rehab as a drug and alcohol counselor which helps my recovery immensely. I am glad you are on this forum, you give heartfelt advice that always resonates with me and I appreciate reading your responses. I like that you share your faith in God here also, it is so important in achieving recovery. Hopefully my recovery will continue to grow and this sense of inner peace I feel around my body,food, and drugs will continue to grow and mature without any major set-backs. My biggest trigger is my boyfriend and I am really working hard to learn how to detach myself from his addiction and quit enabling, so I don't relapse from the pain that he sometimes causes me when he is in the addiction. Thanks again for the support and the nice words, I appreciate it.

s.boewer
To iwanttolive

Hi- I haven't seen you on the forum lately, are you okay? Just checking:)

iwanttolive
s.bower

Hi. Thank you for reaching out, means a lot to me. I am doing well. Got over a rough spell and am up and going again. School is going well. Will be reading a chapter after I finish up here. I posted on being thankful last night. I think that in the midst of trials and struggles, it is important to remember what we are thankful for. It helps to encourage our own souls and for me, to refocus. I think I will rest for the rest of the day, baking a favorite for myself and others to share, but I will first take a nap. Thanks for checking in. How are you?

iwanttolive

s.boewer
Hi again

Hi again- I'm glad you responded and happy that you are on the other side of a "rough spell", as you stated. I hope it wasn't anything too serious and I'm glad that whatever it was, it did't last too long. I am doing well and feeling better after my bout with an ulcer causing nausea and pain, and I think I've regained most of the weight I dropped which I am happy about. I returned to the gym today and felt very weak and out of shape as a result of that week of nausea and lack of food. I prefer to feel strong on healthy when I work out so I was a little disappointed after I worked out. I am procrastinating right now because I need to study for a huge test I have to take to bring my Drug and Alcohol Counselor's license up to date. It's daunting actually, there is so much information to absorb and I'm having a hard time getting in the mind-set I need to be in to study. I heard from my boyfriend in prison finally today, he sent a letter to his Mom because my parents will destroy anything he mails here. He wasn't blowing me off like I assumed he was, and he didn't contact me because I forgot to put money on the phone account so it was my fault actually. But it wasn't a love letter and he expressed how miserable it is in there and told me exactly what to expect from him regarding phone calls and letters, and he sounded almost irritated in the way he worded it. Bottom line, I shouldn't expect regular calls or letters and I have to just accept that without taking it personally, because it is just due to lack of available phone time and lack of postage for mail. I would of been happy to hear he misses me or thinks of me often but it wasn't that kind of letter. I'm working on figuring out what to do with this relationship in therapy, because I know that it potentially could compromise my sobriety if he uses again and he is not embracing self-reflection or change in prison. Okay, I've gone on and on, sorry! I hope your studies go better than mine are going and that you enjoy whatever you baked:)

iwanttolive
s.bower

Hi. I wanted to share with you some concerns I have for you, and you said you were working on things in therapy regarding your relationship with your boyfriend. You don't have to respond and I am too personal, tell me. I wonder what you are getting out of this relationship? Where do you see it going? He doesn't seem to be there for you and is using you. It hurts to hear those words I am sure, but I don't want to see you being used. You send him money. And other things? What if you didn't send him these things, would someone else? He sounds like he is not being very committed and is saying I will do what I want when I want and if you are not happy with it oh well. Has he been getting counselling? Have you been a part of any counselling he may be getting? Would he let you? Is it allowed? I think these are some important things to consider. You have given him many years of waiting for him. I don't know how long he has been in or how much longer he will be, but do you really see a future? Or are you afraid of having someone getting close to you that is able to be with you? I know I have a fear of relationships. That is why I used most of my behaviors in the beginning and then continued to use them and then they took on a life of their own. I "dated" a guy who was severely mentally ill and very sick. I felt that I didn't deserve anyone better and no one would really love me. So in a sense, I used him and when I told him I couldn't "date" him any more he made an attempt. I felt guilty so when he came home I started "dating" him again. He became unsafe and I had to leave the state after I broke off the relationship for good. That is why I had to move back home. I still feel that I could never keep a man my age that was healthy and mature, liking me for any length of time. Most men my age, fifty plus, have baggage, as do I. I am content being single. I have my dog, my family and am very active in the church. I am taking a class Addictions Counselling, and doing a lot of things that make me too busy for a relationship anyways. I say all this to help you see why I asked you the questions. Sometimes it is easier to have a relationship that is safe. Where we feel we won't be hurt. I say "dating", because I don't feel I really dated him. He used me, and I am ashamed to admit I used him. He was safe. Or so I thought. Until the day he wasn't anymore and I moved back to my home state. I was in a recovery program and was finally living on my own away from my parent's but had to move back to be near them and now I rent a house my grandmother owned and I pay rent to my dad who now owns the house.

I hope you don't get upset by my asking you these questions. I shared my story because I think it might help you think about the purpose of your staying with this man. I am glad that you found out that his reasons for not calling you were explained, but I wonder if he wasn't able to write a letter or call in some way and he was making an excuse. This may be difficult to hear and I may be way out of place saying this. Maybe print it out and bring it with you to your therapist to go over it with her? You have come so far and are helping so many people I would hate to see you get hurt again and again by this man. Fear is a very real thing and can cause us to make choices that are not the best. Please forgive me if this upset you.

Thank you for your feedback. I am doing better with my sister and although I have pain all the time, I am back on my med that helps with nerve pain and it is helping to keep it from being too much. I shared my goodies with my neighbor and some with my parents. The rest are going to church. I have to go now. I hope you do well on your test. I am sure you will as you deal with this topic daily but when I have to do an inservice or have to have an annual review on my home health, I start memorizing all sorts of stuff and over prepare. So I know it produces anxiety and as you said, there is a lot of info. I wish you the best. Let me know how you do. Now I went on and on. I am sorry. Good night.

iwanttolive

s.boewer
Wow!

Wow, thank you for your long post and insight. To clear up one thing first, I don't send any money or supplies to my boyfriend in prison, his mother does those things. I pay to keep money on the phone account that allows him to call me and that costs about $25 every four or five months because he doesn't get to call often. Now, as for your concern that he is using me, I understand how and why you would want to point that out and I have many times pondered that possibility as well. We have been together for almost six years and have been through a lot of things together. He definitely got me strung out on drugs as after he relapsed, 6 months into our relationship, I got curious and wanted to try it to. He never wanted me to get strung out but also never stopped me from using right along with him. I found drugs a perfect solution to my eating disorder because when I was high I didn't care about food, my weight or anything, and I ate pretty normally without gaining weight. For me, it was just what I was looking for and nobody could of stopped me. He went to jail a year after we met for one and a half years and I stayed loyal and did support him with supplies and money that time. We were back together and using right away the minute he got out but this time we added meth to the cocktail of drug use, which really cured my ED. The next 5 years are spent slowly progressing with increasing drug use and crime as I went right along with whatever he did. Needless to say, I dropped out of Law School after three years because I couldn't keep up and use drugs. The thing that makes me hesitant to just throw in the towel and accept that he's a bad influence and a danger to my sobriety and entire way of life, is that for over a year he stood by me when I pretty much lost my mind going in and out of a meth induced psychosis. He was patient and caring and tried everything to get me to stop using meth, but I wouldn't listen. We eventually both got arrested sitting in a stolen truck and I had to detox from drugs cold turkey, all alone in solitary confinement for about 6 days. I was released with no charges as he took the blame and said I knew nothing. Since that arrest I have been living with my parents working hard to repair my life and stay sober. He, on the other hand, remained on drugs and kept the criminal lifestyle until it caught up with him as it always does, and now he's gone again for the next two and a half years. My parents have given me an ultimatum to leave him or be disowned completely. They read a letter I had written to him explaining why I couldn't do the illegal favor he thought of for me to help him. He wanted me to mail in Suboxone strips which are taken to either detox drugs or as a maintenance drug to reduce cravings. In prison each strip is worth as much as $100. Getting caught doing that would be a federal crime because it involves the post office, and it's a felony. My parents made me confess what "favor" he was asking me to do and I had to tell them or get kicked out, and that was the end of the line for them. He can't write here and I am not suppose to contact him but they both know I still write and sometimes he calls, and it's a topic we just avoid for now. So after he pushed on me to do the illegal favor, I really questioned his feelings for me and wondered how he could ask me to do something that could potentially ruin my entire life if he really loved me. I know in his mind he believed with a fake return address I would never be suspected, but they are smart and have ways to trace things so of course I would be a suspect. Especially because I am the only person he contacts and they have recorded calls of him telling me to get on it and to contact his friends to get on it, I would the first person looked at. Anyway, I have strong feelings of love for this man, even after all we've been through together and my life being turned upside down. He was loving, patient, caring and devoted at a time when I was behaving erratically and put him through hell day after day. He pushes me to work towards my professional goals and to never use drugs again but it is unclear to me if he is willing to also reform his life. He says he can't dwell on the future while he's locked up because it makes doing time miserable. But I just wrote to him and asked him to tell me if he plans to stay clean and to work and leave the criminal lifestyle behind. I don't do anything for him at this point, other than write and talk on the phone, so I don't feel used. I am still angry and disappointed he expected me to break the law and I don't exactly know what to make of that incident. I am not getting anything from this relationship at the moment, you are right about that much. I have a hard time leaving him as his entire life the most important people have always given up on him and he has unresolved abandonment issues that I realize I can't fix. He is honestly the only man I have truly ever loved and that includes a 17 year marriage. I don't know if I'm ready to give up and I am waiting for an answer to my many questions about his plans for the future. I can't watch him shoot up drugs and be around the criminal behavior like I did during the 9 months leading up to his most recent arrest. I've bailed him out and stood by him countless times and that gets a little old I have to admit. I want to believe he has the same intense feelings of love for me, which I know he did for the first few years for sure. But now he isn't acting like those feelings are still the same based on the letters I've received so I am a little confused and hurt. I have done intensive therapy and work on my issues since I came back to live with my parents two years ago. My ED behaviors are in check and my self-worth/esteem is growing daily. I'm working in the addiction field again and working to save money to finish the three law classes I need to take for my Master's. I don't even know how we can be together with my parent's feelings about him being so negative and absolute at this point. At other times in our history he has been attentive and caring with me so I have memories of how sweet he can be. Now he is miserable and crabby in prison. He's losing more weight now than he did when he was strung out because there is not enough food, he's cold because he has no sweatshirt and his cell floods when it rains. I think he is having self-pity at the moment and is only thinking of himself. I guess I'm waiting for the sweet version of him to come out again and I am not ready to face the enormous grief and loss I will feel when it's over. I feel like I can't possibly go on without him in my life and I still love him and know how talented and smart he is. I attend Nar-Anon meetings for my codependency and my therapist is making me address the feelings I will have if it ends between us. I am perfectly content with no man at the moment and if I leave him dating will not be a priority as I have no interest in trying to start something new. So I haven't really answered your questions but that is my story and for now I am not willing to walk away. I am happy you are doing so well with your recovery and I love how you encourage and advise others who are still struggling. Thanks for your interest in my relationship, I will consider your words of wisdom:)

Jennj
s.boewer

i think you are really brave and strong. it's easy for an outsider to form opinions, only you know whats best for you. you take such great care of all of us with your encouraging posts and support, just make sure you are taking the best care of yourself too! dont let anything deter you from all of the progress you've made. keep up the good work and do whats best for you and makes YOU happy :)

s.boewer
Thanks

Thanks for the kind words and good advice. I've worked very hard to learn how to take care of myself after many years of abusing myself with drugs and restrictive eating. I have made many bad choices, all in the name of dealing with my ED as I could not take the mental stress it created. Unfortunately, the drugs I took to calm my ED voice came at a price I also could not handle. Somehow I have managed to find recovery from both drugs and ED, and I am grateful everyday to be on the other side of my addictions. As for my relationship, I am aware there are huge red flags I need to be aware of, but for some reason I am not yet willing to give up on it. Thanks again for the kind words, especially after reading my story and learning about all of my mistakes and bad behavior. :)