National Eating Disorders Association

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Notsickenough19
Feeling Shame and Guilt

Hi Friends,
This is my first time writing in this forum and receiving treatment for both my Binge Eating Disorder and Anorexia. I feel so much shame of my disorders and depression and just overall childhood trauma and I was thinking about the first time that I felt the feeling of shame or guilt was when I was a little kid at age 7 or 8 and I have a sister who used to tease me a lot and I started to cry and I got so upset and so hysterical that I threw up, and I don’t remember if anyone tried to comfort me or anything but I do remember vividly being forced to clean my own vomit off of the carpet. I was also thinking of the first time that I was introduced to having a weird relationship with food and I remembered that I was on weight watchers at 9 or 10 and my mother would write down my weight and make it such a big deal if I gained some weight one week or at a cupcake another week. Her love to me has always been conditional. I've been really struggling with depression this week, everything just feels so hard. Anyway, so I’m in therapy and I have an eating disorder team that is supposed to check my weight and all of that and so I’ve been trying to not binge and purge as much but every time I try to stop purging I just feel guilty for being fat and wanting to eat. But I do want to get the help I need. But what i need advice on is feeling a little apprehensive or some anxiety about seeing the dietitian and the physician for the first time. I feel like my eating disorder has become my best friend because I've dealt with it for about 9 years now, and it's like my team is sort of taking my support system away from me. But one thing i'm excited about but also really anxious about is walking into support group for the first time. I know this is really long, I'm sorry. but i don't see my therapist this week and i just have so many thoughts about everything that's going on whizzing around in my head and i'm completely happy to hear anything anyone has to say about my anxieties concerning going through all of these changes.

Thanks,

Notsickenough

louise.ss
I'm so sorry about what you

I'm so sorry about what you've been going through, but it is amazing that you are wanting and seeking help. I felt a lot of anxiety about starting therapy because part of me didn't want to get rid of the eating disorder, and even started getting help for my bulimia for the purpose of losing weight rather than healing myself. However, I feel like these anxieties that I felt and what you are feeling now come from your eating disorder, and not you. While my ED has given me a sense of control and order when I've felt overwhelmed, it has cause me so much pain. Wanting to heal your relationship with your body and food as well as your soul challenges your eating disorder, and I have noticed this causes it to try to latch on more. Change is definitely scary! Especially when you are changing something so deep-set and something that brings a sense of comfort, but know that this change is so necessary! My nutritionist told me a while ago to "feel the fear and do it anyway" and I try to remind myself of that when I'm feeling similar anxieties.
I hope this helped and I'm so happy for you for seeking recovery!

Notsickenough19
Thank You so much

Hey louise.ss, Thank you so much for your support and your affirming that these anxieties aren't my own but the result of the ED talking through me just because it can get really hard to differentiate between what's actually your own thought and what is an ED thought. But i'm feeling a deep rooted shame and guilt because i participated in behaviors today and i just feel like everything i worked hard for is wasted and that i'm too weak for recovery. which i know isn't true because in recovery you can take 2 steps forward and a couple steps back but it's all about picking yourself up again i suppose.

s.boewer
Hello

Hello- I am glad you wrote for support and sorry that things are so difficult right now. My ED always got worse when I decided to get help and started therapy or support groups. It was such a huge part of my identity for 34 years that I felt lost at even the idea of recovery. I restricted food and starved myself in response to any situation or uncomfortable feeling for so long, I didn't know of any other way to cope with life. In those 34 years I tried and failed many times to let go of my ED, I even used illegal drugs to stop the behaviors, which got me in deeper dysfunction. Finally, one day in therapy, I made a decision to honestly give recovery a real try and to do what the nutritionist advised, the therapist advised, and my psychiatrist advised. I dealt with all of my childhood trauma, much like you described you have to deal with, and I was surprised to discover that it is possible to heal and have a new relationship with food. That was about 5 months ago and today I am able to eat normally with no more guilt or negative self-talk. I want to encourage you to listen to your team, even when the ED voice rages in protest, and process your past trauma so that you can finally live without the ED. There are many healthy ways to self-sooth and you won't need your ED to give you comfort, or a sense of control, if you learn to replace it with new coping skills. You will learn these new skills in group therapy and be able to process feelings as they come up which is vital for successful recovery. Starting a support group feels scary and it's normal to have anxiety, but group therapy is really beneficial. I hope you can just quietly observe the ED voice when it tries to block your progress, and then let it go without reacting to it until it finally just disappears like mine did. Good luck and keep posting your journey to recovery to keep us updated:)

Notsickenough19
Pushing myself

Hey s.boewer, and good morning, I woke up today not feeling good about my body but I’m going to try and push myself to eat breakfast and no matter how long it takes me, I would like too at least start the day offf nourishing my body even if I don’t feel good about my body. I know none of you are physicians but the physical symptoms of binging and purging are so horrible, I’ve been really feeling not great at all so that’s givung me more motivation to see the physician. I just ate breakfast and I really wanted to binge and purge but I didn’t so that’s good, I’m proud of myself.

Alexo_eats
Feeling Shame and Guilt

Hi Notsickenough19 I can totally relate with feeling guilty about eating. Something I'm still dealing with. Personally I just try to push through, my mom is a huge support for me. I hope you find someone who can support you well! Have you tried breathing exercises? I love those, they are so soothing and easy. Knitting is nice too, it really takes your mind off things, yoga too. Journal is also great, it's pretty similar to what you are doing when you post, except no one else reads it of course. I hope one or all of these suggestions help you out! Stay strong girl. Your destined for greatness.

Alexo

Notsickenough19
Thank you

Hey and Thank you Alexo_eats, I just ate dinner and I just got through it by cutting my food into microscopic pieces so that it wasn’t as overwhelming for me to be able to consume. Thank you for all of your suggestions, I’ve definitely tried journaling and it’s really been helping. I feel good about joining the forum, all of you are so supportive. Thank you so much! Also I Have an update— so I didn’t binge or purge today and I’m feeling really good about myself because yesterday, I participated in behaviors and I’m slowly realizing that recovery isn’t a sprint, it’s walking and you can make mistakes along the way.

Alexo_eats
Your Welcome

Good Job! I love this forum too. I love helping and supporting others. I think it makes me and everyone else stronger. Keep up the journaling and if your feeling adventurous maybe try 4-4-4 breathing. You breath in for 4, hold it for 4 then breath out for 4, and repeat. My therapist gave me that skill. I like to use it before meals to calm me down.