National Eating Disorders Association

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s.boewer
Really amazing news

Hello everyone- so I have really amazing news to share that is making me feel so grateful and blessed. My 23 year old daughter gave birth to a beautiful, 7lbs 14oz, baby girl named Amelia this morning at 10:11am. We were up at 3am and rushed to the waiting room to anxiously await her arrival, which felt tense and made me nervous for my daughter's well being. Not knowing anything for several hours, other than she was in severe pain and waiting for an epidural that seemed to never come, was nerve racking and anxiety producing. I didn't want her to suffer, and I wanted everything to go smoothly, so that mom and baby were both healthy with no complications. I got my wish and after several long hours we got the news that she was here, perfectly healthy and sweet. So now I am a Nana and I get to start a whole new chapter in my life. When my daughter announced her pregnancy, I was met with the harsh reality that my time for being pregnant was really gone, and I actually went through a grieving period. I loved, loved, being pregnant the two times I was blessed enough to experience that miracle, and part of me always wished that I could do it again. I wanted to experience it with my current boyfriend, because I love him so much that it would have made a pregnancy even more amazing. When I was married to my ex-husband, I just never felt the intense feelings of love that a wife should feel, so I felt like I went through the blessing of creating a life, all on my own, both times. To be able to truly share in that experience with someone I love unconditionally, and completely, would make it even more of a blessing. At least I got to watch my daughter and her husband, who are madly in love, share in that love throughout her pregnancy, which was so special and such a gift to be a part of it as her mother. But in the back of my mind was the reality that my chance to experience something so special, with the man I am crazy about, is long gone. Not that my boyfriend is even in a position to be a father with all of his struggles with addiction, but I still always secretly longed for just one more chance to be pregnant, and create a life with him. I really had to grieve the end of a phase of my life, and accept that I am aging, and that that chapter is gone. I think the next best thing though, is to be a Nana and bond with my grand baby, and with my daughter in a new and deeper way too. Watching her maternal instincts throughout her pregnancy, sharing insights and stories about my pregnancies with her, and now seeing her so gentle and nurturing with this fragile new baby, is really helping me move out of the grief, and into acceptance. I'm so grateful to have two amazing daughters that are open and close with me, and have forgiven me for the mistakes I made in my addictions. They are both so healthy and addiction-free, and confident and self-assured, that it amazes me to be around them. So glad something went right parenting them because the addiction gene seems to have been averted for them, thank God. So that's my great news, and my long rant about grief, and life changes. I'm still behavior free and learning new insights every week it seems, because of the work I get to do in recovery and the time I get to spend working with my co-worker, who is like a mentor. I am so lucky I can learn from someone so full of wisdom, with years of recovery, and the patience to teach me and counsel me as well. I got through some old feelings to restrict a few days ago and drug cravings that showed up out-of-the-blue too. I guess this recovery journey will always be a non-linear process, with some difficult moments along the way. Thanks for listening, sorry to go on so long about issues not necessarily about eating disorder topics.

iwanttolive
s.bower

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I am so happy for you. Hey, this is wonderful news to share here. I want to let you know that I understand the part about being too old to bear a child. I never did and never will. But I so much would love to have a baby grow inside me. SO amazing. But my fears of sexuality, and knowing I wouldn't be a good mom and my being sick all these years made it impossible to have a child. But, as for you. You are doing an amazing job. You did feel the urge to use behaviors but you didn't as far as I know. There will be times when the urges come. It is what we do with them that matters. I just surrendered an urge, non food related, to God and He tells us that if we call out to Him, He will always provide an escape from our temptation, that no temptation has come that we are not able to resist, because He provides the way of escape. I am into my ninth month of being behavior free, and the best part this time is that I rarely have urges. There are times when I eat too much sugar, but no binging or serious overeating and for more than two years free from the tormenting anorexia. Also nine months free from self harm. But back to you. Love on that little baby girl. Proud Nana. I am glad your daughters are free from addictions. That is so great. I am proud of you.

iwanttolive

tryingtobebrave
So happy for you!!!

I’m so happy for you!!! This is great news!! Something to celebrate. I’m glad you’re able to experience this wonderful joy. For a long time I thought I would never want children because of my own upbringing, I was afraid I would be a bad mother, as I have no idea how to healthily parent a child. But in more recent years, I have decided that I do want to have a child someday. Which is another motivation to stay in recovery, so I can be healthy enough to carry a baby. I’m so, so happy for you.

Jennj
Congrats!!

That’s great news!!! Enjoy every second with your new granddaughter
! Hope your daughter is doing well. keep focusing on all the wonderful things you have going on in your life!

s.boewer
Thanks everyone

Thanks everyone for the kind words, I appreciate it. I got to hold baby Amelia today finally and it was so amazing. I felt like it did when I held my babies for the first time, super powerful instincts to protect and nurture. The best part is watching my daughter and her husband caring for their new baby, so sweet and in love with each other and their Amelia. It makes me so happy to be behavior free and drug free so that I can be truly present for this experience. To iwanttolive, thanks for the encouragement, I think I am 6 months behavior free form restricting, and over 2 years for drugs now. That is amazing that you have overcome your anorexia and self-harm, two very difficult addictions/diseases to get past. I had a period of about a year where I engaged in self-harm periodically, during the time in my life when I was in a drug induced psychosis, and I remember it took real work to stop that behavior. I'm sorry you never had a child because I think you would have been a great mother, based on how empathetic and kind you are to those who suffer from ED on this forum. I managed to be a pretty good mother, even though for a lot of it I was on and off restricting, and on and of pain pills to control the ED. I always hid the addictions and behavior and my kids grew up not realizing I struggled with food until they were teenagers, almost adults, when I bailed to do heroin and got too thin restricting. By the time they figured out I had these problems, they were both set in their healthy mind-sets and were just very worried about me, but not emulating my unhealthy actions. Luckily, they accepted my amends and we have processed the abandonment I caused them to feel when I was checked out for 2 years. They forgave me the instant I reemerged, and were so thankful I survived the self=destructive behaviors I was engaging in. My guess is that you would have been a nurturing and caring mother, but it's great that you have acceptance around that issue. There are a lot of ways to fulfill that mothering instinct without actually having a child, and you seem to do a lot of nurturing just by helping others. I also turn over my urges to God, and surrender to Him almost daily to maintain my recovery and avoid urges to restrict. I also rarely get urges, and that's why I was so surprised a few days ago when I did. I have to be very careful, because when I have an urge to restrict, the next thought is always, "I need to get high". My two addictions are very interrelated which means working extra hard in my recovery. Thanks again for the kind words and take care:)

iwanttolive
s.bower

Wow!!! That is great, holding your granddaughter. I am so happy for you. Thank you for your kind words to me. They mean a lot to me. You are doing so well and have been through so much. We have a mighty God Who gives purpose to our suffering. I told my Mom tonight that although I have been a butterfly for a long time-long story about the butterfly-my wings are fluttering and I am getting ready to fly. I am stopping therapy after being in it since I was sixteen, I am now fifty-one. I don't know how many years that is but the time has come when I am stepping out of that part of my life into a new chapter and I am relieved and excited. God is the wind beneath my wings!!!

Again. So happy for you.
iwanttolive

s.boewer
Wow

Wow- stopping therapy is a huge step and I think that's great that you feel ready to move forward without it. I didn't even start therapy until just over two years ago, so I feel like I'm still processing old trauma at this point. I'm almost 49, and I have all of those years of avoiding emotional pain by using drugs or controlling my weight, and now I am unraveling it all in weekly therapy. I think therapy should have an end date, or a goal of moving on without it at some point actually. I find that I am moving through issues quickly, and I can envision a time where I let it go also. You have been in therapy for many years, and it makes sense that you are now well equipped with tools and insight to go on without it. You'll have to keep us all posted on how you are doing without it, but my guess is you will be fine. I am cramming for my re-certification exam on 3/13, and found myself snacking a bit more than usual because of it, which had me mildly concerned after I felt too full from dinner. I have to just turn it over to God, and accept that some days I will eat more than normal. I feel like worrying about it takes energy I just don't have anymore, and I can't believe how many hours I spent obsessing over food throughout my life when I think back over time. I am happy you find comfort and recovery through your relationship with God as I have also done, and I am convinced recovery is a spiritual journey. Well, back to studying. Thanks for the positive feedback and words, and have a great week> :)

iwanttolive
s.bower

Thanks so much. It means a lot to me to get feedback. Yes. I am ready. Finally. I have often described the metaphor of a butterfly and wear a butterfly necklace. I always thought that I was flying but realized this week that just this week are my wings beginning to flutter. Soon I will be flying. And independent of therapy. It is me, God, and my parents and friends who love me who will be my support team. I too am taking a class. I have had to learn, minimally how to do power point. I am so type A though as this Wednesday we will be meeting with my professor at his office, he is an ALCD therapist, actually very highly known in the field, and since there are only seven of us in class, he will meet with us individually in his office and allow us to borrow books to help us with our presentations. Little does he know I have finished mine!!!! I just have to learn how to print it out and how to present it to the class in visual form. He hopefully will help me with that, but it is STRESSFUL to be doing this and it is only one class, no tests and no major papers. I don't know what I would do if I had to do a major research paper or take a bunch of tests. God knew just what I needed. My therapist and my Mom urged me to take a class to broaden my scope, to take a risk and do something that is very challenging. I have to say, I am enjoying the class even though the teacher holds us later than he should and he doesn't teach so much as puts on two DVD's that we watch. He let me take them home as I need to catch up on four that my recording device didn't record because he pushed the stop button as he put the recorder in his shirt pocket. Now he doesn't touch it and it records everything. But I have to stop it every forth of fifth word to write it down. I don't really know how to take notes so I am just writing everything down that this person says. It takes a lot of time. The class is Addictions Counselling. My presentation is on Eating Disorders: Addictions or Behavior. Interesting.

So. Study but don't stress. I know. How. Just do your best. Pace yourself and when you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, take a break. I know I have been a bit hyper this past two weeks as I have been working on this presentation. I don't know how the students do it who go full course load.
As for your therapy, don't rush it. Yes. It does eventually come to an end for a lot of us. Some may need it for much longer. But thirty plus years, I am finally more than ready and this is actually shocking to me. But I know God has me and I have a great support system. I will keep you updated on how it goes. I am going cold turkey, not recommended due to some personal reasons, but I WILL be okay. Don't go to bed too late!!!

Take care and God bless.
iwanttolive

s.boewer
Good for you

Good for you taking an addiction class, and doing a power point, I would be nervous and very type A as well. It is so true that God seems to know exactly what we can handle, and that's how I feel about my current job. I almost declined the offer to take this counseling job on the first day, when I learned I would be expected to lead group therapy and group education for three hours on my own. I honestly did not believe I had the confidence to facilitate with 15-20 intelligent, adult clients, all paying good money for treatment, hoping that I have some wisdom to offer. My boss/co-worker was patient and encouraging, and taught me what to do and believed in my abilities until I did too. Now I cover for him regularly and feel pretty self-confident as long as I have handouts, and a topic I understand. I am very OCD about details when I lead a group, and probably go overboard as you are doing on your power point. Addiction is such a fascinating field I think it's great that you are taking the class. It really helped me understand my own struggles with addiction learning how the physiology and neurochemicals affect the brain. I hope you do well on your project and find some balance during the preparation so you don't drive yourself crazy, as I am about my exam. I think 30 years of therapy is plenty, and you will be fine on your own. I'm not sure how many more years I have to go, but someday I'll be through all of my trauma. Right now I am facing abandonment issues, and learning how to be healthy in a relationship instead of codependent and needy. I have a lot of work to do in dealing with my relationship, which brings up abuse issues from my very first relationship at 14 with a 19 year old. So much to process still, I envy your being in a position to let go of therapy, that must feel like a real accomplishment. I need to get sleep now, bur thanks for all of the kind words, I really appreciate your feedback. :)

lovetowrite81
S.Boewer

Hi S.Boewer-

Also wanted to congratulate you on the birth of your grand-daughter! So exciting! Proud of you and all of your recovery progress and just wanted to thank you for all of the wisdom and insight you share on the forums <3

s.boewer
Thanks again

Thanks for the kind words and support. I am trying to cram/study for a huge, state certification test for my counseling certificate, and the stress is triggering me to want to stop eating today. I think because I ate a second helping at dinner, I am feeling too full even though it was no where near a binge. Going to turn the feelings over to Higher Power and remember it is a reaction to stress, and old behavior trying to sneak back into my brain. Just thought I would tell on myself so I am not isolating or stuck with thoughts in my mind and no outlet. I will journal tonight to sort it out. Ugh... back to the books

s.boewer
warn out

I'm mentally warn out as I have been cramming/studying to take my re-certification state exam for Drug and Alcohol Counselor. I took this test and passed it many years ago, after just completing my schooling for this career when all the information was fresh. Now I've had less than two weeks to prepare for what I learned over a 2 year period the first time around, and I'm so over it! I procrastinated, of course, leaving myself just 3 days to cram all the information into my memory, and I don't know if I can take even one more piece of new information into my brain at this point, I'm maxed out. This feels worse than preparing for exams in law school, and that was intense. The worst part is my appetite has been higher than normal, as I look for anything to help my brain feel alert and focused. So I am a little disappointed that I've eaten more snacks than usual, but using all of my recovery tools to let those thoughts go, so I don't try to restrict to make up for it tomorrow. Just wanted to put it out there so I feel accountable to something besides my private thoughts on this issue. So glad I can post here when I feel funky, thanks:)

s.boewer
Now my ulcer

I had a flare up of my ulcer today with pain in my chest like a heart attack, and extreme nausea with an inability to hold anything down all day. I barely made it through work and threw up acid the minute I got home. I was able to slowly get some food down with an antacid, and I am coming around finally.This ailment I now live with is really causing me some stress. I am again losing weight that triggers old, unhealthy feelings that tell me to stay at this lower weight. I'm telling on myself to ensure I allow these thoughts to float on through my mind without reacting in any way to them. I am pretty good in my recovery now at acknowledging unnecessary, old thought patterns and just letting them go without acting on them, so I will be okay. It just feels cruel to end up with a medical issue that directly impacts my ability to eat, and my weight, when everything else is going so well with my healing from restrictive eating. It is an unexpected hurdle to manage carefully, along with all the other hurdles I am still processing in weekly counseling. I need to make a follow up appointment to get the proper medication and tests to make sure this is truly an ulcer, and hopefully end these flare-ups. For now I am just hoping this episode resolves itself before my exam the day after tomorrow, and I feel healthy and focused. Thanks for listening:)

justgina
Awesome

Hey s.boewer,

Just wanted to say that you're doing awesome, and should be so proud of yourself :) It's great to see you talk yourself through struggles on here, like not reacting to the ED thoughts and being understanding with your body and your fluctuating appetite. That's amazing progress!

I hope that your exam goes well, and that you're doing okay today with the ulcer! Also, maybe another way to think about it is that it's just the universe testing your recovery--and look at you, showing it who's boss!!! Glad to hear you're feeling healthy and focused. :)

justgina

s.boewer
Thank you so much

Thank you so much for the encouraging words and support, it means a lot to get feedback like that. I passed my exam today! So relieved and happy, I can't even believe it. About 5 questions in, I was overwhelmingly discouraged right off the bat, as at least 5 of the first 10 questions had answers with at least 2 choices I saw as equally correct in my mind. I had to choose the most right answer, which I hate on tests, because I can reason myself into a mental nightmare trying to decide. I survived after getting lost trying to locate the exam site, with Google Maps directing me in a circle that was several one-way streets away from where I needed to be. The entire process was stressful, and it took much effort to stay calm I have to say. But now I am officially licensed again to work as a counselor in the addiction field, and my boss is happy. My ulcer was better today, and now that I am done studying, my mission is to get in with my primary care physician to do the tests I was told to do over two weeks ago when I was really sick. They need to prescribe the correct medication so it won't flare up so often. My unhealthy ED thoughts went away, and I have been able to eat normally again, without feeling like I need to stay at the lower weight my ulcer put me at. It is getting easier all the time to let thoughts go quickly before having the inclination to act on them even, which is a welcome part of recovery. Thanks again for the kind thoughts, I appreciate it:)

iwanttolive
hermione3

Way to go!!!! SOO happy for you. Congratulations. I am also happy to hear that you are able to recover more quickly when you have negative thoughts about eating and wanting to lose weight. Recovery is real and it is happening with you. Such great news to go to sleep to. I am really excited for you. You go girl!!!!

iwanttolive

s.boewer
Thanks

Thanks, I always appreciate your supportive feedback, and am encouraged by your success in recovering from ED. I'm happy for you for taking on the challenge of a college course and for reaching a point where therapy isn't necessary. Your journey is inspiring, thanks again:)