National Eating Disorders Association

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julesthefox
Not sure what to do

I have been in the recovery process for over 5 years now, with some relapses here and there. As far as ED goes, I am not fairly stable. However, one of the things about inpatient is that even though it can teach you the skills to fight the ED thoughts and be able to be physically okay, it doesn't seem to address the underlying reasons why the disorder developed in the first place. I know that there numerous factors at play, and everyone's journey is different, but this has caused a major set back for me. Yes I can be stable, but I've forgotten how to live. My life is consumed with anxiety and depression at every corner. I keep myself on a very strict schedule and end up being pretty isolated. As much as I've tried to break out of this vicious cycle, i can't seem to shake it: it's all that I know. After so much struggle, inpatient, and focus on the physical aspects of my ED, I've forgotten what it's like to actually live. It makes me so sad knowing that others are doing so much more when I just feel like I can't, no matter how hard I try. I feel like life is just passing me by, that I'm wasting it. I don't know where to turn, and it feels worthless to try anymore. It's exhausting and it hurts, mentally and physically, to be at such a constant war with myself.
Have any of you gone through similar experiences? Have you relearned what it's like to live?

Adage
Hey julesthefox

Hey julesthefox
Sorry to hear you're having such a rough time of it. Although I personally haven't had to "relearn" what its like to live part of your post still speaks to me. You mentioned that you felt that your physical symptoms were being addressed but that the core of your ED hadn't been addressed - if I'm reading that right.
Its been said that ED's stem from something different for everyone. It may be that you could benefit from doing some therapy with a professional. There are actually even psychologists out there who specify in ED cases. It might be something worth considering as there are programs out there that could potentially help with exactly you need. NEDA has a helpline which might be able to point you in the direction of some of those resources: 1-800-931-2237

I hope that helped a tad bit.
Keep on keeping on.

- Adage

julesthefox
My team

I do have a few professionals I work with, it's just been so hard to break this addiction. The addiction I have is to stability and routine. The way I live my life (chores, errands, eating, exercise, even seeing friends) hardly differs from day to day. That's what gets me. I get stuck in these ruts that I don't know how to break, that I'm afraid to break. If I were to take something out or change something, what would I do instead? What would happen? I just don't know how to live an actual life anymore. I feel like I've become a robot.

lovetowrite81
Julesthefox

Hi Julesthefox-

Just wanted to say that you are not alone. I definitely understand the power of addictive cycles, especially rigidity and structure. I have lived much of my life this way as well. There is definitely so much fear around breaking out of that. Just wanted to pose a question to you- what do you feel would happen if you were to change something or challenge yourself to stray from the routine? What would be scary about it? What would be so healing and freeing about it? How would your life be different? I've learned that sometimes we just have to jump and do something even if we're not fully feeling it-- and let that guide the emotion and desire to want things to be different. I hope that makes somewhat sense.

Mainly just wanted to let you know that we are here for you <3 And you always have support here and people to listen. Rooting for you! I can sense so much strength and resilience in you- and know that you will get through this.

-Lovetowrite81

julesthefox
I don't know

Thank you so much for your support. As for your questions, I think that's part of the reason I'm so stuck. I have dealt with this for so many years that, I don't even know if I can imagine a life without it. I don't remember what it was like to not have my eating disorder. If I changed my routine, I don't know what I'd do. I feel like I just don't know how to live. I don't know what I'm doing, but I know how to stay stable. It's an extremely isolated, lonely, and restrictive life, but it's all I know. If I were to break the cycle, I'd probably just get caught up in another one. I just don't know how to live life

lovetowrite81
Julesthefox

That totally makes sense. I felt the same way when I was in the depths of my ED- like there was no way I will ever have a normal relationship with food. And even though I'm 2.5 years behavior free & in a really stable place, sometimes it's still weird that I go through all day every day without worrying about food, exercise, my body, any of it. It's just strange. But it happened! I'm there and I'm still in awe of it. Just want you to know that recovery IS possible. It's so hard and really involves an entire transformation of our heart and mind which then flows into our behaviors. I totally understand the nature of the cycle that feels inescapable- but I want you to know that you are deserving of living a life where you are thriving. You are worthy of recovery. I don't have all the answers, but all I can say is there is life outside of ED and it is for you. Don't give up hope <3 We are here for you every step of the way, as you take small steps towards recovery and a life of freedom.

mameegan
i get it

this is exactly what I've been challenging recently. I've expanded my "safe" foods, but thats not enough. i need to challenge my "safe" routine. the past few weeks, i have only restricted foods that were in my regular repertoire. I am trusting the process. Deep down i know i need to prove to myself that i can swim/fly (pick your analogy!) by proving to myself that i can. you know what??? i am doing it. it feels strange, at times like I'm free falling and i am still here doing it. its really bizarre. its required lots and lots of self congratulations and continual pep talks, deep breathes and endless amounts of courage. i can't say I'm feeling more like myself bec i don't know who i am without an ED, but I'm enjoying learning who i can be without one. you have the strength to do this, the proof is you are here - facing this! you are not alone. you have an army of warriors here with you!!!!!

iwanttolive
mameegan

Hi. I am so proud of and. We are all sooo much more than our eating disorders. The eating disorder doesn't want us to figure that out though. You keep taking those steps of discovery and enjoy the journey. iwanttolive