National Eating Disorders Association

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slapstickwhoosit
swearing myself in starting now

before i copy &paste what i wrote/edited this morning, i want to let anyone who reads this know that i have read the community guidelines, thus censoring my real name &potty-mouth. i do believe triggering is in the eye of the beholder, so if anyone has any qualms, please forgive me and please let me know. that is how we learn to refine our emotional intelligence. also, i believe it is critical to spread compassion. in the same vein i ask that you extend the same courtesy back to me.
i tend to run away from help with this because i never know what my exact relationship with it is. total flighty deer. people tend to have a hard time understanding what points i try to get across as is because of how i speak; and as i hope anyone reading this can relate, this is kinda sensitive.
i wrote this privately on my blog before and decided if i was going to re-try not running away from the NEDA forum, i was going to dive in head first with what was written as that is how i feel comfortable; writing has always helped me tremendously.
i have no expectations right now but i would like to slowly warm-up and talk to other people on the forum, thoughtfully. i don't distrust NEDA.

thank you.
<3S

*
i'm not super fond of talking 'recovery', let alone waxing recovery at all. but here's the thing today.

i never identified with my bipolar as if it is who i am, like an egoic attribute. it's just how i happen to work. so, as far as that goes, i don't feel like it's a void that needs to be filled or pet on the head, it's something i've been able to come to terms with. it's probably hard-living, but i can meditate with that. if anything, the knowledge helps. it doesn't bother me so brutally anymore.
so i don't feel that way about the anorexia thing. i feel like its something that i either identify with or have grown so closely with, a very cunning stream of thought, unlike bipolar. i feel as if it's more like a learned experience that i haven't let go of, but i can, because it isn't a factor intrinsic to how i work, despite how 'centering' it has often felt. it is more like a variable that i can remove. but it doesn't go away. i tell myself, if i don't believe in it, or if i choose to look away from it because even if it is true it isn't necessary nor is it a beneficial truth- it isn't functional-than it's totally acceptable that i distract myself.
the anorexia doesn't even work like a bell curve. omnipresent with eyes in the back of its head! it's never not been complicated. at most, with its unwillingness to budge, what i hope for is it is an illusion. right now, [list of symptoms erased] it is probably busting its back-end. it is so powerful it is painful.
my last birthday, my present for myself (total sissie i know, but i secretly give myself a birthday present for the past few years) was my manifesto of how 'i'm not anorexic, because my name is S', or something to the effect. i want to be mindful of the ego, steering clear of letting too much becoming a part of my identity. i was very idealistic believing this would make it all vanish, just like a poof effect; that that was the whole problem: i was just identifying with anorexia so i could feel sorry for myself, not considering i actually suffer from the mental and medical condition. well, e for effort, but some part of me either doesn't want to or doesn't know how to let go of it.

i never know how to conclude these self-therapy posts.

michael26
Hi there!!

Hey!!!

First off, thank you so much for trusting these forums with your thoughts!! I know how difficult it can be to begin a conversation about this, but you are strong and that is why you were able to begin the topic! I hope that I can be of some support and help to you.

My first reaction to reading your post is "wow, that is beautifully poetic". You have a very deep insight into things and you are willing to challenge thoughts that are abstract yet concrete in their consequences. You have a beautiful mind, you truly do.

From my personal experience with my anorexia and eating disorder, I know exactly the emotions you are describing in your post. As a guy, especially, labeling myself as "anorexic" or the like was not only not a true identity, but also supportive of a wrong social stigma. Many people consider ownership of their eating disorders, e.g. they "are" the disorder. This way of thinking never really promotes recovery or understanding from others. In short, it is a false concept of self.

The whole theme of my recovery was finding myself for the first time. Because my ED started at such a young age, I never got to form my true identity, the one that is truly "me". Recovery, yes, is about limiting behaviors and regaining a healthy state for our bodies. But, recovery is so much more than that. A successful motivation for recovery is to say NO to the ED and yes to our lives. No matter how we feel, there is a truth, and that truth is that we are worthy and deserving of a fulfilling life!!!

So my perspective took a complete 180. Originally, yes, I thought of myself as "eating disordered". But, then through the wonderful support of my treatment team, I began to see the falsity in that perspective. Does a cancer patient become cancer? No, of course not! In the same way, we are not an eating disorder. We need to have conduits of support for fresh thoughts to pour into our minds so that we can rid ourselves of ED thoughts. Recovery is just as much of a perspective change as it is a behavioral change.

I really think you have a great perspective on things already!!! You are a very deep thinker. Would you feel comfortable discussing this more? I know you said you were hesitant to use these forums.

I hope you're well!!!

slapstickwhoosit
thank you. you are very sweet

thank you. you are very sweet and sound like a wonderful teacher. thank you so much for sharing your recovery story.
yeah, one of the first things i noticed about the forums here was that there were guys too which drew me in right away. every ED support group i've been to has holistically been comprised of women- this disturbed me. if there's one goal i'd like to fulfill it's to encourage and support kids to be open, that it's okay to be open (childhood is weird), so they don't wind up leading lives based on what feels like either a burden or bedlam of secrets depending on how you go.
i hope you are well, too.

i will try to be relatively succinct as far as discussing more (edit an hour later: not so succinct. sorry.):
i've been on the right track for some time. so i've always been in charge of a near-overwhelming amount of energy, like i'm made of fire. but i wasn't exactly raised on discipline or anything of that ilk so a lot of problems rose starting at an earlier age.
i changed direction a few years ago pretty much instinctively when my survivor instincts took charge. now i take care as i feel able. you see, i am so relieved, and i express so much gratitude for what i've learned, but i was driven to go here. i didn't want to carry a terrible perspective any longer, or subject myself to awful experiences.
so, in the meantime, it had felt as if 'acting out' on behalf of anorexic thinking, if you will, had mostly become secondary, as strongly as the anorexic thinking remained. i believe i was morbidly afraid of losing control and unaware on and off, but i knew if i kept up behaving according to my own principles than things were going to be okay. although i never didn't logically refute the AN-identity thing, it became too confounded; too emotionally muddied. i relentlessly wanted to figure out what on earth my concerns with that were all about, rather than just going about working with it as i had been. the former route isn't a helpful one, i find it plateau-y at best, and it only tended to encourage what i refer to as my 'olympian gene'.
recently i guess i've relapsed. there's really no beating around the bush. i think i'm a little freaked out about being involved with someone socially, putting a good amount of my sense of trust into their hands. not only that, but i'm completely in love with him, and i worry about my ideals getting trampled on by reality.
prior i had abstained for two years with intentions to never date anyone ever again. i also almost completely socially withdrew, trying once in a blue moon, than running away. so thus far it has been intense. he, 't', is totally great but my trust is not magically repaired. this has felt more like a huge risk than a proud-big-step for me. it's been nothing but mindfulness trying to override combative cognizant distortion city for the past month. and horrendous dreams about rolling down hills into oncoming traffic becoming 'fatter' along the way. adam levine, seriously, that guy, yeah, came to me in one taunting me with cookie dough ice cream that i wasn't allowed to have and telling me all the lazy terrible things i am, above all, 'fat'. (please note i would never use this epithet on anyone except myself). i'm having a harder and harder time eating but i don't care so much. i feel like i need nurturing, support, or compassion from a source other than myself concerning this 'control' issue. i feel too exerted. i feel unable to extend myself the courtesy. wow, i am about to cry.

michael26
Support!!!

There, there, friend!! I know this is emotionally a thorn bush. But there is a rose hidden amongst those thorns, and I know we can get to it without getting hurt!!

Relationships are complex, but ultimately rewarding when we embrace our true identity and display that to our partner. Things with the ED do get in the way, though. Have you been able to talk with your boyfriend about your struggles with eating? I think honest is the best policy and that's especially true in romantic relationships.

One of the things that I have come to grips with is that we have to challenge our own thoughts. When a negative thought comes along, we have the choice to either accept a lie, or challenge the lie and find our truth. It is definitely a learning process, though. Have you ever done a thought challenge? Basically you write down a fear or thought you have about yourself. Then you rate from 0-100 how "true" this feels to you. Then you start making a list of pieces of evidence that support or refute your fear or thought. Go through each piece of evidence and ask yourself "is this illogical?". The end result is typically that each piece of evidence that supports the fear is either true based only on emotions, or it is just illogical all together.

I'm sorry if that was a bad explanation!! I'm sure if you google "CBT thought challenging" there are some great sites!

Have you ever considered seeing a therapist for professional support? I know that it is super hard to start seeing a therapist, but once I overcame the fear I never have regretted it!!!

Also, have you heard of the NEDA Navigator program? It is comprised of a group of volunteers who have recovered and who are here to provide you with private, uncensored support for you!! Here is a link to learn more!!!

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/neda-navigators

Please let me know if you have any questions! Remember!!! You are strong and worthy of love and life!!

slapstickwhoosit
yes. i have a therapist, CBT

yes. i have a therapist, CBT and all, and i also believe in challenging negative thinking. i do the thought challenging exercise on a weekly basis now. when i first started CBT it was everyday.
i also believe honesty is really the only policy worth abiding. it is more like balancing a personal issue that is booming in my face than something wedging between the two of us. he has been very supportive.
i will check out the neda navigators program. thank you again.

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