Two years ago I was admitted as an in-patient at a treatment facility. Even though I have struggled with my eating disorder since around middle school, this was a turning point in my life because while I was at the Center, I decided that I did want recovery and I did want to let go of anorexia. I was severely in denial up until this point in my life. I was very much under weight and was put on weight restoration. It has been the hardest thing in my life to overcome and there were many many times when I just wanted to give up and throw in the towel, and say "I can't do this!" But I was able to push and fight my way through, and I was able to restore my weight to a healthy weight. The only problem was...my weight kept going up and up and up...(a lot of times in anorexia, when a person has starved themselves for so long, and then once they have restored their weight and allowed their body to have food regularly, the body will keep adding weight because it's afraid that you are going to severly starve it again!) I gained a ton of weight, and even though I was never technically overweight - I sure felt like it because I was a good 20 pounds heavier than I had ever been in my entire life!! And not only that, but since I had gained around 50 pounds in the Center, I did not recognize myself at all. My body looked so different, even my face looked different! I felt uncomfortable and out of control! And this is one of the things that contributed to my free-fall into a dangerous relapse that I am currently working on climbing out of. So, this time around, I have been SO afraid of that same thing happening and it really scares me. I hated the feeling of having no control over my body - IT was in control! That is why I have been going around in this cycle of everytime I start to gain weight, I freak out and restrict - because I am worried that once I start gaining a lot of weight, I will keep gaining and never stop! And this is something that my treatment team has been trying to help me overcome. Because according to them, I was never overweight, I just looked like a healthy 26 year old woman instead of a 13 year old little girl.
This is part of an email that my therapist sent me yesterday and I wanted to share it with you:
"...Sorry about the weight thing and for pooping on your good day. That was really not my intent. I was simply trying to impress upon you the fact that your e.d. will do its best to align with you. What I mean is that it morphs to fit what ever you will accept at the moment, but will never stop there. For example, you realize that you cannot lose any more weight so it will align with this and say "Yeah, you're right, lets just not gain any." Then it becomes very critical as time goes on and starts to say, "You are messing this up! See you are gaining! Quick loose some now!!" See the weight thing is a trick. You tell yourself you want top know the number, but the healthy recovery side says, looking is a really bad idea. When pushed Jenn, you make the right decisions, but it is the gentle and calm seduction that you seem to fall for. If I would have very calmly asked if you wanted to see your weight you might have said "yes". Sooooooo, the message is that you are way stronger then you give yourself credit for. You just need to be on your game more. Make sense? Seriously, I know this is almost impossible, but you need to turn the weight thing over to the dieticians and just do what you need to do. It is kind of a higher power surrender thing...."
He describes perfectly some of the internal struggles I am dealing with. And anorexia is a very sneaky little devil! I know I need to surrender to my treatment team, and stop trying to control my weight. I need to do it...I am just terrified...