This entire day at work has been a blur. This whole week has been a struggle for me with trying to adjust to starting this new job - and the fact that my body is not cooperating at all(!) - and I am aware that my choices & behaviors are not making it any easier on my body...
It has been, not easy, but easy-er to live in denial (or ignore) the fact that these past few weeks my eating has gradually become non-existent again. Because when you aren't really doing anything physically or mentally (like while I have been unemployed) - you don't realize (or at least people with ed's don't realize) the fact that the body is starving and the brain is starving. But as this week has gone by - it has been harder and harder to live in that world of denial. BE-cause my body is exhausted, my mind is exhausted - and I am struggling to get through each day before I come home from work ready to just collapse. It's my body crying out, and I am not listening to it! Or I am listening to it - but I feel powerless to help it. I wish it was as easy as "just eat!" But it's not. When the ed voices are loud, proud, and in control - I feel helpless and overcome in my efforts to fight them. And that's the current situation I have been in these past few weeks. And it just seems to be getting worse.
I take food with me to work - but I don't eat it. I make me food at home and take it down to my room - but it just sits there until I go back upstairs to throw it down the sink. Sometimes, I do take bites or nibble at it but the ed is so strong and in control that not much enters my body - and those times that I am able to eat more than the ed would like... I quickly get it out of me. And it's just been this week that I have once again been reminded of the "breaking down of the body" that the ed brings into my life. Because since I have started this job and been a lot more active each day, I am suffering the consequences of my body (and mind) trying to run on empty. When you first start slipping and falling into your relapse, you experience a sort of "high" from restricting - but once that wears off, you are already too deep into the mental struggle by the time the exhaustion sets in. That's one of the dangerous and frightening parts about the ed and the mental control it has over you.
And then, yesterday I had a mini breakdown that my poor mom had to help calm me down from. All day yesterday I had been feeling more bloated than usual... I have a lot of digestive problems. And I have a lot of bloating and water retention (edema) problems, and electrolyte, sodium, & potassium problems that are directly related to my anorexia. (I am not going to list all the health problems I have because that would take for-freaking-ever! But these ones are related to this post so that's why I included them). I am used to (...well not used to it because it still causes me a lot of anxiety & body image issues, but used to it, meaning it happens a lot...) Anyways, I am used to the stomach distention and bloating (because this happens a lot to me) but sometimes my body will freak out and that's what happened yesterday. I knew I was more bloated than usual yesterday and my joints were a lot more sore than they usually are. And by the time I got home last night and took off my shoes and pants to change into pajamas - I flipped out when I saw how swollen and bloated my legs, knees, ankles, and feet were!! Like I said, I already knew my stomach and face were more bloated - but that happens quite often so even though it was causing me a lot of panic and anxiety - I didn't officially start freaking out until I got home and saw the rest of me.
I called my mom and I was hysterical! Emotions had been building all week and this kind of topped it off and sent the emotions into a complete breakdown. My mom then (calmly) proceeded to remind me that this is one of the things that happens to me because of the ed and horrible physical condition I am in. My body is trying to hang on to food, to liquid (!), to whatever it can because it's just trying to survive. She then tried to talk to me about what my food intake had been lately (which I was not in the mood for and tried my best to dodge that conversation because I couldn't deal with the lectures I would get because my parents are past the point of frustration with my ed). She reminded me (again) about the fact that I am not at a point where I can do this on my own - even though lately, I have been trying to. She doesn't think I should be seeing my current dietitian (can I even call her my "current" one if I haven't seen her since October?) but she does think that I need to be seeing someone, along with my doctor and therapist (hint, hint jenn - maybe you should actually start going to your appointments again...) She thinks I need to find someone new - someone that is a better fit for me. After talking with her for a while I didn't really feel better but I was calm enough to crawl into bed and try to get some sleep. Tomorrow, I would try again. I vowed to myself (and my mom) to try harder tomorrow.
Well, tomorrow came. And if I thought things couldn't get worse for me - I was so so so wrong! I am still swollen like crazy, my joints are hurting, and my stomach is so distended with fluids that I look pregnant(!) But I got up, went to work (with my lunch and snacks) and was focused on trying to have a better day. I still am excited about my new job. I still love it! The training has been overwhelming - but I really think I am going to love it!
And then, I get a call from my therapist this morning while I am at work, informing me that he is no longer going to be working at the place I am seeing him at. But he will help me find someone who I can be referred to. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I was not expecting this at all! And at that moment, any thought of trying to eat went right out the window after that phone call. Maybe this is what I get for avoiding my treatment team. Maybe this is my punishment for relapsing and not going to my appointments. I lose the best therapist I have ever had! And let me just say that I have certainly had my share of therapists - before and after starting recovery - and he is the only one who has been able to chip away at this huge protective wall I have. He is the only one I have really been able to trust and open up to. And now I feel completely abandoned. And of course, I freaked out and panicked. I had to step outside for a bit and I called my mom in tears and I was hysterical. And my mom (bless her heart) was on the receiving end of many phone calls and texts from me throughout the day. And of course, my mom explained that he wasn't abandoning me - he is just moving on. And she also suggested that maybe it's time for me to move on too. Maybe a change will be good since I am struggling so much. I don't agree. I feel abandoned, and I feel completely overwhelmed with the thought of having to start all over again with someone new - especially with how fragile my recovery has been lately.
So I don't know what is going to happen. I feel like I am getting close to the point where "It's just too hard to recover. It's too tiring, painful, and overwhelming to recover." I don't want to believe this. I don't want to feel this way. But it's how I have felt all day. And it's how I feel right now. I just pray that just like all the other times in the past when I have come to these moments that I feel like throwing in the towel - I will be able to find the courage and strength to keep going. I hope I am able to find that. Right now, all I know is I am past the point of exhaustion and there better not be any horrible surprises tomorrow or I promise you, I will completely lose it.