Saturday, January 29, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love

"I was in the upstairs bathroom of the big house in the suburbs of New York which I'd recently purchased with my husband. It was a cold November, around three o'clock in the morning. My husband was sleeping in our bed. I was hiding in the bathroom for something like the forty-seventh consecutive night, and - just as during all those nights before - I was sobbing. Sobbing so hard, in fact, that a great lake of tears and snot was spreading before me on the bathroom tiles, a veritable Lake Inferior (if you will) of all my shame and fear and confusion and grief. This part of my story is not a happy one, I know. But I share here because something was about to occur on that bathroom floor that would change forever the progression of my life. What happened was that I started to pray. You know - like, to God."

"When you're lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you ARE lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trail head any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it's time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know from which direction the sun rises anymore."

"I tried so hard to fight the endless sobbing. I remember asking myself one night while I was curled up in the same old corner of my same old couch in tears yet again over the same old repetition of sorrowful thoughts, "Is there anything about this scene you can change, Liz?" And all I could think to do was stand up, while still sobbing, and try to balance on one foot in the middle of my living room. Just to prove that - while I couldn't stop the tears or change my dismal internal dialogue - I was not yet totally out of control: at least I could cry hysterically while balanced on one foot. Hey, it was a start."

"The Bhagavad Gita - that ancient Indian Yogic text - says that it is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else's life with perfection."

"I told her my thoughts about praying. I don't like asking, "Will you change this or that thing in my life that's difficult for me?" Because - who knows? - God might want me to be facing that particular challenge for a reason. Instead, I feel more comfortable praying for the courage to face whatever occurs in my life with equanimity, no matter how things turn out."

"That some vital transformation is happening in my life, and this transformation needs time and room in order to finish it's process undisturbed. That basically, I'm the cake that just came out of the oven, and it still needs some more time to cool before it can be frosted. I don't want to cheat myself out of this precious time. I don't want to lose control of my life again."

"I think about the woman I have become lately, about the life that I am now living, and about how much I always wanted to be this person and live this life, liberated from the farce of pretending to be anyone other than myself. I think of everything I endured before getting here and wonder if it was me - I mean, this happy and balanced me, who is now dozing on the deck of this small Indonesian fishing boat - who pulled the other, younger, more confused, and more struggling me forward during all those hard years. The younger me was the acorn full of potential, but it was the older me, the already-existent oak, who was saying the whole time: "Yes -grow! Change! Evolve! Come and meet me here, where I already exist in wholeness and maturity! I need you to grow into me!" And maybe it was this present and fully actualized me who was hovering four years ago over that young married sobbing girl on the bathroom floor, and maybe it was this me who whispered lovingly into that depserate girl's ear, "Go back to bed, Liz..." Knowing already that everything would eventually bring us together here. Right here, right to this moment. Where I was waiting in peace and contentment, always waiting for her to arrive and join me."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I think things are gonna be okay ; )

I feel like these past two months have really tested me and my strength in recovery. There has been so much chaos in my life that was (and still is) going on that is making me feel like I have no control over my life or some of the things that are happening in it! Which is not a good thing for me. Feeling like I have no control over the things that are happening in my life is a HUGE trigger for me! Which usually results in me running straight back to the eating disorder where I can feel some sense of control over something in my life. Especially this past month, I have been living in a state of almost-constant anxiety, stress, fear, uncertainty... and it was really starting to drain me emotionally, spiritually, physically... It was really putting my recovery to the test.
But I think that things are gonna start to slow down, get better, and return to normal in the next couple of weeks. I am hoping and praying that it will. Because I am tired. Exhausted. Emotionally drained. There have been a lot of personal things (and really stressful work things) that have nearly pushed me completely back into the arms of my eating disorder. But somehow, (through a lot of hard work, making sure I go to my treatment appointments & groups, and talking to friends and family when I have really been on the verge of drowning!) I have managed to make it through this really rough period with just a few scrapes & bruises. And I am very grateful for that! Very! And if you know me and know my history, then you know that it is a miracle that I didn't completely relapse during all of this. Because relapsing seems to be my track record during these years of struggling to recover from my eating disorder.

Some of these recent scrapes & bruises that I am talking about are:
  • There are a few behaviors that I did revert back to that I am currently working on trying to stop. 
  • My weight dropped a little. But just a little. Nothing too drastic thank goodness - because gaining (nearly 30 pounds) this past fall/winter was horribly excruciating on me mentally, emotionally and physically. And even though I am super uncomfortable with this current weight that I am trying to maintain, and even though I am really struggling to cope, accept, & love this new body of mine... I don't have the energy right now to start that process all over again. I just don't).
  • Some of my labs are a little off, but I am currently working on getting them back to normal again. And they will if I can stop the behaviors that I am struggling with right now.
  • My emotional self is very fragile but I'm slowly trying to build it's strength up again.
Things are still a struggle. And it's still hard for me to not want to engage or escape into the behaviors that I have used to cope these past two months. And to be honest - I am a bit fearful of letting them go again... but I am actively trying to do things to try to turn these things around. I am just very grateful that I was able to hold onto my recovery as well as I did, and that these scrapes & bruises weren't so much worse!

Sometimes people think that the phrase "One day at a time" is silly or a bit cliche. Let me just say that it's not! It's how I have been trying to live during the past couple of months. And sometimes - that phrase was the thing that got me through the day without completely falling apart. Or even on those days that I did fall apart, that phrase was one of the things that helped give me the courage to keep going. And most days, it was more like "One hour at a time." or even "One moment at a time."

I also need to give a shout-out to my amazing momma who talked me through soooo many tearful & anxiety-filled moments. I feel bad for letting her see me in those moments (even though she has seen and been through so much worse with me!!) But her support, understanding, guidance, and listening ear was very instrumental in helping me think rationally when the eating disorder was screaming in my ear, or calming me down when I was struggling with severe anxiety from the stress & out of control feelings. I love my momma so much!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

trying to get back on track

I am still struggling more than usual lately, and I seem to be having a tough time getting back on track to where I was in recovery before the holidays - but I am trying to find the strength, energy, & motivation to NOT run back to the ed behaviors to cope (or to feel in control) as often, or as much as I have been lately.

Things are just overwhelming and stressful and I feel like I have slipped back a bit into the ed world as a way of coping, and I need to somehow snap out of it. Because I have been doing so well during the past few months and I don't want all of that hard work to go down the drain. It seriously took blood, sweat, tears, and SO much more(!) to get me to that point in my recovery and I DON'T want to move backwards! Especially because these past few months have been the best I have done and have been the most successful in regards to my recovery...ever(!) since I started this journey. And I am worried that it is starting to slip out of my hands and I feel like I am kind of losing the momentum that I had. But sometimes, I feel so overwhelmed and tired and I feel like I just need a time-out or a breather until things start to settle down again a little bit.

And since things have been really busy and exhausting in my life in regards to work, recovery, just life in general right now, I haven't had the time (or the energy) to blog or explain things in more detail about what's been going on like I usually do but...

I'm still here and... I'm doing okay.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

feeling vunerable

Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that I am leaning -more than usual- on the ed behaviors to cope with life. And I need to... stop it! (stop it jenn, stop it, stop it!!) I don't know if it's because of the holidays (which are always really tough for me emotionally & coping wise) or if it's because over these past couple of weeks, it seems like a lot of things keep happening, one after another, that is making me feel out of control (which is another thing that I have a really tough time coping with). Sometimes, I get really overwhelmed and the anxiety and fear starts to creep in when I feel out of control with the things that are happening in my life... and that is one of the major reasons why I developed my eating disorder to begin with and it is one of the reasons why I have used it to cope/numb/feel in control of something...(blah, blah, blah - we all know this story.)  Anyways, maybe it's both of these things combined? I don't know. But what I do know is that I am recognizing what is happening. I am admitting it. And now, I need to turn it around asap!

I have therapy this week, and I am also going to two support groups this week. So hopefully this will help me get myself back on track. But I think what scares me the most (and worries me and frustrates me the most) is the fact that it is still so natural, so easy, so comforting for me when I am engaging in behaviors. I am terrified with how natural it seems to be for me to just slip back into my "ed world."

I don't want it to be like this because it makes it harder for me sometimes to see WHY it's so harmful, lonely, deadly... when it feels so safe and I feel like I actually have control over something when my life seems to constantly feel like it's completely out of my control! I don't want to feel this way about the ed. I want to hate it! I want to never want to run back to it ever again! And sometimes, I DO feel this way. Especially over these past few months as I have been working so hard on letting this go and moving forward in my life. But, I still do miss it a lot of the time. I know it sounds messed up to miss something that has hurt me so much, but it's been the constant in my life since I was 13 years old. So maybe, it's okay to grieve it. Maybe, it's okay to be sad and scared, that I am letting it go. Maybe...? 

But I also need to make sure that I recognize it for what it IS. It's the number one killer of all mental illnesses! It destroys peoples lives! It hurts people! And as much as the ed has convinced me and tricked me into believing that is is... it is NOT safe! It is not what I should want to lean on anymore in my life! I need to remember these things when I start to slip so I can see the ed for what it truly IS and not what it has disguised itself as for all of these years.