Thursday, December 29, 2011

cracks in the wall

It seems like the ed knows those "perfect" moments. Those moments when I am feeling vulnerable enough for it to come and sneak into my thoughts and feelings. It knows me so well, and it can sense those moments when it can creep in and make me believe that it's thoughts are my thoughts. And it knows how to stay in my head, once it's managed to trick me into letting it in, and it knows exactly what to make me think and feel to do it's best to stay as long as possible. It wants the control back. And I don't know why I have started to let it back into my thoughts and feelings more lately. I don't know what's causing me to feel more vulnerable lately...

I don't know if I have just been letting my guard down more. If I have been getting lazy at standing guard around the protective wall that I have spent (through all of these years in treatment) trying to build around myself and my recovery... but I feel like it's starting to crack a little. I feel the ed creeping in more and more. I still feel strong in my recovery - for the most part - but the old ed thoughts and feelings are lingering longer inside of me before I can push them out. And it's been happening more often over this past month or two.

This past year, has been such a good year for me in regards to my recovery. The best year I have had in recovery! And as this year has gone by, I have been able to push the ed further and further away from me as I have grown in my recovery and in myself. I thought I had finally broken away from it's deadly grasp and was moving forward and on with my life. So I guess I am feeling a bit concerned... confused... as to what is going on that is causing me to feel more vulnerable lately. I wish I knew what was going on because I feel it starting to affect me more lately than it has in a long time. I am happy without the ed in my life. This past year has shown me how beautiful life is in recovery and I don't want to lose that! I want to stay here in recovery. I just want the ed to leave me alone. The ed has taken more than half of my life away from me, it has taken so many things/people/opportunities that I loved and cared about in my life, it has taken so much of myself away from me, it has left me bruised, battered, and broken, and it has nearly killed me many many times... I don't want it to take anything else away from me. I won't let it! I just wish I knew what was going on. I wish I understood it. I wish I knew so I could fix it. 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

my wish...


...is that everyone's holiday season
is full of magic and love.




Merry Christmas!

love,
jenn

Thursday, December 22, 2011

holiday tips for recovery

These are some of the things that people have shared with me and that I've learned throughout my recovery & treatment that have helped me, and I wanted to share them with y'all because I know the holiday season can be really difficult when struggling with an eating disorder. I hope some of these tips can help lessen the ed's control - even if just a little - during the holiday season for everyone.

~~~~~

* Eat like you would on any other normal day. Don't skip meals and starve in an attempt to "make up" for what you recently ate or are about to eat. Keep a regular and moderate pattern with your meals.

* Worry more about the size of your heart than the size of your hips. Remember what the holidays are really about and keep that in your mind throughout the day. Reflect on your life, enjoy relationships with loved ones, and give gratitude and thanks for blessings in your life and try to give back to others through loving service.

* Have a plan (discuss with treatment team if you have one or someone close to you that you trust and is supportive) and keep that plan with you throughout the day as a guide for when you start to feel triggered or overwhelmed.

* If you can, let yourself enjoy a few "special occasion foods."

* Try to have a good support system. Find someone you trust to be your "reality check" with food to either help you plate your food or give you a reality check when the ed tries to distort your thoughts of how much you should or shouldn't be eating.

*Try to be flexible with your thoughts. Learn to be flexible in guidelines for yourself, and in expectations of yourself and others. Try to be flexible in what you can eat during the holidays. Take a break from self-imposed criticism, rigidity, and perfectionism.

* Be mindful with your meals. Try to stay present throughout the day. Take time-outs if you need to throughout the day.

* Have a list prepared of healthy things you can do throughout the day to relax and cope if you start to feel overwhelmed or anxious.

* Avoid focusing too much on the food - it only adds fuel to the eating disorder.

* Wear something you feel comfortable in, avoid calorie counting and scales, don't look in every mirror you see to do body checks.

* If you feel yourself starting to panic because you feel too full or if you allowed yourself to eat foods that you consider to be forbidden, remind yourself that it is okay to eat what you did, that food will not make you fat, and it is only normal to eat during the holidays.

* Find fun and relaxing activities to do to take your mind off of the food. Play games, go for a walk, watch a movie, hang out with family and friends, ect.

*If you have a period where you end up binging or purging or engaging in an ed behavior, do not beat yourself up over it. Just put it behind you and move forward. "Do the next right thing."

* Prepare responses to say to people who may say something to you that would make you feel uncomfortable (like commenting on your eating, weight, appearance, behavior, ect.) And if you feel comfortable enough - try to set boundaries for yourself by telling people ahead of time to please not comment on any of these things.

* Do what is right for you. Do not allow anyone to pressure you into eating more than you can handle. You are not eating for them, you are eating for yourself. If being with certain family members or friends is too stressful, you may have to think about not going to certain places or get-togethers. Don't be afraid to disappoint people by not showing up if it will be too hard for you and your recovery, and if you can, be honest about why you will not be attending. Holidays are a very stressful time for people with eating disorders and it really is important that you do whatever you need to do in order to make them easier on yourself and your recovery.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

road trip!

My boyfriend and I are leaving early in the morning to go on a road trip for a few days to Southern California for my birthday! I am so excited =) It will be so nice to get away from "normal, stressful" life for a while and just enjoy some time away. I love the beach and the warmer weather! I know it's December and it won't be super warm there but it will be a lot better than here!! Perfect way to spend my birthday. Peace out for a while ice cold Utah! And I hope everyone has a great week! Keep fighting for recovery and be gentle with yourselves <3

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

patience isn't easy for this girl

I just want to thank everyone for all the comments regarding my previous post. They all really helped me to be able to see the situation from a different point of view than my own. Especially since I haven't had a treatment team since March of this year - it's nice to have people in my life who "know" and truly understand what I am going through. I feel blessed to have all of you in my life =) It's hard sometimes to trust myself and my thoughts in recovery still sometimes, and things can get confusing at times.

I think I have been feeling a bit vulnerable (and stressed) lately, and maybe that is the reason for feeling the urge to exercise more. And even though I think I could handle it... why put myself in a situation that I could be (and am) vulnerable to? I don't need to increase my exercise. What I am doing right now is fine. And I am realizing this. I think for now, I just need to continue making smart choices and hold off on more exercise because it is something I know I am still susceptible to. And that is okay. I'm just not ready. I need to protect my recovery and be patient. It's hard for me to be patient. I want to be completely recovered. Now. But recovery is a process, and even though I am in the best place in recovery and in my life than I have ever been... I still need to be careful.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

which thoughts are mine?

I have gotten a lot better at recognizing MY thoughts from the ed's thoughts, but sometimes, I still struggle to know the difference between the two. For the past few weeks, I have been feeling a stronger desire/urge/compulsion to exercise more often than I am now. Right now, I just go to my gym's Zumba class twice a week. But I have been feeling like I want to... (should to, need to?) exercise more. I have tried to brush the feelings off, but they don't seem to be going away. I think they might even be getting stronger. But it concerns me because exercising is something that is very easy for me to lose control of and become compulsive about. I have proved that fact way too many times in the past. But am I overreacting? I am a lot stronger in my recovery right now than I have ever been... so would it be no big deal to exercise a bit more each week?

I have been missing the feelings I'd get from running every day. I don't know if it's the endorphins or the feel good "high" I get from running that I miss - or if it's the "high" I get from knowing that I am burning calories and the ed obsessions that are making these thoughts stronger in my head. Is it because I want to get in better shape and I want to be healthier... or is it about my body image and still feeling a little insecure about that? Could it be because of the holidays and the memories from my past about this time of the year? I don't know. And I hate not knowing what the true motive is behind my thoughts. I try to be very careful in my recovery when it comes to certain behaviors and triggers. Because I can easily become obsessed or become compulsive again when it comes to certain things. A few different times during this past spring/summer, I thought I was in a good enough place in recovery, to start exercising more with the intent of being "healthier and stronger". And it would go well for a little bit - but then I would start to become obsessive about it again and would have to force myself to stop because I was sliding down that slippery slope and becoming unhealthy about it once again. That's why I have held off on upping my exercise since then. But would it really be a bad thing? Maybe I am ready now. 

I have tried to think it through, to figure out what the true intention of these thoughts are, but I'm not sure... *sigh* Stupid Ed. Any thoughts, suggestions, or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, December 2, 2011

the holiday season begins!

I love the holiday season! I love everything about it! I love getting together with my friends and family. I love curling up in warm blankets and drinking hot chocolate on a snowy night. I love the Christmas movies that are on tv. I love shopping!! I love wrapping presents and giving them to people. I love Christmas music. I love parties and the yummy food (hmm... never thought I'd be able to say that! lol). I love the cheery & happy feeling in the air around this time of the year. I love going to church and feeling the peace I get when I am there. I love walking around downtown. I love looking at all the Christmas lights. It also doesn't hurt that my birthday is this month too. I could go on and on about why I love the holidays. But most of all, the thing I love the most about the holidays this year is that my eating disorder won't be there to disrupt, interfere, or ruin things (for me and for my family & friends) - like it has since I was 13 years old.

Tonight I'm going to a church Christmas dinner & program with my boyfriend and his family. Then we are going back to his parents house to exchange small gifts & hang out, maybe watch a movie, play games, or just relax. It's the first of many celebrations to come this month. I am excited = ) This time of the year used to bring me so many emotions, and I have so many painful memories from all the years when I was struggling. I know I can't change the past. I can't forget the horrible things that I went through and felt because of my eating disorder... but what I can do it make new memories that are filled with happiness, love, and health that I can replace the old memories with. I know I can't forget, but I can forgive (myself and others), and I can let go and reach for love instead.