I feel like in society, there’s this idea that we can’t ask for help until all hell breaks loose, until we’re in complete crisis, until we’re having a major meltdown, until the shit hits the fan… However you want to put it, our pride can often stop us from asking for help until we absolutely need it. We wait until we’re at rock bottom before asking for advice, asking for a hand with our uni work, asking for a shoulder to cry on, asking for help to follow our meal plan, asking for accountability for something we may be struggling with. This isn’t even specific to eating disorders – I think to some degree, this can be true of us all at various times throughout our lives. Continue reading
This morning I had a cup of milk on my cereal. I know it was a cup, because I measured it. This is not something I usually do. This morning I had to force myself to measure out a cup of milk, as per my dietitian’s request, because this is not something I usually do and whilst I measure my cereal I do not measure my milk. I have always pronounced this to health professionals triumphantly – I do not measure my milk, therefore I am not obsessive and I can be flexible and I am smashing this whole recovery thing. Continue reading
Eating disorders hate change. As long as everything is the same, everything is okay. As long as I can control the amount of food that I eat and it’s the same, it’s okay. As long as I do as much exercise as I possibly can, everything is all good. Eating disorders are a routine, a habit. They’re a compulsion And often it’s difficult to see a way out of the routine when it’s all you know.
Back in November last year, I wrote a blog post entitled ‘How Does One Get from Recovery to Recovered?’ I reckon at the time it was such an issue for me because I could never imagine myself saying to someone “I am recovered from an eating disorder”; I always envisioned the same ol’ “I am recovering from an eating disorder”.
So I sit here today typing this and am still no longer in that position that I desire to be.
The fact that I eat regularly, don’t overexercise, don’t purge my meals, don’t abuse laxatives, don’t binge eat, don’t manipulate my food intake in any way and have maintained my weight for almost 6 months all show me that I am much, much better than I was. And I’m proud of that. I am so happy to have made the changes I have; I recognise the significance of them. But eating disorders are much more than the physical. The issues that are at the core of an eating disorder are the things that I believe need to be sufficiently dealt with in order to make a full recovery and to be able to utter those longed for words!
I know the causes of my own eating disorder and am still working through them. It’s a very difficult thing, but it won’t last forever and it’s so essential to deal with them so I can continue to have healthy relationships with others, as well as with myself and my body.
I hope you anticipate the day when I sit down here and write a blog post called ‘Recovered!’ as much as I do. And thank you all so much for supporting me as you have and as you are.
Love, Bek X
As A put it to me – “New year. New experiences. New opportunities.”
New Years Eve isn’t a night I particularly want to recall. ED got a one up on me and after almost 2 months of no purging, I threw up dinner (nachos – one of my very scary foods). But perhaps it was symbolic of something – that ED will not be brought into the New Year; that it will just be one of those big, life-changing things that occurred in 2009 and 2010 and 2011 but will continue to be changed in 2012. Watching the Sydney fireworks on tv was very, very surreal – I’m so desperate for a better year than the last but at the same time am terrified that nothing much will really change.
I am surrounded by wonderful people. Wonderful people who want to see me achieve my goal of being eating disorderless. Wonderful people who have seen my very good days and my most terrible and love me exactly the same regardless.
2012 is the year I turn 20. I start bible college. I move into my own place. There is no way that I want any of this year to be marred by the eating disorder, and it’s definitely not my intention to let it happen. So I will continue to challenge myself. Maybe one day very soon I will tackle those nachos again.
I will continue to write my brave lists
And be happy
And when I am sad or worried or stressed, I will always make myself a cup of tea
I just want to continue to make change in 2012. I don’t want to carry any of these unhelpful habits into my adult years. And that’s something worth being stubborn about!
Happy New Year to all of you – I hope it’s a wonderful year full of new opportunities and big changes that you both learn and grow from!
Love, Rebekah xo.
Sitting in an oversized jumper, drinking Twinings English Breakfast tea and just spotted a huntsman on the wall.
Think you’re all about due for an update.
The weather has been crummy, the cats follow me around a lot, yesterday I ate a strange German sausage for lunch, I’m trying to find things to fill in my mornings which is sometimes difficult and thus they drag a little, I started sleeping with my door closed (which I’ve never done) primarily because some unnamed people in this house snore loudly.
Yesterday I had a CT scan for a potential sinus infection, I had afternoon tea with L & A (fudge and coffee!), I bought lovely orange flowers of some variety that I cannot currently recall and went on a picnic with B & L (it was really, really, really fantastic).
What do I miss?
The obvious. The company of some of my favourite people. Sleeping in a double bed. The daily grind coffee. Being tucked in. Forehead kisses. (I know, I need to grow up v. soon). Knowing what’s going on in peoples’ lives all the time. Dancing wildly in the lounge room to James Brown. Being encouraged to sing in the shower. Also, I really, really reaaaaaally miss this girl:
Basically listening to my happy songs playlist on ze ipod over and over again in the coming days. It’s sure to get the positive vibes flowing.
Love, Rebekah XX
Crisis # 1. Walked into the bathroom at C’s house to unpack all my toiletry goods. Scales were innocently sitting next to the bath. Eating disorder cheered. Rebekah furrowed her brow.
I haven’t actually weighed myself in a very long time. M, ze dietitian woman does it once a fortnight, but that’s just to check in on where I’m at and see what my body is doing with all of this new-found food that it’s missed out on for so damn long! I have a general idea of what I weigh, but mostly I try to stay away, particularly if it’s something my eating disorder is demanding to know and not myself.
Messaged L and told her, who promptly told me she would inform C that they should really probably more than likely definitely be moved (she didn’t actually use those words, but I wish she had now that I just thought of them ’cause then I could put them in quotation marks and italics and it would look cool).
Summoned up the courage and told C myself – it was A-OK and she has now shifted them into her room.
Crisis # 1 averted.
So what is there to say?
– There are creepy toy soldiers on my bedside table
– I had morning tea with A and lunch with L
– I am allergic to C’s cats
– I’m writing thank you cards for people who have been most lovely and helpful this year
– Speaking of cards, L gave me this excellent one yesterday:
So, so fitting.
Things are feeling a little weird, but that’s to be expected I’m sure.
Shall keep you all updated.
Love, Bek XX
I haven’t written lately because I’ve been busy. And if I haven’t been busy, I’ve been sad. And if I haven’t been either of those things, I’ve been packing. Or drinking coffee.
I’m spending my first night away from this house, away from L & A tonight. This might be the last blog post I may write here for a while. I’m terrified. I’m scared things will be weird between us now. I’m scared I won’t be able to talk to them about things I previously have been able to. I am so much going to miss their company and their love and support and hugs and general greatness.
I’m staying with a lovely lady called C – then moving into my own place next February / March-ish. I don’t know what to say really. You might not understand how difficult this is – but if you understand how important this year has been in terms of my eating disorder recovery and how significant L & A have been in my recovery process, then perhaps you do.
So if you’re the praying sort, please pray. I know full well I can get through the next few days and weeks and months – but the point is that I’m not exactly sure how.
No other relevant things to say.
On Saturday night, I went with L and A up to Newtown to ‘Jazz in the Graveyard’ at R’s church. It was cool. We had dinner (a very late dinner) at a pub nearby and gelato for dessert (hokey pokey flavour). It was a new thing for me. And a big deal. Pub meals are just huge in general, and thus frightening. Plus the whole eating out thing is still a little scary too. Then dessert! The last time I went out for ice cream was when I attended the day program in Sydney and we really had no choice in it. So it was probably a brave night, overall.
The thing for me is that if someone doesn’t confirm it was good or brave, I start to second-guess myself a little. Or the eating disordered thoughts start creeping into my head, to be precise. Thoughts like “you really shouldn’t have eaten that” – ie, feelings of guilt.
So I’m wondering when I’ll get beyond that. When these things will become second nature. When I’ll give up control of that area of my life and say “no, the eating disorder is no longer a part of my life” and just let go of it. Because the longer I hold onto the whole “please recognise my bravery” thing, the longer the ED hangs around. I don’t think I’m quite there – but I am working on it, be assured.
I’m not one to take risks. I like knowing what’s going to happen. I hate feeling uncomfortable emotions. My eating disorder provided this a lot of comfort – didn’t have to feel things, do things, I could organise things … but life isn’t like that. Life is chaotic. Things happen that you don’t expect. The eating disordered expectation of this neat and tidy life is irrational and absurd. So I’m trying to work on being spontaneous and it’s hard and difficult and I figure the struggle through it will not be comfortable in the slightest. But still, I’m willing.
Ate a nashi pear after lunch. It was tremendous.
So today, I’ve been risky. Done a few brave things, I think. Hoping people think they’re brave too, so I can be 100% certain that it’s good.
And soon I am going to drink a cup of coffee and do something spontaneous. Like … fly to Melbourne.
Needing a change of scenery.
Some things never change…
But a lot does, particularly in a year. Somehow, one begins to eat normally again. One stops fearing food. One stops making themself throw up. One gains required weight and somehow learns to feel okay about it. She learns to enjoy food. She stops stressing about her weight 24/7. She stops biting her nails. Food is no longer classed as good or bad. She stops measuring things – measuring food, her body … She stops weighing herself every day. She somehow summons the courage to tell her brother she has an eating disorder. One week later, she tells her mother.
You read it here people! I went out with Mum today and as we were driving along I said: “Last year … did you know I had eating problems?”
The conversation went from there.
Real courage is this: using a tablespoon when every fibre of your being is scared of the consequences. It’s taking a breath and telling someone you have an eating disorder and want to help others. It’s saying “I feel mad/angry/sad”. It’s being honest. Bravery is doing the right thing, even though it’s hard. It’s wearing a dress and not caring what others think about your shape or weight. It’s feeling okay about yourself, and not conforming to what the world says you should be like. Bravery is in you and in me – we just suppress it far too often.
In the past, I’ve talked myself down a lot. Always telling myself I was stupid or fat or ugly – something negative anyway. I’m not. I’m brave. I don’t care if that sounds narcissistic or stupid, because it’s the truth. And I think maybe I’m not an awful person like I used to think. That I have a purpose in life and living, and that is to continue to live in and for Christ day by day, each day, for the rest of my life.
And I will.