Sunday, July 28, 2013

Stay in the Closet

You're going to miss your flight.
You need to get references NOW.
No one knows you well enough to give you good references.
You fail at socializing. 
No one knows you. 
No one cares. 
You are going to fail unless you're a good friend of all your bosses. 
You waited too long to send in the application.
You won't get into grad school.
You won't find research. 
No professor wants you to help them.
It's too late for you. All the opportunities are taken by your betters.
You're fat. 
You've gained 10 pounds. You're fat. 
You're wasting your parents' money.
Your boss will hate you when she finds out you're in Belize.
You need to break up with your boyfriend because he doesn't love you.
He doesn't understand you. 
He doesn't care. 

There. Now Ed has exhausted himself and I shall stuff him in the back of my closet for my vacation. 

Goodbye Ed. I won't see you when I get back. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Vacation Tips?

Guess where I'll be starting next monday? 
It's a tiny country in Central America, and it's where my aunt and cousins are originally from (My aunt is a native Belizian and she married my uncle, who is from America).

Guess what they eat in Belize?
Rice. Beans. Corn. Flour. 
Not things I'm comfortable with. 

Not to mention that vacations are hard times for me. I usually let Ed into my life. 
I don't want to this trip because I want to feel great for the week and a half that I'm there. 
But I've never successfully avoided him. 

Does anyone have any tips about how I can prevent Ed from joining me? 
I am planning to bring a few snacks in my suitcase but obviously I can't bring every single meal. Plus I'll be expected to eat with everyone. 

**I'll be gone until August 8th, so if I don't comment for a while, that's why! I won't have internet or phone service in Belize**

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Profile of a Serial Killer

Ed isn’t just an abusive partner.
He’s a serial killer. In fact, he’s the worst serial killer on Earth. He’s been working since before the dark ages, and he’ll continue to kill until our planet is consumed by the sun.
The reasons are that he takes different names, he has different MOs, and people refuse to arrest him.
To me he’s Ed. Other people call him Mia or Ana. But those are the names people recognize as serial killers. He can also disguise himself as Healthy Eating, Diet, Exercise, Spirituality, Independence, and sometimes Power. He looks attractive, with clear skin, beautiful blond hair and eyes that sparkle like his smile. His hugs are warm and he’ll give you presents to make his way into your house. Victims give him their guest bedroom to keep. They don’t know that he’s like a gold digger, except he digs for life, happiness, and beauty. Where do you think he got all that vitality from?

He kills every victim a different way, but he does have some preferred methods. He likes to starve people. He’ll watch them and keep them locked away in their own attics, making sure that no morsels of food pass their lips. He blows up people’s stomachs by forcing them to eat and eat and eat. Sometimes he likes to hand them their own murder weapon and make them use it on themselves.
Recently I’ve obtained evidence that he gives people strokes. One survivor reports that he scarred her for life with epilepsy, a seizure disorder. Another one, not quite as lucky, can’t move an entire side of her body because of a stroke he gave her.
Ed gives people sepsis, infections of the blood.
The only similarities were found in autopsies of the mind, where it was revealed that all victims had low self-esteem, tumors of fear, and anxiety.

The worst part is that people refuse to hand him over. And when he’s stopped, he’s released again and again to find new victims. The people he targets love him. They’ll cling to him even if their families try to send him away. That is, until he starts torturing them, and by then he’s already made them so weak it can take years to tear his grip.
Depending on his MO, Ed can walk right by families and friends without being noticed.
Other people won’t arrest him because they say it’s not their problem. They say they can’t help you until you help yourself. A lot of times they don’t understand that Ed kills people for fun. Police don’t have enough evidence because no one puts “Ed” down as a cause of death. Instead they write “heart attack,” or something of that nature.
People can’t kill Ed because he has his grip on them too. They’re brainwashed to believe in his various disguises, brainwashed to fear fat, brainwashed to think that Ed is a teenage angst problem that goes away on its own, like acne.

Beware. He will come for you or someone you know. Don’t let him murder. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

You've Probably Had this Conversation

Ed: You’re fat.
Me: Why do you say that?
Ed: Because. You gained almost 10 pounds this summer. Look at that flab on your belly. And your pants are tight now. Your jeans barely fit.
Me: I know. But I'm healthy, not like those other times. I’m doing exercise now. I eat better.
Ed: No you don’t. You still binge. And you eat TONS of sweets.
Me: I have a lot of time to fix this. I didn’t gain 10 pounds, I gained 8. And I will lose it all once school starts again.
Ed: Damn right you will, because I won’t let you put a morsel of food in your mouth.
Me: Fine. I’ll let you do that if you leave me be right now.
Ed: Why not start early? I can help you lose weight. Just open up and let me pour in the thinness.
Me: You mean pour in the calories.
Ed: What’s the difference? You can eat all you want. That entire jar of peanut butter on the table will be nothing once I get through with you.
Me: I don’t feel like purging.
Ed: But you feel like eating.
Me: I’m not hungry. I’m going to drink some water.
Ed: Back to your weight.
Me: I’m healthy. No one says I look fat.
Ed: That’s because they’re being nice.
Me: I hate you. Stop making me feel bad.
Ed: Stop being fat.
Me: I’m going to walk away from you. I am not fat. I gained muscle from my job. That probably accounts for a couple pounds.
Ed: That and all the calories you eat.
Me: Yes, I’m eating more than enough calories per day. But I’m not bingeing so often anymore either. You’re scared because I’m cutting you out of my life. I don’t owe you anything. Just get out of my house.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Goals of the Week 52

I have been doing goals of the week for a full year now! I can't believe it. Days pass by so quickly, and this blog still feels new to me. 
I started goals of the week after finishing an outpatient ED program which asked us to write goals for the week. They told us not to make goals about throwing up or bingeing, which supposedly makes it less likely for you to engage in those behaviors. I can see where that thinking comes from, but for me having a clear goal in mind about bingeing helps me to stop myself when I need to. (I mean, stop Ed from taking over me) 
You wouldn't know it looking at this past week, though. My goal was to not binge for 4 days in a row, with a subgoal of every time I couldn't fight an urge to let myself overeat. 
I guess you could say that I didn't technically binge for 4 days in a row. I overate 3 of those 4 days though, so I don't know if it counts. If overeating counts as a binge, they were very small binges, which I consider improvement at the very least. 
My new b/p goal is to make it at least a week without purging (I'm already 4 days in) and have 4 days in a row of normal eating. Yesterday can be day 1. 

My non b/p goal was to ask myself what Ed wants me to do and what I need to do to stay in recovery. Again, it was helpful, and maybe this week I'll post a couple examples of what I said. I'm going to continue with this, but I don't think I need to make it a goal anymore. Instead, my goal will be to contact 3 people from group outside of the therapy sessions. I want to be friends with them, and I'm afraid that I'm putting them off somehow. 

What are your goals? 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I can be Mean Sometimes

Whenever I describe myself, one of the first words I use is "nice." I think I'm pretty nice, and it's one of my qualities that I'm happy with. If someone told me I was mean, it would cut deep. 
Maybe I'm in denial. 
It's hard for me to admit, but I don't like some people. Admitting that I don't like certain others is like giving people license to not like me, which I can't deal with. I don't like one of my coworkers. I don't particularly enjoy my boss.  
People I don't like usually haven't done anything mean to me. I either witness them doing or saying something mean about others, or I just don't like their personalities. 
One girl I never even interacted with I didn't like just because she was always involved with drama between my friends. I found out she might have depression and I felt bad. 
I even dislike my ex-roommate, and I was the one who stole things from her! 

I gossip, of course. I can dish on people who don't deserve it. 

I think some people are ugly. I even think some people are uglier than me (how is that possible?). It doesn't mean I dislike them or that I think it's bad that they're ugly. On the contrary, I'm glad there are ugly people out there who can love their lives, because it means I don't have to wallow in self-pity and unhappiness.
(Interestingly, no one I've met with an ED or in the ED community has seemed less than exquisitely beautiful. It's intimidating and puzzling) 
I think some people are fat. Sometimes I look at my sister and think she's fat. And then I worry about thinking that, as if the thought will cause her self-esteem to plummet and send her headfirst into an eating disorder. 

I worry that my niceness is just an act I put on to hide my true mean-spirited feelings. I know everyone judges to some extent, but I don't know to what extent. The girls I've met in group therapy seem nicer than me, so I wonder if I'm actually mean. 
I don't want to be mean. I want to be nice. 
Maybe it's just who I am. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Declaration of Self Esteem

by Virginia Satir

I am Me.
In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. 
Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it.
I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. 
I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. 
I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. 
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know.
But as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me. 
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. Later, if some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. 
I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do.
I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. 
I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. 
I am me, and I am okay.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Things I Don't Miss

from Restricting:
1. Anger at everyone when I was hungry
2. Hunger- constantly
3. Jealousy- of others when they got to eat stuff I didn't.
4. Tension about food
5. Headaches
6. Sleepiness

Things I Won't Miss from Bulimia:
1. Purging
2. Sore throat
3. Fullness
4. Despair
5. Swollen face
6. Guilt over eating
7. Stealing
8. Loss of control

I can't even imagine life without the sore throats and the purging. But I couldn't imagine life without restricting either, and then I stopped. 
There will come a day when I look back on these past two years and marvel about how I survived it, marvel at how stupid I was acting. I'll laugh to myself.

What won't you miss (or don't you miss) about your eating disorder?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Purging Backwards

What if we lived our lives backwards? We’d be old and quietly become new again, and able to walk. Things would only get better and better.
Instead of eating we would extract food from our mouths with a fork and put it back on the plate, good as new.
Instead of throwing up it would all go back in until a few minutes later when we’d just extract it again.
And we’d get fatter and skinnier over and over again, just like we’re doing now. We’d care and not care, be happy and hate ourselves, until we get to the last day, the day when it all started. Our muscles would start off strong and ache more and more as we become less toned. We’d get shorter and penniless except for an allowance our parents take from us every so often.
Friends would disappear. The world would become simpler again.
At the end of it all, binging and purging is just a long cycle of zeros. I don’t gain or lose any weight in the long run. I don’t live my life any more or less.
If life got better, it wasn’t because of how much my stomach stuck out.

I see an endless vision of me leaning over the toilet to let the purge back into me, taking food from my mouth, and going about my backwards life with utmost happiness.
This is pointless. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Goals of the Week 51

My goal last week was to eat normally 4 days in a row. I didn't do that by a long shot: I only had one normal day this week. BUT I only purged one day. And I didn't have a true binge on some of the other days. I guess you could call them small binges. So it's an improvement. 
My goal is the same as last week: eat normally 4 days in a row. I can do it, I know I can. I still have all that motivation, and I won't be at home to eat dinner with my triggering family. 
The sub-goal for this week is that whenever I want to binge I need to give myself permission to overeat. I did this last week and it led to small binges. Anything's better than eating an entire box of swiss rolls. Giving myself permission to overeat does not make me feel good, but it makes me feel better than binging and purging would. And sometimes it's necessary to overcome the urges I have to eat and eat and eat. 

My non b/p goal for last week was to write out the answers to these questions:
1. What does Ed want me to do today?
2. What do I need to do to be in recovery today?

I did that for about 4 days, so I'm going to do it again, starting today. It did help. It helped me separate out Ed from me, and I don't really know why I stopped halfway through the week. Probably because I was tired. Or because my friend came over and dominated my time. I hate that I had to go out and eat with him. I don't like eating restaurant food. I just want to eat safely. 

What are your goals? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ed and his Swiss Rolls

Lately, I've been trying to write down conversations between Ed and I whenever I feel triggered. Here's one:

Ed: You’re already over the calorie limit. Go eat a swiss roll.
Emily: No. I am rational. I don’t want to eat the extra calories
Ed: Yes you do.
Emily: No. I do not. YOU do.
Ed: You do too.
Emily: I am not you.
Ed: I will force you to eat it.
Emily: You can’t. It’s my body.
Ed: Yeah right.
Emily: It is. And you’re RUINING it.
Ed: It’s not my body, I don’t care.
Emily: Exactly. Now leave me alone.
Ed: No. Go eat the swiss roll.
Emily: Leave me alone.
Ed: Ok. (leaves)

It looks like I beat him, but I ended up eating an entire box of swiss rolls a few minutes later. I give myself credit for stalling though, because I was a mess when this happened. A resident had pulled the fire alarm at my work, and I had messed up during the reaction, so my nerves and confidence were shot. 
Before this happened I composed an e-mail to my group members about the incident, which also helped me fight the urge. 

The conversations help me a lot. They let me get out all my negative feelings but I can attribute them to someone else so that I, Emily, can fight with positive ones. It makes resisting triggers easier, although for me I still end up engaging in the behaviors as of now. But it's a process, and I'm in the early stages of divorcing Ed. He hasn't gotten it though his thick skull yet that I don't want him around. 

If you try having a conversation with Ed, feel free to share it!