9.11.2012

Eating

I haven't posted in a while how food/eating/eating disorder/bingeing/purging/restricting are going. And that's because, for the most part, they've been (I can't believe I'm going to say this) a non-issue.

A non-issue.

If you had asked me two years ago if I thought that would be possible, I would have laughed in your face. And then cried.

But somehow, it happened, it was true, and I've been enjoying food and eating and BEING NORMAL for a few months now. I thank god and the heavens and the mountains and the oceans. And I'll credit my therapist, Prozac, my best friend, and the mercy of the universe for that.

But when I tripped and fell into a pit of anxiety and depression a week and a half ago, I was shocked at how quickly my eating disorder came roaring back following a few days of being unable to eat due to anxiety.

LOOK AT ME! it screamed. LOOK! You can binge and purge and get numb! You can restrict and get hunger highs! YOU CAN GET SKINNIER AGAIN! Do you see how fat you've gotten?!

Suddenly, I wasn't just at the bottom of a pit of anxiety and depression. I was teetering on the edge of the eating disorder well. And when you're faced with falling down a well, it's a hell of a lot scarier and more pressing than just being at the bottom of a pit.

(Am I losing you here? Are my metaphors getting too out there? Sorry.)

I am ever grateful for my best friend, who told me in no uncertain terms that I needed to stop. restricting. NOW. That I needed to stop purging the few things I was eating. That I could not allow the eating disorder to take over again, masking the roots of depression and anxiety that had been rearing their heads.

Because, you see, it's far easier to channel all of my mental energy into hating and starving my body than it is to face the causes of anxiety and depression head-on.

But last night, I ate a good dinner and kept it down. I felt like absolute shit, but I did it.

Today I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Small portions, but I had them, and I kept them down.

And tomorrow I will try again, for two reasons. One, because I'm not allowing these root issues of anxiety and depression to be covered up again. I want to expose them once and for all. And two, because after eating normally for a few months, I realized how incredible it felt. I'm not going back to my eating disorder.

9.10.2012

Fall-ing

Today was the first day it's been chilly. I don't think the thermometer dipped below 65 degrees, but still, all day, I couldn't get warm enough. When I went outside to play with the children at work, the wind ate at me and I started shivering.

It's turning toward fall now, and with that comes a myriad of emotions. I always get a bit melancholy with the changing of the seasons — particularly happy summer into cooler fall. Add that to the lump of anxiety and depression I've been struggling under since moving here and let's just say I wanted to burrow into myself and hide in bed all day today.

I've started seeing a new therapist here in New Haven, and I have hope that I'll dig out of this period of anxiety and depression. And even when I lose sight of that hope, I have classes to go to on Mondays and Fridays, and work to be done every day. I've grown to love my twelve sweet kids at work, and I look forward to seeing them every day. If nothing else, it's seven hours a day where I can't focus solely on myself.

On the playground this afternoon, instead of burrowing into myself I stretched out and grabbed one of my sweet little ones for a quick game of tag. And then I pumped my legs on the tiny kid-sized swings while three of my toddler "helpers" pushed me. I felt a bit warmer then.

And now that I'm home, I'm going to make a cup of tea, put on warmer clothes, and snuggle down on the couch with a blanket to do biology homework (oh boy). The season will change whether I want it to or not, huh? The best I can do is embrace it, and my favorite parts of fall (scarves, boots, and delicious warm drinks at Starbucks that I can't afford). Because before I know it, summer will be here again.

What happy things can you think of about fall? I need some help finding positive things.

(On a semi-related note, today is World Suicide Prevention day. If you're struggling with any thoughts of self-harm, no matter how small or seemingly impossible, I urge you to speak up and get help. You can call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit The Bloggess to know you're not alone.)