Feeling like a failure

We all know a lot of people with eating disorders are also perfectionists and I am not one of the exceptions. The problem is I see most people in the recovery community meeting the overly high expectations they set for themselves. Which, don’t get me wrong is great for them, but it doesn’t help much when your sat hating yourself because you didn’t get those grades. You didn’t get the straight A*’s you were predicted, you didn’t even get the A*AA you needed for your dream university. You actually didn’t get the grades required for your insurance. And they let you in anyway, but that’s not the problem. The problem is you didn’t do well enough. You didn’t do well enough to meet those expectations you’d set for yourself. So you hate yourself and you feel ashamed of yourself although deep down you know you couldn’t have tried any harder and whatever happened happened.

You find yourself comparing your failed results with others, others who did get those 3A*’s you we’re supposed to get, maybe even 4 with that A or A* in EPQ to top it off and it fills you with hatred. Even more so when the other brags on facebook about her daughter who for these straight A’s and had a part time job and trained for sport multiple times a week. You did none of that. You had no responsibilities but you still didn’t get good enough grades.  It fills you with hatred because your jealous and you hate yourself. It fills you with hatred because you have to be the best. You were the best. And now you’re just mediocre. This is why comparing yourself to others is so harmful yet I find it so irresistible at the same time. It’s a hard habit to break really but one I know I need to break if I’m ever going to have any friends and ever come to accept myself. 3B’s and all. Just typing that. 3B’s. It makes me feel ashamed of myself. To me, 3B’s isn’t good. But if anyone else had got that I would congratulate them. If my best friend had got 3B’s I would be pleased for them. So why isn’t it good enough for me?

This is the perfectionism trait that gets to most of us wth eating disorders and it can make or break us. The positive of the perfectionism trait is that it can lead us to achieve amazing things. On the other hand, it can lead to you not doing that essay or exam because you know you won’t achieve well enough. You know you’ll never be good enough. It can also lead to burn out. And lead to your whole world tumbling around you when you tried so so hard but still didn’t achieve those perfect grades.

You try to tell yourself it doesn’t matter but it still does. You try to tell yourself it doesn’t define your worth but it does. Nothing can change how much of a failure you feel like you are. Even when other people seem proud of you. And this is why  I feel like the education system can be so dangerous and harmful to people, especially perfectionists.

In both high school and college I’ve been told everyone can et straight A*’s if they work hard enough. And I’ve been told it by plenty of teachers. IIt really is quite a dangerous thing to say I believe because it ensues the belief in perfectionists even more so that if they don’t get the top grades there somehow failures and it somehow means they didn’t try hard enough. When really that is not true, especially in perfectionists who do try hard enough. it’s because some people aren’t clever enough to get straight A*’s. Some people may have undiagnosed learning difficulties, gone unnoticed because they were getting good grades all their lives. (I honestly think  I have some mild form of dyslexia and it’s only become more apparent since starting my A-levels, and especially during A2 year.The only reason  I haven’t got myself tested is because I’ve heard it costs £400.) They may have just had a bad day, week or year for any number of reasons. Or they may have been to a college with a very bad quality of teaching and no one got straight A*’s. (Again me)

The point is there are countless numbers of reasons as to why these self-set expectations may not have been met but the perfectionist will still beat him/herself up about it because the fact hasn’t changed. In the mind of the perfectionist they have still failed and failure is such a scary thing.

I’m not going to type here about how it’s all okay if you haven’t met your grades or everything happens for a reason because I know it changes nothing. But what I am going to say is that we all need to learn to accept ourselves, go easier on ourselves. We can’t always be perfect or the best. Self-acceptance isn’t easy but it’s what needs to happen so we can be okay when things don’t go to plan.

 

 

I’m Not Selfish, I’m Mentally Ill

Hello all,

Today I want to make a blog post about well the title says it all really. I feel it’s a common belief from the none mentally ill population that people are selfish, when infact maybe even unknowingly are suffering from a mental illness. Ive heard many a person say suicide is selfish. But they don’t give any thought into how a person who has reahced that level of depression is feeling. Yes it may come across as selfish but to a person with a mental illness. Suicide or any action isn’t for selfish reasons it’s because they can’t see any other way.

Lets just take an example from today that happened to me. Today I was mant to be going to the races and for lunch for my grandads birthday but this moring I couldn’t handle it. I thought about it. I really did think about trying to go. Trying to challenge myself so hard and I thought about ths not for me. But because I didn’t want to let anyone down. I didnt want to be a disapointment as per ususal. But I looed at some sample menues and decided I couldn’t handle it. I mean the fact that they were sample menus would mean a level of uncertainty in not knowing what I could have. What if there was nothing I liked? Nothing atleast half safe? On top of that there wuld be the calorie issue. This 3 course meal would lead to too many calories. Too many unknown calories. Again that uncertainty. Would I get the nutrition I’m after? Probably not. And it’s not just the food it’s the being around people and food all day. It all seemed too much.

And yes I felt guilty for maing the decision not to go and I still feel guilty just not as so now I’ve had some time to think and calm down a bit. I know my mum and brother think Im selfish for sure. Both saying I’m wasting money… And oay my brothers 9, he can be forgiven. But my mum. She knows I’m mentally ill. I would hope she’d be more understanding. Apparently not.

But whatever people think I’m not selfish. Im mentally ill and yes sometimes that may make me come across to others as me being selfish and rude but that is the way things are at this moment in time. The best thing I can do is to work towards getting better and maybe one day I’ll be able to go out to eat even where there’s uncertainty as to the menu, calories and atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 weeks in re-recovery

Hello everyone!

Today marks 6 weeks since I started recovering from my eating disorder again after relapsing and I thought I’d make a blog post abou what I’ve gained in those last 6 weeks. Other than weight of course.

  1. Probably the most important thing first. Happiness. I’ve finally started enjoying life and feeling actually happy.
  2. Fitness – six weeks ago 20 miniutes of hiit killed me I’ve done 30-60 mins every day since saturday and I’m fine. (todays workout was hard though) I couldn’t imagine ever being able to do that 6 weeks ago. Looking forward to starting up running again in the spring! (Winter running is not fun)
  3. Intelligence – I was two marks of an A* in my business mock. It came as such a shock to me. I know without the carbs that wouldn’t have happened.
  4. Enoying food taste and flavours – I’m slowly learning to appreciate food as what it is and not worry so much. It is still an issue but little changes are being made by the meal.
  5. Energy – I’m no longer constantly zombified!
  6. Sleep – I am sleeping better most of the time. Some night I do still only get 5 or 6 hours but it is better than the 4-6 I was getting before I started recovering again.

Just goes to show. Recovery is always worth it !

 

Binge eating or does my body really need it?

The last few days I’ve been suffering eventually uncontrollobale urges to eat continuously. Or so it feels.

I don’t even know why. And it makes me feel mentally so horrible. Like I’m out of control.Because I am.

FAT  Because I am. Like I never was anorexic because I’m not controlled enough and I never have been. It just makes me feel so bad. And makesme want to give up so much. Makes me want to go back to starvation becausthat way 500 calories or 250 calories preferably will be the only option. The option to binge won’t be there. I won’t put myself in situations where I may binge and I will always be armed with gum and diet coke.

Most of all I’ll be in control once more.Notthis out ofof control whale. This BINGE EATER  I’m convinced into. This Binge eater who hates herself even more now she’s eating.

Starving has always been so much easier. The easyway out of all my problems. The lack of love I get from my family, the loneliness I feel from that and only having one friend. The worthlessness I feel from neverbeing clever enough at school and never getting good enough grades at college.

None of that mattered  when I was starving…. and now it overwhelmes.

Energy requirements in recovery

I come to you today to discuss energy requirements in recovery.

2 years ago when I started recovery I did not for one second belive that I would need 3000 calories a day. I mean it’s excessive isnt it?
It really isn’t. To come out of my relapse I have been trying to listen to my body, it’s the best way forwards and yes while still counting calories. I found out I have been clocking up 3000+ a day.

This is so scary, it honestly is. My eating screams that it’s too much , that I shouldn’t be eating that extra afternoon snack or that extra pancake. That it will make me fat. I have come to realise that it’s not true. I have a raging appetite because Im under my body’s set point. I need to gain to feel well again. Too succeed in my A levels. I have also now come to realise that.

I completely messed up my law mck on thursday, despite doing plenty of revision and knowing all the material, apart from the last quesion… but my brain was not functioning in the exam I attribute that to not eating all morning. My brain was underfueled, of course it wouldn’t function the way I’d like it to.

On the other hand on monday I fueled my brain for my business mock. Turns out I was two marks off an A*! Amazing really, considering I’ve been a walking zombie all term and the time pressure in BUSS3. I never believed I could do it. But I did.

Our body’s need food, food is fuel. And food is meant to be enjoyed. If god didn’t intend for food to be enjoyed we wouldn’t have so much to choose from.

Stay strong my lovely recovery warriors and keep on fighting!

xxx

 

 

 

Lapsing

Blogging between class, just because I can. Laptops and wifi are all I need to make me feel at home.

Ok, so recovery is not going too well right now, it hasn’t been since starting college really but in the last couple of days it has taken a sudden turn for the worse. Two sentences of a book, that was the final trigger.

Two sentences, out of the book “wasted” by Marya Hornbacher. I will not share these sentences in fear that I will trigger others, but it is amazing where those two sentences have left me. I am trying to fight, fight against the thoughts it has left me with but they are so strong. 1100 calories is a fight even though I am allowing myself 1200.

The question is why? Why has this happened now. Over the summer holidays I was the most recovered I’d ever been. I was maintaining at my set point eating what I wanted when I wanted and barley eating calories. I ate with friends, ate food they offered. Now the thought of that in unconceivable. (Unless I was to know the exact calories in said item of food.)

I have been thinking about the why a lot and it has lead to to the conclusion that it is because I am not happy where I am right now. Not happy in college, not happy at home. Over the holidays doing NCS, I coud hide from the problems with my family, it made them seem not so bad but now. Now I’m lonely at college, feel like an outsider, all the family problems seem to be getting 10X worse or that is how I am perciving them.

I want to lose weight but I don’t want to lose weight, I am in constant onflict between myself and my eating disorder. I pray that this gets better.

The Madness of an Eating Disorder. (Weight Loss)

So, I’ve lost more weight, which puts me at a total 15lb loss from my highest weight! WOWZA!

I wasn’t even trying…

I don’t really know what to feel about it to be honest, I feel fatter than I did when I was at my highest weight and no ones mentioned that I’ve lost weight, it’s been relatively steady weight loss though and apart from my oblivious family I only really see one of the people now who I saw when I was at my highest and lets not talk about her, that’s for another post.

My eating disorder thoughts are getting stronger and where I’m at my nan’s all week I know I can’t weigh myself because if I gain I will freak. And I will gain cause she makes me eat more than I am comfortable with/when I am not hungry.

It’s like the more I lose the more I’m scared of gaining, the more I’m scared of being fat because I am fat, I already have too much fat at any weight…. I will never not have too much fat until I’m skin and bones and even then…

I look fatter than when I was at my highest weight, or that’s what I see in the mirror… The more I lose the worse the thoughts are getting and the more guilty I feel about eating even though deep down somewhere I know I probably need it.

I’m just not happy where I am right now and I am so exhausted from fighting the thoughts. Part of me is thinking I haven’t actually lost weight and it’s the scales that are broken… Maybe I have gained and I’m deceiving myself…

A year today, I started my recovery Journey. At this point I do not think I was underweight, or if I was it was very borderline. That’s because you don’t have to be underweight to have an eating disorder and you don’t have to be underweight to recover.

I have relapsed, ended up “significantly undwerweight” as my triggering doctor mentioned, that day when I entered the room, alone, wanting to recovery but not wanting to recover. I said I ate normally but that was a lie. That was september 1st 2013. I started recovering before-hand. A year ago today.

After a few long talks with my mentor I didn’t want to stay sick. I didn’t want food to be such the controlling power it had become over the past 5 years. I chose to try and fight against it. Actually make an effort to eat “Normally” At first I did lose a little more weight, then I maintained. I was only eating 1200 calories, but it was a good start. I started to increase my calories, knowing I needed to gain weight. 2000-2500. I tried to eat healthily. It was all good. Actually recovery was quite fun.

UNTIL

That morning… that dreadful morning in the summer holidays when I had stepped on the scales and gained 1/2lb. YES 1/2LB So I started restricting again, 900-1200 calories if I remember rightly. I lost 2lb in 3 days…. Don’t ask me how. On Holiday straight after I had a raging appittie and ate 4000+ calories most day, I am sure of it. Although it was all unknown and therefor could not count. I gained 3lb that week. That’s when the relapse really started.

I was underweight already but 3lb. It was too much! That was when I started restricting to a MAXIMUM of 900 calories a day. I tried to fight it. Part of me still wanted to get better. I tried to challenge myself, I just felt so awful. I thre food in the bin, pretended I had eaten it. I remember once I had awful knee pain and wouldn’t take ibuprofen. Do you know why?

Because of 0.5 calories

Now that’s just a little extreme right? I had to be empty, I barley at any of dinner with my family, but just enough to keep them unsuspecting. As the weight dropped off the fights started. I found it hugely unfair that my brothers didn’t have to eat dinner but I did? It wasn’t even like I had much of an appitite by that point, I could only eat a few mouthfulls and I felt sick to my stomach. It was awful.

As I had said previously, I was trying to fight it, it was just so hard. That was when I started to binge and oh god did that make me feel awful. See I have this phobia of throwing up and I had binged 4 times within a week. That sunday evening I couldn’t sleep. I felt so sick, I knew it was because of the food. I remember spending nights purposfully keeping the window open, leaving off the duvet, doing endless sit-ups and lunges. Anything to burn off all that fat. Discretly burn off that fat, without my parents knowing.

I remember when my form tutor said “It’s because you are slim.” SLIM! SLIM! That wasn’t good enough for me. When a class mate said “Your so incredibly skinny.” That was good enough for me. “Skinny. Skinny.” Yes I liked that, being refered to as skinny.

So at some stage picked myself back up, I got my dad to make me breakfast to make sure I ate it. 2 slices of toast. 1 Jam. (NO BUTTER OR SPREAD) 1 Marmite (NO BUTTER OR SPREAD). That was when I really started to get better and also when recovery turned into some sort of living hell at times. When I realsed how triggering the world truly is.

Not many people knew about my eating disorder, at first. Eventually I learnt to become more open about it. Which is why I started blogging. I want to raise awareness and show people that they are not alone in this.

The weight gain stage is terrifying, stepping on the scales is terrifing. Even today. There are some days I can’t bring myself to eat cake, some days I can’t bring myself to eat lunch, or dinner. Some days I majorly overeat. (Like today) But I can honestly say things get better. I am in a better position both mentally and phsycially than I was this time last year. I’m happier, I can walk up the stairs without feeling like I’m about to have a heart attack and I actually enjoy life; even though most of it is spent in my room atm cause exams and shiz.

I weighed in at 9st this morning. I still feel fat, I still feel like it’s too much and I havn’t come to accpet my body fully yet but I am getting there and I am working towards it. I give myself days where I don’t count calories atall. (Weekends) and only rough estimate some of the time. Now I am trying to learn to listen to my body. It’s hard, but in the end I am sure that it will be worth it.

The last year has been a whirlwind full of emotions but if there is one thing I would like to end this on, it’s that:

Recovery is worth it. 


Pre-ED age 9: Summer 2007
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Recovery Snaps 🙂

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The Inner Fight For Recovery.

Recovery from an eating disorder really is a fight. The battle within to overcome that demon inside and discovering happyness. 

After struggling for a few weeks, I realised… time to pick myself back before I end up physically sick as well as mentally. I actuall ate lunch yesturday. Thing is I had 2600 calories and all I feel is overwhelming guilt. Overwhelming guilt because of the out of control, fat. obease pig I will become.

My dad rescued three of the easter eggs yeturday. I ate one; that alone triggered me into giving thr large eggs to my brothers. I can’t be associated with chocolate. It can’t be mine. I’m too fat… too out of control. The fear chocolate creates is immense. Each time I take a bite I can’t stop… especially when it’s my chocolate. In my room.  I ate three cream eggs earlier and I know my calorie count isn’t drastically over but…. THREE CREAM EGGS! This is why chocolate scares me because I am out of control when it’s near.  I am so exhausted and so stressed sometimes reaching for that chocolate is the only solution. This is where my irrational fear of it stems from. The binge that often occurs when it’s around. 

Maybe the reason my mind is still so disordered is because I never took full responsibility for my recovery and I never recived the correct help. Since reaching a more healthy weight any time I was under my calorie goal it was justified in my mind with “Oh it’s only one day”. This attitude is not a good one, nor is it healthy. It’s the attitude that lets the disorder in. The excuse that invited it back.

1900 one day, you want to get lower and lower and lower. The lower you get, the sicker you get. The skinnier you get, the skinnier you want to be. You aim become lowest possible intake, skinniest possible body. The untimate goal is to be empty. 0 calories, 0lb but in reality you know you’ll be dead then. It doesn’t seem to bother you however. You think your the exception. At 20lb you’ll still be fat. When in the depths of an eating disorder the idea of death never occurs to you. It’s just never ending. Each goal is nevrer enough, upon reaching each goal you set another and another and another until eventually uou are so lost that you don’t even recognise yourself anymore.

This is why I need to be strict with myself. However much I am going to hate it and however much my eating disorder will scream at me and hate me for it. I will never recover calorie counting and justifying being low on calories “just once” or skipping lunch “just once” It never is “just once”. That “just once” excuse end up being for days, weeks, months on end. The “just once” excuse can soon send everything spiriling out of control.

This whole being strict thing is unfortunatly easier said than done. I want to feel free. Eat what I want when I want. But either my ED rejects that or it gets entangles with it and I end up restricting. I hate feeling like I have to eat because “I’m low on calories” almost as much as I hate eating when I’ve had “plenty of calories”. With my eating disorder negotiation is near impossible. If I eat one cream egg I may aswell eat the rest because I’ve failed now. It’s not even like I have to gain, this in itself causes more problems. Previously being over 2000 calories was not as much the end of the world as it is now becuase I HAD TO GAIN and I used that excuse to help me through the initial stage of recovery. 

So yes. I need to be prepared for a long, hard journey ahead. The journey to recovery. The fight for my life back. Freedom from my eating disorder. I have acknowledge the problem and take action or I’ll be stuck in ED hell for life. Recovery is possible. Not easy but possible. And as Toby Mac sings. When you fall, you get back up again.