I woke up this morning feeling overwhelmed and anxious. I couldn’t calm myself down and started feeling shameful and guilty. I’ve been so tired from a week of bad sleep that I just felt so physically and emotionally exhausted.
No matter how much I tried I couldn’t get myself out of bed. I ended up having to call in to work and let them know what was happening. Even though my boss knows everything and is really supportive it is still humiliating to tell her I am struggling, knowing that with each slip up I am letting her down.
I lied in bed all day today with Netflix running while I slept or cried into my pillow. All I could think was that I had been doing so well and now I have ruined all my progress.
I felt like I was just a big disappointment to everyone but especially myself. I knew that because I constantly struggle everyone must hated me. I was so alone and claustrophobically trapped in my own shame.
I had just gotten out of my car and was walking toward the house when our sweet elderly neighbor asked me how my day had been. I mentioned that I was just getting back from my weekly meeting with my dietitian and she replied, “Oh, I should do that because I eat way to much.” Now, she is not the first person to have the misconception about what seeing a dietitian that specializes in eating disorder recovery is like…. so let me explain.
I understand that every dietitian does things differently but this is how my dietitian works with me on recovery. When we first meet, we talk about how my week went. What were my successes; did I engage in any eating disorder behaviors?
We also talk about self correction and how to keep moving forward with my recovery. We spend a lot of time going over body image, how that affects me, and I make goals for the week on how to build a better relationship with my body. She has helped me understand how my depression and anxiety affect my eating disorder and how to continue to fight my eating disorder.
What we don’t talk about is weight or about certain foods being good or bad. Instead we talk about how I need to eat three meals everyday along with three snacks. I don’t have a set food plan. A lot of people think that there are certain things I need to eat or not eat. I know that some dietitians teach that way but not any at my treatment center (which I’m glad because that would just fuel my eating disorder). Instead, I am encouraged to eat things that one wouldn’t normally think a dietitian would encourage someone to eat, but recovery is about learning to love food again and not fear or feel guilty about eating anything.
I still have a long way to go until I am fully recovered and not everyday do I do everything my dietitian asks…whoops…but one of the best moments I have had so far was going out of town and just enjoying the weekend without stressing about calories and feeling guilty about eating certain things. I did just what my dietitian has worked with me on and it was so freeing. It is moments like that, that gives me hope for recovery and maybe, just maybe, my dietitian knows what she is talking about.
Today I sat at work just typing away as my coworker talked to another behind me. The conversation was nothing out of the ordinary but it affected me. I felt guilt and shame that has lasted throughout the day. This is because listening to them talk about exercise made my eating disorder start screaming at me.
I run into triggering conversations, posts, and ideas every… single… day. They are everywhere! And my eating disorder always sees it as an opportunity to make me feel worse about not engaging in it. I truly have to fight for recovery every moment of everyday and it’s not easy. I feel so emotionally exhausted all the time! (Though I know today daylight savings time played a bit of a role in it…)
This year, instead of a New Years resolution, I have chosen to have the theme ‘fight.’ Because even though there are triggers all around me and my eating disorder is constantly trying to sneakily convince me to give in, I have to continue to choose to fight.