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.
The reality of life is that I have an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety. Even though they really affect my life I know that I am not alone in this struggle! I am also not afraid to talk about it. So, I want to better document what it is like to live with mental illness on a daily basis because it does effect my life every single day.
As I lie in bed, I feel the warm tears flow down my face as the fan whirls above me instantly cooling the streams my tears leave behind as they run off my face onto my pillow. I lie there completely numb to my surroundings. Do I know why I’m crying? No. It just feels like the right thing to do and feeling anything when this numb and this miserable is something.
I need to be honest with you… I am struggling. I am going through a hard time. My depression has been incredibly difficult lately on top of other trials in my life. It makes me extremely numb to what is going on around me and I just go through the motions of life without a second thought. I can spend hours lying in bed doing nothing which usually leads to me crying for no good reason.
Why am I telling you this? I might know you personally, I might not and so there is a good chance that you could care less about how I am doing. But it is not about you. This is about me and I need you to know that I am struggling because I have been meeting with a counselor for my depression every week and I learned something very important in our last visit. (more…)
I remember one day in particular that I carefully wrapped tape around each and every finger covering up my fingerprints. As I went throughout the day like normal everything I touched was numb to the most sensitive part of my fingers and I loved the lack of feeling. There was no sane reason for taping up my fingers besides the giddiness I felt from creating physical numbness. At the time it was just a random thing a sleep deprived college student was doing at six o’clock in the morning that I didn’t think much about. Now, I realizes that it was much more concerning than just that. (more…)