Food

Ok. I’m making a lot of progress. I’ve been in therapy for almost a year and I cannot express strongly enough how much this has helped me; supported me; ‘held’ me when I have been desperate and gently/ kindly reflected my feeling back at me enabling me to question assumptions and beliefs that have been long standing. Interestingly its not the first time I have tried ‘therapy’, but it IS the first time sober and the first time I am fully engaged in the process. These things may be connected !

I have made huge progress in so many areas, I have started a much more productive dialogue with my mother –  by being calm and having self confidence I am able to communicate much better with her. This is good for us both and I have booked a spa day with her at the end of the month for her birthday. Relationships at home with the kids are better. the heightened emotional states that have so often been a feature of our family life are much reduced in frequency and intensity. The kids fight much less, are kinder to each other and we are able to talk together about some complex stuff. This comes from me. From my calmness, and my exterior calmness comes from my inner sense of developing self. Oh yes, big progress.

And of course I am sober. still. 493 days. And 95% of the time I don’t WANT to drink. I actually don’t want clouded judgement, messiness and loss of control.

So, i have made various references to disordered eating in this blog and to my therapist, and last night we actually discussed this.

I’m going to write honestly here; last night with Angela was the first time I had ever really been honest about my weird eating. For the few people who know me and read this please do not panic. last week I ate nothing at a for three straight days. I’ve never said that before. Its true, Angela felt that was quite extreme. Because I’ve never told anyone that I have no idea if its extreme or not. I thought a lot of people might do that?

I have had disordered eating since I was about 17. I don’t know why. My mother has always been overweight (from childhood) and battled with this when I was young. Both my brother and I were brought up on three meals a day and entered adulthood as normal sized people. My brother was actually pretty skinny for a while, and though he like our whole biological family, gains weight easily, he is a normal BMI as a middle aged man.

In the past I have been borderline anorexic (as in counting every single calorie) and dropping to my lowest BMI of about 18 by taking laxatives, and other tablets obtained from ‘slimming clinic’s. I have been bulimic, at my worst binging and vomiting 6 or more times a day. I always felt ugly, disgusting, overweight (even when I was not) I have rarely been able to eat without at least thinking about the calorific content of what I am consuming. Since I have had children my weight has swung between 8 stone ( thats 112 lbs or about 51kg) and 12 stone (168lbs or 76 kg). I am 158 cm tall, the highest weight rendered me in the obese category, the lowest BMI was about 20.5.

So what is it all about? Angela and I talked about this a bit last night. I don’t have any answers really. Right now I ‘cant’ eat; I’m not hungry and the sight of a big plate of food, the thought of it, makes me feel sick, I’m not really worried about this, I’ve had this physical reaction to situations of heightened emotion for 30 years or more. It settles in time.

I have learned to take note of it tho’, as falling BMI is for me a sign that my mental health is not great.

Right now I feel emotionally better than I did two weeks ago, but I still can’t eat (much). I wonder if there is a part of me that is rather pathetically calling out for people to notice I’m struggling… the physical signs of emotional turmoil. (when you eat nothing at all you lose weight quite fast and quite noticeably)  I think there is an element of ‘control’ going on – I can’t control so much, but I bloody can control my weight ( this is subconscious -I’m testing this idea) Is it a partial cross addiction?  I know its not good for me, I need to be fed to cope and function, but that’s on an intellectual level. Emotionally I’m not able to do it. At the moment. I don’t know why.

I would really like it to go away though. I’m 52, when will it stop? Maybe its something about myself I just have to accept, maybe it will smooth out from these extremes as I settle. I don’t know.

I’m going to see my GP next week. I think that’s probably a good pace to start maybe I need to tweak my SSRI or something …


9 comments

  1. It’s interesting for me reading this. Becasue for me, food is such an important part of my life. It has constituted my working life as well as my spiritual life. I feel that feeding oneself is important-both spiritually and physically. I also feel that it’s really important to cook for myself-not all the time-I love a good restaurant! But, symbolically it means something. You would never let your children or even your pets go without nourishment. Because you love them and want to keep them healthy. Please don’t think I’m judging -I’m not. It just reminds me of another friend of mine-a highly respected female attorney. She had respect from clients and co-workers. She had a huge following as a yoga instructor. Taking care of so many. But, struggled to take care of herself. Struggled to love herself. She had a lifelong struggle with food and self care-self nourishment. Self love. You have done such an amazing amount of work. Facing up to so much in 493 days! I know that seems long, but it’s not!
    I respect you for being so honest with your therapist.
    Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are of course right about self love and nourishment. My therapist is great. I have always been very honest there and by talking about this issue I think we are bringing it out of the dark place it has sat in my mind / soul for such a long time. My therapist has worked a lot with people with much more significant eating disorders than muine. Its one of the reasons I chose he – I thought she could cope with me !x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Have you read drinking , a love story?
    It was there that I connected to the idea that my own disordered eating had been a cry for help. For someone to notice I was struggling.
    Of course, our society loves deprivation and the fact I starved and exercised all th time was seen as applaudable.

    I notice when I feel a lack of control I eat less. It is one thing I can feel I am controlling. But, of course, that’s a dangerous game and it usually coincides with poor mental health for me too.

    I insist I am not hungry, but when I am honest I feel a high from not eating. There is a little voice of glee inside that scares me.

    It’s a continuous process. Keep asking yourself what motivates you. Plan to eat regularly and stick to it. Food helps the brain function.

    Hugs.
    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So glad you are talking about it. It is not normal to starve yourself for 3 days. Not at all. I get the uncertainty of knowing whether it’s normal or not because you can’t/don’t talk about it. I thought all women made themselves sick sometimes (regularly when I was younger.) apparently they don’t!
    This is such a huge step – hopefully you can start to eat little amounts – regardless of whether you feel hungry or not, because your body and mind needs you to look after it! 💕💗

    Like

  4. I think a lot of people who struggle with alcoholism also struggle with food. I am learning this more and more now. I have my struggles with food. Sugar is a huge thing for me. It’s my other drug. I emotionally eat (people say that a lot, but I know I do), and I have a hard time stopping sometimes once I get going. In a sick way, there have been countless times I wish I could do what you were doing now – stop eating for days. It’s not healthy for me (or anyone), but my mind likes to punish me, and to feel a sense of control. I have come close to getting laxatives to shed weight, but I fessed to a sponsor of mine, and he suggested it had to do with low self-esteem, something that is BIG for me. Anyways, this post really resonated with me, and while the circumstances are different, I feel there is something at the heart of the matter.

    Thank you

    Liked by 2 people


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