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 …