Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I feel like I'll never get over this eating disorder thing

I know I’ve written about this issue many times.  But it is still an ever-present part of my daily life.

Some days, it’s a just an annoying, nagging headache.  Other days, it’s a debilitating illness that leaves me bedridden.

The number-one, main reason why I don’t do things is because I feel like I am too fat.

I don’t have a job because I can’t handle getting dressed and thinking about my pants size every day.  The unknown of not having control over what I eat is too much to bear.

I worry about every meal and whether or not it will cause me to gain weight, even though I know I am not supposed to be worried about that anymore.

I don’t help out at events or volunteer because I can’t imagine dragging myself around, pound for pound, wherever I go.  It’s like I am attached to a rope tied to a lead ball which weighs exactly the difference between what I currently weigh and what I want to weigh.  I’ll just say it’s really heavy and leave it at that.

I feel like I am too big to be social.  How can I converse with people when there is only one thing on my mind?

I am ashamed of what I look like no matter where I am or what I am doing.  I feel like I need a reason why I am the way I am so I can apologize for my appearance.

If I want to paint, I don’t, because I feel like I should be exercising.
I don’t play the piano because I should be exercising.
And I don’t read because I should be exercising.

I know it’s getting bad when I go through my list of coping skills and nothing helps.

I can’t do anything when I get it in my head that I need to lose weight.  The only thing I can do is sleep so as to escape the torment in my head.

If I was really honest with other people about why I can’t do something I would tell them, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t, because I’m too fat”.  But I won’t tell people that because it might hurt their feelings or they might not understand.

“Being fat” is not even the real issue anyway.  It’s just covering up the resurfacing depression.

It’s good for me to talk through these bad thoughts, if only to distract me for a while.  However, when I am this way, it is so difficult to talk to another person about what’s really bothering me.  I know my self-worth is at a low because I don’t want to be a burden on other people, even more than usual.  Nothing anyone could say would convince me that I am not bothering them.  Nothing.

I guess I just had a realization; I can no longer ask for help.  I was never any good at it before either.  But I realize now that I am trying to pull myself up by my own boot straps again.

I can tell that I am beginning to isolate myself because I feel like my problems are insignificant, comparatively.  And I can see that the depression is coming back – even if I could talk about these problems of mine, after, I feel even more miserable, more alone, more sad.

I don’t know if the eating disorder causes the depression or if the depression causes me to cope with eating disorder behaviors.  But they are very connected.  When one comes back, so does the other.

Eating disorders are so tricky because there are so many triggers.  Little things that seem not to be such a big deal are a very big deal.  Talking about “health” seems harmless yet can set me down a spiral.  Eating certain foods can trigger E.D. thoughts.  Eating when I’m not hungry is probably the biggest trigger I know.  And, eating more than another person is also very difficult to handle.

When I eat, I have to fake it for a while that I’m OK.  I have to fake it because I just ate…I just did the thing I hate most in the world.  If I don’t fake it, then I have to acknowledge that I’m a hypocrite and would then have even more self-hate.
E.D. triggers are all over the internet.  I’ve almost given it up completely but then I wouldn’t be able to blog – and that I like.  Blogging helps me.  I guess when that goes, I’ll know I’m in too deep.

I thought if I got into cooking and baking it would help.  I thought that I could turn this obsession into something productive.  I do like cooking – it’s a fun hobby and keeps my interest.  But I’ve come to love the artistry of it, and even more than that, the perfection of it.  I like making something new or challenging and serving it to my husband, my family, or my friends.  I love to cook, but I still don’t love to eat it when I’m done.  The first bite is necessary to see if it passes the test.  After that, it gets more and more painful and I’m back at square one.

Blah. So here we are again at the end of a depressing post…

I’ll pretend that it’s not as bad as it is, because all things must end.  If they’re going to end anyway, they might as well end on a positive note – for the sake of other people and their own hope.

One thing, I guess, that I can say is that I am still trucking on.  Things aren’t good, but I’m still here.  I’ve survived it so far.  I’m miserable, but I’m still alive.  And that’s one thing to be thankful for.

Also, I took a break and turned to prayer.  I don’t know why I’m surprised, but it helped.

This is what I read:

Praise the Lord for times and seasons,
Cloud and Sunshine, wind and rain;
Spring to melt the snows of winter
Till the waters flow again;
Grass upon the mountain pastures,
Golden valleys thick with grain.

These words struck me as I read it, especial because of this time of mental turmoil.  There will be good days and bad days and everything in between.  But, I should still praise the Lord.  I should praise Him for this winter season: the winter of the world, and the winter in my heart.  It will be spring again.  Maybe not tomorrow or the next day, but soon.  Spring will come.

Well, I guess this ended on a good note after all…


  1. Thank you for sharing so honestly, Mary. The posts in which you admit to struggling and struggling hard are the most helpful for me to read.

    1. Thank you, Rachel. I am often hesitant to post when I am so down. But, something you said a while back always comes to mind...that it wouldn't be a blog about recoverying from mental illness if I didn't write about how difficult it is. Thanks for your encouragement. I am so glad it is helpful...that means a lot.

  2. Hi Mary! I've been reading your blog for the past couple of months and I wanted you to know how much I am blessed by your honesty and openness. Especially as a young, Catholic woman who draws for a living. I've been going through my first major depressive episode since August, but I've struggled with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder before. I know how much shame, frustration and pain there is during the recovery process. I hope like you to be healed soon, and made soon. Keep going!

    1. Hello! Thank you for you wonderful comment and encouragement. I am so happy you found my blog. It is such a long and painful road but it helps to know that I am not alone in these struggles. Thank you for sharing with me that you struggle too. I hope you find the help you need during this trial. I will keep you in my prayers. And we can continue to support each other by knowing that we are rooting each other on. God bless you.