It is like an addiction

12:07:00 AM

Two anorexics met at one point (me and my friend, right :D) and decided to do a little Q and A session. A bit before that I talked to my sister about my eating disorder.

She said it is like an addiction (drug addiction, to be precise). Which I completely agree. It is an addiction. Drug addict want a new kick, they want it to be bigger and stronger. I want a new number. Which would be smaller. And just you wait if I have gained 100 grams. But the most difficult is when the first number of my weight changes.

Guilt and withdrawals.

This number just went smaller. And I felt as if I had won something. Weirdly I felt as if I had MADE something. My drug kick in a form of anorexia. And now all that is in my head is that the first number can't get bigger again. Because what then? Then I would feel like a failure, even though literally nothing changes.

Okay, enough of this shit, I cannot explain this topic better. Maybe I can understand it better when I write mine and my friend's answers to some questions....

My friend in italics and me just normal.

1. How did your eating disorder started?

The first time I used my eating in a controlled or damaging way, was when people started to find out that I hurt myself. I did not want them to figure it out. So I stopped hurting myself in ways that people can see and started to eat only at certain times and certain foods. I was not allowed to eat "at the wrong time", because then I was weak, pathetic and I did not deserve it. I was not allowed to eat anything I liked, simply because I liked it. I took the feeling of hunger as "punishment" and I figured it was more effective than cutting myself, because then you only feel pain for a moment, but you feel hunger for longer. I only ate when people saw me so they wouldn't ask questions about it. And even then only during certain times and only potatoes, salad or eggs. I don't even know why these kind of foods, but they weren't anything spexial. In addition I never had sweets, well, because I liked them.

My story is completely different. I went for a vacation trip and later I watched the pictures. I was like... hmmm, I have become a lot bigger recently. I wouldn't say I was fat, but... I saw I was definitely bigger than I used to be. So I made one small change and stopped using sugar in coffee and tea and my weight started to drop. People started to make compliments. In addition I started to run and eat more and more healthily. I think the true beginning was the super healthy eating, called... orthorexia? At first it was normal that once per week I had pizza and ice cream. I allowed this to myself. But then I started to eat them less frequently or stopped completely. For example if someone brought cake to work, I would have one piece, and if there were any leftovers, I did not have them. Before I used to eat pasta at work, but switched to salads. I made porridge at home and added a whole banana - I started to add half of it soon enough. And so on. I started to just cut off things and... ended up where I am right now. 

2. Fear foods vs safe foods.

Chocolate!!! Like really, I will become hysterical. Chips and all kinds of "fast food", because it is so greasy and I just can't. Also bread. Which is weird, because right now I can have pasta, even though it used to be forbidden. For some time I avoided grains. I was allowed NUTS, which is weird, because all kind of fatty foods are scary. Also cheese, butter, flour - forbidden. I am almost over it though. I can have fresh stuff - salads and berries. But not mangos or bananas or avocados, because they felt too calorific. For example pureed soup is allowed. So during eating out I always had soup or PANCAKES. This is not even logical, but I always knew what was in them so it wasn't as scary. Then I am afraid of all kinds of "processed foods" and "sauces", like mayo, chilli sauce, ketchup... And I always check them to make sure to get the lowest calorie ones. Even while buying beans, or peas, I picked the tin with lowest calories. Like... these are fucking BEANS.

My forbidden food was/is definitely bread and white bread. At the hospital, I always had to fight with myself to have white bread with cheese in addition to porridge (but it was sooooo good). Then there are other forbidden things - chocolate, cookies, cakes, pasta, pizza (last two are allowed if I can somehow compensate), noodles, all kinds of ready meals... rice. Yes, even rice - except for in sushi. Juices, smoothies, ice cream, all kinds of yoghurts and desserts (only protein yoghurts and curd creams are okay because they are low calorie). I was allowed/am allowed fresh stuff and salads (dressing needs to be as low calorie as possible, though), fruits and veggies, calorie free drinks, breakfast porridge, cottage cheese, eggs. I don't force myself to eat stuff I don't like, I rather focus on the amount - eat the least claories with the biggest volume. However, one of my safe foods is nuts as well, which is really funny if you think about it. :D  Which is sad, is that after getting out from the hospital, eating has become a lot more difficult. My fear foods list is growing and the sizes of portions are becoming smaller. And I don't know what to do. One positive thing is that I can have potatoes now! Also I won a box of Nakd bars, I kind of have to eat them. And these are good, so one a day is allowed. I don't know how to change my fear foods into allowed, if not safe, foods. My sister said that I need to eat them with her and over and over again - I feel like it could actually work.

3. Worst comments people make? 

For example when I explained someone for the first time that I didn't eat properly to hurt myself. Then this girl said "Well if you didn't eat much, shouldn't you be like really skinny?". Also "these pants are too tight on you", "ooo big butt", "eating again", "how can you eat this much", "are you gaining weight?", "it is so greasy", "it looks so sweet", "do you know how bad this is for you".

There are SOO MANY of these comments. Any sentence, even a word, can really trigger me. For ecample the same "how can you eat this much", "aren't you full already?".  Also when people comment their own eating, for example "I haven't eaten anything today" - I automatically feel that if I am, then I am a failure, I am bad. Someone else has managed without eating, why haven't I? Also the classical "you are so skinny you don't have to worry about eating anything", "you don't look too skinny", "you dont look like you have an eating disorder", "you are so lucky to be this thin", "all clothes fit you". YET also "you look better already" - maybe the worst thing you can say to me. Weird, isn't it?

4. How is it talking about it either with friends or family?

Now that I have accepted the fact I have an eating disorder, it is not weird talking about it, but for some time I tried to hide it. Even though really only people I trust know it now.

A lot of my acquaintances know about it. Also this blog is not really keeping it as a secret. Parents don't understand me at all and keep telling me I should just become normal (I wish it was that easy) and are angry and mad. I can talk about it with my sister normally and she seems to understand if I do or say something related to my eating disorder. It is the best to talk to someone who has been through the same thing. :D 

5. Do you weigh yourself or have you done it previously and has it been your obsession? 

I haven't weighed myself right now. I am scared. Like really scared that if I step on a scale and I see the bigger number than I am used to be, I don't know what I would do. I feel that I might get right back into eating disorder, then I don't eat for several days, then binge, then don't eat, then binge and it just causes so much stress. I used to weigh myself several times a day, firstly after waking up, then after using the bathroom. I was not allowed to have any extra items on me, no additional weight. And if I weighed less than last morning, I was allowed to have breakfast. If not, I only ate at night or didn't at all.

For me, weighing myself is an obsession. Every day, without a break, I need to know how much I weigh and also my eating and mood depends on it. Of course I do know I need to gain weight, but I am not looking forward to this number getting bigger. But without weighing myself I start to panic even more and don't dare to eat at all. Usually when I make my porridge, if the scale shows smaller number, I am letting myself add coconut flakes or cocoa, if not, then only fruit. This is sick. :D

6. What have you done recently to get rid of your eating disorder? 

Recently I have done the opposite of what is going on in my head. To get rid of thinking like this. I have made myself to eat my fear foods and not work out - just rest. I have forced myself to eat 3 times every day and I have eaten something sweet every day as well. I haven't weighed myself because it wouldn't help me right now and it would make me feel scared. I have tried doing many things and keeping myself busy, so I would have less time to think about food. Even though I still think about it, especially about eating ALL the sweets.

I have sent pictures of all my meals to my sister or friends, who are kind of my conscience and to who I prove that I eat. Even though it is really tough, guilt is a lot bigger than before going to the hospital or at the hospital. I try to find other things to do, but still, I live from meal time to meal time. I can look for recipes for hours and think how to make them healthy. I just can't get rid of the thoughts in my head.

7. What motivates you to get rid of your eating disorder?

At the moment I am motivated, because I have managed to put myself first and I am just tired of standing in this hole. I have been here long enough and I want to move on, I want to l i v e, enjoy an ice cream wirh friends, not be scared of the calories and think about compensating. One more big thing is other people who care about me; I have to take care of myself so they wouldn't worry. I try to tell myself that I deserve it, I want to make it a habit. Another big motivator is my little sister. She looks up to me and follows what I do, I don't want her to get my habits, so I need to show her how to act. And you are my motivator, because I don't feel alone here, and if I can't do it for myself, I can show you I am trying and we can get through this. I motivate myself through motivating you.

I know my family and friends are worrying, I don't want to do this to them. Also I want to start doing sports again - running for example. I miss it a lot. At the same time I do not want to change, which is a difficult position to be in.

8. Why do you want to get rid of your eating disorder?

For my family, for people important to me and for my friends. So they would not worry.

Because I can't do it anymore. I have these crying fits in the evening where I just repeat to myself that I can't, I don't want to. At the same time I don't know if I want to get better, because I am scared. Fear is a big factor. At the same time I want to get better. I want to enjoy things, focus on something other than food. I want it to just be normal. I want to live in the moment, not think about the past or worry about the future.

9. What is the most difficult?

The most difficult is to create new habits. It is easy and comfortable to do the same things. At least you know what to expect. It is difficult to force yourself and this process is slow, it is tough to just keep going.

It is difficult to make myself realise things are not okay with me, as I am used to being like this. It is tough to talk to people and explain what you are feeling. It is tough to do something new and let go of the rules. It is like going up the stairs for the first time - you don't even know what the steps look like, so you are going "blind". It is scary. And it is difficult, because you are just so tired.

10. Do you think you will ever be completely okay and how long will it take?

Right now I have a feeling I can get over it. Why? Because I want to. I want to live. I don't know what is the point of living, if my main focus is to torture myself. I don't want to do this any more, I am too tired. Lift is worth living and every new thing seems so new and interesting, I just want to be in the moment. I feel that I have lost so much time and I don't see the point of it anymore. It will take time, but I believe we can do it.

I have a feeling that I will not get better, ever. :D At the same time I hope this is not true and that I can motivate myself enough to get rid of this stupid fear and just do it.

I wonder how would people without an eating disorder answer these questions. Or other people with it. Leave me your answers in  the comments, perhaps? Or how would people answer who know someone with and ED. I think this post was a good reflection on my current state.


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