March 4, 2006

Leaving the familiar

""It feels like home in this place called familiar/When we're alone we return to familiar/You can't let go of this place called familiar/But we're orphans bound far away from familiar"" -- N.C.

So incredibly true...
I think that's part of my "issue". The letting go. When you've been in a place--- whether it's mental, or physical-- for so long, turning your back on it and just walking away, giving it all up is almost more terrifying than just staying where you're at. For me--- my familiar place is my eating disorder. It's what I know, it's what I've grown up with, it's part of me and how I've defined myself all these years. It's the one thing that's been constant through everything and has always been there. That's not to say it's been easy cause that would be a gross understatement, but at least it's been constant. There's a (twisted) sense of safety, security, comfort in that.

But at the same time--- that comfort zone is what got me to this place. And I know that unless I give it up... ALL of it-- there's no way that I can actually have a full, complete life with Pete, with school, a career, my RUNNING for God sake. I guess I keep thinking that I can still hold onto parts of the eating disorder, and let go of the rest of it-- and be fine. But I can't. It's not possible.

As of Monday, I will have gone 1 month no purging, and today (well, Saturday) marked 6 weeks no cutting. I'm still amazed at the fact that i've gone that long, as those two 'behaviors' were the hardest to break. But it's the restricting that's beginning to kick my ass. It's not even that I'm trying to restrict, or consciously doing it--- but I'm struggling too even get 800-900 calories in during the day. I do NOT enjoy meal times, or look forward to them. There's really no food that appeals to me. I dread having to try and figure out what to eat for each meal. Monday, I'm working with the nutritionist to plan out specifically what I'm going to have each day, in the hopes that it will reduce the anxiety about it.

Today was not so great.... Mostly just doubting myself and why I'm here and wanting to go back home. I miss everything about it, and the fact that I've done pretty good with the cutting/purging is some sort of justification in my head that "I'm fine". But the truth is that I'd go home and go right back to restricting and going to the gym for several hours. The longer I'm here-- the worse the body image gets. I somehow had the expectation that I'd be able to come here and "fix" the behavioral issues, but still be able to remain the same exact size as before. And it's not possible when you go from eating next to nothing and purging what you do eat, and working out for 3 or sometimes 4 hours a day, to keeping everything in and only going to the gym half as long. Whether part of it's water weight or not--- you ARE going gain some weight. And my head will NOT let me accept that fact. I'm still trying to fight against that. I find I'm comparing myself more and more to everyone here, and as always --- (in my head) I'm always the "biggest" one here. And I don't know how to get past that. In a way--- it feels like i'm back to the same place i was when the eating disorder first began. The total disinterest in food, and not caring. The fact that I still see not eating as an accomplishment and eating as a failure. The way I base my entire day on my body image and or self-esteem that day.

I don't know how to explain it. Being here is the best thing I could have done, and yet-- in a way, it seems there were parts of my eating disorder that weren't quite so prominant or so intense. Before I came here-- yeah, I was always working at being smaller or losing weight or whatever, but there were also a number of days that I felt ok enough about myself and how I looked, that it wasn't on my mind 24/7. Yeah-- there were situations in which I compared myself to other people (school, bars, etc.) but I was at least semi-ok with my appearance. Now, half the time I don't even want to leave the house (or even my room some days), because I feel so horribly, disgustingly fat. I don't want people to even see me. And it never used to be that way. I spend most of my days hiding out in huge sweatshirts and yoga pants because I do NOT feel comfortable in anything else. I mostly wear black these days. Dark colors. As though by doing that I'll some how just magically vanish into the shadows. As though people won't be able to see me. It's fucked up. I honestly feel like I've gotten grotesquely HUGE. So why bother wearing anything else or 'getting ready for the day'?? UGH

K. and I went for about a 2 hour walk today after dinner. A. left this afternoon, and it's been hard getting used to that. I don't like saying goodbye. I don't like it when people leave. People have done that my entire life and it never gets any easier. B. leaves next Monday and I hate the thought. By next weekend, 5 of the 8 of us will have left with 5 new girls taking their places. It changes the whole dynamics of the group sessions in addition to everything else. Just when I felt like I was really getting to know people here, and really getting comfortable talking/sharing in group and opening up to people-- the group changes. I have issues trusting people to begin with, so I'm not looking forward to groups this week. I know it's something I just have to accept and get used to, but that doesn't make it any easier. At least K. will still be here with me. She arrived the day after me, so at least we're in this together for the long haul.

Anyhow-- I need to get some sleep. I was up till about 3 a.m. last night, talking to one of the new girls. We had a great conversation, but it left little time for sleeping.

Posted by Wendy on March 4, 2006 10:24 PM


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