I made it. I survived.

December 29, 2007 at 4:44 am (Eating Disorder, Happiness, Health) (, , , , , , , , , , , , )

Thanksgiving is long gone. Christmas is finally over. I haven’t lost any weight. I haven’t gained any weight. I’m feeling relatively healthy. These things mean I (Karina) have been in control. ED hasn’t completely dictated how my holidays go. I’ve let myself eat. I’ve mostly chosen foods with at least some nutritional value. I’ve only run off to the bathroom to chew and spit twice. You know what? It happens. Part of recovery is messing up occasionally. The important part is *RECOVERING* from those slips and strengthening the healthy part of me. This kind of optimism out of me is almost sickening. Maybe it means I’m finally moving forward in recovery. Maybe the holiday spirit has possessed me a little too much. Maybe it’s just because I’ve forgotten to take my meds this past week. As long as it doesn’t nosedive, I’m not too worried. I’ll enjoy it.

As a side note, I had a couple experiences which have highlighted the importance of not letting the eating disorder rule my life any longer. I’ve fallen twice this past week. Not sure why, but I’m still a little weakened from that flu a few weeks ago. How cool is it that I don’t have osteoporosis? I’d be in big trouble by now. So that’s something I can do without. And I’m glad I haven’t gotten to that point. And last Sunday, Kenny (the bf) took me to a restaurant for lunch. I looked over the menu, debated between a few choices, placed my order, and enjoyed a meal. Just like a ‘normal’ person would. I tried a few bites of his food. I savored mine. We had a good time. And it felt good. That was probably the greatest Christmas present I could give myself- allowing myself to enjoy something that I should be enjoying anyway. It probably felt pretty good to him too.

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Dreading Christmas and missing Kingdom of Loathing

December 22, 2007 at 5:51 am (Eating Disorder, Rants) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

1. I’m NOT looking forward to Christmas. Why? Well, my mother keeps telling me how much it’s going to suck. I’ve been looking forward to it, but her (and my dad is guilty too) constant downtalking it has me filled with a huge sense of dread. She seems to think all I care about is presents. She still thinks that’s all that matters to me. And Christmas will be small this year. And I didn’t even care. The implication of her highlighting how bad Christmas will be just means she thinks so little of me. I must be a brat. All I care about is stuff… not family, relaxation, that holiday spirit. Nope. She makes me feel horrible because I really must be a worse person than even my depression tells me I am. Plus, for the first year in history she wants to fix a ‘Christmas dinner.’ At least if she had done it previously, I could have been off the hook for being active in my eating disorder and everybody knew it. But nope. She decides to make that dinner a big deal as soon as I’m supposedly in recovery. Thanks a lot Mom. I finally AM becoming the Grinch you’ve always claimed I was.

2. I still cry (yes, seriously shed tears) over the loss of my KoL account. Because not one person in my life could once take 30 seconds out of a day while I was ‘locked up’ in recovery to sign me in, just to keep my account active. Nope. I’m not sure if it’s normal to be this depressed over it (but maybe people who play would understand the deep attachment?) but I just can’t start a new character. Not right now. I’ll breakdown. And I had so many ascensions, so much cool stuff… Over two years. Gone. Just because nobody thought doing little things like that would matter. Yes, I explicitly asked people. Not like I expected them to think about my KoL addiction. So yeah… I literally have this void, where my character is disappeared, and I really do think in my next session I’ll address this because it can’t be normal.

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the shameful, disgusting side of eating disorders…

December 11, 2007 at 1:55 am (Eating Disorder, Health) (, , , , , , )

****triggering****
Just for your information, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you’re easily triggered, I’m begging you to turn away. You won’t read anything you aren’t all too familiar with. If you have academic interest or are just curious about eating disorders, this will give you an all too real look at what it’s like. If you’re reading this because you think eating disorders are somehow glamourous (I hope that problem is just overblown) please think about what I have to say. See that it’s not beautiful at all.

For being ‘in recovery’ I’m pretty friggin pathetic. Between ‘mini-binges’, restricting (to make up for that), secret exercising, diet pills, and tonight I suddenly added two more failures to the list.

1. Chewing and spitting. I’ve been fighting off night time compulsions to eat, but I got the idea to just chew it to try and satisfy cravings. So I grabbed a little bit of chocolate, sat over the toilet chewing, fighting the natural swallowing reflex, then finally spit it out. Which of course is disgusting on it’s own, not counting the fact that you’re right over a toilet your teenage brother uses frequently (yuck). So then I flush away the spit, with it running down my chin. I know what I’m doing is unhealthy and gross. I wash my face and hands, brush my teeth then go back to watching House. But what if I still ingested calories from it? Afterall, chocolate is one of my bigger fears. Well…

2. I tried to purge. I say try because it’s hard to truly purge when there’s nothing there to begin with. All I ended up with was a little bit of acid, a little bit of blood (my nails are long which can sometimes cut), a little bit of brown spit. Oh, and a sore throat, heart palpitations, and the knowledge that I just did yet another very unhealthy and extremely disgusting thing. Plus, it hurts. It’s scary, because purging is not somewhere I want to go. I’ve never had a problem with it (it’s been very infrequently that I’ve ever done it) but it’s a very real threat right now. And that’ll just cause an entirely new set of problems. Just… please, if you don’t have an eating disorder do everything you can to avoid it. If you think you have one, get help. It’s not pretty, it’s not fun, and it’s deadly. I’m just going to focus on letting this be an isolated incident, and keep working toward getting this recovery thing right.

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The most disgusting anorexia trigger ever.

November 18, 2007 at 7:37 am (Eating Disorder, Media, Rants) (, , , , , , , , , )

I’m not just talking about mannequins that are about half the size of normal humans. I’m talking about SKELETAL mannequins. Literally.

mannequin3.jpg

Thank you Macy’s. I don’t know if other stores have these bony ones (Macy’s is the only store I’ve ever seen THIS at) but this crosses a line. I hate that ‘oh mannequins are just supposed to be an abstract way of showing off clothing’ but when you stick protruding bones on them, they go from ‘abstract’ (I still just see major triggers since they’re in a human shape showing clothing I’m supposed to be trying to look that good in too) to downright sick and disgusting. Clearly the people who designed these, the people who thought they’d be perfect in the store for display… none of those people have EVER been touched by an eating disorder, have they? Because if they knew the hell people go through while looking like that (or working for that) they’d be just as disgusted as I am and I hope you are too. I’ve been brainstorming things to do. Maybe stand right by one at the store entrance and just hand out pamphlets about eating disorders? I don’t want to break laws, and if I get asked to leave, I will but I absolutely HAVE to do something about this. Enough lives have been lost and ruined because of that exact thing right up there. Join me in fighting this, please. For yourself, your sister, best friend, mother, daughter, girlfriend…

WE DON’T DESERVE TO FEEL THIS WAY!

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I’m so sick.

November 14, 2007 at 5:23 am (Eating Disorder, Health, Rants) (, , , , , , , , )

My sinus infection is back worse than it’s ever been. Trying a new treatment, but it’s just giving me headaches and nosebleeds, and doing nothing about the fever. I’m munching Tums, Mylanta, Pepcid like candy and neither my heartburn nor nausea are getting better. Eating helps the nausea some but increases the heartburn. Not eating helps the heartburn some but increases the nausea. So the worst thing of all…. food is the center of everything. And that’s just the physical battleground. Since it’s been sinking in more and more, I’m back and forth between binging and restricting. I binge because I don’t know what else to do. I binge because I’m scared that the next time I get really sick again, that’ll be the last time somebody sees me. Grandpa Brown saw me last New Year’s, when I couldn’t even stand up and they had to find me a chair (he was in a care center) so I could sit and the entire time instead of spending what would be the last time I’d see him talking, I was obsessing over the Blizzards we were eating. The last time he’d ever see me… And Opa got the joy of seeing me in/fresh out of the hospital. Then a few months later he dies. And it scares me that it’ll happen again. On the other hand, I restrict because I don’t know what else to do. I feel so disgusting. I actually have been gaining weight again. And people are very quick to point it out. My mother binges and I’m so scared to be like her. Restricting just seems to be the ultimate way to not be her. I have never felt so undesirable in my life. Because putting on that recovery weight… it’s flabby, disproportionate, awkward… It’s not like I have a nice face to help make up for it. So physically there’s nothing there. And no matter what people say, it’s proven time and again that beauty really does get you ahead. Now I’m fat, ugly, and miserable to be around. I’m scared to go to Kenny’s later. Because I’m scared that I get more and more unattractive to him every time I see him. Not to mention getting sicker and sicker every day. It’s wearing me down fast.

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Old pictures…

November 5, 2007 at 4:34 am (Eating Disorder, Health, Rants) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

I saw the few pictures that exist of me during the worst of my eating disorder and I still can’t see skinny. Most people look back and feel shocked at how they look. Maybe it hasn’t been long enough, or maybe I was right the whole time and there really was nothing wrong with me. And now… I put on pounds by the day. I don’t even want to leave the house anymore. I’m really in that binge eating phase that always happens several months in. I start going through recovery, everybody tells me how much better (fatter) I look, and then I think some biological switch gets flipped. It’ll maybe last a couple months tops, then it all spirals downward again until I find myself in treatment at supposedly an extremely low weight. I think they just need to revise their standards. Clearly I was not remotely in a dangerous range. All I need is a picture to tell me that.

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My ED sob stories.

October 29, 2007 at 3:37 am (Eating Disorder, Rants) (, , , , , , , , , )

I guess this is the blog where I get to tell some of my sad stories related to eating disorder. If you’re reading this and have an eating disorder or have watched a loved one suffer, I have no doubts you can relate. In fact, you can feel free to share your own either publicly or you can always email me. So here goes:

The first one I’ll share is when, shortly before going into the hospital (I think actually the week before) my dad had to go to the mall to have work on the van. So of course I tagged to shop and admittedly have a good excuse to walk more. As we were getting ready to leave, he asked if I wanted to go out do dinner. It was just one of those moments when my entire body froze up. Do I say yes? That would mean I actually get to do something with my dad but I’d have to struggle through eating. Not only eating, but doing it in front of an entire restaurant full of people. Do I decline? Doesn’t that just mean I miss out on a rare opportunity because of some stupid quirk of mine? (Yeah, I always just called it my quirk.) I decided we should go to Bahama Breeze. Anyway, I’m not getting into my food choices but I did manage to eat a little and surprisingly enjoyed myself. The thing is, I don’t get to do a lot of things with my dad, so that was something special, and I’ll be damned if I’m not going to fight to make it count for something good. But there was still that stupid voice in my head the entire time, distracting me some from what should have been an awesome father/daughter dinner.

My next one’s similar, except with my boyfriend at Olive Garden. And he wasn’t passive/in denial that there was something wrong with me. The night ended up in tears on both sides.

During my stay IP, my grandfather in Florida (whose health had been rapidly declining anyway) died. Instead of a family session, I got time to sob with my dad and brother. My mom was at the airport picking her parents up (they were coincidently visiting from Germany). So I get to go on leave for one grandfather’s funeral.

Which kinda leads me to the next bad thing. The German grandfather snapped a picture of me on our way back (stupid picture won’t upload correctly), right before they dropped me off again before all heading home. I got out right before they flew back home. It ended up being the last time I saw Opa because he died of an aneurism back in early July. So yeah, the last time he sees me is during/right after coming out of treatment. And while we were over there for the funeral my cousin was telling me how worried he had been about me. Apparantly he talked about that a lot.

That’s a crude rundown of the sad stuff that comes to mind right now. Not too eloquently stated, but I still think you understand the point. There are SO many more stories I could tell… fights with boyfriend, family friends… mean comments from complete strangers. But I guess these are the ones that really hit hard. Anyway, I think sometime later I’ll tell a few happy stories. About the makeover I got from Michelle, and seeing Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D!!!

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the media may not cause eating disorders…

September 24, 2007 at 9:43 pm (Eating Disorder, Media, Rants) (, , , , , , , , )

…but it certainly doesn’t help. I keep thinking about the book Stick Figure by Lori Gottlieb. She keeps obsessing over a phrase from an ad ‘if you can pinch an inch’ (I think it was Special K or something). Anyway, that’s her obsession. Mine is an ad from several years back I think for some breakfast substitute that had the message you are what you eat. For example a guy in an office eating a donut was putting one around his waist. But the part that really stood out to me… a woman hailing a taxi with a pastry hanging from her arm. To me she was already really thin and pretty, but apparently because she had eaten breakfast, her arms were now huge and flabby and doughy. But she was skinnier than me, so what did that make MY arms? The media doesn’t cause eating disorders, I agree with that. But they damn sure don’t help. It was that one ad that taught me to hate my arms. That they would never be thin enough. That breakfast only makes you fatter. It’s an old ad, but to this day, it’s so so vivid to me. It’s not why I suffered anorexia nervosa, but you can’t say it didn’t leave a negative impression.

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an apology to Spaghetti

September 24, 2007 at 6:32 pm (Boredom, Eating Disorder) (, , , , , , )

Dear Spaghetti,

I’m so sorry I just couldn’t eat much of you. See, I had been looking forward to dinner all day. It’s been so long since I’ve had you for dinner, and I had decided that I was going to enjoy it. But Kenny fell asleep right as I started eating. And all I had for light was a blacklight. Which always makes me look fatter. Then you started looking kinda like a pile of crap. Literally. Poo with worms crawling around, and no matter how much I reminded myself that you were the Spaghetti I had looked forward to all day, I still could no longer find you appetizing. And nobody was around to tell me the truth. So when you finally started smelling bad, I just had to stop. But it’s a new day, right? Just next time, please don’t change into something that disgusting.

Echo

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