Saturday, January 19, 2013

Facing Reality.....of Relapse

Hey everyone--
I hope you all don't mind but Freedom Friday is gonna be postponed to Monday. I have freedom foods to share, but right now there are much more pressing things I need to get out. And as much as I love you all and the fun of Freedom Friday....this blog is about me and my recovery first and foremost.

So onward we go. I need to get honest. Real honest.....not just with you all but with myself. You see a while back I made a post about slip v relapse and said that right now I was recovering from a slip. Well...I realized (and finally admitted to my N this week) that's not true. I didn't mean to lie to you all or even to myself...but it happened. You see...I've relapsed. Like I said in the post, the difference between a slip and a relapse is a slip is something you can easily pull yourself out of, but a relapse....your mind is sucked in. And if I'm honest....that's where I am.

It hurts for me to say admit that I've relapsed....yet again. Granted this relapse is different. I didn't restrict to x amount of calories or burn off x amount at night. In this latest relapse I've eaten more than I thought I could and worked out less than I wanted. But I still have relapsed. I obsessively measured everything, found ways to get around doing my whole meal plan, found ways to push the limits of the exercise I was allowed to do....and that my friends is just a different kind of eating disorder.

And how do I know I've relapsed? Because every meal is a mental struggle. Simple things like finishing a bagel become an emotional task. My mind swirls with whether it's too big, what it will do to my weight, how I don't need it. I tear at it and (up until 4 days ago) leave pieces behind. But my mind still swirls about it all day. And meals...they are now different. Getting portions every day is a struggle. Honestly, one of the reasons I don't do a day in a life is I don't want someone to question that my serving sizes are too small....but maybe I need that. And then there is the fact that I weigh everyday. Add onto that the huge amounts of anxiety I get when it rains and I have to take the bus instead of walking to class. The fear I have of something as simple as a piece of fruit. Add all that together, swirl it around, and you have relapse

It took a lot for me to admit that....and will take a lot for me to press the publish button on here and let the world know....but its the honest truth. Now I'm stuck with what next? Can I pull myself out of a relapse outpatient or do I need something more? That is the struggle I am in right now. Doing this outpatient realizing that mentally I am in the same (if not worse) place than I was when I last went means it's gonna be tough, really tough. Last time I went residential I hadn't yet met the ugly villiain of a food scale that started this portion obsession. I didn't have a fear of silly things like sodium and sugar. But now....I do.

The reality is still there that I don't want inpatient treatment and I know deep down that I can do this outpatient. I mean really it's simple....finish my meal plan and only do recommended exercise. Did that inpatient so why is it so hard now? I'm not sure....still trying to figure that out, but here is the reality. The more I think about it the more I see how much I desperately desire to do this outpatient. The reasons I want outpatient:

  • Weight gain is slower and more controlled
  • Have more control over what I eat and the portioning of it
  • Can challenge self in even more ways (ie can go to grocery store to buy freedom foods, restaraunts to do challenges)
  • Stay in school
  • Keep working with Iain and my Nutritionist
  • Get to experience life
  • Get to do more than just groups and recovery
  • Get to be with family
  • Get to learn to make these decisions on my own and thus make recovery sustainable (at least for me, some people do great learning this inpatient)
  • No psycho staff people
  • Can do it without psych meds which I hate
I really just don't want inpatient again. I don't have the time for it really. I want to finish this semester, have a nice summer nannying, and then have the best senior year ever at school. Plus if I leave school I lose my job and scholarships so then I can't afford school. So really....inpatient isn't an option....well it's an option, just not one I want to take. 

So why is outpatient harder. What is standing in my way? My huge fear of weight gain basically. Mix that with the ability to make choices and the lack of people constantly checking and signing off on your meals and snacks. The fact that I have to be accountable to myself....and I get lost. I do some things really well, but then something happens, the fear of weight gain gets sparked, and I slip again. And there is no one there to stop me. No threat of Boost hovering over me. Just me, and this motivation to get better, but also this crippling fear. 

I am scared of gaining anything and again I don't know why. I think just because it's uncomfortable and something I have never done before. I don't know what it's like to gain weight outpatient. What my teachers, residents, boss, co-workers....people who don't know about my ED will think. That's really what scares me. And the fact that it's not gonna be gain a lb,  stop and see how everyone reacts, get comfortable with that, and then gain the next lb. It's gonna be gaining every week and that makes me feel out of control. Like I am on a train rushing to the edge of a cliff and I can't stop. And I don't know what to do about that. 

But I guess that fear was there inpatient too and honestly, if I think about it, so was the option not to finish me meals, but I did it anyway. I was too scared to have to drink Boost, but honestly I could have chosen not to do that too. I was scared of getting a feeding tube, but again, I could have refused that as well....yet I let this fears keep me going. Honestly, I think I did that because I so desperately wanted recovery. I remember this last treatment, I felt relief when I checked in. Like finally I could eat. So I guess really that could be what I do now. Just put back in the idea that I finish my meal or I have to drink a Boost...or a Carnation drink or something. Maybe I could write a contract with my nutritionist about this or something? That's an idea. I think I need that....that fear that brings relief. A fear bigger than the one of weight gain...and Boost is that fear. 

I think that's it. I think that's what I am going to do. Holy just hit me. I am going to go get Boost and tell myself if I don't finish I have to drink them. It's the fear that got me through meals and snacks inpatient so its got to work now....I just have to justify buying a case of something I will (hopefully) never drink. But really...if I have the fear sitting in my room, staring me down, then I am gonna freaking finish my meal. A tiny crumb or 300 plus calories in my room....crumb please!

So I will try this Boost thing, maybe it will work, maybe it won't. I don't know. I don't know if it's the magic answer and I still don't have any more clear of a view of recovery as I did when I started typing...but I'm starting to see maybe that's okay. Maybe the thing about recovery is that you aren't going to understand it, its not gonna make sense, but you have to do it anyway. I mean I did this at the start of every semester. I ask other people about the classes I am signed up for, read reviews, look at syllabi, try and cram tons and tons of information....and keep feeling like I am going to fail.  And the fear persists until the first exam, when I get my grades back and realize I can do it.  And I guess that is what this moment is now....I've asked people how to recover, looked at different studies, read blog entries, tried my hardest to find the magic answer to how/if I can recover, but I won't know the answer till I've tried. So I guess right now that is where I am....I am stepping out on a limb and trying...just hope the branch won't break. 


  1. Can I just take a second to say that we are pretty much in the same place? And that our reasons for choosing outpatient are the exact same, except for the fact that we drink Ensure instead of Boost?
    You and I both know that we're strong enough and that we have enough support to do this recovery thing .. but knowing and believing are two completely different things. So let's stop thinking and start just believing. Let's have faith that our bodies will be resilient and that our brains will continue to strive for more and our hearts will be open to accept love of ourselves. <3
    Feel free to email me at any point if you need support or want to vent about struggles or brag about successes. Seriously. Anytime. :)

    1. I will so be taking you up on that. Yes....I managed to avoid Ensure like the plague.....but I was drowned in Boost haha.