Sorry I have been on a hiatus (heck I doubt people even read this anymore, but whatever). Anyway, I have been going through a lot mentally, emotionally, and physically so I just had to take a break and do some writing and reflecting just for me, so it wasn’t anything wanted to post on the blog.
BUT…I’m back and here is the truth of where I am. I am STRUGGLING…but NOT IN BEHAVIORS. In fact, this is the first time in my life I am struggling so much emotionally..yet pressing on and trust me…it’s not my strength, but His that is getting me through. I have been having to deal with the rapid weight gain of recovery and its scaring me. Most times it turns out to be a fluctuation…but it doesn’t mean in the moment its not real.
And today…that fluctuation brought a scary reality of moving up a weight bracket. It scared me so much that I finally journaled about something I have been putting off journaling about. You see..I have come to a realization of what is behind my ED.
I have always told people I didn’t lose weight or I don’t restrict for attention…and while that to some degree is true…I am realizing I really did use my ED for attention and I am trying to accept that. I’ve noticed I am scared of this weight bracket because it makes me feel I am getting healthy…because I’m not cutting corners anymore or using my behaviors..I am doing what I need to do…and I don’t want to turn back. So this weight barrier is one I am going to go back above, but never back below…and that scares me.
I have come to realize to me being sick has been the reason people pay attention to me. It seemed before I developed anorexia and got underweight…my family just didn’t notice me. I wasn’t the problem child, I had good grades, and I was (seemingly) fine with my eating…so I guess I just didn’t get any attention. But as the weight started dropping I got an extreme surge of what my mind deemed “love.” Everyone panicked and wanted to save me…sending me here and there, calling all the time to make sure I was alive, calling after every appt hoping maybe, just maybe I had gained weight. It felt nice to be noticed, to feel loved…even if it was in such an extreme form.
So what about now? Now that I am gaining. Well I can tell you the calls don’t come as much, people don’t seem concerened…and honestly…I feel myself fading into the background. Going home this weekend for 1st time ever having gained weight in college…it was hard to not get the freakout from parents or the attention I was used to. I still had a blast with my dad and stepmom and we talked about other things so I felt supported and loved…but when it came to a laid back day with my mom…I just felt there was nothing to talk about. She didn’t do or say anything to make me feel unloved or unnoticed..but I did. I guess I am so used to the tears and pleas that I don’t recognize other forms of love. And I noticed when the feeling of unlove went up..so did a desperation in me to try and restrict…to go back to losing weight.
I didn’t act on any of those symptoms…but the temptation was through the roof. It made me realize I am scared to be healthy because that means I won’t be the underweight dying skeleton in the room…and I am scared that will mean people don’t even notice me in the room. I am scared that I, Jessica, am not enough on my own to warrant attention. I also don’t understand what else love looks like if it is not desperation to save my life.
So where am I at this Wednesday? Confused. Confused about what to do now that I know this. I mean I don’t want to relapse….because that honestly serves me no purpose. But it feels weird to still keep on trudging forward with this unrest inside of me.
I am angry…and ashamed. This comes from the fact that I have fought so hard against the notion that anorexia is for attention. But I am seeing mine kind of was. Not the “Hey, hey look at me and how thin I am” kind of attention that the world seems to think we restrict for. But just the “Please, someone notice me. Show me you care. Let me know you love me” kind of way. It’s much deeper than just attention seeking…all I wanted is love.
And I am hopeful. Because I don’t want to relapse. Yes, this scares me too because I am motivated which means I may actually recover and not be the anorexic anymore. I know lots of people struggle with giving up their EDs, but I choose not to see recovery that way. Anorexia, BED, and non-purge bulimia will always be part of my story and that story is part of who I am…so I am not letting go of anything per se…I am just accepting something new. I am putting anorexia as part of my past, and recovery as who I am now. It makes me hopeful that I am not running back to relapse and I owe that completely to the slow rate my N is taking with me, the peace God is giving me, and the support of friends and family.
Now, I know this is an irrational fear…that I will lose out on love. I haven’t loved my friends any less when they recovered…in fact I reach out to them more then. I didn’t love my dad any less when he stopped drinking excessively and got his anger under control, in fact I went to him more. When my mom stopped drinking I didn’t love her less…in fact it allowed us to spend time together. I am just so scared it will be different for me. I mean I went to my dad’s more because our relationship made me feel whole. I reach out to my friends because they know where I am mentally. And I spent more time with my mom, because she is my mom and I wanted a mom-daughter relationship. All these people have things to offer a relationship…and I am scared I don’t. I just don’t see what I bring to the table?
And right now I don’t have the answers…but I am just moving forward in the uneasiness. I know the answers will come through therapy but I can’t wait for the answers to keep recovering. I can’t go back to relapse, because then I lose my mind (literally) and all these insights, and everyone goes back to being scared I will die…and honestly…I don’t think I have another recovery in me. If I relapse now…I’m not sure I would make it back….and I have too many dreams to live for.