Welcome to My Brain

(Subtitle:  I am aware that this post makes no sense and is depressing and disconcerting, but this is just how I think these days)

I cannot stop thinking about the size of my breasts, my thighs, my stomach, my arms.  I cannot doodle to ease the anxiety because the lines aren’t coming out perfectly, my hands shaking as I try to draw.  Searching my bag for my phone, my hand hits a granola bar.  I’m sitting in a coffee shop, and as I walked in, I noted a sign asking people not to bring in outside food or drink.  “Oh, darn,” I think.  “Guess I’ll just keep sipping my green tea.”

Except, I really shouldn’t.  I really should walk downstairs and get a stupid gelato or a stupid muffin or a stupid fruit and yogurt parfait.  I really should attempt to have something resembling a snack (even though it’s 7p), because if I don’t, my therapist is liable to look at me on Monday and ask me, yet again, if we need to put therapy on hold.

CBT-E has a staggeringly high success rate with eating disorders (70% if your BMI is above 17.5), but that success depends on your following the program exactly.  So much easier said than done, even when my “program” right now just requires me to eat six times a day.  It doesn’t even matter what, so long as food is passing through to my stomach six times a day (and staying there).  In theory, I commit to eating six times a day, thus removing the “but I feel FAT” or “I’m not hungreeeeeeee” or “I’m too anxious to eat” excuses from my eating disorder.

I am struggling to do it.  I am struggling to eat the simplest of things because I cannot get over how freaking FAT I feel.  One or two fat days turned into fat week, turned into fat weeks (plural).  I know this is to be expected.  I know that even women who don’t have eating disorders have “fat days.”  I suppose the difference is that these women say to themselves, “Hm, I have been eating out a lot, maybe I’ll eat at home more.” Or “Gee, I guess I’ll eat a little lighter today.” Or, heck, maybe they just put on some comfy clothes and engage in some retail therapy and move on with their lives.  I don’t know.  I hardly understand how these “normal” women think and move and live.

I, by contrast to these “normal” women, hole myself up in my room for days and weeks at a time.  I cry.  I pull out my hair.  I follow my mind down bizarre, morbid rabbit trails that I cannot control, imagining carving all of the flesh off my body with a very large butcher knife.  I restrict even more, trying to cut out everything “unsafe” from my diet.

And on the subject of rabbit trails, this post is not at all making sense.  I’m aware of that.  My mind is skipping from subject to subject, back and forth and all around.  I am thinking of the little girl I saw earlier in the day when I was at Target, how confident she seemed in her shorts and t-shirt that proudly said, “I love playing soccer!”  I’m thinking of the dinner and snack that I had last night, how I felt so full even 12 hours later that I couldn’t bring myself to eat my planned breakfast.  I’m thinking about how I just asked my friend that I’m visiting if we could go out for pizza tonight, because that’s what I want, dammit, even if my eating disorder is positively apoplectic at the thought.

I’m thinking that I’ve got half an hour to shove a snack in my mouth or I’m risking my therapist discharging me completely on Monday.

And while I might not be bought into this whole “recovery” thing yet, I know that without therapy and a dietitian, I’d probably kill myself within the next month.


Because living this way is absolute hell.


7 thoughts on “Welcome to My Brain

  1. you are so much better than normal. dont sell yourself short ;) this will pass. it might take a while but it will pass. you are wonderfully made.. all of your crazy included :) love you! hold tight girlie!

    • Thanks, dear. It’s always so difficult to convince myself that I’m “fearfully and wonderfully made” when I can name 18,000,000,000 things about myself that I perceive to be awful and terrible. It’s nice to have someone to remind me. :)

  2. I really relate to this post. Fat days are laughably common for most women, but for some reason they feel like the end of the world to me. I stare at “normal” women endlessly trying to figure out their secret to keeping it all together. I also really struggle with the CBT approach – I’ve got the whole program in place (therapist, dietician, GP, psychiatrist, etc.), but my problem is that when the rational side of my brain decides to jump ship, I absolutely will not comply with the mandates of that program (meal plan, exercise restriction, etc.) no matter what. I have a really hard time keeping commitments in recovery when the anorexia interferes.

    How did I manage to make this entire comment about myself? Anyway, I just wanted to say that I understand and you aren’t alone and it will get better. Do you have any outside support besides your treatment team? Or maybe a punching bag in your basement? It really sounds like you need an outlet and a distraction to get you through the hard parts without making you want to self-destruct.

    Hang in there, I’m thinking of you.

    • Heck, who needs a punching bag when you’ve got a wall?! (Kidding. Sort of. I’ve tried that once or twice before and the wall ALWAYS wins.)

      I agree that having your “rational mind” jump ship is always the worst. Worse still is when your anorexic mind starts using “logic” to persuade you into doing behaviours. Because honestly, my eating disorder sounds mighty logical right now and my rational mind has almost bought into it.

      Hang in there, girl. Thanks for the comment. :)

  3. This post absolutely makes sense to those of us who have been where you are! Living this way IS hell. And even when you realize that, it’s not like you can just throw it away. Maybe some can – but I couldn’t. But we serve a God who is bigger than ED – there is hope! :)

    • I can’t seem to just “throw it away” either. I’ve tried, to be sure, and it might work for a day or two, but it always leaves me freaking out more than before. I’m glad this post was comprehensible, at least to some portion of my readership.

      Thanks for you comment — and the reminder that there is hope. :)

  4. Pingback: Playing Red Rover with E.D. « A Girl, a Dog and a Blog

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