Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Holding On to My Dear Life

Today during one of my Social Work Direct practice class one of classmates (and very good friends) who is in treatment for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Brought up a question that her therapist asked her that I thought was very interesting:

What would I miss if I NO LONGER had my Bulimia/Compulsive Overeating?

The immediate response I want to give is NOTHING!!! And admittedly, it was what I thought. I wouldn't miss the secrecy, the bad breath, the crumbs in my bed, hiding trash in random places, not having money because I spent it on random food, the embarrassment of knowing that I am a compulsive overeater, the diarrhea, the heart burn, the bloating, not fitting in my clothes comfortably, the self hatred... and that is just to name a few (we'll save that real list for another day). So it seems obvious that I shouldn't miss anything about my Eating Disorder, right?!?!

All diseases and addictions serve some positive person in everyone's life... otherwise we WOULDN'T KEEP DOING THEM. Like everything in life... there is a Yin and Yang, a Balance, a set of Pros and Cons that... and yes, even with eating disorders there are positive qualities that make us what to continue to engage in the behaviors that we know are not good for us. Whether those reasons are psychological, physical or even REAL at all is dependent on the person. 

So What Am I Holding On To?!

I am going to specifically talk about my Bulimia, because I feel as though my Compulsive Overeating has a story that is all it's own. I think the thing that all we kept me coming back to my bulimia was the release that I got from purging. The best thing to compare it to is when you come up from underwater and you take that deep inhale that goes through your entire body and you feel as if you have just had "New Life" breathed into. And man, let me tell you the fuller you are before you purge, the better that release feels. It feels as if a huge weight has been lifted of your shoulders and that you can now continue on your journey. Granted... this feeling doesn't last long, but it can be extremely Euphoric. 

I would also really miss the ability to just tune out EVERYTHING in the world. When I am binging and purging... nothing else matters other than the food in front of me, inside of me and waiting for me. It doesn't matter that I have homework to do, it doesn't matter that I feel like a terrible daughter, it doesn't matter that I think I'm the World's worst girlfriend, or that I hate myself, or that my Mom and Tyler want me to do things that I don't want to. I get to stop all of the incessant madness that is going on in the six inches between my ears. 

Most importantly... I'm going to miss the food. Let's be honest... the worst the food is for you, the better it tastes. Since I was a young girl I have always loved the taste of foods. Salty, Spicy, Sweet... It's like a party in my mouth, and EVERYONE is invited (except Fish and cooked Brussels sprouts.. YUCK). I love the texture, smell and taste of food. I love mixing delicious flavors together to create SUPER FOODS (Like chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with peanut butter... yeah that makes sense). I love the experience of chewing and swallowing. I LOVE FOOD. I still have a mini orgasm when I see a cheese and jalapeno bagel, or a white donut with white frosting and rainbow sprinkles. And don't even get me started on Cheesecake!!! If I could I would FUCKING make love to it (Screw American Pie... American Cheesecake). I know that I don't HAVE to give up any of these for the rest of my life, but the thought of not having them at all makes me super sad.

I am going to miss the immediate comfort that my eating disorder provides. From the first bite, I can feel the world melt away and like everything is going to be OK. Its hard to imagine anything else having that effect in my life.

Although I have NO desire to make myself throw up ever again, just writing about these things makes me crave them a little more. But I no longer crave the behaviors, I crave the effects. Each one of the effects that these behaviors induce can be created in another form. Comfort can be found by talking to someone, or getting a hug. I have LOTS of healthy foods that I think are delicious!!! There is nothing more Euphoric to me that exercise, or doing something good for another person. I can deal with my overwhelming emotions instead of pushing them aside and creating more negative emotions to deal with. 

For Today, I am willing to Let Go of the unhealthy ways that I achieve positive effects of my eating disorder and will try to replace them with less toxic behaviors. 

Today has been a good day for me. I was present, productive and I felt good about all the things I accomplished... so now I shall tell you about them in my AEIOU's :)

A- Yes. I stuck to my meal plan of 3 meals and 2 snacks, and did not binge or purge. I did have to fight off a donut craving or too, but I quickly lost focus ;)

E- Took a 15 minute walk to the gym, then started my work out with some intervals of Jump Roping, crunches, squats and push ups then followed it up with 25 minutes of rowing. Finished with a 15 minute walk back to my building on campus. Not a bad cross training day :)

I- I woke up with prayer, meditation and reading from Just today, I participated in my class discussions, I ate a mix of foods on my green and yellow light list that felt "Safe", I finished my portion of a midterm that is due on Thursday (Not procrastinating, WHAT?!?!) so I do not get anxious, I spent time with my family. I didn't allow other people's anxiety affect my mood, and prayed for them to find peace in their day. I planned my meals for tomorrow without letting it control my day. I expressed Gratitude as often as possible

O- I checked in with two fellows and shared my courage strength and hope (and invited her to a meeting), I gave a glowing reference for a friend who is applying to be a mentor, I helped a friend with her portion of our assignment, I volunteered to do the editing for the group assignment, I held doors open for people. I practiced acceptance

U- There are good and bad qualities about my eating disorder that achieve positive results in my life. -(Purging= relief, binging= numbing, bad foods= delicious joy). There are other, healthier, ways to achieve these effects ( Running/Talking= Relief, Dealing with uncomfortable feelings = No need to numb, Healthy Foods that I Like = Delicious Joy. Today I can be aware of them and know that I have options and do not have to hold on to my disease to make them happen :)

Work Out Plan For Tomorrow: Run 6 miles

Meal Plan for Tomorrow:
Breakfast: 3 egg whites (1 yolk), kale, mushrooms, olives salsa avocado
Snack: Apple and String Cheese
Lunch: Pasta and a veggie Pattie
Snack: Chobani Greek yogurt (chocolate, almond and coconut)
Dinner: Sweet Potato casserole!!!

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