Bath? Journal? Are you kidding me??

Therapists mean well.  I know everyone I have met with wants to try and help me get better.  They want to see me succeed.

Coping is the one thing they all try to help with.  Coping with urges and temptations are the key to trying to recover.

But telling me to take a walk?  Write down my feelings?  Those aren’t coping mechanisms.  Those are just prolonging the inevitable.  It’s not dealing with it.  It’s the same with nutritionists.  I know they all want to help.  But telling me to eat a baked potato or a bowl of pasta is not going to make me better.

An Eating Disorder is all about baby steps.  It’s about getting to the root of the problem and finding out why, when, where and how.  Not just disguising the problem by making the person eat.  Not telling me to go for a walk.

I need to know why I take laxatives.

I do know now.  I use it as a coping mechanism.  So I need to find another way to cope.  A walk or loading up on carbs surely isn’t going to help.

What helps, is looking at the issue I’m stuck in.

Okay, I feel stressed.  I have a lot to do.  I feel like I’m falling behind.  The house is a mess, I have to do laundry, make lunch, help the kids with homework, pick up dry cleaning, get some groceries, take my kids to programs, sign them up for summer camp and go to the bank to pay some bills.

There are not enough hours in the day to do all of that.

Instead of getting worked up and stressed, I take laxatives.  I cope by “disappearing” for a while and not having to deal with it.  But guess what?  When all is said and done from my “disease” taking over – those things are still there.

So I need to find a different way to cope.

I must ask for help.  I manage all of the things that I need to do by asking for help.  I am not expected to do all of that alone and I don’t need to do it alone.  I have more extra hands than I could ask for and need to reach out for help.  It’s okay to say you can’t do it all.  Because nobody can.  And nobody should.

So, instead of masking the problem, find out why.  And find a better way to deal with it.

I think that is why my problem came back after 10 years.  I never really uncovered the why.  Having kids was so important to me, so in order to get my body baby ready I just gave it up for that reason.

But my coping was the same when the going got tough.

This time around, I’m asking for help.

I’m not Superwoman.  But, without this disease taking over my life, I’m Supermom to the three most important people in the world.  And that is perfectly fine and all I need.

 

 

Have a little faith in me

I had opportunity.

I had motive.

My boss is away for a few days and I felt like crap last night.  Yesterday I was beyond bloated, full and uncomfortable.  I could’ve taken and felt like shit today at my desk.  Alone.  Perfect scenario for me.

It was tough last night.  Very, very tough.  The urges I’ve talked about were strong.  I almost gave myself permission to just say “Fuck it and do it one more time.  To get rid of that feeling.  To get it over with already and stop thinking about it so much.”

Did you read that?  I “almost” gave myself permission.  But I didn’t.

I woke up this morning with the intent not to go buy them.  Part of me wondered how many I would have to take.  It’s been 15 days.  So my body is pretty clear of them.  I thought 5 or 10 would do the trick.  But I also thought: Lisa, if you do take, you are going to end up feeling like this again in 15 days.  It won’t end, unless you end it.  So trust.  Have faith in your body to take care of it and please don’t go to Walmart.

I did have to go to Shoppers to get stamps this morning.

I didn’t buy.

Tonight is my son’s BBQ for his baseball team.  Likely I would have to miss it if I took.  What pathetic excuse would I give my sweet 9 year old for missing something that he looks so forward to sharing with me.

No feeling in the world would ever replace that.  So I would have to feel full and bloated.  But my son would be happy.  My answer was obvious.

I decided to have faith in my body.

When I woke up I wasn’t bloated.  I wasn’t full.  My body did exactly what I’ve been told it will do.  It will take care of me.

And so today, I take care of my body.

Laxative free and looking forward to the BBQ.

Learning To Walk

It’s very hard to ignore your urges.

To eat the box of Oreos.  To take a box laxatives.  To vomit because you feel too full.  To exercise for hours because of such guilt for what you ate last night.

But you do have a choice.

You don’t have to act on them.

You get to decide what you do with the urges.  You need to step back, take 5 minutes to remind yourself of what you know and how you know you will feel if you do act on them.  A lot of people give in to temptation and say that they will just start over tomorrow.  But it will never, ever be just one more time.  Tomorrow will never come.  Tomorrow is a vicious cycle and a merry go round that you won’t ever get off.  You need to stop at that moment and let the urge pass.  I have said a million times that it will be one more time.  And I really know that I don’t mean that.  One more time is an invitation to continue.  If you don’t stop – the disease won’t stop.

My set back two weeks ago.  When I caved into the temptation I felt awful.  Like a complete and utter failure.  But I have learned that I also need to stop beating myself up for set backs.

Imagine your child is learning to walk.  They get up, take 5 steps and fall down.  What do you do?  Tell them to give up?  Tell them they failed? Throw your hands up in the air and tell them it’s not worth the effort?

No!  You praise them for what they have achieved and encourage them to continue trying.  And that is what I do.  If I was able to go a certain amount of days without taking and have a setback, I encourage myself to get even further next time.  You have to be your biggest cheerleader.

So, take those tiny baby steps and keep learning how to walk.

 

Happy Father’s Day

Great day with the family.

It’s been two weeks today since my slip up.

Can’t say it hasn’t been hard.

But, also….can’t say it hasn’t been great not to be curled up on a washroom floor in agonizing pain.  So, I need to look at both scenarios and decide which I want more.  Do I want to feel a little bit bloated and uncomfortable or do I want to spend 24-48 hours making countless trips to the washroom, being in excruciating pain, potentially throwing up from severe nausea and missing out on moments with my kids.  What do I want?

On June 27th, I’m participating in a study at NYGH which is looking at treatment available to adults suffering with Eating Disorders.  I told the woman it will be a short interview.

“Why do you say it will be short?”

My answer: “Because there is no help!”

She laughed and said she looks forward to my feedback.

I was also interviewed by a journalist from Better Health. I asked how she found my name.  She was doing research on Eating Disorders in adults over 40 (that is what her article is about) and came across my blog.

All of these things make me feel great that my voice is being heard.  I just need to make sure my actions support my voice.

 

It was just me and Cooper tonight. We had dinner together.

Afterwards I was so incredibly bloated. Food baby. It was terribly uncomfortable. Awful.

All I wanted to do was go get some laxatives. All I wanted to do was throw it all up. I had the perfect opportunity. Nobody else was home. I could’ve put on a movie and done what I wanted to do.

But I thought. I really thought about it.

Poor Cooper. That’s not fair to him.

Poor Lisa. That’s not fair to me.

I put him in the car, went to Tim Hortons, treated him to a donut than went to Longos and let him help me pick out our groceries.

We laughed. We talked. We did what a mother and son should do.

I came home and realized I really did something great tonight.

I didn’t let ED win.

What do I want to be?

The girl with an Eating Disorder or the girl who recovered from an Eating Disorder?

Obviously, I want to be the latter.

People look at me now and think Eating Disorder.  Poor Lisa.  She’s struggling and has struggled for so long.  Awww, sad.

Isn’t that awful?  I know people think I’m strong for trying so hard to get over this, for putting my feelings out there for everyone to read about – but in terms of the actual disorder  – I’m weak.  ED is a force to be reckoned with.  He’s strong, powerful and much bigger than the person suffering.

The key to recovery is to become bigger than him.  To get rid of the monster that lives inside of you.  And he’s a HUGE monster.  The devil.

I know that one day people will look at me differently.  They will recognize that I use to have an Eating Disorder and I beat it.  I recovered.  I no longer deal with the demons that poisoned my life for over two decades.

The scariest and hardest part of recovery is being told that it will always live with you in some capacity.  You will just learn how to deal and cope with the urges, temptations and thoughts.  That fucking sucks.  I don’t want it to occupy any part of my life.  I want it gone forever.  I don’t want to give ED any part of my life – he doesn’t deserve it.  And I think this is a huge reason why many people aren’t able to recover.  You think, “Well, if I’m going to live with this forever, why bother giving it up?  It’s a hard battle to win so I’ll just keep doing what I know and what I’ve become so good at.”

Nope – not me.

If I have that attitude, I will end up being buried by my family.

My body cannot handle this forever.

My mind cannot handle this forever.

I don’t want to handle this forever.