Feeling nauseous, just cuz

Minutes, hours, days, weeks, years….I have felt nauseous so much of my life. Feeling like I want to throw up.  Throwing up.  Being so dizzy I can’t stand up.  Fainting.  Having no appetite because my stomach is in knots.  Starving, but feeling like crap at the same time so I can’t eat.  It’s an awful feeling.  What makes it terrible is that I did it to myself.  After taking hundreds of laxatives it takes anywhere from 2-5 hours for them to start working.  It would hit me suddenly – but I knew the signs.  My stomach would start to gurgle and than BAM instant nausea.  The worst possible kind you can imagine.  The kind where you have to lie down and rest your head.  The kind where you have to turn off the lights.  The kind where you need to  be in complete silence.  The kind where you are sweating.  The kind where your body goes numb.  The kind where the room is spinning.  All of this is happening at once.  Any one of these things would be awful, but to have every symptom is complete and utter torture.

Saturday.  I was sitting on the sofa watching tv.  All of a sudden I became nauseous.  Out of nowhere.  Definitely not to the extent that I was use to, but it was enough to make me want to put my head down.  I felt terrible.  It certainly is a shitty feeling and I couldn’t believe that I use to do this to myself.  I had to lie down.  The phone rang a couple of times, but I couldn’t answer it.  I had to turn the tv off.  My son came downstairs and asked if he could show me something on the computer.  I told him I wasn’t feeling well and was resting my eyes (my bubie use to always say that).

I was afraid to tell Rob.  I was afraid to talk to my mom when she called.  I was afraid to tell them I didn’t feel well.  They wouldn’t believe that I was nauseous just because I was nauseous.  Why would they believe me?  I can’t blame them.  But it was genuine.  I didn’t feel good because sometimes you just don’t feel good.  And that’s okay.  Was it my body becoming normal?  Having aches, pains, nausea, good days, energetic moments and all that jazz.  Over the past 32 days I have had days where I have felt great, fantastic and amazing.  Something I haven’t experienced since the spring of 2014.  Really great days.  Not just days in-between laxatives, but weeks without them.  So to have a day like Saturday really knocked me off my feet.  Maybe it is my body normalizing or maybe its a reminder of how awful I use to make myself feel when I’ve been able to enjoy the great days.

It’s normal to not feel great some days. It’s not normal to feel like that every day at the hands of a mental illness.

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Developing thicker skin

Thursday was a great day.

It started out a bit difficult, as every day can be.  The evenings have always been challenging.

After work I was getting fidgety.  Resteless.  I had a choice:

a. Go home, feel sorry for myself and think about my Eating Disorder and how I would fight him off.

b. Fight him off and do something about it.

I chose b.  I told my kids to be ready at 4:00 because we were going out.

We went to Walmart to get some supplies for a project that Tyler was working on.  Than off to a “surprise place”.  They love when I don’t tell them where we are going.  Each of them tries to guess and it turns into a game.

I took them to The Miko Toy sale.  I was looking for loot bags – Cooper’s party is coming up.  I told them they could pick out some stuff.  The smile on their faces was priceless.  Amazing to see that instead of being at home fighting with my demons.

Afterwards they asked if we could get McDonalds for dinner.  Why not?  It was a fun evening and I didn’t want it to end.  I have been driving a rental car and if you know me, you know how anal I am with cleanliness…..I told them we could do drive through and eat in the car.  They were shocked and beyond excited.  It was such a small little thing, but in my world it was enormous.

We talked, we laughed, we were together.  This is exactly what life is all about.  These moments.

This morning I had a follow up ultrasound.  Nothing to worry about, just my doctor being thorough with all of my tests, exams and check ups.  The technician was great.  Chatty, informative and she let me know each organ she was looking at.  I think I did doze off at one point though – after 119 pictures it gets a bit exhausting.

She said to me that I was the perfect ultrasound patient.  No body fat.  She even pointed out the fact that she used the paediatric wand for part of the testing.  Perfect?  Uh oh.  Famous last words.  No body fat?  Ugh.  Pediatric.  Fuck.

This situation could’ve been taken to one extreme.  I could’ve thought how great it is to be acknowledged for having no body fat.  For being perfect.  For being small enough to use children medical tools.  But is that what I really want?  Is that what I want to be know for?  The way I got to this point is not worth anything.  There is nothing great about not having enough body fat because you are so preoccupied with eating, not eating and taking laxatives.  Nothing.  These comments are totally innocent but remind me what I did to get here.  Cheated the system.  Some people are generally small by nature.  But the way I did it, is lying.  Lying to everyone.  Lying to myself.

I am use to the comments about being skinny, being small yada yada yada.  I have learned to develop thicker skin.  I am learning to remind myself that this is not who I am.  This is not who I want to be.

Every day I grow, I learn and I become the person I was meant to be.  Lisa.  The funny, outgoing, creative, detail oriented, organized, energetic mom, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, wife and person.  Not the skinny, pale, dry skin, brittle nails, coarse hair, eating disorder victim.

As I grow mentally by developing thicker skin I attempt to grow physically, gaining thicker skin.

 

What is weight?

We say weight is just a number, right?

Wrong.

As much as we would like to think it’s just a number, unfortunately is represents a lot more than that.

People step on their scale in the morning and if often determines their mood.  Imagine that?!  Waking up, feeling good, positive, full of energy and than having that vanish because of a square machine displaying some numbers that you are not happy with.  And usually these numbers are one, two maybe five pounds yet they can change your demeanour immediately.  You feel frustrated, angry, disappointed, defeated and not happy with your appearance.  You felt okay minutes ago before you saw those numbers, so why do we let that determine our self worth?

Because we are human and that is what we have grown accustomed to doing.

Just like if we were to see a family getting out of a fancy car, wearing name brand clothes, draped in expensive jewelry, going into a posh store, coming out with bags full of clothes, purses and shoes.  We would think they are wealthy.  They have it all.

But we don’t know the truth.  We don’t know if that money was given to them.  We don’t know if they live in debt.  We don’t know what their home life is like.  We assume it’s perfect.  We don’t know anything besides what we see on the exterior. We immediately judge them based on what we see, because that is what we have grown accustomed to doing.

We see someone overweight.  We assume they are heavy because of the food they put in their mouth.  We don’t know that the 25 year old man has low levels of thyroid hormones that causes his weight gain.

We see someone underweight.  We assume they are lucky.  They must get to eat whatever they want.  We don’t know that secretly the 43 year old woman takes hundreds and hundreds of laxatives every few days and that is why she is underweight.

We have trained ourselves to think a certain way and we convince ourselves how we should feel without taking a step back and thinking logically for a minute.

The overweight man.  Step back and think for a minute.  There might be more to it.  Maybe something medical.

The underweight woman.  Step back and think for a minute.  Maybe a mental illness.

The wealthy family.  Step back and think for a minute.  The collections agency calls them every day about their overdue credit cards.

You step on the scale.  Your weight has gone up 2lbs since yesterday.  You are depressed.  You feel like shit.  None of your clothes will fit today so you decide to skip breakfast.

Step back and think for a minute.  It’s 2lbs.  2lbs.  Does that really change who you are?  Does that make you appear different?  Does that change your personality?  Does that change the fact that you are giving, loyal, loving, caring and thoughtful?  Do your friends think less of you?  Do your kids not respect you?  What if that was 5lbs?  Does that make a difference?  10lbs?  No.  It does not change anything about you, except that way you think about yourself.  We are our own worst critic.  We need to step back.  Breathe.  Think.  And respond the right way.  The way you want to.

You get on the scale.  Your weight is up 2lbs.  You went out for a friends birthday last night and indulged in some wine, nachos and cake.  It was delicious and you all had a great time.  You get off the scale and smile knowing how lucky you are to share milestones like that.  Don’t give in to thinking less about yourself.  .

You define who you are.

Don’t let your weight dictate how you feel today.

On a side note, after I drafted this, I came across the following article and thought it was relevant:

https://www.mirror-mirror.org/set.htm

 

I did it

Yesterday was a big day.

1. I reached 30 days.

2. I told Rob I needed space. I needed to be alone. I went to; where else Stace?  Walmart. I walked around and picked up some things.

3. My dear neighbor SZ came up to me and said: “Do the talk. If you save one person it’s as if you are saving the world.” She’s right. And why not start things off by saving myself. She gave me the strength and courage to sit down and give this talk some real thought. I need to decide what my goal and mission is and give it serious consideration.

All of these milestones are small to the average person, but to me they are life altering.

I’m learning more about myself every day. Learning how to be bigger than the demons. Learning to do what I want to do. Learning to live. Learning to move at a slower pace. Learning I don’t have to be perfect. And that’s perfectly fine.

Feeling like crap

For half of my life I grew accustomed to feeling like shit.  Being tired, dizzy, nauseous, dehydrated, dazed, confused, drained, wasted, faint, empty, irritated – well you get the point.  Sadly, it became second nature to me.  I knew what taking hundreds of laxatives would do, so I always prepared myself.  I was pretty good at determining when the effects would kick in, but many times they began to work earlier and I would get anxious when they would take too long.  Being somewhere that you cannot hide to deal with the wrath of ED is awful.  But again, this is something I learned how to do very, very well.

I remember at my last job I had made lunch plans with a colleague of mine.  I had already cancelled once before, so I knew I couldn’t do that again.  I suggested eating in the lunchroom instead of going out and thankfully she agreed.  As we sat around the table all I could think about was crawling under a desk and resting my head.  The room was spinning, I was so nauseous and incredibly dizzy.  I acted engaged, happy and tried to make our lunch date enjoyable.  I became so good at it, and had to be otherwise I would miss out on everything.

She commented that I wasn’t eating much.  I said that I ate a late breakfast and didn’t have a huge appetite.  Bullshit.

I wanted some water from the fridge which was less than three feet away.  I couldn’t stand up.  I knew that I didn’t have the strength to walk such a short distance.  That is what this illness is about.  It’s debilitating, both mentally and physically.  It literally sucks the life out of you.  But it became my life, what little of it I had left.  And I continued to torture myself.  I continued down a destructive path that brought me nothing but pain and suffering.  The problem is that the end result gives you what you are striving for.  To feel empty, to achieve this goal of taking hundreds of laxatives and letting them do what they are suppose to.  But taking that many is not human.  It’s not right.  It’s suicide.  It may not seem like it at the time, but when I actually think about taking so many laxatives at once, I honestly don’t know how I am alive.

We are not invincible.  It may be cliché to say but we have to live our lives to the fullest and enjoy each and every single minute.   We have been given the gift of life and our job is simple.  Live it.  Don’t make it complicated.  Don’t take things that are not significant and let it control you.  Don’t take for granted waking up in the morning and going to bed at night.  You fill your day with joy and love.  Live it like it’s your last day.  Don’t have any regrets.

I don’t want to wake up one day and look back at the life I was given and have any regrets.  And the life I was living is full of regrets.  When I think back at the past 20 plus years I have so many wonderful memories.  But my illness also takes up a lot of head space.  I can’t erase those awful moments.  I wish I never had to pull over on the 407 and throw up because I was so nauseous.  I wish I never sat in the garage lying on a tarp because I was too dizzy to go inside.  I wish I never ended up outside of the restaurant while my family was celebrating my grandfathers birthday.  I wish I never searched out laxatives on my honeymoon in the Caribbean.  I wish I never went into the drugstore that day 20+ years ago curious if laxatives would relieve some bloating.

Yes, I have tons of regrets.  But my good memories far outweigh those awful ones.  I will continue to build on the positive and not allow ED to create any more regrets.  He has done enough.  It’s my turn now.

Will this get easier? When?

“They say if you do something for 21-days it becomes a habit, but if you do it for 90-days it becomes who you are.”

*************

So, I’ve been doing this for 28 days. It doesn’t seem like a habit and I’m 62 days away from it hopefully becoming who I am. I think it will take much longer considering I’ve been this way for over two decades.
But when does it become easier?  Second nature? Not worrying about what I am going to eat, not going to eat, when my next meal is, feeling bloated, feeling hungry, too uncomfortable to go out for dinner and not wanting to shove my face full of laxatives to make the feeling just vanish?  When?  How long do I have to wait?  I know it’s day by day but when?

 

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