When Your Eating Disorder Affects Your 6 Year Old

I’ve had many moments when I knew that I had to give up my Eating Disorder.  Many moments.  And those are the reasons that I have chosen recovery.

But, I’m not recovered.  I’m getting there, working at it and doing my very best.  I’m proud of that and the changes I have made.

I had a setback.  It’s been quite some time since I have taken and have been doing quite well.  But this unfortunately is part of the process.  It doesn’t mean I’m back to where I started – it means I’m trying to recover.

It happened last Sunday.  If you have been following my blog you will know that last Sunday is when Cooper fell of his bike and broke his elbow.  I took before the accident happened.

Rob took him to the hospital and that is when we found out he would need surgery.  I asked Rob why he wasn’t being taken down that night to Sick Kids.  He explained that they were going to cast it and I would take him downtown the following day.

Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!  I knew that by taking laxatives later in the night (7pmish) it would run into the next day.  The next day.  The day that I wouldn’t have an option to stay at home.  To lie in bed.  To be in the washroom.  I had to take Cooper to the hospital.

I’m not spiritual at all.  But this was probably the first time I actually prayed to gd.  I begged him to get me through the next 24 hours.  Cooper was a priority.  His care, his health and his well-being was what I needed to be 150% focused on.  I was so afraid of what lay ahead for me.  That is the scariest part of this disorder.  The unknown.

I was in the washroom a couple times (after Rob got home) and he questioned if I took.  For the first time, I told the truth, on the spot.  Yes I did.

I woke up the next morning, surprised that I wasn’t up all night.

I got showered, packed some stuff for Cooper.  Still nothing.

We went to the hospital.  Nothing.

Were admitted.  Nothing.

Later that day, I found out that his surgery would be Tuesday morning and we would be staying until Wednesday morning.

Nothing. Nothing.  Nothing.

I had maybe two trips to the washroom during the time I was at the hospital – but quick; in and out.  Certainly not what I am usually accustomed to.

What the fuck?

Thank fucking gd.

I was with Cooper, focused on Cooper and all of my energy was making sure he was comfortable and happy.  Somehow my prayers were answered.  I don’t know how, but they were.

I learned one major lesson from this:

I could’ve put my son at risk, by not being able to take him to a very, serious and crucial appointment.

There is nothing more important than my kids, their health and happiness.  Nothing.

My stupid fucking eating disorder almost got in the way of that.  No excuses.  Nothing would ever be able to explain or make excuses if gd for bid I was unable to take him.  Imagine that.  I would’ve had to call my parents to take him down because I wasn’t feeling “well.”  Utter and absolute bullshit!

I would’ve never forgiven myself.  Ever.

And I have been feeling great.  It’s nice and refreshing to feel alive, have energy and be focused on the here and now.

You never know what life has in store for you – you need to be prepared to always be present and available for your kids. To think that ED almost got in the way of that is inexcusable and so upsetting that I certainly will  continue to look forward and continue working at recovery.

No looking back.

Don’t assume things

I was at The Promenade Mall getting Cooper some noodles in the food court.  As I went to pay, the woman behind the cash said ‘Oh (as she ran her hands down her body), I need to loose weight to look like you. See this fat?” (She grabbed her stomach to show me her ‘rolls’).

Very firmly and somewhat annoyed I told her she didn’t need to loose weight. She continued to tell me she did.

I said “Trust me, it isn’t worth it.  Smile and be happy with who you are.  I think you are beautiful.”

Her response “Really?  Okay. Thank you for that.”

Sometimes it’s all people need to hear.

It just makes me sad that people think that loosing weight will somehow change their lives. Make them happier. We have taught ourselves that the smaller we are, the happier we will be.  I am living and breathing proof that size really doesn’t matter. I am not happier now. When I was 20lbs heavier I was actually happier because my mind wasn’t focused on weight and food. It was focused on living.

So don’t assume that because I weigh less than you that I am better off. Don’t ever assume anything about anyone. You never know what demons they are fighting. And what demons they have fought to get where they are.

 

Old Friends Becoming New Again and Peanut Butter

When I say “old” I don’t mean old age…I mean people I was friends with over 25 years ago.

One of the best things to come out my blog is re-connecting with people I went to public and high school with.

Lucky for me, one “old” friend reached out this week.

Her letter to me was thoughtful, caring and more than anything honest.  She too has dealt with her fair share of struggles for years.  Was I ever aware of it while we were growing up?  No.  Never.  She hid it, just like so many of us do.  We don’t want to talk about it because we are embarrassed and not sure people will understand.

That is when the problem becomes a huge problem.  When you don’t have anyone to talk to.  You don’t think anyone will understand.  I pray to gd that anyone reading this who is struggling, who has struggled, who knows someone struggling; does reach out to me to talk.  I’m here.  I understand.  I get it.  Probably better than any therapist you will ever see.  I have lived it for over half of my life so I get it.  I don’t have the answers, but I have something better.  I have experience, knowledge and the tools that have been helping me.

Many of the things my friend said, really resonated with me.  Here is one example:

I can understand how it is often“easier” to give in, I can understand how frustrating it can be when other people truly don’t get why you can’t “just do something about it”.

It is nice to know that many of the things I deal with on a day to day basis don’t effect justme.  It’s not nice that other people have to deal with it as well, but it makes me feel less alone.  So if I feel this way, it is good to know that my experiences hopefully make other people feel that they have support to reach out to.  I am here.  I am here to listen.  I am here to talk.  I am here to offer support.  I am here to offer advice.  I am here.

Throughout my journey I have felt that the very best tool is support.  Having people there for me to encourage me and support me.

My cousin the other day dropped off a gigantic box.

The card read:

I’m proud for you taking life one spoonful at a time.

I opened the gift and inside were 6 tubs of peanut butter and packages upon packages of skittles.

Something like this meant the absolute world to me.  The card, the thoughtfulness and most of all the encouraging words.  She’s proud of me.  Proud. Of. Me.  You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.  I am so lucky to have someone in my family that will always and truly be my very best friend.  BTW AG – want to go to Applebee’s?

To make someone proud of you is quite an accomplishment.  To have that impact on someone is quite amazing.  And it’s gestures and thoughts like that make me have the will to get better.

So, yes…I had a shitty week with Cooper breaking his elbow.

But out of it came two, actually three great things:

  1. I re-connected with an old friend from High School.
  2. My cousin’s thoughtfulness gave me strength that will encourage me to continue to make her proud of me.  And I in turn am always proud of her and love her to death!
  3. My 6 year old son, who broke his wrist and required surgery showed me how to take a very bad situation and continue to smile and make the best out of it.  He really turned lemons into lemonade.  He really is my hero.

 

So, please know that if we knew each other when we were 10, 15, 20 or have never met, you can email me (shynz10@gmail.com).  For anything.  I am here.  Like I said, I don’t have the answers, but I can offer support.  And that is one of the best forms of medicine for anything in life.  Friends.

That and 6 kg of peanut butter.

 

Old VS New

It’s amazing how we put so much efort into the old instead of focussing on the new.

I was talking to Rob tonight and told him that giving up is easy. It’s hard to fight my demons every day.   But I know I must.

As I recover, I give ED so much attention while my life passes me by. That is where I need to focus my energy. On the life I deserve to live.

I take my kids out for ice cream often. I never have. And why the fuck not?  In 19 years it won’t matter that I had 400 calories worth of ice cream. I won’t remember that.  It won’t have made my life any better missing out on that treat.

What I wil remember is not having ice cream. Those are not the memories I want to have.

That is why I must focus my energy on doing things that will create happy memories for me.  Have that ice cream.  Put my work into those kinds of moments instead of giving it all to ED

 

Working so hard at being someone with an Eating Disorder

It’s amazing how much work goes into having an Eating Disorder.

The stress to be as small as you can be, the stress to eat certain things, the stress to not eat certain things, the stress, the stress and more stress.

I trained myself to have a set of rules and I felt that I had to validate myself by following these rules and being the best I can possible be at having an Eating Disorder.  If I was good at it, I was successful.  I achieved the goals I set out for myself.

But what do these rules mean exactly?

All they did was give me an illness.  A disorder.  And it has caused me pain, anxiety, hurt, sadness, confusion and to become someone that I am not meant to be.  Those qualities are not ones that I am known for.

I am happy, outgoing, funny, loving, loyal, dedicated, caring, thoughtful, and have a zest for life.  But this disorder created rules for me to follow that lead me down a path where of a disorder that I have been working so hard at perfecting.  And I perfected it alright.

I have often said that recovery is so difficult.  And it is.  Very difficult.  You are trying to rewire your fucked up brain.  You know right from wrong.  You know what you are doing is slowly killing you, but ED’s voice can be louder than yours.

Although recovery is difficult, an Eating Disorder is way more difficult.  The amount of stress you put on yourself and the time taken away from you being happy is a million times more difficult.

The easy road is not quitting and giving up on recovery.  The easy road is quitting and becoming recovered so that you can live again in peace.  When you can take a big sigh of relief and know that ED’s voice is quiet and you are not working on your Eating Disorder but working on your life.  That is where you should focus all of your energy.  Your life deserves that attention.  Not ED.  He deserves to be non-existent.

ED doesn’t deserve to be worked on.  He deserves nothing.