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I'm Terrified of Food


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For a very short period of time, I felt like I "recovered" from my eating disorder.  And by "recovered," I mean I gained weight through massive binges and refused to purge them to try to "break the cycle."  I felt like I recovered because I am no longer underweight and no longer a restrict-binge-purge anorexia sub type.  Even though people continue to tell me I am thin, I am the one seeing the scale every morning.  I am the one who knows I'm no longer my sacred lowest weight.  I resumed purging almost a month ago, and now fit the criteria for bulimia because I am a normal weight.  I am not recovered.  I just adopted a new disordered way of eating.  

Because my sick head desperately wants to reach a startling weight even lower than my lowest weight, and because my sick head has "had enough of being fat," I began restricting again two weeks ago and resumed exercising.  But already my exercising has once again become compulsive.  Random bursts of jumping jacks whenever I consume as much as a cup of black coffee, jogging around my house as much as possible, hours of walking up and down hills because I've already become too low on energy to go on runs.  

And now, I have mini panic attacks when certain foods are near me.  That never used to happen, even when I was underweight and anorexic.  I never used to panic around food, I just didn't eat it, or if I did, didn't keep it inside of me.  But even yesterday, my mom (bless her, this was so lovely of her) brought home groceries and brought me some new vegan snacks she thought I would enjoy, and she was so proud of what she bought me.  But all I could do was smile and say thank you while my heart raced as I saw all of the groceries spread out on our kitchen counter, and the foods she had bought for me: vegan pizza, vegan spinach potato chips, and a seedy bread.  Forbidden foods.  Pizza.  Chips.  Bread.  I ate 5 chips in front of her to show my appreciation, and then promptly went on a two hour walk in the rain.  I am scared to weigh myself and avoid the scale, which is a new development as well.  I don't want to see the number because I know the three digit value will send me hyperventilating, and so I'd rather just wait until I know I've lost a significant amount.

Already I'm feeling the effects of my behavior.  I felt this way 24/7 when I was anorexic.  Weak.  Exhausted.  Constantly irritable and feeling on the verge of passing out.  Constipated. Brain dead.  Yayyyyy here we go again.  Eating disorders.  Golly gee, how romantic.

Writing this, and contemplating it, I am aware of how ridiculous it is.  I think that is the hardest part.  Knowing it isn't normal but feeling like you just have to live this way anyway, despite the lack of logic.  It's so hard knowing you are mentally ill, knowing it oh so well, and at the same time feeling powerless to heal yourself.  

I am "relapsing," but I know deep down I was never "better" or "recovered."  And that breaks my heart.  

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It is ok to relapse. It is part of the process towards healing. Do not beat yourself over it but know that tomorrow is another day! I suffered from disordered eating on and off for 17 years. I did not seek help and kept to myself, which made recovery very difficult BUT not impossible. Today I can say that I am fully recovered for 7 years. Maybe it comes with age. Maybe it was because I was mentally and physically exhausted from it all. I also challenged myself by eating normal and quieting my eating disordered thoughts. What I realized was that eating “forbidden” foods was not going to make me gain weight overnight, and nothing bad was going to happen! After living a relatively solitary life and eating pret unhealthy (I eat what I want!), I have still maintained a very healthy weight but now with a healthy mind too. Your body knows how to maintain itself if you just let go. I’ve learned to trust and appreciate it. I’ve apologized to it for putting it under so much stress! I prayed that I did not cause long lasting damage. 

My disordered life feels like a past life. However it still saddens me that I wasted 17 years to food and exercise. I really hope it won’t take you that long to fully recover. I missed out on so much fun, job/money, trips, relationships and connection, and life experiences. There really is much more to life than body image and eating disorders. 

Edited by pinto77
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I can totally relate to what you wrote in your post,  Amaya.  You write of things I have experienced and say those things better than I ever could.  Wish I knew what to say that would help.  If I haven't told you before, I think you are very heroic!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/11/2021 at 3:57 PM, Caldmood said:

Have you tried seeking professional help?

No, I have not, because I do not want to have another diagnoses.  I have already been diagnosed with bipolar depression disorder, I've already been in inpatient treatments for other incidents, and my worst fear is to be put into another treatment program, just for a different illness.  

I've also once again become attached to my ED, and to abandon it feels almost repulsive.  These thoughts I'm aware are part of my bipolar disorder, because some days I desperately want help, and the next the very thought of being healthy makes me want to tear up my insides.  It's a constant battle between two parts of me, all the time, and it sucks, but I'm okay living the way I do.

I think i've become at peace with the thought that maybe I'm meant to be sick, and I've found comfort in many of my "unhealthy" behaviors.  I don't think a long life is worth living anyways if it's the path that every other "healthy" person has carved out for you and deemed "normal."  

Yet I'm so strangely aware that this is a darker part of me talking, and perhaps the lighter half will take over my brain in a week or so, and I will be preaching the opposite.

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I feel exactly like you're last post.  I'm at peace with the way I live as well.  I don't consider this a good life.  It's the best choice I have available and probably the only way that will work for me anymore.

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