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03 November 2011 @ 10:52 pm
and it feels like I always come back here...  
I can't eat. I can't sleep. Again.

I didn't notice, but coworkers who know nothing about my history have started saying out of the blue "You look really skinny," with that really worried look, "Are you okay?" or the damning, "Are you doing this on purpose?" And it's come up from more and more people, and I was confused, because I didn't think I was dieting, though I did get spooked the other day when I stripped for a shower and could count all my ribs again. (I thought "weird" and "that can't be what it looks like" because I don't look or feel thinner, but I couldn't make them go away, so I guess I'm not a reliable judge of these things).

I posted pictures of me recently - don't I look fine? I don't get it. And it's almost winter, so I wear a lot of layers. It's like people have x-ray vision.

It's kind of crushing me that I didn't notice I was doing this. I thought I was fine. I mean, I eat oreo cookies and stuff now. Okay, I don't eat dinner anymore, but I eat a full sandwich at lunch instead of half a sandwich, so I thought that was okay. I don't, of course, own a scale, because those evil addictive number machines are not permitted on the premises. But I guess it explains everything:

My jaw feeling wired shut.
Getting nauseous instead of hungry.
The migraines.
The inability to sleep.
The perpetual exhaustion.
How I'm more irritable and angry.
How I feel like I'm a failure at my job.
How I can't make myself do things I know I need to do, even things I really want to do.
How I'm constantly freezing, except when I eat something, and then I'm burning up.
How my skin and muscles and joints are so sore.
Thinking "I've been better long enough; I should really go buy a scale."

I don't feel hysterical. I'm energetically depressed, but I'm not despondent. I don't want to kill myself. I haven't hurt myself and wasn't even tempted until people started critiquing my appearance. I have started thinking this hilarious anorexic-pretending-to-be-fine trap though: "I can't tell if I've relapsed or not. I should lose another five... or ten... or fifteen pounds so I'm sure that I'm sick and can start treating it."

So basically, I think the random skinniness police are right and I've fallen below my sanity weight, because when I look at food now I internally react like I'm being asked to eat sand. Feeding myself and putting myself to bed feel impossibly difficult these days. It's not like this is hard for legit reasons. I have food, ready made, in my fridge that I can eat. It's just impossibly hard.

I want to be racing through NaNo and looking forward to good stuff that's coming and enjoying the challenges of new people and projects at work (which I actually do enjoy, because I love to show off my awesome admin chops), not spending hours and hours and hours every day struggling with self-care and feeling sick.

I don't really know why I tell you guys these things. I don't want to make you sad, and I don't want to bore you with the same issues, again and again. I definitely don't want to trigger you, and I know all too well that need to click links that say "warning: triggers" because you're doing okay so you want to be cool with it and then you feel that punch in the gut and cold chill when you read something familiar and suddenly need to go check the state of your ribs in the mirror.

I write these privately too, because writing something so overwhelming in a clear, step-by-step kind of language always helps me manage it. But I think I post it because other people talking online about their experiences with mental illness saved my life a few years ago by showing me I had options (even if it was just the option of "not being the only person in the universe who has ever done or thought or felt these things"). Some of you* - people I respect and love who struggled with this, and tried recovery, and relapsed, and tried different recovery, and faltered and recovered some more. I want to be that person for someone. It helps me feel like less of a failure for falling down here again and makes me want to try and pick myself up as gracefully as possible.

So, I'm posting this unlocked on the wilds of the internet, because for some reason it feels important right now. Occupy is inspiring me, I guess, to stand up and be seen. (And if my employers see this and get through the tl;dr, can it really be more damning than all the pornographic fanfic?)

*I don't want to thank you by name just in case you don't want your crazy outed on an unlocked post, but if you're thinking "I wonder if I'm one of those people?" the answer is "Yes."
 
 
 
Rose Wilde-Irishrosewildeirish on November 4th, 2011 10:43 am (UTC)
*hugs*

I'm glad for the full sandwich at lunch. Can you try to start small with dinner, maybe?

Yes, you look skinny in pics you've posted. I know you've had the issues you've had, but I think, too, you're not the type (that I unfortunately am) to put on weight indiscriminately and easily. And...I don't want to be guilty of bashing someone for being skinny.

I think, maybe, that if eating more = feeling better, both mentally and physically, that's a good reason to try to tackle it. I so want you to be happy.

And far from being a failure, I think you inspire a lot of people. Not only about this aspect - your writing, your crafts, your posts that seem to embody joy. That's precious, and it's something many of us need.
Human Collaborator Flunkie Pool!fic Muse: Cal/Gillian - hug (by awanderingbard)joyfulfeather on November 4th, 2011 01:15 pm (UTC)
And far from being a failure, I think you inspire a lot of people. Not only about this aspect - your writing, your crafts, your posts that seem to embody joy. That's precious, and it's something many of us need.

This. So very much this. For the mental health things as well as the writing and crafts and whatnot. You talked about how some people here have helped you through - you've helped me hugely, too. <3
Ridiculously Fanaticnel_ani on November 4th, 2011 10:52 am (UTC)
I have absolutely nothing constructive to tell you that you don't already know (like the fact that eating is a good thing), but I just wanted to say that you shouldn't hesitate to post these things openly. I think it's really strong of you, and I think it's good to have a sounding board to let you know you're not alone, or that you're not crazy. You're awesome, and I'm sorry you're having a hard time. *hugs*
-a.frog/gorf.a-froggoddess on November 4th, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
Oh, love. This shit never fully goes away, huh? I am squeezing you from far away!! Good for you for continuing to tell your story, to be brave and honest.

And FWIW, I find that the words "lunch" and "dinner" and even "breakfast" overwhelm me sometimes, because they imply so much effort. So instead of saying "I should eat dinner", which stresses me out, I say, "it's time to eat something". It helps me sometimes -- ymmv.

xoxoxoxxoxo
A.j.: hugsaj on November 4th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
1. GOOD FOR YOU for recognizing this, even if it's been brought up by other people. It's a hard thing to do and ESPECIALLY to connect to yourself. If I had a package of gold stars, I WOULD SEND THEM TO YOU. Hell, I might anyway. :)

2. All I can say is to go back to your training. I have zero in experience with anorexia, and will not say anything against what the trained professionals did. Go back to the beginning with small steps and all of the coping mechanisms. I know I've had to do that a few times with the eating stuff I do for my diabetes. There is nothing wrong with that. That is not a failure. It's a reminder that our disorders are chronic, and the basics are there for a reason. DO NOT beat yourself up for doing it wrong yesterday, or tomorrow. Just try and do what you need to do for today.

Surprisingly, the alcoholics anonymous creed of "One day at a time." is pretty universally useful.

3. Do yourself a favor and get out the crayons and colored pencils and make a list! Color code and get lost in the organization of it all! It's okay! But please do make a list, and PLEASE DO start pushing for balance again. *sends love and snuggles*

4. Do yourself a favor, and if you need/want someone to come visit (your mom, your sister, a friend) and help you out, ASK. It is OKAY. It is NOT AN IMPOSITION. I don't know if you do want company (or if it wouldn't be very helpful because you put on a 'front' in front of people, or whatever), but if you do? Ask. It's okay. Or go visit your parents for the holidays or something!

5. Remember! 10 out of 10 internet friends can't be wrong! YOU ARE GREAT AND WE ADORE YOU! (Brain is an unreliable narrator!)
miera_c: lizzie lorne scotchmiera_c on November 4th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
OK I hate it that other people are commenting on your weight because that's just Not On as the Brits say, but on the other hand, if it's helpful to you in this particular case who am I to object? Stupid complex humans with their varying motives and outcomes!

(TW for disordered behavior) I realized last week that for much of October I was bolting down a lot of my food, which is what I do when I'm stressed and comfort eating. I don't even taste it, and I eat way more than I want. I wish I could explain why I do this, because out of the blue I suddenly stopped. I had a piece of Halloween candy after dinner and then thought "Yeah, that's all I wanted right now" and that was that. I didn't even notice this until after it was over. It's so freaking FRUSTRATING because I don't know what started it.

My point is, I don't understand anorexia either, but I think a lot of people are in a position where we barely know why we do things, and sometimes don't even realize what we're doing until a lot of time has gone by or something jolts us to notice. And frankly, if this many people across the spectrum are doing it, it's impossible for any one of us who does anything disordered to be considered a failure for doing it. Our individual issues vary a lot but the entire goddamned Western WORLD is not set up to give us a healthy relationship with food and bodies. *grumble*

*HUGS* I love you no matter what. You can be whatever you need to be, you don't have to perform for us, and we'll still love you.
Valerie - Postmodern Pollyanna: fragilewiliqueen on November 4th, 2011 03:06 pm (UTC)
{{{{hugs}}} Good on you for recognizing and taking action. Because posting totally counts as taking action. And helps with that little bit more momentum toward taking the other actions you already know how to do and know work for you.

{{{{ more hugs }}}}
Havoc: lost girl bo kenzihavocthecat on November 4th, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
You tell us because we're your friends and we care about you enough to want to know how you're doing, the bad and the good. Because we want to be here for you. Because even if we (okay, even if I) don't always know what to say, we want you to take the best care of yourself that you can, and to see a therapist if you need to (um, please?) and because we know and appreciate how much hard work you put into this. And I feel like you need to know that we're aware and appreciative, and because then we can tell you that yes, it is important, we agree, and that you are important.

ETA: WRONG ICON. I meant to use a two girls friendship icon, whoops, changed that.

Edited at 2011-11-04 04:35 pm (UTC)
fyca: Daisy B&W Gorgeousfyca on November 4th, 2011 09:29 pm (UTC)
Had I money and time, I would come to Portlandia and make you go to dinner with me. I'm not at all sure this would work, for all I know about eating disorders, I have learned from you, and I can't remember what you might have said before about people trying to make you eat. But you do inspire in me this mother bird effect where I just want to cram food down your mouth. Not predigested though, because that would probably be grosser than sand. And not mouth to mouth because, erm, love you and all, but not * like that *. Are there any foods you do still like? Chocolate? Ice cream? Борщ со сметаной? Can you get yourself a dinner buddy who will come over every day with a little bit of something and make sure that you eat that little bit of something?

And I'm glad you're posting this. I worry about you but I'm glad you're very well aware of what's going on, even if you can't just flip a switch and make it all go away. Like someone said above, just take it day by day, or meal by meal. We all love you! You are fantastic! You are beautiful, inside and out! *** hugs ***
anranr on November 5th, 2011 11:13 am (UTC)
*hugs*

You do look skinny in the recent pics you've posted, but I also know you are eating so I haven't been hugely worried about you. (That's a good thing!)

You're beautiful, bb. ILU.
Fimuldy on November 5th, 2011 01:08 pm (UTC)
*big hugs*

I can't begin to understand this, but at least you are aware of this fact now and can be aware of what's happening? I don't know if that's how it works, but I'm sure being aware of it is the first step.

Bitch-extraordinaire!: Elizabeth Mitchellsakuracorr on November 5th, 2011 01:50 pm (UTC)
I always feel weird commenting here because I personally have made our relationship weird, and I constantly feel BAD for that, but I'm doing it anyways, as I do, because.

I'm always here, dealing with my particular brand of crazy, which is, not a small thing. It feels like a constant, I'm going to be managing this for the rest of my life thing. I feel overwhelmingly fucked up and broken a great deal of the time. So here I am! In solidarity!

Anyways *hug*. There's not much to say, because IDK, this post and what I've seen you post before, I mean, there's just a difference. A good difference. I mean the way you approach yourself seems much more forgiving, even though it's obviously not a good period of time, per se. I'm glad.

Either way, this is the internet, there are triggers everywhere, you make it clear what kind of post it is, the rest is up to other people. I say continue to utilize this space how you need, and if people who care about you want to be sad with you, then they have that choice, which is sometimes nice. People who care about you want to know how you're doing! Even when it's not so great!
(Deleted comment)
Roxy: Fairy friendschichiri on November 6th, 2011 01:20 pm (UTC)
*hug* I don't know anything, really, but I'm cheering you on!!
Pooh: PD - thru the wall (by foolishnpunkish)mspooh on November 8th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
BIG BIG BIG SQUEEZE.

Just wanted to pop in and do that, since I feel like I've abandoned you with my frequent negligence of LJ.

*squishes again* You're gorgeous and awesome. I've been through tough patches and writing it out really does help and people really do care. Remember that. Love you; miss you.
dingcdingc on November 9th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)
It's been forever since I've checked LJ. I see this and really want to say something brilliant, life-affirming; a super positive message that would inspire you. But I cannot think of anything other than hang in there and get help if you feel you need it.

My completely untrained advice you should probably not do:
Think of eating as fueling up the body. Eating health foods gives your body the energy it needs without the worry of gaining weight. Keep a log of what/when you eat and how many calories you are consuming. Maybe plan your meals out for a few weeks so you will have an idea how many calories you are going to eat. If you do that then you can tell your brain to STFU because you are eating a healthy amount. Try to work your way up to 1500-2000 (or whatever is healthy for your weight/size) calories a day. Try to eat 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day. Eating a large banana every day (120 calories) will feel a lot better than eating 8000 calories at McDonald's once a month. This might begin to associate food as not being bad but something good (and will keep your weight down) in moderation. You understand your problem and that goes a long way to being able to get over it. If you feel that you need professional help do not be fearful to get it. I recommend cognitive-behavioral therapies because studies have shown them to be more effective. However, whatever works for you is the best option. If something does not work then do not be afraid to try something else.
Hk GlitterazziHk Glitterazzi on November 10th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
just cause :)
I don't know if I'm allowed into this part of your interwebs life... so I sorry if I've ventured where I'm unwelcome :(

This sparks the most fervent desire in me to be with you physically, to be a girlfriend, park it on your couch, feather boas round our necks and watch dwts through a haze of glitter, munch on sugary goods til we're too hyper to tell the difference between val & maks (healthy foods be damned)

...that or we can go into full fitness junkie mode and sweat our tushes off with a dwts dancerise vid hosted by kymmy and cool off on yoga matts, attempting to meditate despite tessytasselpooch's slimy tongue on our sweaty faces!

I love you Red!
Little Red: dwts - logo sparkliesmylittleredgirl on November 10th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
Re: just cause :)
Awww, sweetie-boo! :) You're totally welcome on my virtual glitter couch anytime! I've even tried to friend you so you can see my locked entries, but who knows how that works with the whole posting-via-facebook doodle.
Hk GlitterazziHk Glitterazzi on November 10th, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
also, despite the crazy-creys going on in your sparkly head, you are made of 'de magicz'!
redbeardredbeard on November 12th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
I AM SENDING YOU LARGE HUGS.