…looking past myself
Meet me, Cat. I am a “Recovering” Anorexic. (on top of being Bipolar I, rapid cycling). I am 45 years old, married, and the mother of two.
It’s hard to keep yourself from punishing yourself when you don’t do the things you feel you SHOULD be doing… you know… losing weight/keeping weight on… keeping the house clean… getting the projects done… (writing the poetry… creating the art)… I feel like I should be creating, achieving, and instead I just keep slipping further and further into domesticity, like a cat… you know? just getting lazier and lazier, having nothing to show for my miserable life… I go to sleep, I get up, I feed the kids, I feed the birds, I try not to feed myself (or shall I?)… I clean what’s in front of me…
I constantly am on the move to move something and someone out of my way, and then the day is over and I go to bed and I f***ing start over the next day… and in between, if I’m lucky, I might have created something that will last after I’m dead and gone… and if I didn’t… well, then I’ve deemed THAT day a total failure and therefore, I am a total failure… and I have to punish myself… Whether it’s by negative self-talk, which can be just as destructive as cutting… or it’s starving… or it’s cutting… or it’s just leaving the house a mess and sitting here feeling sorry for myself (and getting nothing accomplished the next day either)… the “I’ll show you” syndrome that does nothing of the kind!
It’s a vicious cycle!
Sucks, doesn’t it?
I know that seems petty to most of you… and I’m sorry. But I feel like a failure… I feel like I’ve failed, yet again… I feel like… well, I feel scared, to tell you the truth. i feel like I’m going to get fat. There. I said it. I feel like, (though I’m not now)… I’m going to just keep growing and growing and growing and no amount of anyone telling me otherwise can make me feel differently than I do right now. I’ve spent the entire hour with my T crying my eyes out like a f***ing baby because I’m afraid.
You’d think that I’d be past that. I just feel so alone. I feel like no one understands. And, indeed, why should they? It’s irrational. Why SHOULD they understand irrational thought processes? My body is working against me… It has gained weight, though I really haven’t eaten that much more… and yes, I KNOW (academically) that it’s because of a slower metabolic rate… I’m SCARED to do the things necessary to speed it up.
THAT was me in December, 2005. I’ve been in “Recovery” for more than four years now… I ebb and flow, ebb and flow… Right now, I’d say that I’m doing pretty well… considering. *wink* I did my “stay” in an eating disorders hospital for an eight week stint back in 2003… at that point, I was considered, (puts hand in holy water, then onto forehead…) HEALED! I gained my necessary (nearly) 30 pounds, or whatever, and high-tailed it out of there quickly… never to return… Believe me when I say that… NEVER!
But before and after that, I’ve had to have my “teammates” rally round me from time to time, giving me strength when I had none… But in the end, it was ME who had to make the choices for myself… Me, who had to take the steps to gain the weight… and while I did it sometimes for THEM, and for my kids, my family… not always for myself… I did it for them, and for the life I so badly NEEDED to have for myself… In the end, it was ME who made the choices… but just to KNOW you guys were there for me… It was important… and along the way… these were some of the things I heard….
Posted by: UM on Dec 15 2005, 08:04 AM….
Cat, I can’t tell you how to make it better. I have been borderline anorexic and my daughter is TOTALLY anorexic!!!
Why are you?
Why is she?
I’m pretty sure that hers is related to low self-esteem. She projects abundant confidence, but it’s fake. She’s a beautiful girl… Smart (straight A’s in all college classes), great personality… Wonderful, handsome husband…..in other words, what some gals would dream of. BUT, I know her. I know the way she is constantly trying to assure herself that she is wanted and loved.
Every time we go out somewhere, she wants me to buy her something. I was finding it very annoying and thought she was just looking at me as a “money bag”. But, one day I realized that it was one of her ways of making sure that I love her and that she is still my baby. She is eating now but over-excercises. Exercising is good for you, but not when it becomes your motivating factor everyday. I wish I had some way to assure her (and you) that she (and you) is just perfect to those of us who love her (and you). You really are. But, I know that the demon has to be battled by you and her.
Now, on to the practical advice:
What if you did gain weight? YOU know that you can always get it back off. It’s not like pounds are going to just jump on you and grow roots that can’t be removed. You are smart, Cat. Listen to the reasonable part of your brain now.
((((Ethel)))) aka, UM
back to the living
by: UM on Jan 21 2006, 11:30 AM
‡What is in me
We put on our faces
by: UM on Mar 17 2006, 08:07 AM
I tried to put myself in (your friend’s) shoes and in your shoes. I tried to see things from (your friend’s) side. But, to be honest, I had a much easier time seeing things from your side. Ever since, my daughter became anorexic, I have done my honest best to not even mention the word diet around her.
Even though, I’ve gained about xx pounds and it is really bothering me. I can’t risk triggering her. I love her more than being thin.
Did you hear that, Cat.
I love her more than being thin. And that’s d*** hard for me. I’ve fought the good fight with the battle of the bulge for years and years. Always, getting that extra weight back off. But now, I don’t ever talk about it. If I need to lose weight, I just do it quietly. Because, I “get it”.
Maybe, I get it because part of me feels responsible for (my daughter’s) downward spiral. I’ve asked myself a million questions and examined mega moments of her life to see what part I played. The guilt keeps me on my toes. Maybe, that’s the difference between (your friend) and myself.
She probably knows that she is not responsible for your choices. But, I don’t believe that she realizes that although she is not responsible, she influences you.
by: an unquiet mind on Mar 18 2006, 09:08 AM
There’s nothing in this world more heartbreaking than watching someone you care about destroy themselves.
And then I said:
i didn’t do anything except try to help… guess “the caretaker” isn’t needed… I don’t know why I do that anyway… what makes me think I can save the world, anyway?
by: alleycat on Apr 6 2006, 09:36 AM
I’ll repeat my mantra i’ve used again and again the last few years….
And why do you think the flight attendants tell you to put your OWN oxygen mask on first BEFORE you help those sitting with you?
If you don’t care for yourself first, you will be useless to others.
… You cant “help” someone who doesn’t want to help themselves. There is a BIG difference between caring about someone and caring FOR someone. Maybe it’s time to detach yourself emotionally from this situation. You don’t have to stop caring about a human being who’s hurting, but save yourself first, kiddo. You are so worth it.
and then UM said:
Don’t beat yourself up, Cat. You can only give the amount of help a person is willing to accept. And then, it’s up to them.
And I said:
And another friend writes…
“I can’t” never could. And “I can” is an attitude that has to come from inside, not outside. They have to decide to stand up.
You can stand Bernie up but you can’t make him alive.
Anyway, there is another thing to consider. Consider this: what you have done to help that person may not bloom until spring. Right now, he is in the heart of winter. But I believe that your help will not be without fruit. It is just a matter of when it will bloom.
Just to be devil’s advocate again though. His attitude could poison your blooms when they do come in.
In ANY case. You have done what you can my friend, rest easy.
by: UM on Apr 12 2006, 07:11 AM
I agree with (the previous poster)…there is only so much one can do for another person. If that person does not try to help themselves at all, then you are just spitting in the wind. Pat yourself on the back for what you have done.
Now, I ask you, ((((UM))))… DO you know? Because you ask this:
And D, ever the wise one… says:
UM, sometimes, protecting them from themselves, is “sorta like letting them go”
Think of it like as if your kid had a drinking problem and came over and drank at your table in front of you; and told you all about their drinking problem each night.
Sometimes love’s gotta be tough;(even when they are little, like spanking or saying no) and when they are older, it sucks even worse…but the fall could be even harder if we do not intervene; and that part sucks (at the time)…but that’s the part that saves them.
And UM said….
Well… ((((UM)))) Consider it started here. She can’t be helped unless she WANTS to be helped… So. Does she? Or doesn’t she?
If she talked to you about it… I’d say, yes. She’s ready this time. And I say that with tears in my eyes.
Remind her where the GOOD Anorexics are….
I MUST BE A BAD ANOREXIC
I must be a bad anorexic
I once was the perfect restrictor
That I’m the best anorexic
But still my damned anorexia
I closed my eyes in the darkness
I must be a bad anorexic, I thought
©Cat Ginn ‘05
Well, I managed to find one that is “cured”
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