A Late Night Breakdown

3am and I’m still awake. Sitting in the dark with tears streaming down my face, wiping my nose with the back of my hand as I swallow my sobs because I don’t want to wake my husband.

Random irrational thoughts have been intruding my mind for the past 6 hours and I feel like I’m losing control.

So I ate. Chewing and swallowing, never tasting a single bite, putting my focus on what I had in front of me. Shoveling random food items into my mouth and then gulping them down much faster than was necessary, just trying to push these horrible feelings far enough down just so that I could safely make it through the rest of this night.

But it didn’t work.

To the bathroom. With my toothbrush in hand I poke the back of my throat, over and over, harder and faster, again and again…….

Until the only thing left coming out of me is snot and tears. I’m feeling so weak and so … broken.

My husband is still comfortably sleeping, the world is completely oblivious to what I’m going through. My dogs sit on either side of me, wondering why I have interrupted their sleep and why I am so upset.

I contemplate taking something to help me relax. I have a lot of options sitting in my top drawer. My mouth waters. The answer to everything that’s wrong right now. I could make all this shit end … even for a little while.

I’m desperate and so fuckin tired ….

Please Accept My Apology

My dearest Body,

Oh, how I have treated you so unkind. Oh, how so unkindly others have treated you. Yet, you still remain intact, bearing the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of unpleasantry for so little to see. Body, you have carried my being for years. You are much younger than I am in here. For reasons not yet completely known to me, there have been times where I have pinched you until you bled, cut you until you bled, starved you, poisoned you, and exploited you. Through all of this, you still remain with me: A young, beautiful shell carrying an old, bitter being.

Depression has allowed me to do these things to you. I never meant to hurt you. Family history runs deep within the vile rivers of disparity and self-loathing. I greatly apologize for those times I lacked the emotional and psychological ability to stop forced hate upon you. I want to blame my family history for my own past.

Rightfully so, these thoughts and actions are learned at a young age and I do not believe I would have naturally turned out this way if it weren’t for everything I have witnessed since birth.

Anger, depression, addiction, lust, and selfishness: the list continues. I have always known anger. I have always seen physical anger. These learned actions and reactions have caused me to harm you in ways I would never harm another living being. I cannot even kill a cockroach without crying inside.

My dearest Body, you did not deserve any of those things. I have taught you to stay still while I transcended into deep meditation. I taught you to stretch and run. I nurtured you with medication to heal you even when my brain maliciously told me not to. You are so incredible. I don’t tell you this often enough, but I spend long moments just staring at you up close. I love the rivets in your skin and the olive hue it gives off under its paleness. I am learning to love your eye color and your toes. I am learning how to give you what you need when you need it instead of selfishly taking and keeping from you.

With all of that being said, there is nothing I would want to change about you. Your lips are beautiful. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too thin. Your nose is perfect. Do not listen when I tell you it’s too big. Your vagina is magnificent. Do not listen when I tell you it’s not. Your nails are exactly as they should be. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too brittle.

The only things I wish to change are of my spirit. I am bitter and angry, yet hopeful and happy. I’m sorry that my mind is a bit confused, Body. I’m so grateful for you! For you have not betrayed me once. It is I who has betrayed you.

Yet, you inspire me by continuing to carry me forward!

You give me so much hope!

Thank you, Body.

Submitted by Ashley Godwin

This Is Just The Beginning 

here goes:

My name is Danielle and there are many things I could start off telling you about myself. 

Like how I have always been overweight my entire life, even as a child. I was always the biggest kid in my grade. I was bullied throughout my entire childhood for being fat. There has never been a point in my life where I haven’t fallen into the obesity category. 

Or I could tell you about how an eating disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, consumed me for 14 years and almost killed me in 2009, which led to a 9 month hospitalization at a treatment facility in Guelph, Ontario where, once physically stabilized and my heart was no longer in danger of stopping, I went through an intense recovery program that included a variety of different therapeutic approaches such as group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, one on one counselling and several other targeted therapies. I am proud to say that except for a few minor relapses, I have been able to maintain my recovery from bulimia nervosa to this day. Every day I fight to stay on track. 

Or I could tell you about how I am an amputee. In 2010 I was in a very serious car accident that almost took my life. After weeks in a coma I woke to find that my entire body had been mangled beyond recognition. My face was beyond recognizable. My back had been broken and I was told I may never walk again. My knees had been crushed as well as my chest cavity. But the biggest damage was on my left side. I had lost my arm and half of my breast. Never again would I ever be the same. I had a choice to make at this point. Do I lay there on my back for the rest of my life and have other people tend to my every need? Or do I clench my teeth, cry my way through the pain, and get my life back in order? I chose the latter. Now today I am back on my feet and going strong. I spent almost 2 years in physiotherapy and I can walk just as I could before the accident. I have adjusted well with only one arm and everything is second nature to me now. 

I should be happy right? I’m alive! I can walk! But there’s one BIG problem. I am morbidly obese. Through the years I continuously gained weight and in April 2016 I tipped the scales at 369 pounds. Desperation set in. My body was constantly swollen. Every joint ached all day, every day. I never wanted to leave my house out of sheer embarrassment, for fear of being seen, judged, just like what I went through ever day as a child. I feel their stares, I hear local kids giggle behind my back and I turn my eyes away from any mirrors I may see because I can’t handle to see my reflection.

This is a horrible way to live. Enough is enough. I’m only young and I’m not ready to die, especially not this way. While browsing some different websites for some hope and inspiration, one thing led to another and I came into contact with a wonderful woman who is a personal health and fitness coach and she took me on as her client. I then joined a challenge group and signed up for a program called the 21 Day Fix thus beginning my journey to a new and better, healthier me. 

May of this year has marked to be one of the most transformational months of my life, both inside and out. I have learned what proper portion sizes look like. I now know what clean eating really means. I have also learned that I can do anything for just one minute! That burning, intense, crazy exercise move? 60 seconds! And those last 10 seconds? That’s when I found out how strong I truly am.

I am starting to understand now that I am a warrior, and that I work very hard. I am fighting for my life every day. I may not change the world, but I can walk at a steady pace for 30 minutes straight now and that is a start. I am losing weight, and I am sleeping better and feeling stronger than I have in years. My goals for each day are different now and even though these goals are not always met, the fact that I even keep going is a huge improvement. I have hope now. Hope for increasing wellness. I hope for continued weight loss. I hope for a continued improvement in my physical functioning and I hope for a long, healthier and happier life.

Also, I have proven to myself (and everyone else) that small changes can make a huge difference because … *insert drumroll* … My weight has went from a mind blowing 369lbs to 354lbs in round one of the 21 Day Fix. If I could do something so hard (yet so simple), then believe me when I say that you can too. Your life and your happiness depends on it.

Conflicted

While browsing through some lists that contained iPhone apps for different activities, I randomly had one pop up on my screen as being the highest rated app is several countries last year. I’m guessing that people with anorexia and own an iPhone would immediately fall in love with it. Thanks to God that my biggest struggles with my own anorexia illness are in the past. (I hope)

Tell me what you think about this.

TrackMyFast: another app to track your fasting diet. It lets you record your measurements, define fasting patterns, and maintain a food diary.

Three Days

Having a wisdom tooth removed is a very dangerous thing. For someone like me. 

The extreme pain requires strong pain medications. Extra prescriptions for extra pills to ease the extra pain. For a recovering drug addict that is prone to frequent relapse and is easily triggered by the slightest thing who also has little self control and doesn’t currently have a firm foothold in sobriety – this is a bad thing. 

Also

solid foods are not permitted for an extended amount of time. After several days a visit to the storage room to dig out the scale is a sure sign that the ugly voice of an old enemy, the eating disorder, has wiggled it’s way back. 

Three days post procedure and I’ve suddenly realized that I have once again entered a dangerous territory. 

Recovery Record

So in the search for an app for my iPhone that would be suitable for me to use to help me keep track of my eating habits as well as keep me accountable to my own personal goals I discovered an app called Recovery Record. I am quite impressed.

I have used these apps for meal recording, calorie counting, etc but every single time I have ended up getting so wrapped up in it that it has done nothing but leave me discouraged. But this one is different. This is actually created for individuals with eating disorders.

No calorie counting.
No competitions with other users.
No regular weigh ins required.
Offers daily recovery related encouragement.
Helps you set healthy goals such as aiming for 3 solid meals a day.
Sends you a txt to remind you to eat a snack once you have gone so long without recording a meal. (Optional)
Gives you challenges to complete that lead you to think about your own recovery goals.
Optional mood checks that are especially important for people with depression and if you log an entry that shows you are struggling it will offer you suggestions for coping skills.
Tracks any binging episodes and lets you record the situations and feelings that happened before, during and after any binging.
Records purging episodes.
Keeps charts for your success with your goals. Useful for seeing the visuals for recovery progress.
Also has options for connecting everything with your therapist or doctor which can be really useful for anyone in therapy that is focusing on eating and food related struggles.

So far I give this app a big thumbs up. Anyone with an iPhone should really check it out.
It’s free!!!!

This was the intro for it:

Recovery Record, Inc. is a pioneer in the field of mobile mental health. Founded in Palo Alto in 2011 by a group of psychologists, engineers and entrepreneurs, Recovery Record has quickly become the number one mobile platform for eating disorder management.

Our mission is to bring best-in-class design and evidence-based practice together to empower you to be in control of your recovery and enable your clinical team to reach their full potential.

Recovery Record innovation is fuelled by the ideas of thousands of users and the guidance provided by Stanford University Department of Psychiatry.

Full Blown Relapse

Bulimia is a bitch. The insane binges followed by purging that never ever feels fully completed have been leaving me drained, in pain, and very depressed. My body is so physically confused these days. Food goes in. Food gets forced out by whatever means is available at the time.

Fingers down my throat.
Toothbrushes jabbing at my tonsils.
Sometimes all I have to do is lean over a toilet and I can make it happen without any physical actions at all.
Other days I drink cupfuls of laxative teas that work much faster and more powerful than any brand of laxative, ipecac, or intestinal flush I have ever tried – and believe me there aren’t too many things out there that have not been tried or attempted to induce sickness.

Every day I vow to eat at least 2 balanced meals and snacks. But every day just ends in failure. I do not need this right now. I cannot handle this relapse. It is messing with my medication levels which in turn is leaving me depressed and plagued with very bad thoughts, anxiety attacks at all hours of the day and night, and most upsetting, daily weight fluctuations.

It all started with a small weight gain last month that triggered some panic. A few days of restricted eating led to a week of throwing up everything I ate to what is now a steady cycle of binging, purging, and restricting. If I can get through the next couple of weeks without being hospitalized (against my will) then I will be quite surprised. I’ve already been confronted by my man with a talk of concern. Never good.

Ever.

If only I could muster up the strength within me to turn this around before something happens.

Welcome Back, Bitch.

So binging and purging has become a daily thing. Since going into treats at Homewood I have to say that I have done really well with managing my eating disorder. That’s been 5 years now. I don’t know why or how but this is the worst things have been since then. It’s been 9 days since my last purge free day.

Things are just not very good right now.