Friday, November 1, 2013

You better take care of me Lord; if you don't, you're gonna have me on your hands.

Random(ish) ED/recovery update....?

I've been doing pretty well with the whole eating disorder recovery thing. I finally reached a point where I eat what I want when I want, don't over-exercise (or exercise at all, to be honest.......), and occasionally spend a Saturday eating a feckton of junk food with my friend C and don't feel bad about it afterwards. 

One day we're going to have a reality show, and it will be glorious. 

I haven't weighed myself since November, 2011. I haven't taken laxatives or ephedrine or any other starve/purge aids since about the same time. I don't feel a crushing sense of horror and doom every time I look in the mirror. 

And the biggest victory BY FAR: I do not spend every single waking moment thinking about calories and how many I've had and how many I'm allowed to have and how many I might have later and how I'm fat fat fat; and I have to say it really feels amazing to have my brain back.

[Yes, there is a "but" coming.]

I knew moving out of Mumsy's house would be a major adjustment, particularly in the area of budgeting my expenses. And I suck at that. But I've gone over the numbers repeatedly (in Excel, because I totally suck at math and Excel does the math for me) and based on what I make at my job, I can afford to pay all my monthly expenses (rent, electricity, car insurance, loan, petrol, cat food, getting my hair bleached, Netflix), with roughly $200.00 a week leftover for extra things. 

But because of all the bloody issues with the license/insurance/etc (among a couple other things, like my bank and Experian stealing my money) on top of all the expenses involved in the actual move, a massive dent has been put into my bank account. I cannot afford ANYTHING but the basics.

The main essentials, on a day-to-day basis, are cat food, petrol, and my food. Unfortunately, over the last month or so, they have been prioritized in that order.

I need petrol to get to work (it's an hour each way, so even with a car that is awesome on petrol, that's still quite a bit of money every week). The cats need to eat, and I love them like they're my babies. I absolutely will not underfeed them. 

And so the money left over for me to buy food for myself is not very much money at all. 

This both frightened me and didn't frighten me, at first. I can deal with this, I thought. Because of the eating disorder, I know I can keep going (physically) on much much less food than a normal person. I can eat just enough to stay conscious, keep the cats fed, and keep my car fueled until I can get back on my feet, money-wise. Also I'm not exercising anymore (I cancelled the gym membership entirely), so it's not like I'm overexerting myself. This will be totally fine.

It started out fine. I wan't thinking about weight loss--that never even crossed my mind. I mean yeah, I figured I'd probably lose some weight, but I didn't really care one way or the other. 

Until about a week and a half ago, when I was watching TV in bed (and probably frightening my neighbours because Tim Hawkins is seriously frigging HYSTERICAL), and I happened to notice how much my hipbones stick out when I'm laying down. 

I couldn't resist the curiosity--I got up and did something I have not done in over a year. 

I ran my hand down my back/side to check my ribs. 

But then I stopped and said NO IT'S EVIL, DON'T TOUCH IT and tried to put it out of my head.

Between then and now, two friends and Lil Sis made comments that I have lost weight. And a little dust-mote-sized demon crawled into my brain and laughed gleefully at this information. 

Cutting down on my groceries suddenly got easier. 

And then Monday I was texting back and forth with Stepmom and she said how great I looked in my David Bowie inspired outfit for 70's day at church on Sunday
me and the Bros, are we a f**king gorgeous family or what
I was complaining how I hate wearing pants (seriously I think every single person in church that day was like HOLY CRAP, ARE THOSE PANTS!?!??) because I still have some issues as far as hiding things like my thunder thighs

and then Stepmom goes, "oh don't worry you look great curvy, and you'll get a chance to slim down once you start going to the gym again."


oh


In fairness, Stepmom is the skinniest person I know and I'm pretty sure she's one of those women who thinks that barely eating anything ever and working out 10+ times a week is totally healthy, so her perception of "curvy" may be slightly off.

This has been a giant mess of brain feckery: am I losing a lot of weight? Then how freaking fat was I before I moved?? How fat am I now?!?!?

As I said in the beginning, I was doing pretty well with recovery, but not perfect. My biggest remaining issue is probably the mirror. 

I have NO IDEA what I look like. I look in the mirror, and most of the time I still see a whale, so I mostly avoid full-length mirrors.

.....and literally at the end of the day today, one of our clients walked in and said, "JESUS CHRIST you got so skinny!!!" with a semi-concerned look on her face.

SERIOUSLY HOW EFFING FAT WAS I BEFORE THIS?!?!

::deepbreaths::

I don't know what to do. I am definitely not anywhere near as crazy/disordered as before, and I am thankfully NOT slipping back into that awful depressive state that took over my life for the last year, but I DO know that this could be a problem. I don't want two years of working towards recovery to be for nothing. I CANNOT GO BACK DOWN THAT ROAD.


Advice? Thoughts? I fired my shrink because I'm poor, so I'll accept any thoughts or suggestions y'all got. 

20 comments:

  1. I really hope you don't get stuck down that route again. Like you said you've been there before and you don't want to go back down there. I'm not sure what advice I could offer you other than to remember that. Maybe you could ask your mumsy or some of your family to buy you some food and let them know how you feel about what's happening. They will more than likely help and won't want you ending up like that again.

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  2. It's great to hear that you're making progress (and seriously, idc what stepmom says... you look healthy

    Its tough to stay on track when everyone around you has varied perspectives on what it means to be 'skinny' (and how important it is in the first place) Take it all with a grain of salt. The only opinion that matters is yours.

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  3. You look great to me! I don't know who you are looking at.

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  4. Do you need a care package? Seriously? Kitties and Miches need to be fed. Drop me a line. (do you still have my email addy?)

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  5. This is the thing you need to remember: your appearance is not yourself. No matter what other people see with their eyes on a superficial level, they cannot see your brain or the state of your health.

    Your priority is to your self and your health and neither has fuckall to do with how much you weigh. If you managed to fully recover and in the process you gained weight, that weight is a beautiful thing because it signifies success. If you lost it due to circumstances but still retained all the lessons learned from recovery, the beauty remains...because it isn't from the weight loss, it's from the effort you put into dragging yourself out of the black tar pit of ED.

    The existential quality is hard to tackle, but understand that the meat is worth less than the breath that animates it, but both need care and regard in order to thrive.

    Do not do anything that will diminish your regard for both spirit and body, or that undoes the care you have shown to both.

    Being skinny is a thing we all get addicted to for a million reasons, but if being skinny = being self-destructive, reject it.

    <3

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  6. Also, you and your brothers should act out the hobbit movie for me. Lol you guys are tiny tchotchkes.

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  7. Honestly, judging from the photo you shared of you and your bros, you look GREAT Mich!

    And also, you look healthy.

    I've always been a thin person all my life yet, people tell me I'm TOO thin and need to gain weight. I think weight and appearance are often perspectives that other people have about themselves, which they transfer onto others.

    Thank you for sharing this open and honest post, Mich.

    Oh and btw, I LOVE the graphic you have on your sidebar of "Carol-Anne, I have asked you to keep the children quiet today!!!"

    I LOVE that movie!

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  8. Miiiiiiich - I'm glad things (for the most part) are working out in your new place (despite insurance hiccups and being all but broke). Obviously you need to take care of yourself AND your kitties, but I understand that dilemma (been there, done that). From your photo you look healthy and happy, so I wouldn't be too worried for the moment. It's hard when people feel the need to comment on everything that's not their business. You are not a whale, and your weight does not define you, whatsoever! You're a beautiful, talented, intelligent, and witty lady with much to offer the world.

    Anyway… I need your new address so I can send you things (FB message meeeee)… did you ever get my card that I sent to your mum's house? If not, I want to send another, because I bought it in Paris just for you!!!

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  9. Eating disorders are horrendous so I really hope that you do move out of it. My friend Jade has some serious problems with eating so I sort of know how it can oscillate between eating lots in one session and never eating so I hope that you can beat everything. One thing I will say that I can say with conviction is that I have never, ever, ever looked at a photo of you and thought "she's a little fat there," you have always looked perfect to be quite honest with you so I hope that you don't beat yourself up too much.

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  10. First of all, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you for putting that in black and white here. Good for you...you have enough recovery that you knew that was a good move to make. That tells me you do want to hang on to that recovery.
    That being said, the first suggestion I have involves a bit of humility...but nothing ever got different for me until I told the truth to someone who I know would hold me to doing different. I think the first step will need to be a candid conversation with that person(s) of your choice. And then you LET THEM HELP YOU. If you're not willing to tell them the truth about the eating disorder "stuff", you at the very least need to tell the truth about the financial issues so THAT ceases to be the excuse you use. Yes, I know those are the circumstances, however....you would NOT accept your brothers using the solution you're using...true?

    As a recovering person, I can tell you that you have a "hearing problem", just like me. You had someone saying you were SO skinny...which indicates to me an excess of thinness. You distorted their message into a typical "omg then how fat was I you lying people!!". The people who see you/me daily aren't a reliable source as to our body size. It's those people who see us now and again that probaby will note the changes that we/the people living with us don't see....until we're really, really lost in the disease and darn near emaciated.
    (BTW, I still don't own a scale or a full length mirror...and I still weigh in backwards with my physicians, who know I have the ED.)
    Losing that "itty bitty sh***y committee" in our heads that lies to us about body image, eating patterns, numbers etc.., takes a really long time (and you were making good progress!!) but you can learn to adjourn their meeting in your head with practice. I find it helpful to sing or whistle (cuz you can't think AND sing) before I tell 'em to &$#% off. LOL.
    Take care of you....always, eh!

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  11. Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiich babe
    how are you
    "or exercise at all to be honest" that's what i like to hear yes
    yes eat loads with friend C that's what's good xxxx
    "I haven't weighed myself since November, 2011." omg i don't know how you not weigh yourself for TWO YEARS. TEACH ME YOUR GLORIOUS TRICKS, MASTER.
    omg i'm glad you had your brain back to your brain should be preserved for further study ok
    CARB LOAD ON CHEAP SHIT. buy 10 kilos of rice and live on it.
    "But then I stopped and said NO IT'S EVIL, DON'T TOUCH IT and tried to put it out of my head." THERE WE GO EVIL ED
    there we go. her perception of "curvy" is slightly off as far as i'm concerned. youre a hot lady bby always have always will be
    i don't know. my thoughts so far is okay, you're not eating as much because of expenses but when you get more money, eat properly i'm begging of you. and whenever offered food, take it. people are shallow. it's still very easy to go down that road. VERY. VERY EASY so just be careful and do take care of yourself, alright??? xxxx
    also: always think rationally. always.

    -Sam Lupin

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  12. The experian thing happened to me too, luckily i realized with the first billing and called them to bitch about it cos I did not sign up for that, they sent me to a call center in India where the lovely girl I spoke to tried to get me to stay on the program, wtf? Took me 30 minutes on the phone before they cancelled it.

    That is a looong commute! I half about half an our each way, but I also drive a hybrid so I only need to fill up roughly once a month even with two trips to New Hampshire each month. My car insurance payments are on the high side though so it evens out I guess

    Oh my, you're all VERY good looking!!
    You're kind of my inspiration for trying to get rid of the ED thoughts while still being like the most awesome human being on earth! I'm sorry I don't really have any advice, it would be kind of hypocritical anyway given what I just did to myself. I hope it doesn't get out of hand! Love love love!

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  13. I honestly have no idea. I wish I could be more helpful.

    Still, just because you CAN make do on less doesn't mean you SHOULD. Puts your health at risk, yeah? With your country's no-insurance-no-medicine policy=/=good. Prioritise your self a bit higher? Please?

    Arohanui DragonMich <3

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  14. I had no idea you suffered from an ED (I'm always late arriving to the party) so first I want to say a huge congratulations for getting yourself back on track. I don't know how much help I can be as I too suffered from an ED back when I was 20 and, 5 years later, I'm still not 100% there on the whole 'weird-about-food-brain" thing. But all I can say is ignore what anyone else says, what matters is how you feel in your own skin. Don't get by on less just because you CAN because it's a slippery slope - instead cook soups/stews etc that are super-cheap to make and also healthy so you feel full and awesome. And finally, you look gorgeous and healthy xx

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  15. How effed up is it that people feel the need and the right to police our bodies? Even the most innocent version: Have you lost weight? You look good. It reveals the underlying belief that thinner is better, and that weight loss is an inherently good thing.

    The ones telling you that you have reached a healthy weight or need to keep going are vile. Who the eff trained you to measure health on sight? Do you know my VO2 max? My muscle mass? How much sanity I sacrificed to get to this weight? My cholesterol, BP? Whether I'm getting enough fiber? What, no? Then don't talk to me about healthy.

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  16. Side note: Honey, you don't gain weight, you gain vavavoom.

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  17. Awww, Mich, I wish I had some wise words for you.......(except)............................I am so proud of you and I think you look amazing and soooo beautiful!

    Please take care of you!

    PS People can say the most inappropriate things...ie: My Mom's friend said to me a while ago, "Oh, if only Cami (her granddaughter) could put some of her makeup on you, you would be so pretty." Ummmmm, ok.

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  18. How fat were you before? Not as fat as you think. People will point out any weight loss as if its a lot, cause to most people (whos weight never changes) any change is a lot.

    Plus people like to point stuff like that out as a way of complementing people or trying to start a conversation with them. The Cleint who said that to you, may have said those words, but ment: "Wow you're one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen, I lie awake in bed every night trying to think of something to say to you when I see you each day! And all I can think of in this moment when I see you in the flesh, is a comment about you being thin, with a semi-concerned look on my face, that I use to hide the big grin that's trying to creep over my face, when my mind goes to thinking about what I could do to you if I ever found you in my bed at night!!"

    I kept the last paragraph gender neutral as I don't know if the Cleint in question is male. female, robot or genderless entity.

    I hope everything works out well for you Mich. I'm rooting for you.

    Also I can be your therapist, I'll work for pennies! Which we don't have in Canada anymore, so basically I'll work for free!

    Also I bought one of your books a while back! and hopefully when I have some free time I'll be able to sit down and read/enjoy it!

    I hope this comment finds you in good spirits, I've missed reading your blogs and by extension missed you!


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  19. best diet in the world, being poor

    Seriously though you look amazing! AND THOSE BOOTS :O*

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We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.