Friday, September 12, 2014

A Brief Story of my Craziness

Today I was eating breakfast/lunch/whatever meal you want to call it while Maxwell was not taking his nap.  He's supposed to asleep, but it's been over an hour and he's still up there rubbing his eyes and crying in his crib.  Ugh.  Anyway.  I figured I should get dressed.  So I put on a new shirt, and it felt like it was painted on, and not in a good way.  Without even thinking, I put my food down, got up and made a cup of coffee with a splash of 1% milk and a teaspoon of sugar.  It wasn't until I sat down again that I realized that that's not exactly normal.   Replacing meals with coffee because my shirt is too tight is not normal.  This kind of thing happens at least 3 or 4 times every day. The thing is, I'm supposedly better.  Recovered.  Healthy.

If I took a hard look at it, I suppose it all began in high school, as it does with a lot of people.  That's when the weird ideas began to creep in.  How could they not?  I was bombarded with pictures of super skinny celebrities and magazines full of dieting tips, and all my friends and I talked about food and weight on a daily basis.  It was unhealthy, but normal unhealthy teenage girl stuff.  It wasn't until after I'd moved out, then back to Bakersfield that it all came to a head and got out of control.

Officially the diagnosis was EDNOS, Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.  It's a vague diagnosis, but that's why it's such an important one.  It's for people who have an eating disorder, but who don't fit the very narrow criteria for a diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia or binge eating disorder.  In my case, I followed a very restricted diet, one that had far fewer calories than my body needed, and binged and purged (b/p) occasionally.  I never became so underweight that I could be called anorexic (my lowest weight was 116, with a bmi of 19.3, which is still within healthy limits, a diagnosis of anorexia requires 18.5 or lower), and didn't b/p often enough for bulimia, but that didn't mean that I wasn't still very sick.  At the time, of course, I felt like I was just a failed anorexic.  Because, you know, that makes sense.  Failing at being skinny enough for anorexia isn't something I should have been embarrassed about, but I was.

I'm not going to go into exactly why I did this to myself; it's all very boring and routine and boils down to low self esteem and poor stress coping mechanisms, or how I got better (therapy and whatnot), because that's not the point right now.  It's that it's been 10 years and still my first instinct when I'm stressing or feeling fat or whatever is to go back to all those bad habits I learned all that time ago.  Drinking coffee instead of eating is one.  Then there's things like intentionally making my food too spicy or salty, so I don't really want to eat it.  I don't trust myself to keep things like laxatives or diuretics in the house.  I definitely don't even look at diet pills.  Even though I'm better, it never really goes away.  I'm aware of it now, and I can stop myself from doing anything harmful.  It does seem weird though.  I'm not unhappy.  Sure, I could probably stand to lose a few pounds, but overall I'm ok with what I weigh and how I look.  I figure this has gotta be what being an addict is like.  Even after you've been sober for a decade, there's still always that first instinct to grab the bottle or pill or to skip a few meals.


I'm gonna go finish my pasta now.  It's macaroni tossed with the extra filling from some broccoli and ricotta manicotti that I made earlier this week.  Yummy!

Also, I think Maxwell is finally asleep, yay!!!


Orange said...

So glad you are better. More thankful than you know!

Chach said...

I'm glad you are aware of what you know about yourself and happy that you are happy.