Two steps forward, One step back

Tonight, I binged. It wasn’t horrible, not the worst, but certainly not good, particularly since I’ve been doing SO well the last few days. It hurts. I’m sad. This is the pattern… it’s like the bingeing undoes all the good I’ve accomplished, at least emotionally. I’m finding, in therapy, that this is a similar dynamic to the one I have with my parents. There is a place that is “okay,” and if I’m there it’s like smooth sailing– they trust me, they love me, they are not worried for me, they don’t watch me to make sure I’m not “sick” (mentally in particular). If my anger or sadness comes out, then it’s like I’ve ruined this illusion that I’m “okay” and suddenly my stock goes down. They’re suddenly worried for me, concerned that I need different meds, more therapy, etc. It’s the same pattern as the eating. I’ll feel great, but the minute there’s just one step in a disordered direction, it feels like all the work is gone. I have become far more forgiving with myself (i.e. I don’t punish myself for steps backward), but my emotional feeling of loss still hits me subtly but strongly, like it’s dragging me down and back. I feel, like when I’m depressed, that I don’t know how I’ll manage to go on.

Tomorrow is therapy, then donor-letter-writing with one of my colleagues (I don’t know what other word to use… even though we’re mostly just friends and co-founders of our company and ya know… 21 years old). I think I might also stop at TJs for a couple of things to keep me stocked through the week. I am hoping that I can bounce back from this step backward tonight. I am pretty sure that the trigger was that my mother asked me if I was still seeing my nutritionist today. I told her that I do, but I go less frequently. She reminded me that insurance doesn’t pay for it, and if I hated it then she might have a different opinion about me continuing. Basically, the insinuation I sensed was that she doesn’t want to pay for the nutritionist anymore because she’s not sure I need it anymore. Basically, I think she thinks that just because I’m weight restored, I’m better. I told her about my issues with bingeing long before she even noticed that my weight was down (I binged all through my weight fluctuations– EDNOS, y’all!), but she didn’t have concerns about me until she saw me at my thinnest. THEN she went around my back, wrote a letter to my therapist telling her what a disaster I am, what an emotional mess I was, how terrible I was doing, etc. At the time, I was studying abroad in Russia, and I didn’t find out my mother had done this until I returned and she told me what she’d done and emailed me the letter upon my request. I was FURIOUS. I didn’t speak with my family for weeks, and I still haven’t forgiven them. I don’t care if my mother was trying to help– she treated me like she treated me when I was at my sickest emotionally, and didn’t offer any support for me as an adult who had been taking care of myself for 5 years on my own already. Once again, my mother is fixated on one aspect of my health without considering at all that: A) My problems are different now than they were when I was eight, B) I’ve been doing my recovery ALL on my own, without her help, and C) I am doing AMAZINGLY, and I do not expect perfection from myself, and neither should she.

Whew, that turned into a whole THING. This is why I started this blog, I guess! Well, time to transition towards bed.

B

“You never come back, not all the way. Always, there is an odd distance between you and the people you love and the people you meet, a barrier, thin as the glass of a mirror. You never come all the way out of the mirror; you stand for the rest of your life, with one foot in this world and one in another, where everything is upside down and backwards and sad.”
–Marya Hornbacher

This quote really, really resonates with me. I love Marya’s books because they are written in deeply emotional, almost poetic prose. Many of the images she conjures hit me deeply– I recognize them– like this one.

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