May 7, 2010

Todd and Me

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:07 am by eddejae

So, as most of you know,  I am very happily engaged to Todd. 🙂

As you may have surmised from my previous posts, Todd and I have quite an extensive history. We have known each other for about six years now. In fact, our wedding date, July 3, is the 6 year anniversary of the first day we held hands. We were at a Fourth of July celebration at a local park, and yes, there were fireworks. 🙂 I was 17, and he was 18.

Many things have transpired during those six years. We dated on and off, we were friends, he lived in Costa Rica for two years as a missionary for our church, I graduated from college, he worked, I worked, he got his own apartment, I drifted here and there and struggled with my mysterious illness… We broke up, got back together, broke up, got back together… There were good times, bad times, peaceful times, frightening times. My personality and inclinations changed from one moment to the next. He continued to grow and change as well, but at a more normal pace. He was more consistent, I fluctuated unpredictably. One moment I would be giddy with joy, the next I would be in the blackest depression. One day I would be bouncing off the walls, the next I would be wracked with panic and despair. One day I would be clinging to him, the next pushing him away with all my might. One day praising and adoring him, the next cursing and threatening him. Life with me was a rollercoaster. Our relationship (when we had one) was a soap opera, a sitcom, a Liftetime movie, a romantic comedy, and a horror film all rolled into one.

Towards the end of August 2009, in a moment of desperation and intense disassociation, I did something that made Todd vanish from my life forever… or so I thought. After I realized what I had done, the pain and remorse I felt was so horrific that my emotions shut off completely. The morning after Todd and I said goodbye, I went into a hypomanic phase. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep. My social anxiety vanished. I became the most social, outgoing, spontaneous, talkative person you ever met. I was constantly in motion, never stopping to think or barely breathe. I got into all sorts of trouble. It was as if I had no fear, no inhibition. I went wherever the wind took me, not stopping to consider the possible consequences of my actions. Most of the things I did were self-destructive – alcohol abuse, cutting, victimization, etc. I won’t go into details of all the things that happened to me during that time, but most of them were quite traumatic and resulted in three suicide attempts. During this time, Todd had no idea what was going on. In addition to our resolve not to have any kind of contact with each other, he entered Boot Camp in November 2009 where he was practically unreachable, and went directly from there into Air Force training.

He eventually heard what was happening from my mother, who had always been like a second mom to him. I knew that they were emailing back and forth, and I was ok with that. To be perfectly honest, I thought about him a lot, and missed him tremendously. As I began to recover, I came to realize how much I really did love him and miss him. I looked back at our relationship in a completely new light, made possible by my new understanding of what I was dealing with – Borderline Personality Disorder. Everything started to make sense. It wasn’t his fault. It wasn’t necessarily my fault either. It was this nasty mental illness that ruined everything. It wasn’t that we were essentially toxic, or wrong for each other. I had always been so confused about why it never seemed to work between us even though our love for each other felt so real and deep. It was so frustrating, and I always felt so torn between the love in my heart and these fears and insecurities that tortured me nearly every waking moment. Now, I understand them. I can see what was happening. I can also see how patient he was with me. He never gave up on me. I was always the one pushing him away. He always welcomed me back with open arms, with forgiveness, with unconditional love and acceptance.

And yet, for these last few months, I didn’t feel ready to talk to him yet. I was afraid. I was afraid of messing things up again. I was afraid of the BPD monster trying to sabotage our relationship again and push him away. I was afraid of the cycle repeating itself. I was afraid because I’m not fully recovered yet. I was afraid because I haven’t reached my “ideal” yet. I was afraid because I’m not “perfect” yet. Afraid. Fearful. Hesitant. Hiding. Waiting. Stuck…. Well, I expound about this in my April 27 post “Turning Point” so I won’t go into it here, but suffice it to say, I mustered up the nerve to talk to him again. And it went full speed ahead from there!… Uh… Obviously… 😉

I have a confession. Todd has proposed to me before in our relationship. Having been together for so long, it was bound to happen at some point, right? The last time he proposed to me, about a year and half ago,  I said yes… And suffered a major panic attack afterwards, one of the worst I have ever had. And why? Well, for a couple reasons. First of all, I still didn’t understand what I was going through at the time and was very ill. Second, at that point in my life (and only until very recently) I still clung very tightly to the notion that before I could truly be HAPPY, I had to be PERFECT.

Throughout my life, I have never let myself experience happiness until I had reached a certain perceived level of perfection or accomplishment. Not skinny enough? Sorry, can’t be happy. Not in control of my emotions? Sorry, can’t be happy. Don’t have my life all figured out? Sorry, you can’t be happy. These are the kinds of things I told myself. These thought patterns have been part of who I am since I was a very young child and have affected the entire course of my life. I keep myself down, I keep myself in a rut, because I don’t let good things happen until I have achieved my ideal, if ever that may happen.

Problem is, my “ideal” is unrealistic and unattainable. My idea of perfection is, well, PERFECTION. And perfection is, simply put, IMPOSSIBLE. So as long I do not allow myself to be happy until perfection is attained, I will never, ever be happy. Until I relinquish my quest for perfection, I will continue to keep myself down. Unless I somehow lower the unrealistic expectations I have of myself, I will never allow myself to realize my dreams and experience any measure of happiness in life. I will never let myself be in love, get married, have children, have a successful writing career, be creative… the list goes on…

I won’t let myself experience life to the fullest.

Perfectionism is a deadly disease.

Once I let Todd back into my life, and opened my heart and mind to being loved and accepted without reservation, without condition (which took a lot of effort and strength and self-acceptance on my part)… I felt something starting to shift in my brain. This may sound strange, but it was almost a physical feeling, like my brain was actually beginning to make new connections. Things started to click….

I AM NEVER GOING TO BE PERFECT.

I AM ALWAYS GOING TO HAVE PROBLEMS OF SOME SORT.

I AM ALWAYS GOING TO MAKE MISTAKES.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT FAIRY TALE ENDING, ONLY A NEW BEGINNING OF A NEW ADVENTURE.

I’m always going to have flaws and imperfections. I’m never going to feel happy all of the time. There will always be struggles, whether it be with myself, in my marriage, with my family, whatever… I’m never going to be perfect…

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT.

THERE IS JUST ME.

I AM ME.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?

I AM OK WITH THAT.

For the first time in my life, I’m ok with being imperfect.

Sure, I want to improve. Who doesn’t? But I’m ok with who I am now. For the first time, I’m not beating myself up because I have a few extra pounds around my waist, or because I have scars on my arms, or because I woke up with a few pimples on my chin. I’m not torturing myself because I wasn’t totally happy yesterday, or because I felt guilty for no reason, or because I got irritated at someone. I’m not perfect. And you know what? I don’t want to be.

I’M PERFECTLY IMPERFECT.

Besides, if I were perfect, everyone would hate me. And that would suck. 😉

This new mindset will still take some getting used to. I still catch myself slipping back into the perfectionist, extreme, black-and-white way of thinking. I will probably still struggle with it for a while, and it will take time. But I know what it feels like now to accept and love myself. And I need to hang on to that when it gets hard.

So here I am. More comfortable with myself than I ever have been, and loving it. I never thought I would get to this point. It seemed to happen over-night, but when I look back, I see all the tiny steps I took to get to this point… Finding a good therapist I connected with, opening myself up and talking, expressing myself through this blog and through writing poetry, connecting with others, getting back out in the world socially, welcoming love back into my life… And even smaller, baby steps that made those larger steps even easier… Getting out of bed in the morning, exercising, eating right, drinking water, taking showers, taking my medication, listening to music… The small, simple things DO matter. Tiny step by tiny step until one day you realize you’re where you want to be… or at least that you’ve come very, very far.

And, really, there never is an end to the journey. You will be on it forever. Always learning. Always growing. Always finding new ways to love yourself and to love other people too. Life really is a beautiful, wondrous adventure…

April 21, 2010

It Is Time

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 11:24 pm by eddejae

I have been working up the courage and emotional energy all day to tackle what I think is the one thing I have yet to actually confront, and it something I hope to conquer.

It is something I am deeply ashamed of.

It is my eating disorder.

I’ve gone through cycling phases of accepting it and denying it, giving in to it and fighting it. Yet it wins, time and time again, in one form or another – anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder.

In one form, I restrict calories and I over-exercise. At one point a few years ago, I managed to keep my calorie intake down to about 800 calories while working out 3 hours every day and abusing laxatives.

When I was 16, I stopped eating almost entirely. I weighed less than 90 pounds.

At other times, I have gone on eating binges and then purged through throwing up or taking laxatives and diuretics. In both cases, I would go on an extreme diet until I felt I had compensated for the calories I had consumed.

Now, I’m on a constant binge/diet cycle. I will keep my calories below 1,000 cal/day and exercise at least 60 min/day for a week at the longest. Then, my body gets depleted. I start having cravings and urges to binge, and my body is exhausted. So I binge for a day, two days, maybe three or four, depending on my emotional state. The more depressed I am, the more likely I am to binge. Then, after I’ve had enough and I feel awful about myself because I’ve gained 5 pounds or so, I go right back on a strict diet to lose what I gained – promising myself I’ll never binge again. But I always do. The cycle has repeated itself a hundred times at least.

My whole life is centered around food. Counting how many calories I’m consuming, how many I’m burning, how long it will take me to lose a certain number of pounds. I have a goal weight in my mind, and I never, ever get there. I’m never good enough. And because of my binging episodes, I always feel like a failure. I begin to feel like that’s all I am. A failure. I have no self-control.

Of course, I know that my binges serve a bigger purpose than merely satisfying physical craving. They have become a coping mechanism, even an addiction. For the moment, it numbs me. Anxious? Eat. Depressed? Eat. Lonely? Eat. I have often felt like food was my only friend. It’s always there. Always something I can count on. Always comforting. And you know what else? It protects me from relationships. As long as I am putting on weight, as long as I am uncomfortable with my body, I am kept from putting myself out there; I am not at risk of being hurt; no one can touch me; no one can love me… and… no one can leave me. I am alone, but I am safe. If I feel bad about myself, I don’t socialize. If I don’t socialize, I don’t have to feel anxious and self-conscious. It is a vicious cycle of self-harm and self-hate. I eat to hurt myself. I eat to soothe myself. I eat to punish myself. I eat to reward myself. I eat to keep from cutting. I eat to keep myself from putting myself in a situation where I could be taken advantage of by men. I eat to avoid social anxiety. I eat to stay put. I eat to stay in my comfort zone. I eat so I don’t have to FEEL. It numbs me to the world. It is my drug of choice.

But it is ruining my life.

Eating too much or not eating enough. Never a middle ground. Never a balance. Just extremes. It becomes a game I play with myself. It’s something I can control. It’s something I know. As long as I focus on calories, on exercise, on making lists of things I can and can’t eat… I feel like I’m in control. It is a coping method. When everything else is chaos – my emotions, my social life, my family, my mind – that one thing can stay consistent. It is a true obsession that is all-consuming. Not a minute goes by that I am not thinking about what I’m going to eat next or how I can keep myself from eating when the hunger pangs come.

Listen to my body? I don’t know what that means. I live my life by the clock and by calories. “At 10:00am I can eat 150 calories. I can’t eat again until 2:00pm at which time I can have 200 calories.” These thoughts are at the foreground of my mind almost constantly. You’d think “Eat when your hungry. Don’t eat when you’re not hungry” would be simple, self-explanatory. Not to me. I don’t know what that means. My body and I don’t communicate much.

I constantly compare myself to other girls. Girls on the street, girls in movies, girls in magazines. Any girl. And I usually come up short.

My clothes are old and ragged, because I refuse to buy new ones until I’ve reached my weight goal. Even when I’ve lost weight, I wear baggy clothing to hide my body.

People throughout my life have told me “You’re so beautiful!” or “You’re a perfect size”… I’ve never been able to believe them. It’s so hard. I feel like I should… I want to believe those things about myself… I want to believe I am beautiful and perfect and worthy of love. But as long as I am not my ideal weight, I can’t believe it.

I don’t know what made me like this. Maybe the sexual abuse I experienced during my childhood. Maybe the destructive messages from the society and the media. Maybe influences in my life growing up. Maybe I’m just a perfectionist. I don’t know.

I hate looking in the mirror. I disgust myself. I wish I could love myself. I am so jealous of girls who are comfortable with who they are and what they look like… I envy that freedom.

I want to be free.

I want to be free from this obsession, from this self-hate. I want to be healthy. I don’t want to starve myself. I don’t want to binge. I don’t want restrict my activities and even fail to reach my potential because of this heavy baggage I carry – the baggage of weight that is so much more than just physical. It is mental, emotional, spiritual. My whole identity is wrapped up in my body image. I just want to be free.

Many of my nightmares have to do with how I look and my shame about my body.

I am so tired of it.

I need help. I’m crying for help. I’ve kept all of this inside for so long. It’s been my secret obsession. It can’t be secret anymore. I need support. I need help to overcome this. Lately I’ve been playing around with the idea of engaging in anorexic behavior again. This is a major part of the reason I had a complete breakdown last night… I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like I would do ANYTHING to be skinny, even stop eating completely. And if I couldn’t… Well, I don’t want to go that place in my mind. I had stumbled across some pro-anorexic websites that were very triggering. Did you know that there’s an entire Facebook community of individuals deep in their eating disorders that support each other? It’s terrible. They post pictures of skeletal models and encourage each other not to eat. It’s terrifying. And yet it was strangely alluring… I don’t want to become that.

I’m afraid. I’ve lived with this obsession over food and weight so long, if I let go of it, I’m afraid I will feel a void… which leads me to believe that I must replace this obsession with something else. But what? And how do I stop the obsessive thoughts? How do I start accepting myself for who I am? How do I become happy with my body?

For most of my life, I have equated thinness with happiness. I need to change my thinking. But how? How do you change something that feels so ingrained in your soul?

How do I live… REALLY live… without this fear, this inner ache, that drives me into these self-destructive patterns?

I want to be free.

I have to set myself free… Thus far I have been determined to make the disorder, the cycle, work for me. I now realize that is has done nothing but destroy me. It has not brought me anything but pain and misery.

No one else can do this for me.

I can’t live with this anymore.

It is one of the last things I have to cling to, but I have to let it go if I am to be truly healthy.

I will overcome it, no matter what it takes…

Dear God, please give me strength…

And so it begins…

(This song describes exactly how I feel right now about all of this. I don’t know what I would do without music to help me express what I cannot…)

I told another lie today
And I got through this day
No one saw through my games
I know the right words to say
Like “I don’t feel well,” “I ate before I came”
Then someone tells me how good I look
And for a moment, for a moment I am happy
But when I’m alone, no one hears me cry

I need you to know
I’m not through the night
Some days I’m still fighting to walk towards the light
I need you to know
That we’ll be OK
Together we can make it through another day

I don’t know the first time I felt unbeautiful
The day I chose not to eat
What I do know is how I’ve changed my life forever
I know I should know better
There are days when I’m OK
And for a moment, for a moment I find hope
But there are days when I’m not OK
And I need your help
So I’m letting go

I need you to know
I’m not through the night
Some days I’m still fighting to walk towards the light
I need you to know
That we’ll be OK
Together we can make it through another day

You should know you’re not on your own
These secrets are walls that keep us alone
I don’t know when but I know now
Together we’ll make it through somehow
(together we’ll make it through somehow)

I need you to know
I’m not through the night
Some days I’m still fighting to walk towards the light
I need you to know
That we’ll be OK
Together we can make it through another day

April 20, 2010

Never Good Enough

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 4:28 pm by eddejae

These videos hit close to home…

I don’t know whether to cry or be angry…

Or what.

It’s all so confusing to me still… I have yet to get to the point where I’m comfortable in my own skin.

It seems such a daunting goal.

Will I ever reach it? Will the negative self-talk ever go away? The self-loathing? The hiding?

And will society ever let women be real?

I don’t know…. I don’t know.

Video #1

This next video made me think of my sister, who’s 12. She’s very thin, but she has a slightly more curvy body shape than some of her friends who still have very “little girlish” bodies… So, she thinks she needs to lose weight. I’m afraid of her becoming obsessive about it. I’m afraid of her becoming like me.

I don’t think we realize how what we say to young girls can affect them for a lifetime and that they are likely to model the kind of behavior they see in women they look up to.

I’ve felt bad about my body since I was eight years old.

My goal was to be a prima ballerina. I went to ballets. I watched. I saw how skinny those beautiful ballerinas were – so skinny they were basically bone and skin.

I compared myself to them. And to the other little girls in my ballet classes.

I didn’t have an ounce of fat on me, but I had a very large rib cage that stuck out. It was just ribs and skin, but it created a bit of an odd shape. None of the other girls had ribs like that. So, I thought I was fat. Didn’t help that my ballet teacher emphasized again and again the importance of having a certain “look” to our future success as dancers.

If it’s not weight, it’s something else.

At ten, I was made fun of for having to wear glasses. Somehow that made me an unlovable “nerd.”

Through junior high, I was actually taunted for being “short.” Or rather, shortER than my other girl friends.

In high school, I was so self-conscious about my acne that I wouldn’t leave the house unless forced.

At 16, I became anorexic.

My dance teacher told me that my calves were too large.

I gained some weight in college, and finally went through puberty, which had been delayed by my eating disorder. People who knew me when I was 85 pounds would make snide remarks such as “Filled out have we?” which I interpreted as “Boy, you’re fat now!”

So, I became bulimic.

I could give you a hundred examples of the social pressure I’ve experienced to look a certain way. Now my sister is going through it. Friends, teachers, the media… You can’t go anywhere without being reminded that you are “imperfect” in some way.

It’s horribly destructive.

Video #2

Last one…Video #3

This last video made me cry….

That’s…

Me.

…Will it always be?

April 5, 2010

Self-Acceptance

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 1:27 pm by eddejae

Alright. I need to vent. Bear with me here…

I do stupid things. I’m a big dork. Sometimes I say the wrong thing. I make mistakes all of the time. I can be really lazy. I’m nowhere near the person I want to be yet. I am a complete scatterbrain. I don’t like going places by myself. I have a phobia of talking on the phone or answering the door. I get nervous around people. I jumble my words when I’m tired. I have to force myself to eat vegetables. I wear mismatched socks. Sometimes I wear my pajamas all day. I leave the cap off my toothpaste and squeeze it from the middle. I leave cupboards and drawers open. I’m clumsy, especially in heels. I get irritated with slow drivers. I’m addicted to sugar. I suck at small talk. I feel awkward most of the time. When I have to speak in front of people, my legs shake. Singing in front of people makes me physically ill. I don’t like my voice. I’m terribly self-conscious. I wear jeans two sizes too big for me with multiple holes because I have an irrational fear that any other jeans I try on won’t fit. I hate doing my hair so I usually put it in a ponytail. Doing the dishes grosses me out. I’m always losing things. It’s hard for me to recognize the good in myself. I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I don’t eat enough or I eat way too much. Sometimes I fake being sick to get out of socially stressful situations.I can be a flake. I hate office jobs and I will never work in one again. I take pain killers every day. I always think people are looking at me. I haven’t gone swimming in years because I’m too self-conscious. I get bored with myself a lot. I think I’m addicted to caffeine. I didn’t learn to drive until I was 19. I studied all the time in college and barely had a social life. I wear the same shoes every day. I throw things when I’m angry. I’m pretty hard on myself. I wish I was more confident. I have a hard time believing people when they compliment me. I make stupid typos. I regret a lot of things. Sometimes I eat noodles with my fingers.

Now that I’ve subjected you to Edde’s Imperfections 101, I’m going to turn things around a bit and share a list of “Affirmations for Self-Acceptance” that I came across today. Check it out:

1.  I am worthy of love and respect regardless of others’ opinions or behavior.

2. My self worth is totally independent of how I compare to others.

3. My self worth is totally independent of any external factors.

4.  I am worthy of love and respect regardless of the results of my efforts.

5. I am worthy and will be loved even when others are being given more attention.  I am happy for others when they receive love and attention.

6. My self worth is within me and totally independent of whether I am loved exclusively by someone on or not.

7. I am worthy of love and respect even when I am not perfect in what I do and even when I make mistakes.

8. My self worth is totally independent of how much I accomplish.

9. I am worthy of love and respect even when I feel weak or needy.

10. My self worth is totally independent of whether others agree with me or satisfied with me.

11. I deserve love and respect even when I need to say “no” and not respond to what I am asked to do.

12. My self worth has nothing to do with how much I give or receive.

13. My self worth is totally independent as to whether some people trust me or open up to me or not.

14. My self worth is totally independent of how people behave towards me.

15. My self worth is totally independent of how much others work or how they  work or what they believe about me.

16.  My self worth is a reflection of my divine nature and not my gender, religion, social class etc.

17. My self worth is totally independent of whether others recognize it or how they feel towards me.

18. I accept and love myself as I am with my faults and weaknesses.

19. I am intelligent and capable enough to succeed in any endeavor which is important to me.

20.  I deserve to be loved and respected exactly as I am.

21. I have the inner power  and strength to deal with whatever life brings me.

22.  I am capable of handling any possible  difficulties which might occur.

23. I am beautiful exactly as I am – just as all aspects of nature.

24. I am a good person, a worthy person.

25. I am worthy of love and respect regardless of how others behave towards me.

26. I respect and love all persons without feeling any need whatsoever to live my life according to their beliefs or values. I live my life in harmony with my inner values and beliefs.

27.  I am in no way responsible for others people’s reality but only for my own motives and behavior towards them.

28. No else is responsible for my reality. I am totally responsible for what I feel and experience in life.

29. My self worth is based on my inner being, my existence itself, my inner divine nature and on no other external factors.

30. My self worth is a simple function of the fact that I am a unique aspect of divine creation. My self worth cannot be increased nor decreased. I can never be more or less worthy of love and respect than another.

31. Although I am not perfect and have various faults, I deserve to be loved and respected as I am, just I as I love and respect others with their faults.

32. When I do not love my self, I am not loving an aspect of divine creation.

33. I often accept in others traits which I reject in my self. Why?

34. I am in a process of personal evolution and am attending to that process.

35. All beings deserve my love and respect, including my self.

(These are adapted from the following link: http://www.holisticharmony.com/lcp/list/affirmations.html)

So there you go.

I’m me. And I’m myself. Any questions?

February 20, 2010

“There must be opposition in all things.” Touché.

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:41 pm by eddejae

I woke up this morning with some very lofty plans for the day. I was going to wake up early, exercise, tidy my room, do laundry, and spend the rest of the day reading, writing, and maybe even getting out of the house a bit. (Doesn’t seem like much, I know… But when your typical day consists of sleeping 12-13 hours a day due to medication and spending the rest of the day in front of the TV because you have no energy or motivation to do anything else…well… Aiming for a normal day of activity feels as daunting as running a marathon!) As luck would have it, I had a restless night and woke up late in the morning with a migraine, sore throat, and cold.

So, instead of having day full of productivity and goal-setting as I had planned, I wound up spending most of my time blowing my nose and sitting in front of the television with my laptop. My natural inclination is to view this as a failure. Yes, I know it’s not my fault I came down with a cold. Yes, I know I shouldn’t push myself when I’m sick. Which is why instead of being hard on myself (perfectionist that I am), I’m going to look at this as just another “fall forward.” I may not have accomplished what I wanted to, but the day was not a total waste. Even if writing this blog entry was the only thing I did today (which… well… it pretty much is haha…), I could still count today as a successful baby step towards recovery.

As it happens, I was able to do a considerable amount of brainstorming while in my somewhat debilitated state. I’ve recognized that a large part of my struggle in moving forward towards healing is my inability over the last few years to set goals and persevere until I reach them. One of the symptoms of BPD is the proclivity towards extremes. I set goals that are unrealistic and then either punish myself when I fail to reach them (example: not letting myself go to a party because I didn’t lose five pounds in one week), or try to attain them in unhealthy ways (such as attempting to lose weight by starving myself). Or, I give up on myself and don’t challenge myself enough. Then I end up stuck in a rut, experiencing no progression or growth.

I think I will continue to use weight as an example, since it is something I struggle with. My “black and white,” extreme thinking has led to serious problems such as anorexia, bulimia, yo-yo dieting, and binging. It is difficult for me to stick to a healthy and reasonable plan of diet and exercise as I tend to slip into “over-doing” it (overly restricting calories or exercising excessively) or giving up entirely (binging). Often this becomes a cycle. Well, I’m tired of it. And I’m not going to do it anymore. My physical health has suffered greatly from what I have put my body through. What I do to myself is related to my issues with low self-esteem, body image, and sexual abuse I experienced as a child. I’ve never liked my body. This is something I am working on in therapy and is probably going to be one of the biggest hurdles I will have to overcome, as it is something very deep-rooted and the behaviors are very ingrained. However, no matter how many times I have tried to break the cycle and failed, I have picked myself up and tried again.

And here I go again. Falling forward. Lately I haven’t been treating my body very well, but that is changing. Starting now. Instead of saying to myself “I have to be this many pounds by this date,” I am simply starting a healthy nutrition and exercise program that I will be able to maintain. I will reach my goal weight whenever I reach it. As long as I am sticking to my plan and avoiding the binge/purge cycle by using the coping skills I am learning in therapy, then I will feel successful every day. The key is not giving up. I CAN do this. I AM strong. Though health and eating issues are not the sole focus of my recovery, I believe that if I can overcome this particular struggle (or at least being able to feel confident in my ability to master it in time), it will give me even further motivation and strength to tackle the other areas of imbalance in my life. Ultimately, everything is connected to each other, and improvement in one area will affect the progress of all the others.

Hopefully tomorrow I will feel better and will actually be able to begin my nutrition and exercise program, as well as do some important reading for therapy. A good night’s sleep will help… So I’m off to bed. Goodnight… Whoever you are. 🙂