national coming out day

UGH.  So my plan for today was to go to class like a good student and also wear the rainbow bracelet I had made months ago but have been to afraid and ashamed to wear.  No, I’m not ashamed to be gay. The shame is about my body, and feeling like I’m not attractive or date-able.  Then I was going to go to the coming out series at our school today.

But I didn’t.  I binged this morning and then watched tv.  Did I freak myself out into bingeing today?? Possibly.  I think it was a slow progression into ‘binge’.  It was a way out of doing the things I’d planned.  I’m learning that I need to SPEAK for myself instead of having behaviors do it for me.  And when they do, they don’t do nearly as good a job.  They can’t say ” I’m anxious to be out, I’m scared that people will judge me as I judge myself, I’m worried I’m not a ‘real’ lesbian because I’ve never been in a relationship and I’m terrified I never will.”  all a hurtful coping mechanism can do is yell “ALERT I’m not ok” and then give you something ELSE to worry about and fixate on.  Like I need that.

I wish I had a more positive story for today.  

can’t stop thinking

maze

I don’t know how to explain this exactly, and I don’t really understand it myself.  Maybe it’s obsession, maybe it’s about control.  Does it have to do with recovery? maybe.

I drive myself crazy thinking about all the details.  I get tunnel vision when thinking about one thing and all of it’s possible intricacies.  Then sometimes another question pops into my mind and I’ll start thinking about that.  Sometimes I get lost in the details.  Other times I just drive myself crazy trying to relate the details to the big picture and then I don’t even have the big picture figured out so I’m back to wading through the details of a question or plan or event without even knowing what my goal end result is.

I just think.  A lot.  And it’s also starting to interfere with my sleep. Not because I can’t fall asleep, but I can’ stay in bed long enough to fall asleep or I don’t even try because my brain is on hyper-think mode.  I keep myself up at night with ideas and questions I’m trying to answer.  I’m not scared of the next day necessarily, but I’m not through yet with the current one.  It’s kind of like I can’t get to day 2 with ought performing a thorough dissection and investigation of day 1 and the possibilities for day 2, 3, 4, ect.

the bracelet

Things are not going very well for me today.  I binged this morning.  It’s easy to identify that someone is having a difficult time when they tell you about struggles with their mental illness.  To be clear, I don’t think of myself as someone enveloped in an eating disorder.  I see myself as recovering.  As anyone who is recovering from an eating disorder could tell you that recovery isn’t linear, you don’t go from sick to well after going into treatment or after a certain amount of time “recovering”.  You take a windy road down a path you can’t entirely see.  Sometimes it gets dark outside and you’re like “crap, I thought I had at least some of this mapped out.” You go from sick, to sick and struggling terribly trying to get out, to not struggling quite so much.  Then perhaps back you go back to just sick and then to struggling, and later not struggling quite so much. Then eventually you come closer and closer to recovered and finally get there- that’s what I hope anyways.   There are some people that think full, 100% recovery is possible.  Others think that you never fully recover- you just stay ‘in recovery’ and aren’t’ using behaviors any more and aren’t letting twisted eating disorder thoughts hold you back.  I’ve met people (including therapists) in both camps.  I haven’t decided which philosophy believe in, but I know that I’m not “there” yet.  

I’d like to pin the cause to my recent increase in behaviors on not being able to play frisbee.  While that’s probably a factor, I cannot go through life hoping to never be injured, never run into problems or bad luck.  I have to find my way through those things without the debilitating eating disorder.  After all, the problem isn’t external.  It’s internal.  It’s what I think about myself, symbolized by how I treat myself, the things I do to myself physically and mentally to cope with things that seem to big to deal with.

So I have been wearing this bracelet that I found cleaning out my backpack.  One of my friends in treatment made it for me, and it’s become a source of strength.  After I binged this morning I thought to myself, “now it’s tainted.  It doesn’t work.”  Ok.  it’s an object.  It doesn’t have intrinsic strength.  it’s a reminder of the friendship that started in treatment and a reminder of the strength in me.  It means something because I attach a meaning to it.  While this is obvious to some, it just dawned on me today.  The bracelet isn’t tainted. I don’t throw it out or stop wearing it because it ‘doesn’t work’.  That’s how all of recovery is.  You cannot throw yourself out for retreating to harmful but familiar territory.  You have to keep that memory.  You have to learn from it.

swimming

That’s right folks.  I went swimming for the second time this week today.  Since I injured my leg it’s the only thing I can do.   And it FEELS so different than the way I used to exercise.  It’s not to lose weight, it’s not to make me look ‘acceptable’.  By the way I don’t even like swimming all that much.  I was in swim team from kindergarten to sixth grade and I was never very good at it, but I did learn to swim and learned the strokes.  Anyways, I’m swimming now because I really care about firsbee and my frisbee team. I’m eager to improve my frisbee game and become a key player… and later who knows?!  

And if you were wondering, body image hasn’t really gotten better.  I just don’t seem to care about it as much.  It isn’t getting between me and what I want to do anymore.  Sure those voices are still there telling me that I’m fat or gross or (insert negative comment here).  I think “yeah, that’s a negative comment”, and I just keep doing what I want to do.  It feels so good not letting body image hold me back.

ok, not hold me back as much as it used to.  Hey! I’m still working on that.