I never thought that a little baby chick could throw me into a tailspin. Then again, I never thought that trying to eat healthier would make me unhealthy.

But there ya have it.

The baby chicks I'm talking about are, of course, Marshmallow Peeps. I usually bite the heads off of the poor little dears first so that I don't have to hear them scream. Then I gobble the rest of them whole, tails and all. I decided to kill of a few of the sweet darlings last night after I had completed my evening snack. Five peeps. 150 calories (yes, I looked. This means 30 calories per Peep. One of the many (mis)uses of my math degree).

I proceeded to freak the hell out. I'm weak. I'm fat. I'm stupid. Why is this bugging me?

This annoyed me for several reasons, namely that I was freaking out about some marshmallow chicks (but they're fat free!). Also that I was dumb enough to eat the Peeps. I wish I would either not eat the damn things or eat them and be okay with that. I feel like I can't win. I'm beyond frustrated. I wish I could be all "yay recovery" but many times I'm still a little confused about that. I want it both ways. I want to dump Ed for good, but only as long as I can stay thin. I know I can't have it both ways. I've tried that for years, and I know it doesn't work. I also know that it doesn't keep me from trying to figure out a way to manage it.

I'm feeling rather dejected at the moment, because all I can do is wait for the time for things to get better. I have glimpses, to be sure. At the same time, I'm afraid to experience them fully because it makes the almost inevitable return of the ED thoughts all that much more distressing. I want to scream, "I'm trying! I'm eating! What more do you want from me? Why won't things get better?!"

I've done enough reading to know that recovery isn't a straight trajectory, that there will be ups and downs along the way. I'm quite well aware of this, thank you very much. It doesn't, however, make it any easier. I just snuggle up with my kitty and hope for the best. I have many things to look forward to, and the promises of that, of a career as a writer, of an ability to help others out of the hell of an eating disorder, are what keep me going. I know, in the grand scheme of things, that five freaking piece of marshmallow are pretty damn insignificant. However, to someone in recovery from anorexia, they're significant. It's not rational. There's nothing you can tell me that will make it rational, except perhaps that this is a symptom of my illness. But it's like nausea after taking one of your meds: it still sucks.

I realize this post is quite negative. I was quite torn about posting it, but I realize this is a place for me to be honest. That this is recovery, both the victories and the nasty bits where anorexia begins to look more appealing than during my good days. I have made much progress. I didn't purge or cut last night, or do eighty billion sit-ups on my floor in the middle of the night. I rode out the wave of emotions, all DBT-like.

One of my favorite counsellors when I was in treatment this past time told me, as I cried into a bowl of cottage cheese long after everyone else had left the table: the only way out is through. I knew then that this was true.

It still didn't keep me from hating it. I wanted to do a Shawshank Redemption tunneling-my-way-out-of-this-shithole move. Or at least figuring out a way to launder Ed's money, do his income taxes and throw that sonofabitch into jail for the rest of his life.

This movie is also the source of one of my favorite quotes: "Get busy living or get busy dying."

That pretty much sums up recovery, doesn't it? And I want to get busy living. I just wish it weren't so hard sometimes.


mary said...

This too shall pass. Carry, it's not much but you know it's true. You won't feel this way forever. The day WILL come when you are comfortable in your own skin. I'm sure it's been awhile since you've known what that's felt like because the ED never let you feel good unless you were miserable. And how good was that, really? So, you ate some peeps. Does that mean you've become a peep? I ate some coconut macaroons...my annual treat around now. Thank you Passover. Next weekend it will be chocolate eggs...I've only eaten a few jelly beans so far.
It's okay Carrie. You've deprived yourself for ED for so long. It's time to take back the little goodies that are occasional treats. If for no other reason because you deserve to enjoy a few peeps as much as anyone gets to. Next time slap some chocolate on it and put it between 2 graham crackers! No more guilt for staying on the path that will heal your mind. You don't have to believe me now but it will not make you fat. It will bring you to wellness. That's what you deserve so stay tough against the angry ED, you are fighting for yourself and doing a darn good job of it!

Laura Collins said...

And we, too, wish it wasn't so hard. For you, and for our other loved ones.

The only thing we can do, from out here, is to thank you for reminding us that it isn't garden variety hard, it is genuinely big H "Hard."

We hear you and we thank you.

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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Have any questions or comments about this blog? Feel free to email me at carrie@edbites.com

nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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