Home Sweet Home

I arrived home (very) late last night. Most of today was spent sleeping and stocking up at the jewelry store. I am still very tired and exhausted, but I think by tomorrow it will be better.

I'm glad to be home with family and Aria. And my routine and my own food. It's just...better that way. I like my set way of doing things. I know I needn't be so rigid all the time -- a fight that is easier talked about than won -- but I also like a happy routine. Knowing what is going to be coming next, what to expect, what to plan for. It's one of those things about myself that I need to work on accepting.

Some of the people on my trip didn't think I was "much fun" because I didn't go out much and didn't drink, etc. I wanted to say: what the hell is fun about going to a bar where you can't hear the person next to you? Maybe reading is fun. So is a chat over coffee. It's my kind of fun.

Then I feel bad for getting a little defensive about it. Sometimes, it's easier being busy at school where "free time" isn't an issue. There is no such thing as "free time." But I also don't like it when people look down upon me because I'm not like them.

The responses I got to my eating disorder were odd. Some people did look down on me as some sort of vain little girl. But a lot, people seemed to look up to me. That I could be Strong. Thin. Perfect. I was a creature of envy. I'm not used to that. And though the anorexia isolated me horribly, and made me hate myself like I could never imagine a person hating themself, it also made me feel a tad better. Because I had something that no one else had, and that they also wanted. Maybe people envied my GPA. Some probably did. But I didn't get that response of "How do you do it?" that I did with anorexia.

I think maybe it was because the trade-offs were more obvious. With studying all the time, I was No Fun. People wanted a life, they wanted friends, so they accepted (willingly or not) that the 4.0 GPA wasn't going to happen. But with an eating disorder, denying myself dessert was nothing compared to being a Size 0. That was something they wanted. Skipping dessert might be No Fun, but it was Worth It.

The therapists I had in treatment focused a lot on this. How it might have been a cause of my eating disorder. Not necessarily THE cause, but A cause. I looked at the situation like an anthropologist. I wasn't looking for cause and effect. Just looking. Observing.

Certainly, this was a maintenance factor, and one beyond brain chemistry. There were many of those, factors that led to resistance to recovery. Culture was a big part of that. It was easier to look at models and a culture of dieting than to examine serotonin dysfunction in the brain. It was easier to grasp. And it was much, much more obvious.

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Laura Collins said...

Welcome home!!

I do wish we all did pay more attention to perpetuating factors - and call them that.

It changes the whole equation to say "now that we know you have this makeup, we must change X" rather than "X caused your ED."

Harriet said...

"There were many of those, factors that led to resistance to recovery."

You said it, Carrie.

Welcome back!

carrie said...

Hi Surrogate Moms! It's nice to be back.

I found an interesting article on culture changing brain wiring that I'm going to blog about in a bit, but otherwise, I think culture is a trigger and a perpetuating factor- NOT a cause.

And I do think it's crucial to look at those as part of recovery. Culture isn't something that just happens to you. Yes, you are born into it, and you don't really have a choice over that part, but there's also a feeling of empowerment over starting to speak up and play a role in your own culture, whether it's models, healthcare, or whatever.

Harriet said...

Well I'll lift a fork to that, Surrogate Daughter. :-)

Emmpowerment is always a good thing.

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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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