Stop feeling me up!

Sarah posted about the many joys of feelings and I meant to write something in response last night, but got caught up with other work.

I myself am not a large fan of feelings. I've gotten to the point where I realize there is a purpose to them, and that I can kind of deal with that purpose, even if I don't like the feeling.

Then again, my brain isn't always the most reliable judge when it comes to determining what I should be angry and upset about. Such as, say, grocery shopping. This is not really a life threatening event, yet I react to it as if it were, which isn't exactly the most effective response in the world. I kind of alluded to this when I was in New Zealand- I don't need to pay for an adrenaline rush. Why? I get those in the cereal aisle. So bungy jumping is a little over the top, even if you don't factor in my vertigo.

And, on top of the normal stuff, there's all of these feelings that have accumulated over the course of the eating disorder. Anyone emerging from eight years* of a life-threatening illness would probably have a multitude of feelings about it. Grief, anger, rage, frustration, resentment, guilt- those kind of things. Furthermore, my eating disorder kept all of my feelings numbed, minimal. Now, as I come back to life, it's painful, like coming in from a long time in the cold. The blood returns and my hands do ache.

I would like a way out of this, a way to avoid all of the icky stuff and just get back to life. Apparently, that's not so much possible.

I'm remembering when I burned the back of my hand my senior year of high school. It was a home-grown chemistry experiement gone bad, and I ended up with second degree burns over most of my first three fingers.

That was a painful little bugger.

To top it all off, one of the many treatments for burns (after the Vicodin wears off) is debridement, which means that you have to scrub off all of the old dead skin to allow the wound to heal.

And here I thought the burn hurt! Yet if you don't get rid of the dead skin, the burn won't heal properly, and there is a huge risk for infection and scarring.

This is the same thing. These nasty feelings are just like debridement. If we don't get them out of our systems, we won't be able to heal. People underestimate the pain- and saying "it hurts like hell" doesn't quite capture what you're going through.

Yet what other option is there?

Knowing this is one of the few things that make all of this manageable.

*Another anniversary. I won't throw a party until I stop 'celebrating' these damn things.

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Dreaming again said...

timely post ... hard to accept ...but timely.

samsi77 said...

Very effective/description of feelings. The burn anology brings up the saying of "the only way out is through" for me. You are digging, diving, swimming, plunging forwards, you are doing the work and shall reap the benefits. I am not sure if your ears were ringing today but if so it was due to me talking about how missed you will be this year at EDAPW at Beaumont!

Sarah said...

very excellent post. and, yep, the only way out is through.


mady said...

Thats a really good analogy....I too have been suffering for around 8 years but this has been my first year of taking a real stab at recovery. It does hurt, like hell. I just was in residential treatment for 4 months and they would always say it gets harder before it gets question is when does it get easier

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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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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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