In a funk

The title of the post pretty much summarizes it: I've just been in a funk all day today. There's no rational explanation for this, nothing that set it off or anything. Mostly, I feel weighed down by this odd sadness and lethargy.

My eating is mostly meal plan compliant, but the urges are still very strong. I don't understand that because it's not like I want to get sick again or lose weight again. The body dysmorphia is pretty much where it usually is, which means I hate looking at myself in the mirror but I'm also not trying to make my own liposuction machine out of a straw and the Dustbuster. I wrote before that I had too much to lose, and I still believe that. I'm doing lots of writing, and I'm mostly enjoying it (those of you who are Facebook friends will know the particular project I'm talking about!).

So what gives? Why am I having such a hard time getting myself to eat properly?

Before, these lapses into ED thinking never really bothered me. Maybe I hadn't really been free of disordered thinking so I didn't notice it. And a return to symptoms always seemed like a good idea, a way to neutralize the anxiety that I was feeling about anything and everything. Now, I know that AN will only make me miserable, that I would really like to have a life, and that the relief provided by restricting is temporary at best.

I think part of this funk (and the ED thoughts) may be the simple fact that I'm tired of doing so much recovery work. I'm not tired of recovery--there are no, screw this, the ED was better thoughts. But I'm tired of always having it be so much work, of having to think about it so damn much. On the one hand, it has gotten easier. On the other hand, I had hoped it would get a lot easier much more quickly than it has. I am making strides towards a new life, but I feel stuck in this endless limbo. I haven't met anyone in my new town. I love my job but it's not exactly conducive to meeting people. I'm still living with my parents for crying out loud.

All of this frustration and loneliness are just building. I'm tired. I want a break. I want everything to stop being so much effort.

I hate that this post has devolved into a sad, pathetic whinge. My life doesn't suck but I still feel dissatisfied with...something.


Boston Femme said...

Hey Carrie,
I recently discovered your blog and I love it- you have definitely inspired me in my own recovery!
I get where you're coming from, about being frustrated with having to continue to work so hard. Recovery is harder than I ever thought it would be, and while I never consider giving up, I often get tired of having to focus so much on recovery when there are other things I want to be able to focus more on. We need to stay strong and believe that it will get easier, though- if it has gotten easier thus far, it will continue to get easier, as difficult as that is to recognize sometimes! From reading your blog I can tell that you are working extremely hard, and that is going to pay off. Keep your head up and take care of yourself! I will be wishing you well.

Danielle said...

I feel the same way! I even felt suicidial earlier. But don't worry. I think today was a bad day for everyone. It's just a.. ehh.. day. Tomorrow will always be better :)

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with everything you said about recovery being so much work. Sometimes the thoughts required to recover are worse and consume you as much or more than the ED thoughts. It will get easier just keep at it, stay strong and don't let the few bad days or stretches ruin all your hard work :-)

Charlotte said...


You have just embarked upon a major life change - of course this is going to worry you and this manifests itself in your life as the ed rearing its ugly head to help you "cope" with the anxiety.

Just remember you have to go through it to come out the other side, which I have no doubt you will. It may be uncomfortable and slightly tedious to keep on with eating and recovery but the anxiety will pass.

As for living with your parents, there is no shame in that. For me, this represents what a close and loving relationship you have with them and shows that they believe in you and want to support you.

A secret from a mum - we never really want you to move out, at all.....


Cathy (UK) said...

I'm sorry you're in a funk right now Carrie... I actually identify with everything you have written, in that I have also felt that way in the past...

I am glad that you have talked yourself out of restricting as an 'answer' to your funk in this post. For someone with a history of AN, restricting or over-exercising can bring a sense of quick relief, which temporarily relieves the funk. However, it doesn't work in the long term, as both you and I know.

My psychiatrist (who I have been meeting with regularly for over 4 years during my recovery, and who has helped me immensely), always stresses the importance of building up a meaningful life outside of AN - on the basis that to be happy as human beings we need to have meaningful relationships and meaningful interests. So rather than my therapy having focused on eating, weight, body (etc. - as always happened with previous therapists) we have focused on understanding my difficulties and working around these difficulties towards developing a meaningful life.

As you know I read both your Facebook and ED Bites. You are developing a wonderful writing career and have a real talent for writing. Perhaps what you also need is to develop more social activities, which I know is difficult in a new town. I find social stuff really difficult, but I am working on developing my social skills and social life and through doing that I really feel that my life IS becoming more meaningful.

Feel better soon!

autumness said...

Hi Carrie,

Love your blog. I read it when I am down and when I am on top of the world and every time I do I am inspired and hopeful for my own recovery. All your thoughts and feelings, the amount of energy you put into eating and the delightful humor mixed in.....well, it is amazing and beautiful. You make me feel normal in my craziness, if that makes sense. That it is okay not to have everything figured out, that the ED thoughts are not going to just go away and that fighting is well worth the effort. I appreciate you everyday.

I hope you feel better today (I hear the solar flares are making everyone a little wacky :) so go ahead and blame those! haha!

Thanks for all your wisdom, words and wonderings!


Beyond This said...

I totally understand what you mean. There's a psychologist called Glenn Waller who compares recovery from ED to travelling down the coast of South America. Sometimes it sure as hell feels as exhausting!I also find that, part of the problem is, not just the hard work, but that,eating disorders can provide quite a lot of excitement, albeit unpleasant excitement - the blood sugar rises and crashes, the thrill of getting on the scales, the delerium when the you know that you're about to have another diet soda. I'm also in recovery and, now that I'm making progress, I feel knid of flat and empty a lot of the time. I'm trying to find new, healthy ways of making my life feel richer and more fulfilling. (I'm documenting my baby-steps on my own blog:

Good luck. Keep going! xxxxx

Charlotte said...

As a PS, darling, I am having a funk and a strop (interesting about the solar flares - will look into that).

I have spent a lovely day chasing the wasps and hornets with my hoover on full blast. Sad but satisfying when you get one!


Rose said...

"My eating is mostly meal plan compliant, but the urges are still very strong. I don't understand that because it's not like I want to get sick again or lose weight again."

Carrie, first of all, take a moment to recognize and really appreciate yourself and all the hard work you've done! Seriously. You have come so far.
Secondly, you don't HAVE to WANT to get sick again or lose weight for the urges to be strong. The eating disorder will just come and bug you whenever life is tough, even when you KNOW that you want recovery. It's your fallback. Youve used it for years. And when life is blah and you're in a funk, thats exactly the opportunity the ed sees to come and try to entice you.
You don't have to blame yourself for it. Just acknowledge it and move on.
Keeping pushing!

Lisa said...

Hey Carrie,
Thanks so much for your support lately. It's honestly been so amazingly supportive. I hope that things get better for you soon..and you get out of this funk...because I understand how mind boggling it is.

Hang in there

Angela Elain Gambrel said...

It's okay to not always feel one hundred percent "on." You have done a lot of hard work and are entitled to feel tired of having to do more work.

Also - I hesitate to write this, and am hoping the words come out right - could it be you are feeling a little discontent with ordinary, everyday life? There is an addictive quality to AN and the whole drama that is tied up in either being sick or fighting for recovery, imo. Normal life can be fun, exciting, sad, wonderful, joyful and ... sometimes boring and mundane.

I hope this makes sense. What's most important is that you are sticking with your plan and realizing your dream of full-time freelance writing. But I understand it can be lonely, I find being a graduate student kind of lonely after the excitement of the newsroom. I wish I had an answer to that.

Stay well; you can do this.


Unknown said...

Equilibrium is work, I find. There are days when you love the work, when the work feels easy, and when the fun of the work makes it seem like time off, but still work and often hard slogging.

I used to think this was just until I grew up, or only FOR grown ups, but the weird thing is that this realization made me prioritize the FUN part whenever possible. We don't need an excuse for it: we earn it!

Mike Hunt said...


Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul said...

Thanks so much for your honesty. You're absolutely spot-on about recovery work. It's just that - work. It can be so exhausting... But as you know rationally, it's so incredibly worth it to live a fuller and more authentic life. Thanks again for always putting yourself out there to get the conversation flowing about the reality of this disease.

rr said...

you just described my week! I feel like i am well into recovery, and have had a long stretch of no symptom use and not even a lot of urges to use symptoms, then BAM! this week happened and I feel like i am back at the beginning and i am so damn sick of this road being so long and so lonely. I'm tired of doing the work too. and I'm tired of seeing those around me getting tired of doing the work too. I wonder if there is something in the air lately, I feel like everyone is struggling.

still, i know and you know that it is worth it, even if you have to spend an evening relaxing and regrouping.

This is just the way it is now.

Heather said...

I found your blog through a friend of mine, and I have been 'recovered' from anorexia for 4 years. Unfortunately a lot of what you're saying is really resonating w/ me right now. I'm having a lot of the mental bits right now (mostly because I'm living in Korea-- a SUPER pro-thin society-- this year) Its rough. But you can do it. WE can do it. Its a lifelong battle, but I promise there is happiness. Funks come and go, but the REAL you is waiting on the other side of the funk and I know you're worth it. I am, too :)

Anonymous said...

I feel really tired. Tired of trying so hard. I have had recovery and it was so wonderful I don't know what happened but I absolutely refuse to eat. I have two children and I am almost 40 and keep wondering when is this going away? I have fought An since I was 14 and am feeling the fight just isnt quite worth it. I beg God sometimes to just take me home. I am glad to find your blog. I do want recovery I just feel so far gone and tired.

Kate said...

hang in there, carrie.

this seems a lot like my post that i called "metaphor and melancholy," or something like that. i don't think i called it a funk, but i had a lot of other words for it that meant a lot of the same things. a friend of mine directed me to the recent nytimes article about us being in a "emerging adulthood." i'm not sure if i buy that, but i don't know, maybe there's something to it.

anyway, i'm thinking about you. and hoping that you're feeling a little better and realizing that the work is, i don't know, worth it. i'm sure you've heard that a million times, but i know it helps me when i consider the thought that maybe the work is life, you know? recovery is life. it's not something we have to go through in order to get to life. but ugh, sometimes i wish life were just 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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