The last week or so has been one massive slog through writing, editing, revising, interviewing, and writing some more.  It is, in a sense, a very good sign that I'm rather swamped with stuff.  It tends to make paying the bills easier (although some of that writing is for a freelance gig that I'm "auditioning" for at this stage, and therefore no payment is guaranteed. But it's a great career opportunity, and I'm excited about it).  I have a headache, I can barely keep my eyes open, I want to beat my head against my desk in frustration half the time as I'm trying to write about science I can't quite wrap my mind around.

I'm simply exhausted.  I just want to nap.  I took an hour or two this afternoon to read, as I had a brief reprieve in the never ending gauntlet of deadlines.  But tonight it's back to the computer and work, followed by more of the same for tomorrow.

This kind of grim exhaustion, followed by the deep inner sense that I have a job to finish, reminds me of eating in the early days of recovery.  I would have gladly eaten all of my exchanges at an all-you-can-eat buffet first thing in the morning so I didn't have to worry about eating the rest of the day.  I was just so sick of the endless slog through meals and snacks.  I wanted it to go away.  And that's what this is kind of like, although I do actually like writing, which I couldn't say about food back then.  It's this numb exhaustion, combined with the knowledge that the end result is rewarding.

Today's work really hurt my brain, as I'm trying to write smartly on science I'm not exactly sure I understand.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I don't understand it one bit, and I had to eventually phone the researcher and ask him to explain his work using words with no more than three syllables.  I still don't think it worked.

And this exhaustion has led a slight uptick in feelings of depression.  It's more of the anhedonia and apathy caused by being too tired to care much rather than an actual "I hate my life" feeling.  I used to deal with this in a very ED way.  First of all, I better not be tired because I still had to get through my exercise routine, and I was never too tired for that.  The exercise also served as a little pick-me-up, and as a vent for my stress.  It's hard not to turn to that when I know it's so effective--at least for the short term.

I suppose this is part of what recovery and life are all about. Surviving the crappier times without resorting to unhealthy behaviors.  Recognizing that said crappy time won't last forever.  Integrating self-care into your life (such as my reading and blogging this afternoon).  And the acceptance that the ED won't change your current situation for the better.


hm said...

You have a cheering section- both in your recovery and in your career- This won't last forever- Go, Carrie, go! :D

Anonymous said...

this post came at an opportune time. depression has come over me full force, along with a good amount of exhaustion. however, unlike you, i gave in and have relapsed. i'm trying to find strength to get out of this mess, and posts like this help.

Emily said...

Kudos to you for having the strength to get through! I'll bet you nourished your body throughout the past week because you knew how important that energy would be. I so admire you. I think that how you have been able to accomplish so much this week, even if it was tedious and mind-numbing shows how low ED is on your priority list. I hope to get there. Right now, I could not take on as much because I still spend a lot of time with ED, but I hope that will change! Congrats...now go take a nap!


hm said...

ha ha ha- I meant this exhaustion won't last forever- not that your cheering section wouldn't last forever- although I suppose that's true since we're not immortal...

Jen said...

Carrie, I've learned a very good acronym: HALT
If one or more of these feelings comes along, I know it's time to halt, for sure, and take a break or a nap or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Ugh! Wish I could help you slog through the science. Sometimes it takes an additional brain looking at the same piece of data to make some sense out of what it means in real life. Sending "yay science" vibes your way for some clarity!

Charlotte UK said...

I find a combination of coffee, walk and shower, followed by mindless occupation (such as making bed with clean sheets) gives you time to think it through and gives you that lightbulb moment. The longer you stare fiercely at what you have to do, whilst willing yourself to concentrate, the more muddled it becomes.

Breathe, my friend.


Dana Udall-Weiner said...

I really like what you said about knowing that the ED won't help things get better now, anyway. What a long, difficult trip recovery is. I've found that, in some ways, it's the tedious, bad-but-not-awful days that are some of the hardest to tolerate. I think we get used to (and maybe reliant on) the crazy highs and lows that accompany an ED. Makes it hard to transition to the everyday blah and tired.

Renee said...

As you know, when you have an ED basically LIFE is a trigger. But I have noticed that whenever I read your feelings about food/meals, I get a little triggered. Because I am one of those EDers who loves to eat, lives for my meals, obsesses about them, and savours every bite. So sometimes when I read your posts, I get comparisonitis - like, wow, she's a TRUE anorexic who acutally finds meals a hassle vs. the center of her world. I'm just poiting out that some EDers have a very different experience of food than you (whereas the body image stuff for me is WAY bigger, I think). Vive la difference!

L.C said...

Struggling with depression lately. Some days are good and on the bad days i struggle with self harm and thoughts of restricting. i just want to find a way out.


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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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