The upside to a busy schedule

For much of the past few weeks, my long hours working were because I was desperately in search of a story assignment.  This past week, I actually had said story assignments and now I'm busy completing those stories and sending out feelers for future stories.

Same long hours, only I'm actually getting paid.

I feel this is a good thing.

The real benefit (besides the paycheck, that is) is that all of this work keeps me somewhat distracted from the fact that I feel like a cargo ship.  Even when I can't forget about my ocean liner status, my work reminds me that I can still be a successful person even if I put on weight, or even if I'm not exercising and eating heaps more than the average person.

My work gives me a sense of purpose that not much else does.  I like what I do, and I find it more rewarding (long-term) than the eating disorder. Not letting myself get too sick to work is a huge motivator for me.  The drive I had for all those years to lose the most weight is still there.  I'm just trying to reign it in a bit and redirect it into something more positive.

Of course, this drive still has many of the same pitfalls as when I was anorexic.  I never feel good enough.  I always feel the need to be doing more.  I worry that I won't be successful.  I have that constant refrain in my head: "I suck, I suck, I suck."  It's very easy to throw myself into my career to avoid these anxiety-provoking thoughts in the same way I did with the eating disorder.  I realize I can very well transfer one bad "habit" for another.

It is a risk.  On the other hand, when I can quiet the cacophony in my head, I also find my work engaging and fun.  I am driven to write well, but I rarely feel driven to write, period.  That's something I want to do. 

My career won't cure my eating disorder, but staying busy with, well, life is a big help.

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3 comments:

hm said...

Ironic to feel both the need to keep busy and the need to find down time, right??? The brain is a funny thing. Glad you got some new stories going though.

lisa said...

Carrie, I think it's a very difficult task for perfectionist personality to recognize that those feelings are like thoughts on a spectrum. They do not reflect truth. It's so important to be able to reflect on how wonderful your hard work is, too. Where there is self doubt, there is also great achievement. You Carrie need to practice self acknowledgement . Your hard work will always be enough. It has to be, because that's all there is. After that its just a that's not worth the cost. You are one amazing, bright,funny wonderful young woman. I, for one think you are very special...

AJ said...

Hey Carrie... long time reader, first time commenter.

First of all, I want to say that while I've been in treatment several times, your blog was really the first thing that opened my eyes to the biology of my ED -- what it does to my brain, and why (scientifically) it's so hard to let go of. Thank you for existing, blogging, and being awesome.

This post could have written by me (albeit perhaps not as eloquently). When in recovery, staying busy and having some kind of stress in my life is the only thing that stands between myself and relapse. I agree 100% that it has to do with feeling as though you're doing something that you're good at; it can also give me a sense of purpose beyond losing weight. Too, it helps quell my "Sherlock Holmes Complex" -- I have to have chaos and high stakes in my life or I go and create them for myself. Usually at the expense of my body, health, and everything I love. (Which is kind of where I am now, despite my best efforts to fill my life with projects and deadlines... too little, too late.)

Basically what I'm trying to say is, I agree that it's vital to surround oneself with work that they find validating, and that they can only excel in if their mind and body are strong.

Cheering you on!

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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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