A Year of Recovery

Today is July 21st. One year ago today I stumbled across this site. I was doing yet another of my crazed information-hungry internet searches. Did I really have an eating disorder? Was change necessary? Or possible? And what would that mean?

July 21, 2009, I wrote my first post here. I took my first tentative steps to recover from this monster. I wrote:

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"After years of abuse at the hands of an alcoholic father, I ate my way up to ___ pounds. After many failed dieting attempts, I finally started to steadily drop the pounds about 2 1/2 years ago. Since then, I have learned to replace my overeating behaviors with undereating and overexercising. Now, what once gave me a sense of control over my life, is in control of me. Despite friends begging me to stop losing weight and even threatening interventions, I seem unable to change. And the worst part is I'm not sure I want to. Or am ready to. I know I have an eating disorder, but I'm unable to classify it as anorexia, and I have not been to a doctor for diagnosis. The thought of visiting a doctor or being confronted with this disorder is terrifying, though I suspect it might be the best thing for me. I want peace in my life. I want balance. I want to be able to eat without guilt or fear or worrying about how much exercise I'll have to do to make up for what I've consumed. But changing my eating patterns is so frightening. I worry that if I make a change in them now, if I loosen control just a little, I'll slide back into old patterns. And I never want to be fat again."
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What a difference a year can make... These words take me back. I can remember the fear and desperation I felt. The feeling of being trapped and unable to change. The painful worry. The depression.

Things DO get better, friends! ♥ I'm not finished yet. I'm not "there". But I'm WELL on my way. This is possible! And so worth facing the fear! :)

Much love out to all of you! ♥

Jen

Congratulations on the one year anniversary! I'm so glad to hear the progress that you have made, I can only hope that in one year I too have left part of my ED behind.

Jen :)..:)...:).((HUGS))!its great to look back and good to know your not in the same place as a year ago isnt it.Those of you new to the site hang on to this place.I too found this site back a year ago in June and it has been a great tool in my recovery.It has gotten me also far in my recovery ...its been quite a whirlwind of a year!

Its been GREAT to know you Jen!!

LOVE YOU!
HUGS

dear Jen, Thank you for your post. It is rewarding for all of us to learn about others progress and to know that this disorder can be beaten.
In my case too i find i am in a better emotional spot now than at any other time before however the patience in the long process of recovery is something very hard for me to endure and it at times get to me.
Keep up the faith and the good thoughts as well as thank you for all your words of wisdom to all our issues. You have been instrumental in the lifes of many of us.
Warm thoughts!

yea! jen! and a 6 month recovery for me, when i first stumbled on this site last nov. (after thanksgiving) well, i d say 6 months, i did have relapses after that, but overall...

so congrats, freind! it is sooooo awesome to see people getting better and in recovery---from THIS site! it does make a difference!

well, that and therapy and a support team, of course...

much love to you!

maureen

WOW! Well done!!! It's really nice to hear about your story and inspirational to see how far you've come!!! I'm holding onto the final words you've written about it being worth facing the fear - this is what I feel I'm doing at the moment and it's more than scary!

:)

Love and HUGS to you, my courageous friend!! Woohoo!!
Jan ♥

congrats Jen wow one year that's huge your so inspirational you should be so proud are you doing anything to celebrate? you should, keep moving forward your success defiantly gives me hope thanks for sharing your success with love Leah

Thanks, everyone. ♥ It's funny how cyclical everything is... One minute I think I'm doing great, the next things aren't so hot, but really, overall, I can look back at where I was a year ago and KNOW that I'm better off. :) I can't yet call myself recovered, but I'm moving in that direction. I'm grateful for that. :)

Therapy was rough yesterday... Whereas the hour usually flies by, it was dragging me along with it yesterday... We scratched the surface of some of my baggage with my dad, and I kept tearing up. We haven't talked about any of that in depth yet... I got into a lot of it with my first therapist, but not so much with my new one. I'm afraid of all these emotions. I'm afraid of being vulnerable. I'm afraid of allowing anyone to see me in that weakened state. And I hate being the object of study. My therapist asked me what my first thought was about what I'd LIKE to do with all of this. My answer? "Sweep it under the rug!!" Ah-- But doing just that is what landed me in this predicament. So, I KNOW I need to do something DIFFERENT... I need to learn to confront problems. But... The TERROR!! How do I KNOW I'll be okay?? I never was as a kid!! How do I know???

I wish there were guarantees in life. I hate not knowing. The uncertainty. The risks. It feels dangerous... I want to know what's coming so I can prepare for it. But I CAN'T know... And really? Knowing in advance would likely only add worry, and take away from other feelings that could be experienced in happier times. So... Brushing myself off. Preparing for a doozy of a homework assignment. And trying to distract my tired and uneasy brain.

Love to you all!

Jen

Jen...yes, you are in a much better place than you were last year at this time!! Don't forget that! I'm sorry that therapy was rough for you this week, but I was told by my therapist years ago, that if it doesn't feel like hard work, I'm probably not getting anywhere. That doesn't mean it will be like this forever, but while you are making so many changes, and trying to sort out things that have been buried for a long time, you are bound to feel uncomfortable at least part of the time! Emotions...vulnerable..YES! Weak? NO! You may feel 'weak' in those moments, but how do you feel after? I bet you feel stronger in some respects because you have uncovered something very painful. Tears can cleanse us in a very special way. Crying may put us in a vulnerable situation, but it's not a weak one. Did avoiding your emotions for all of those years truly make you stronger in the end?
You said it perfectly...that worrying about what is to come, trying to prepare, completely takes you out of the present moment, and leaves you unable to experience THAT moment. Don't do that to yourself anymore!
I'm sorry you are feeling uneasy and bothered, but better and happier moments are coming....love you dear...Jan ♥

Yes Jen,
You are such a wonderful person and you should be proud of al the work you have done!! I read through your early posts the other day :) WHAT a difference! It is truly amazing.
As far as therapy goes, sometimes those tears are a good thing... They are not a sign of weakness they are a sign of truth, vulnerability, and a good thing to move forward with.
Keep up your amazing work!
Love,
CC

I am a newbie, i have an eating problem, i love to binge, i feel as if i have to eat all the time. I am being serious when I ask, how does this site work, and or help.

nvndjs,

Welcome to Support Groups! :slight_smile: This site really does work, if you put in the work. :slight_smile:

First thing you should know is that there is an eating disorder site, a binge eating site, and a weight loss site. Your focus should determine your choice. In the eating disorder site and the binge eating site, the focus is on recovering from eating disorder thoughts and behaviors. That means that we are anti-dieting. Dieting does not work. But, when people learn how to eat without their emotions driving their choices, then the body will eventually reach its set-point, or natural weight. For some people this means weight loss, and for some it means weight gain. Some are trying to maintain while freeing years worth of eating disorder bagage from crevices in the brain.

If you choose to work towards freeing yourself from the diet cycle, you’re welcome to write in either the e.d. or bingeing site. We ask that you do not discuss specific numbers, with regards to weight, size, calories, hours spent exercising, etc., in the interest of keeping this a safe and recovery-focused site.

Again, welcome to SG! :slight_smile: I hope you’ll continue to reach out and work to better your life.

Much love,

Jen

Hi Jen, so proud of you! It was such a pleasure to read! Mazal tov!

Jan,

No, avoiding my feelings for so many years did not make me stronger... It made me more afraid of feelings... Less sure of my capacity to handle them. It's one thing to understand that, and something else entirely to actually act differently... :0/ I fear confrontation above all else. And even situations that don't have to be confrontational, for instance calling my insurance company, can feel totally overwhelming. I understand that I need to face my fears. I can see how successful people DO talk to others about things that bother them. But, doing so is TERRIFYING! So I end up saying nothing. And that really only compounds the problem, but in the moment it feels like the only course of action I CAN take. Even though I KNOW there are better options. They don't FEEL available to me... You know? :0/ Sigh... Well... One day at a time... I wish that "knowing" better automatically brought about "doing" better. ;0)

CC,

Thanks, dear! ♥ Why is it that I can see that tears are GOOD for everyone ELSE? ;0) "Do as I say, not as I do." :P I feel hypocritical sometimes... I'm not, really... I say what I believe. It's just that DOING just that, when so used to doing OTHER things feels like... Well... It just feels wrong. Even when I know it's right. Hmmm...

Thanks, TJ! :)

Love you all!

Jen

Jen,
You 'speak' it so well! Taking action can truly be terrifying! But once you do it, the next time is easier...kind of like the meal plan, and challenging yourself with foods. It takes time to learn to trust...yourself, your body, and even food!
YOU are successful people...and don't forget it!! :)
HUGS to you...Jan ♥