Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Coping with eating disorder memories - past traumatic events, being in hospital

Comment:

Not related but I really really need help with coping with the trauma of having recovered. Not so much the fact of having an eating disorder and now being better, but the hospital and the the appointments. I just want to forget that I was ever in hospital. It was the worst time of my life and I feel horrible and dirty and mortified when I think of the things my family saw like me in a wheelchair and those ghastly appointments like I hate that they might still see me in that way. I felt like a stupid animal being forced to the vets or something. I cannot describe how much I hated one of the nurses I was assigned just the thought of his disgusting patronising voice ruins my day. I just feel these horrible memories of last summer RUIN MY LIFE FOREVER. I try to not think about it and then when I do it's horrible like even the things that were the better parts of the time now make me feel really really upset. I just cannot explain it does anyone understand?????? I just wish that everyone would forget that ever happened 
I don't want these memories they make my life miserable like I can be doing alright and then I'm suddenly back on that ward and I hate it I feel like a freak and it impacts socially too 
And just I'm really upset that this will be ruining my life forever


My answer:

Ive written some posts about this subject HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE and HERE

I know exactly what you mean and i have suffered the same feeling and thoughts and all i can say is that time heals all wounds. Of course i can say that i am still scarred in some sense from my time in hospital, it was something that was very traumatic and scarring in some sense. I still get anxiety and panic attacks when going to the hospital, i dont like or trust doctors, i cant talk to therapists and at times i get nightmares that i am locked up in hospital again... one of my biggest fears and unfortunatly there might be times that i have to be inpatient because of my CF health and that scares me so incredibly. I have been threatened to go into inpatient care i.e get 2 weeks of IV antibiotics for my CF health care but it terrified me so much that i got to just take normal antibiotics instead. Ive spent alot of time in hospital because of my CF but the 1,5 years i spent as inpatient/day patient in the different eating disorder treatment centres did sort of fuck me up in some sense and for pretty much 3 years after i was released from Mando i couldnt sleep away from home... i didnt like travelling for many reasons but one of them was that i didnt like sleep in someone elses bed/away from home, i would rather travel home at 3am in the morning than to sleep at a friends house. And it wasnt until i was together with my boyfriend at the time that i actually felt ok sleeping somewhere else than my own bed.  But the nightmares of being trapped in hospital again still scare me, and my freedom tattoo also represents being free from hospital.


However the fear lessens for each year that passes and i am sure it will do the same thing for you.

And when it comes to feeling embarrassed about how you acted or that your parents or friends had to deal with you or your behaviour, just remember that it was the past you.... just focus on who you are now. Yes, you were sick in the past. Yes you might have been in hospital and in a wheelchair but that is not you now. It will be a part of your past and you cant change that, but you can atleast do your best that you never end up back in that situation again.

Now a days - i.e 5 years since being free from Mando, i can actually joke about my behaviour and actions when i was sick. I can joke about that i used to throw food onto the ground, that i used to hide food under my plate or that i would give evil glances to my sister when she saw me messing with my food. I can joke about the silly things i did and joke about how different i was.... of course some jokes my family dont find funny but i can atleast laugh about it and sometimes that is all you can do. Laugh about what you used to do and learn and grow from it.

When you begin to think about the past and you begin to feel panicked or angry or embaressed, express those feelings. Dont bottle them and dont feel ashamed.

I would also recommend maybe you talk to your family about this.... are there somethings you need to talk about? Ask how they feel or what their thoughts are. 

With both my mum and my sister i have talked with them about their experiences when i was sick, how they felt and how they coped... so much that i wasnt aware of. Of course that made me feel even more guilty knowing that i caused them so much distress, worry, sadness and learning that they both went to therapy while i was sick (i was completely unknowing of this at the time.). .But it also helped to talk about it... and for me to share some of my thoughts which i had never shared with them before. It helped us all have a better understanding and i think it was also a way for us to move forward and move on. It will always be a part of our past, for me and my whole family and we all experienced those years differently and had our lives and our thoughts changed in some way or another but we all grew threw it.
 That is one of the things you need to remember that the people close to you will also suffer in some way and its not just you who is impacted by your eating disorder, even if you are all impacted in different ways and to different degrees. But i remember while i was sick i thought, if i killed myself nobody would care... everyone would move on with their lives like i didnt exist. If anything they would be happy that i was gone, that *me*, the burden and problem child would be gone so that they wouldnt have to deal with me or my problems. Of course when i recovered i realised that if i had killed myself it wouldnt have taken my familys problems or sadness away, if anything i would have put my depression and my problems onto my family and i would have taken the easy way out.... not had to deal with my emotions or feelings or thoughts and instead cause so much more sadness and pain onto my family which is something i would never want to do.

But as mentioned, sometimes talking about the past is exactly what you need to. Never feel ashamed about what you put your family through, you didnt choose to be sick, but you did choose to recover and that is what you need to remember and be proud of. And i am sure that your family and friends are just happy that you are healthy now and that is all that matters.

Grow and learn from your past and know that with time hopefully those feelings and thoughts will pass and that they wont bother you so much/as much. However do consider therapy if it gets worse, dont keep these thoughts to yourself.

And when it comes to hospital appointments, one day you will be free from them. I still go a follow up program at Mando i.e in autumn it will be my last time forever (!!!) as that will be my 5th year of the follow up program but i still HATE going there. I dislike seeing the staff and certain staff members there impacted me so negatively and i still despise them in someway because they treated me like an animal.... they didnt treat me like a human being with feelings or emotions instead they spoke over my head and didnt take my thoughts or what i said into consideration and that still bothers me. Sure i was sick, but i was still a human being who needed to be listened to. Of course i wont go into detail of what they said or how they treated me but i can say that it was not right and there were times my mum had to step in because their behaviour was not how it should have been.  However i also know that all the staff and doctors were doing their job and trying to help me, so 98% of the all the doctors and staff i just forgive and move on and am thankful for their help, but a few staff from the different places i have been at, thinking about them can make me angry.

I wish i could give you some more advice about this but i hope this helps in some way, and maybe other readers have more advice or experience to share.


And some more previous posts about this topic:

**TRIGGER WARNING PHOTOS**


















10 comments:

  1. Thank you for replying to my comment <3

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  2. Hi Izzy - what do you think about so called "super foods"? There is often so much hype about a one time normal,everyday fruit/veggie/food suddenly being deemed as a "super food" eg blueberries/goja berries.
    Do you think there is any truth in what they say - that there are indeed unique health benefits or is this just another marketing ploy to get us to part with our money - because these super foods are always so expensive!

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  3. Do you know anything about sugar addiction and how someone with a sweet tooth can break free from being addicted to sugar? How do you go about stopping eating so much ie break an addiction? Would you recommend going cold turkey or cutting back gradually?

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    Replies
    1. I think I have a few posts about sugar addiction which might be helpful but I might answer in a post if you want:)

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    2. Thank you Izzy. If you could write a post that would be great - or even just post the links to previous posts. xxxx

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  4. Have you Izzy or anyone reading this any ideas of food that can be eaten as snacks? I am getting so bored with mine but are stuck for ideas.
    thank you

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    Replies
    1. If you search for snack ideas on my blog there will be a whole bunch of posts but I might make a new one with some vegan snack ideas :)

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  5. Interesting post. In 12 step groups, this is called "remember when"... it is important to remember the reality of where our sickness took us, as sometimes we can experience nostalgia for our old sick ways and forget or gloss over just how terrible and insane those days were. We also have a little saying that we need to "peek in the garbage can" once in a while - consciously look at our past and see it for what it really was, but then close the lid and not dwell on it, because staring too hard at it can be just as damaging as ignoring it in terms of triggering relapse (ie: bringing up shame or desire to engage in sick behaviours). My own recovery needs to have a solid foundation in reality: what it was like then and what life is like now. By keeping my remember whens in mind, I don't ever miss the old days and have no desire to ever go back. It also instills gratitude within me to see how far I've come since those days. Those experiences shaped who I am, but I don't live there anymore, so I don't dwell on it. It's not where we've been that's important, it's where we're going :)

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  6. I have some bad memories of the time I spent in a phychiatric unit when I was hospitalised due to my depression. With the memories I also have a horrible feeling, like I can still "feel" how I was feeling at the time - its a horrid, heavy, suffocating sensation - that's hard to deal with. The unit was very busy, very cold and very clinical. There was noise 24/7 and at night the staff would do their hourly rounds to check up on you - by shining a torch on you whilst you were sleeping, which of course woke me each time so in the end I never really slept at night. It was a locked ward, you couldn't leave it without a staff member and even though they took us outside for fresh air a couple of times each day just knowing that the doors were locked was awful. All possesions were taken away on admittance and kept in a locker that you only had access to with a staff member in supervision. So things like my cross stitch, books and game boy I was not allowed. The rooms were very clinical and not at all relaxing - the tvs were kept in enclosed glass cabinets and the same channel stayed on all day. The dining room was the worst - all plastic cutlery had to be counted in and out as you used it and the food was terrible.
    This was not at all what I expected - when I was admitted I was told I was going into hospital for a rest as I was pretty ill at the time. But rest was the furthest from the truth and to this day I think the time spent in hospital set me back rather than helped me. That whole episode in my life I would dearly like to forget but I cannot. I have come to terms with my depression and the fact that I was ill, accepted I said things and done things that really wasn't "me" but was the sick "me" at the time. But I just cannot accept the time in that hospital and come to terms with it. I have moved on from it, but not forgotten it and it still fills me with dread when I think of it. Maybe I will be able to make peace with that time one day, I don`t know.

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