Sunday, July 17, 2011

Storms a Brewing

Day 47.

Tomorrow will be my first day at the Day Program for eating disorders.  Right now, the best way to describe what I am feeling is probably "fear".  I'm scared that 1) I won't fit in, 2) I can't be fixed and 3) that they will ask me to leave.  It's upsetting because this is something I want to do so badly but when the day comes, I become fearful.

Nanny's apartment, summer 2007

Up until this morning, I have avoided the reality of starting the Day Program tomorrow.  Using my comfortable coping method of avoidance, I have continued to keep myself busy during all waking hours.  My blogging, journaling and down time has taken a huge hit in the last two weeks because I don't want to deal.  

Not constructive and not helpful, I know, I know.  

The easiest thing for me to do right now is to reflect on the last time I was admitted into an eating disorder program.  Back in 2006 during my second year of college, I attended a weekly group educational & support program.  

As far back as I can remember, I have been concerned with my body and appearance.  My concerns were mostly that I was too ugly or too fat to be considered attractive.  There were times though that I was okay with not being an attractive person.  During the times when I was more at peace with myself, the positive things like family, friends and school were more important to me than appearances.  Even though my set body weight was not as skinny as I desired; my weight during those peaceful times was considered normal and healthy.  

Winter holidays, 2006

Then came D.  It's hard for me to talk about this ex-boyfriend from 6 years ago but he unfortunately had a huge influence on how my insecurities progressed.  Looking back, I should have ended our relationship after a week when the first warning signs were present.   I was taking an introduction Psychology class, and even had a chapter on abusive spouses.  The signs were present: 1) At first he put me on this pedestal of perfection, I could do no wrong in his eyes. 2) The jealousy about other guys, previous relationships was always followed by apologies, blaming how much he cared.  3) He would talk badly about my friends, try to get me isolated from other supports.  And, 4) the loss of control and choices, he always needed to know where I was and be present.  

Fear of getting hurt or losing him kept me from breaking it off sooner than I should have.  

I felt like I lost all control.  After a year, I felt like there was no other life, other than him.  There isn't many pictures of when it got really bad, mostly because I rarely went out or saw other people without him going into a rage.  Being around 100 lbs (not my natural weight) and him close to 300 lbs, the physical abuse was little but scary as hell.  To cope with all of this,  I got my sense of control back with controlling my eating.  

As the restrictive and purging behaviours progressed it became more and more rewarding.  Soon I was able to have better control over my restriction and didn't have to purge as much.  That was an achievement in my eyes.  Every pound I lost, every day I went without eating, I felt empowered.  When people started to notice that something was wrong, I felt cared for.  

D. and I were still together when I went through the program in Kingston for the first time.  Everything seemed to click during those session.  It was one of the things that gave me the courage to end the relationship.  And I thought that ending the relationship with D. would be the end of all my problems.

With the the sense of control back, I felt high.  Days passed, I continued to eat and better.  Even though I carried around the same insecurities, I would tell myself just to ignore and move on.  At that time I only had one coping skill, avoidance, and used it with every negative event or thought.  

My sexy man, posing on the dragon, 2007  - He looks so young!

Meeting Chris during that time definitly added to my happiness.  He made me feel so loved and beautiful, as he still does today.  But even though I had the support from my love, family and friends.  Playing happy by avoiding years of insecurities and abusive events eventually took it's toll.  I crashed somewhere between 18 months to two years after the end of the relationship with D.

Pretending to be fine started to become harder and harder.  

I started to evaluate everything, everyday and attempt to make it perfect.  When things didn't go smoothly, I would stress and take on whatever I could to make it perfect.  But nothing can be perfect, so the stress cycled over and over.  The body image and appearance insecurities became more intense to the point that I started to restrict once again.  

Maybe it's because I am older now... or maybe it's because I've already put my body through this kind of physical stress before... But this time, I became sicker the more I restricted. Dark circles developed under my eyes, acne worsened and skin became pale.   Headaches and migraines are a regular occurrence which no amount of medication seemed to help.  Depression-like mood and fatigue... 

It's all my fault.  Really.  Most people have insecurities.  Plus, many people have also been in abusive relationships.  I can't continue to blame D. but I need to learn to deal with all that he did.  My coping skills suck.  But, I will go tomorrow to the Day Program and try to change.  Thankfully I have the support of my love, family, friends and the sweet people who continue to read my blog and leave supportive comments.  

Thanks everyone for your continued support.  It really means a lot that you are there.


The Exotic Cake said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Very encouraging!

Wishing you the best for the treatment and your future :)

Marcia B. said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hi Ashelle, you will do great at the Day program. You have overcome all this stuff you have been through and you will surpass this moment in your life. I am really excited to see your journey unravel positively. I know you will do well. All the best! xoxx

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

HI! Just wanted to leave you a note to say that I really appreciate the honesty of your entry. It also sounds like you have some great insights as to how (and most importantly, why) these problems developed. That being said, I believe you will benefit so much from day program!! You have a great attitude and lots of strength. Great job today! Also, I share those same three fears! Haha.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Also, I love the labels for this entry :)

Ashelle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks ladies for your support. It really means a lot. :)

J, I hope you're right about benefiting from the Day Program. It sometimes sucks... but I guess it's for the better. Personally, I think you are strong. You continue to come and have already made so many positive changes.

Jenarcissist @ the closet narcissist said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

It definitely can take a lot of time to push completely through the layers and layers of baggage from relationships that are abusive in any form. Getting out of mine and then into a very healthy, loving one (with my now hubs) really helped things along but by no means fixed me. I still had to really work on dealing with all the thoughts that would creep into my head from things he told me over and over about how I wasn't good enough. But you do get to a point eventually where those things truly don't penetrate you anymore. This program is one more big step in that direction. It helped you get out of it the first time and will probably help you start to REALLY let go of that baggage this time as well. The simple fact that you're going says that you care about yourself, body and mind.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

YOU will succeed! You will return to the peace you have lost! Open yourself up to the program and let your healing begin. D is gone and he does not have the right to affect your life this way. Remember it is your life and you deserve all the happiness you can grab. You deserve to feel good about yourself and see yourself as others see you. Intelligent,giving and most importantly a beautiful soul!

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Nice shots and i really enjoyed this article.

Melrose said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So I'm sitting at my desk today thinking that I haven't read a post from you for a loooong while... so i make it a point to come visit and I see how you've been pouring your heart out for months.

I have sooo much respect for you putting it all out there like this. IT can't be easy, and I know every day must be a struggle. I'm so happy you had the courage to go seek help and are doing what it takes to make yourself healthier both physically and mentally.

I wish you the best of luck in your program, and definitely continue to keep us posted on your progress.

Much love,

melrose xoxoxo

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