Break The Silence

A journey towards hope

16 notes

betterforthechange:

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States. This brings a sense of joy and warmth to the hearts of many. Holidays are a time to gather around loved ones, enjoy a delicious meal, and give thanks for all of one’s blessings. But if you are in recovery from an eating disorder, holidays pose a special threat. One that, if you’re like me, means you woke up today and thought, “Oh shit. It’s Thanksgiving.” 
After months of discussing it with friends in recovery, googling for tips, and talking it over in therapy, I’ve come up with a couple of strategies for surviving this Thanksgiving.
(1) Have a Support Person Ready - Whether your Support Person will be there with you or not, it’s helpful to have someone you can talk to when you’re feeling anxious (via text, FB chat, Tumblr, phone calls, smoke signals, whatever). If you’re in therapy, a voicemail rant could be a great option. It might even give your therapist better insight into your life. And if you need someone to talk to, I’ll be browsing Tumblr all day. My ask is open. =) Also, there’s a forum for people in recovery from eating disorders that is absolutely amazing. It’s called webiteback.com and you could certainly join on there for support and tips.
(2) Avoid the scales, don’t body check, wear comfortable clothing, and try not to count calories. Strive to be flexible. Give yourself permission to eat what you enjoy in moderation.
(3) Don’t try to compensate. Follow your meal plan/regular schedule as much as possible. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The holidays, in many ways, don’t have to be different than any other day. You are in control of your portion size, and you can eat a healthy amount. If you let yourself get hungry, you’ll be more likely to binge. And we all know how much dealing with the emotions following a binge sucks. 
(4) When you start to get anxious and/or overwhelmed, practice healthy coping strategies. Here are some tips to cope when you’re feeling triggered to engage in eating disordered behavior. Here are some tips to cope when you’re feeling triggered to self-injure. 
(5) Give the holidays meaning. Set yourself a non-eating related goal. Perhaps it’s to talk with your grandmother, or to focus on what things you’re grateful for this year. Whatever your purpose, focus on that instead of ED. 
We’ve got this guys. We’re going to get through it.

betterforthechange:

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States. This brings a sense of joy and warmth to the hearts of many. Holidays are a time to gather around loved ones, enjoy a delicious meal, and give thanks for all of one’s blessings. But if you are in recovery from an eating disorder, holidays pose a special threat. One that, if you’re like me, means you woke up today and thought, “Oh shit. It’s Thanksgiving.” 

After months of discussing it with friends in recovery, googling for tips, and talking it over in therapy, I’ve come up with a couple of strategies for surviving this Thanksgiving.

(1) Have a Support Person Ready - Whether your Support Person will be there with you or not, it’s helpful to have someone you can talk to when you’re feeling anxious (via text, FB chat, Tumblr, phone calls, smoke signals, whatever). If you’re in therapy, a voicemail rant could be a great option. It might even give your therapist better insight into your life. And if you need someone to talk to, I’ll be browsing Tumblr all day. My ask is open. =) Also, there’s a forum for people in recovery from eating disorders that is absolutely amazing. It’s called webiteback.com and you could certainly join on there for support and tips.

(2) Avoid the scales, don’t body check, wear comfortable clothing, and try not to count calories. Strive to be flexible. Give yourself permission to eat what you enjoy in moderation.

(3) Don’t try to compensate. Follow your meal plan/regular schedule as much as possible. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The holidays, in many ways, don’t have to be different than any other day. You are in control of your portion size, and you can eat a healthy amount. If you let yourself get hungry, you’ll be more likely to binge. And we all know how much dealing with the emotions following a binge sucks. 

(4) When you start to get anxious and/or overwhelmed, practice healthy coping strategies. Here are some tips to cope when you’re feeling triggered to engage in eating disordered behavior. Here are some tips to cope when you’re feeling triggered to self-injure. 

(5) Give the holidays meaning. Set yourself a non-eating related goal. Perhaps it’s to talk with your grandmother, or to focus on what things you’re grateful for this year. Whatever your purpose, focus on that instead of ED. 

We’ve got this guys. We’re going to get through it.

Filed under eating disorder holidays cope Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified ednos anorexia bulimia recovery

19 notes

I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been really struggling and didn’t feel I had anything inspiring to say. Then I realized struggle is part of recovery, and it’s okay to admit it. So often we romanticize things- first illness, then recovery. Something is either all good, or all bad. If we acknowledge we’re struggling, we feel it’s a sign we were wrong, and things will ‘never’ work out, the recovered life will ‘always’ hurt.
But life isn’t so dichotomous. Sometimes there is struggle, sometimes there is pain even when (especially when) you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes the process is a bit like walking through hell. That doesn’t mean it never gets better. Only that maybe you have to adjust your sails, and accept that for a while, things will suck. But if we keep pressing through, I firmly believe soon we’ll be out the other side. And we’ll be stronger for it in the end.
Won’t that be awesome?

I haven’t posted much lately because I’ve been really struggling and didn’t feel I had anything inspiring to say. Then I realized struggle is part of recovery, and it’s okay to admit it. So often we romanticize things- first illness, then recovery. Something is either all good, or all bad. If we acknowledge we’re struggling, we feel it’s a sign we were wrong, and things will ‘never’ work out, the recovered life will ‘always’ hurt.

But life isn’t so dichotomous. Sometimes there is struggle, sometimes there is pain even when (especially when) you’re doing the right thing. Sometimes the process is a bit like walking through hell. That doesn’t mean it never gets better. Only that maybe you have to adjust your sails, and accept that for a while, things will suck. But if we keep pressing through, I firmly believe soon we’ll be out the other side. And we’ll be stronger for it in the end.

Won’t that be awesome?

Filed under pessimist optimist realist william a. ward recovery struggling self-harm self-injury eating disorder anorexia bulimia strong hell keep going

161 notes

Everything inside me screams “No!” Everything in my being demands I cave in. But I can’t let yesterday’s mistakes be today’s destination. I have to keep moving forward. In the past I’ve always given in when I’ve reached the point where I’m screaming, “I can’t.” And look where it’s gotten me? Stuck, and fighting for my life. It’s taken years of joy from me. I’m done. And if I want things to change, I have to try something different; when I say “I can’t” I have to continue ‘doing’ recovery anyway. And I am. Even though it sometimes sucks.

Everything inside me screams “No!” Everything in my being demands I cave in. But I can’t let yesterday’s mistakes be today’s destination. I have to keep moving forward. In the past I’ve always given in when I’ve reached the point where I’m screaming, “I can’t.” And look where it’s gotten me? Stuck, and fighting for my life. It’s taken years of joy from me. I’m done. And if I want things to change, I have to try something different; when I say “I can’t” I have to continue ‘doing’ recovery anyway. And I am. Even though it sometimes sucks.

Filed under can't can possible recovery eating Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified anorexia bulimia anxiety ednos self-harm self-injury triggered reason

4 notes

Confessions from Recovery

I wish everyone who knows someone recovering from an eating disorder would read this.

kaizen1:

I’m recovering from an eating disorder. I’ve struggled with it to varying degrees for at least 7 years, and I’ve been flirting with recovery for 4 years. Mostly my journey has a lot of ups and downs. While I used to be anorexic, a lot of the time my eating disorder is sub threshold now, which means I technically don’t meet the criteria for an eating disorder. It’s sort of like when the doctor says, “Your cancer is in remission,” but it’s still a dangerous place to be in, because the cancer could come back at any moment, and often it does. But even when my eating disorder is sub threshold, like it is now, it still exerts a great deal of influence over my life. It tells me what I can and cannot do. It makes me feel anxious about many things. It makes me feel guilty when I don’t obey its commands. It causes me a lot of pain.

For the first time, I’m trying to really address it. I’m getting help, and I’m working towards fully recovering. I don’t want to have a ‘sub threshold’ eating disorder. I want to be cured. I used to believe that wasn’t possible, but these past few months have taught me that life outside an eating disorder exists, and I can find it. I can be happy. I don’t remember what that’s like, but I’m anxious to find it.

On the journey though, having an eating disorder (even one that’s sub threshold) means a lot of things for me. Things that I know my friends and family don’t understand, but I would like them to grasp, because their support and compassion means so much to me. 

First, an eating disorder means the upcoming holidays are a time of exceptional stress and frustration. The abundance of family gatherings, work parties, and social situations which generally revolve around food is terrifying. For people in recovery who are just getting into the habit of healthy eating (like myself) the holidays are a threat that could easily cause an individual to relapse in order to cope with their feelings. Family members and friends who are oblivious to their loved one’s eating disorder might ignorantly make comments that are triggering. People who know about the disorder may be uncertain how to provide support, or unaware how difficult a time of year this is. Some tips for coping with eating disorders around the holidays can be found here, and this article by CNN further explores how eating disorders and the holidays are difficult.   

Second, an eating disorder means my view of myself is often distorted. Recovery means that I’m learning to recognize and fight these disordered thoughts, but they’re still there, and sometimes they get the best of me. Recently I found myself sitting in my car, holding a cliff bar in my hand, but feeling absolutely tormented. Why? I was convinced that since I had eaten the day before, I not only didn’t need to eat that day (not even a cliff bar), but it would be greedy of me to do so. Eventually I realized how ridiculous this thought was, and I ate the bar, but instead of feeling good about it, I felt guilty and my thoughts swung the opposite way in a desire to punish myself: “I’ve screwed everything up because I ate. I might as well binge.” 

I am also a master at distorting what other people say to or around me. When people you know haven’t seen you in a while, one of the first things they do is comment on how you look. Comments like, “You’re so thin!” “You’ve lost weight!” or “You look great!” are all pleasantries commonly exchanged. They’re well intended, but my brain twists them to mean something else: “You were fat/horrible looking before! …You need to keep losing weight! …You need to keep restricting!” Sometimes if they don’t comment I think, “Oh god, they aren’t commenting on how I look because I look so horrible they can’t even fake a compliment!” And it’s not just comments about myself that send me spiraling. If a friend says, “I need to lose weight,” I think, “if they think they need to lose weight, they must think I should too. I ate something yesterday. Obviously I shouldn’t have. I have to make up for this. What have I done?!”

Today while working on a group project for school a girl was complaining about how unhealthy her diet is. Her friend tried to convince her that in comparison to others, her eating habits are perfectly healthy. “No!” She whined. “I eat potatoes!” And I sat there panicked when I realized I too eat potatoes, therefore I must a horrible, unhealthy person. (Yes, I’m now aware how comically distorted that was, but at the time it was a serious, threatening thought).

That’s the thing; when I catch myself, I know these thoughts are ridiculous distortions of reality. None of them are true, or if they are even a tiny bit true, it doesn’t really impact my value as a person. But mental illness isn’t founded in rational, reasonable views of reality. That’s the problem. Often the hardest part is being able to decipher what is a distorted thought, and what isn’t. It gets confusing when what you feel is absolutely 100% true is false, and what feels 100% wrong is right. Sometimes what is healthy and what isn’t gets so complicated and unclear to me, I honestly can’t figure out where reality ends and distortion begins. It’s a little like living in the movie Inception, or an episode of the Twilight Zone. Things never really make sense, and often turn out to be opposite of how they appear, and you’re never really sure what is or isn’t real, what is an illusion, or how things are going to turn out. It’s unnerving. 

To be honest, I haven’t found an answer to this second problem. I’m so ashamed and so baffled by this that I’ve never before spoken these thoughts ‘aloud’. I’m still working on sharing this with my treatment team- those who can help me. When I do, there will be no easy fix. It often takes years to work out of this mindset, and the process is painful. But if there were any one message I could give to the people who love me, it would be this: “Right now, I’m really struggling. I’m hurting, and I’m in a sensitive place. You can’t make everything better. You can’t force me to see reason, or singlehandedly cure my affliction. This is my journey, my choice. But you can encourage me. You can support me by showing compassion and offering encouragement. Please be gentle with me. Please be sensitive. Please listen and try to understand. And please be patient.”

Thank you for reading this.

(Source: betterforthechange)

Filed under eating disorder Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified anorexia bulimia recovery support eating disorder ednos

42 notes


"Yeah, I think that I might break. I’ve lost myself again and I feel unsafe. Be my friend. Hold me. Wrap me up, unfold me. I am small. I’m needy. Warm me up, and breathe me." - Breathe Me by Sia

It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to reach out to others for support. Vulnerability does not make you weak. You do not have to be always perfect- always striving to never burden people with your sorrows. You are worth more than your wit, your intelligence, your appearance, or even your kindness. You are loved for your character, and that can be enjoyed and is worth knowing even when you are sad or are struggling.  So you don’t always have to put on an act. You can be genuine- people will love you more for it. I will love you for it, and I will be your friend if you will just let me.

"Yeah, I think that I might break. I’ve lost myself again and I feel unsafe. Be my friend. Hold me. Wrap me up, unfold me. I am small. I’m needy. Warm me up, and breathe me." - Breathe Me by Sia

It’s okay to need help. It’s okay to reach out to others for support. Vulnerability does not make you weak. You do not have to be always perfect- always striving to never burden people with your sorrows. You are worth more than your wit, your intelligence, your appearance, or even your kindness. You are loved for your character, and that can be enjoyed and is worth knowing even when you are sad or are struggling.  So you don’t always have to put on an act. You can be genuine- people will love you more for it. I will love you for it, and I will be your friend if you will just let me.

Filed under breathe me depressed depression friend genuine hold me lost myself needy okay self-harm self-injury sia support therapy unsafe vulnerable worth alone

22 notes

You’ve hit the end of your tether to your addiction or disorder. You can only stray from it so far— not heed its commands for so long before you are yanked back, like a dog who has run too far from its master. Now you don’t feel you can pull against the rope any longer. You’ve had your fill of ‘recovery’ and you feel done.
It’s okay to feel like you want to quit. It’s understandable you feel like you’re at the end of your tether, and you just want to be numbed from the struggle. This is hard. Recovery is difficult. But your feelings don’t have to direct your actions. You can want to give in, long to give in, and continue on the path to wellness despite how you feel. Determination will get you through this. Now is the time to decide to continue to pull against the tether no matter what.

You’ve hit the end of your tether to your addiction or disorder. You can only stray from it so far— not heed its commands for so long before you are yanked back, like a dog who has run too far from its master. Now you don’t feel you can pull against the rope any longer. You’ve had your fill of ‘recovery’ and you feel done.

It’s okay to feel like you want to quit. It’s understandable you feel like you’re at the end of your tether, and you just want to be numbed from the struggle. This is hard. Recovery is difficult. But your feelings don’t have to direct your actions. You can want to give in, long to give in, and continue on the path to wellness despite how you feel. Determination will get you through this. Now is the time to decide to continue to pull against the tether no matter what.

Filed under determination addiction mental illness disorder eating disorder ednos Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified anorexia bulimia cutting self-injury self-harm recovery reason