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The Beginning of the second Beginning [Mar. 11th, 2009|02:00 pm]
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Inspecting my tired reflection in the mirror this afternoon after a string of what I like to call 'silliness' but what the experts call 'binge/purging', something finally clicked. Something I have been waiting to strike me for a while now - you can feel it coming as you dive headfirst into such destructive behaviours. It isn't about how much weight you lose, because it is never enough to make you feel valid. It isn't about looking or feeling thin, because in the mirror, you're still huge and the flab still covers your body and you're still as disgusting as you were all along. It's the realisation that you are not in control. The stereotype says that Anorexia Nervosa sufferers thrive on control and the disease revolves around the power to restrict. I say this is not true, at least not for me. I feel out of control, I am out of control. 
 
I am completely aware, possibly too aware of where I currently stand. I have a social life, until recently I was thriving as a researcher for a television company, I am active, I never let my eating disorder stop me from working or partying or any of the things that other people my age do (apart from the drunken kebabs and hangover breakfasts of course). This ability to live alongside my illness is one of the biggest obstacles in allowing me to see how I can possibly have gotten to the point where I need more support - support meaning my second inpatient stay in just over a year. 'I am invinsible' I tell myself, at least I haven't become a hermit, my eating disorder isn't all I have, I'm fine. 'I'm fine' becomes your most used phrase, to both friends and to yourself as you talk yourself into carrying on at full pelt should you face a moment where something scares you into thinking perhaps you are in trouble. Next to nothing will be enough to make you face your eating disorder in a head on fight. 
 
Except perhaps your boyfriend who's doing a ski season halfway across the continent pleading you to get help so that sometime in the future, you'll be able to marry and have children. It wasn't even that that did it for me. 
 
He just wants me to be happy. Happy + Eating Disorder does not, and never will compute.
 
So here goes... tonight I emailed my consultant and have asked to be readmitted. Wish me luck. 
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: perplexed_mess
2009-03-11 10:14 pm (UTC)

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Hi hon,

Noticed you added me, I will add you back.

I'm sorry this has been such a struggle for you...
Did you manage to email your consultant? If so, what did he say?

Just to add, I'm not on Livejournal very much anymore - but if you want to add me on facebook just let me know and I will send you a link to my profile.

*hugs* Rachael x
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-12 12:50 am (UTC)

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Hi, yes I'll update soon. No worries, but if you know anyone who might be interested in this blog please do let them know about it, thanks. x
[User Picture]From: needyousomehow
2009-03-12 12:30 pm (UTC)

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Hi Rachael, I noticed you added me. Do we know each other from anywhere? Anyway, I'll add you back (btw, I'm Lisa).

Good luck with the inpatient thing. It's a good thing you're aware that you're sick and need help.. I think that's a big and scary step to take, even if you have taken it before.

I agree about your comment about being out of control. I've often felt the same way. I'm mostly recovered now (anorexic tendencies but let's say EDNOS), for over a year... but I'm struggling lately with the ol' shitty feelings/urges :P

x
[User Picture]From: needyousomehow
2009-03-12 12:32 pm (UTC)

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Oops. Totally messed up there. I meant to reply to the original post, not a comment. I got confused and thought you were Rachael but that's another one of your friends. I'm guessing your name is Catherine... sorry to you both! x
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-12 11:40 pm (UTC)

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You don't need to apologise! I'm sorry that you're struggling and hope you have people around you to support you through this. x
[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2009-03-12 12:37 am (UTC)

Kish mir im tuchas!

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I love it! 90% of the world starves and you stick your fingers down your gullet.Hey! Wanna swap places?I spent my 28th birthday in a ditch by the autobahn on the Dutch/German border.Want to know why?I had no money.I hadnt eaten in three days.Eventually I stole some food...
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-12 12:48 am (UTC)

Re: Kish mir im tuchas!

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I wouldn't like to swap places, no, because I would not wish this illness on my worst enemy. I don't believe that one can equate this disease with world famine - the two are not connected. I hope that you continue to read and hope that it will be enlightening to you and open your mind enough to understand that anorexia/bulimia are horrible illnesses, never a choice. I'm sorry that you had to steal food, I'm sorry you had no money.
[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2009-03-12 06:28 pm (UTC)

Re: Kish mir im tuchas!

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Have you read "Running on empty" by Allie Outram?She approaches anorexia from a born again Christian viewpoint. Ignore anything I write after midnight.
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-12 11:25 pm (UTC)

Re: Kish mir im tuchas!

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I haven't, no... I find reading about Anorexia a rather arduous task to be honest, I prefer to escape with Harukami. I would have ignored it if it had not struck a chord, perhaps you should just be more careful after midnight?
(Screened comment)
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-12 11:39 pm (UTC)

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Thank you so much Emma, I think I sent it on autopilot - strange! x
[User Picture]From: goldnhairedgirl
2009-03-12 07:58 pm (UTC)

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Hi,
I found your journal through the independent, and added you as I'm also looking to recover, and find knowing people in similar situations can help. Any, best wishes.
Emma
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-12 11:34 pm (UTC)

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Emma, thanks for reading, I hope you continue to do so and wish you the best of luck in finding a way to recover.
x
From: francetta
2009-03-14 09:11 am (UTC)

If--

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If you start eating, I'll stop smoking-- either way,good luck to both of us--!
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-16 09:48 pm (UTC)

Re: If--

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I do eat. Good luck with the smoking cessation, Gawd I hate that word but I have never used it before now and wanted to do so!
From: warriorforpeace
2009-03-14 09:33 am (UTC)

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Keep writing Catherine!
Allie Outram is a friend of mine and her book does come highly recommended by me.
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-16 09:49 pm (UTC)

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Thanks, I will!

I shall add it to my ever expanding must-read list.
From: dkayedon
2009-03-15 10:04 am (UTC)

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I was a manager, over 20yrs, of a Thereaputic Community, "of all diagnosis". We never 'spotlighted' anyones 'dificulty'. We all shared with the buying and cooking of food for the whole community, could be up to 20. Male and female people with the lable of anoreixia. They made the best cooks even if only eating cottage cheese themselves. Certainly no special attention apart from adjusting to daily living that some young people find difficult. If you keep talking to the experts, then you keep up your need to be skinny. Hey, its safe to being a person; there's very little difference to being one age or another, its the "when you grow up" mob. If it helps, I'm 80 now, and still "looking at my behaviour"; its
From: dkayedon
2009-03-15 10:28 am (UTC)

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My last message may look as if there were 20 with anoreixia. No. we had many many different "labels".
Our main concern would be the "here and now"; I can tell you here and now, there is a robin waiting for water
Best of luck, Rachael
[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-16 09:55 pm (UTC)

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Thanks Rachael, I'm sure that you mean well, but I'm not sure your way of dealing with this would not work for me. I find that I am already quite well adjusted to normal life - I have done far more than many people I grew up with and aside from my eating disorder, have been very successful in other areas of my life. This isn't a phase, not something I will ever 'grow out of'. How many times will I find myself reiterating the fact that this is an illness?
From: veg_static
2009-03-15 01:54 pm (UTC)

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Rachael, I think that's really irresponsible advice, if "the experts" were the thing keeping her eating disorder going don't you think she'd have recovered before she came into contact with them? It's clear from the journal entries that she has no problem "adjusting to daily living" - I think that's a big assumption to make about someone you don't know, as well as a sweeping statement to make about everyone with an eating disorder. It's just a tiny bit patronising.

I've had my eating disorder for around eighteen years. Fifteen of those were without any help from "the experts". During those years I suffered and so did those around me. It's only in the past five years, following a long period of inpatient treatment and day patient care that I have been able to start recovery.

I'm in my late 20's and I have no trouble adjusting to daily living. I have a responsible job, I am married, I have stable friendships. I think you've just read a book that told you anorexia is about not wanting to grow up. I'm glad "the experts" have more experience and a more rounded point of view.

[User Picture]From: catherineib
2009-03-16 09:59 pm (UTC)

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Thanks veg, it's so important to stand up for ourselves when so many people read books/papers/websites and assume they know the answer to our problems. I'm sure Rachael meant well, but generalising gets us nowhere and as you say, sweeping statements can come across as patronising.

I really hope that your recovery is going well, 18 years is 18 years too long.
x
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