Thursday, September 30, 2010


I'm bloated. Does anyone relate? My stomach feels stretched to the end of its skin.

Very uncomfortable. And my poor, once-abused intestinal tract is not playing along. (Aside to young users of laxatives, if you're using laxatives, please stop. You don't know the damage you will do. it's less fun years down the road.)

Enough about that -- you know what I mean.

Everything's different about my body -- there are lumps and creases around places i'd forgotten about.

When i look in the mirror dressed, I'm not too startled. with a blazer, etc., i still look fine. but take off that dress and, what's all this?

Wish i could feel fine. This reminds me of all the years i officially "dieted". I concentrate on making mostly healthy, lean choices. I'm getting sick of salad and turkey breast, et. al. Still, i'm eating meals, which i didn't do much before & eating a lot late at night after work and AA and everything else i need to do. Thus, some weight gain.

I'm rarely hungry. My system feels so over-taxed. I miss really be hungry for a meal. i tend to eat dinner just because i want to eat. I'm not sure how to do things correctly and healthfully. Maybe a nutritionist?

It's no surprise I'm pretty out of touch with my body and "hungry" and "full". I never developed these tools -- you know the ones babies conquer at birth?

I so wonder how we got here. Eating is supposed to be as natural as any of the most instinctive things we do. Now not-eating seems acceptable and the norm. Everyone's so busy trying to be "good".

A young (16) friend tells me that, although she regularly binges/purges/starves, she doesn't think she has a problem, because everyone else is doing it. She says

"I'm really involved in the theatre and dance productions- and eating disorders are so common there. Naturally, there is a huge percentage of girls in theatre who restrict their calories (which eventually leads to a binge...and a purge) in order to be thinner for the stage or competition. During warm ups we talk about how much we've eaten, or how much weight we need to lose before the show so we'll look good. What's worse is that it isn't questioned because that's the way it's always been done.

"Naturally, there is a huge percentage of girls in theatre who restrict their calories." NATURALLY? What is natural about a huge percentage of teenage girls restricting their calories?

How did this happen? How did starving (often leading to binging and purging) become natural?

Why? What is so great about being super-thin? What's so great about being thin?

Is there anything we can do?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Better Day

Today is a better day. Work was a little busier, so it went more quickly. My co-workers are very nice, and they're unbelievably patient with my mistakes and slow learning curve on the computer.

I'm not sure why i'm feeling better, but here are some guesses. I am

getting enough sleep every night.

blogging every night, then taking a lovely bath and going to bed.

working new hours, so i can sleep later and there's no traffic. The commute is a full half hour less each way now!

getting more comfortable at work, so i don't obsess about being employed quite so much

eating heartily and healthfully. yes, my weight's staying up there, but I'm sure getting enough brain food.

not beating myself up for the weight gain. just going back to the closet for bigger clothes.

sober and going to AA most nights

seeing things more clearly and realizing they're ok

much more sober, in every sense of the word

I guess this was a gratitude list of sorts. I'm so grateful for everything that's feeling and working a little better. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Sponsor

i got a sponsor. i can't believe it. four years in and out of recovery and never thought "I" needed a sponsor. but too many people i trust have told me to do it. since i make such wrong decisions on my own, i decided to follow the STRONG suggestion of most together people i know (my therapist, people with 30 years sober, etc.) and asked the leader of last night's AA meeting if she would sponsor me. we're meeting this weekend to get started. i'm nervous and excited and startled that i took this step (no pun intended, for all of you who know the tenets of AA.) Imagine ME, doing the right thing!

Yesterday was a blah, blah day at work. i left there all depressed with my head hanging. then i met my friend from IOP at an AA meeting and instantly felt comforted. i grabbed coffee (and a cookie -- yes, I'm allowing myself cookies before dinner) and sat up front. quickly, my shoulders dropped, as i found myself nodding along with everything said. everyone at AA has a story and everyone understands great loss and confusion and frustration. I don't know when i've felt less alone.

it's unlike me to feel peace when my life has so many frustrating aspects. it's always been all or nothing for me -- if one thing was bad, NOTHING felt good or peaceful. it's kind of a revelation -- i can hate my job, my finances, my addictions, YET i can still feel relaxed in a room full of people with like-minded troubles. all new.

what else is new? well, i'm still sober and having a MUCH less hard time around this time around. i do crave alcohol sometimes, but i don't at all want everything that goes with drinking -- the hangover, the bad decisions about everything, the cost, the disappointment from those around me and all the lies that decide to pop out of my mouth. every aspect of life gets worse when i drink AND all my addictions have kept me back, kept me in this life i find so dissatisfying.

i have everything to re-learn. from making my own bed, to supporting myself. i never did these normal things -- i don't know how i escaped, but i skipped anything in life that an adult might do and anything that smelled even vaguely of responsibility. all this avoidance hasn't done me any good.
i must believe it's never too late. i see people in AA who've pulled it together after having lost everything, over and over with terrible consequences. and there they are, sober and working on much better lives.

humility. i have so little. always, i think i know best what's best for me. whatever's necessary for "other" people never applies to me. i also seem to think i can do whatever i want, regardless of the consequences to myself and others around me.

the only thing i can do is right things now. i can't make up for the past -- not to myself, and not to those i've hurt. i CAN do things differently this time. so, here i am, doing this considerably differently - a genuine work in progress.

as for my ass (strange seque, but the thought just popped up), it's still the same new size. why can't i believe my boyfriend, who repeatedly tells me i'm perfect right now? what does he know?! no, no, i hear my mother's voice years ago, wondering why they were promoting Diane Sawyer when she had such big hips. my mother hated wide hips, no matter who sported them. if you weren't a boy, basically, you were horribly wide.

why do i hear my mother from 30 years ago and not my boyfriend? or anyone, these days, who tells me I look good - that i had gotten painfully thin and i finally look healthy again.

everything's up in the air right now -- lots of change and uncomfortable transition.
Growing pains? i hope so.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Still Okay with the Weight

You know, I am kind of okay with all this weight gain. It continues to climb, which is hard to fathom, but that’s what’s happening. Doesn’t seem much I can do about it, and I don’t feel like doing anything right now, so this is it.

I am fine. I, Melissa, am fine, because I’m healthy and I’m sleeping and I’m learning to cope with real life.

In the real world, I’m not a tiny girl. I’ve always wanted to be a tiny girl in the world – ahhh, if only I could disappear... But I can’t disappear – who will pay the rent, and cover my health insurance so I can keep taking Lexapro and pay for my root canal and for food and gas and my phone…??? I can’t disappear, no matter how much I’d like to at times. i'm taking up space, and that's what i must do. make my place, make my space in this world.

My boyfriend tells me that I look great now – nothing better than a woman with curves, says he.

I don’t think I look great. Still, I have gained a lot of weight, and the world hasn’t ended. In fact, little has changed except that I’m sober and more responsible and honest.

I do think about cutting down on the cals but then think – I like my afternoon pretzels and my after dinner ice cream. And after that, I’ve been known to eat fruit. Yes, my emotions trigger my mouth-hunger, lately, but for right now, that’s where I am.

Could I possibly learn to be one of those people who enjoys food? I've either desperately craved it or feared and loathed anything with calories all my life. What If i could appreciate and enjoy food? Could that ever be me?

I just wish the weight gain would stop now.

1. I went to a really good AA meeting tonight, and I (yes I!) got a sponsor. More on that later.

2. I got another job offer, so I don't feel quite so stuck in this one.

3. Dancing With the Stars, a warm bath and a good book. Beautiful.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Anorexia or Bulimia?

for the first ten years of life, i was a compulsive eater. i grew very quickly and always out-grew the weight gain. at ten i got my period and stopped growing and the compulsive eating caught up with my waist-line. and my hips and face and boobs...

the next phase was starvation -- i just stopped eating until i'd lost 60 pounds, but then craved food all the time. Welcome, Bulimia. over the years, i'd do some combination of compulsive eating, starving, binging and/or purging.

i'm not sure how to label myself. bulimic? sometime anorexic? compulsive eater?

are they different? are there different reasons and feelings associated with each?

i never considered myself anorexic, although i certainly exhibited anorexic behaviors for long stretches. in my head, i'll always think of myself as a compulsive eater.

from reading blogs and literature, i see that many anorexics believe their disease is caused by nature, not nurture and peer pressure. that never resonated with me, although it makes sense.

i've never felt that my disease was based on brain chemistry. my mother wanted me thin, desperately, all the other kids teased me and the popular girls were always light weights. unfortunately, my body wanted big weight. and my misery wanted food. my mother and father comforted themselves with food, what else did i know?

during the years when i ate compulsively and/or binged and purged, i hated myself and loathed my life.

during my starving mode, i resented the world -- everyone else could eat, but i didn't allow myself anything other than lettuce and, well, lettuce. still,i thought my body looked pretty good, although i barely had the energy to walk up stairs. and i hated myself a little less -- at least i wasn't eating! was that a brain mis-fire or just my mother's voice cooing at my little body?

do you consider yourself anorexic or bulimic or EDNOS. what do you relate to? do you think the different disorders have different causes?

Today's gratitude list:

I slept a lot last night and didn't have to go to work today.

I let myself be depressed and just went with it for a while. it was okay

I'm reading a nice, new book -- now that's lovely!

Friday, September 24, 2010

anxiety or depression?

which is worse? usually i'm incapacitated by anxiety -- sweaty, can't focus, heart racing. it's hard to do anything when you can't even breathe. when i'm in it, i'd tell you it's the worst.

then along comes depression. thud. depression's not my usual default. but this week - thud. it's hard to do anything when you can't even move. now that i'm in it, i tell you it's the worst.

had a good therapy session after work, and feel somewhat better. my therapist says it's good for me to tolerate discomfort -- it's something i've never really done -- i either binged or starved or took drugs or drank or acted out in some ways that felt like a drug.

it makes sense that i need to learn to tolerate. everyone gets bored or scared, and that's life.

i'm kind of proud that i'm not lying, not drinking, going to AA, going to work. i never did many of those things at the same time before.

i am not drinking, once again, but it's not that hard this time. i don't want a drink. i want a fuller life, a more interesting job, intellectual stimulation, laughter and a little more fun.

but in the interim, i'm going to work and blogging and going to AA. those are good things.

my therapist asked me to write three things i'm grateful for on my blog. a gratitude list seems like just the thing at the moment:

1. IT'S FRIDAY. i couldn't be happier about that!!! Yippee. Yippee

2. i am grateful that i didn't lie today and i didn't drink today

3. it was a beautiful day, and i sat outside for a whole hour at lunch

so, i wonder -- which do you think is worse - depression or anxiety. AND what three things are you grateful for today?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I considered calling this post "womanly curves" or "sexy curves", but ended up with just plain curves

what is womanly really? Aren’t all female bodies womanly because they belong to women? Besides, womanly sounds like “matronly” or “bosomy” or ... mom jeans.

Still, I think if I tell you my body is now “womanly”, you know what I mean. I have roounnd curves I haven’t seen in quite some time. I now sport 16 pounds more than i did in mid-July. I guess my body wanted it. I look healthy but where, I ask you, did this stomach come from? Whose boobs are these?

That kind of leads me to “sexy” curves. Sexy. I don’t tend to feel sexy. I don’t like to feel sexy – it’s fairly threatening, now that i think of it. Is it shocking that a woman with every eating disorder since childhood has issues with her sexuality?

I didn’t date until I was 30 and even then, i didn't pick well.. damn, if I didn’t think I was the ugliest thing around. up and down 100 pounds. braces. frizzy hair. acne. glasses. and nerdy. oh, was i picked on in junior high. i wouldn't dare have thought of myself as sexy -- some sarcastic creep would let me know exactly how truly unappealing i was. even during my thinnest (thin equalled attractive to me)times when my acne cleared up, the braces were gone and a flat iron had been invented -- still, even then (and now) all i see is funny looking me.

So sadly, that's just the way i look at my body. Yeah, no, my curves aren't sexy to me, even though i'm working on convincing myself they are. i guess i still miss the bones. why do i like sharp bones and sneer at soft curves?

This post brings anxiety, as i write this out. why can't i feel sexy? why not -- other women do. sometimes, after a few glasses of wine, when EVERYTHING feels crazy and loose, i might feel a little sexy but even then -- KEEP THOSE LIGHTS OFF!!!

sometimes i really would rather look like a vanishing woman. yet, i so don't want my 15 year old niece to see me as thin as i was. it's a terrible message and not walking the walk. "you're perfect", i tell her and know it is so, although my body is a fair amount smaller than hers.

whether curves seem desireable or not, they're mine. i need to deal and move on with the rest of the day!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Can you believe it -- I'm being honest. Honest, honest, honest. I've told my boyfriend about multiple lies. Believe it or not, confessing is better than lying.

We'll have to see what it's like to be honorable. This is very new for me. I'm doing what i'm supposed to. Sober again -- and it doesn't suck quite so much as last time.

The purpose is to move forward and in a POSITIVE way. To change behaviors which mess with my integrity. New, new, new.

One day, I will know exactly where my moral compass is -- right inside of me.

i'm still using food, but what can I do? Even normal eaters use food when they're newly sober. So, yes, there is ALWAYS a sugar-free mint in my mouth and/or a cup of coffee in my hand, but it's better than Sauvignon Blanc and/or a cigarette.

I think i'm handling this well, particularly for me.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pissed Off

Hello Anger, my old friend.

i am so angry today. why do i have to drive an f===ing 90 minutes to work, then an hour to IOP and then get home at 10;30, lay out my clothes, pack my lunch, take a shower and then resent the hell out of having no time for myself.

the counselors at IOP SUCK. we watch movies, we talk about transmissions and fast food (the counselors are so talent-free -- they let the conversation wander all over, and they can't control the group) and where everybody lives.

but i have to go, because my therapist wants the stupid (really!) iop counselor to watch me take antabuse. 3.5 hours of stupidity three nights a week.

i need time to myself. i hate everyone today == i railed on my cousin and i asked my therapist to call me so i can tell her how absolutely PISSED OFF i am.

i'm also so anxious about the week. learning the really complicated computer system and all the sales stuff and running to iop where they now know i didn't stop drinking.

i'm really unhappy. really unhappy. really unhappy.

and i'm gaining more weight and my skin's all broken out and....i'm really unhappy.

thanks for listening

Friday, September 17, 2010

Okay with my Weight Gain!!!

i have gained 13 pounds, and counting, since the middle of July. i am now exactly the number the weight charts say i should be. Thirteen pounds heavier than two months ago. Yet, i'm okay.

i don't know why I'm okay. two months ago, two pounds drove me crazy. you could see the bones from my neck to my chest, and i thought they looked great. i could slither into those skinny jeans and boy did i shake my ass. i thought i looked great.

of course, i also kind of looked like a skeleton. really boney. i maintained the look of the dead for about six months. i sure thought i looked great.

but i guess i looked like a skeleton.

i repeat all this so i will hear it. much of me wishes i still looked like that, but i don't have that kind of time. i'm working a full day and taking in SO much new information and running to 3.5 hours of iop (driving over an hour each way.) somewhere in between i have to pay my bills and return calls and emails and, hopefully, bathe and make coffee and the bed.

i don't have time for my eating disorder. i pack my lunch and eat it. my boyfriend can't believe i eat it all. he knows my old (lack of) eat habits. i eat potato chips on break during IOP and then get home at 10:30 and, exhausted, eat a real dinner. i put cream in my coffee and suck sugar free sucking candies all day (oral fixation, indeed.)

i gain weight. but i can't be bothered. i look fine. if i gain more weight, i still can't be bothered. i'm serious!!!!!!! who is writing this??

i don't have time for my eating disorder?!! in the past, all this stress would have brought ED screaming in louder than ever. i'd fast all day and binge all night. but i can't do that now. i don't have any money or any credit, and i must learn my new job and function. i need to support myself, and i'm getting too old to function on no food or the awful post binge/post purge feeling.


by the way, i just wrote the previous post too. if you have the time, please give it a read. i think i almost wrote this one to mask the last. it's all true, but the last one scared me.

Liar, liar

Does anyone else lie? maybe it's more of the alcoholic/drug addict part of me that likes the whoppers and white ones? i guess i lied around my eating disorder, but i think this is my substance abuser stttreetttcching the truth.

tonight, my therapist told me i need to be honest all the time. what???!!!

i feel pretty crummy about myself. i've been drinking since labor day and telling my therapist and IOP i was sober. LIAR. every morning, i'd text my therapist i took antabuse and she'd write back how proud she was of me. LIAR. trust-crusher. betrayer. the true L word.

last night, instead of going to IOP, i rented a cheap hotel room and told my boyfriend i was going to IOP. yes, i'd had a crazy full week with not ONE minute to myself. yes, i had my period and awful cramps and madness. and yes, i needed the time to myself. BUT I LIED. i did eventually confess to my boyfriend, who already knows the severe limits to my trustworthiness. and knows that i've been feeling suffocated. and knows I AM A LIAR.

i'm afraid to publish this. will anyone ever want to be my blogger friend again? i don't lie on the blog.

now, i must be honest. all the time. my therapist is calling my iop counselor and telling her to watch me take antabuse. yick. sobriety.

my therapist tells me drinking is holding me back from a full life. now, i have no money, a very "eh" job that is no interest to me and lots of repercussions.

is there a chance i could have a full life? could i do something that really uses more of my literary interests and less of my sales background? will i ever be able to take care of myself?

well, i did go to my job all week, and i did pay attention and SMILE thru the cramps and anxiety. i am terrified of the computers, but i am going back on monday. i will go to iop. i will go to AA meetings.

i will give myself a chance.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

day two

i am not used to this work thing! i've had two really long days. tomorrow, i don't have IOP. will i actually have a minute to myself? WOO HOO!!!!

i sure was spoiled -- good sleep, long baths, lunch on the deck.... of course, there wasn't any money coming in, so that didn't really work too well.

i'm sorry that i haven't been in blog world the last two days. i've been thinking about everyone, reading blogs AND READING AND RE-READING your comments to me.

i'm going to take a shower (kind of ran out of time this morning), lay out my clothes, make my lunch, eat dinner and try to get some sleep.

by the way, the job seems fine. i have my stressed out moments. but this week is all training, so i'm just trying to relax and learn.

Hope everyone is having a good night. Peace.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Can We Recover?

shae adele at http :// wrote: "You're the only person I know (even virtually) who has struggled with an ED and recovered (for the most part. I know we all slip up.) But thank you, I needed this. The only woman I know for real (a former teacher who is near and dear to me. We go out for coffee sometimes to talk about ED related things) told me that there is no recovery from an eating disorder. Never. She's 35 and is still very much a disordered eater, she just doesn't purge because she lost her colon. Maybe that's why I've been so lethargic lately. I thought she was recovered for so long, and to hear that was crushing."

i don't believe that's true. four years ago, i stopped throwing up after 30 years of bulimia. since then, i've binged maybe four or five times and taken a couple of laxatives maybe three times. i consider that pretty good. i don't know what the future holds, but i seem to be so much more at peace with food and my weight. i don't think to binge -- which is bliss.

Do you think we can recover? I never thought it was possible before. i questioned people who said they were better-- i just didn't believe it. when i started this blog, i still insisted i WAS my eating disorder. now, i don't believe that at all. i didn't realize how much my thinking had shifted until i was on Shae Adele's blog the other day, and she had written, "i am my eating disorder".

Speaking of Shae Adele, she's 17 and been with ED for six years. If you have a chance, stop by her blog. I think she could use really use some support.

On another note, I start my new job tomorrow. i have SUCH anxiety. i'm surprised how nervous i am. i'm not sure how to handle it. i need to have more belief in myself. i can do this. right?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

feeling like a new me

Thank you everyone for all your comments on my last post. your support gives me courage. i do have to remember that i can do this. and things do tend to work themselves out.

on a different front, i've started to feel a little differently about things and about myself. i'm more grounded, less dramatic, more realistic, less focused on my appearance, and i'm spending a lot less time in la la land.

for once, i find myself wanting mental excitement, not crazy thrills. it's...well,thrilling. at 46, can i begin to become the real woman i've tucked down deep inside? can i?

it's the happiest, most warming thought i've had in a while.

i don't know if i'm explaining this well. i don't really understand it myself. for right now, as i told my therapist, i'm poignantly happy.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Job Fear

What is all this interest in food? why do i want to keep chucking stuff into my mouth?

i start my new job on monday. i haven't worked since July 17, and though i've been terrified about money, i have so enjoyed the freedom. i get lots of sleep and take morning walks and write and run all my errands, then head to iop. my boyfriend and i sit on the swing, lounge on the deck, drive to the beach and explore different neighborhoods.

before this bliss, i worked for my brother for four years. it was pretty darn easy work, and i had lots of flexibility. sure, the travel got old, and i didn't like the job itself, but i knew what i was doing.

monday, i start a job selling classified ads for a large newspaper in new jersey. i'll be sitting at a desk, on the phone all day, every day. and selling. i'd promised myself that i wouldn't take another sales job again, but that's my background and the best way for me to make an okay salary. i'm afraid of the whole sales thing. sometimes, even with all my experience, i still get scared. and my lack of computer knowledge -- eek.

but, i do LOVE newspapers and enjoy reading classified ads, so of all the jobs i saw, this one looked the best. the hours are 9:30 - 6 pm, which means i don't have to blast out of bed at some unholy hour, and that means a lot. and i keep telling myself, i can do this, i can do this, i can do this. my self-esteem has taken a lot of hits lately -- i need lots of cheerleading.

unfortunately, the job's about an hours drive each way, ugh, because i live in a pretty rural area, and there aren't too many jobs near me.

and how on earth am i going to get to iop for 3.5 hours, three nights a week. and see my therapist in new york. and get to a psychiatrist for meds? i haven't figured this part out at all. but i guess i will.

When will i find time for myself. now, i am blessed with such quality time to breathe. but everyone works and figures things out. i guess i will too.

i'm glad i wrote this, instead of reaching for the fridge door. this is what's been on my mind, but i've been so busy talking about alcohol and food and relationships, i haven't gotten to job fear. now, i have.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

After the Eats

i just over-ate. at 4;30 pm. still have dinner to go. with my whole family.

oh, i am talking to myself -- be gentle, be gentle!

i am at my sister's, visiting her family. i love this family, but with all i've been going through, i guess i'm just not in the right place to visit.

there's so much on my plate -- sobriety with slips (yes), iop, getting a new job that's many steps below where i think i should be, financial issues, working things out with my boyfriend and trying to be real.

i sure don't know "real". i've lived in such a fantasy world -- so far from real. now everything needs to get real, and i have to make that happen

in iop, we talked about how good it is to be around each other, people who "get it". my sister's family is health and wealthy and normal. they know NOTHING of any kind of addiction. i feel isolated. separate. alone in my own private world.

it's too bad because usually i cherish being here and leave planning to move to pittsburgh. this time, i want to go home and eat healthy food with my boyfriend, on his deck. ahhhh.

so, i ate. i haven't used food like this in long time. it wasn't really a binge, binge, but i had a generous snack between lunch and dinner and was far from hungry. maybe 500 calories or so, which is thousands below the old days, but still i have a long night ahead, knowing i've actually eaten enough for the day.

we're having big family dinner in a couple of hours. hmmmm. and i'm not drinking, so i'll be staring at the food. and i need to help my sister prepare the feast. i hate cooking and being around food, especially when i've eaten too much already. scarey!

i'll make it. i don't get to see my family enough - i'm going to enjoy them. i'll be home soon enough (Monday night) and still have one week before work starts. there's lots of time to eat delicious and healthy food on the deck with my boyfriend.

my niece just asked if i want to go for a walk. perfect. EXACTLY what i need.

i got a very, very cute haircut today. i haven't told my boyfriend yet -- he likes it long. now, he'll know.

thanks for listening. i needed this.