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    Eating disorders

    Does anyone here have one? Appaarreently I have one (still kind of fighting the diagnosis) and I need help with recovery. So many questions.

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    Antidote's Avatar Rude & Shouty
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    I used to have one for 4 years. I self-diagnosed myself with an EDNOS because I did not fit full criteria for bulimia (I wasn't keen on throwing up, but I'd mostly binge then compensate with over exercising and fasting). I never sought treatment but managed to recover by myself, which is not always possible since many people will get trapped in a vicious ED cycle indefinitely unless they receive professional treatment and support. I've been ED free for 6 years and counting now.

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    Quote Antidote View Post
    I used to have one for 4 years. I self-diagnosed myself with an EDNOS because I did not fit full criteria for bulimia (I wasn't keen on throwing up, but I'd mostly binge then compensate with over exercising and fasting). I never sought treatment but managed to recover by myself, which is not always possible since many people will get trapped in a vicious ED cycle indefinitely unless they receive professional treatment and support. I've been ED free for 6 years and counting now.
    Thank you for replying and good job on your recovery I was just wondering how long it takes until the physical side effects go away. (Apparently) I have anorexia (still fighting the diagnosis) so I'm guessing the recovery time and stages are very different, but it'd be useful to know how you managed to keep going even when it felt really horrible to be in recovery, and how long it took for your body to adjust?

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    Antidote's Avatar Rude & Shouty
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    Quote Coffee View Post
    Thank you for replying and good job on your recovery I was just wondering how long it takes until the physical side effects go away. (Apparently) I have anorexia (still fighting the diagnosis) so I'm guessing the recovery time and stages are very different, but it'd be useful to know how you managed to keep going even when it felt really horrible to be in recovery, and how long it took for your body to adjust?
    The recovery process actually wasn't as horrible for me as having an ED was. Part of what fueled my ED was that I would crave things like mad. I would think about food all day every day and even dream about it. I'd have nightmares where I'd lose control when I was in a fasting episode and binge. I think if you are deprived of proper food for extended periods some biological mechanism goes awry and it either shuts off all cravings or you snap and can barely contain the desire to binge. But when I was eating normally this subsided and I didn't feel the need to binge followed by the need to restrict as strongly. To be honest my body seemed to adjust immediately and enthusiastically. I noticed positive improvements in my health (sleeping better, more energy, less irritable) within the first week because it doesn't take long for food to affect you. The whole time I was recovering I felt like my body was healing and it just felt natural. The last thing that changed was my body image. I always wanted to be thinner even while I was getting better, but I disregarded my weight and recognised that my ED was really a form of physical abuse / self harm because it was making me ill (sometimes I'd binge and feel so ill my heart would be pounding and I thought I might faint or have a heart attack). The longer I was in recovery the greater my fear grew of actually returning to my ED. My body image issues lagged behind for a couple of years but I'd say I have a pretty healthy body image now.

    I'm simplifying all this, because it's hard to describe how much despair I'd felt over the years while I had an ED. I also actually lost weight while I was recovering because all the binging had made me carry extra kg's. So in a way recovery gave me some positive reinforcement / results that I wanted, which is something that most others would not get if their recovery entails gaining weight. But when started to recover, I was expecting a weight gain and I was ready for that, and even though I was pleasantly surprised to lose weight, I was not satisfied with it and still wanted it lower. I just let it be though because I was so tired of the last 4 years, I couldn't do it anymore. The way I started recovery was kind of unintentional - I gave myself an ED free holiday for 1 week. I just wanted to enjoy food again for once without feeling sick from binging, nor deprived. I permitted myself to gain weight that week should that happen. After that break I didn't feel out of control, I only felt better, so I extended it - weeks turned into months which turned into years. I briefly relapsed several times but the relapses made me feel so sick I quickly returned to recovering, and like I said, now it's been 6 years. It's been about 3 years since I had any relapse.

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    I eat junk food when I'm depressed. If that counts as an eating disorder.

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    Quote Antidote View Post
    The recovery process actually wasn't as horrible for me as having an ED was. Part of what fueled my ED was that I would crave things like mad. I would think about food all day every day and even dream about it. I'd have nightmares where I'd lose control when I was in a fasting episode and binge. I think if you are deprived of proper food for extended periods some biological mechanism goes awry and it either shuts off all cravings or you snap and can barely contain the desire to binge. But when I was eating normally this subsided and I didn't feel the need to binge followed by the need to restrict as strongly. To be honest my body seemed to adjust immediately and enthusiastically. I noticed positive improvements in my health (sleeping better, more energy, less irritable) within the first week because it doesn't take long for food to affect you. The whole time I was recovering I felt like my body was healing and it just felt natural. The last thing that changed was my body image. I always wanted to be thinner even while I was getting better, but I disregarded my weight and recognised that my ED was really a form of physical abuse / self harm because it was making me ill (sometimes I'd binge and feel so ill my heart would be pounding and I thought I might faint or have a heart attack). The longer I was in recovery the greater my fear grew of actually returning to my ED. My body image issues lagged behind for a couple of years but I'd say I have a pretty healthy body image now.

    I'm simplifying all this, because it's hard to describe how much despair I'd felt over the years while I had an ED. I also actually lost weight while I was recovering because all the binging had made me carry extra kg's. So in a way recovery gave me some positive reinforcement / results that I wanted, which is something that most others would not get if their recovery entails gaining weight. But when started to recover, I was expecting a weight gain and I was ready for that, and even though I was pleasantly surprised to lose weight, I was not satisfied with it and still wanted it lower. I just let it be though because I was so tired of the last 4 years, I couldn't do it anymore. The way I started recovery was kind of unintentional - I gave myself an ED free holiday for 1 week. I just wanted to enjoy food again for once without feeling sick from binging, nor deprived. I permitted myself to gain weight that week should that happen. After that break I didn't feel out of control, I only felt better, so I extended it - weeks turned into months which turned into years. I briefly relapsed several times but the relapses made me feel so sick I quickly returned to recovering, and like I said, now it's been 6 years. It's been about 3 years since I had any relapse.
    This is incredibly inspirational. Thank you for taking the time to write this all out for me. I'm really happy you managed to recover and are still on top of your recovery! I guess I just have to keep going and, as you said, just think of it as healing. I'm sure all of this effort will be worth it.

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    Antidote's Avatar Rude & Shouty
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    ^ I'm glad you got something out of it. My ED is such a thing of the past now that I almost forget I had one, even though it was quite bad at the time. I hope things work out for you like they did for me.

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    Coffee,

    You are such an inspiration in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your story. I truly believe you're one of the bravest people I know. I mean that more than you'll know.



    I tried to avoid this thread because like cutting threads, it brings up a lot of pain from my past. I had some real unhealthy ways to cope in life and anorexia and bulimia were two of them.

    I grew up very hungry and skinny. My father drank the money he made and my mother's paycheck barely bought food. Her philosophy was to give the bigger pieces to my brothers because they needed it more and my younger brother needed it to grow. I was the one who usually cooked the food, so I learned to steal quit bites of things before putting the food on the table so I wouldn't go too hungry when I got the smallest portion.

    I was very thin while living on the street because sometimes my only food was the free lunches at school. I hated weekends. When I graduated from High School, my mother and father showed up at my graduation. The school must have sent them an invitation. I hadn't seen them in 3 years. My father quickly disappeared and I assumed went to the bar down the street.

    Even though I lived on the streets I had 4 years perfect attendance and got an award for it. After the ceremony, my mother came up to me. She said, "If you had 4 years perfect attendance, why aren't you valedictorian?" The second thing she said was, "Are you coming home to be another mouth to feed?"

    Well, I didn't go home..........not just yet. I knew someone named Allison who hated the pimp who abused us. I thinks she set a fire (she told me this) and wanted me to get involved with another one. I got pretty far into the scheme before I chickened out. I saw the flames a block away. I got on a bus and went home. I was done with living on the street. When I got there my mother carried on about how I was another mouth to feed and how I got "fat." I weighed 85lbs. (I'm 5 ft) If I wanted to eat I had to pay for my food.

    I got 3 jobs to pay my way to college because I wanted to go. I also continued to hook occasionally that summer. I met a guy (customer) who told me he would take me in. So I went with him. He's the guy I married who abused me for 30 years. He's the father of my kids.

    He wanted to be married to the thin hooker. If I dared gain 10 lbs he would tell me I was fat and ugly. When I got pregnant I would gain only 12 lbs or so because he told me I was too fat. The doctors would yell at me all the time. By the time my three kids were born, I was full blown anorexic. I ate about every 3 days. I would freak if I ate anything fattening and felt so ashamed and guilty. I needed to be perfect so my husband wouldn't throw me back on the street (this time with 3 children). I hated eating in front of people and would literally cry if they saw me eat a mouthful of something. My anorexia turned into bulimia because as my kids got older, they wondered why I didn't eat much. I was afraid I would give them the wrong message. So I started eating more and got up to 95/100. I was freaked. I began purging. I won't go into details how I purged because it's not healthy to share that with you guys. I guess because I was somewhat healthy and a survivor, this abuse to my body didn't create very many healthy problems.

    My children were thin due to being very active and due to me feeding them right. At least I knew to do that. When they started hitting puberty, I could see where my need to be thin was affecting my daughter. So I got help for my eating disorder. I wanted to be a role model for her. Also by that time, I wanted out of my marriage and saw that my kids were almost old enough to move out (after High School). I thought I could make it on my own if they could just make it on their own. This thinking was so silly. I had 2 Masters degrees by this time, made more money than my ex and yet I thought I would be homeless. He had me totally convinced I wouldn't make it.

    So as soon as my kids moved out at 18, I was free to run. And I did with the help of 3 brave people.

    One of the first things I did after I got the restraining order and I was finally safe, was to eat. I just kept eating. I didn't want to be desirable to ANYONE ever. I put on 60 lbs. I didn't want anyone to ever look at me twice. I no longer wanted to have sex with anyone. So I hid behind my new body.

    But the guilt and shame were still there. So I started up with bulimia. But when you're in your 40's your body wont' get rid of fat as easily as it does when you're in your 20's. So all the bulimia did was make me feel bad.

    I finally got a nutritionist and learned what was healthy for a person in her 40's and 50's and worked on getting down to a good healthy weight for my age. I'm in the 140's now and my goal is around 120. Physically I feel healthier than I have ever felt.

    Eating disorders can make you a prisoner as it did me. I looked in the mirror when I was 85lbs and saw a fat person staring back. Now while weighing 140, I can see someone who has extra but someone who is also very beautiful and worthwhile.

    You guys probably stopped reading by now. Sorry for the length. Hey! I had 50 years of story.
    The Hokey Pokey IS what it's all about

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    I don't really know what to say in reply to that! I think it's amazing that you were able to overcome your eating disorder(s) whilst going through all of that and having to live in those conditions. I'm lucky in that I can focus on my recovery and still be safe. What you and Antidote have written really motivate me.

    I'm having trouble lately because although I really really do want to get better, it's taking a lot of energy and time and I don't really HAVE the time at the moment. I know I need to make the time and take care of my health etc., and I know it's unhealthy to try to delay everything just because I don't want to deal with it, but I'm just not sure what I'm doing to be honest.

  10. #10
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    There's some heavy stuff in this thread, man. Sorry you ladies have had it rough. I used to be fat so I get anxious eating, thinking I'm gonna get fat again, not that I'd say anything to anybody about it irl. It's best not to think too much about calorie counts and stuff, but it's hard not to crunch the numbers and aim low.

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