Thursday, October 6, 2011

Still here, still kicking

Things here are going. Going really well, sometimes; really poorly others; just plodding along others still. But they keep going.

I don't really know what to say. I was sick a few days this week, and it was pretty disgusting for a day or two but I lost a bunch of weight. Last Sunday, I was 235. This morning, 227. I think 227 is the lowest I've ever been actually. I bet a bunch of it is the fact that I'm dehydrated and haven't eaten in a couple days save a saltine and banana here or there, but wow I'll take it.

I guess I will say this: I feel pretty healthy, overall. I am realizing some pretty big stuff about myself.
  • I am prone to depression, and need to be on medication, at least for now. I was off drugs for a month or two, but am back on again and I feel more like myself again. Better living -- however it comes -- is great; I will take better living through chemistry without a second thought.
  • Weight Watchers and Atkins and exercise and liposuction and gastric bypass will help you lose weight, but they will not fix disfunctional thoughts or obsessions about food. Only God will help with that. Being on any sort of structured plan of eating is not sustailable without dealing with the underlying compulsion first and in my opinion if you're a food abuser using any of these tools will fail if you don't change the underlying dysfunctional thoughts about food.
  • I am not the same person who started this blog, and as a result I don't use it that much. Many of the obsessions have abated. I process things in real life with friends, not on this blog. I would not say that "food" nor "therapy" are the two most defining things in my life, as they were when I started this blog.
  • Bad things pass. It may not feel like it sometimes, but bad things will pass.
  • Steady, consistent progress is amazing. I see pictures of myself from a year or 18 months ago. I've lost about 5 lbs, but I think I look totally different. More importantly, my mindset and life circumstances in that year have changed dramatically -- and pretty much all for the better. I am very hopeful in what lies ahead.
So what does this mean? Both in general and for the future of this blog?

The truth is, I don't know. I feel some level of connection and accountability to my readers, many of whom I don't know but some of whom I do. I've shared a very deep window into parts of my soul through the stories and experiences I've shared on my blog. For those of you who are dysordered eaters, you may have seen glimpses of your own story through mine. I definitely derived strength from your comments when you left them. For those of you who are my real-life friends and acquaintances, I hope that this has given you some level of understanding about what life with an eating disorder is like. I don't say that flippantly or for sympathy, but I do know that in my own life it is fascinating and sort of weird to peel back the layers of an onion that I know just a little bit about. I hope that you never deal with food compulsion, but that you do have an appreciation that it is a very real and very difficult thing to deal with because I've come to appreciate just how pervasive food is in culture.

All this to say -- I think I am just going to formalize the more infrequent nature of my posting. I feel a little sad about it, because so many times when bloggers disappear it is because they're gaining weight and ashamed or dealing with some really hard, dark stuff. I am not feeling like that at all. I don't feel like I am on a mountaintop or anything, but I also don't feel like I'm in a deep dark valley either. I just feel the hum of life -- what I imagine it must feel like to be a "normal" person with a "normal" attitude about food and mental health.

I've decided I will not ever say that weight is "gone forever" or that I am in any sense of the word "fixed" -- I think I will always struggle with food and with mental illness, specifically depression. But this time around things do feel ok. I have dealt with some really hard stuff in what has felt like complete isolation. I have fallen off the proverbial wagon many times. I have gone through periods that I've "let myself go" -- but what is different is me. Each and every time I have gone through these things, I get sad, and then I deal with the underlying emotion, and then I get back on track. I give myself permission to get sloppy sometimes with my eating because, for me, that is how real life is. I know food will not fix problems or bring comfort, and will often in fact make feel worse about myself. Instead of pining on and on about life and my problems with life and with food, I am just going to go out and live it. Experience it, for all its beauty and pain and joy and sadness. And I am going to live it and just write about it occasionally here.

Thank you all for the role you have played in my journey to this point -- we will be in touch, although in a more infrequent way. I am finding the way in life, and am glad that food and my struggle with my mental health are not at the forefront of the issues I am facing these days, but rather just one of many things that will have to be managed in my day to day life. That is so very different than how things were when this blog started.

Till we meet again...

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