When it hits you, it hits you. That feeling; that fleeting thought of not being good enough. Of trying to view things in a different way, yet feeling the exact same. Being stuck, regressing; any motion other than progress is hard to process, hard to explain to others; simply hard. Then there you are, stuck as the shell of this person people think or thought they knew, questioning what happened to the “old” you, or better yet; noticing nothing different about you at all, scoffing at any remarks you make to share your current mindset.
No, this exact description of events isn’t how my life is going, but to say I can’t relate to the sentiment would be false. I’ve been, you guessed it— battling with the same demons but on a grander stage. Those ones that whisper, “you’re not good enough. You’re not smart enough. Not creative enough. Not fit enough. Not small enough; you’re not enough”. I’ve been struggling with taking my meds, struggling with staying on the wagon, whatever the hell the wagon is. Struggling to get into a new routine, struggling with not letting my emotions take over my entire being, struggling with being mentally stable, struggling with my eating disorder.
To clarify that last note: no, I was never hospitalized. But if you think you need to be hospitalized to have an eating disorder, I respectfully ask you to educate yourself prior to feeling or expressing any judgement or reaction to this statement (in fact, there’s a great post I shared that goes into this in the most beautifully accurate way — you should read it if you have a microscopic view of what it means to have disordered eating).
Anyways, when you go from your family being heavily concerned with your eating or lack there of and your disappearing body, then gain the weight back in recovery mode; looking in the mirror can be hard. Stepping on the scale (as every therapist has told me NOT to do) can be excruciatingly painful; hurtful. It can tear you to pieces in the matter of seconds and depict your self worth even quicker. Sure, the level-headed individual that I have fleeting moments of being would tell myself that the number on the scale is no reflection of me as a person, that if I feel good, work out, and eat healthy; that number shouldn’t matter.
Well, tell that to anyone battling any aspect of an eating disorder and they’ll likely scoff in your face (as I am doing internally) and roll their eyes, saying something like, “Ok, you just don’t get it”, and shrug/laugh it (uncomfortably and forcibly) off. That number, though it’s just a number, weighs so much more than you, from an outsiders perspective, could ever imagine. And it doesn’t just fade to the back of your mind, either. After you see that number, for someone in recovery or really at any part of the ED cycle, it’s forever imprinted in your brain. It defines your mood, your day; you.
Yes, WE KNOW. IT’S JUST A NUMBER.
So now that that’s stated, let’s never say that ever again.
OK and . . . we keep moving. This number, this object that has this much power over us . . . it’s . . . it’s truly something you can’t explain but if you *get* it, you *get* it, and it’s this unspeakable truth that connects you with others. You then have a support system, someone who understands your struggle and doesn’t belittle it, and for awhile, you feel safe.
This morning when I stepped on that scale, I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel that there was someone to turn to and cry about my lack of progress the right way. There was no one, there was just me and this number on this screen. Sure, my boyfriend was in the other room. Sure, I mentioned this upsetting moment to him. But it’s hard to tell someone something they don’t understand, and though I know he wants to, and I know he sees how I struggle with it, but he can’t get it; truly get it.
The feeling of not having control over your life, your mind and your body; it’s immobilizing and terrifying and calls for self destruction all on it’s own. If you’ve been in this place before, you probably know the feeling; and it’s a lonely one. My issue is that I want that control back. I want to obsess and watch the number shrink by drastic proportions on the scale every week. I want to see that change and I want to know that I intentionally had a hand in it. Now, that’s not healthy thinking; you don’t have to tell me twice. But right now, today — this is what I’m struggling with.
How about you, are you okay? How are you really doing? Mondays are hard enough as it is, but they’re even harder when you feel alone.