Journal Post #17

Holy cow. I decided (after mulling it over for a few days, and talking about the pros and cons with mom) to post a link to my blog on Facebook yesterday evening. The response has been overwhelming, in the most positive of ways. I’ve received numerous texts, emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls from many people I haven’t spoken to in a long time. It’s amazing to me, how many lives this disease impacts. And in addition, how many people are affected, yet don’t speak out about it. One might think (I know that I was certainly hoping) that I would’ve woken up this morning feeling stronger than ever-backed by all this newfound support, but unfortunately, I woke up the same way I do most other mornings. I cringed when I got out of the shower and caught a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror, almost cried when I put on my Nike leggings, and struggled through eating 100% of my breakfast. So many people are telling me that I’m beautiful, and so loved, and that I’m worth so much more than my body…so why do I still have such a hard time accepting my own self-image? I think it just goes to show how much eating disorders DON’T have to do with body image, or food, or loneliness, or anxiety, or depression, or the desire to lose weight, etc. Those things all become entangled into your identity once you have an eating disorder, which is why it’s so hard for me to separate myself from those thoughts now, but that’s not what it’s really about. If it was, then me hearing all these affirmations from the people I love, that counter those negative thoughts and beliefs I have about myself, would overpower the negative ones. But they don’t. I’ve received over 100 messages in the past 24 hours telling me how loved and beautiful I am, and I’m still having just as hard a time. It’s because restricting, and over-exercising, have become my two coping mechanisms, and I became so attached to them that they intertwined into my identity. When I have those two things, everything’s okay; I feel in control. I might not really be in control, because in turn, my health begins to decline at a rapid rate, but I FEEL in control, and then everything else feels okay. I haven’t body checked in two days, and I think that’s part of the reason why my anxiety has been so high this morning. It’s funny, though-for the first time in a LONG time (like since I was in treatment four years ago), I was actually looking forward to coming to treatment this morning. How crazy is that? It’s good, though, because it makes me realize that I’m starting to feel safe here. Okay, gotta go; time to do check-ins.

-Bridge

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