Tired, exhausted and in recovery

June 28, 2009 at 2:34 pm 2 comments

Or should I say “but” in recovery? This is a search term someone used, and I think it is quite appropriate. When recovery first begins, there may be an initial high that comes with being free of the compulsive behavior of bingeing and vomiting. This soon changes into exhaustion. A lot of stuff comes up, and without the familiar coping mechanism of bingeing & purging, we are left at loose ends. It takes energy to come up with new coping mechanisms, and also takes a considerable amount of courage and energy to simply sit and refrain from implementing the old tools that really didn’t work. Kind of like using super strong tape to stop a leak in a pipe. It may work for a while, and even for a long time, and occasionally you replace the old tape with a new piece. But it never gives you the feeling of satisfaction that the leak has been taken care of.

As a matter of fact, when I first moved in, the toilet leaked. The previous tenant had been so kind as to leave a ceramic pot under the pipe to catch the dripping water. The superintendant thought it just needed a new washer or gasket — whatever it’s called. Since I had a few other things to take care of, I had a plumber come. Turns out the water tank was simply balanced on the pipe. The plumber said that if someone had leaned on it, the tank could have simply fallen over. I was glad that I had decided to have an expert come and take care of things. It is comforting to know that everything is in order. (I got the bill the other day and after a slight gasp told myself that it was worth it!)

Yes, sometimes it can be expensive to fix things the right way. But the satisfaction of knowing that all is well is a nice feeling. Wait a minute! Except that a toilet is a partner in crime for a bulimic, it really doesn’t have anything to do with what I’m talking about. (There I go meandering again! Sorry!)

All I wanted to say was, there are various ways to “fix” things — and some take more energy, but the end result is worth it. And when it comes to “fixing” bulimia, that is quite a process. I tended to forget that there was a story behind my illness, and used to just complain that it was so hard to stop bingeing. But as I went on day after day without turning to food, all kinds of stuff — memories, feelings, pain, sadness — came up out of the depths and literally knocked me out. I slept a lot. It was what I needed to do.

If you are in the process of recovery, have patience and be kind to yourself. You’ve been through hell. The road back is no party either, but it gets better and more manageable step by step. I gave myself the freedom to do whatever was necessary to recover. That was quite a generous gift — but I didn’t realize that until much later. Now sometimes I think I could have even been more kind and gentle to myself, but that’s just that nasty old perfectionism which tries to worm its way into my mind every so often, when it catches me off guard.

If you’re looking for something else to do besides eating, there’s a great book: “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. It’s been around for a while, but I just discovered it — am not quite finished. I love the descriptions of the path of life. The main character explains that he had his goal, but that all the detours and steps along the way were just as important. In fact, they were what his life was about. And he said something like: “To imagine I had the knowledge I needed, but it took me 10 years to get started. I’m glad it didn’t take me 20.” That is how I feel about the eating disorder. Every day without it is a precious gift — theoretically I could have spent it bingeing, but I didn’t. It’s the time I use, not the time I lose, that matters.


Entry filed under: Coping. Tags: , , , , , , .

The cat came back! Two months have passed

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chiara  |  June 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    thankyou for this post.
    i am looking forward to reading more!

    • 2. diaryofarecoveredbulimic  |  July 4, 2009 at 8:45 am

      You’re welcome! Enjoy!


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