The consequences of upending your way of thinking

I’m about two weeks into a self-imposed and self-designed treatment for my eating disorder, and I’m having some weird issues that I’m not sure are related or not. I just thought I’d document them here. I’m not sure what to expect, but this is my reality right now. 

I feel exhausted.

For the past year or more, I’ve felt like I just needed to sleep all the time. But it feels worse now. It’s probably a mix of things: I’m reordering my entire way of thinking about food, which is tiring; I’m sitting with unresolved traumas and issues that are toxic to the soul, out in the open; I’m questioning my understanding of the fundamentals of who I am and how that self is built… that’s tiring work. But sometimes it’s also just my brain shutting off from the overwhelming amount of information it’s processing. 

I’m distracted.

I can’t remember stuff. This may also be due to my antidepressants, but my lack of ability to focus appears to be worse than it was a few weeks ago. I have trouble concentrating on work. I can’t seem to get timetables or schedules into my head. I have not been able to offer much comfort to friends going through issues that I’d like to be there for. I feel like I’m just lifting an entire world on my shoulders and I have to concentrate on that or I’ll drop it. I feel incredibly selfish, but I also recognize that this work has to be done in order to move on to something less me-focused.

I have a tummy ache.

I thought maybe it was eating bad chicken at work, but since I’ve been doing this, I have had a tummy ache and all the surrounding digestive issues that come with that. This may get TMI for some, but it feels important to note. I feel gassy and bloated a lot; I have strange bowel movements; I’m weirdly nauseated before or after meals. My nutritionist doesn’t think it’s purely physical per se — she thinks my body is reacting to new food schedules by literally not knowing what to do with it. I’m supposed to take a deep breath before I eat to remind my body what its job is: to digest this food to the nourishment of my body. I forget to do this a lot. But I have a lot of different opportunities to try again. 

I have anxiety.

There is a knot of dusty moths fluttering in my stomach, something I generally only feel when I’m in a bad relationship or getting out of one. It’s a nausea and a restlessness and a fear all rolled into one. It makes it somewhat hard to eat. This folds into the tummy ache issues.

I’m indecisive.

I am having a hard time finding stuff that sounds good to eat or drink. Nothing sounds good. I don’t want to eat. I can’t tell if I’m hungry or not. But I’m making myself eat anyway.  And then suddenly out of the blue I’ll feel like I’m starving. But it also feels like every decision about my day is impossible to make. Should I wash my hair? Should I go for a run and then shower? Should I shower at all? What should I wear? And then I feel paralyzed by decisions. 

I’m cranky.

I feel short-tempered and like I need to lash out a lot. Its especially bad for my fiance. I’m tired of people offering advice, even though I know they really mean well and they’re trying to relate to me. I am mad that so few people understand what I’m going through, even though I know that I can’t expect them to. I’m also mad at every social construct that has made us conflate “health” with “weight loss”.  I’m mad at the patriarchy. I’m mad at the diet industry. I’m mad at all the calorie counting apps and the ads on my social media for intermittent fasting and the juice cleanse junk and the ads for food on TV that make delicious food a “sin” to be hidden and desired. I just feel cranky. 

I lack confidence.

I’m afraid to go out. When we plan to meet up with friends I panic a little, even though I love my friends and I know they support me. I feel like a failure in my lifestyle and I feel unattractive and uninteresting. I don’t trust anyone to love me. I am embarrassed and ashamed of myself while also feeling righteously indignant and angry.  I feel withdrawn. I feel conflicted. And it all makes me so tired. 

Basically, I am currently going through hell. But you know what they say:

If you’re going through hell, keep going. 

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