On A Sinking Ship…

Do you ever feel like you are on a sinking ship? One where you really have three options:

1. Jump Ship.

2. Wait for help to arrive, if they arrive, and force you off the ship.

3. Go down with the ship.

That’s where I feel like I am. I’m on a sinking ship. I only have three options and the conditions the boat is in are getting worse. The storm is getting worse, the waves are getting bigger and I am getting further and further from shore.

If I jump ship now I risk drowning, not being rescued in time, or being overtaken by the storm anyway but without any protection from the ship. If I wait and jump ship later the storm may be worse, help still might not be close and I may still face the same fate as if I jump now. But if I jump now I’ll be closer to help, closer to the shore, the storm hasn’t gotten as bad as it may and I can choose what I am jumping overboard with and maybe give myself a better chance at survival than if I wait. If I wait too long however, I’ll go down with the ship when it sinks, dragged down by the mass of boat being sucked to the ocean’s floor by the forces of the storm. Jumping now is probably best but, I still have to find the courage to jump when every ounce of me is screaming to stay on the ship.

If I stay on the ship I may still have to jump ship later but if help arrives they’ll be there to force me off the ship. I’ll still have to jump in the water, leave the safety of the ship and struggle through the storm but someone will be there to see me to safety, make it more likely I survive the storm. But what if they arrive too late, what if they force me off the ship but I can’t be saved, what if I just take them down with me?

And then again I can stay with the ship. I can go down with the ship. The ship has kept me safe for so long and is all I know anymore, the only friend I have, the only protection I have. It has kept me both isolated but in company during the last few years. How am I  just supposed to abandon it? How am I supposed to just jump off, leave it behind?  What if I am not strong enough on my own to face the storm? What if help isn’t there because I am too far away, too far gone? What if I die anyway?

What do I choose?

I don’t know what to choose.

Crying for Help

I need help.

I need help.

I need help.

I can’t do this much longer. I don’t want to. I want out. I want OUT. I want HIM out of my head, I want to stop thinking about food all the time, stop being hungry, stop vomiting everything I eat, stop chewing and spitting, stop the cravings, stop the side effects. I want to STOP IT ALL.

I’ve been pacing through my kitchen and living room contemplating going home. Home to my mom’s to ask for help, to spill my guts, and pray to God someone takes this serious and knows what to do and how to get help.

But as I type this, the voice is coming back. The one telling me to keep quiet, that this is normal, that I NEED this and not food. I feel trapped. I feel so trapped.

I wish I could go for a run but I can’t because this damn aircast is stuck on me for at least 2 more weeks. I wish I could burn all the calories off my body, shrink and disappear. I hate this.

I hate this.

I hate this person I am trapped inside of.

I wish someone understood.

I wish someone knew.

So Long Social Media “Friends”

Lately I have been reconsidering the number of “friends” I have on social media.

Why?

It’s not that I have an overabundance of friends or that I don’t care about them or value “knowing” them or supporting them (many are people from running circles that are either at the acquaintance or online friend level only); but rather I have found that having all of these “friends” is making me worse. Mentally worse.

A great deal of my Facebook and even more so Instagram, is fitness and running posts from friends, groups, myself, etc. This isn’t a bad thing normally and I love following my friends’ posts about their trials and tribulations running, getting and staying fit, what races are coming up or new workouts to try but honestly, some of the posts are just not healthy for me to see.

Those posts are major TRIGGERS.

In case you aren’t versed in triggers, triggers are something that when a person with an eating disorder (or disordered eating) experiences them, they can cause that person to have the same emotions, experiences, behaviors, thoughts or anything of that type that instigates the ED or revives it.

For me these come in the form of many posts but the two worst are:

  1. Food Photos
  2. Diet/Detox/Supplement/Quick Fit Posts

Food Photos

I HATE this trend. Hate hate hate hate hate! Instagram takes first place for this one. It is inundated with photos of food and eating everywhere I look. It’s like a coffee table book of food sometimes.

Runners eat. A lot. Actually, I should say most runners eat which is part of the reason I hate this trend, because when I see the food it triggers me to either not eat because I see it as a “challenge” or to want to eat which because I restrict and purge isn’t easy. Fact: Even though you have an eating disorder you can still eat, still be hungry and still want to eat, it’s just that with an ED your actions and thoughts regarding food always revert to the negative. However, in a world where I am already consumed with thoughts of food, fear of food, hate of food, secrecy, lies and everything else associated with food the last thing I need is to open my app and have food thrown right in front of my face because I only treat it as a challenge of willpower rather than an association that people are supposed to eat.

Diets, Detox, Shakes and Supplement Posts

#sorryimnotsorry but I think all these posts about x day challenges and detox diets, cleanses, etc. are bologna. Do you lose some weight yes, but honestly all they seem to be is a natural (or manufactured) way to get the same effect that abusing laxatives and diuretics do for people with eating disorders. Additionally, they are usually accompanied by some unrealistic before/after shot of the 1 person who actually lost an insane amount of weight during the x day time frame.

As for all the other supplements and shakes it is rather ironic how I feel about these. On one hand I feel that anything you should be putting in your body should be good natural food. Why have a shake when you can just eat some darn broccoli or kale or protein or whatever you’re liquefying? And why are you paying so darn much? I’m skeptical of them. On the other hand I am skeptical for one reason and one reason alone: how exactly can you put food in and lose weight and be healthy and happy. In my current ED world that possibility doesn’t exist. Food is bad. The end.

On top of that the one thing that drives me just absolutely bonkers and is the trigger of all triggers when it comes to this is when I see the post and it is captioned: “Call/message/talk to me about how you can lose weight and get healthy too!”

OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG this one line on a picture/description/product image is like the king of triggers. I know about 99% of people that read this will probably think, “Why? If it isn’t something you subscribe to why do you care, why do you let it bother you? Just blow it off.” But I CAN’T. Here’s how I interpret that:

“x product is absolutely amazing see how skinny and healthy these people are you COULD be that way too but you’re not right now and that’s because you are eating too much and BAD foods. If you were to eat this food you would look like this too! And if you don’t contact me, it’s because you’re fat and don’t want to get healthy and skinny.”

And then I think about all the pain and torture I went through when my GI issues get worse and think of all the bad things that could be in x product or diet or whatever and then I get upset because I really shouldn’t eat that food (if you can call some of it that) and because I don’t want to get sick again and really it’s unsafe to eat anything other than what I know is safe because I have kept my illness under control by doing it and then I just get irritated because thinking of all the food makes me feel fat, unhealthy and alone.

Yes, I know that’s delusional.

Every time I get triggered the ED gets stronger and the person fighting it retreats more and more. Lately I have been struggling so bad with wanting to be around people I just don’t like it anymore. I had to force myself to go to my best friend’s birthday, I am dreading my other friend’s wedding in 3 weeks, I skipped my sister’s birthday dinner, I almost had a panic attack on the way to Mother’s Day dinner and I don’t even want to go to the grocery store and have to talk myself into it for hours before I can accomplish it.

Anyway, that’s why I am condensing my “friends” list. Getting rid of IG followers and hopefully helping myself eliminate at least a few extra triggers.

Time to Tri

Last Wednesday I was sanctioned to a month of being in an air cast for my chronically broken sesamoid bone and the sesamoiditis that it is causing. My doctor wanted to put it in a hard cast and immobilize fully but I promised that I would only take the cast off when I was (a) sleeping or (b) showering and that exercise will consist of upper body weights, swimming and biking (but no standing on the bike while riding).

To me, this seemed like certifiable torture. I don’t like biking because it hurts my bum and I don’t like swimming because I always feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit and I am just not efficient enough in my freestyle stroke to be good at it.

Last Friday I went to my gym, OrangeTheory and my trainer was AMAZING about letting me know how we would adjust the class schedule so I could still come to class. In case you don’t know what OTF is, you go take a class with x number of other people (no more than 24 usually), alternating between the treadmill, ergs (rowers), and a weight room (with med balls, dumbbells, benches, bosu balls, SBT bands, etc). So the predesigned schedule doesn’t necessarily work when you can’t do lower body, rowing (my fave!) or running (my ultimate fave!).

But while I HATE the bike, I decided to embrace it and swimming. And now I have set my sights on something I would never do: the Triathlon!!!

And, I am excited about it! I am starting to get used to the bum soreness after biking and swimming I am just practicing getting better. I am going to get a swim coach at least for a few lessons to work on my efficiency with freestyle strokes and breathing and get better at that. I am a solid swimmer, I’ve just never done it competitively and that’s the part I am most worried about.

Right now, I am aiming for an August triathlon! It’s a sprint tri so it will be a short tri distance and will have a 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. If I feel ready I may go to the full tri distance for this race which is double the distance of all of those (1/2 mile run, 20 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). I don’t have a super snazzy tri bike but this one allows road bikes, which I do have and I think it’ll work well for my first one at least until I decide if I like doing triathlons.

My only concern is changing clothes (?) I am not sure how that works or what but being in a bathing suit and changing clothes is something that makes my skin crawl. I hate thinking about me being at all exposed in front of people. Heck, I hate even being around people but I am just going to try and think of the bigger picture and focus on my goals.

For now, I am going to continue using the bike at OTF during my workout (as if I have a choice), jump back into marathon training once I am freed from the cast monster, and work on my swimming at my pool just doing about 30 minutes of laps every few days. Once I am out of the boot though I am going to take a swim class and try road biking a few miles every week too.

But goodness I miss running. I can’t wait for the trails, pavement and pounding of my feet.

Every Mile is Magnificent

Well, A while ago I posted about entering the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. And the results came out… I’m in. Now, I’m a bit delayed in stating that because well, it was announced last week and while I spent the whole day at work on lottery results day hitting F5 on my computer in anticipation and then actually ran down the hall to tell a friend when the screen finally changed green at 3:14, I still feel a sense of dread associated with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited to go (I even already booked my flight and hotel- which is much more than I usually do for trips 5 months away) but I think my excitement is dulled by fear.

Fear of what? For starters:

1. Last year this race was MY race. I ran flawlessly, made my time goal, felt tremendous afterward, walked around the city the next day, felt so good 2 days later I went for a run, never hit the wall, took in the whole experience and enjoyed the whole thing. So why am I scared? That’s a LOT to live up to and I am a perfectionist.

2. My mom is coming- SOOOOOOOOO Excited because she didn’t get to come last year and this will be the first marathon she sees me run! But, my mom is coming. My mom. My mom who worries about what I do/don’t eat. My mom who doesn’t know about how badly I struggle with food. My mom who will be with me in the hotel, the day before and after and will realize how little I do eat and will comment. My mom, who if I end up getting help for this eating disorder before the race, may or may not be the help I need before the race.

3. Temptation. Chicago has a reputation for good food. I can vouch for it. When I am there I would love to taste a bit of it and enjoy it but it’s so laced with dread, hate and fear that when I am forced to eat, I throw it up and that comes with it a whole other set of fears (what if someone hears? what if I can’t get to the bathroom after the meal? what if I can’t purge it all? what if someone sees me eat? what if they think I am eating too much? what if they comment? what if I get sick? what if I get fatter?).

4. The boot. That’s right, I am in an air cast. I have a “traumatized shattered sesamoid bone” according to my podiatrist (or some combo of those words) and we have been trying everything conservatively for the last 15 months but I still have horrendous bouts of sesamoiditis so I am currently in an air cast and the only thing that kept me from getting a full blown hard cast is that I promised him that I would only take it off when I (a) shower (b) sleep. It’s been 4 days and I am dying to go run. I miss it so much and as much as I hate to say this, I am scared to death of having extra calories in me. The good news is I have been wanting to train for a triathlon so I started swimming in the mornings and my trainer at the gym said I can still come to class (I go to OrangeTheory- look it up it is fabulous) and that we can modify it so I only bike (no standing and pedaling) and do upper body per doctors orders.

So here I am with both of my must do marathons this year. On my way to Marathon Maniac status and I still have so much dread. I know it’s 99.99% due to the eating disorder. My sister’s birthday was yesterday and the restaurant she chose to go to is on the COMPLETELY FRICKIN UNSAFE list and when I found out that’s where she was going, I refused to go. My mom called today because I “seemed off” yesterday. I wonder if she’ll connect the dots, probably not though. Sometimes when these things are right in front of you, you are the most blind to them. I should know I have been convinced I am getting better….in all honesty though, I think I am worse than ever. Hell, I flaked on my own sister. I am contemplating flaking on Mother’s Day tomorrow too.

Anyway, I still remember my goal from my Chicago Lottery post: I am going to try and eat one meal, just one while I am in Chicago.

 

But, I am really not sure I can do this. I am already anxious.