21 March, Therapy session #6
24 March, Therapy session #7
The psychiatric therapy I’ve been doing is focusing on something different from 2 previous therapy I did (but gave up) before. Childhood trauma. I’ve never expected I would recall my childhood memories because I usually talked about my present life before. My present doctor believes that ED is deeply related to babyhood and childhood because people build their ego, especially self-esteem during this time. He said that low self-esteem is based on ED, which is formatted between a relationship with a child and a mother. When a mother neglects her child’s emotion, the child thinks that mother doesn’t like her/him because she/he is worthless. In this way, repetitive child negligence results in low self-esteem. As the child grows and when her/his self-esteem is mixed with depression or obsession, ED could easily lapse.
I always thought that the cause of my ED and weight obsession was bullying, though my self-esteem was low before that. And I couldn’t accept the word ‘child negligence’ because I thought my mom devoted her life for me and cared about me all the time. I am quite confused and don’t know how to embrace these facts… I remember that my mom had a serious depression for a couple of years when I was 2 or 3 years old but… That can be the reason of my low self-esteem? How could that be related to my ED and obsession and perfectionism? And is that the reason why I always feel some kind of pressure to make my mom satisfied?
Though my doctor and nurse told me to think it slowly, I don’t even know where to start. I don’t even remember those time so how could I know that I experienced emotional negligence…? And most of all I feel guilty to my mom though I really don’t blame her.
13 mar, 2017 therapy session #4 , 17 mar, 2017 therapy session #5
Why am I overly self conscious? Why do I obsess with being perfect? And why do I think being skinny equals living happy life?
I struggle to stay skinny to look good to other people, more than my own satisfaction. I hate to admit but yes, I want people to think me as a pretty, kind, skinny girl like a barbie on a stage. I’m over the moon whenever people tell me I am pretty or skinny and I’m even anxious when I hear nothing. Happy life starts with self management and it means being skinny. People don’t look down on me when I am pretty and skinny. So weight is life…
My nurse told me that she couldn’t find any humanity in a barbie doll. She told me that there are lots of good points of me but I’m not seeing them. She said that I struggle to put myself in a tiny box which doesn’t fit me at all. As she said I’m trying to put my existence in my changeable body all the time. It made my mind so unstable whenever weight goes up or down. I need to know my ego and value is much bigger than my appearance and weight. I need to know that I am just myself no matter what other people think.
A lot to catch up on myself… I’ll keep you posted xx
March 10th, therapy session #3
Last weekend, I did 12 psychological tests.
- Basic information questionnaire
- MMPI(Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory)
- Amen brain system checklist
- Sentence completion test
- Moudsley Obsessive-Compulsive inventory
- BDI(Beck Depression Inventory)
- Adult Attachment inventory
- Childhood Trauma questionnaire
- The Social Provisions Scale
- Beck anxiety scale
- Eating Disorder Inventory
- Negative / Positive memories
Phew. I already did some of the test several times before but did it again. And it was quite depressing that my negative answers of sentence completion test didn’t changed that much from 2 years ago.
Anyway, I got my results back today and my nurse explained it for me. And… wow. I didn’t know that I have that much anger in me. The results showed that I am a passive and feminine person with high level of perfectionism. My self standard is too high and difficult to reach, which makes me angry consciously or unconsciously all the time. But I don’t express my negative feelings or thoughts to others because I am so introverted. Instead I always self-deprecate. My self-deprecating level was soaring to the sky literally. I was shocked because it was way higher than I expected. My nurse said that I tend to obsess with unrealistic and subjective thoughts as a result of self-deprecating. I keep thinking about some negative thought repeatedly. High level of doubt, paranoia, obsessive compulsive, pessimism was the result of my negativism. However, I am not used to letting out my feelings since my feeling awareness ability is low. I’m not able to feel my own feelings because of the urge to control myself and a long term diet. I deny my anxiety usually but when it burst out it make my self and other people (especially my family) tough.
My nurse said depression and anger lie beyond the weight problem in my mind and I tend to give up and blame myself when I can’t meet the perfect standard that I set. I always have been whenever my weight went up. I doubted and judged therapies useless and went back to my own cave.
She told me the purpose of the psychological therapy; Counseling is a process of making an art piece together. Some steps such as wiping, cutting and sculpting are surely difficult but worth it. The goal is not changing all the characteristics and things that I have. Instead it’s a practice of learning to use those in a healthy way. As I get to know myself, I will have power to see my thoughts in a wider perspective and won’t control or defend feelings inappropriately. So I should speak up my thoughts honestly and never give up.
The results were depressing but I wasn’t that sad because of her. Lucky to have someone to help me out. I won’t give up this time. Hang in there xx
March 6th, therapy session #2
My nurse wanted to listen to my initial trigger of weight obsession. I told her that my classmates made fun of my body for 2 years. I was always tall and my puberty hit me faster than other kids. With secondary sex characteristics, I gained weight suddenly. I wasn’t an obese but clearly bigger than other girls. Boys teased me every single day. I tried to be cool but over time I felt like I’m getting uglier whenever I look myself in the mirror. So I lost weight 37 lbs with extreme diet (Bmi 22 to 16). I liked the feeling that I can control my weight and food intake. I loved the feeling that I am superior because I am thinner than others. I liked not having periods over one and a half year because it was a proof of underweight. I liked my anorexia at 16-17.
I thought I could control my life forever but it was’t that easy. As anorexia turned into bulimia at 18, I lost all control. As I gained more than 40lbs (Bmi 16 to 23), I started not seeing friends because I lost confidence. I couldn’t concentrate on studying because I was always thinking about me being fat. I couldn’t go shopping as I didn’t look in the mirrors. I couldn’t do anything but binging and purging.
This two things cycled over and over. At 19, I took over control of myself again, lost weight (Bmi 20) and studied hard for university admittance. At 20, I gained weight again because of endless drinking and binging. At 21, I lost weight enormously again, over 40lbs (Bmi 26 to 19), and had a wonderful year, traveling all around the world and getting a highest grade- the results of perfect control. At 22, I managed my weight somehow till summer but gained over 20lbs again (Bmi 19 to 24) as I worked part time at night and my depression got worse than ever. Every binge period (weight gain period) I stopped meeting friends and didn’t go to school because I didn’t want to hear people make fun of me. I gave up on literally everything.
Now I’m 23, my Bmi is 19.5. I lost 25 lbs and I think I am getting back on track but I can’t rest a minute without thinking about weight. I didn’t realize how ED could make my life horrible before. I couldn’t even figure out what I was going through first and second time. At the third time, I knew I should get out of binging but failed everyday for 4 months last year. Luckily I could get out of the worst but I still want to binge and purge sometimes.
My nurse told me that I am always myself no matter what weight I am. Theoretically yes but hard to embrace it. I always gave up on myself whenever bulimia relapses and weight increases. I used to let my body and mind in despair and cursed myself every day. I guess the reason why I couldn’t say that I am offended to people who made fun of me was because I already undervalue and criticize my ego and body. Nobody will love me if I don’t love myself.
Though I am not ready yet to accept myself regardless of weight, but I think I will try to understand myself more from now on. Maybe the word control is not suitable for life. Riding waves sounds more plausible. I should learn to riding waves rather than dominate or control. Step by step.
Finally I stopped procrastinating and went to clinic today. It’s eating disorder specialized, which is different from 2 other clinics I went few years ago. I wanted to get help from an ED expert, not from just a doctor who gets paid from 10 minutes of useless talking. They didn’t care much about my psychological issues, instead prescribed antidepressant and appetite suppressant pills. I wanted to talk about my secrecy and lay down a burden but they were always busy writing down my words and adding more pills to the prescription.
But this was different. There was a doctor who manages prescriptions and counseling and a nurse who does psychological counseling mainly. They listened and diagnosed differently from my former doctors. They said I’m more close to anorexia than bulimia. That my perfectionism, obsessive calculation of time and food, strict restriction, hiding feelings are symptoms of anorexia. Bulimia was the rebound of long time restriction but anorexia is based on my nature. And they said it might take longer and harder than other people as I have both and go back and forth.
I tried not to but cried as the doctor said I must start eating normal portions like others and gaining weight could be unavoidable. I literally panicked because I’ve been struggle losing weight to go back to my previous weight (weight before the 4 months of crazy binge period) for last 2 months. I couldn’t accept gaining even a pound. As I didn’t answer and just cried, he sent me to have a chat and relax with the nurse. I told her that I need to lose more to go back to my weight and I am afraid of gaining weight. She understood and told me that I don’t have to increase portions sharply. She said that I could increase portions slowly if I want while giving some adjustment time to my body. I thought I could accept that because I could still lose weight a little more (just about 4-5 pounds) while eating a little more, and I also knew that I need to increase the food intake to the basal metabolic rate at least.
I spent about a hour with the nurse, talking about my ED history. She was so kind and listened. I don’t remember much as I kept crying but few important things are still in my mind. She said that recovery is a step of getting to know myself, and it will be hard to face and understand myself. She said I might binge and purge again during the recovery but I should remember that it is not my fault. She reminded me that I need to believe in hope and should never give up.
I went back to the doctor and said that I will start my recovery session. I thought I have to go on because there is no other option other than that. Staying still is not an option.
I came back home with 6 antidepressant pills and 8 different kinds of psychological tests. Mindset over, real recovery start. I will not give up. If I change nothing, nothing will change.
Just had a lunch with my bosses, which was inevitable. I was in catatonic as soon as I saw the foods. Calories. Salt. Fat. Foods without Nutrition facts label. Situation got worse as they ordered a glass of wine to each person. I liked drinking but since my 4 months crazy binge/purging period last year was accompanied with alcohol and got worse, I try not to drink as much as possible. But there was no way I could refuse, so I just drank it. Pathetic ridiculous bureaucracy. Ugh.
I divided foods with my eyes. 1/3 of the rice, 5 little slices of tofu, 2 spoons of fish soup. There was no urge to binge, only tension and resistance did exist. I wanted to runaway and hide behind my safe foods. I started eating the portion that I allowed to myself, which was a way smaller than normal people’s appetite. As I worried, one of my bosses asked me why am I eat so small. I lied that I’m a slow eater. Even though other people finished their meal, my dish was barely changed. I didn’t want them to see it as they might ask about my appetite or porton again. I wanted to cover it with a napkin but thought that could be rude, so I just gave the dish to the waiter as he came. Sugary milk coffee was served as a dessert but again I pretended to drink it.
My hands were shaking and heart was beating. I promised myself to practice eating normal food with other people but it is really hard. It’s so hard to decide how much I should eat while avoiding weight gain, binge craving and other people’s attention. Long way to go.
I worked out 3 hours a day for past 3 days to make up Wednesday’s binging. (I call it punishing.) I had to hit the gym as I planned but I was too tired when I woke up so skipped exercising today, instead I’m enjoying lazy Sunday afternoon sitting on my bed.
It’s quite horrible that I’m waiting for my next cheating day – 2 days from now. To be honest sugar craving already bothers me but I’m denying it so I could not binge till next Wednesday. I want to make a binge food list but I’m also not doing it to deny my cravings.
Instead I’m gonna make a guidance list on my binge day to distract myself.
- Keep all the food receipts : Just for checking, not for criticizing. I always threw away the receipts and I couldn’t remember how much food I intake exactly. Memories get blurred and distorted as my unconscious tries to delete and justify binging.
- Eat a proper dinner with someone : Even if I binged/purged before, having a light meal with someone will reduce my time alone, and it will prevent next b/p-ing and reduce crap feelings.
- Do not let the ED monster control the next day either : Constant b/p-ing is not the way to deal with myself. Eating on Wednesday is happy and could be special because I try hard not to binge the other days.
- Reduce punishing time : I exercised hard and reduced food intake radically at least 3 days after the cheating day (for last 2 weeks) but reduce it to 2 days. Let’s not think it as a punishment, it’s a make up time.
- DO NOT BLAME MYSELF : For any reason. If I don’t trust myself nobody will trust me. Nothing bad happens unless I blame myself.
My final goal: No cheating day, no binge day and eat appropriate amount of sweets everyday. (e.g. : 1 small pack of cookies or chocolates every morning)
I hope I can manage myself till Wednesday. We can do this if we believe in ourselves.