Update that has nothing to do with humor, but my brain is messy and I need to get it out.
Touch feels ruined for me. I haven’t really hugged someone in over a decade. Until tonight that is… Everyone knows, you don’t touch Emily at all. You stay a certain distance and don’t reach for her suddenly.
I met a guy recently who I’ve been dating some. I’ve told him about my health and my mental health and he’s super cool about it. Tonight, after a serious talk, he hugged me. Super super embarrassing- I burst into tears. I wasn’t emotional before, just nervous. He hugged me and it was sweet and kind and those are things that are so fucking unfamiliar to me. I just didn’t know how to react, and started crying.
I tell myself all the time that I could touch if I wanted to and that my PTSD doesn’t control it. It does. It hit me just how in charge it is. It’s not my choice, I just tell myself I don’t like touch. I don’t like the touch I’m used to. I don’t like what my abusers turned touch into. The concept that touch can be kind and comforting is hard to wrap my mind around.
I’ve been doing trauma therapy for a while, and this week I’m finally bringing up the thing I never wanted to work on. I’m going to work on touch. I’m doing it because I’m NOT in control. I don’t control the churning in my stomach and the shaking that happens when a hand comes towards me. That’s not my preference, that’s something someone did to me. I don’t want them controlling me. If touch is nice I want to find out for myself. I’m learning this at an older age than many, but it’s never too late.
I’m handling my shit
"It was abuse"
You are allowed to say those words. Yours did not have to be the worst of the worst of all cases to earn the validation of that word. There can be power in calling it what it is and calling that person what they are. They weren’t just someone bad at relationships. They weren’t someone with issues. They were an abuser. You are allowed to call them what they are.
Being abused is not a reflection on you as a person. It says nothing about your character, your intelligence, your morality, your strength, etc. You did not draw it to you or invite it. The abuser chose to do it. Abuse always reflects on the abuser. No matter how broken you feel, the abuser will always be the truly broken one. They have to be a broken piece of an excuse for a person to have done that. You are not the broken one for being the person who endured them.
So, it’s my birthday, the day I dread and dislike so much. I’m handling it better than I expected.
The entire reason is acceptance. I think most of my discomfort with this day is that I don’t like that I’m uncomfortable with it. I don’t like that I can’t celebrate. 2 years ago my birthday was spent in a mental hospital with a nurse holding my hands away from me while I tried to scratch myself. I can’t jump from desperately wanting to die to partying over being born. I’m not suicidal, but I’m not at the celebratory point either.
It’s totally ok to be in that in between state. It’s ok to have conflicted feelings about life. It’s ok to want to be alive, but not be able to celebrate it yet. I don’t have to be there all at once.
I’m working hard at radical acceptance- the idea of accepting yourself in every moment exactly the way you are, and meeting yourself where you are with the tools you have. Not with what you wish the situation was or you wish you could do. So this is where I am right now. Today was treated as an ordinary day because I couldn’t handle having a party or anything special. And that’s ok. Maybe I’ll get there some day. But I’m not there today, so today I’ll watch movies and take care of my health and accept that this might not be my ultimate image of a birthday, but it’s progress and it’s healing.
Some days, if all you’re able to do is make Amazon wishlists and look at pretty pictures, that is totally fine. Don’t pressure yourself to be in a place you aren’t. Meet yourself where you are and take care of what you need. So if what you need doesn’t accomplish anything besides help you relax all day, that’s still a victory because you listened to your needs <3
I have been in crisis mode all day with my health and can’t seem to stop puking, so I sadly can’t respond to each person right now. But I reallllyy appreciate the messages and advice :) I’ll try to be nice to myself on my bday, without acknowledging the day so much that I get triggered. I need to accept that this is just where I am with it right now, so if I can’t celebrate that’s ok
I’m too sick to post more than about this right now, but I have been trying to solve this on my own and struggling over what to do. I figured, I try to be the one who takes on other people’s problems, maybe it’s ok to ask for some input myself.
My birthday is in 3 days. I’ll be turning 21. Birthdays tend to be very very triggering. They were often the loneliest, most abuse days, and then with my ED the most trigger filled. It’s really hard for me to build up any positive associations with the day. I WANT to. I want to be able to celebrate, since I’m coming out of depression and taking care of myself and so I want to be able to celebrate being born, but I have no one to do it with.
Now, birthdays are a reminder that besides online people, I don’t have anyone to hang out with. That I’m 21 and too ill to move out and can’t go to school, and other things I don’t want to think about regarding my health.
So I’m torn between wanting to find SOMETHING to celebrate, even though I’ve already gotten my family to agree not to acknowledge the day this year. And wanting to just ignore it and pretend it’s any other day. I’m honestly not sure which would be better for my mental health. It’s not like I can do much physically anyway. But I told family no presents, don’t buy me anything, because I feel so guilty about my medical bills. I can’t tell if this is self care to help me avoid triggers or if I’m suppressing and avoiding.
Anonymous said: Hi, so I'm recovering from anorexia and I'm fully weight restored but still have a long ways to go. I cant seem to find a good balance between eating everything or not eating at all. Do you have any advice?
Do you have a meal plan? Maybe you could distribute your meals differently so you’re eating the same amount, but you have more frequent, smaller meals instead of a few regular ones so that your hunger doesn’t build up. It’s normal to get intense cravings and seemingly insatiable hunger at times in recovery. It’s part of your body healing its metabolism. Try to eat mindfully, paying attention to the taste, smell texture, etc so that you don’t eat so fast you binge. Get in tune with your hunger ques so you eat when your body needs it and not from emotional needs. You’ll find a balance again, just give yourself time :)
Don’t starve yourself to throw that in the face of the people who called you fat. And don’t recover to show them that you don’t care what they say.
Take care of yourself because it’s none of their business and it’s YOUR body. Recover because their opinions don’t need to control you. Recover for yourself because YOU deserve it and YOU need it. Forget about the people who are shallow and rude enough to tell people what they think of their bodies.
There are many fears people have about the idea of recovering. These fears often make people feel conflicted and hesitant about fully committing to recovery. I’m not going to tell you that none of these fears will come true, because that wouldn’t be honest. Many of those fears do come true. The thing is, you’re ALL more capable than you think, so these fears aren’t as hard to handle as you’re telling yourself they will be.
"I won’t know who I am anymore" Is this really such a bad thing? I mean, who with these issues really likes who they are? Losing some sense of self can be an opportunity to rebuild yourself and start over. It’s a chance to get back in touch with the parts of yourself you used to really like.
"I’m going to feel things I don’t want to feel" Again, you already don’t exactly feel great. And you’ve felt this way for how long? You’re tough. Yes, you’re going to bring up painful feelings that your behaviors have been suppressing. Recovery often feels worse before it feels better. That initial misery makes some people say “ok, this isn’t for me” because they don’t realize it’s part of the process. You’re ripping open an old wound so that you can clean and bandage it properly this time.
'I'll miss school/work” You’re going to miss it anyway if you continue down this path. And when you’re living like this, even when you’re physically in class it’s very difficult to be there mentally. Having to catch up is not the end of the world. Graduating late isn’t the end of the world. Taking care of yourself is worth it. And you’ll learn more in recovery than you ever could in school.
"My eating disorder/self harm/addiction is what makes me special/unique" This is one of those lies these vices tell as an act of self preservation. These issues are very common and they usually follow the same patterns, so they are not special. They’re parasites feeding off of you. They’re not you. They’re not what define you. And once you’re free of them you’ll be able to explore new things and get reacquainted with yourself, and learn what actually makes you special.
"I’ll lose all the work I’ve put into losing weight" Ok, so has all this work paid off? Has the weight loss made you happy and made you love yourself? I’m guessing the answer is no. You can keep denying yourself nutrition and keep losing weight, but it will never satisfy that desire to look at yourself and feel content. Eating disorder weight loss never satisfies and it’s never enough.
"I’ll have to gain weight and I wouldn’t be able to deal with that" If you’ve got a good therapist/treatment team, they won’t just be treating the physical side of things. They’re not just going to feed you and feed you and expect you to deal with that. You’ll learn loads of coping skills and self talk and learn to manage your emotions in healthy ways. You’ll develop the tools you need to deal with body image issues. Remember that bodies aren’t all about measurements and weights. They’re about function too. You’ll be gaining energy, strength, healthy sleep, normal body temperature, healthy skin and hair, etc. When I gained my recovery weight, that part was difficult, but I also lost my acne, my skin stopped drying up, my hair got thick and shiny, etc.
"I won’t have a way to cope anymore" Like I said above, you’ll be given many skills to cope. You’ll get replacements for your maladaptive coping mechanisms. Yes, they probably won’t work as well at first. They might not feel like much of anything. One of the biggest lessons you learn is how to sit with emotions. You learn that you don’t have to release every painful emotion, but that you can actually ride out the wave without harming yourself. So you can last long enough to make the healthy coping skills habits and give them long enough to start making a difference. And they really do start making a difference. You just have to give them a chance. It’s easy to look at one and say “no, that would never work for me” without even trying it. Give everything a shot and it can start giving you a clearer idea of what you want out of the skills and narrow down what might help.
Fear doesn’t necessarily mean you need to run the other way. Facing fears can be really satisfying and empowering. The more you let fear decide things for you, the more that fear will grow. Recovery has many terrifying things about it, but try not to let that be your whole focus. It also has many freedoms and releases and joys in it. And YOU have the strength, intelligence, and capability to walk through everything scary about it, endure it, and come out the other side realizing that you’re a badass after all.