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Old 09-28-2018, 12:21 PM
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Member Since: Oct 2017
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Default Re: 14 years of anorexia and so done.

I've struggled with this stupid ED over 20 years now. I'm 40, and I was diagnosed with anorexia at 19, though to be sure, I had body image issues all through high school as well.

I've had periods of recovery and relapse, recovery and relapse. Times when I did fairly well. My first bout with anorexia was the worst, and the good news is that I gained the weight and got over the worst of it on my own. I think I may have had a psych med for sleep, and Paxil too (they diagnosed me with major depression though 10 years later I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder). It sucked, but I was basically able to do it on my own. I had a sliding scale therapist, but she didn't specialize in EDs. I didn't see her the summer I took to recover (couldn't because I had to be a student at the university & I wasn't taking classes). So it is possible to gain the weight on your own, cut exercise, drink so many protein shakes you think you cannot stand another.

But whenever I'm hurt, have a hard time coping, and life sucks, I turn back to the ED. I got really bad after a massage parlor incident in 2015. I didn't even realize I had turned back to it until later I saw pictures from then.

I was going along OK (I mean, I don't know that I'll ever 100% get rid of the thoughts), when I got a perforated ulcer Feb. 2018 (Valentine's Day, actually). The ulcer was not caused by the ED, I had been a low normal weight for awhile, but when that happened, I lost a lot of weight in the hospital. Medical bills mounted because our health insurance is awful. I have stress in my marriage, stress with my daughter, financial issues, it's just too much. I took to running again once I was 6 weeks post-surgery (those ulcer surgeries are extremely painful, makes childbirth look like a cakewalk). Now, I'm again stuck in the ED. Not as badly as before, trying to pull myself out, and my psychiatrist is not the least amused by my weight and neither is my PCP. So I've spent this week not exercising and feeling like I'm fat because of it, like I will wake up morbidly obese tomorrow or something...sigh.

I'm going back to therapy again. It's not an ED therapist. I'd have to drive 45 minutes at least for that, if not longer, and doing that weekly having panic disorder with a particular phobia of driving (especially in large cities) just is not something I can easily do. I've just started with this therapist. She does CBT. After the fact, I realized that CBT was actually what I used to get myself out of the original ED.

But now I'm older, I am married with a 10 year old daughter. Stuff is more complicated. And I still hold on to it. We have a lot of financial stress since I don't work (the bipolar disorder has nearly landed me in the psych hospital every time I've tried to work). Sometimes, I'd last a week, a month, 2 days...ugh. Bipolar kicked in fully in my mind 20s. An unfortunate shooting incident gave me more PTSD and panic disorder. The bipolar finally got diagnosed and I got on the right meds for that, but still I struggle with it too.

I hate being so stuck.

But you are right. We do choose our own fate. Not having an ED based therapist or treatment program available to you is not an absolute barrier to being able to gain weight and make a recovery, at least for some years in my case. But you have to decide and do and be conscious of your choices, ignore the ED urges, it's hard. In college, I did go to a free group meeting for people with EDs, but it only triggered me more. And when I recovered in college, I was a very low weight, should have been in the hospital, am actually surprised that I was not (parents had no health insurance). So a person can be pretty far gone and make it out.

It's the staying out that I struggle with. Especially when life keeps slamming you with bad luck again and again and again...
__________________
Bipolar 1 mixed features, PTSD, anorexia, panic disorder, ADHD

Bupropion XL 150 mg, Seroquel 400 mg, Lamictal 400 mg, Clonazepam 1 mg 4/day, Clonidine 0.3 mg, Propanolol 10 mg 3/day, Buspar 30 mg 2/day, Adderall 40 mg, Trazodone 25 mg, Protonix 20 mg (ulcer) , Gabapentin 600 mg (fibro), Tizandine 4 mg 4/day (fibro)

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
--Robert Frost
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