Not Even My Best Friend

I’ve posted about two of my conversations with friends of mine confessing my struggles with disordered eating. Both conversations were kinda out of the blue and with more recently made friends. Though I feel close to both of these friends there is no comparison of their friendships to the relationship I have with my best friend.

Sydney has been my best friend since 4th grade. She’s the kind of best friend where we can be apart for months and come back together and pick up right where we left off without a problem which is what we did this past weekend.

Saturday morning we headed for the mountains to go backpacking for the night at Lake Pratt. Alone in the mountains, you would think this would be the best time for a deep talk. I braced myself to tell all.

I had 8 miles on the hike in, hours at our site, and 5.5 miles on the way out……and said nothing. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I wanted it to be organic, not just me suddenly blurting out I’ve been binging and purging for 8 months. I even found my mind obsessing over every calorie I consumed on the hike followed by thoughts of an escape plan to purge later in the night. But timing wasn’t the only thing that stopped me.

Sydney has struggles of her own. She suffers from generalized anxiety and some depressive symptoms. She was anxious the whole hike and I could tell. I didn’t want to make things any worse for her by telling her my secret.

When I tell people, I feel as if I’m loading my burden onto them. I’m the kind of person who will go out of their way to help others, it’s how I show my love, but for some reason making my problems someone else’s by asking for their help doesn’t sit right with me.

What if knowing my secret made Syd feel guilty or responsible? What if it set of one of her anxiety episodes? I would not be responsible for my friend’s suffering, so this is one secret that I will never tell my best friend.

Too Strong for Therapy?

I work at a multimedia studio on my campus, and my main project at the moment has been filming and editing lectures for an online neuro education course. Every Tuesday I listen to two professors discuss new methods of teaching for students with disabilities or difficulties learning in a classroom. For the two and a half hours I film with them, I learn a lot and also find my mind wandering constantly.

Lately, my head has been wandering toward whether I made the right decision to not get help for my disordered eating. I’ve been struggling a lot these past three days with binging. I thought I could handle having sugar cereal in my house, but I ate a family size box in 2 days and sat down and ate an entire box of cheerios. 1,000 calories in one sitting. Needless to say I felt disgusting for days and didn’t know how to stop.

So do I continue to try to get healthy by myself or do I seek out help from a counselor, therapist or nutritionist? I’m self diagnosed, so I’m not even sure if I could go to a nutritionist. And would they stop me from dieting because they see that as a part of my problem or would they help me structure it in a healthy way. What would be helpful is tools to change the binge mentality, so when I have these thoughts I can suppress them or tools to help me stop or tools to help me not freak out when I get off my plan.

Okay from that little rant it seems like I need a therapist, but there are other factors involved. It’s stupid to care so much about perception, but I’ve always been strong and perceived as strong by others. For some reason, in my mind, going to therapy would be a sign of weakness. I’ve never been one to like any sort of dependence on someone else. Therapy would place me in a position of dependence. What if when I finally am able to stop therapy, I slip back into it because my therapist is the only reason I recovered.

If I do this by myself then no one can ever claim credit for my success; if I do this myself then I prove my strength to myself and others; if I do this myself there will be no relapse since I got over it myself I will know I will have the tools to succeed.

I’m still not exactly sure what I should do. Sometimes strength can be our greatest weakness.

Binge Week

So I’ve had a bit of a binge week. All of my housemates have moved in, my best friend came down for a visit, and I’ve been running pretty well. You would think I’d be doing great. Instead, I seem to be crashing back into my cycle. I’ve now started binging again, and I’m finding it harder and harder to argue with the negative binge thoughts in my head.

It started to go down hill after my small binges with my friends a few weeks ago and seems to be escalating. Pictures and being around my runner friends (very fit & skinny girls) triggers me even more. This weekend alone I’ve eating half a loaf of bread, a huge bag of m&ms and a pint of Ben&Jerry’s ice cream. But I need to put my mistakes in the past and keep moving forward or I’ll simply be self sabotaging.

I’m trying to come up with some ways I can kick the urge to binge. One habit I think that is key to break is eating in my room. When other people witness my binges I feel so guilty (not that I don’t feel the same guilt when I’m alone), so I hide myself away. The habit disgusts me and certainly doesn’t help anything.

My next task will be keeping myself occupied, specifically with activities. I am a notorious Netflix binger. If I only allow myself to watch two episodes a day maybe this will help encourage a more active lifestyle.

The biggest goal will be workouts. My ankle has been putting up a hissy fit the last few days decreasing any motivation to run since I know it will be slow. I’ve also noticed a weight gain which does not help the matter. I need to just get out there and appreciate where I am right now, not push it and take advantage of cross training on top of running to make increasing my mileage easier. Combining the cross training with the weights and a little running should boost me to a new level if I actually stay on top of things.

This is just a set back on my climb back to success. I’m beginning to wonder if I should really get outside help or not. Part of me wants to just drop the weight which I’m not sure a doctor would assist me with.

My friends were laughing at a picture of me the other day and I saw how fat I looked; my mirror reminds me every day of how much I’ve gained. I want to prove everyone wrong. I want to turn heads as I walk in the door. I know vanity shouldn’t be part of my recovery, but a revenge body would taste sweeter than Ben&Jerry’s.

quick update

YAY BINGES! kinda hating myself right now and the desire to vomit is induced without the help of my finger. I feel disgusting in every way right now. I need to get back to healthy whether it’s a sprint or a crawl. UGHHHHHH I’m sick of all this shittttttt Aleadfjhaspdfhapefasdhfalskdhfpalkshdf;aslkdhf;aslkdfh;aslkdjfa;sldkfj.

Pressure Binges

The binge. The binge mentality has been the hardest for me to overcome. Sitting down with an open bag becomes terrifying, “What if I eat the whole thing? But I don’t want to purge. Am I still hungry? This is bad for me, but I want to keep eating.” The ceaseless argument I encounter every time I go to the fridge. I’ve working to suppress those thoughts and simply listen to my gut (literally). The challenge I wasn’t expecting to encounter was the pressure from friends to binge.

We all have those nights out with the gang when we eat WAY more than we should of something that is DEFINITELY not good for you. Every once and awhile a splurge like that is healthy. Going out to ice cream with friends after a hard week or taking that last slice of pizza as you dish on boys or eating a bag of popcorn during a scary movie. None of these things are bad if it’s not everyday and if it’s not surrounded with negative feelings that could lead to a purge.

This past week, I’ve entered two situations where thoughts of purging took over my mind after my friends pressured me into a micro binge. My friends in no way meant to do this. It was supposed to be a fun splurge, and neither had any clue about my struggles.

Friday one of my best friends came down from Tacoma to visit. As you may know Friday was National Donut Day which means…….FREE DONUTS!!! I was thinking it would be fun to go to breakfast the next morning at Blue Star Donuts, but once we realized we could get them for free we jumped in the car and drove out to Lake Oswego to stand in line for 20 minutes to get our free donut. When we left with our donuts in hand, we had a simultaneous epiphany. We turned toward each other mouths filled with glazed delicious ness and wide eyes. We could go to every Krispy Kreme and get a free donut at each place! It was crazy, but a great adventure.

I knew this was an awesome memory in the making, but my head was screaming “PURGE PURGE PURGE!!!” After the second donut, I could hear myself already justifying the purge. After the third, I thought my streak of no purging was over. Luckily on the drive home my friend promised to run with me the next day. That fact settled my very upset stomach and quieted my mind long enough to fall asleep.

I thought that would be my bad day for the week, but things never seem to workout that way. I’ve been trying to do a sunrise hike for I don’t even no how long. I finally convinced a friend of mine to join me. We headed out at 2am and after being lost for several hours in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest we gave up and did a different hike. I thought since we needed to leave at 2am that it didn’t make sense to go to sleep so I had been up for over 24 hours when we started the 2 hour drive home. This is when the pressure came on.

My friend insisted we stop for food and coffee to keep us BOTH awake for the ride home. She insisted I get as much sugar as possible including a donut, a cold brew mocha, and frosted animal crackers. The guilt was creeping in before I even opened any of the sugary delights we’d bought. My disordered thinking quickly shifted to “Well I guess I just won’t be eating the rest of the night.” Luckily, my run later in the day and my calorie counter helped to relax my mind.

I love my friends and I’m so glad I have friends that pressure me to splurge rather than restrict. I am truly blessed. This challenge will only strengthen my will power to resist the binge and the purge.

Singlehood (& new crush)

In case it isn’t already clear, I’m single. As I get older this is becoming more and more of an issue for those around me. I’m no longer asked about my plans for my life, but about my relationship status. My friend’s dad even tried to set me up to which I said no, he then asked if I had a boyfriend to which I said no, and you could see the confusion on his face. “How could a single girl not want to be set up if she has no boyfriend?!” OH THE HUMANITIES!” Okay that last bit was a smidge overly dramatic, but you get the point. To top it off my uncle is set on me being the next cousin to reproduce. I’M 20 AND IN SCHOOL I CAN’T AFFORD TO GET KNOCKED UP RIGHT NOW!

And the worst part about everyone wanting me to have a boyfriend is that I want one too. I liked having someone I could depend on to hang out, watch movies with that we didn’t watch at all, do romantic gestures for, and make my stomach do a flip every time we locked eyes. Friends don’t give you that, and as much as it is romanticized on TV, neither does hooking up with randos.

I am a hopeless romantic. I watch Hallmark movies even though I know the ending everytime, I have pinterest boards planning my dream boyfriend, wedding, home, and children (yikes on that one). The longer I go without a relationship the more scared I am that I’ll never have those dreams. I know all of this is crazy, I mean, I’m only 20, but they are huge fears for me. I want these things. By wanting them does that doom me never to have them?

This seems to follow Murphy’s Law. When I am 100% content with my life that is the exact moment that I’ll find “the one.” BUT HOW DO YOU BECOME CONTENT WHILE HAVING DREAMS TO ACHIEVE?!?!?! If anyone can answer this question for me hit me up.

What started this whole rant on singlehood, is a boy. I kinda like this boy. We hooked up (made out for those who thought differently) at the end of the school year. I assumed it was just a hook up, but we texted the next day, but not much after that. I’m trying not to over think or get overexcited about him talking to me again, but I think I might actually like him. I’m telling all of you because if I tell my friends that is too far. Once you tell others they become involved in it, which with my history tends to be a breaking point.

Hey at least if I’m perpetually single I have all of you:)

 

The Bucket List(s)

Everyone handles a break up differently. Some dive into another relationship, some wallow in ice cream and sad movies, and others throw themselves into their work. After breaking up with my boyfriend last year I kept myself as busy as I possibly could so I wouldn’t even have the time to think about him.

I started volunteering 13 hours a week in hospital, nannying for 6 hours a day 5 days a week, and was cross training 4 hours on average a day. This wasn’t enough.

All my closest friends were in relationships that kept them busy a lot of the time. I got tired of plans never going through. We all do it. It’s 2 am and we are all eating brownies in the kitchen and someone says something crazy awesome like “Let’s all road trip out to Syd’s cabin!” followed by a chorus of agreement from everyone in the room. You wait and wait, but the plan never goes through. I was tired of no one doing what they said they were going to.

*I’m sure if you examined this psychologically it would find it’s root in Cameron saying he would always love me and then stopping, but that’s bullshit for the psychologist to think of not me;)*

That night I made my first bucket list. I typed up 20 or so things to do over the summer that weren’t just work, but were actually fun. There’s something satisfying about checking that little box next to activity that sets off the dopamine receptors in my mind.

Things on the list ranged from walking through a drive thru to parasailing to doing the polar plunge. By writing them all down I felt empowered to actually do all these things. I made sure the things on the list were possible to do by myself since my friends seemed preoccupied, but when they heard about my plans they all wanted to join in!

Now I make bucket lists for every summer, every school year, and a life time one as well. If you’re looking for a way to stay present in your life, I highly recommend bucket lists

Write a blog post about bucket lists *check*