In the program day one has the motto “My life is better without Bulimia”, which of course is true. At the same time I don’t rightfully remember what life was like without this noose around my neck. From the beginning, from the first manifestation of it in my life, melancholy seemed to intensify. This dark feeling and feeling of hatred towards something (yet to be determined) was something that prevented true happiness, true enjoyment of life, and true love. The program asked me today to specify exactly what the happiest day of my life has been to date, and I remember many things that brought me happiness, but I think joy and hope in addition to happiness is what made this particular event stand out the most.
Picture this, a cold, misting autumn day in Sweden. The wind is pulling at your coat and your nose is starting to do that little drip thing it does when the weather is just a bit out of your comfort zone. This was me in 2013, wandering across an almost empty town square in Malmo, Sweden. The evening was sort of an apex to an amazing trip that was just about ready to be wrapping up. Over two weeks my love and I had spent adventuring all across Europe doing everything from riding a motorcycle through the Alps to seeing brave new countries together. The happiness that resonated was amazing, but there was still a bit tugging at me, that nasty sensation of feeling like the bottom was going to drop out.
Strolling through that square a lot of things hit me all at once – primarily that this had been a dream vacation with amazing experiences left and right. This trip was something that I drank up like water and was not prepared to let end. Primarily because I knew that once the vacation was over that meant going back to reality, which included the eating disorder. For some reason while I’m away from home/work the disorder tends to hide (at least a little bit) and will stay at bay until I get home. Most of the time once I get home it rears itself into a really ugly form and tries to make up for lost time. I have ideas as to why, but they may be triggering, I won’t go there.
The point, and how this became my happiest moment in life, was as my love and I were strolling through that cold square and the wind was nipping at my face, I realized that I was in good company – and that company thought so too. He thought so too so much that he proposed to me, and asked me to be his, to make things official. With those words everything in the world seemed to stop, the wind seemed to take a break and I felt sucker punched with reality. I am loved, I hadn’t realized it, I knew of it but didn’t quite understand it. This person standing in front of me has been with me through rough times and good, cold rain and snow, all of the bad, but can still see the good in me.
My happiness at that very moment was impossible to contain, however, I wasn’t sure how exactly to demonstrate it. To this day I still have that happiness inside of me. The feeling of being loved, to me, is the absolute happiness. A happiness that will transcendent any rough days. As long as I’m loved, I’m happy. Once I figure out how to demonstrate self love, I will become happy 100% of the time. Wish me luck.
Food doesn’t equal happiness, it might equal enjoyment, but not happiness.
Food doesn’t equal comfort, it might bring a fleeting feeling of feeling better, but not actual comfort.
Food doesn’t demonstrate control, your emotions will have control of you.
Homework Assignment One – Describe disordered thinking and frequency/habits and such.
As i look back on the frequency of my disordered eating habits, I have to hang my head in shame and disgust. Not only to I harm myself, but I put everybody else that comes into my little world on the same harmful pendulum swing as I do. Not only do I hurt myself, but those around me. My habits usually start first thing in the morning when I feel like I am out of control of a situation or feel like I’m not taking my life in the direction in which I want it to head. This can be something as simple as not wanting to go to work because I feel poorly or because the weather is bad. These things usually add up to me rebelling in a certain way. The times that I’m able to overcome this sort of static in my mind are the times that I have an incredible day full of productivity and happiness. The days that I succumb to those negative urges, be it stopping for a morning binge at the coffee shop or finding my way directly to Jims snack stash are day s that just kind of spiral out of control. In recent history (before the shark trip) I would start the days off on this negative spiral, and almost try to pacify all that was wrong with skipping out on work and doing everything else that could possibly send me in the wrong direction. I have a terrible time at work, and although I can only blame myself, it is far too easy for me to fall into bad habits while there. The lack of structure is like napalm to my willpower. There are some supportive people there, but there are also some enablers, people that can’t push me out of the line of fire because they are afraid they’re going to hurt me. I need tough love sometimes and even if it hurts my feelings it’s worth it.
My habits are always revolving around thinking that I can control when is enough and always failing miserably. I think I can stop at just one, or maybe just two – but before I know it I have consumed far more than I should have. I understand that while I was heavily drinking this was even worse, the regret the next morning both for the consumption of food and drink would start my day off depressed – which would lead to me trying to console myself somehow – typically harmfully. Old habits need to be broken, and absuing myself by purging, over exersizing and laxative abuse are only going to put me in an early grave NOT into a size 0.
Homework Question 2 : How would my life be better without disordered thinking.
Every aspect of life would become different, and I know this for a fact. I’ve been there, i’ve seen the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and it’s amazing. The ability to prosper and see the light brings a new vibrancy to life where the dull resonation of depression only existed. Not only will life take a different, more positive state, my peers will be more esteemed to me as well.
There are far too many times that I feel like I should curl up inside of myself and hide due to the shame of having dissapointed not only myself but those that care and love me. To see somebody that you love go through hell day in and day out isn’t an easy task, and I know this. But to be the one that is going through hell and bringing others along for a ride isn’t fair. The look on some of my close friends faces when they see that I’ve failed is tough. I can’t stand it sometimes and I feel like I should hide even more.
I have found at this juncture in the disorder that money cannot motivate me. That money that I could be saving by not binging will just accumulate and cause me more stress in the future. Although it is nice not having to look at my bank account and seeing charges for binges, I can’t say that money is a main motivator. If anything, if I could have all of the money back that I’ve spent on binges over the past decade, I could probably pay my tuition flat out. Had I known what this monster way back then, I wouldn’t be writing about it right now.
The harm on my body is something that I can’t stand to live with anymore either. It seems like every time that I abuse myself it takes a longer time to recover. I’m just wondering how long in fact I have until my body gives up trying to recover altogether. There are some things that will never heal, and of course we all have scars for a reason – but this is one pain that I’d rather do without, forever. let these scars heal over and beautiful birthmarks take their place. I have a lovely life to live and whole lot of love to give, and that would be impossible to do if I were to find myself dead – or even worse…
Homework Question Three – Compare Number one and two.
As i look back, I can see an awful lot of stress is being put on myself because I feel like I need to have control over situations. I know that I am not the god of the universe and there is no way that I can control all situations around me. Although it’s a nice idea to think that I can adapt to adverse conditions (such as not wanting to go to work), I should be able to rationalize whats going on and make the best of it. Seeing as how when I fail I let others down (which is kind of out of my control but then again in my control) it leads to a vicious cycle of ups and downs.
Using my brains for good, and using my money for more important things would stimulate the good parts of life and hopefully keep me busy as opposed to the time and money and energy that I have wasted on having this disorder. The time that I spent throwing up could have easily been spent picking up litter, helping others, or even just reading a book. The times that I feel like I have wasted are not only wasted to me, but wasted for those around me. Those people that rely on me for things, and when I can’t supply those things because of disordered thinking really brings me down – which leads to self harm – which leads to let down again.
I’m stubborn, but I guess I’m starting to realize that this disorder that is borne within me is just as stubborn as I am. Just like anything that I create, it has little pieces of me, both good and bad, and if I want to overcome it, my stubbornness has to prevail. I have created it (the disordered thinking pattern) I can destroy it. I just have to work on it. It’s worth more than money, it’s worth my life.
Homework number 4 – whar are my expectations and what am I going to get?
Seeing as how I’ve done the course before and it has proven to be effective IF I follow it through, I have very high expectations. Not only do I have a positive momentum behind me, but I have a certain NEED for it to work. I have confidence in myself, and although I’m not going to get cocky, I have faith. Sometimes that’s all you can hold onto without falling completely apart.
This occasion of taking this program is very different from the couple of other times that I have taken it. The very first time I felt like I was doing it to appease an abusive person. The second time I took it I was too far under the spell of self destruction I can’t say I really WANTED to get better. This time I have nobody to please but myself. I’m not doing this to lose weight, to look sexy in a bathing suit or even to impress others with my appearance (which is the root of my problem to begin with). I’m doing this because I want a certain quality of life back. I want me back.
If anything, at the end of these two weeks I want to have some self respect and confidence that who I am is who I want to be. I have spent too much time trying to be other people in order to make the rest of the world happy. I really feel like in situations that I feel like I’m not putting on that fake Nikki face that’s when my disordered mind gets riled up. When I feel like I have to put on a show, my control is lost and my personality gets jostled. I need to learn who I want to be, and not be afraid if who I want to be conflicts with who others expect me to be.
I want to learn who the real Nikki is. The one that I vaguely remember about a decade ago wearing nasty Birkenstocks, listening to weird music and driving around just for the hell of it. I want to remember the Nikki that used to plant flowers just because she liked them not because they had to “go together”. I miss the Nikki that knew how to have fun and not care what other people thought. I miss the Nikki that didn’t freak out at caloric contents and how many sit ups she had done the night prior.
I miss Nikki, I want her back.