What a weird day I have been having. Very unpleasant in some ways. After working out this morning with my mother and grandmother, we went to get bagels at a little bagel shop. At the end of our meal I had an anxiety attack – I felt like I had been talking too much and had been saying stupid things. Luckily for me, my anxiety attacks are basically invisible, so no one really notices. They feel powerful however. My brain feels foggy, I feel out of breath and my heart pounds. Anxiety twists up my stomach and makes me want to curl up in a little ball under something heavy until it passes. After we returned home I played with and trained Percy. I ended up feeling better enough that I didn’t have to take a PRN for the anxiety.
However, a couple of hours later I had a strong craving for chocolate and I ended up eating a whole chocolate bar. I have been struggling lately with my weight, due to the metabolic side effects from Depakote, a mood-stabilizer I am on. The idea that I had just had an entire chocolate bar caused me to panic horribly. I cannot stand the thought of gaining any more weight. In the last couple of years in my recovery from anorexia, I don’t think I have had such a bad response to something I have eaten. I was desperate to purge or exercise or do something, anything just to get the evil calories OUT. I felt so guilty. Instead of doing anything I would regret, or that would feed into the addiction cycle of an eating disorder, I decided to just go sit outside in the sun with Percy and write this blog. So far it is helping to distract me.
All day today, I have also been preoccupied with self-harming. This is unusual for me these days, I usually only get like this when I am depressed. But today I am obsessing about times in the past when I self-harmed. I am feeling the powerful pull to do it again. I hate it when I get like this. I have no intention of ever hurting myself again, and it has been two years since I last did it, and yet some days it is still such a strong presence in my mind. It is such a powerful addiction. I just have to remind myself of everything I would lose if I gave into it again, and well as the fact that I would just feel worse afterwards. It is hard to remember that, because there is such a strong feeling of temporary relief after you give in – but it doesn’t last long…then the guilt, regret and remorse sets in and you simply feel worse. That’s what makes it such a powerful cycle.
Today has certainly been an odd and very challenging day, and my brain hasn’t been firing quite like it should, however, perhaps it is for the best. Keeps me from getting complacent. Having days where I am seriously tempted to “misbehave” keeps me on my toes and reminds me of what I need to do to stay safe and healthy. Today I was both tempted to engage in eating disorder behaviors, and I didn’t, and to self-harm, and I didn’t. Any day where I am tempted but do not give in strengthens my recovery.