Mental Health

Coming Out About My Relapse and Depression

So, I have a confession to make: I am ashamed.

And because of that deep shame, and at times even guilt, I have been avoiding this blog like the plague. Because as much as I’ve talked about being real and raw and unabashedly honest, I have a very difficult time being any of those things when it comes to talking about my current struggles.

But at this point, I am so tired of hiding and being ashamed and guilty that I am just going to spill my guts. So here it goes.

I have relapsed. My eating disorder and I are back together at the moment. I am not perfect at recovery and yes, I relapsed. You may or may not already know/guessed that but there it is. And along with my eating disorder, a new voice came along: Depression. And something else tagged along with Depression: deep-rooted Denial.

I have not wanted to write and I have struggled to be motivated to even do school (my perfection came in handy in that area). I go to work, come home, and try to steel myself for another day. Oftentimes, I will have silent breakdowns during the wee hours of the morning and then wake up, put on my mascara, blush, and some eyeliner and pretend nothing is wrong.

When I go to work and people how I am, I paste a smile on my face and say, “Doing good. How ’bout you?” I go through the motions and a lot of times, I am kept so busy during the day with disgruntled customers and the general chaos that comes from working in a fast food restaurant, that I have no time to think or reflect on my feelings.

It also gives me a convenient excuse to miss lunch (oops, I was so busy!), although I know even if I was at home, the urge to restrict would still be strong and I would make up some excuse.

It’s a vicious cycle and one that is not helped by that little voice known as denial. For months, I have told myself that everyone feels sad sometimes. Everyone has bad days. And I was just restricting a little, right? No big deal.

The thing is, it is a big deal. Of course it is normal to feel sad and have bad days but when that feeling of almost constant hopelessness and little thoughts of Is my life even worth living? start to creep in, it’s not normal.

At this point, I don’t know if my depression (which a part of me still likes to deny or downplay) is a result of my relapse or if it was already there and this just brought it out full force.

But whatever the case, the eating disorder and the depression thrive off each other. 

Anorexia numbs every emotion, so it (temporarily) makes the feeling of darkness/hopelessness go away (although in the end, it just makes it worse).

Depression makes you unmotivated to do anything, including pursue recovery. Why bother if nothing is ever going to get better anyway?

 

At this point, I honestly have no idea what my next move should be. Another therapist just dropped me and I am. feeling. lost.

But I guess this my first move, in a way. I am coming out about my relapse and depression. After all, overcoming denial and being open are some of the first steps to getting better.

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3 thoughts on “Coming Out About My Relapse and Depression

  1. I’m so sorry, and I really wish I could help. Is there any kind of coach or therapist you could find who could coach you online, or is that not the same? Or is that not the problem. I know you are in a financial bind, but I know some of the body positive coaches are willing to discuss payment plans in order to meet you where you are. I know you probably need something more ED specific right now, but I thought that maybe there was some sort of equivalent for people with ED? Another idea is to see if you could find a blogging buddy who is on the same journey who could be an accountability partner or give you tips if they are further on in their journey. Ok, I had another idea to throw out there. If you have a way to listen to podcasts, I’m sure there is something that might help you. I love Maddy Moon’s (Mind Body Musings), but that’s bit more on the Body Positive side. If you search, there are probably some ED support ones. I know it sounds like a small thing, but it made a huge difference in my body positive journey, and it may be one tiny baby step in the right direction.

    I’m sorry if none of this is useful, and I hope I’m not being that annoying person who is always trying to fix everything. I want to help, but not having been there, it’s hard for me to know what is helpful and what is annoying. Regardless, we are here for you. There is a reason God put you on this planet, and I pray that you have the courage (and I know it’s WAAAAY easier said than done) to work through this, and find out what it is! We are here for you, and I can’t wait to see where your road leads. Hang in there. Don’t give up! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey darling!!! I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling right now! I noticed that I hadn’t seen you around the blogosphere for a while, and was wondering where you had gotten to. Found your new site this morning, and while it saddens me to see this, it is also a tremendous sign of something bigger within you that wants change and wants healing. I’ve been there. That space where you kind of just float away, slowly posting less and less, withdrawing, and being in denial. Telling yourself that everyone has slips, and everyone has a bad day… telling yourself that you’re just taking a break from the writing for a while, taking a step back from commitments, re-evaluating. But, if you’re anything like me, it’s hard to put a happy face on the writing, and you don’t want to write things that you don’t believe. You don’t want to be happy, and carefree, and positive, about recovery and finding balance, when at the time you can’t find any positivity, and can’t really see the point anymore. Deep down you know there’s a point, but you just can’t find it, and you can’t push yourself to write something you don’t believe anymore than you can live something you don’t believe. It’s so tough! Plus as you fall deeper and deeper into ED’s grasp again, it takes up more and more of your time and energy. Point is, I get it. But coming clean on here is the first step. It’s an attempt to see if there is something better than your current existence, which I can assure you there is. But I know the bottom of the pit, and it’s almost impossible to find the motivation to climb out of it. It will be hard, but you are so strong, and brave and have all the ability you need to make the climb.

    Okay, so first thing I’d say is to get yourself reconnected with a support network. This DOESN”T HAVE TO BE A THERAPIST! I can stress that because personally, I’ve worked with several, and while I found some that resonated with me, in the end when I relapsed I ended up pulling myself back out with strong willpower, and the help of a great MD and dietitian. Therapy is expensive, and it just wasn’t in the cards for me if I wanted to work with a dietitian that worked for me. Basically, you have to find what works for you, but you need a support network that will see you frequently- at least once a week each, more if necessary. For me it looked like weekly MD, and twice a week dietitian at the beginning. It’s expensive but I can’t stress it enough.

    I’d say the best plan is that if you’re in a clear enough headspace to see what it is you truly want to start there. Decide what you want recovery to look like: what do you want your relationship with yourself and with food to look like once you are fully recovered? How structured do you want it to be? Is your focus more on optimal health (in a scientific sense), and/or is it focussed on having no food rules and eliminating guilt, or is it a combination? Does it involve calories, or does it involve intuitive eating? You get the idea. You have the reigns in that department. And once you have decided what that is, search for people whose ideologies match. That is how you find the best support network for you. Perhaps working with a body image coach as opposed to a therapist… who knows. It also depends on how medically stable you are as well, because that needs to be your first priority.

    A lot of people will do sessions through Skype. I’m in Canada, but my dietitian is in Texas. And it works for me because what I want my recovery to look like matches her ideology. And I’ve never felt closer to my values than I have since I started working with her, and I’m way farther in my path to wellness mentally than I was before I relapsed… and in less time because of it. So check into that too. Plus some people will offer payment plans, or discounted rates to low income brackets so that’s always something to ask about. Don’t be afraid to ask questions… the worst they can say is no, and then you find something else.

    Other resources: Have you heard of Recovery Warriors? They have a good podcast for the more beginning stages of recovery/right after a relapse… or potentially longer if you find it resonates with you. Another one is food psych, which I love, but I found is for a little bit later on in the path when you have more peace with food and need less direct motivation and “you can do it” type messaging. Mmmmmmm… what else. OH! Declutter your social media! Remove stuff that promotes certain ways of eating that are anything remotely restrictive, or rigid with types of stuff, or that promotes exercise or body image that is anything other than health at every size type stuff. You don’t need that shit. And refill it with positive messaging accounts, body love, self acceptance stuff, and images of real people. It sounds minor, but you’d be amazed at how much social media influences you even if you are only looking at it for a couple seconds. It just takes a second for a message to make its way into your mind, and in no time at all ED has twisted it to make you feel like crap about yourself. You don’t need that shit either.

    AND KEEP WRITING! Keep being open, keep venting, whatever you need to do to stay out of your head and get out the frustration and depression and fear and anxiety and guilt and whatever else is going through your mind. Reach out to others who are struggling so you don’t feel alone, but make sure these people are pursuing recovery. You don’t need any promia or proana stuff dragging you down! Lots of love darling! Message me if you ever need anything!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t have much to say except you can do this. Even though your body and mind tell you that you cannot, you can get through this. It won’t look pretty. And it will definitely not look perfect. But through this relapse, through this fall, you will find inner strength. You will find your inner beauty. This struggle is so much more than food, as you already know, so you must push through and find those dark inner demons and feelings you try so hard to forget, to bury down. Bring them out. Face them. Once you see them, identify them, they get less scary. More manageable. You are already finding light in the darkness. Continue towards light and life and choosing recovery.

    Also, I recently fell in love with a book called “Eating in the light of the moon.” I have read every damn eating disorder book but this one is different. It feeds your soul as well as your brain. It teaches through stories and metaphors.

    Liked by 1 person

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