I really feel for you. I suffer from a skin condition myself called Psoriasis, it covers my legs, arms and occasionally my face. It makes me feel really self concious. There’s nothing worse than having a skin ailment on your face and feeling judged by people.
Talking from my own experience, I know personally, I’m not going to feel confortable in my skin all Summer. Instead I take it a day at a time. If you find a you have a day to yourself and it’s sunny, sit out in the garden and maybe wear something that exposes your chest and back. Sun can actually help acne. But the more you get the courage to sit comfortably outside the more you could put that into practise out and about.
Acne is a really common skin ailment and so I would hope that decent people aren’t judgemental or mean about it. And it’s quite freeing sometimes, just to say to yourself as you walk out the house that you don’t give a shit about what people think. Putting up a sort of shield from the worries that people will judge you in some way can help. But remember you’re allowed to take that shield down too and you’re allowed to feel vulnerable and shit because your skin does not reflect how you want to look.
It’s a real test of strength and character, I believe really genuine, loving, kind people have skin problems (the ones I’ve met anyway). I can’t offer any solutions but know that I’m in a similar boat to you, you’re not alone, lots of people experience this.
As for your self consciousness about your body, as it’s the summer there are going to be people out and about. All different shapes and sizes from all different walks of life. If you picture it like that, it can help you to feel less like you’re infiltrating this world of perfect, happy, skinny beings in the summer months. And instead you leave the house and actually most people aren’t looking at what you look like, they’ll be going about their daily business. It’s low self esteem and anxiety that can provoke the fear that your body is not the right shape and therefore you shouldn’t show it. That’s wrong. You have a right in the summer to wear what you like, what you feel good in be that a burqa or a bikini. It’s absolutely 100% your choice!
Super happy you are recovering and I’m glad this blog has helped you on your journey!! I think, if you feel comfortable, you should perhaps sit down with this friend and tell her your story. Tell her the misery and how you’re worried she might go down the same road. Be really honest with her. She may dismiss you or tell you she’s fine and there’s not much you can do about that. But maybe acknowledging your concerns might help her to realise that she might say inappropriate things in front of you that could be triggers. If fact that could be a way of bringing it up, explaining your situation and how her “thinspo” things trigger you. It could open up a conversation and allow you to ask her, “why do you say those thinspo things?” It might be a pressure from ballet, it might be an eating disorder or she might not even realise how negative they are! Some people just say things that imply they want to lose weight and not realise how severe they sound.
Hope this helps,
Please don’t do anything stupid. Just try to hold on until friday. If you really want to talk to someone but you don’t feel you can there are alternatives. You could write every single fleeting thought down, on paper on a blog or even make your own private blog that nobody reads where you just rant. Or you could write to your therapist, and take in on friday what you’ve written, it’d probably be quite helpful for them to go through it with you. But if you are sure you might be a danger to yourself please phone a helpline or speak to someone you trust, it’s very important!!
And if you need to talk about anything on here, I am happy to help :)
It’s a really normal thing to feel I think. I know I still question how sick I was from time to time. But it’s the nature of the illness. Eating Disorders are all about comparison, constant reflection on how others are feeling and what they’re doing. And it continues through to recovery, feeling like you’re not recovering “right” because you haven’t bought that really expensive yoga mat and you’re not eating penut butter every meal and talking about how great eating is.
It comes with the territory really, to feel doubtful about how sick you were. I think it’s really brave of you that you recognised you weren’t very well and you needed help. By letting your parents know you saved yourself a whole load of long term health problems caused by an eating disorder. That is something that you should really be thankful for.
I know that we tend to question ourselves because the picture you get from society is that eating disorders instantly turn you into this skeletal being and you’re rushed to hospital, tube fed and then you’re better again. It’s not true. It’s a slow deteriorating illness that starts slow and spirals out of control. And then there’s that long, long climb back to health again. The faster you recognise an eating disorder the easier it is to save that persons life. And because you perhaps did not live up to that “expectation” of eating disorder>hospital>3 weeks to live>tube fed etc. and it makes you feel a failure in some way. But that feeling of failure is your eating disorder manifesting itself. That cannot be you, the real you, saying that. Nobody who wishes sickness on themselves.
So in a nutshell. You do deserve this recovery. You have been given a life and it’s your chance to live it. You cannot measure your sickness against others, it’s not possible. We all have our different strengths and weaknesses and every bodies’ demons are different. So different you cannot compare. So don’t.
Stay Strong, you deserve this.
You are not a pig, that is your eating disorder telling you untrue things. It wants to get you back into it’s control and you mustn’t let that happen. Eating normally can seem like a huge unmanageable task but I can assure you it gets easier. For the time being you should work on distracting yourself and try distancing yourself from these negative thoughts. Instead of “I’m such a pig” correct it, “My illness says I’m such a pig and my illness is wrong” You may not believe it yourself at first but the more you instigate a rational opinion it helps to push away the ED thoughts. Not silence them entirely but they become quieter or less likely to affect you.
Therapy is a really long process. Therapy itself is a lot like recovery, it’s never straightforward and very up and down. And in most cases if you feel like shit after therapy it usually means it’s working. Which is why you need a good support system when you do therapy. It also can take a while for you to feel the benefits, you may think it’s a pointless process, that you don’t need it but it’s very useful longterm in helping prevent relapse.
Also imagine your mind being this massive intangible, messy ball of wool full of knots. It’s really difficult unravelling a ball of wool, it takes a lot of time, patience and determination. That’s what therapy is like.
There are lots of different therapy options too of course. If one sort does not work for you there’s sure to be another more suitable. I did not get along very well with CBT therapy at all so now I work with a Person Centred therapist instead which I find a million times more helpful. But everybody is different!
I know everything is overwhelming and seemingly out of control right now but don’t give up. You’ll get there.
Hmm your answer seems to be in the question. You say you have struggled with body image, that you don’t eat proper meals, you have urges to purge and a desire to lose weight. That’s not a very healthy outlook on food or your body.
I think you should take your boyfriends advice and talk to someone about it. Even if you don’t see it as a problem for you it can be helpful to get another person’s perspective. You do sound quite confused and it could be helpful to just talk things through with somebody who isn’t personally involved, they often have good, valid advice and it you can feel a lot less alone when you talk to someone. I’d really recommend it!
gaining and gaining i just dont know what to do , how do i fix my body withouht getting any bigger ( the biggest i have been is at a bmi of 19.5 ) , my stomach feels so bloated all the time ,which makes me feel bigger and bigger
Honey, you’re not annoying me I am happy to help! First of all I don’t think it is your metabolism that has screwed up. It sounds like your body is trying to utilise what little food/energy it’s getting and storing it. Our bodies are really clever like that, it will prioritise what it needs to survive. Remember you’re not eating the recommended daily calorie intake.
Secondly, you’re going to have to accept you need to eat a bit more than you’re eating. A bmi of 17.4 is still underweight and a bmi of between 18-20 is out of the danger zone. You will not go out of control, you will not keep endlessly gaining and gaining! Our bodies are capable of staying at one particular weight once it’s getting the intake of nutrients it needs.
Thirdly, Its normal to bloat in recovery. It’s horrible and uncomfortable and makes you feel gross but it has to happen for you to heal your body again. It’s not you becoming too big or a sign your metabolism is screwed it’s just a sign of recovery.
Lastly, I really hope you’re being supported, it sounds to me like you’re still really struggling with this disorder and you mustn’t suffer alone. You should see your doctor to talk about setting up a meal plan for you. It sounds daunting but it’s really important. I really hope I set your mind at ease, remember our eating disorders like to give us the illusion that by choosing to recover we’re going to loose control and everything will become unmanageable and horrible. This couldn’t be further from the truth you learn far more about yourself during recovery than you ever could living with your eating disorder.