Thursday, 27 October 2016

One Does Not Just Simply Ignore Food Demons

I've made no secret of it over on my twitter that I developed an eating disorder as a result of my post natal mental health issues. 

TRIGGER WARNING please do not read if frank discussion of eating disorders might trigger you. 

It isn't graphic, but I want to tell my story but also keep you safe.

I'm loathe to label it 'bulimia' but I made myself sick after eating things when I felt guilty. Sometimes it was just once a week, sometimes, we'd order a pizza and  I'd feel 'the regret' once I'd eaten.

I had emetophobia before I got pregnant, I was afraid of vomiting. Actually afraid. Then, at about 6 weeks pregnant with E, my first baby i was sick on a daily basis, every day, multiple times. This cured my emetophobia very quickly, perhaps because I knew that it wasn't preventable. 

A similar thing happened with my second pregnancy, I remember heaving as I was driving along at 2 weeks after conception. It prompted me to go and buy a pregnancy test. 

I have some vague memories ormy bulimic   habits beginning to creep in during that pregnancy. Though even just lthinking about vomiting made me actually do it, so I think I need to stop being mean to myself about that. 

I don't know when it started properly, making myself sick when I felt guilty for eating something. I remember doing it purposefully in July 2013, when my PND was in full swing, I did it on a night out...on purpose...to make room for booze. Yeah, classy, huh?

So my bulimia became a habit, I didn't lose weight because of it, but that doesn't make it any less of an eating disorder. Remember John Prescott? 

I did keep it a secret, MrB didn't know until I told him over a year later. I summoned up the courage to admit it to my CBT therapist, and my homework that week was to tell MrB. I did. That didn't stop the secrecy, sadly. My PND got better with treatment but I couldn't ignore the guilt, the feelings that I needed to keep moving. 

Once I realised that it was part of my larger mental health diagnosis: Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, I realised that it was a form of self harm, and that, although it wasn't harming me in a noticeable way, it was grinding down my ability to be well. I haven't given in to the urges since march 2015. 

However, it has not been a case of simply 'not doing it', more a case of noticing when the guilty feelings come in to play. I found my triggers and dealt with them, choosing nak'd bars over pop tarts and chocolate bars, eating a LOT of fruit. I have to say that the smoothie craze of 2015 helped a lot with my post-ED rehab.

The best thing that I found was running. For me, I could focus on beating my ED with every step that I took when my body was saying 'oh hell, I only wanted a Kit Kat!'

Running doesn't help everyone with an ED, everyone's journey and experience is very different. I cannot imagine the strength of overcoming anorexia, which is the absence of eating. 

My bad thoughts have returned as I injured my ankle through running, so back to yoga and my exercise bike for a bit until it recovers! 


 

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