Solidarity one day, triggered the next

A quick update on the previous posts subject then I’ll go on to a much delayed general update. So yeah, that situation happened on the Weds (2 weeks ago). Thursday I gave my apology to the group although some didn’t think it was necessary. The facilitator of that group wanted to process it and brought up my ‘apparent’ disruption. I said that my issue had to do with what was said in the private room and not what she is referring to, in hopes she would drop it. It still stung too much. She did, we moved on after a few people commented. 

Weekend… made it through but was depressed. Sunday I stayed home all day which is always problematic for me. For some reason I ended up eating my meals way earlier than scheduled. I felt guilty, as an anorexic, and confused, as a person recovering. I ended up binging (6 oz of ham). My therapist is forever telling me that isn’t a binge but, in my mind, anything beyond my prescribed meal plan is a binge. The next day, Monday, I downsized my meals to offset my “binge“. 

We had a new therapist at iOP, standing in for the one who left. Eventually the conversation came around to feeling safe in the group. She had us take a paper and divide it to four parts: what we wanted the group to be, what was keeping the group from this, what we ourselves wanted from the group, how we saw the group now. We could use words but she preferred symbols and colors. Nearly all of us drew a circle with whatever we thought was a healing or happy color in it for what we wanted to group to be. In the second square I put a tiny stick figure in the corner to represent me being the one causing the group problems. For what we wanted, I put words, having no colors or symbols come to mind. “What I want from the group is for it to feel safe and if that means my leaving, I want people to be honest with me.” The fourth picture I again did a circle to represent the group. I made it a yin-yang symbol but filled it with a rainbow of colors to represent the variety of people working together. However, far below the circle I put a little puppy dog that looked beaten. 

Here was what I said about it all basically. (1) I want the group to be whole and healing. (2) I am keeping the group from that by making it unsafe. (3) I’d like support but if the group wants me to leave I understand. (4) I see the group as working together but I’m outside the group. I feel like a dog thats been whipped. I’m hand shy fearing I’ll be slapped for anything I do or say. Insert a ridiculous amount of tears. Some people didn’t say anything, others rallied to let me know I am a part of the group, so on and so forth…. I also told them I was terrified of Wedsnesday, facing art therapy again, meaning the art therapist.

Tuesday I ended up binging (a couple spoonfuls of PB). So Weds I again offset my meal plan to make up for it. 

Wednesday. Art therapy day

I had sat outside in the bright sun for a few hours before iOP so I was too hot to think about anything which was a good thing. The art therapist smiled as if nothing happened, I didn’t smile back but acknowledged her. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself so had decided to participate with all the activities like everyone else. She started by asking everyone to use one word to express how they felt. First person: anxious, 2nd person, irritable…. on and on. I felt a solidarity for me and against her. For the first time I relaxed. To my own therapists surprise, the art therapist made no comment and just moved on. At one point she made an awful remark to one of my friends but I said nothing. It saddened me. 

After group I was pulled out to see my nutritionist (normally happens on wednesdays). I had written a short note to read to him stating that I understood I wouldn’t be believed but just needed to say my side and how I felt about it. I thought that was that, it would be dropped and life would go on but it wasn’t! My nutritionist was aghast that I’d think he would only want to hear one side of the story. Wow, he actually listened to me. I ended up telling him I felt assaulted and ashamed, that I always feel shame. At one point he said I looked like I was expecting him to slap me or something. Yeah, with a ton of tears, I was sort of pulling back. I was afraid he’d kick me out for being a horrible person. He assured me he see’s my progress and all my hard work. In the end he said he wants me to get well and will stick with me. He’s not going to give up on me. I felt like that was the hardest and best appointment I had with him.

To note, on the food. I complained I felt I had gained weight. He said that my over-exercising the previous week slowed my metabolism, ugh. He also said that the “making up for calories” after binging is, in fact, restriction, another thing that slows the metabolism. He asked what I thought binge-restrict-binge-restriction does? He also said I didn’t gain weight from those ‘binges’, this time.

Honestly I was glad when I was on my way home from iOP on Thursday. Friday I finally got a chance to talk with one of my friends who also went through Sol Stone. She is the same as me: restriction and exercise. Unfortunately she has been doing very poorly. She’s still been running but barely eating. When she had her body comps done the nutritionist (same as mine) said he was surprised she was still alive. He actually put her on an extremely low calorie meal plan and essentially bed rest, so there is no strain to her heart since she is not in a supervised setting. He said absolutely no binges. I guess that’s the difference between us. Unfortunately they can’t get her back into Sol Stone till the beginning of June. I’m fairly certain a huge part of her relapse is because she refuses to take any medication. She also has OCD which gets worse with ED behavior. 

I was all a friend could be: encouraging, supportive, promises to come visit, etc. After we talked though something clicked in my brain. I hate the word triggered but that is what happened. I have other friends from the program who are struggling but they are bulimic so it doesn’t trigger me. I know that is weird but that’s the way it is. Saturday I started restricting again and by Saturday night I was once again only eating protein. Sunday saw the same thing and I knew I needed to get a grip. I re-read the Sol stone book by Carolyn Hodges Chaffee and also re-watched the Laura Hill video (that I posted a couple weeks back). After reading the book I realized it would have been helpful if I read it before I started behavior. After watching the video I simply cried. She gets it, completely. But I’m already trapped. At least that is how I feel. I want to tell my nutritionist this coming Wednesday when I see him that I don’t want to be a part of the statistics of those that never recover. I don’t understand why I can’t get back on track after I start!! I know better!!! Sunday, after the video, I tried. I ate a couple mini muffins but that just sabotaged the rest of the day. Today it’s only been protein. Tonight, during dinner at iOP, they are all going to comment that I’m not eating a sandwich. It’ll be in fun but I’ll be dying inside because the reason is that I can’t eat the bread. I brought 3 oz ham and an egg. 

I know this sounds utterly stupid but I need permission from my nutritionist to get back to my meal plan. Why can’t I give myself permission? Why can’t I do for myself what he does for me? This is just a slip but why can’t I get back up by myself? 

The good thing is I am in iOP so that a slip can’t turn into a full blown relapse. I don’t want to go back to the program… no way! 

Does this ever end?

Any thoughts?

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