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To think that you never REALLY get over an eating disorder?

(36 Posts)
JonesyAndTheSalad Tue 04-Apr-17 14:01:54

I'm a bit fed up about it tonight. (I'm in Oz)

I was anorexic as an older teen, well into my 20s. WHen I met my DH he really helped me in many ways and I recovered.

Sort of.

I still have so many hang ups!

I can't bear any "play" based around food...be that banter or jokes...I find it hugely distasteful for example when my guests who are currently staying, say things like "Hey don't eat ALL the good bits!" to each other or if they display anything which I might see as "greedy"

I can't cope when people comment on how nice something is as they're eating it either.

I don't know why it's all coming back...just writing this has made me realise that.

I really struggled tonight as one of my guests is a bit "slappy" as he eats...he sucks his fingers too. sad

I feel like I'm going backwards again!

JonesyAndTheSalad Tue 04-Apr-17 14:03:45

I noticed something about my behaviour when I snuck off to eat some crisps. I used to not be able to eat in front of anyone...

I have a new job and I could be reacting to that I suppose.

Soubriquet Tue 04-Apr-17 14:04:37

No I don't think you ever really recover.

You've done extremely well to get where you are though.

HeyRoly Tue 04-Apr-17 14:05:14

I agree. I think eating disorders stay with you for life even if you never succumb completely again.

One of my old friends was anorexic as a teen, and even now (20 years later) I see her eating a quite restricted diet, mostly low calorie foods. On the surface it just looks like a super healthy diet, but there's more to it than that.

Amockingjayhey Tue 04-Apr-17 14:05:55

I agree with you

It's hard isn't it ?

I'm currently disgusted at myself as all i had for lunch was chocolate and then when i realised how many calories was in what i ate won't allow myself anything else until dinner

I'm hungry and i will surely have something before then but the thoughts do still stick in your head!
flowers

likewhatevs Tue 04-Apr-17 14:07:03

Some people can. Some people, like me, can get over one eating disorder, but not necessarily develop healthier 'habits'. I was bulimic for about 25 years. I can't see me ever developing that particular issue again, however I have an unhealthy relationship with food (I binge a lot) and I'm now 5 stone overweight, because obviously I no longer purge. However I'm still better off than I was.

JonesyAndTheSalad Tue 04-Apr-17 14:08:58

I wonder why I get so disgusted by food.

It's always seemed to me to be akin to going to the toilet...just the opposite way around.

I always felt it was something to do in private....like...I can't cope with seeing other people shoving food in...the accompanying noises either....sharing the sensations.

I just want to hide!

KoalaDownUnder Tue 04-Apr-17 14:10:09

YANBU. I empathise with you. flowers

HarrietKettleWasHere Tue 04-Apr-17 14:12:45

I do this too.

I am 'recovered' now and a healthy weight, but I remember when I was first dating my DP, after we'd been out to a pub carvery roast, I said something like 'I don't think I'm going to be hungry again for the rest of today!' And he said 'well you did eat a huge lunch!' (He meant that he did too. It was a carvery ffs, everyone ate a lot)

And I was mortified! I felt awful. Like I'd let myself enjoy a meal and eat a big portion but people had noticed.

Will never ever get over the 'guilt' that comes over enjoying a meal or consuming something 'decadent'- in this case a lovely carvery dinner. I try to accept it and just let the voice play out in my head really. It's normal to me now.

JonesyAndTheSalad Tue 04-Apr-17 14:19:06

Harriet....it's awful isn't it? And I had a normal upbringing too! No weirdness about food or anything. We had a basic, healthy 1970s and 80s diet. I liked food, wasn't oiver or underweight.

It all went wrong when I hit about 17 for some reason.

HarrietKettleWasHere Tue 04-Apr-17 14:28:13

It's not easy and so complex. The thing is I like food. I like quality meats and cheeses and nice little olives and I LOVE to cook for other people....but I don't know if I'll ever get rid of that voice that's saying 'how many calories is that, how many crisps have you taken from that bowl, that person hasn't had any, why can't you be as restrained, you'd better not take anymore, people will notice and think you're a greedy cow' and so on and so on and so on.

I think 17-18 was about the age for me too, and certainly at 21 it took on a life of its own. I do not remember being preoccupied with weight or image or calories at all even I was young, it would never have crossed my mind to worry about being fat or having chunky arms or what size I was at all! I miss those days sad

It's hard isn't it flowers

Doublevodkaredbull Tue 04-Apr-17 14:31:08

You don't recover. You're in recovery. It's different but it doesn't make you weak or broken or damaged.

Have you checked out Beat?

ArgyMargy Tue 04-Apr-17 14:36:26

I disagree. I have completely recovered after having an eating disorder for around 10 years. I think it's obvious however that you haven't. Perhaps you could seek some counselling? It should help you with your disordered thoughts around food. Best of luck.

BusterGonad Tue 04-Apr-17 14:59:38

I think you never truly recover, it's like always having a devil on your shoulder imo.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 04-Apr-17 15:05:04

It's true that like alcoholism you never really totally get 'cured'. You are in recovery. And harder in a way because alcoholics in recovery can abstain totally which makes life much easier in a way. No decisions to make.

In your case though you seem to be really struggling. Did you ever get any professional help with it? Because sometimes you can 'recover' but not deal with any underlying issues. I think this may be your case because you say, "And I had a normal upbringing too! No weirdness about food or anything.". Maybe time to find a decent counselor...

LadyPW Tue 04-Apr-17 15:29:19

I think it depends on the eating disorder and the person. I had a lot of issues when I was younger and the impact lasted years after but I've been fine for 10+ years now.

ArgyMargy Tue 04-Apr-17 16:05:52

"It's true that like alcoholism you never really totally get 'cured'."

There is no evidence for this statement.

stuckwithnowheretogo Tue 04-Apr-17 16:17:48

Hi - sympathies OP. I had an eating disorder between the ages of 12-15. I can remember my older brother screaming 'Why can't you just EAT "
All my 'adult' life my weight has between 9 & 1/4 to 9 & 1/2 stone (i',m 5'6) so I have always been slim.
In the last year I have lost 2 stone (through mainly stress).

I feel myself slipping back to my old thought process... just a 1/4 of a slice of bread, only eating vegetables, going as long as I can before I feel faint and have to have food. I constantly weigh myself & make food cut backs if I have put on a single gramme.

I really hope you start to feel better & maybe a counsellor could be your answer.

manicinsomniac Tue 04-Apr-17 16:22:27

It's horrible and I sympathise but I think YABU.

I've been anorexic for 18 years. I've been fully functional for almost all of the past 12 years and I suppose in some ways that's recovery. But I'm definitely not 'normal'. I still won't let my BMI get over 17.4 (or else I'd lose my anorexic 'label' hmm ) and I will panic and purge if I go over 1200 calories in a day.

However, I do know people who (as far as I know and as far as they will admit) are completely recovered. I'd say I know 6. Out of the dozens of eating disordered people I know that is admittedly not very many but I do think it's possible.

Those who have completely recovered seem to meet at least one of the following criteria:
* They got very ill at a young age and received intensive help very quickly.
* They were ill for less than 2 years.
* They replaced their ED with another all consuming, intensive focus (one is a personal trainer and gourmet 'foodie', another had 3 babies in 3 years and is a real 'super mum')
* They developed a physical health problem which necessitated being as well as possible in other ways (cancer in the case of the lady I know)

sonyaya Tue 04-Apr-17 16:53:47

flowers

I'm a 'recovered' bulimic, but the sense of panic and self loathing I get when I feel I've overeaten will never go... and I don't find it easy to control what I eat so it is a constant stress and battle.

Well done for getting where you have.

luckylucky24 Tue 04-Apr-17 16:59:41

I'm a 'recovered' bulimic, but the sense of panic and self loathing I get when I feel I've overeaten will never go... and I don't find it easy to control what I eat so it is a constant stress and battle.

This is me to the letter.

LapinR0se Tue 04-Apr-17 17:10:34

I had anorexia from 23-25 years old which is relatively late onset.
I am now a healthy weight but if I lose weight due to stress or illness I absolutely love it and feel euphoric.
So I know that it is a terribly slippery slope indeed. I go back to my therapy techniques and think about the advantages of being skinny vs the advantages of being a healthy weight. It really helps if I write it down because of course the healthy weight list is literally 3 times the length of the skinny one.

oldwife Tue 04-Apr-17 17:14:37

I agree with all of the above posters and you, OP.

It is so very scary and disturbing that so many of us are affected this way. I do wish I could get over it, but I suppose after 40 years of being so food/calorie/weight/size/shape/image conscious it's hard to shake off.

HeteronormativeHaybales Tue 04-Apr-17 17:15:23

I recovered completely from what I suppose in terms of eating habits was extreme orthorexia, but was anorexia in terms of health criteria (degree of weight loss, periods stopping etc). I agree with a PP in thst I did develop another 'focus' (OCD, in my case confused, which I am also reasonably recovered from now).

I think if the disorder itself doesn't stay, the tendencies, for want of a better word, that promoted its outbreak do, and need careful managing and possibly ongoing therapy.

flowers I think I've been lucky.

AtleastitsnotMonday Tue 04-Apr-17 17:18:10

From a personal perspective I agree, I've had AN for 12 years and can't see myself ever being free.
I also believe that people have a genetic predisposition to ED's and in the 'perfect storm' of conditions which includes for some reason losing weight (deliberately or not, e.g dropping weight when I'll) will develop an ed. (There is a certain amount of evidence to support this too).
That said I've known many people who have seemed to be severely entrenched in eating disorders for many many years, many who have been hospitalised who do now claim to be totally recovered. So I guess I do hold out hope that full recovery is possible.

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