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Eating disorders

It's starting again and I don't know if I can stop it.

62 replies

RLABC · 04/05/2019 07:23

I have a long history of anorexia followed (usually always) by bulimia. I end up at the lowest point then get help and I'm fine for years (averages at about 3-5 years).
I've been healthy for 4 years now.
I live abroad now and everything is good. I have family coming over to visit in 2 weeks time. In February I booked flights to go back to the UK for a short visit at the beginning of April and knowing that I'd eat more whilst there (too many lovely foods that I can't get here) and then only have a few weeks back here before family come and I'd be eating more again due to going out more I decided to just drop a few pounds in advance, to give myself room to eat what I want without ending up too big for the summer (if you see what I mean?).
Anyway, those few pounds turned into 17 in the space of just over 5 weeks.
I couldn't let myself eat as I normally would on my UK trip, just tried to stick to maintenance calories, and have been reducing my caloric intake drastically since I came home. I'm now down to 300-500 calories a day.
I know I don't look good (too many people in the UK told me so), my husband is worried about me and I know I'll get a massive bollocking from my family when they come.
I honestly don't want to get ill again but I just can't bring myself to eat more. Each day I try to reduce my calories even though I feel shit due to the lack of nourishment.
I have no one to talk to about this here and I can't talk to anyone in the UK because I don't want to worry them more. They've been through it with me every time in the past and I should be able to sort this for myself by now. I'm 50 ffs, I should know better! But, on the other hand, I really want to lose a few more pounds.
My BMI is 19 at the moment, ideally I'd like to get that down to 18.5, soon as possible. But I know that's stupid. But I WANT it too much.
I don't really know why I'm posting this, I just don't know what to do. That's a lie. I do know what to do, I just can't at the moment.

OP posts:
FlissMumsnet · 04/09/2019 19:41

Hi There RLABC,

We're really concerned to hear how little you're eating right now and we would encourage you to seek real life help from your GP asap. It may be they can signpost you to other services in your area that can support you.

Keep talking to our users if it's helpful but do make sure to speak to people in real life too - nothing can replace that.


RLABC · 04/09/2019 19:55

@FlissMumsnet thank you Flowers I will tell the endocrinologist on Friday about my weight/eating issue.
Posting here is helping because I have absolutely no one in real life to talk to about this. My husband is trying to help but doesn't really understand and I can't just come out with it via Messenger to my parents/son/friends.

OP posts:
RLABC · 04/09/2019 20:01

As I mentioned Messenger it's just dawned on me that I have purposely not sent any photo's, at all (as I usually would) in messages to my family or friends for months now because of how I look. I'm scared of worrying them. That's not good is it? So I knew they'd be concerned, why couldn't I do something about it?? God I'm dreading seeing my dad next week now. I've lost close to 2 stone since I last saw him. He's going to be shocked and I've got him here for just shy of a month Sad

OP posts:
RLABC · 12/10/2019 16:41

Just a quick update, if anyone's reading;

I had a tough time while my dad was here but I only gained 0.8lb in the end so, not as bad as I feared.
He left 6 days ago and I've managed to lose tgat 0.8 plus a bit more.
I didn't tell the endocrinologist about my eating at my appointment because I was just so happy to get the all clear about a thyroid issue that I got out of there pronto.
I'm booked to see the mental health team on 21st of this month.

OP posts:
RLABC · 12/10/2019 16:42

@FlissMumsnet, thank you Star

OP posts:
Herocomplex · 12/10/2019 16:58

RLABC glad you’re still talking on here. You seem to want to promise us here that you’ll speak to someone about what’s going on with you, then explaining why you’ve not done that.
Are you alone a lot? Do you have things that you enjoy? You seem to live a lot in the future, looking forward to something being resolved, but right now you’re continuing to exert enormous control over your life.
I can see you’re worried, which is why you’re here. You understand what you have to do to change things, but can’t seem to make that connection with the help. It sounds really hard.

Mandatorymongoose · 12/10/2019 17:04

Hey lovely, I'm glad you have an appointment booked. Not to scare you but as you may well know anorexia has a very high risk of death compared to any other mental health issue.
At the moment your relationship with food is very skewed, every time the scales show a loss feels like a victory but it's not really a victory for your health, it's hurting you. Food is fuel, it's medication, just like you need medication to get better from any other condition you need enough calories for your body to function for your heart to beat, for your kidneys and liver to run, for your muscles and bones.
Even if you could increase your intake just a tiny bit until your appointment just enough to keep the machine running that would be a good thing.
I know it's very hard but maybe stay away from the scales if you can.
You've got through this before, you know you can do it. Wishing you all the best.

Purpleartichoke · 12/10/2019 17:32

I’ve just seen this thread for the first time.

Op, I wish I had some magic cure for you. It’s so hard when our brain is lying to us.

You really do need therapy. My dd is doing CBT right now and she is finding very few of the exercises useful, but there are a couple that work better for her so we are focusing on those. Her therapist is also working with us to set up limits on her obsessive behaviors that don’t ban them, just don’t let them rule her life.

The main reason I am writing is because this week I had a pretty big breakthrough with my own anxiety related to an upcoming family visit. I ended up sending an email to the family member laying it all out and setting some parameters for the visit. It was hard to be that honest, but I knew that the issues would come Out during the visit if I did nothing. Maybe you need to tell your family that you can only share 2 meals a day with them, not 3. Or that you don’t want to eat out more than x times, but you are happy for them to go out without you. Set up something that works for you and let’s you do the visit without making your condition worse. But ultimately, it’s ok to just tell them you can’t emotionally handle a visit right now if you really can’t.

RLABC · 12/10/2019 18:41

@16:58Herocomplex, you're correct. I know what I need to do, I just can't do it though.

OP posts:
RLABC · 12/10/2019 18:55

@Mandatorymongoose, thank you Flowers

I know that ED's have the highest mortality rate than any other MH problem. It's serious and scary. I do look forward to getting everything checked out.
My beautiful long, thick, curly hair (pre chemo it was very fine and straight) that I'd grown back after 2.5 years was cut short into a pixie crop a few weeks ago because it was breaking off/thinning so much and looked terrible. My hairdresser even had to make adjustments to try to hide the really thin spots. I was devastated.
My RHR is down to between 34 and 42 BPM.
I'm incredibly fatigued, I have no energy for anything. Just moving my hand and finger to type right now is a struggle. Everything is a struggle. Everything takes too much effort and my mood and general moral is very very low. I don't know how my husband is coping with the mood swings and irrational outburst but he is, thank goodness.
I can't increase calories, I've got a goal to reach before my appointment and, I fully intend to get there.
I know it's not good but that's the way it is.

OP posts:
RLABC · 12/10/2019 19:14

@Purpleartichoke, firstly, thank you so much for taking the time to read this thread and respond. Secondly, I really hope that your daughter gets the help she needs and is successful. Plus, I think it's wonderful that you are supporting her Flowers
Well done for setting your family straight on what you will & won't accept. I've been thinking about doing that for the next family visit but I'm hoping that I'll be better by then. I hope that your email was received with grace and love.
The first few days of my dad's visit were extremely hard and stressful for me (and him, poor sod!) because I'd gone from only having to think about meals for my husband once a day (usually I cook a big pot of something for him and he's happy with that for 2/3/4 days) as he eats at work too, to needing to plan, prep', cook, serve, wash up after 2/3 meals a day for dad. It was too much to cope with and, after a few stroppy outbursts and much grumbling/crying to myself, I came clean and told him that I was struggling to cope. It seemed like my whole day was forced to focus on food for other people when that's the last thing I wanted. After that he tried to understand. I say "tried" - he doesn't get it and never has but at least he didn't object too much to helping himself sometimes instead of being waited on and going hungry if he couldn't be arsed to get up off his backside.
I ate in front if him a total of 6 times in 26 days. He nagged (as did my husband) but accepted that that was a huge effort on my behalf and I was only doing it for him/them.
He did buy me lots of "safe foods" that I've hoarded away though and he knows that I will eat them at some stage. I'm saving them for whenever my recovery starts because they are foods that I'd ordinarily like to eat, lower calorie so, hopefully acceptable, and more expensive than the foods that we can afford from our shopping budget. Also some treats Smile

OP posts:
RLABC · 22/10/2019 18:38

So, I had my appointment with the psychiatrist yesterday and it was a complete waste of time. There's no one there that specialises in ED's so the only thing they suggested was to contact a couple of other doctors in either Istanbul or Izmir to ask about therapy as an inpatient or day patient. That's not going to be possible as they're both many hours away and I really don't want to do that.
We reached a compromise;I'll start taking Prozac again and see how I get on. I know it won't work, I've been prescribed 20mg/day, last time I was taking 80mg/day and it had no effect on my eating disorder at all but I agreed to try it just so I didn't have to think about the hospital suggestions.
It looks like I'm going to have to do this on my own.
I've got to make an appointment with the cardiology department to get checked out and I'm going to see my GP either tomorrow or Thursday to sort out a blood test, just to see what, if anything, is going on inside.
I'll update once I have the results back.

OP posts:
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