This post does discuss eating disorders and physical symptoms. If this is triggering for you please consider whether reading is going to be helpful or harmful.
Having an eating disorder and feeling physically unwell go together. Yet each time I relapse I wonder why I feel so damn terrible. Then there’s the torture and suffering inside my head. Eating disorders suck. They completely f’ing suck.
I don’t know how long I’ve been restricting for this time. Maybe a few weeks. Maybe a month or more. I’ve lost track of time. Each day has been a battle of whether to eat or not, what to ear or not eat, how much to eat. Some days have been easier and eating hasn’t been a massive issue… until it gets to the end of the day and I begin calculating calories. I’d resolve to eat “better” (read “less”) the following day. Then the bingeing kicked in which is hardly surprising after restrictive eating.
I know how that cycle goes. I restrict for a period of time, then feel so unwell and so hungry that I eat. It’s just that only one meal doesn’t do it. My body goes into overdrive with hunger. I have to eat everything around me. Then comes the guilt from having eaten so much. I know restricting doesn’t work so I figure that balanced eating will work better.
That’s where I’m at now. It’s just that with this relapse my body isn’t coping anywhere near as well as it did ten years ago. I feel physically unwell so much more easily. I don’t think my eating disorder behaviours are as severe as they have been in the past, but my body doesn’t tolerate it as well.
I’m at a point where I am trying to eat some more without binging, but my body is unhappy. It doesn’t matter what type of food I have or how much, my body throws a tantrum. This time it’s a comparably mild tantrum, but a tantrum none the less. Consuming any food, even the smallest amounts leaves me feeling ever so sleepy and with a headache that only eases with time and not eating. I haven’t found anything that stops my head from hurting like it does.
I know that this is mild. I know how much worse it can be. Last year I suffered so much more whilst trying to up my intake of food and get back on track. I’d be in bed for hours after eating with my heart racing, horrible nausea and stomach pain, dizziness that wouldn’t stop and a headache no amount of pain killers would dull. I feel somewhat grateful that my body isn’t doing that this time around.
Physical symptoms like that, when you’re trying to eat more, really do not help. It makes restricting and never, ever eating again seem so appealing. I know the symptoms will settle if I persist with eating a decent amount and regularly but I’d really rather not. I know that restrictive eating now means jeopardising my Christmas and New Year plans, not to mention my job, and friendships. Restricting is not worth it, but eating is harder than words can describe.
I know I’ll come out the other side of this relapse at some point, and I think that will be soon. What I don’t know is how or when I’ll ditch this eating disorder for good. I’m sick of spending so much time feeling so physically unwell from eating disorder symptoms.