Addictive Behaviors

I stumbled upon something in my Kinesiology textbook that set something off in my brain the other day.

It is thought that a rehabilitated addict is most likely always in recovery. They are not cured, and resuming the drug/activity could be devastating.

It is not just drugs and alcohol that a person can become addicted to. Anorexia was my addiction. It would be silly of me to think that I will ever be “cured” of it. It will always be a part of my past, it is currently a part of my present, and it may play a part in my future. There is always the danger that I could revert back to my old, dangerous habits and spiral downward again. Day to day, the decisions that I make can either help me move toward recovery or away from it, but I don’t think that one can ever be 100% recovered. To me, that’s like saying that my life is like I never went through anorexia. Which is just not true. Going through treatment or whatever path you decide(d) to take does not erase the past and reset your life. It will always be there and be a part of you, it’s just a matter of how BIG a part of you that it is at this moment in time.

Sorry if that sounded a bit Debbie Downer-esque, but reading that just really struck something in me that felt like a truth and I wanted to share. I know plenty of women who consider themselves “cured” but who still have bad days. They may very well be “cured” in their heads, but as long as those thoughts are around, as they are sure to be, I think that the most they can say is that they are 99.99% recovered and I’d take that any day.

——————————————————————————–

Wednesday, my mom and I had our first Zumba class! Our instructor’s name is Becky and she is seriously the cutest little thing that I have ever seen. She’s so bubbly and one of the few people in existence that my mom said is shorter than herself. I think that I did pretty well following along and picking up on rhythms and moves for the majority of the class, but I learned that I am definitely not a salsa dancing kind of a girl. I struggled hardcore finding the rhythm and trying to figure out the steps. Not sure how my mom liked it, but she seemed to at least be able to put a smile on her face; real or otherwise. My legs were actually a little tight when I got up this morning. Good sign?

Banana-Mango Green Monster.

Thursday = medium-length run. I had done a short gym workout since it was raining (think military presses, crunches, leg extensions, etc.) and went through that fairly quickly. Since I had so much time left until we were allowed to leave I decided to get some of my run out of the way ahead of time. 1.5 miles done with another 4.5 to be completed once back at home. Spanish class flew by quickly and I was pretty busy at work as well so my day on campus was over before I knew it.

Protein cereal with blueberries

Two more weeks of classes left and then hopefully things will slow down a little. I at least will only have to be making my way to campus 2-3 times a week rather than the 5 that I do right now although I’m taking the same number of credits again next session. More independent studying though, which is fine by me. There are hardly any such opportunities in my program so I grab what I can when I can.

Banana-Mango Green Monster #2

I’ve been on a bit of a little spiral downward in my moods lately. July is getting closer and closer and all I can think about is the fact that I’m not going to Africa. I’m not going to hike Kilimanjaro. I’m not going to work with women and children in Tanzania. I’m not going to be presenting a paper I wrote on herbal treatment of malaria. I’m not going to have a stamp in my passport, which will, in fact, continue to sit in my drawer unused and unopened.

July is going to be a very hard month for me, guys. So I’m sorry if I don’t appear cheerful or optimistic in the coming days and weeks. I’m still extremely bitter about the whole ordeal and I don’t know how long it’s going to be before I can let go of it, but I am still very raw and depressed. And, no, I do not like that depressed is too strong of a word choice to use. Anorexia robbed me of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and that is one thing that I will never get back. I will be able to get many of the things I lost from my disease back, but not this. Not that experience.

I threw myself into my summer studies and my half marathon training to escape the hurt that I felt and still feel. Today was honestly the first time that I’ve allowed myself to think about it again. I think it’s safe to say, judging from the tear drops on my shirt sleeves, that the hurt never receded, I just covered it up for awhile. I don’t know how to get over this. It’s not as if I can go to Africa myself, climb that mountain, and send a huge “f#$% you” to the world.

Hopefully seeing my boyfriend for the first time in about a month tomorrow will help cheer me up a bit. Or to at least give me his shirt sleeve to cry on… I don’t have many close friends who I can meet with in the meantime while we’re apart. I know it’s probably not a good thing that I rely on him so heavily, but I really don’t have anyone else. I keep trying to get together with those who used to be such a huge part of my life; my closest confidantes; but they brush me off and out of the way back into the corner. They don’t want to meet. They don’t want to talk… Apparently I’m not desperate enough by begging them for a meeting…

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14 thoughts on “Addictive Behaviors

    • The university decided that I was too big of a health risk and rescinded my acceptance. They said that I couldn’t possibly become better enough to be able to go, even though here I am now almost at a healthy BMI and the strongest, healthiest, and most physically fit I have ever been in my entire life.

  1. My trip to Africa (in July, too!!) was cancelled as well, and I am SO bitter, and SO sad. I totally know how you feel 😦 I just keep telling myself that I’ll be back someday, hopefully sooner than later!!

    • It’s just going to be hard seeing and hearing about the trip from the rest of the group, since I was the only one not allowed to go anymore. It doesn’t help that I’ll be having the professor who is supervising the trip as a professor in the near future. I really don’t know how I’ll be able to face him again.

  2. Not sure what happened about your trip…
    but I’m deeply familair with depression.

    You’re so very fortunate to be able to exercise for a kind of “release”. I haven’t been able to exercise for a long time and have a long mountain to climb. Its mentally and physically drowning me.

    When you feel like crying, laugh instead. Try anything to cheer up.

  3. I can’t imagine how you feel right now. I would be so devastated in that situation. I’m so sorry things didn’t work out. One door closes, another door will open. Try to stay positive, you will get another opportunity for something even better in the future. I know, it’s easier said than done but I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason!
    On a side note: I always think about the concept that you’re never 100% recovered. It makes sense, I mean, once you go so far down that road, your relationship with food is never the same. Or maybe one day, hopefully when I’m a little old lady, I’ll finally be at peace. But right now I still feel like that is so foreign. It’s sad, but true.

  4. I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I’ve never dealt too much with anorexia, but I was severely depressed as a teenager and it is something that will be a part of me always, because, like you with anorexia, I was addicted to depression.
    When you tell that to somebody, it sounds weird. But for somebody like you, or I, or anybody else who has suffered from a mental disease, we get comfortable in those altered states. And that comfortableness if the thing we get addicted to. It just so happens that these nasty diseases are associated with it.
    I wish I could say, “Keep you chin up!” and believe that that would really do something for you. I know you are going to have to fight every single moment to be able to take what is good from your life and cherish it. you will have to fight every moment to keep anorexia out of your life and to keep it from hurting it again. But you’ve come a hell of a long way from where you started. So remember your journey during the next month. And don’t let anorexia ruin anything for you EVER again.

  5. I believe in the mantra that things happen for a reason, so who knows? Something wonderful may come your way during the time you were supposed to go to Africa!

    Also, I know how it feels to try to connect with people whom you used to call your closest confidants, but they don’t want anything to do with you anymore. I know that it hurts. I know we don’t know each other too well, but as someone who sort of knows how you feel, let me know if you want to talk about anything!

    ps boyfriends are great at making us feel better : )

  6. Girl, if you lived in Southern California I’d definitely give you a shoulder to cry on. I’m so sorry that you’re feeling this way and that hopefully this weekend will help clear things up for you 🙂

  7. Sorry to hear about the trip. You never know – another opportunity for such an experience may come your way in the future. I understand the frustration and sadness though.

    Also I agree that you can never be cured from eating disordered ways. You can gain strength to make healthier decisions regularly but never fully cured of the troubling thoughts. I can relate to that with my binge eating past.

  8. Hi there, just found your blog and have been reading through it. Ugh – I’m sending lots of love your way. What you are going through does not sound easy! I really hope you have a wonderful weekend – do only what YOU love to do.

  9. I still can’t believe after everything that you can’t go on the trip. I feel so bad and so angry for you. I really wish there was anything I could do to allow you to go. Stay strong and maybe focus on another trip in the future, you still have a few more years ahead of you, right? Have you thought about planning a new study abroad adventure? 😮

    • This was my only chance. I only have 1 more summer left until I graduate and that will be spent visiting Dietetics programs and meeting with program directors as well as taking a few more classes that I need that just don’t fit in during the regular school year. I just won’t have the money then that I did now since I have to buy a car next summer.

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