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Old 07-30-2011, 11:13 PM   #1
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Coping not beating

Hi there!

I'm a twenty one year old actress living in the uk, and have suffered with anorexia nervosa for two and a half years now. While at university I was offered therapy but decided that I could fight the condition myself. I thought I was winning but now I'm not so sure. Although I've improved an awful lot since diagnosis, I'm starting to panic that I've just got complacent with "coping" rather than actually overcoming the illness. I still have all the voices in my head telling me not to eat certain foods and I'm extremely careful about what I eat. I've gained a stone and 5lbs since I was diagnosed (now 5 ft 3 and 7 stone 3lbs) but is this enough? Sometimes I feel like I should be grateful that I've managed to do this but other times I worry that I'm just fooling myself and everyone around me. But now that I look a bit healthier, I've managed to convince everyone around me that I'm better (sometimes even convince myself too!) so I feel really terrible asking them for help when it looks like there's nothing wrong with me anymore. I want to not be afraid to put on weight, but I'm terrified every day and I'm sick of this now. What can I do? Do I bring it up with my family after spending so long convincing them that I have recovered, and disappoint them all again? Or can I actualy win this battle myself? I want to be able to continue with my job so day therapy is not an option for me, but I was wondering whether anyone on the forum has any advice? Do the voice ever go away completely, or have I reached the stage where I'm not going to recover any more than I already have?

Sorry if this is rambly, but I can't sleep thinking about this. So grateful for any advice c

 
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Old 07-31-2011, 06:21 AM   #2
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Re: Coping not beating

Hello actressuk,

Welcome to the boards.

Were you professionally diagnosed with anorexia or are you going by symptomatology(symptoms) alone?

The thing about fighting an eating disorder is that a person can research all there is to on the specific disorder and at the end of the day,still be left with the frustration of feeling helpless.

The fact that you've both made progress and realize that there is more to be accomplished are admirable traits.Be proud of what you have accomplished thusfar.

Family and friends aren't going to understand the nature of your ED to the extent that you hope they will.In general,people tend to focus on a person's physical appearance as the determining factor regarding health.

Please don't try to view this as being a disappointment to anyone;especially yourself.

In my opinion,there are neither winners or losers,when it comes to ED recovery.There are those who recover and the others struggle towards recovery.

If day therapy isn't an option for you at this point,how about seeing a therapist who specializes in eating disorders? Some may have evening hours.

How do you feel about the possibility of taking medication?

There are online ED groups to consider also.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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Old 08-01-2011, 08:45 AM   #3
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Re: Coping not beating

I think it is good for you to have someone aware that your disorder is persisting... this person doesn't need to be a family member, but you should have someone in your life that can help you monitor what you are going through because often times we can't see the changes in ourselves the way that other people can and that is necessary form of feedback that we need to know how to strive towards health.
Also, you need someone simply to talk to and to listen to you, because it is not something you should go through alone even though many people with ED think they would prefer to because the disease makes us feel shameful and embarassed.
I think more people would understand that you think, and the idea of a therapist is probably a necessary one. A good therapist would help you focus on the progress you've made (which you should be so proud of!) as a means towards helping you stay positive in order to further propell forward. Don't think of what you are going through as a setback, and don't think of coping as lesser than beating when it comes to EDs... this is not an easy transition to make, and, in all honesty, is one that you may never be able to make completely...just as alcoholics remain alcoholics for life even if they've been 10 years + sober. So you need to take pride in every step you make towards and healthier and happier you, regardless of whether you think it's enough or not.
Stay strong! You are setting a great example for so many people even though you may not know it and, even better, you are taking care of yourself.

 
Old 08-02-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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Re: Coping not beating

Thanks for your replies.

A couple of hours after I wrote that message I read it back and realised that I needed to talk to someone about this. I called my best friend and shared my fears about reaching a standstill and since then feel much more positive about moving forward.

Phoenix, in answer to your question I was professionaly diagnosed, but I was not yet at such a low body weight that I would need to be sectioned. I'm currently looking into the possibility of seeing a therapist outside my work hours, and think this might be something I will do once I get some money together. With regards to medication, what kind of thing do you think would help?

Alyssa, thanks for making me feel good about the progress I've made already- when I look at how much I've actually changed I can see that I should be pleased with this. I just crave being normal again and being able to have a chocolate bar or an ice cream without the extreme feelings of guilt I feel at the moment. But I'm aware that this is something I need to work on step by step rather than be able to clicj my fingers and go back to the way I used to be. But in the last few days I've been trying to test myself a little and ignore what I feel I should eat rather than what I want to. It's hard, but I know I will be able to do it eventually.

Thanks again!

 
Old 08-02-2011, 03:53 PM   #5
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Re: Coping not beating

Quote:
Originally Posted by actressuk View Post
A couple of hours after I wrote that message I read it back and realised that I needed to talk to someone about this. I called my best friend and shared my fears about reaching a standstill and since then feel much more positive about moving forward.

Phoenix, in answer to your question I was professionaly diagnosed, but I was not yet at such a low body weight that I would need to be sectioned. I'm currently looking into the possibility of seeing a therapist outside my work hours, and think this might be something I will do once I get some money together. With regards to medication, what kind of thing do you think would help?

!
I am glad that you have a friend that you trust enough to share this information with.

Just thinking out loud here but do you have medical insurance,as this may help defray the cost of your therapist.

Could you seek assistance from the physician that diagnosed you?

The possibility of medication would be at the discretion of your prescribing physician. In addition,there may be underlying symptoms to consider.

Respectfully
Phoenix
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Last edited by Phoenix; 08-02-2011 at 03:57 PM.

 
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