Who woulda guessed that I’d go into total withdrawals without my computer?! This past Monday I was reading some guys blog and BAM! my computer went blank and totally died. After 4 hours of it trying to repair itself it gave up. Sooo… for a little while I am without a computer except for a little bit here and there at work.
After years of having a computer at my fingertips 24/7, I have come to depend on it. I never really thought about my dependence on it. I do my banking online, catch up with friends on Facebook, lots of emailing, blog now, search for yummy recipes, and just generally entertain myself. I haven’t had a TV with cable in my house since I moved out of my mom’s. The computer is truly my friend! lol
The thing I miss the most about having a working computer at home is the ability to reach out to friends at those odd hours when it’s just not appropriate to call. You know, that 3am itch to talk to someone when the thoughts are just going through your head and you can’t make them stop. I have a couple of friends now that I generally write to at those times. Those crazy hour emails have been life savers on more than one occasion!
I am in a 12 step program to deal with food issues. I have used food as a crutch for dealing with life since… well.. forever! I think I went into full fledged bulimia at age 11. I don’t think I started purging until I was 14, but the eating disorder was there. Binging and restricting has been my life. Having gone 4 months now without binging is amazing! The restriction has been a little more of an issue during this time. It, too, is coming more into balance. What does this have to do with not having my computer? Well, when my committee is going it’s a great tool to get up and write about it. I email my sponsor, write into an online meeting I belong to, or just start a fresh Word document and write until it’s all out. The act of writing just seems to be so useful in getting the unwanted thoughts and feelings out of my head so I don’t have to carry them around with me. There have been many a time when email has saved my butt in terms of not binging or committing to eating a healthy meal instead of starving myself.
My goal at this point is to be abstinent. What does this mean? For me, the definition is that I don’t eat any wheat/flour, refined sugar, anything in the hot dog/sausage family, potato chips, nothing in between meals, and no seconds. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? It is at times. Eating out is truly a nightmare! There are so many places I can’t eat at all. I limit my carbs to once a day or sometimes once every few days. I do better when I don’t eat carbs daily. I feel better overall. Besides that, it helps with the weight loss and keeping my A1c down. Being abstinent has brought me out of the diabetic range, decreased my blood pressure and pulse, and brought my weight down 69 lbs. Beyond just the physical recovery, I am now able to truly feel all of my emotions and see patterns in my life. Funny how something like not eating compulsively can bring such clarity to the mind and body.
I was told about 7 years ago that I have bulimia. I don’t purge in the “normal” way. (Throwing up). My purging has been through compulsive excercise. My medical doctor told me not long ago that it’s impossible to exercise too much. Well, I beg to differ. When I am exercising 5 hours a day every day and not eating, this is too much! For me the exercising goes hand-in-hand with the restriction. The more I excercise, the less I eat. The first time I did this, I was 14. The summer before I started high school. I dropped about 30 lbs in a month and a half. I was swimming 100 laps a day and just not eating. I was so proud! And… I got a lot of positive reinforcement from family and friends about the weight loss. I’ve done this several times in my life. (4, I think.) The last time was when I was diagnosed with bulimia and forced into treatment. I lost 90 lbs in 2 1/2 months. It was crazy! I weighed myself about 10 times a day and barely ate enough to keep my body going. I was averaging about 500 calories a day. I almost passed out in the shower one night from lack of food.
The treatment was a DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) program at Kaiser. I wasn’t committed to being there. I went because I was told I had to. Despite not wanting to be there and thinking I didn’t really need it, I learned a lot of skills and tools. I learned to urge surf, which is my main coping skill for dealing with the bulimia these days. Urge surfing, in a nutshell, is postponing until the urge to do X behavior has passed. It’s amazingly helpful. This is yet one more way my computer comes into play. lol Getting online and playing at something eases my mind and takes me away from whatever I’m feeling which is making me want to binge. The other tool I learned was eating 3 meals a day. When I’m skipping meals, my body is truly hungry, so I am more at risk for binging at some point when I do eat. If not a binge, then at least eating more than I would like to. My mind tells me that I am eating too much when I eat three meals a day. It’s OK to not believe everything my mind tells me! When I look at the actual quantity of food I eat with 3 meals a day versus a binge… hands down, better to eat the 3 meals!
It’s been a long time since I’ve purged in any form. (about 7 years!) I’ve used excercise and laxatives to compensate for the eating. It seems that when I am in binge mode I don’t purge. I purge when I am in the restriction mode. Hmmmm… think this is a little odd. One of the things everyone in an eating disorder program/class learns is the best way to binge and purge. What foods come up the easiest. Techniques. It didn’t even occur to me to use laxatives until I went into treatment. Now, I’m not saying that treatment is a bad thing!!!! There are so many good things I got from the program. I went for 7 straight months. Every Thursday night was DBT. Since I haven’t purged in so many years, I am unwilling and frankly…afraid.. to use any kind of laxative. With the changes in my diet, I no longer have chronic diarrhea from the gluten. I now have some pretty bad constipation. What’s a girl to do when it hurts to go?! I spoke with my doctor today and we decided it’s OK for me to take DSS (docusate sodium). The dietician has always told me get all the fiber, etc, I need through my diet. I don’t think it’s possible for me to eat enough fiber in a day! lol Sooo… I am trying out the DSS. I have some fears about it… but I am doing it. My biggest fear about any form of laxative isn’t the compulsion to abuse it. Truly, it is the physical discomfort of stopping the use. The horrific constipation I experienced when stopping its use was unbelievable! If the idea of using laxatives sounds good to you… think about this… not being able to poop normally for a long time and having such intense constipation that you bleed and spend hours trying to go… for a few weeks. Yeah, it’s bad!
Well, this is all for today. I’m sure I’ll write more about this topic again one day. Being in reovery from bulemia is such a gift! I pray that everyone out there suffering fromt his madness will be able to find the help and support they need to reach a place of balance and peace within themselves to be able to stop the cycle!