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Anorexia relapse (TW)

_AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
edited July 28 in Health & Wellbeing
Hi,
Just looking for some advice.
TW: restricting, weight (no numbers), calories (no numbers), purging
Message below- thanks!
Aj xx
Hi, so basically I’ve struggled with anorexia for the past 3 years, but hit weight recovery about a year ago and since then it’s all been going fairly uphill with my eating. I reached a point where I was happy with my body (small victories like wearing a crop top!) and still sort of am but have ended up slipping back into old habits.
The last month and a half I’ve been hiding how bad things have got from my roommate (who have their own struggles with eating). Ive been purging in secret, taking excessive amounts of laxatives again and restricting very heavily. Ive also started calorie counting which I never had done before. Ive being tracking literally every morsel and have ended up with an app counting but otherwise do it in my head.
I know how much of w slippery slope this is, but the truth is I don’t know if I want to stop. I’m scared. I have emailed my GP and told her what’s going on but I’m scared that because I am at the higher end of a healthy weight they won’t take me seriously. I don’t really know what to do.
Any advice welcome!
Aj xx
Post edited by Mike on
lovemimoonAislingDMLorryTruck_Tech_Addict_GirlAriannazaynab_5

Comments

  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 944 Part of The Mix Family
    Hi AJ

    It’s incredibly brave of you to share what you’re going through right now with us, thank you for being so honest, it can’t have been easy - particularly emailing your GP to let them know too. Although you said you don’t know if you want to stop, it sounds to me like you know that it will be better for you if you do. Maybe that’s why you have reached out here and to your GP?

    I’m not an expert on EDs but I know anorexia is extremely complex and individual so I’m not going to say I understand how you are feeling, but it sounds like you are very self aware and brave enough to admit you are struggling right now, which feels like the first step 💜 do you think you will speak to your doctor about it properly?

    Take good care
    Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
    lovemimoonAislingDM
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    Hi @Lucy307,
    Thanks for your reply 😊
    I guess I’m trying to reach out which must mean I want help, I think I’m just scared of getting help and stopping the behaviours which are keeping me sane.
    I’ve decided I’m going to try and speak to my GP today and raise it with my therapist too. I’m just really scared about what they’re going to think.
    Thanks,
    AJ x
    AislingDMLucy307
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Posts: 66 Boards Initiate
    Hi AJ I just wanted to say I wish you all the best with talking to your gp, it’s a really brave step and its really good that you’ve decided to reach out.

    (Sorry if this came across patronising I just know how nerve wrecking it can be to open up about things)

    Your therapist and gp are there to help not judge, I’m sure they’ll just be happy you’re reaching out. And remember we’re always here if you ever need someone to listen. We’re cheering you on aj and we’re proud of you.

    Sending lots of hugs <3
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 264 Moderator
    Thank you so much for being so open to sharing with us all @_AJ_ I know this cannot be easy at all, particularly because, as you've said, the idea of seeking help and support is very stressful and anxiety-inducing. You're struggling so much to keep going every day, it's no wonder you're starting to feel exhausted and uncertain of what to do. The fact that you're keen to talk to your GP and therapist is beyond amazing and the fact that you are so insightful about how you are struggling is really impressive, as it's a really difficult thing to do <3 The idea of stopping these behaviours and being vulnerable and letting others know must feel so scary, AJ, and this is beyond understandable. We are always here for you no matter what and if you do encounter any problems with the GP/therapist (I know you've mentioned worrying about not being taken seriously because of your literal weight) please do come and talk to us here and we will work to support you in all the ways you deserve. I truly promise you that you are not alone <3
    lovemimoon
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    Hey @SpaceOtter and @AislingDM
    Thanks for your sweet messages, I really appreciate it.
    Just to say, I ended up having to speak to a GP yesterday (not my GP which was a little nerve wracking) as I had a fainting episode because of my eating. Then my roommate had to call an ambulance in the evening because I blacked out. So it's been a bit scary but getting some help. The GP has put me on quite a strict meal plan for the next few days which i haven't really been abiding by because its too stressful and I am getting panicked if I go above a certain number of calories. I am sort of beginning to acknowlege how ill I actually am and that its not reliant on my weight.
    AJ x
    SpaceOtterlovemimoonLorryTruckAriannaAislingDM
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    Hi,
    just need to rant again. my eating has been terrible still and I’m barely managing a meal a day still.
    I went to the GP yesterday who said they were really concerned about my calorie intake. which is worrying I guess. and she said the worst part was probably my dehydration because I’m really struggling with taking in fluids and by purging I’m losing a lot of water. so actually any times on how to drink more when you are finding it tricky bc of ed thoughts would be amazing.
    i then found out my weight which is bloody terrifying me. i am overweight according to bmi which isn’t helping because now i feel i have to lose weight but don’t know how to do it healthily. and because of my weight ed services probably won’t accept me which is horrid because i need support. just because i got to a good place doesn’t mean i’m in one now.
    i am just very overwhelmed and anxious. and i am staying at my godmothers a few days which means i have to eat because of her kids. and i just can’t do it. it’s so bad i am making excuses to not eat just so i don’t have to face it.
    hugs, advice and animal pics would be much appreciated
    AJ x
    lovemimoon
  • AbbyOwlAbbyOwl North of Watford GapPosts: 107 The Mix Convert
    Hi @_AJ_ ,

    Thank you for continuing to be so honest with us. I know it cannot be easy, but your honest posts show your strength of character, and you should be proud of yourself <3 It must have been hard to see the GP and to explain how you are feeling, but it was a positive step and they are there to help and support you - not to judge.

    As someone who struggles with their food and weight, I know how terrifying seeing the scales can be <3 BMIs do not always show the full picture of someone's weight, so can only really be taken as a guide, so please do not fixate on that figure <3 You could discuss the idea of healthy weight loss with your GP, who might be able to give you useful resources or refer you onto a dietician.

    Motivating myself to do 20 minutes of exercise and drinking a bit more water helps me on the difficult days. I have a bottle with timepoints on it, and use that to drink a healthy amount of water over the day, which prevents dehydration and means I'm not drinking sugary drinks. It's super important that everything is done in a healthy and positive way though <3

    People should never expect you to have just 'gotten over it' and that support and understanding should be there for you throughout your recovery journey <3 It's completely understandable why you are anxious about the new environment at your godmother's. Are you able to talk to her before the visit and let her know? If she understands more, then you could work things out to suit you more and make you more comfortable <3 There are some resources on BEAT which could help https://beateatingdisorders.org.uk/support-services/downloads-resources

    Recovery from anything is never linear, but you are showing real courage and strength :star: We're all rooting for you from the side-lines and sending loads of virtual hugs your way <3 x
    lovemimoon
  • KatKat Posts: 31 Boards Initiate
    Hi @_AJ_
    Don't worry we are always here for you if you need to rant <3. You have show immense bravery by talking to the GP and I hope you can recognise just how positive that step is.

    I understand you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. When I am struggling with my mental health it always helps me to try and put my focus into something else. Do you have any hobbies? I particularly find listening to music while colouring in colouring books really soothing. It helps to distract me a little. I know feelings can feel all encompassing but maybe give something a go when your feel really overwhelmed and anxious and see if it helps?

    As has been mentioned the BEAT website may be really helpful and they even have a helpline if you want to speak to someone about your struggles with eating.

    Keep talking to your GP and therapist, they are there for you and can help you find the right ways to be healthy. You are doing so well and the fact you are talking with us and your GP and therapist should show you that you have the determination to manage this.
    Sending massive hugs <3
    Remember we are always here for you
    AbbyOwllovemimoon
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    Hi again guys!
    Hope everyone is okay and enjoying the weather.
    Just an update. I’ve been in hospital (still am) tonight because of dehydration- I’d not drink anything since yesterday and I won’t go into the details about the other stuff! The gp said I needed to go to a&e. I’m just about to get hooked up to a drip. And I’m just really scared that it’s got this bad. I don’t know how to fix it anymore. It’s not as simple as just drink. A bottle of time points does sound good though. I might try that.
    Beat has been fantastic, thanks for the recommendation!
    Aj x
    jforo1lovemimoonAbbyOwlLorryTruck
  • SpaceOtterSpaceOtter Posts: 66 Boards Initiate
    Hi @_AJ_ sending lots of hugs, hope you feel better soon. We’re always here if you need anything <3
  • jforo1jforo1 Posts: 2 Newbie
    Hi AJ!

    I am new to this community but wanted to reach out and let you know that we are all behind you! Things will get better and Im sure things don't feel right at the minute but you will get there. I have also read through the thread and noticed you looked into BMI, please try to not get fixated on this because there is so much research showing that this is not a crucial aspect to being 'healthy'. For your as dehydration I would recommend trying to distract your mind with something you enjoy such as music, meditation or a warm bath and sipping on water when you can so that you don't feel too overwhelmed:)

    I hope this helps and I'm wishing you the best of luck with your recovery!

    Jade x
    lovemimoon
  • AbbyOwlAbbyOwl North of Watford GapPosts: 107 The Mix Convert
    Sending a massive virtual hug your way @_AJ_ <3 Like @SpaceOtter said, we're always here if you need anything <3 x
  • AislingDMAislingDM Posts: 264 Moderator
    As has already been said many times loads and loads of hugs and love to you @_AJ_ ! <3 It sounds so painful and confusing to be put in this position, I can hear how terrified you are because as you say, this is not simple/easy to 'fix'. I'm glad to hear that Beat have been really supportive, but I know sometimes this is not enough. How are you feeling atm? <3
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    edited July 28
    Hey guys,
    Thanks for all being so supportive 🥺💜
    Another update! I’m back home now after last night. I was on a drip for a little while then sent home and told to ‘just drink’.
    I’ve done a bit better on the hydration front today!! Still not enough I know but an improvement. Unfortunately I fainted again though.
    We tried going out for dinner tonight which was terrifying. I feel angry at myself as I got what I thought was the lowest calorie thing, rather than what I wanted. And then I panicked because I couldn’t find the nutritional info online so have convinced myself I ate about 2 billion calories (ik ridiculous). And then after all ended up purging so now feeling ill and sad which is not a good combination.
    Hope everyone is doing okay
    AJ x
    Post edited by Mike on
    MichelleDLorryTruck
  • MichelleDMichelleD Posts: 6 Confirmed not a robot
    edited July 28
    Hi AJ,
    I am new here too but i just want to give you a hug.
    That is amazing progress, which reminds me I need to drink more water. I know it might not be helpful but I find myself drinking a lot more water if it is in a nice cup or water bottle so try switching up your mugs, glasses or even try a cute mason jar to encourage drinking water. I used to count my calories too and it just consumed me. My first ever scale I brought was for my calorie counting. I had the same issue when I couldn’t find the calories of a food I would make it up and then convinced myself I was going over the daily intake. I learnt that I need to enjoy food and experience of eating. I hope this helps.
    Michelle
    Post edited by Mike on
  • kimberley1907kimberley1907 Posts: 55 Boards Initiate
    Hi @_AJ_
    I've been having a read through and first of all want to say how proud I am of you for going to the GP and getting some help. It's a hard first step to make and I'm glad you've done it!

    I understand how hard it must be for you. I struggled with disordered eating for a quite a few years, and found it really difficult to stop the patterns around food that I had created. I'm glad that you were treated, and have been trying to drink more too!

    I'm sorry that you experienced that yesterday too. My relationship with food took me ages and lots of battles to try and fix. How are you feeling today??

    And after your trip to A&E, would you try to contact the GP again? I'm not sure on what they can do for you, as I never experienced this exact issue myself, but sometimes if you keep pestering them, they try to do something?

    You also mentioned your therapist earlier on in the thread. Did you tell her about this? I'm wondering if she could provide you with some support over this. It's something I brought to my therapist when I was seeing her, and I found her very supportive and helpful in trying to overcome my relationship with food.
  • KatKat Posts: 31 Boards Initiate
    Hiya @_AJ_

    It's great to hear that you're back at home now. It must be so frustrating when people tell you to 'just drink' but I can tell you are trying so hard and you are making great progress.

    Try not to feel too angry at yourself for choosing the lowest calorie option, I know eating out can be really challenging and you are trying so hard. Try to be kind to yourself.

    As has been mentioned, it's a good idea to keep speaking to your GP so they can keep giving you support.

    Please keep looking after yourself, you are worth it <3
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    Hi guys,
    Had a difficult day again. I went to see the GP nurse for some dressing changes for my self harm. I fainted again while I was there and then was sick. The nurse sent me home (given I live just round the corner) and told me to call back if anything got any worse. Which it sadly did because I was both sick and fainted again. Really struggling to eat still and it’s not good.
    Any ideas on how to get some energy in easily? Someone recommended dextrose energy tablets? I just need to stop fainting.
    Aj x
  • RileyRiley Posts: 792 Super Moderator
    I'm sorry to hear that you had a difficult day @_AJ_ that all sounds like it would be extremely exhausting just like you said. I'm glad that you had the GP nurse taking care of you at least, hopefully that helped.

    It's tough for me to give concrete advice with this, since I don't have a whole lot of experience with anorexia, but if you can get yourself to eat or drink things with a lot of sugar in them that should help you stop fainting as much. If you can't face eating anything then drinking things with lots of sugar and caffine in them is an option too, like soft drinks or energy drinks.

    Please keep on updating us with how you're doing AJ I know a lot of people here on the boards are rooting for you! <3
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    edited July 28
    Hi,
    Another update for you all!
    I had an ambulance out the other night because I fainted and hit my head. Lucky to get off with a mild concussion. It was very scary. Since then I’ve got a bit better at drinking, though still not enough.
    Thanks for the idea of energy drinks @Riley. At least if it tastes nice it’s easier to drink.
    I made a bit of a plan with my friend/mentor (she helped me so much during my first bout of anorexia) to start to tackle the harder stuff. And I think I’m going to get a dietitian. So fingers crossed everything starts to help.
    Aj x
    Post edited by Mike on
    LorryTruck
  • LorryTruckLorryTruck Definition of a mental mess and a certified lost cause :) EnglandPosts: 2,118 Boards Champion
    Hey,

    I'm sending lots of hugs your way, it sounds like you are having a really hard time right now <3

    I really hope things get better for you soon.

    Making plans is a really positive step, and I hope those plans work out.

    Sending love <3
    I know you've heard this before, but you've got to be strong now...
  • kimberley1907kimberley1907 Posts: 55 Boards Initiate
    edited July 28
    Hi @_AJ_
    I'm sorry to hear how the last couple days have been. You sound like you're trying your best and I'm proud of you for trying.

    How have you been drinking water so far? I'm also thinking maybe smaller glasses would help you to drink more? Or a straw? I find bigger glasses harder to finish, and a straw usually helps me drink more as it's easier for me.

    I wish you the best. Thank you for updating us. I hope the plan goes well and this plan works out <3
    Post edited by Mike on
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,547 Community Manager
    edited July 28
    This is such a lovely discussion, and I hope you're feeling a bit better after your bump @_AJ_ :)

    I just wanted to chip in with a gentle reminder about the eating guidelines. It's obvious everyone here is doing their best to have this conversation in a healthy way and that nobody deliberately strayed outside the guidelines, but did we need to make some edits in this thread.

    The key thing is that we avoid discussion of what or how much someone is consuming. There were a few comments here about certain foods and drinks, amounts, and meal timings. These kinds of conversations can be okay from a healthy eating perspective, but in the context of disordered eating, it's best to stick to the emotional and mental side and avoid those practical details. The reason for that is just to prevent other folks making comparisons and to avoid potential triggers.

    Here are the eating disorder guidelines in full (found in About This Forum (Health & Wellbeing)):
    Eating disorders: Please avoid sharing details about your specific weight, calorie counts or any behaviours, as those specifics can lead to people making unhelpful comparisons. Examples of this are saying what or how much you've consumed, or what methods you use to restrict or purge.
    The eating guidelines are more tricky than our other guidelines to judge though, so no worries and drop @TheMix a message if you want to clarify anything or check a post before sending. :)

    Loving the amount of support in this thread - y'all are awesome. :star:
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.

    Want to join the community champions? Drop @TheMix a message!
  • _AJ__AJ_ Posts: 101 The Mix Convert
    Hi guys,
    Sorry I’ve been AWOL- was in hospital for an overdose this week unfortunately so been very worn out since I got back.
    Food wise things aren’t looking much better. I’m still restricting and purging a lot and my therapist is feeling out of her depth trying to help me. I feel terrible that I can’t just get it under control. I’m managing to drink more but the GP says I’m still dehydrated and that’s what’s causing most of my fainting and other symptoms. It just. Feels so overwhelming to try even more than I already am. And food is just hard. My GP said I had to drink more the less I’m eating (apparently most of our moisture comes from food) so that’s hard too.
    I’m not really sure where to start with my eating. Someone told me to just throw myself in the deep end and do the recommended 3 meals and snacks but I can’t manage much at all and it all feels a little daunting.
    I’m away for the weekend too which puts a lot of pressure on me to eat and I don’t know how to manage that really.
    So as usual advice, hugs and animal pics welcome!
    AJ x
    P.S. Thanks @Mike for the reminder :)
  • SupernovaSupernova Posts: 631 Incredible Poster
    Sorry if you've covered this already but are you prescribed any meal replacement drinks? Ensure is what I remember them being called. I had them after a bereavement because I stopped eating almost entirely. They seemed to help me to get my weight back up again and improve my appetite. If you're not already using them perhaps you could speak to your dietitian about them?
  • KatKat Posts: 31 Boards Initiate
    Hiya @_AJ_

    I'm sorry to hear how much you are struggling, sending the biggest hugs your way <3

    You said you feel terrible that you can't get the situation under control but please don't be so hard on yourself. We can all see how hard you are fighting and you said yourself that you are drinking more. While you still may not be drinking enough, you should still recognise how big an achievement drinking more is. I find it helpful to look for the tiny wins when I am struggling, because every little step means so much and celebrating each little win can make it easier to take the next step. Try and reward yourself for every little win that you achieve, watch your favourite tv show, listen to the music you love. This might boost your mood and help distract you from any negative thoughts.

    If you do want to throw yourself in at the deep end I know it can be daunting as you have said, and that's totally true. But I like to think that the most rewarding things come to us when we feel lost and out of our comfort zone. There are many things in life that we will never feel ready to do but we have to just take that leap of faith. One of my favourite quotes is: 'What if I fall?', 'Oh but my darling, what if you fly?'

    How are you feeling after this weekend?
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