Over the past week or so I have been experiencing more extremes in my mood and anxiety levels than usual.
Some days and evenings I am on a high – life is feeling possible and I feel that the world is opening its doors to me. I want to be in the world and I can start to believe that maybe, just maybe, I won’t be condemned to a life sentence with an eating disorder.
I feel that I can eat without restriction and move just as much as I choose to and do so with very little anxiety.
However, on other days, my anxiety is high, my mood drops, I feel frustrated and the very prospect of doing the tiniest thing feels hugely overwhelming.
On these days I feel the mental brick wall of restrictions building up again and ED thoughts are louder and stronger than ever.
On these days and evenings, I feel that I will never beat this shitty illness and I get sad, feel hopeless and helpless and yet, even then… knowing what I have to do to get out of it is sometimes barely enough to override the anxiety that comes with facing more food.
Examining what it is about the days my mood has been higher and my anxiety lower and the days where the opposite was the case, I have established…
– The days when life feels possible are the days I am taking on some serious challenges earlier in the day in order to beat the eating disorder to the ground and out my life!
– The days I eat a lot more and actually eat much higher fat contents too, are the days that the anxiety is less and mood is high and my thinking is less foggy….
and I do think the dietary fats have been important in helping recovery feel easier… as we know Fats!! are so beneficial (click on link for more!!).
Last week I started to really take on more scary meals in terms of eating bigger main meals out in restaurants…
I have noticed on the days I have done this, I have been scared beforehand and my anxiety has been high before the meal but then afterwards… during the afternoons and evenings on those days, eating more and relaxing more and taking on more and more ways to beat the s**t out the illness has felt so much easier.
On the other hand, the days in the last week when I have really struggled and had a more conservative lunch at home, the evenings have been times of genuinely high and intense anxiety and distress….
For example, yesterday, I was quite routine in my eating and recovery stuff and lunch was fine but not spectacular and I knew I could do better… Then yesterday afternoon and evening I became highly anxious, distressed and felt that I could not tolerate much more!
Conversely, today, I have had a much more challenging day. I went out for lunch and had a full on restaurant meal and then snacks and tonight I am sitting here feeling able to just carry on eating and resting and my anxiety is very low….
So what does this tell me?
I guess that really eating a lot more and getting the fats in early on in the day, despite how terrifying it is at the time and all the thoughts that might be there about then not being able to eat that evening, is actually the best and most helpful thing to do to beat the illness and make for a day of ongoing possibilities!
I am not saying that to beat the illness, it is necessary to have restaurant meals out each day (although great if you can!!)… but make sure the eating throughout the day is challenging and fatty and it might just make the rest of the day and night much calmer.
Sometimes fear of the fear holds us back for too long and keeps us in the illness.
Stop fearing the fear, stop future tripping and take a daily plunge into the scariest recovery waters you can find!
Plus, the more ED bashing – harder and faster, the more rewiring and the sooner those life doors to the world really do open fully and never close again!