Monday, 6 August 2012

Feelings

Here's a strange fact for you: eating disorders numb you out. Totally. I mean, you begin to stop feeling emotions. All your time and focus and energy goes into the eating disorder, so that you no longer have ANY feelings except anxiety and fear around food and weight gain. Research has shown that anorexics  lose most of their 'emotions' - love, happiness, anger, etc.

And then once you start eating, everything floods back into your life. I'm in my third week of treatment, and I'm experiencing MAJOR emotions that I have not felt in a long time. And it's scary - one minute you feel happy, and then you realize that you have not felt this emotion for a while.

It is so different from what I am used to. Deep into my starvation, I blocked out all feelings. I never felt happy; I simply put on a smiling face for the world to see. I never even felt angry; I always felt alone and sad. Now, I find myself getting angry about things and it is new to me. No one likes to be angry, but it is kind of interesting actually EXPERIENCING anger. My head gets hot, my heart beats faster, and my body responds accordingly. It's the typical fight or flight response that my starved body forgot.

Now, when I feel happy, I know that I'm happy. My cheeks start to hurt because I'm smiling so much. My thoughts are free from ED - and what a liberating feeling that is! I feel so free, so loved, and so....present. For once in a long time, I do not feel that I have to act happy. If I'm sad, I'll be sad. If I'm happy, I'll be happy. I do not have to pretend any longer. And I do not have to live my entire life emotionless.

When I feel like I love, I love. I can share this with my family and friends and tell them just how much I appreciate their kindness. I can give my sister and parents a big hug and feel their warmth; I can realize how beautiful it is to have that sense of touch with my family. When I'm thrilled to see guests visiting me, I can express my appreciation.

To be honest, all of this is great. But part of me is scared. I'm scared to show happiness all the time because what if that makes me look silly? I'm frightened to show anger because people are not used to seeing me be angry. I'm nervous to show love because it was something that I blocked out for a long time. And now, all of this is rushing back into my life. It feels so different, so liberating, so....normal. Who knew that being normal can feel so different?!

I guess, like everything else in my treatment, this too will take time. It will take a while for me to get used to feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, and love. It will most likely not be fun or comfortable - also like many things in recovery. But in a sense, I am thankful. I'm thankful that I can once again feel the emotions that we are meant to feel. I'm thankful that I can start living life normally, without pretending to have different emotions that I never actually had. It's hard to admit that I have these feelings, but in the long run, it sure is worth it.


11 comments:

  1. You made me happy readying that :)

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  2. Getting my normal feeling and emotion is my motivation to do what it takes to recover.Once I tried to audit all my time spend thinking about,doing it and planning to protect my Ed and it was a lot of my precious time .
    This blog established in my mind how important for me to recover ,As you know my body is close to normal(I am mild case) but my emotions and feeling same as you said.
    I am coming to program to get my normal feeling of happiness ,joy and love.To be myself .
    Thank you for talking about feelings as this is my main focus right now.I was not sure that recovery can get my happiness,love and feeling back
    May be for you ,when recovered you do not have to pretend happiness but rather be natural
    May be you as a naturally loving and caring and kind person,all this will be natural and you do not have to prentend.
    Even fears you will only experience the normal fear but not the scare that ED insert in your head to protect itself.
    Your are recovering and not numb any more
    Way to go
    A A

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  3. Your getting back what the disease has taken from you,,your emotions and feeling.
    You are happy and not faking a smile .
    You are feeling angry and you have a reason
    You are not overreacting
    Congratualtion Please continue to feel the benifits of recovery.

    Shady

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. For me my feeling is very important and when I see my Doc ,I am looking for cure of my disease to feel well and happy.
    I admire you for your honesty with your feeling

    Marilyn
    Ottawa,On

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  6. I am a psychology student.I believe our emotions and feelings forming 80% of our health.
    People having normal feelings ,having normal thoughts and behaving appropritely.
    When one or more these 3 things "screwed up" thoughts,feelings and behaviours ,life will not go well and people get sick with many diseases,depression,anxiety and also somatic symtoms,odd thoughts,weird behaviours etc..
    I think you may continue work with your pschychologist and continue CBT .
    I am ready to help you if you need my help.
    I live in Kingston,On but I can send you my contact if you wish.

    Mohammed A
    Kingston,On

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  7. Hi again
    I am happy that your feeling is normal now and you can feel loved.
    You deserve to be loved and cared for.

    Jorge Toronto

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  8. I believe with support of good people around you ,you will slowly feel the good feeling and less fears.Your fears may be part of the ED
    All the best

    Amanda
    Brampton,On

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  9. I agree feelings and emotions take time to adjust to any stress and you have been under tremendous strss one can imagine.I guess what you are feeling is the beginning and be happy about return of your feelings, even your anger,pain and sadness
    You may have to experience the pain before the gain
    Good luck

    S K

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  10. Hey,,
    you got it
    Share the happiness
    Feel the love
    Touch your family and feel the joy of hugging sisters and parents
    This is the real feeling
    Enjoy it
    Never be scarred of something is right.
    Do not let any thing or any body scare you.
    Defend the real you

    W K
    Social worker
    Toronto,On

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  11. This blod makes me smile as I continue reading along. You are beautiful.
    MP

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