Wednesday, 29 August 2012

I don't have a problem!

If you have ever struggled with a health issue (or any other issue for that matter), you probably know that it is very hard to admit that you have a problem. I mean, no one wants to look 'weak' or 'powerless' in front of others. So, it is simply easier to deny that there is anything wrong. However, this backfires when you fall deeper and deeper into the problem, as it soon becomes harder to get help or to get better.

Anorexics usually struggle with this. I did too. It is very hard to see that you have a problem. Now that I am better, I can reflect back on my experiences and see just how sick I was. But deep into ED, I could not see that I was dying. I mean, I knew I had a problem...but it did not seem as serious as everyone said it was.

There is actually research that anorexics do not see themselves the same way that others do. The visual cortex is anorexics seems to be less active when looking at themselves versus when they look at others. I encourage you to visit http://www.drsarahravin.com/web/pdf/AN-Guisinger-article.pdf to see the evidence. This article shows how the anorexic visual cortex responds when looking at her/himself, compared to when looking at others. Shocking!

What does this mean? In simple terms, it means that when I looked at myself when I was sick, I truly did not see that I was dying. Actually, in all fairness, I COULD NOT see it. My brain was not wired to see that. However, evidence shows that as victims recover, the brain responds accordingly and it begins to see things as they really are. I suppose that is why recovery gets easier as you continue it - it is like I am training my brain all over again.

Admitting that I had a problem took a lot of bravery. I did not want everyone to say 'see, I told you so' or 'I knew it that whole time!'. But, if I wanted to get better, I had to ignore anything that ED said.

Do not say that you are ill. Do not say that you think you may need help. People will be all over you! They will tell you that they were right all along and you will never hear the end of it! People will talk about you, gossip about you, and always be on your back. You are not sick. You do not need anyone or anything.

My response? ED, the last time I listened to you, I got sick. And every other time that I decided to listen to you, you only made my life worse and more miserable. You took away everything from me - my family, my friends, my school, my health...my life. Why should I listen to you now, time and time again? I know that listening to you only makes me worse. I do not care if anyone talks about me, or claims that they always knew that I was sick. Recovery is about MY life, MY well-being, MY freedom. So, today, I am making the choice NOT to listen to you, ED, anymore.

So what? I'm ill with an eating disorder. There. I said it. And I am NOT ashamed.

28 comments:

  1. The body misperception kills me. It's like we're all blind and can't see thin only fat. Talking to my dietician yesterday, she said that it's actually called Body Dismorphia. I wish i could just get "glasses" for my eyes and be able to see what everyone else sees. But I'm also scared what everyone else sees I won't like, is that the ED?

    BTW your blog has been very helpful in my ongoing recovery process!

    Thanks,
    Allison

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    1. Thanks Allison! I am very thankful and happy that the blog has helped you in recovery. And yes, your dietitian is right - body dysmorphia is the fancy science term for how anorexics cannot see their bodies as they really are. I know what you mean about the glasses - it gets annoying when you can't see what others do.

      I also know what you mean about being afraid that you won't like what everyone else sees. I guess that can be ED, trying to make you scared. But something I learned is that I actually may not ever be 100% happy with my body. But, reality is that not many people are. Instead of focussing on what they do not like about their body, they just move on and live life. They don't think about their bodies as much as ED makes us. So, perhaps keeping busy and not always thinking of your body may help lessen ED's grip. It is hard, but it IS possible! My prayers are with you!

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  2. For that denial of being ill and misinterpretation of my body image,it took me years before I decided to go to recoecry program and here I am save and sound .Reading your blog makes me feel you are talking exactly about me but that happens to all ED victims.
    Yes ED puts masks on our eyes and let us see through his mirrors ,follow only his commands,abusive controlling decieving ,you said it all.
    Yes my friend when We recover We can see clearly the real picture and have normal feeling .
    Yes my friend when We recovered we are able to shut down ED thoughts,voices and regain our freedom and our rational thinking.
    Now you and me can say it outloud
    We had a problem and we were sick but not any more.
    We will continue to maintain the recovery for ever
    Thank you my dear friend

    Recovered ED victim

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    1. It is really nice - and interesting - to know that you went through the same thing...it just shows how much of a liar ED is. Hearing about recovered victims is awesome! I am thrilled to hear that recovery is possible, and that you are free from ED and can think rationally. THANK YOU for your continuous support on my blog. I am happy to hear that you are not ashamed of your illness; and honestly, nor am I. Like any other disease, it just happens to people. The important thing is that we work towards freeing ourselves. And that is what you have done. What a role model!

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    2. You are a role model to all of us.I am now happy with my body and i will never again be ashamed of my body.
      Thank you

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  3. Marina ,I never never admitted that I am sick or have any problem and rejected evry body call to see a doctor.It is only your blog and you as person and a friend that I can not see face to face who motivates me to go to inpatient program.
    You are supporting me to challenge ED thoughts.
    Your recovery is contagious
    Thank you


    Anne

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    1. Wow, Anne! Thank you! I am humbled by your comments, but I am so grateful that my blog has helped you realize that ED is an issue, and has motivated you to get help. You are strong to go through this ordeal with ED, but I know that you will emerge as a stronger and happier person. Admitting illnesses is hard, but look how brave you are to be doing this! Go get your life back!

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    2. with your support I am determind to get my life back ,no matter how much it takes

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  4. Yes Marina,when I was deep in my depression I let my self drifting in deep muds without knowing or feeling any difference and all my community people never understand what was wrong with me.You know all middle east including my country Iraq do not believe in depression.Now after recovery I can feel the difference and how much I was sick and feel very gratful now to all who were trying to help

    Please continue to wake people up

    Mays

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    1. It is really hard when the culture does not understand about your illness. Hmm...that is a good blog topic actually - thanks (I'll write about that one soon!). But the important thing is that you got help - even when others in your culture may not have understood what you were doing. Please continue to make yourself well, regardless of what anyone says. This is YOUR life and YOU deserve to live it, free of any ailments. God bless you!

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  5. I agree with you except only insomnia ,I guess when people not sleeping ,they always complain ,however I have to admit I was in denial to how much caffine I was using and I never connect my caffine use to poor sleep (or even admitted that I was abusing caffine)till I got professional help

    It is a good blog.
    Thank you

    Jack

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    1. Jack, denial is a big part of any illness. Not because we are weak, but that we do not want to appear weak to others. I think part of denial also stems from the fact that we do not want to see that there is a problem because we know that dealing with it will be hard. But good for you for getting professional help - it can definitely make a big difference. I am really glad that you were able to sleep better. Thanks for reading the blog!

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  6. My dear Marina
    You are right,I told you before about my dad rejecting all of us ,all doctors diagnosis of his depression and never admitted or accepted treatment till late and when he recoverd ,he was laughing and smiling when he talks about his stubern thoughts when he was ill and how happy he is when he recovered and up till now still hard for him to undersand why he was not listening to all of us and why he was denying.Marina I tell you ,every day I read your blog ,I tell my dad about you and what did you write today and he says I feel very proud of Marina as if I am her dad and he said your dad must be very proud of you.

    Thanks Marina


    With my humble resepct

    Mohammed

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    1. You are right - we often mask our illnesses with laughter or smiles because we simply do not wish to convey our problems to others. Thank you for being proud of me, and for sharing it with your dad! Wow, I feel very blessed to have such wonderful supporters as yourself! May God bless you and your dad (and your family!), and I wish that this blog continues to help you in any way possible. And please tell your dad that I am proud of him for getting help - it may have been tough, but I want him to know that it was the right thing to do.

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  7. My beautiful Marina
    Same thing happened when I was deeply depressed and was pushing my self so hard to keep going without admitting even between me and my self .When I recovered <I could not believ myself how severly ill I was.
    I am very thankful also Marina as you do.You continue to thank all your readers ,supporters.
    I will never forget your smiling beautiful face and musical voice..

    L Y
    ECG

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    1. Thanks LY! You know, it is interesting...I would have never guessed that you suffered with depression. That shows just how skilled we are at hiding our illnesses or struggles. I can see that the medication worked for you - you were always smiling and joyful when you came to take my ECGs. Thank you for sharing your experience - it is really helpful for me to hear. Thanks as well for reading the blog and keeping up with me - I'm very blessed! God bless you.

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    2. God bless you too and keep you safe .Please keep up.You are my ideal
      LY

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  8. This blog also teaching me how to keep watching my daughter and how to look and see and not relying only on her telling me that she is alright.
    She always tell me she is fine and what all the fuss about bla bla .
    You opened my eye to this disease and I think what I am doing to her at her young age is prevention before it is too late.

    Thank you so much


    A Thankful mother

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    1. Good for you dear mother! Prevention is key. If there is one thing I hope this blog achieves, it would be to stop ED from taking more victims under his wings. And I want to assure you that I am always praying for you and your daughter. It is hard that you cannot rely on what your daughter says now, but that is because ED is trying to get control over her. Please stay strong and do what you need to do to keep her safe. She may be angry now, but believe me, she will thank you later when she is able to see what ED has done to her life.

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    2. Blog thanks to you has been helpful to me and I heard from others too.Trust me only few people follwing your blog send you thanks or comments.
      Thank you

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  9. Hey Marina
    I am counting the benifits of recoevry and Today I adding to my list having clear wise mind that see things and interpret things as they are .Being able to regain your high value and strong belief .Having Being able to make the best decsion and having the ability to make good judgement.
    How many you have so far Marina.
    Please tell me if I am missing any thing.
    God bless you


    Mary

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    1. Mary, I do not think I am as skillful as you are to count all the benefits! But you are so right - there are many, and having a wise mind is definitely an important one. As ED has less and less control, the victim's original personality comes back, and they are then able to see just how much ED controlled them. I do not think you are missing anything - on the contrary, you are actually opening MY eyes to see how wonderful recovery is. Thank you, and God bless you!

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    2. Yes Marina Open you beautiful eyes and you wuill see

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  10. Yes my Love
    In nursing We call this lack of insight and bad judgement.
    My Marine Land I love you so much

    Love Henry

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    1. Thanks Henry. Lack of insight is a big issue...it can determine whether or not the patient gets help or not. It is not necessarily that they do not want help - it is just so difficult to face the real issue at hand. But getting help is probably the best decision!

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  11. If God Love us all who we are ,sinnner or not,doing good or evil ,sooo
    Bravo Marina ,We need to love our selves and be proud of our selves the way we are .
    If others respect us the way we are ,fine
    If any body does not respect us as we are ,let them go to hell.
    If God loves you Marina ,be proud
    You are the best

    I feel you are a blessed follwer of Christ
    I pray for you every day


    Sun day Priest

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  12. Thank you! You are right that we need to respect ourselves - we are made in the image of Christ and must show this in our care for ourselves. Although it is difficult when others do not accept or respect us, we need to see where our priorities lay - personally, I would rather have Christ's acceptance than the world's. And each time I take care of the body that God has given me, I am showing Him that I love Him and appreciate His blessings.

    Thanks for your prayers. May the Lord bless you!

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  13. I am very happy that finally you have the eyes that can see the truth and ears that hear the calming voice and discriminate it from the monster voice.
    I am proud of you when you can discern which way to follow .
    Ed road is a slpiiery slope taking victims to ICU and hell but God's voice taking follwers to ggod peacful and happy life and and promise with paradise and the beatiful heaven

    I love you so much Marina

    NA

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