Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Enough. Your body and Yourself

Sometimes your body has had enough. We like to think that we can predict when this will happen. We like to think we know our boundaries - usually basing it upon past experience. With the realm of eating disorder behaviors though, this can prove risky.

I'm going to say that writing this is hard for me. I like to present myself as someone that has it together in terms of eating disorder behaviors... writing this is letting you in on the (what feels like a) huge secret that I do not. There's a few behaviors that linger for me including laxatives. Disgusting laxatives.

I have a long history of laxative misuse, overuse, abuse... whatever you want to call it. Consequently I managed at the worst of my laxative addiction to take more than you could ever imagine... multiple times a week - spending probably almost $300 a month on them at my worst. The thing about this is that it has given me a false sense of security whenever I've taken them since that peak as I've honestly been able to convince myself that amounts that would still shock some people are not a lot. Telling myself, "I'll be okay, because I've taken X times more than this in the past."

However, bodies change. Bodies get older every day and how our body responds to certain things also changes.

Maybe a month ago (?)  I took some laxatives. I hadn't had much to eat in quite awhile and it left me physically ill. shaking. dry heaving. you name it. scared out of my mind. literally sleeping downstairs because the stairs seemed too daunting. Instead of chalking it up to the laxatives I amounted it to the laxatives and lack of food. Surely it couldn't be the laxatives when I'd taken far more in the past. That's sound logic, right?

Fast forward to this past weekend. I took about half of the most I've ever taken, but with a recent more regulated decent intake of food. What happened? Was I fine and dandy (well as much as you can be after taking laxatives)? No... I got sick. I don't mean "laxative sick" but actually ill with a fever... to the point that I called off of work Friday and got sent home early on Saturday. If you know me. You know I LOVE my work.

My body felt wrecked until last night (Labor Day). Walking my puppy was a strain. I felt like throwing up when she'd jerk on the leash wanting me to run (I usually run her 1.5 miles for one of our outings) or wanting to go faster up a hill... or worse yet, down a hill. I may or may not have marked my territory by throwing up on one of those walks.

This weekend's experience really taught me that it is the laxatives. Not the combination of lack of food and them... not the combination of food and them.. but the laxatives themselves.

it doesn't matter that I've taken twice as many before.. because my body is different than it was when I did that (and if I am to be honest, I felt incredibly ill when I had taken that many). You cannot predict how your body will react to any behavior based on how it did in the past.

Your body may just decide one day that it's had enough. That's pretty much what my body was screaming at me a month ago... instead of listening I did it again. The results were worse and I missed both work and barbecuing with Des this weekend (as I had promised). I missed the wine date I had with two friends of mine. I missed a lot of things.

It's important to work to eradicate behaviors, because as I said, you never know when your body will decide it's had enough... and it could wind up being a lot worse than being sick for an entire weekend. You never know what will result when your body decides it's done with the abuse. So treat yourself gently and listen to it.

You are enough without the behaviors. Your body is enough.

This post was written as a part of the Self-Discovery, Word by Word Series, first conceived by Ashley Solomon from Nourishing the Soul. Every month the series is hosted by a different blogger who chooses a word that fits their fancy. This months' host the lovely MissMaryMax chose the word "enough." To find out more about the series and this month's word choice - head on over to her blog (or Ashley's) both linked here. 

I would also like to link to something I stumbled upon recently... a self-kindness collaborative featuring the artwork, musings, and personal stories of several women from different walks of life telling why they are enough. It's rather powerful to go and just look at all these people that are willing to examine themselves and come to the conclusion that they are worthy and that they are enough.


  1. I am SO glad you posted this today! I have struggled a TON with laxative and diuretic abuse throughout my eating disorder and am proud to say I haven't taken either since the end of january 2011. Being fgree from laxatives is something I NEVER thought I would be able to do, I thought my body wouldn't work without them because of the amount I was taking, for as long as I was taking them, ect. It was one of the hardest things I had to do and the story of how I did it is waaaay to long for a comment. lol.

    But anyways, I am grateful for this post because this past Sunday, I found some hidden in one of my drawers. I thought that I had gotten rid of them all and when I saw them, at first I was scared and anxious but then the thoughts of "Maybe I can just take these ones this once and maybe that will help me cope with the weight gain from recovery..." We all know how those thoughts go. But I called my mom and talked to her while I flushed them down the toilet.

    I needed to hear this post to remind myself that even though I was thinking "just this one time" Who knows what could happen. I mean, my body is still healing from everything it's been through and ANY amount of those horrible things could do damage, when your body is healing and still a bit unpredictable. Anyways, I am rambling now. My point is - thank you for this post. It hit a personal chord with me as I am feeling some crazy emotions coming back from the episode on Sunday.

  2. It was definitely hard to write... but I really thought the message was important - I'm glad it helped you in some way Jenn... and remember to be gentle to yourself.

    also: Congrats on getting rid of them AND for going so long without taking them. I know how hard that is.

  3. Kat, you always inspire me with your writing.


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