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.