(disclaimer-still on pain meds and am trying very hard to make as much sense as possible)
These past few days have been interesting to say the least. I have been on a strictly liquid or yogurt diet and I am still unable to really open my mouth which makes brushing my teeth quite interesting… which I’m sure you all wanted to know :). In addition to that all the medicine I am on has been making me feel nauseous for a good portion of the day. Even though I haven’t felt like eating most of the time I have been trying to take in as much as I possibly can, even if that means relying on Ensure for added nutrition, as I am really trying to maintain my weight throughout this time period.
Feeling like this these past few days has really helped me to realize something, I am terrified of being hungry. At the beginning of my disorder I was always hungry, then my body became accustomed to my “eating” schedule, and then when I first entered treatment I was ashamed to admit I felt hunger because that meant I was failing at my eating disorder. Now that I have been out of a structured treatment program for sometime my relationship with hunger is interesting. I am not ashamed to admit that I feel hungry, I am just terrified of letting myself get hungry again. Having no appetite whatsoever has in some weird way taken a huge weight off my shoulders. I have come to realize that ever since leaving inpatient treatment and becoming accustomed to eating large meals that left me very full, the idea of being hungry and losing control terrifies me. When I was completely involved in my eating disorder I never binged, and even throughout recovery I haven’t really had a binge episode where I lose control or mindlessly eat. Sure, I have indulged more than I would have in the past, but those are the occasions I usually think of as successful and normal eating behavior, rather than an eating disordered binge. I am too scared of what could possibly happen if I let myself get too hungry. This need for control still consumes me and removes my ability to be flexible. Even if I am not hungry I still eat the prescribed time intervals established by Renfrew because I am afraid to see what happens if I let myself go longer. Now I don’t mean too much longer or skip a meal, but I would love to be more flexible and not to live in such fear. There are still times when I turn down plans with someone because it may interfere with the timing of one of my meals and I don’t want to put myself in the grey zone of possible hunger.
I am starting to realize though that this intense need for control and fear of any possible hunger is in many ways just as bad as being completely in my eating disorder again. I know that there are limits to how far I can test the waters right now but I do think its important for me to start testing my control issues and embrace some of the fear that comes with the grey zone.
Have you ever been afraid of hunger? What steps have you taken to deal with some of your control issues?