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-   -   Really Been Struggling Lately (https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/60-vegan-support-forum/208841-really-been-struggling-lately.html)

Aliakai 05-09-2016 12:47 PM

Really Been Struggling Lately
 
Ever since my mother in law came over and repeatedly triggered my anorexia, I've really been struggling with the concept of eating. I know it doesn't seem like it with all the photos I post in the "what did you cook" forum, but cooking food and actually eating it are very different to me. I have a passion for food and flavor, which sounds strange for someone who suffers from anorexia, but that passion is paired with a lingering sense of guilt and self-hatred that I find hard to shake at times.

Part of the reason I run a size acceptance blog aimed at vegans is because I know that a lot of people join our community as part of their disorders, hoping that the vegan food will be "safe" and "guilt free" so they can indulge their desires to eat without hating themselves for it. My therapist and I have made great strides that proved it to me once and for all that veganism isn't about that for me.

But still, my struggles are really dragging me down a bit. I know that this relapse is a part of recovery and I know I won't have to deal with her specifically any more, but I guess what I need is a bit of comfort and maybe some suggestions for making it between my weekly appointments. She's been telling me that I "gave my mother in law too much power," but I don't necessarily agree - it isn't any one of her specific comments that's messing me up, its the torrent of negative BS from my past that crashed on my head because of the triggers, if that makes sense.

I can only hope I make it through it...

shellie 05-09-2016 01:06 PM

I wish I had a helpful suggestion for you. I do hope you get through it though. Eating is healthy and necessary so I hope you're able to do so with confidence. Good luck!

Triss 05-09-2016 01:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aliakai (Post 3963689)
Ever since my mother in law came over and repeatedly triggered my anorexia, I've really been struggling with the concept of eating. I know it doesn't seem like it with all the photos I post in the "what did you cook" forum, but cooking food and actually eating it are very different to me. I have a passion for food and flavor, which sounds strange for someone who suffers from anorexia, but that passion is paired with a lingering sense of guilt and self-hatred that I find hard to shake at times.

Part of the reason I run a size acceptance blog aimed at vegans is because I know that a lot of people join our community as part of their disorders, hoping that the vegan food will be "safe" and "guilt free" so they can indulge their desires to eat without hating themselves for it. My therapist and I have made great strides that proved it to me once and for all that veganism isn't about that for me.

But still, my struggles are really dragging me down a bit. I know that this relapse is a part of recovery and I know I won't have to deal with her specifically any more, but I guess what I need is a bit of comfort and maybe some suggestions for making it between my weekly appointments. She's been telling me that I "gave my mother in law too much power," but I don't necessarily agree - it isn't any one of her specific comments that's messing me up, its the torrent of negative BS from my past that crashed on my head because of the triggers, if that makes sense.

I can only hope I make it through it...

I really hope this doesn't come off as condescending but I think you're hugely brave and should be proud of yourself for how far you've come.
Eating disorders are an utter nightmare to deal with, I can't even imagine how difficult it's been for you.

I've struggled with my weight for years, since I was about 10/11 and was put on Weight Watchers after a school nurse made a passing comment that I had a bit of "puppy fat".

I understand why you're feeling triggered and how much negativity can just drag you down, especially when it's something like this. I would constantly deal with negative comments about my weight and appearance (from the same person that put me on WW) and it would just make me so miserable and unhappy with myself - as though I were a second-rate person because I wasn't super thin.
Said person is no longer in my life, which has gone a long way to help how they made me feel but there are days when I still have that voice in my head, if that makes sense?

I don't think you're giving your Mother-in-Law too much power, but maybe she is taking up too much headspace?
Is there something you can do that would help get her out of your head when the negativity starts to creep in? Distraction techniques, mindfulness, something like that?
It sounds a bit silly, but I really love the adult coloring books for that. As soon as I start feeling down or anxious or start hearing that nagging little voice in my head, out they come! They have been a massive help for me, so maybe trying something like that might help?

ETA: You can make it through this. This internet stranger believes in you.

Spudulika 05-09-2016 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aliakai (Post 3963689)

Part of the reason I run a size acceptance blog aimed at vegans is because I know that a lot of people join our community as part of their disorders, hoping that the vegan food will be "safe" and "guilt free" so they can indulge their desires to eat without hating themselves for it. My therapist and I have made great strides that proved it to me once and for all that veganism isn't about that for me.

I wasn't going to comment because not having experienced it, it's difficult for me to understand your experience with food and even more difficult to try to offer support, and I don't want to presume to try.

I will say that the activism you do in your vegan size acceptance blog is important and extremely valuable. It's something that should be discussed far more in the vego community. It's shameful that veganism has virtually become a byword for 'thin beautiful girl' and more people, like you, who are willing to open up and share their perspective needs to happen in order to counteract that.

Vegan Dave 05-09-2016 02:29 PM

I feel for you. I don't know about anorexia, but I can imagine. I would say don't let your MIL push your buttons, but that might be too simplistic. Families are complicated.

I wish you all the best in the World, and wish I could help.

Do what makes you sleep at night and creates peace in your household.

Thoughts and prayers to you.....

EDIT: Just saw your website.......AWESOME!!!!! :wayne::wayne::wayne::wayne::wayne:

ellaj 05-09-2016 02:54 PM

I am so sorry that you are struggling, Aliakai. :hug:

“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” ~UNKNOWN

Vegan Dave 05-09-2016 03:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellaj (Post 3963889)
I am so sorry that you are struggling, Aliakai. :hug:

“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” ~UNKNOWN

That is one of the best quotes ever!! :)

VeganBarBro 05-09-2016 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aliakai (Post 3963689)
Ever since my mother in law came over and repeatedly triggered my anorexia, I've really been struggling with the concept of eating. I know it doesn't seem like it with all the photos I post in the "what did you cook" forum, but cooking food and actually eating it are very different to me. I have a passion for food and flavor, which sounds strange for someone who suffers from anorexia, but that passion is paired with a lingering sense of guilt and self-hatred that I find hard to shake at times.

Part of the reason I run a size acceptance blog aimed at vegans is because I know that a lot of people join our community as part of their disorders, hoping that the vegan food will be "safe" and "guilt free" so they can indulge their desires to eat without hating themselves for it. My therapist and I have made great strides that proved it to me once and for all that veganism isn't about that for me.

But still, my struggles are really dragging me down a bit. I know that this relapse is a part of recovery and I know I won't have to deal with her specifically any more, but I guess what I need is a bit of comfort and maybe some suggestions for making it between my weekly appointments. She's been telling me that I "gave my mother in law too much power," but I don't necessarily agree - it isn't any one of her specific comments that's messing me up, its the torrent of negative BS from my past that crashed on my head because of the triggers, if that makes sense.

I can only hope I make it through it...

I can relate to what you're going through, in a slightly different sense. I've never really struggled with body image, but I had, and continue to have, anxiety surrounding my eating. Basically, I go through periods where the action of eating makes me panic, and as a result I sometimes avoid food to the point of undernourishment. This was exacerbated when my dad was in the home, as his words and actions contributed to a high-stress environment. The only way to make it better was to distance myself from him as much as possible, and refuse to allow his actions to dictate my emotional and physical health. I truly hope you're able to do the same with your mother-in-law, and bring yourself back to a place of emotional and physical well being.

As for specific suggestions, a great anxiety management tool for me has always been meditation coupled with electronic relaxation music. Have you looked into meditation and positive visualization at all?

Aliakai 05-09-2016 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triss (Post 3963761)

I don't think you're giving your Mother-in-Law too much power, but maybe she is taking up too much headspace?
Is there something you can do that would help get her out of your head when the negativity starts to creep in? Distraction techniques, mindfulness, something like that?
It sounds a bit silly, but I really love the adult coloring books for that. As soon as I start feeling down or anxious or start hearing that nagging little voice in my head, out they come! They have been a massive help for me, so maybe trying something like that might help?

ETA: You can make it through this. This internet stranger believes in you.

Thank you for your personal story and kind words. I really appreciate you taking the time to write all of that out and share with me. I've actually decided to dive headlong into my creative work and really try to pump out my creativity with my short stories, blogs, and recipe development. Those, and cross stitch, are my coloring books. Thank you for believing in me. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spudulika (Post 3963825)
I will say that the activism you do in your vegan size acceptance blog is important and extremely valuable. It's something that should be discussed far more in the vego community. It's shameful that veganism has virtually become a byword for 'thin beautiful girl' and more people, like you, who are willing to open up and share their perspective needs to happen in order to counteract that.

Thank you so much for this! Sometimes I wonder if the recipe side of my blog is going to over-run the activism side, which is why I make sure to post something body positive at least twice a month and keep my "Making a Difference" column going. I was going to put up a post on locating an animal sanctuary and either volunteering or sponsoring them today. I have been looking into resources to do just that recently and might start volunteering at a goat rescue 2 hours north of me once a month.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vegan Dave (Post 3963849)
I feel for you. I don't know about anorexia, but I can imagine. I would say don't let your MIL push your buttons, but that might be too simplistic. Families are complicated.

I wish you all the best in the World, and wish I could help.

Do what makes you sleep at night and creates peace in your household.

Thoughts and prayers to you.....

EDIT: Just saw your website.......AWESOME!!!!! :wayne::wayne::wayne::wayne::wayne:

Thank you for your kindness and I'm glad you like my blog. :)

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellaj (Post 3963889)
I am so sorry that you are struggling, Aliakai. :hug:

“If only our eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.” ~UNKNOWN

I love, love, LOVE that quote! I believe it came from Gary Zukav, but I could be wrong.

Tom_ZeCat 05-09-2016 06:29 PM

Hi, Aliakai. I've never had an eating disorder, so I can't pretend to know what you're going through. However, I have suffered through the trauma of the aftermath of an assault. Therapy really helped. I'm glad you're getting that. For me it also really helped to have a friend I trusted to confide in. Do you have someone that you can trust to not be judgmental of you if you talk to him or her?

silverphoenyx 05-09-2016 08:24 PM

My, God, I hate my body! I am overweight and there has been NOTHING that I can do to get the weight off. I am vegan, nearly sugar free, do not consume HFCS, and exercise as much as I can. I have tried everything and still I am overweight. It has affected my relationships: men I am involved with decide to cheat on me with thin girls. (Even my husband of five years did once.. to be with a "young, hot body with a flat stomach.") My mother used to tell me, when I was a child, that I would die fat, ugly, and alone. I feel like a failure. I am the only vegan I know.. I don't even know any vegetarians, save for online. I feel isolated and nearly worthless.

I completely understand body issues.
I completely understand diet issues.

Aliakai 05-09-2016 08:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by silverphoenyx (Post 3964193)
My, God, I hate my body! I am overweight and there has been NOTHING that I can do to get the weight off. I am vegan, nearly sugar free, do not consume HFCS, and exercise as much as I can. I have tried everything and still I am overweight. It has affected my relationships: men I am involved with decide to cheat on me with thin girls. (Even my husband of five years did once.. to be with a "young, hot body with a flat stomach.") My mother used to tell me, when I was a child, that I would die fat, ugly, and alone. I feel like a failure. I am the only vegan I know.. I don't even know any vegetarians, save for online. I feel isolated and nearly worthless.

I completely understand body issues.
I completely understand diet issues.

You might want to seek therapy for these issues, as I have. I would check out Health at Every Size (HAES) and Intuitive Eating - neither is about weight loss, both are about health and learning to accept yourself. Also, "Why Weight" is another really good one.

Those messages from your mother mean nothing, and I mean it. They were more about her insecurities than yours, and our sizeist culture truly is terrible to plus sized folks. Please, check out the resources I suggested. Beginning the healing process is the most important thing I've ever done, and I believe you also deserve a happy and productive life, not limited by the size of your body or your feelings about it.

I actually channeled all of my issues into action and wrote this blog post on how to get through moments like this. I think I did a decent job after realizing what steps I usually use to get through these bouts of depression, triggering, and anxiety that I go through. I feel like those steps can help with activist burnout as well. I hope people in the community find it helpful. :)

Naturebound 05-10-2016 03:57 AM

I've struggled with diagnosed anorexia nervosa, anorexia nervosa with binge/purge subtype, and EdNOS for ten years, triggered by a traumatic hysterectomy and loss of my ovaries in 2005 which caused sudden and abrupt surgical menopause at the age of 33. Hormonal imbalance from severe lack of hormones caused a whole cascade of mental, emotional, and physical problems. So I can completely relate. I also have a type A personality, and have suffered depression, anxiety, and avoidant personality disorder most of my life, and I believe all these factors, along with body image issues, triggered mine. Even when I was a teenager, and quite underweight at 16 due to hours of ballet training daily, my body was relentlessly critiqued by my main instructor/coach, especially when I finally started to develop hips and thighs and my first period at 16, and i put on a little weight and didn't look like a child anymore. Never had I heard such terrible things about my body from others as then. I can really relate to awful comments from others when one is at a vulnerable stage in life.

Mental illness runs in my family, from a sister with paranoid schizophrenia, to a mother with multiple personality disorder, to a father with PTSD and anxiety issues, to extended family who are/were alcoholics, child molesters, you name it. My mother and sister can be VERY triggering, but I find triggers everywhere. Sometimes I can avoid and minimize them, sometimes not. I find that when my own mental health is stronger, and I have a strong support network around me, I am not as vulnerable to those triggers. I have worked really hard over the years to climb back from the depths of my eating disorder and the issues that led to it. I am left with severe health problems from it (and from the surgery), such as very bad bones that I am paying for now. In fact I am getting xrays today for possible fractures in my spine and ribs.

I can also relate to dealing with "toxic" family members. I realize my sister is mentally ill, and right now she is trying to quit smoking. She is often a very angry person, but lately has been HORRIBLE. I saw her on Mother's Day and she was terrible to me. I have chosen to not speak to her for a while, to stay away from her, because right now I am under tremendous stress and I just can't be pulled in to all that hate and negativity. It may sound selfish, but it's what I have to do to maintain my sanity. Not saying you should ignore your mother, but sometimes distancing oneself from toxic family members is what you have to do for a while to be healthy.

I just want you to know you are a valued and appreciated member of Veggiboards. I love the way you participate, help others, offer interesting threads. You are intelligent, compassionate, helpful. I hope you can see those qualities about yourself. Don't let one person bring you down! I know it is easier said than done. I know. I also know it's hard not to relive the past, to let go of it.

Veggieboards does have a thread just for Eating disorder support, whether you are bulimic, anorexic, a binge eater, or somewhere in between. It is here:

https://www.veggieboards.com/forum/35...y-support.html

I actually wish it would be stickied or given it's own subforum since there are so many of us that suffer. If I had more time, I would post there as I am struggling with body issues terribly right now, being injured and unable to exercise and suffering terrible bloat since my injury. I can't even stand up straight. :/

HUGS to all who struggle with eating disorders and or family members, coworkers etc.!


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