Get ready, broken record time- The emails, comments and support I am receiving regarding my final research project is truly remarkable! You all have been so very helpful and the information and feed back you are providing me with is going to enhance the project even more. I started conducting research for this about two months ago, but for some reason it took me all of that time to even consider asking the blogging community for help. Well I am certainly glad I did, as my capstone has officially been taken to a whole new level
Overall this weekend was…. good, for lack of a better term! I was productive with what I needed to be doing for school, post-grad plans and all of that, and also I was not a complete hermit and went out Saturday night. It was nothing particularly special, but a fun time nonetheless and it also allowed me some perspective on the whole isolation thing…
and also spent plenty of time outside… it was a bit windy at times haha.
I do plan to do a follow-up from that post last Monday so stay tuned for that. Even a week later, after reading through all of your responses, continuing to ponder and sort through my own thoughts, and just generally try to get my head around things, well honestly, I remain quite confused. It seems I am still conflicted on what my true desires are, what is “okay” (in my mind) verses not, and what I “should” be doing and all of that good stuff.
So yes, stay tuned for a follow-up, after I have had more time to mull things over.
Alright moving on to what I really wanted to discuss today!
As you know I am doing my research project on Eating Disorders which of course requires a focus on the illness that has plagued me for quite a lengthy amount of time. I am also taking a nutrition class on EDs- history, reasons, symptoms, DSM criteria, etc. Let’s see what else, this semester I am interning at an Eating Disorder Clinic, I have my blog which focuses on, you guessed it, EATING DISORDERS/Disordered eating….
Woah. I am on Eating Disorder overload right now. In fact the only class I am taking that literally has nothing to do with this is my Sociology of Criminology class- interesting stuff though!
When I first opened up about my internship I was partaking in for the semester, I generally received positive feedback on my choice. That it was a great opportunity for myself and I would certainly learn a whole lot and also contribute to those recovering. However, there were a few comments saying the internship was a very BAD idea as more than anything, it could possibly trigger me into a relapse. Being around this illness so often could have a detrimental effect on my mind.
The latter of these opinions was a fair argument and one I definitely considered before actually deciding to do the internship and also after reading people’s thoughts on the matter. For the record, no triggering has occurred and I am loving this opportunity I am having more than ever
The opinions of others have stuck with me though, not in a negative way at all, but as a legitimate argument that I allowed me to reflect on the the choices I am making for my classes and research for this semester.
As I said before, I am on Eating Disorder overload right now. I would say about 95% of the time I am thinking about everything and anything that has to do with it- food and eating (of course), exercising, calories, recovery, weight, the patients at the clinic, my research on EDs, why this happened, I am constantly reading about it on blogs, in the news, in magazines… You get it, all components of this illness are on my mind …. well quite often to say the least.
When I first became conscious of just how much I was choosing to involve myself in this illness, I was initially very concerned, and for several reasons. The obvious being that yes, the constant thought could eventually trigger me. But more importantly, the uncomfortable feeling that I have NOTHING else to offer besides information on Eating Disorders…that CRAP I have zero interest in anything else… how is this possible, how did it happen?
After reading some of your comments from Friday’s posts about what you are majoring in, several of you are studying, have a degree in, or work for a company/yourself that has NOTHING to do with not only EDS, but nutrition, fitness, and food. That is just fantastic, and I mean that, because it’s right now it’s hard for me to imagine thinking about anything else.
Again, this is an uncomfortable realization. However, I am understanding something very crucial from my intense focus on everything and anything that has to do with eating disorders/disordered eating…
This is what I need right now. What I mean is, I NEED to turn most (if not all!) of my attention, focus, drive and passion on this subject, this illness that not only plagues me, but also fascinates me.
I will be very honest about something with you right now. I am much better at understanding myself now, improved the ability to be truthful with myself, admit my mistakes when appropriate, and make changes when I ought to.
And honestly, I am pretty sure if I were NOT intensely focusing on recovery, blogging, the internship, the project, trying to make a difference for others suffering out there, my ED class, and my own self-reflections, well I could easily be pulled back into the hold of the illness.
What an odd and scary feeling/understanding it is to know that yes, if I “wanted” to, or the disorder wanted me to, I could fall back into old habits. Not all at once necessarily, but a slow downward spiral, where one wrong behavior becomes two, restriction becomes more of the norm, refueling properly falls by the wayside, the exercise increases… and suddenly I am back where I started. Sh*t that is terrifying to realize.
This is what I need for myself right now. I have to know other people out there are fighting towards recovery as well, that they are using my blog for inspiration (an honor). I must keep reminding myself of how HORRIBLE having an eating disorder is and that while it just feels so “right” to stick with it, well dear god it is in fact so wrong. Focusing on this is a necessity or else I could lose myself before the logical Tessa understand what the hell happened.
Phew, had to get that out.
I will say this one more time, this is what I need RIGHT NOW. What is important about that line is the fact my interests, passions, hobbies will change if I continue to make the effort to recover. Sure my interest can and probably will be on eating disorders, as I am hoping to make a career as a nurse while coupling it with the illness. However, eventually I will have more to offer than this obsession.
As I heal, I know I will continue to find who I truly am as a person- the focus on EDs will be there, but there will be so much more to me, I strongly believe this is true. RIGHT NOW the disorder is a major part of me, but it most certainly does not define who I am as a person, and the hold on me will slowly ebb away with effort toward progression.
I am doing this all to gain peace with the illness and myself.
-If you have ever gone through something difficult in your life, how have you emotionally dealt with it? Is it your “style” to expose it in every way possible, or try and suppress it?
-If you choose the latter, has this worked for you and or made whatever the situation is harder to deal with and heal from?
-To anyone that has recovered or is recovering from eating-related issues, or any mental illness for that matter, did you ever go through a period of time as I am now? Where the need to focus and obsess is quite necessary…
-How was your weekend overall? Were you able to get out and enjoy the nice weather (if your area had some )?
As always I wish you a lovely Monday!