End of the Road or Change in Topics?

I’m not sure what to do with this blog anymore. While I still struggle with my ED, it’s not been a primary focus in about a year ’cause I’ve been concerned with other things, like facing homelessness and chronic illness/pain, and realizations about myself. Plus I had to have a surgery and I’m still pretty messed up from it. Sometimes I think I should just delete this blog ’cause, while I started it in hopes that my words might make people feel less alone, I don’t know what to say anymore that’s even remotely on topic.

I don’t need this blog to be a journal or venting space ’cause I have a semi-private one for that. I do have a couple ideas about what I could write about from time to time but I’m not sure if my audience (if you’re all still there after my repeated unannounced hiatuses) would be interested. I’ve got some recipes to try, could talk more about chronic illness in general… I don’t know.

Thoughts, comments?

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Personal Update: Eating Disorder Feelings. Plus News Article

Content Warning: This post contains detailed discussion of eating disorders, disordered eating patterns, and dysmorphic body image.

 

Our living situation remains pretty much the same. B is frantically looking for work. We’re awaiting word on SNAP and his unemployment payments but it’s likely the shutdown will further delay these things. We’re trying to make it on ~$50/wk and it’s brutal. Some of my friends have helped out by sending/giving us money for food/gas but it’s been difficult to find a way to eat enough, especially since the food bank we usually go to often only has random things like bread and veggies; nothing to really make meals with. We’ve started to go to the Salvation Army food bank, which we haven’t gone to before due to their policies on LGBT+ and non-Christian people, but they give out food boxes to the needy that you can actually build meals with.

Dealing with my eating disorder during this time continues to be difficult at best. I’ve lost weight. I can tell because my clothes are looser on my body, not because I’ve weighed myself. Part of me is thrilled beyond words because I hate how my body looks at the weight I’m at but then I try to remind myself that I hated how I looked and thought I was “fat” when my ribs were visible. I’m unsure if I’m really as heavy as I see myself in the mirror or if my ED is lying to me. Probably the latter.

We’ve had more access to food the last week or so but we’ve not been eating more as a result. I don’t want to yo-yo between this starvation mode and gorging myself on food to the point I feel sick and B just hasn’t noticed when he’s hungry lately so neither of us realize it’s been more than seven hours (or longer) between meals. It doesn’t help that B recently confided in me that he has disordered eating thoughts and has for years. I’ve suspected for a long time but I haven’t pestered him about it. We’re quite the pair.

The stress we’re under is causing my other health issues, such as my fibromyalgia and eczema, to super flare, too. Something has to change soon.

 

Now that I’ve updated on personal things, onto the news video I found that infuriated me: An 11-year-old girl in Florida was sent home with a letter from her school recently. That letter stated that she was “on a trend” to be overweight according to the BMI and her health is at risk. This girl is incredibly physically active and doesn’t look overweight at all. Her mother’s fighting it and talking to the media. The media, in turn, is talking to doctors who buy into the BMI hogwash, despite all the evidence that it’s bunk and is not a good indicator of health.

Here‘s the link. Watch with caution due to discussion of weight, BMI, and doctors harping on how being skinny is the best way to be healthy.

Gender Identity and How It Relates to My Eating Disorder

Strong caution for discussion of disordered eating patterns, body image, and gender dysphoria.

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, trying to figure out how best to approach it. It’s been difficult because our weather has been very unstable and it messes with my fibromyalgia and leads to brain fog.

Anyway, it recently occurred to me that my recently embraced gender identity might have something to do with my eating disorder. I came out to my friends (the ones who didn’t know already!) and family as genderfluid (feminine pronouns — she, her, hers, etc — masculine honorifics — brother, son, etc — and refer to me as “person” rather than man/woman/lady/girl please!) a day before my birthday (April 10th) after doing a lot of soul searching and having finally picked out a name that suits who I am better. The initial reactions from my father and younger sister were great; very supportive and affirming. But as time’s gone on, they’ve become less supportive. My dad even told me that he’ll always use my old name and said some pretty insulting things when I told him that B (my fiance) knows and is supportive (“who’s on top?”). It triggered a mini relapse with my eating disorder. I hadn’t considered the connection seriously until I read “Please Don’t Call Me Ma’am” on Disrupting Dinner Parties (which is a great blog and you all should check it out!), which I had done before I came out but only just got around to fully analyzing.

This part really hit home and spoke to me:

I would’ve considered skipping breakfast, hoping to starve away the traitorous curves that evil motherfucker, estrogen, stuck me with.

It’s like a part of me I’d never fully listened to woke up when I read the words that Logan (who prefers feminine pronouns and masculine honorifics!) wrote. There were several times that I was literally pointing at my screen and shouting “this is me!”

Over the last couple months, I’ve had to take a hard look at myself and what it means to be me and it made me realize that a part of the reason I struggle with food is because of my gender-differentness. When I was really sick and super thin it was easier to be androgynous like I’ve likely subconsciously leaned toward for many years. It was easier to present however I felt like presenting at the time; I didn’t have much in the way of breasts or hips to contend with, my waist curve was barely existent. In fact, when I was thinner and had short hair several years ago, B’s coworkers thought I was a guy, which filled me with a thrill I didn’t understand at the time.  My cis-gender friends were insulted for me when I told them but being “mistaken” for the “wrong” gender made me giddy.

So, it’s an interesting realization. Hopefully my self-acceptance will help me on my road to eating disorder recovery!

Death Anniversaries, Stress, and New Doctors

This week has been pretty stressful and emotional so far.

My mom’s 14th death anniversary was yesterday, which, despite it being so long ago, is still a very hard day for my sister, dad, and me. It always makes my sleep more disturbed than usual, makes my anxiety worse, and causes eating recovery relapses. It was compounded this time because my fiance lost his wallet with all of our money for the week in it yesterday, which meant that I couldn’t do my usual tradition for mom (he apparently left it at work, so that’s good but still). We did go to the cemetery where mom’s grandpa is buried; didn’t go to mom’s grave ’cause dad has never done anything with her ashes.

And today I saw a new doctor. I officially have fibromyalgia.