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Can't stop restricting

Desdemona

Desdemona

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
Hi everyone.
So, back in June I decided I wanted to lose weight. I was clinically obese and very uncomfortable in my skin because of it. I have engaged in disordered eating patterns in the past, and was worried that any attempts to control my diet would result in relapse.
Well, I was right. The restriction went too far almost immediately and I've been under-eating consistently for the last six months. I haven't engaged in purging (so far) and have no urges to binge at all, which is weird. Moreover, the reasons I am doing this are strange. I'm currently at a healthy weight, and I think I look good. I don't really want to lose any more, but I'm addicted to the hunger.
I'm not anxious and I don't feel out of control in my life. But I can't stop. I can't even slow down. I've never experienced anything like this and I'm scared.
For the first time in my life, I don't want to die, and I'm heading straight for it with no brakes.
This is long.
I keep thinking about trying to get help, but I talk myself out of it, because I feel like I don't really want to give it up.
I need this suffering to keep me strong.
I suffered so long with depression etc., that now that it's gone, I made up a new source and I don't know how to be "okay".
I don't know what I'm looking for here, I just wanted to tell someone, I guess. Thanks for reading.
 
A

Am33

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 28, 2020
Messages
227
Location
Fiji
Well from what I understand our minds work like a computer with programming . One program is to overeat and to overcome that you created another program to under eat .Just being aware they aren't the real you just programs that helps to stop putting your attention ( energy ) into them so they don't have control over you quit popping up in your mind.
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
7,000
Location
England
Hello and welcome to the forum. I think it is really positive that you recognise you are restricting and want that to change. I would seek therapy from an eating disorder clinic as they are the best people to help with this.
 
Desdemona

Desdemona

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
Yeah, I know it's a program. I wrote the dang thing 17 years ago.
I've always been able to stop it when I really wanted (and then gain like crazy, but whatever). This time though, it's like it's been hijacked. I have no control whatsoever. There are no thoughts or feelings driving this. There's no reason to do this except that I don't know how to live without some kind of constant suffering.
I don't know what to do about this because any clinician is just going to tell me to do CBT/DBT, which I already know how to do and it hasn't helped.
Meanwhile, I'm not even really "sick" yet, so no one will care anyway.
No one has ever been able/willing to help me before. There's no reason to think this time will be any different. I could call and make appointments and spend a bunch of time and money just to be told that there's nothing they can do and also it's probably my fault. Which it is, so.
Nvm.
 
P

Purpleplum

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
1,432
Location
nowhere
It sucks that people won't help until it's gone on too far. You've made a huge improvement recognizing what's happening and wanting to stop it. That means your mind has started on the right path.
You're noticing that you want to stop but that you don't want to change because you're comfortable with where you are.
Sure you're comfortable...you're used to either overeating or under eating.

Keep talking about it. Open up to others....stop hiding your patterns. When you stop hiding things, it makes you be more accountable and it helps break the cycle.

Find out why you're wanting to suffer . What is causing you to want to suffer? How do you feel about yourself as a person?
 
Desdemona

Desdemona

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
You're right, it is the hiding. Suffering and secrets are how I've always protected myself emotionally.
As a child I was emotionally abused and the secrets I kept are how I learned to keep people at a safe distance.
I suppose they are a kind of substitute for real, healthy boundaries.
The suffering is part of the secret-keeping.
I was suicidal by the time I was ten years old, but I couldn't tell anyone because they would just tell my mother, and she could use that information to hurt me.
I was in constant psychological agony, but I had to keep it to myself, so it just became my identity.
I suffer in silence and that is my strength.
That's who I am and I don't know how or who to be without it.
I like who I am. Even when I wanted to die, it wasn't because I thought I was bad in any way. I just wanted the pain to stop.
Well, the pain stopped and, it turns out, I'm too scared to live without it.
Damn you, Irony.

Thanks for reading. This has been really helpful, actually.
 
S

Star1969

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Stafford
I hear you loud and clear.
I was addicted to starvation, it gave me same physical high as a drug would. It also made me feel numb and invisible to reality and at the same time it gave me a sense of power and pride because I was so good at. When you’ve had this experience it’s very difficult to give it up. But I did and you can do it too. It’s so hard hun I won’t lie but it really can be done.
I know is a scary question but have you had therapy for your childhood experience?
Any treatments for eating disorders can only help you temporarily if there is an underlying problem that is left buried.
It sounds like you had an awful childhood which will have distorted your outlook on yourself, life and relationships.
You’ve done so well already, don’t give up, you will be able to fix this and you’ve made yet another positive step by talking about it here, but it seems like you need to access professional help that works for you, at your own pace. There are some very compassionate therapists out there who can can help you process your past in a healthy way and when you’re in a better place you will be able to learn coping mechanisms tailored to your specific requirements.
Take care xxx
 
Desdemona

Desdemona

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
Yes, I've had therapy. Years of it, in fact. I thought I had processed this part of my past, but really, this is just the latest phase of a lifetime of self-destructive coping strategies.
I've had such bad experiences with mental health professionals that it makes me seriously hesitate to try again.
But, I suppose if I don't try I'm going to end up too sick to work, and that can't be allowed to happen.
 
S

Star1969

Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Stafford
I do think even when we think we’ve dealt with our past it can still creep up on us and bite us on the bum. Life can be cruel. I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had some bad experiences with therapists that makes me sad and I see why you would be reluctant to try dealing with your past again.

You say you’d thought about therapy and talked yourself out of it because you don’t really want to stop the self harm. Letting go of a coping mechanism is mega scary. I wasn’t going to give up my starvation addiction for love nor money until my therapist pointed out how it might be affecting my son.
Could you think of some tiny positive changes you could cope with? (and by tiny I mean steps that might seem insignificant but it starts you moving in the right direction). It might take a long time but if that becomes easier you could make another tiny change and so on.
 
P

Purpleplum

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
1,432
Location
nowhere
You're right, it is the hiding. Suffering and secrets are how I've always protected myself emotionally.
As a child I was emotionally abused and the secrets I kept are how I learned to keep people at a safe distance.
I suppose they are a kind of substitute for real, healthy boundaries.
The suffering is part of the secret-keeping.
I was suicidal by the time I was ten years old, but I couldn't tell anyone because they would just tell my mother, and she could use that information to hurt me.
I was in constant psychological agony, but I had to keep it to myself, so it just became my identity.
I suffer in silence and that is my strength.
That's who I am and I don't know how or who to be without it.
I like who I am. Even when I wanted to die, it wasn't because I thought I was bad in any way. I just wanted the pain to stop.
Well, the pain stopped and, it turns out, I'm too scared to live without it.
Damn you, Irony.

Thanks for reading. This has been really helpful, actually.
ED's involve a lot of secrets and shame. You've become addicted to the pain. It gives you a high and can make you feel superior to others because you see that they don't put themselves in pain. To someone with an ED, it makes the others appear weak and themselves appear strong.

But that's all in the ED's head. Meanwhile the other's lives are going forward and ED person is still stuck.
 
Desdemona

Desdemona

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
In the end, I think the crux of the problem here is that secrets and suffering are how I've defined myself. They're the boundaries I never developed as a child. They are how I separate myself from others on a psychological level.
Knowing where I end and others begin is an important developmental lesson that I wasn't allowed to learn because my mother actively tried to prevent the formation of any kind of boundary between us.
Damn. I really do need therapy. I don't know how to navigate something like this on my own and there's no one in my life that I can talk to about this.
Sigh. I suppose I'll call them tomorrow :/
Thanks for all the support, everyone.
This has really been super helpful. I hope I can be as helpful fro someone as well :)
 
Desdemona

Desdemona

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2020
Messages
10
Location
Oregon
I was so close...
Had an email to my Psychiatrist all typed out...and then I just deleted it :(
I have a number to call, at least, to try and schedule something. It is harder than I thought to even think about verbalizing this, let alone actually doing it.
Intellectually, I know I have to. The way I'm living isn't sustainable and it's only getting worse.
I will keep trying.
Thanks for checking in :)
 
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