Part of my recover that has not discussed here before is the anorexia nervosa. While our mind has recovered to the point where we do not practice anymore, our body has not. Under stress or floods of flashbacks, it reverts back to what it knows to handle the stress, relieve the pain of backlash, or let the rest of us know something is wrong. It starts slow in the subconscious. We are not as hungry and thirsty. Do not have to use the bathroom as much. Crave foods we normally don’t want. Not want to eat foods we normally enjoy. Feel tired. Start skipping meals. Stop drinking as much fluids. Have trouble sleeping. Forget to eat. Feel physically weak. Lose weight.
Realization and Facing Facts
And that is when we realize something is happening. Something not good. Only none of us are actively practicing anorexia; consciously restricting or starving ourselves; over exercising or using laxatives on purpose. It used to confuse everyone and make us question whether or not we are in remission/recovery for the eating disorder.
Around this time, different alters start panicking; others start putting the recovery plan into place; and one or more email/call the dietitian for assistance. As we start to gain weight, parts of our body bloat and look “fat” while others do not change. Usually it’s our abdomen and stomach that bloats. Sometimes our lower back. The bloating is normal as our body tries to protect and heal our organs while we start the weight gain process.
Problem is, not everyone in our system is aware that the bloating is normal. Or that it happens when bodies get activated too. Because the anorexia combined with physical abuse damaged a lot more internal organs than can be accounted for or diagnosed by current medical science. The bloating triggers us into flashbacks and nightmares related to negative body image, sexual abuse, etc. It makes everyone want to lose weight again on purpose to make the “fat” go away. Or try extreme dieting again. And when the bloat doesn’t go away, we are confused. Because nothing that we use to cope with anorexia is working.
This is happening right now. Our whole abdomen from below the rib cage all the way down past our stomach is bloated with a cushion of water. It looks and acts like fat. It makes our clothes fit funny by giving us a muffin top. And just this weekend we realized that the bloat is not going to go away until the memories and related internal damage are healed. This could be a while. And it will take some research and experimentation to figure out what coping strategies and resources will help. Has this ever happened to you? How did you cope?