being vulnerable: i feel like a fake.

{hi humans}

I have to post this now despite not wanting to do anything at all besides take my medication and sleep.

I’m about to make myself really vulnerable, and I’m okay with it. I just need to get this out.

You guys...I feel like an absolute fake.

I feel like I was never “sick” enough. I never “starved” myself during the dark days of my eating disorder. I always ate at least 1000 calories and I didn’t obsessively fast or run miles and I never purged. I know technically my weight was severe but I feel like if I would have starved and obsessively exercised I could have been SICKER. (How messed up is that?)

I feel like a fake because now in my recovery I feel like I’ve developed binge eating disorder. I binge at least 5 nights a week. It’s not extreme hunger…it’s not. I know the difference between the two: I’ve experienced extreme hunger, yes–but now I’m binging.

I feel like a fake because I tell people how to recover but for me it’s not working. I can’t just eat 3000 calories a day, gain weight, and work on mentally recovering. I eat that much in a day and then binge at night, and the cycle repeats. However, despite being disgusting bloated at the end of the day, by the morning it’s like it never happened. How is that possible?

I feel like I’m doing the work to gain weight and since it’s not working people don’t believe me. I’m not overly concerned with the opinions of others–but still, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have something to show for all the emotional and physical work I’m doing? Wouldn’t it be more convincing for me to give advice if I looked the part?

I feel like a fake because an outsider would look at me and think, “Wow, she doesn’t eat.” And in reality, I eat more than anyone I know. I eat more than twice the amount of my boyfriend who is also eating to gain weight, and he is gaining weight.

I feel like a fake because I still struggle SO much with self hate, anxiety, and even a little depression.

I feel like a fake because I’m either very happy or very sad. I have the worst relationship with food and don’t foresee it ever getting better. I don’t necessarily believe in a full recovery but still it would be nice to have some improvement.

I just feel like a fake. I feel awful. I’m sitting here typing this after a massive binge and now all I want to do is pass out. It’s like I need a babysitter to make sure I don’t binge. You know the only two nights I don’t binge are the nights that Jarrett doesn’t work and is hanging out with me? It’s because I don’t want to binge. That’s how I know it’s not extreme hunger–it’s not physiological, it’s very much emotional. I eat to fill voids and I eat until I can’t move.

I just made myself so damn vulnerable and foolish. I just can’t do this anymore. It’s like it’s never-ending. It is never ending.

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12 thoughts on “being vulnerable: i feel like a fake.

  1. I feel like I can relate to every word of this post. Although you may feel like a “fake”, your vulnerability and resilience through the process of your recovery is so admirable to me and so many other people. I have felt so alone in the stage of recovery i am in at the moment, and to read this and feel like it was coming from my brain was incredible. No matter how “fake” you may feel at times you should know how inspirational you are to me!

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    1. Yeah, I’m with you Lindsey.
      It feels like I could’ve written this. Struggling a lot with binging right now, so just know neither of you are alone…even when it feels like it. ❤
      Every single person in this community is an inspiration to me…especially when they bare it all like this. Your honesty helps so many other people feel okay with the place they're at.
      Just keep fighting.

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  2. You’re not a fake. Don’t invalidate yourself just because you don’t fit the mold. Years ago, my mom used to make fun of your mom and tell her she had a tape worm because she ate and ate and just always stayed so small. It was all in fun I’m sure, but the reality is that you’re both just a different kind of human. It’s not crazy to think that there are people that are so different from everyone else and that you’re one of them. Your reality is yours and it’s real. You’re not a fake. You have to eat more than most people do to stay healthy. That’s just your reality, and that’s okay. Stop feeling guilty about it and just start walking in the truth of it. It’s okay. It’s yours. March on. You’re SO smart. You’re hilarious. You’re driven. You’re blessed. You’re required to eat 5000+ calories a day. It’s okay. It’s hard and it feels wrong because no one else is doing it, but that doesn’t matter. Your body needs it and you’re doing the right thing for your body to be okay.
    I don’t know. I’m not in your shoes, I just know what I feel for your situation.
    I just know that you don’t need to walk in worry or self doubt. You’re doing it right. Keep doing what you’re doing and know that you’re not being judged for it. At least, not by me. ❤️

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  3. Annie, sweetheart, listen to yourself. Are you forgetting the fact that being vulnerable also encompasses bringing joy? I know your having a bad day, and that you are having doubts about what you are doing and why you are unable to gain weight. But guess what- this too shall pass. While I would without a doubt want to assure you that yes, you did suffer from a extreme case of anorexia (such as myself), it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you choose to encompass the person you are today. Everyday is an opportunity for you to put behind the tears and sorrows of yesterday and view your journey in a positive light. Do NOT undermine the amazing progress you have made with your body and with regards to food so far. Not many people are able to so bravely let go from the this debilitating mental disease and go against what the media and everyone around them tells them what they should be doing.
    Also, it is not binging when your body needs the food hun, even if you are incredibly full and not hungry. However if it is really bothering you, I would suggest you look into what the real root cause of this ‘binging’ is. Are you feeling lonely? Then have a girls night with your friends. Do you feel dissatisfied with one of your jobs? Then quit! Are you worried, anxious, or sad about other aspects of your life? Then try to found a good counselor or therapist to talk to. You have such an amazing future ahead of you Annie, please don’t let these days deter you from staying positive <3.

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  4. I don’t have the perfect advice that I really wish I could give you…However, I do want to state that no matter what you look like on the outside, or whatever it is that you are struggling with… you have always always helped me. I talk to my only friend and my boyfriend about your blog and vlogs and I literally say “Did you see what Annie posted?! I love this.” I literally bring up your name (in the most positive of ways) like we know each other in real life, when in all honesty, I just stalk your blog…haha, that is creepy, I apologize. Anyways, I know that we all struggle more than we let on to the public…. But I really don’t believe that that makes us “fake.” There is no single definition of an eating disorder. I have people I know with eating disorders that thought I got “worse” than them and others that I know got “worse” than me. That is not relative to what we are dealing with inside. There is no competition here other than what we let our issues perceive as competition. We all deserve to work through this and God did not put us on this planet for absolutely no reason. There is always a way to work on things. Always. Through faith and through inner strength that comes from that faith. As for the emotional part I understand. Ever since I’ve had this terrible disorder, I have been more numb than anyone I have ever met. It is horrible. I have all emotions shut off. I know that is different from your situation to an extent but I get the fact that it doesn’t seem natural. I know my girl friend cries all the time, at sappy movies, at life issues…I don’t I feel nothing. It’s weird. But having these issues does not make you fake in my opinion. I don’t look at any one person as the definition of recovery or how I should recover. We all do our own thing. We should do it how we need to do it. It’s never going to be easy or fun, but it’s a process we need to work through. I feel like I’ve grown through following your posts, and I don’t mean to say this as ” You need to be strong all the time” or “I follow everything you say” I meant that as you are the REALEST person I have found in this type of community and that I thank you for. I am sorry you are feeling this way and I wish I could help. Stay strong. I will keep you in my prayers tonight.

    -Tarafaye

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  5. My heart goes out to you. It’s been super hard for me to gain weight as well even though I’m eating “enough” calories…so I just keep upping it. Do you experience nausea or headaches in recovery?

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  6. Annie, it’s okay to be vulnerable and struggle. Recovery isn’t linear and I know you know that. This is just a bump in the road, I promise. Have you looked into your feelings/thoughts before you binge? If you’re lonely/sad/bored/etc., maybe you could figure out alternative coping mechanisms?
    Let me just say that you have helped me SO much – probably more than you will ever know. Unlike some other well known recovery bloggers, you are real, kind, and supportive. You have always answered my questions and you never fail to make me laugh with your vlogs and your writing. I look up to you, simply because I want to be able to help people as much as you have, and be as kind and motivated as you are. You have made so much progress, and you will keep making progress. You will get through this. Feel free to email me anytime. I’ll be thinking of you today.

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  7. omg i feel the same way! i feel like i shouldve done stuff more severe and harsh so that i couldve gotten lower and actually passed out or something to make me realize my illness more! i also feel the same about eating so much and having to deal with urge to binge because before my restricting i did a lot of binging but not purging. All my therapist told me that I can tell you is figure out what youre feeling during that time and remember how you feel after your binge. you dont feel satisified or happy so try to correlate that to stop you from binging…? idk just some advice i can give you but youre definitly not alone!

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  8. Hi Annie

    I just wanted to let you know that I have been going through a very similar thing recently and I completely agree with you that the reasoning behind it is that something else in my life is missing. With reflection, having just graduated with a degree subject and university experience I pretty much hated, I am ‘comforting’ my feelings of loneliness and a lack of direction with the very food I restricted (almost subconsciously like yourself) to get me through the experience in the first place.

    Although eating enough is a critical part of physical recovery, I also view these episodes as a ‘binge’ and it means any form of mental recovery is pretty much a non-starter…

    As you mentioned, distraction and being accountable to others seems to be key for me to take a step back and ask if what I am doing is actually good for my health at all, so I have set myself a 7 day BFree Challenge where I will be aiming to eat enough during the day and then occupy myself with a different activity before I go to bed.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice other than empathise with your situation but on the ‘weight gain’ subject, there are a few posts on ‘A Dash of Meg’s’ blog (http://adashofmeg.com/) especially Nourished Podcast #5, that suggest it is almost easier to succeed in this area when you are not actually trying to gain per say, but just trying to be more comfortable around food… It’s interesting to listen to if you get chance. I also aim to do some TOL posts on my own blog about the subject over the next month as it is almost easier to try to make sense of everything when it is writing…

    I really hope all the other things you have going on in you life become more positive too. You are not a fraud at all, just the most genuine and honest person I have come across with regard to your relationship with food and I love reading your blog for all of its content.

    Please feel free to email me etc. if you ever want to chat, I know I am effectively a complete stranger but I am happy to be a blogger friend!

    Charlotte xx

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  9. Hi Annie

    I just wanted to let you know that I have been going through a very similar thing recently and I completely agree with you that the reasoning behind it is that something else in my life is missing. With reflection, having just graduated with a degree subject and university experience I pretty much hated, I am ‘comforting’ my feelings of loneliness and a lack of direction with the very food I restricted (almost subconsciously like yourself) to get me through the experience in the first place.

    Although eating enough is a critical part of physical recovery, I have also come to view these episodes as a ‘binge’ and it means any form of mental recovery is pretty much a non-starter…

    As you mentioned, distraction and being accountable to others seems to be key for me to take a step back and ask if what I am doing is actually good for my health at all, so I have set myself a 7 day BFree Challenge where I will be aiming to eat enough during the day and then occupy myself with a different activity before I go to bed.

    I’m sorry I can’t offer any advice other than empathise with your situation but on the ‘weight gain’ subject, there are a few posts on ‘A Dash of Meg’s’ blog (http://adashofmeg.com/) especially Nourished Podcast #5, that suggest it is almost easier to succeed in this area when you are not actually trying to gain per say, but just trying to be more comfortable around food… It’s interesting to listen to if you get chance.

    I also really hope that the other things you have going on in you life get better. You are not a fraud at all, just the most genuine and honest person I have come across with regard to your relationship with food and I love reading your blog for all of its content.

    Please feel free to email me etc. if you ever want to chat, I know I am effectively a complete stranger but I am happy to be a blogger friend!

    Charlotte xx

    Like

  10. Dear Annie,

    Don’t give up. We have all had hard, difficult days. This life isn’t without trials. But in the midst of vulnerability, remember that there is joy in Jesus. That is the only place I have found joy. Jesus is so fulfilling. He loves you. He cares for you. Don’t listen to the cries of the world or the media or your own head. Focus your heart on Him. Don’t focus on a bad day. I have bad days, but God is always there, in the midst of every step. He is my refuge and my strength. ❤ you Girl. DON'T give up, and we are behind you, supporting you all the way.

    I can't wait for the giveaway! :))) HUGS.

    Love,
    Emily

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  11. I can relate to a lot of what you shared. like you, I never skipped meals or ate what most consider to be an “anorexic” amount of food. I did exercise obsessively and my weight has been critically low. Whenever I have been hospitalized or in treatment and have described a typical day of eating the medical professionals do not believe my reports. However, one person said it is likely my weight got so low because I did not restrict as heavily as many and therefore my metabolism was somewhat higher than a meal skipper. Of course, none of this matters. Mentally anyone can be well, regardless of the amount he or she weights. I am still on the gain train (again) after a recent bout with pancreatitis. So many people assume I don’t eat or ask if I am not able to keep food down (never been a purger.) It frustrates me as well because I know the assumption is that I do not even try. This is certainly not the truth. The last time I was in treatment I was eventually eating about 5,000 calories per day and still not gaining, most of the time. I’m not at that level now but I can sympathize with your effort. Not sure there is much point to this reply other than to let you know you are NOT alone and NOT a fake. Hang in there Annie! This too shall pass. you have a bright future ahead of you. Sending hugs! 🙂

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