Eating Disorder Recovery

Return of the triggering CPN

Ever have one of those days when your thoughts are raging and then someone else says something to confirm the negative thoughts you are thinking? Well, I had one of those mornings.

I wasn’t happy when I got up, the scales made me feel worse and then the mirror kind of pissed me off. A lot. However I knew that it was important to not let it win and so I had breakfast and got myself to my appointment with the CPN (Community psychiatric nurse). Our relationship is getting better and as we get used to each other I am finding it easier to be a little more open with her…the problem though is that she doesn’t know shit about Eating Disorders and in her ignorance she is triggering, which considering my state of mind isn’t something that is hugely beneficial to me. I don’t even think she realises what she’s saying most of the time but I cannot quieten the voice that agrees with what she is saying even if I know it is complete crap.

I’ve been trying to think about how I write this without using numbers but I am unsure of how to do that. Therefore I am going to use them and am now just pre-warning you. Ok?

We’d discussed my general mental health…mood and thoughts etc, nothing that interesting and then we moved on to food and how that was going. I said it was happening, which it is just not how it should be happening. She asked me how many calories did she think I was getting through in a day and I told her about 1000-1100. Clearly to anyone who hasn’t gotten a distorted perception of adequate nutrition and knows the basics, it is not enough. It is not enough to support a body and a mind and certainly not one that is recovering. My CPN’s response though was “Oh, that’s not bad. That’s about normal.”

Erm…no it’s not normal.
“There are some girls that work here that are always on a diet and they eat about that much”
Erm…I’m not supposed to be on a diet.
You see I already thought I was eating too much, but then to be told…it was just something I didn’t need to hear. Obviously I pretended that it didn’t upset me and tried to tell her that the body needed a hell of a lot more just so the body can carry on doing its daily thing of keeping organs functioning etc.

Then we moved on to weight and I was trying to explain how I am torturing myself with going backwards and forwards to the scales even though I know weight fluctuates multiple times a day. The shifts hurt me and I pin my worth and ability to be comfortable on them which isn’t ideal but it is what it is at the moment and I was trying to explain that and that even though they might be 0.something of a kilogram changes they still feel like a lot! Like my heart can’t contain the breaking anymore. Her response was that of course weight fluctuates and that hers depending on the month can go up and down by half a stone but on her you wouldn’t be able to tell but on me it would be easy to tell if I had just put a lb on.


I went silent after that, drifted off and told her that I’d had enough for the day. I couldn’t quieten the voice that said “I knew it! Everyone can see how much weight I’ve gained and it’s disgusting and I should stop eating to make it go back down”. I know the thinking is extreme but if you struggle I can pretty much guess that you know how damaging those comments can be.

Thankfully my day got better and had a successful meeting with my course tutor who is being really supportive and helpful in making sure that there are measures in place to help me carry on with my degree. I’m glad I let him in on what’s been going on because it does make it easier knowing that there is support there should I need if although I hope that I never have to use it. After I met a friend who works on some of the same campaigns as me and it was good to just catch up with her because we never get the time when we’re working and then we went on to a networking event. I’m not usually a fan of these things but it was ok and it distracted me enough to allow me to put the disorder on the back burner for an hour. It was a long day but I’m glad it has been that way and although a tonne of new stuff has been added to my diary I don’t feel overwhelmed. Just thankful. I’m thankful that I the time and space for other things in my life now. I’m good at what I do and I need to remember that every time I start to feel myself cave under the pressure. While I am choosing recovery I am more than what my eating disorder tries to limit me to. I want to be more.

Be good to yourselves x


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