In a new guest post, Nina writes about what has made her able to cope in everyday life despite a serious and long-term eating disorder. Here you read about 9 things that she describes as crucial to getting better.

Image: Dreamstime (with licence)


The post is shortened. Nina writes: 

In May, I wrote a post called "The verdict fell. Sentenced to shame". It happened on the occasion that in those days it was 2 years since the treatment services gave me up at specialist health service level, and they concluded that I had a chronic disorder. That I needed the bulimia to survive, and that they wanted to live permanently in a kind of institution.

The result was that I got angry. Very angry... I left. Sad. Hurt inside me.

And before I had parked at home I had decided;

I was going to show them how wrong they were! I knew how I had functioned before. How I really was. And deep down also why they had only seen this starving anorexic-bulimic wreck, so full of anxiety, and so marked by depression and dissociation, that I understood their statement….

But I knew why. And the way forward could only go upward. This I had decided. I still had available services by the municipal health worker and the physiotherapist. And my GP. Who actually had faith in me.

It was too early to give up. In my head.

After that post, I got a comment in the comments field. With the following text: «So good that you are doing better. But how did you do it? What made you do it now, after so many years?”

I answered briefly and punctually. Since then, I have pondered the matter and thought about writing this post.

Also since the case is that I did not manage it before now, after so many years. But I have recovered from the worst and most dysfunctional period of adulthood. Got my head over water again. Able to breathe. Feel a little of life. Not just fighting for my life every spare second of the time I'm awake. I got back with myself. As I have written before.

 

The crucial things to get better

Here are some excerpts from the rest of the post where Nina describes what has been crucial for her to get better.

 

  1. We must keep in mind that mental disorders such as anxiety and depression can also occur without a clear cause. Then it is probably not so wise to try and understand oneself to the death on the case, but rather try to focus on the coping strategies rather than the symptom(s).

  2. One reason I've managed it too ... is having a goal. A partial plan with and associated strategy. Something to reach for. Maybe a dream of the days that go by. I needed a goal of survival. For without a goal, why should I continue to live, when life hurts so much?

    In addition, I have constantly set myself sub-goals and short-term goals on the way to the long-term goals. Divided into stages. Made goals for each stage. Also goals I know I have the chance to reach. So that I actually experience some mastery in the everyday life where I just feel unsuccessful and standing still on the spot, or even in reverse in terms of illness and symptoms.

  3. Another thing that has been absolutely crucial, is to manage not just thinking in black-and-white, either-or, sick-healthy. Understanding that flying back and forth between the North Pole and the South Pole and never stopping at the equator or other intermediate stations, it destroys both the mood, motivation, willingness and desire to fight.

  4. Not least to KEEP the ability to really manage fighting on.

  5. A final example, which probably all bulimics recognize themselves in, I think, is specifically about the eating disorder. Once you have set yourself the goal of not overeating. Do not vomit. I actually managed it in 2 weeks. Set a new record. And then it goes wrong. 

    That's when it's about not going under when things go wrong. Get up again. Quickly. No matter how hurt your pride is. Lift your eyes and straighten it forward again. Do not go straight into the abyss. Try again and again and again.

  6. Then there is a factor that must probably be mentioned, which I have indirectly touched on already. Feel free to call it my elementory force, my primordinal power. Or something. It has never been weakened. Regardless of how life has been. And it has made me simply refuse to give up.

  7. And just to emphasize one thing; I do NOT mean that it is just a matter of thinking positively... On the contrary, it is rather about refusing the dark thoughts to take all the space, and NEVER let the positive ones get completely lost. If the positive thought only lasts for 5 seconds, then it is anyway more than 0 seconds, and it can help to give just as much hope there and then that something else is possible. Enough that you do not drown in your own inner black, bottomless pits.

  8. It's not impossible. Very little is impossible. Although yes, some things are. As a somewhat worn expression says; "Nothing is impossible. The impossible just takes a little longer." However, it might be necessary with somewhat moderate dreams and hopes and goals. To be realistic.

  9. What basically means something to my ability to both survive and live in MY everyday life, it is what I can do that gives me joy and satisfaction and a break from symptoms and illness. If so even the smallest thing. For the only thing that basically matters is what I can achieve and accomplish compared to myself ... Not compared to everyone else… 

- The post is written by Nina

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