Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Denial: I Ain’t in it, Baby

Why am I alllllllwwwwwwaaaaaaayyyyyyysss in denial? I’m beginning to think that I’M not in denial, EVERYBODY else is in denial about the fact I’m not in denial. Or maybe I have a paranoia problem. Are you following me? You are, aren’t you? FREAK.

But seriously. Why can’t I just be FINE? Why do I HAVE to be eating poorly if I’m underweight? And don’t laugh at me! I EAT. I don’t play food games. I don’t purge. I don’t exercise. So why can’t my body just naturally want to be thin? STOP LAUGHING!! That’s what my T did last night. And then she spent an unholy amount of time talking about denial. I’m not in denial. I know what it is. And most importantly, I know I’m not in it. Are you still laughing? If you’re my hubby or my T, you are. Look, I’m in a lot of things. I’m in a good mood because I just watched some guy trip. I’m INfatuated with my new Betsey Johnson watch. I’m in love with Brandon. And Cade. And my breasts. And my cats. I know it’s gay, whatever. But I DO love my cats dearly and deeply. And you can’t make me stop. I’m in a crisis due to some mildly alarming gray hairs already soiling my dark, silky mane. But what am I not in? You guessed it: DENIAL.

Can someone, anyone, back me up on this? If you do, I’ll vote for you for president of my fan club!

Denial sucks. Brie rocks!

27 comments:

Laura said...

I totally back you up. I mean, my ass just WANTS to be fat. It has nothing to do with the wine and cake.

Kathy with a K said...

I'm going to venture a guess that you are naturally thin. I'd bet on it. There's like 9 miles of you (no denying that). And, underweight and anorexic can be two different things. So, coming from someone who doesn't know you, live with you, or see you in therapy, I say NO DENIAL.

(if you're reading this while calculating calorie content of chapstick, then ignore everything i've just said) :)

Devon said...

Denial or not - I'd still better be the president of your fan club...I'm naming my freaking first born after you - it's only fair.

Anyhooooo hmmm. I say we discuss this denial thing over a fabulous date night. Take that back, lets not discuss it but still have our date. What say you? Let me know when. Text or call - I tend to answer

Muah

Emily said...

Yes, denial sucks and Brie rocks!

jana bananas said...

Oh no, gray hairs! It's starting. No fun!

And it's not wrong to love your cats to the extent that you do! My previous cat was my bestest, bestest friend ever.

KC Elaine said...

honestly I don't know enough online to tell you, and I doubt most of your blog readers do. but you were eating delightfully when I saw you a year ago. I'd say trust the people who know you best....your body will catch up eventually. please write me! either way, I'm in your fan club.

jana bananas said...

If I were to wear a post-it, I wonder what it should say...

You and Jackie should go to Red Robin and eat lots of fries with ranch dressing. Yummmmmmm. And a gardenburger of course!

brie said...

JB, I emailed Jax and told her I want to do Red Robin - it's my fav restaurant, their fries are orgasmic!

Wow.

I'm surprised (and thrilled) that the almost general consesus (dude, why can't I spell that word?) is that I am no in denial. Sweet!

Dev, I'd love a date. And yeah, you should probably be president of my fan club, but you're totally going to get de-throned if you don't end up naming your first-born after me. Emme Brienne will be ticked if you change it!

Kathy with a K said...

what's with the ranch dressing?

Laura said...

if I can't be President, can I be VP? Or treasurer? Oh, how about social char? When are elections anyway. And should I prepare a speech??

takeupyourbedandwalk said...

Maybe it's both. Maybe you're not in denial that you're eating enough for a normal person, but you ARE in denial that you're eating enough for YOU.

Have you ever read the Ancel Keyes study? It's all about what long-term starvation will do to your body. One of the things they found was that in order to bring starved subjects back to "normal," both physically and mentally, those subjects had to eat a LOT MORE than people who hadn't starved themselves. Seriously. Like 4,000-6,000 calories a DAY. (Sorry for the numbers - I couldn't think of a non-number way to say it.)

And eating that much didn't affect them the same way it would affect non-starved people. It made them NORMAL.

So I vote for both: no denial if you weren't starved before, but yeah, probably denial for what your body needs right now.

If that makes sense.

brie said...

Laura, frankly, I'm not sure you can handle holding a position of power in my fan club. Will you abuse it?

Also, will there be cakes involved?

And yes, I'm definitely familiar with the Ansel Keys study...but I guess I reasoned it never applied to me. ;) But you made a great deal of sense in your comment, and I'm going to think about it long and hard (that's what she said).

Devon said...

The only way my first born won't be named Emme Brienne is if it comes out looking like a man child...we might need to hastily come up with a new name at that point...

Anyhoo...date it is!

zubeldia said...

Now, I might not the be the most popular person for saying this, but, a) if you were in denial you'd be claiming that you were not in denial (!), b) you're asking a bunch of people, many with eating disorders, about eating and weight and bodies..

Oh deary.

Given that distortion if one of the features of an ed, I'll hasten to guess that you're asking thoughts from a pretty skewed group of people.

Do I think you're naturally thin? You likely are. DO I think you're naturally emaciated? NO, I do not. Your poor little body has never had a chance to grow to its full adult weight. Your metabolism is out of control, chica, and that you're body's homeostasis is this right now, is no indicator that it's healthy and fully functioning.

You have starved for many many years. The damage is really unknowable at this point, but I am guessing that the extent to which your body uses cals is indication that there is major repair being done.

Your poor bones, poppet, and then I think about you becoming ill, an illness or disease that leads to lack of appetite and.. oh man, the consequences are horrifying.

I adore you, as you know, but I would not be a good friend to you if I stood by, looking on at your poor thin body (and it IS thin, Brie.. not naturally thin.. damaged thin), and I want to scoop you up (if you weren't a foot taller than me!!).

I know this is a serious answer to a rather breezy email, but this is serious. it is.

Krista said...

I like what takeupyourbedandwalk had to say. I can't really say that you are in denial or not, but from my perspective you seem to be a lot happier than you were a few months ago and that my dear is progress itself.

brie said...

Z, you're such a sweetheart. Will you be my 2nd mom? Thanks for the comment. I mean it. You have a remarkable ability to write, as you say, the "unpopular" comment, but you do so with such kindness and concern and empathy. You're likely right - if my body were undamaged and if I had never had an ED, I'm sure my body weight would be higher - in fact, I'm sure it would - in 9th grade when I had a major growth spurt and (finally) started my period, I weighed more than I do now.

I wonder if the damage is irreparable...

brie said...

Okay, so I totally didn't mean to insinuate that you have a remarkable ability to write an unpopular comment, lol. I meant you have a remarkable ability to be kind and all that other good stuff I wrote in the above comment. LOVE YOU!!

zubeldia said...

LOL, I DID really laugh when I read that.. and given what;s been going on on my little blog, I though you might be suggesting that I was a good trouble-maker :)

I really don't think the damage is irreversible... I think, though, that it will take a long while. You starved for many years, sweety, and so it's going to take some time. I know you can do this.. that it will help with the fatigue, the anxiety, and more.

Love you.. of course Ill be a second mum. Though, of course, I would have had you at 8 :)

Courtney said...

Man, this post really got me thinking. I could probably write a novel on this subject, but I’ll try not to bore you to death. I’ve been through years and years of power struggles with professionals about my definition vs. their definition of a “healthy” weight. I think a real turning point in my recovery came about a year ago when my doc, therapist, and I all agreed that as long as I would commit to staying out of the “danger zone” and maintain my weight at a place where I could function without being medically compromised they would leave the rest up to me. Basically, they stopped pressuring me to gain weight beyond what was absolutely necessary and instead we really tackled underlying issues and spent time working on things other than weight, food, behaviors, etc. I know everyone’s recovery path is different, whereas some people are motivated by lots of structure/guidelines/ultimatums/etc, I do well when I feel free to make my own choices and trust my own inner wisdom. Although I knew my treatment team, husband, and family weren’t exactly pleased with where my weight was at, it was really empowering to feel like they trusted me to do what was best. And the funny thing is over time I started asking MYSELF the same questions they had been asking for so long—questions like…Is this truly the optimal weight for MY body? Do I want to hover as close as possible to the line between sickness and health, or do I want to give myself a bit of a buffer (I hate that word but I couldn’t think of another) in case I get sick, injured, get lost in the mountains for 3 days with no food (well, hopefully not but you get the idea!)? Is this a weight at which my children will view me as a healthy role model, or will I feel like a hypocrite when I tell them their worth is not dependent on their size? Would gaining a few pounds help my brain function even better, help alleviate some of the persistent anxiety, cut down on the number of days I feel really depressed? These are questions that only we can answer and I don’t think not knowing all the answers means you are in denial. In fact, I think the ability to look at other people’s perspectives and then make your own decisions based on what you really think is best is a huge step forward and a necessary part of recovery. But I also think there comes a point where you just have to take a leap of faith, trust what others are saying, and challenge the fear and resistance to change.

Courtney said...

Um, I just looked at the length of my previous comment and now I am totally embarrassed. I should really consider just sending an email or posting my long rants on my own blog. Sorry hun!

brie said...

Court, don't apologize, Chickie. I actually really appreciated your comment, and it actually means a lot you took the time to write such a long (but oh so amazing and heartfelt!) comment.

H said...

I haven't seen you in YEARS, so I can't really say. But, I must admit I absolutely LOVE what zubeldia had to say...I think it applies to all of us recovering from EDs. I know your family, have seen your siblings, and yes, you are all quite tall and thin, some naturally, and possibly some not (I have no idea)...BUT...from the few pics I've seen of you, and I hope this doesn't upset you, you do look more than just naturally thin...you like more "sick" thin. But again, this is coming from someone who also used to have an ED and finds it difficult now to "judge" people's weight accurately...even though I'm now quite recovered and doing fine physically. I know it's damn hard and damn frustrating, but taking that leap of faith, to trust your T and D, and Brandon, and mom...to gain more weight...is probably the best thing you can do for your recovery now and forever.

And just a thought. What would you do, or rather, how would you feel, if you weighed what your T or D is telling you that you should weigh? Would it make you any less of a person? No. Would it make you ugly? No. Would it make you unloveable? No. And I'm sure there are a ton other questions you can think of yourself and even answer yourself honestly. Anyway, just something to think about in addition to everything else you're having to sort through! : )

Jackie said...

I back you up BUT I think that perhaps you have had ed for so long that perhaps YOUR version of eating normally is not normal. Does that make sense? But I know you have come so so far and I fully back you up. I don't think you are in denial - just maybe try eating a tiny bit more my dear :)

Love, Jax

Jackie said...

I am sorry dinner didn't work out - will any other night this week work?

Elizabeth said...

I've never had an eating disorder, but I know a little bit about weight and weight loss because my daughter went through a terrible period when she was about ten years old. She has a seizure disorder and lost her ability to eat (a drug-induced anorexia) -- she lost about a third of her weight. It really took a couple of years for her body to become balanced again, and what has helped her is Chinese medicine. A doctor trained in Traditional Chinese medicine who practices both acupuncture and herbology could really help you, Brie. In fact, TCM can really help just about everyone. It's a noninvasive way to bring health and balance back into one's life and is at the very least, an excellent COMPLEMENT to anything "traditional." Anyway, that's my two cents, and I have lots of pennies stored away.

Angela and Brett said...

I can definetly back you up! Being married to your twin brother has completely opened my eyes. You two NATURALLY have a thin body type. Brett will lift weights (and not do cardio) and eat thousands of calories a day, and he honestly just cannot gain any weight, fat or muscle. I can gain like 20 pounds in one month, and he can't manage to gain one even with him trying. Anyways what i am trying to say is that you are right, being underweight does not equal eating disorder or denial!!!

brie said...

Elizabeth, thanks for the tip - my T was actually talking to me about trying something like that too. And--I hope your sweet daughter is doing well. :)

Ang, I always laugh when Brett gets so ticked he can't even gain a pound! BUt--I know how he feels! ;) (minus the ticked part, lol)