Sarah from Bearing, Eating, Being blog told Cammy in a recent comment: "Slips and lapses can be turned around if you recognize what you've done and take immediate steps (as in THAT DAY) to change them."
In eating disorder recovery, there are bound to be slips, lapses, and even relapses (though I disagree that that is a requirement). It truly does matter how we respond to each event in determining whether we slide down the slippery slope or continue to climb our way back to the top. Sometimes, it's an easy choice to climb back up the slope, while at other times, you feel doomed and propelled downwards whether it is a conscious choice or gravity simply pulling you down.
I say all this, because I experienced a horrible lapse Sunday after already being tipped on the edge of the slippery slope. I purged for the first time in over 8 1/2 months which sums only a handful of time in the last year in a half. Somehow, I feel the need to justify myself--was in crippling stomach pain, doubled over, could barely walk, but really what average person thinks about purging when they are in severe pain? Despite feeling much better afterwards, not like some euphoric high but just better physically, there were after effects. This after effect, I had forgotten about, one that has not happened to me in all my ED years.
Subconjuctival hemorrhage, the medical term for a rupture of a blood vessel in your eye.
Yes, that is my eye in all its bloody glory. Seriously though, I was shocked when I saw this the next day as I was leaving for my therapy appointment. At first, I was very concerned, but after talking to my optometrist, I realized there wasn't much that could be done except a cold compress, prescription drops if there was pain, and waiting 10-14 days for the blood to reabsorb. I spoke to a friend about how this could have occurred since it has not in my many years of ED. Her answer, "well, you're older, your body is older and reacts differently, and EDs are cumulative."
In essence, this proved to be yet another reminder at the ill effects of purging. I know subconjuctival hemorrhage occurs with other things like a violent sneeze or cough, but there is such an element of shame in the fact that it was purging that caused this. At least, this is the way I feel about it. A few people have asked me about it, and I admit, I make up an excuse that something hit me in the eye. I know I could very well say I was violently ill with stomach bug and vomited, but somehow, that feels too close for comfort.
I truly know it is useless to self abuse myself further by dwelling on this incident. I am positive that purging is NOT going to become a habit again. But the question remains now about what next? Do I dust myself off, climb back the mountain or let gravity pull me down? I know which answer is right and logical, and that is the answer I want to give of course. But do I really believe it?
Ultimately, I know I'm going through a rough patch with an overgrown number of weeds, and it is not wise for the weeds to continue to accumulate nor the patch to grow any further. Therefore, I need to use some weed killer and monitor the patch. Because, in the end, who really wants weeds anyway?
Note--*I have no clue whether that last metaphor actually made sense.
*That photo was really hard to take. Had it been my left eye rather than my right, it would have been much easier and the picture clearer. I guess you get the idea though.