Scared about starting treatment for recovery

Hi all, this is my first post on here but by the title hopefully you can tell what this is about and might be able to give some advice.

I've suffered from anorexia nervosa for the last 3 and a half years. The weight loss and obsession was gradual until my weight dropped to an incredibly low amount and my BMI is dangerously low. I started seeking help in November 2015, forced to by my mum and parents and have since received an unbeliveable amount of support from family friends and colleagues, its been eye opening. The medical side of things has taken a lot longer to get anywhere with on the NHS but I've started seeing doctors and have been given a range of group therapies to attend which will become more frequent after exams have finished. Yet despite all of this support I'm seriously struggling to get anywhere with the weight gain. I've hovered around gaining 2-3lb then lost it again as what I find I keep doing is monitoring dieting and exercising then eating more than usual one day and going back to dieting losing what I had gained. And today, the first time ever I collapsed in college and was sent home. I was told to eat but had no idea what to and ended up with eating sandwiches, crackers, peanut butter, a cupcake and chocolates, all fear foods of mine and now I feel sick and want to go back to dieting and its a constant cycle. I keep thinking I'll just go back to my beginning weight even though its too low and then start putting on like this will effect where the weight will go but I know it doesn't work like that. And I'm really scared because other than the weight loss this is the first physical effect I've suffered. Despite all the support I've received and the encouragement I keep telling myself to just lose weight. I feel sort of like in limbo where I'm still controlling my diet, convinced I'm putting on weight yet the scales only go up minimally and then back down again. I just don't know what to do. I want to recover yet at the same time I don't and if Im put on a diet plan I know how to get round eating so this won't be of any use. I'm really stuck with what to do and scared if this continues I'll start to suffer from other symptoms because my body just cant cope. I'm disgusted at myself for eating so much which is why I want to diet now but in a couple weeks when I go through it all again this is just going to continue. How do I get over this fear of gaining and actually keeping the weight on. I haven't gone up enough for it to properly start showing but to me I just feel huge and gross and want to start doing more exercise now that I am eating more. Does anyone else feel or has felt like this and how did you get past it? Half my mind is in the right place but the other half is still controlling these thoughts and ideas. Any advice will be so very appreciated!

15 Replies

  • Hi! Sophietomlins ☺ Congrats on your achievementsso far 👏 Half of you wants to get better, half doesn't ~ let the well side make all the decisions. Collapsing is just the beginning...Hair loss, gross dry skin, aging beyond your years (visibly) your bones will get so fragile, heart attacks, inability to regulate temperature to name a few ~ that is not meant to scare you, it's just facts. Conjure these up when the unwell voice speaks. Let the team who are looking after you know your fears. The diet plan has nothing for you to worry about ~ it is only to help you get well. Your Anorexic voice will become really loud, it doesn't want to go or for you to be free of its influence. Cry your heart out and let it go ~ it will be Hard, its not your friend its evil. Of course you are paralyzed with fear about putting on weight ~ suggest you do not weigh yourself (let someone else do that) Good Luck with your new life, try only to think of the healthy future that lies ahead ~ you've just got to get there and you will because you are your own boss. 🌺

  • Hi joolzzz, thank you so much for your reply, honestly thought I wouldn't get any so thank you! X

    Yeah I've got all those symptoms as well but collapsing has been a first for me which is what has encouraged me to write this. I hadn't read your message before I weighed myself and I'm actually the same if a little less than what I was before which has really surprised me cos I ate so much yesterday and it feels like I'm getting bigger. I'm just so confused at the moment. I don't want to start eating more until I feel like I've reached my weight before so will give it a few days before I start, but I know that this isn't right, that this will just continue and I won't get anywhere with this constant cycle. I will talk to my medical team but I feel so helpless at this moment in time, it's really getting to me and I want to stop having to fight it and give in to dieting forever now, that would be the easiest thing to do. Thank you for encouraging me, that has been very good of you, I hope I'm able to change this bleak outlook I've got and start letting the advice I've been given be put to use, xx

  • I know just how you feel - anorexia is very powerful and plays mind games all the time. I found a diet plan helpful - it helped me feel in control - also had an exercise allowance to go with it - which also helped. Its great you've admitted your problems - but I know from my experience its now that the mind battle begins - if you can get some plan set up I found it allowed me to eat as it was given by a "medical" person - rather than something I made up - of someone close to me gave me - it also gave me guidance about what to eat, how much - and I felt more in control. I hope this helps you and encourages you to continue to accept help - remember, anorexia is a mental illness - and it will tell you lies ie I'm fat, I'm not worth it etc - don't let it beat you - I know your stronger than that.

  • It really is powerful, I'm convinced I'm putting on the weight though I weighed myself and I've lost. And yet every time I do I keep thinking in the back of my mind that once I've shown my medical team they don't need to keep me in hospital I can just lose it again. It'is very hard to not listen to that voice and even more difficult to not be hospitalised because you can't hide a collapse like you can with what you eat so I don't know how to convince them or eat appropriately, as daft as that sounds.

    Would you be able to share your diet plan with me? I think that would definitely help for the moment as I am waiting to hear from a dietician as I simply just don't know how or what to eat at appropriate times which has made me feel incredibly stressed. I just seem to be continuing as I was just more aware of what it is doing to me and even with the support from the medical team I haven't made any real progress.

    Thank you for your lovely message and support, that means so much to me and truly hope you have reached a point where you are happy as well, thank you xx

  • Hi, you have already been given extremely sound advise by the other two members? As you are probably aware, the "bad voice!" is your enemy,it wants you in the grasp of this cruel, insidious mental health illness?!

    You have collapsed for a reason?! Before Anorexia starts to completely control every aspect of your life, I cannot urge/plead with you enough to seek Medical advise & listen to those who are trying to support you?

    Unfortunately in 2012 & 2014 I almost lost my life to Anorexia!! I ended up with Pneumonia, Sepsis, my vital organs started to shut-down & I was put on Life-support Machine! My poor husband was told they did"nt expect me to survive until the morning!! My 3 sons were sent for to say Good-bye to me?!! I spent over a month in Intensive Care Unit & I am one very lucky person to have survived this ordeal?!

    Please trust me, you never think anything bad will happen to you?! Sadly when you have crossed the Line of Anorexia controlling you, rather than you being in control of your own life, it is often too late?!

    Anorexia is the biggest killer of any Mental Health Illnesses!! I understand your fear of recovery completely but I can"t urge you enough to listen to the "Well voice?"!

    I would hate for anyone with Anorexia to go through what I did, even more so my poor family, who almost lost wife/mother!

    I have been under the care of Specialized High-risk Eating Disorder Team in a Psychiatric hospital, since 2012!! It is an extremely frightening place to be in?! I am no where near "Out of the Woods!" but with the help of these Professionals, I am finally (I pray?), on the road to recovery, after suffering for 40 years with Anorexia?!!

    You sound young and have time on your side and everything to live for PLEASE DO NOT let Anorexia destroy your precious life?! Anorexia is NOT your friend it is most certainly your Enemy?!

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Please listen to the Professionals in Eating Disorders?

    I wish you all the luck in the world for your recovery?

    Sending positive, healing, comforting vibes to you! You can do this?!!

    Many blessings XX :)

  • I am so sorry about your experience with anorexia! You have been so brave throughout all this and the fact you are still here fighting to live just shows how strong you are! Keep fighting, you're making your husband and sons so proud and you have got an unbelievable amount of support from me and everyone you know to get you through this. Please keep fighting and thank you for sharing your story, it must have been incredibly difficult to talk about but its definitely helped put a new perspective on the illness. Will be thinking of you throughout all this xx

    I'm 18 and have been fighting this since I was 15, it is very difficult to ignore the voices and the temptations to continue with how I am. I can see the benefits and the need to be a heathy weight and after every discussion and meeting with the medical team and therapist I want to change how I am with food and begin to eat more yet the time it takes from getting from these meetings to making a meal to have Ive managed to convince myself not to. I'm just going round in circles at the moment. I don't want to be force fed in hospital I just don't know how to eat beyond the habits and fears I've lived with over the years.

    I will listen to the professionals and hopefully setting up a diet plan and therapy will help with weight gain without unnecessary fear. Its ridiculous why I just can't eat a meal, I thought it would be so much easier and something I could snap out of but even with support I'm finding it difficult.

    This is a truly awful illness and just hope everyone can recover from this. Thank you for your kind message, will be thinking of you throughout all this xx

  • Bless you for such a kind, supportive, understanding reply! As you say Anorexia is such a dreadful illness, it is cruel, insidious, lonely illness & unfortunately many people who don"t understand this illness, just think we can snap out of it & just eat?! I have been told by members of family & friends, just pull yourself together & eat!! If only it was than easy?!

    People without knowledge of Anorexia almost don"t count it as a Mental health illness?!! They would"nt say to someone with a broken leg to take the Plaster-cast off & pull themselves together, would they?!

    I understand where you are coming from completely regarding seeing Professionals, desperately wanting to achieve recovery, then that "Anna!" Voice comes into your head and it is so difficult to fight it?!

    My Anorexia started when I was 12-13 years old. I have gone into remission (recovery) only to find it has reared its ugly head, years later!

    Please seek Professional health now, as you have time on your side! Unfortunately I believe you cannot do this without help?!!

    Wishing you all the luck in the world!

    Sending positive healing, comforting vibes & good luck with your recovery?!!

    You can do this?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    In my thoughts & prayers

    Many blessings

    Lynn Xx

  • You are always in my prayers too, keep fighting Lynn, your husband and family all want you to be happy healthy and at peace with yourself xx

  • Thank you for your kind reply! Ditto!! Please keep on fighting yourself, you can win this "battle!", you have time on your side! I am slowly recovering after all of these years of suffering with such an insidious, cruel illness, with the help of the Specialised High-risk Eating Disorder Team!

    Please keep on working with your support, I know you can recover! I urge you not to go down the path I went down?! I deeply regret it & wish I sought help sooner, rather than later!

    Sending you positive, healing, comforting vibes & peace

    Many blessings

    Lynn XX :)

  • You say you are going to see a dietician and I suggest you wait to go to them as they know your specific dietary needs and how best to meet those - if I give you my plan that might cut across your treatment and might not be best for you as it is designed for my stage of recovery and the other health issues I have - I do so hope you will continue your recovery - its so hard to be waiting for the advice - but the wait will be worth it. Blessings.

  • It just seems that waiting to hear from any of the doctors is preventing any recovery happening. Right now I don't want to recover, I'm sick of it. I'm not sure if or when I'll next hear from the hospital so when I'll be getting a diet plan I've no idea. And at this moment I don't want to put on any weight. I don't know when or how much to eat anymore. And because last night I made myself vomit my stomach feels too sensitive and I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep anything down if I do eat today whether I wanted to or not, and my actions last night has made me feel so ashamed and disgusted after trying to recover during these times of not hearing from the doctors I don't know what to do in between. I understand your reluctance to share your plan but any idea of a possible plan I can be on in the meantime might be incredibly helpful as right now I feel so out of control and upset. I'm really sorry for what I did last night, I know it is so selfish and disgusting of me as especially everyone I know is so supportive and encouraging obfme to put on weight, but I couldn't handle the idea of it last night and it happened before I could stop it. Please don't think negatively of me, I do want to recover I just don't know how to keep fighting it when it is constant. Hope you are well though and finding recovery is going on the right direction for you. And thank you for replying it's so helpful knowing these are being read and listened to xx

  • Hi

    I am afraid that in reality you will have to manage this and live with it for a very long time, possibly the rest of your life. you don't really need a food plan, just guidelines to start off but that would be to build up to 3meals a day and snacks and preferably of your choosing because at the end of the day no one can make you eat and recover a healthier weight other than you. you have to want it, no doctors or specialists can make you eat "long term" by that i mean if you get hospitalised as your weight is too low that control will be taken away and you will be refed. As soon as you get to a certain weight they will discharge you and you would have to continue to manage the food, eating and weight with possibly some but definitely less support but none of this addresses the underlying issues that cause you to use eating disordered behaviours to cope with it, them or whatever underlies this....the anorexia isn't the real problem ( It can become so ) but in itself it is a solution to other problems which have been resolved by the eating disorder.

    i am telling you that recovering has been the most horrendous experience. i thought life as an anorexic was hard going at times but boy oh boy it is a walk in the park compared to my recovering life. what i have learnt has been unbelievable and good in ways too but it is a rollercoaster and then some!

    before i had any long term help, 6months prior i had started making tentative steps toward diet foods and small amounts but i had done this off my own back because i knew i had to do it. previous help had been a mix of good and bad but my anorexic head would say i ate it because the nurse said so....others always had responsibility for my actions and eating and that is what has to start to stop.

    you will eat, you will ride that wave and try to get through or you vomit or run, you may go weeks or months doing well then it will all go wrong and you start again.

    waiting for help that i guarentee you will not be a magic cure, i know it....been there...things sliding getting worse but then something said stop...try, so i did. maybe they will help more once you start trying to do it if you see what i mean. take slow steps under your control to eat and sit with the panic. safer food at first if that helps... it is the only way. i had to face eating at some point and take responsibility for it and face the panic but it was training for facing the real issues and facing those daily and fighting on anyway and starting to eat is the first step. if you can't do it now, that is fine, things will get better and worse intermittently, you will try hard to convince yourself and others you are better and you may even beleive it for a while but it always comes back. i lived like that for over 30 years and i now know it was part of my journey, all of it had to happen to me and i am ok with that. forums and help like this networks like this just didn't exist when i was 11-20 it just wasn't known about. with hindsight i think that was a good thing. i was just surviving. and that is no way to live.

    you just have to go with it or not, there is no right or wrong, good or bad answer. don't feel bad for you ed, it is helping you cope to a degree, but don't let it swallow up your chance of an independant future and growth.

    i hope that helps somehow


  • Thank you so much, you've really helped hit home with this and I've taken in what you've said.

    I realise I am the only one who can put the weight on, eat more, be a healthy weight. And I've started therapy and group and they've all said they won't be forcing me to eat or change anything physically, they will be helping me cope with the underlying emotional aspects of the eating disorder and find out why it might have started, and that that may never happen. I might never know why I am this way or ever recover fully mentally but knowing there is their support and I can talk to them when things are getting difficult and I might relapse is a huge help as well. I'm truly sorry for what you've had to experience and hope you are in a much better place now. Thank you for your advice, it has helped xx

  • Ignorance is bliss in some cases. I found out why...took a long time and when I did I tried to take a quicker exit from life than slowly starving to death. I will never look at life or people the same again. Bear in mind that support is great while it is there, but what happens after? If you had support you wouldn't be coping the way you do...get better and why would that change? i didn't look that far ahead so am currently perplexed about my long term support or recovery chances, the longevity of my "managing" - how truly possible that is to sustain in the long term...

    again things to consider...

  • Im so sorry this has damaged your perspective on life, i know its damaged mine and its a truly frightening world. I can write that on here and sound like a rational person but applying this rationality to eating it just doesnt happen which I've been told is part of the illness. I think the long term recovery is going to be you, your friends and family, the medical and therapy side will be shorter but will hopefully give your family and you enough of a basis to build from when youre left to their care instead of the hospital. Just hope this will help sustain in the long term and works for you, and if that isn't enough you can always message me or on anything else you're more comfortable with to help you cope. I truly hope there is an end to this and you get into a state of recovery you're happy with. Message me on this or if you need an email address or something. I've found knowing there is a support network has helped a bit. Maybe it will with you as well. xx

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