I have to say it’s quite funny how things in our life can parallel other events!! That is exactly what happened last night! It really made me laugh. Mike and I were getting ready for bed and our cute little poodles were in bed sleeping and I felt so bad putting the puppies in their crates. Sophie was our first poodle so she has always slept in bed with us, whereas the two puppies who came from the same litter have always slept in crates while we were training them. We have tried to allow them in bed, but 2 people + (3) 50lb poodles in bed = bad news! 🙂 So, as they were sleeping so nicely, I thought to myself, why not try it tonight. Why not let them stay, why not allow them to sleep with us! I asked Mike and he said, “Rach, it’s up to you”…. I said, “well, maybe this time it will be different” …. THOSE FATEFUL WORDS!!!!!
You know we have all said it! Every single time we’ve gone back to Ed he has promised us that “this time would be different! This time it will work.”… He convinced us that this time he will help us and we won’t feel controlled and awful and that it will be worth it. In short, was it? NO. Each time he whispers in our ear that we need him, and it will work this time and he promises that it will be better with him, we believe him because we want it to work. We want the perfect relationship and we want that perfect moment, without the hard work. But truthfully, does anything come without hard work?
My night with these poodles was awful! We fell asleep somewhere around 11:30pm. I was sure I’d stay asleep, but that didn’t happen. These poodles feel the need to take up as much room as they want, and they will spread and sprawl out however they feel they need, and like a nice mother, I will move and give them the space they want (much like I give Ed). As I woke up, I realized that I was contorted and every part of my body was in pain and that I couldn’t get back to sleep because I felt too bad waking the poodles up to put them back in their crate, after all, I did promise they could sleep with us (much like I promise Ed I’ll follow the rules). This was not working! I was miserable and I couldn’t fall back asleep! I was in and out of sleep because I was so uncomfortable! And I was sooooo tired. I think I knew walking into the night that this would happen, but I hoped it would be different. Isn’t that the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results…. Yep…. That’s me with these poodles! If I want something in this situation to change, I have to retrain my poodles. I have to wake them up, make them move and tell them that I get to pick how I sleep first!
Here is a visual of our sleeping arrangements last night (I was literally bent like this ALL NIGHT):
I realized that this is what happens with my eating disorder all the time! When I go back to Ed I’m hoping it will be different. He says it will be and I believe it, and when I start to realize that it’s not any different and that I’m miserable, I feel too awful to change it back. I know I need to change my behaviors, but I feel terrible and bad and like I can’t do that – after all, it’s against the rules! But what I forget is that rules can change! I changed the rules and went back to him, so I could change the rules and leave him, right? I don’t have to let myself be smooshed around in a bed, and forced to take it, I can simply wake Ed up, say it’s not working, that he needs to move over and I need to get comfortable!
Feeling like going back to the eating disorder is necessary is one of the hardest things to overcome. There is a good thing… we beat that idea more and more every day. Each time we go back to Ed, he fails to deliver. Each time he fails to deliver (and he always will), it’s just another reminder that we can’t count on him. Sadly, we are all different – some of us learn faster than others, while it takes some people a lot longer to realize that Ed is just abusive and it won’t ever get better with him. On a positive note, as we grow stronger in recovery, the time spent running back to Ed gets shorter and shorter. There comes a time where the eating disorder just can’t provide what it used to. It takes too much energy to get out of it what you want. It’s almost just not worth it. For me, I’d rather struggle for 2 hours through a meal and after, than struggle all day with eating disorder thoughts, because then I would have at least a few moments of relief.
Each time I want to run back to the eating disorder I rationally know it won’t be different but sometimes it’s hard and I still feel like I need it. I believe I will always come out on the right side, even if I make a few mistakes, and I’ll never get back to the place I was before, I also know that one mistake doesn’t mean complete failure because we learn from them and move on. What I do know is the more I try to fight Ed, the more successful I’ll be in the long run. I’m in it to win it. 🙂
Have you found yourself thinking “this time will be different” when you know it really won’t be different? Do you realize you are just saying that to justify your actions? Or do you still really think it might be different? Have you seen a pattern? Have you even looked for a pattern?
I hope the next time you say “this time will be different” it actually is different….. because as much as Ed hates for me to admit it, this little bit of recovery that I feel is soooooo much better than the eating disorder already!
Because we are talking about sleeping situations, I felt it was very important to post this because it is so true! 🙂 I think at some point, we’ve all been here: