I was 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 have always slept in crates. 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. This time, we will control it! In short, was it the right choice? 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? The one thing that I have noticed through recovery is that NOTHING comes without hard work. If you’re not willing to do the hard work, then you are not going to recover. End of story! Blunt? Yes…. The truth? Yes.
A previous night (close to a year ago) 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 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.
Here is a visual of our sleeping arrangements that previous 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 entertain the thought of going 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. Ed is like sleeping with my poodles….I don’t have to let myself be smooshed around, 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. We have to 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. I’m now to the p0int where I may entertain the idea of going back, but I don’t necessarily feel obligated to act on that.
Each time I want to run back to the eating disorder I rationally know it won’t be different. I am now able to make choices to not restrict because I know Ed can’t provide.
Recently, I entertained the idea of sleeping with the poodles again. I thought to myself…. Surely, they have learned by now, and I can at least nap with them. Sound familiar? Like the bargaining stage with the eating disorder. This is where you bargain for parts — I’ll just eat a little less; Ed’s not winning. I’ll just exercise a tad more, but I’m still following my meal plan. When I tried to bargain with these poodles, I was sadly mistaken….. Here is what my sleep looked like:
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?
How you answer that can tell you how far you really are.