Black Coffee, Wine and My (Tenuous) Grasp On Anorexia Recovery

September 30, 2011 Angela E. Gambrel

For some reason, I knew drinking a glass of wine at 9:30 in the morning was not a good way to start off the week.

I have been struggling, and that includes continuously arguing with that Nazi Brunhilde voice in my head that keeps telling me I am fat and don't deserve to eat.

It has been a bad week.images-1Welcome to Eating Disorders Recovery 101. Some days I feel as if I am barely hanging onto recovery, and I imagine losing my grip all together and completely slipping back into anorexia. Then other days, I become very angry and tell the evil voice in my head to shut up and that I will be eating dinner.

A typical day has been to eat as little as possible and drink my coffee black to avoid the minute amounts of calorie in Coffee-Mate. I try to focus on my graduate studies — have you ever tried to understand rhetoric and discourse theory while you are hungry and the voice in you head is saying, Quit whining and just study. You don't need to eat anymore. Surely that yogurt and cup of coffee was plenty. You are just being a pig...?

I sit at my desk, and try complete my class work. But thoughts of food and wine keep entering into my head, and several days this week I've become quite angry and have said back to Brunhilde, Why can't I eat like a normal person? I can't concentrate if I don't have a real meal! And I don't want a drink right now - I need to concentrate!

It is on those nights that I find myself eating what seems like an inordinate amount of food — although I've done reality checks with friends who are recovered and they assure me that I am simply eating a regular meal; it only feels like more food because I have barely eaten all day.

Each day I feel guilty and vow to eat less. I also find myself drinking several glasses of wine to stave off the anxiety caused by eating, dealing with some very stressful personal problems, and trying to finish my last year of graduate school. I tell myself, I am going to get my master's degree if it is the last thing I do. I will NEVER give up.

I knew things were really starting to bother me when I turned to wine to calm myself down. People with eating disorders are at a higher risk of co-morbid diseases, meaning we can develop another eating disorder, alcoholism, self-harm, or other mental illnesses. I don't want to become another person with anorexia who develops ______. (Fill in the blank.)

But the odd thing is, I am arguing with my eating disorder voice. I am not just being meek and mild and saying, Sure, whatever you say. You're right. I am too fat and I shouldn't eat. I don't deserve to eat. Now I argue with Brunhilde — I named her that because she is cruel and mean, and treats me like scum — and tell her, I am going to eat. I do deserve to eat. I want to have a full life, and I have a lot to offer the world. So shut up and leave me alone.

I continue to implement my relapse prevention plan. I am very honest with my eating disorder psychiatrist, and I make plans with friends on a regular basis because this makes me get out of the house and eat with other people, and it is hard to restrict my food when I am around others.

I also am looking some other ways to relieve stress and calm my hyperactive soul that doesn't involve alcohol, such as yoga and meditation. I am hoping that this won't mean another stay in the hospital. I haven't been in the hospital for more than a year, and I am proud of that.

This is all part of recovery, and I hope I will find my way back. Right now I am still at a relatively healthy weight and I want to keep it that way. At least part of me does.

And that also is part of recovery — learning to fight the Brunhilde voice in your life. I am afraid that the eating disorder voice will always be there, but that doesn't mean I have to listen. I may have a tenuous grasp on recovery, but I am still holding on. I am still winning the war, even if the battles can be difficult.

The choice is mine — a full life, or one filled with the anxiety and depression that anorexia creates. I'm still healthy enough to think I do want a full life. Drinking black coffee and wine at 9 in the morning, and consuming very little else will only narrow my world and eventually take my life. But I won't lie. It feels very hard for me to move forward at times.

But I must, or else...

APA Reference
Gambrel, A. (2011, September 30). Black Coffee, Wine and My (Tenuous) Grasp On Anorexia Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Angela E. Gambrel

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