Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"an indicator of relapse is self-isolating"

Relevant, if annoying, Renfrew aphorism. I'm too tired to be with people right now. I can barely manage myself.

I like to compare eating disorders to addictions like alcoholism. It makes sense to me. But I can't imagine an alcoholic feeling like such a failure for maintaining recovery, for pursuing health. I feel like a failure so often, like I lack the adequate discipline to starve or purge or waste away, like I'm no longer strong enough to have a singular obsession.

This post is not coherent.

I'm so tired.


  1. Hilariously, one of the differences between chemical addiction (e.g. alcoholism) and eating disorders is this: as the brain recovers from chemical addiction, neurotransmitters seem to regain their pre-addiction levels. Not so in eating disorders. Studies have a hard time right now tracking a study-worthy section of the population before they develop ED's, in order to see what happens afterward. So it's entirely possible that bulimics and ex-bulimics whose serotonin receptors are under-active always had under-active serotonin receptors... But no one's really sure. And either way, in eating disorders, as opposed to in chemical addictions, the levels never seem to recover. (One reason why many bulimic patients tend not to stop taking an SSRI or SNRI even years after recovery.) I know less about anorexia in this matter, but if memory serves, it's basically the same story.

    So, not to make you wild with optimism or anything. Sorry. :-/

    Anyway, it's an excellent point. In my head I also compare and contrast addiction and EDs a lot, but I never really picked out this important difference. At least going by the recovering alcoholics I know, it's definitely an accomplishment to achieve recovery and maintain it. There is a sense of loss for the old way of life, especially when recovery involves losing friends, so the idea of having to recreate yourself is analogous to eating disorder recovery. But, definitely a different beast.

  2. Oh, also: will you shoot me your email? I have a question.

  3. Stupid, stupid eating disorders. Yep, that's about all the intelligence i can muster at the moment.

    And yes, you've articulated an important point. I still think there must be an incredible sense of loss for a recovering alcoholic, a feeling that they're not being their "true selves". There, a parallel to EDs definitely exists.

    And my email's sent. :)