Isolation – the other side

20

27. March 2015 by swissfitchick

Arman from TheBigMansWorld wrote an inspiring post about isolation and health a few weeks ago. It really spoke to me and I thought it is a subject I’d like to discuss – not for me to dwell on the dark sides of my past, but for those who are struggling with getting out if their isolation and may need some encouragement.

But before I get too serious, I wanna say hi from the mountains! I spend two days at my brother’s and sister in law’s place and it’s bliss. I started with sleeping until I got a backache……

FlimsAnd when I saw the weather outside I knew this was the right decision, since there was no way to make my way up there. I originally planned to go running in the morning, but instead of freezing my butt off while scaring people with a snot rocket every minute, I stayed inside and did some mobility and cooked a warm and clean breakfast which I devoured it on the couch in front of the TV.

Flims

Apple Eggwhite Porridge with melting coconut butter

Apple Eggwhite Porridge with melting coconut butter

Flims

Ok, now on to the title. Isolation was a big issue for me, I believe it is for most people with an Eating Disorder. Given the fact that we need to keep the sickness secret (or at least we think we have to do so) it’s kind of a logical result. I remember my two sides: Laughing and entertaining Lucie, and then the dark side, Lucie alone, bingeing, purging, and swallowing colorful cocktails of pills. It always was a secret and even friends or family who knew that I suffer from an Eating Disorder didn’t know how reality looked like when I was on my own.

LUcieI needed this isolation in order to follow my addiction. There was no way I could live with a roommate, plus it was always a drag to be on vacation or on a trip with others. It wouldn’t allow me to carry on with my disordered behaviors and that drove me crazy.

It made me sad, cause I grew up in a community, my family and another family shared a huge house and it was permanently full of people and life. It’s what I loved and it’s where I feel most comfortable at today – surrounded by many good people. One of the reasons, why I feel right at CrossFit.

PastIsolation is the ground that feeds the addiction. The more I was home alone, the more I would do stupid things and the louder was the voice in my head telling me to do so. I lost the connection to my ‘real life’ and would drown weekends long in this vicious cycle of food, drugs and compensation. Only when I had to go back to work on Monday, I realized what I did and that ACTUALLY everything was normal and not the black hole in which I fell for three days.

I didn’t survive my first try to live with a man – we moved in together after 2,5 years of relationship, but I moved out and broke up only 6 months later. A few years later I went for a second try and moved to Zurich – and managed to keep up a more or less normal relationship and living together for at least 4,5 years.

There is no such fear anymore today. I travel wherever I want to and with whoever I feel like. I don’t have any weird behaviors which I need to keep secretly and I can host guests at my home for as long as they want to stay. I don’t feel the urge to isolate myself anymore, cause I don’t have a dark side to hide. I love to be on my own and spending hours at home, doing things – normal things. I am not in danger anymore to start doing addicted stuff. I try to be as real as possible. If issues or struggles come up, I still handle them pretty much on my own. I migth talk to 1-2 people if I need to, but normally I don’t address any of my doubts or insecurities to anyone – maybe a surviving relict of my past. But it’s what makes me feel the most secure – if I know I can rely on myself and completely on myself only without any dependency on an other person.

quote-Agnes-Macphail-do-not-rely-completely-on-any-other-24766Source

My advice: be alone if you feel like you take this time to take care of you. If you feel this time turns into a destructive isolation session where you hurt yourself, then reach out. Settle in with your friends or someone you feel most comfortable with. It’s what friends are for – let them save you until you are strong enough to make it on your own. Protect yourself by not holing up together with negative feelings. Practise lone time but be aware what it does to you. Be good to yourself.

Your thoughts, questions, advice? 

xxx

Lucie

20 thoughts on “Isolation – the other side

  1. K E Garland says:

    This is pretty good advice. I think we sometimes forget that it’s okay to be alone and it’s okay to be around people; the key is to follow your instinct to know which is required when because either can be destructive depending on its use.

  2. Kanoelani says:

    omg u basically just described the better part of my life before starting on my weight loss journey(which I’m still on). I used to isolate myself but it fueled my depression & binging. I would eat & eat bc I couldnt talk about my feelings, which again filled me with depression & much anxiety. Which at times turned into anxiety attacks & panic attacks. I was just stuffing down my feelings with food. Only when I decided enough was enough & slowly killing myself wasn’t the answer could I really be around ppl. I love it now & sometimes I’ll make myself be around ppl if I can feel old behaviors or depression coming ;-). But mainly i enjoy the community of my gym & a place I do dance fitness. Enjoy being with ppl that care about me & my well being. Apparently I was missing this all along hehe even though I have an amazingly supportive family. We all have traumas in our lives I guess but it’s how we deal with it & it deals with us huh??!! Thank you for writing this so honestly. I truly have felt this way :)).

    • Thank you so much for this comment Kanoelani!! I am sorry that you had to go through this – on the other hand it’s always so comforting to see that others feel the same way.
      So glad you are in a better place today!!

  3. I USED TO BE ALONE ALL THE TIME – I would socialize all day, but I would ALWAYS make sure to be home by 5pm every day because I needed to SHUT OFF and SHUT THE DOOR on people… But now, NOPE! I am out and about ALL THE TIME and I can be out of my house and not come home for 3-5 days at times… I just had one of those stints though, and earlier today I was CRAVING alone time to the point that I just got really agitated!!! We have to listen to what we crave! I am now home, ALONE… But funnily enough, I am lonely again! LOL!

    • Girl, I love that you follow your cravings when it comes to being with people or alone time. Sometimes it really isn’t easy – I tend to be so distracted by work and all the folks around me that I lose myself and forget that I need to shut off and be on my own for a while.

  4. It’s so funny… I used to adore being alone but since Vegas came into the picture I felt lonely when she’d go back home. No like I needed her… it was kind of a nice thing to feel – having someone to miss. Yes, I realize this is totally different that your post topic. #sorryimnotsorry

    Have fun in the mountains!!!

    • Oh, I know that feeling. I am here now – loving being on my own and thinking I want it to be like this forever. Until, well, maybe one day not anymore 🙂

  5. Love this post Lucie! I don’t think many people realise how lonely it can be with an ED… I would be surrounded by people but felt so alone inside. It’s amazing how long you can actually go pretending everything is ok before you break.
    Glad to see you enjoying yourself up at the mountains and taking some time off to relax! Hope you have a fab weekend! 🙂

    • Yes. An ED can create so much loneliness which we would never show. And then break when we’re home….not healthy!
      It’s good to be in a better place today, right? 🙂

  6. Isolation was a huge part of my ED as well. It was like all I wanted was to be alone with my disordered behaviours, and I’d often pass on going out with friends or socializing so that I could be at home by myself and eat my meals or prep food. It was a sad time… I’m pretty introverted by nature, but I still love being around people — I just need a little bit of quiet time to unwind.

    • Totally feel you. I had to cancel invitations or events in order to be home and follow my rituals.
      It is a big difference between taking time off to unwind than being alone and creating place for disordered behaviors.

  7. danielle says:

    since i have a long history with Ed, isolation was also my friend. but that was my unhealthy alone time. now that i have love for myself and others, i love being alone and it’s not so bad. in fact, sometimes i love being alone more than anything! but probably because i’m married and rarely alone now, lol. i used to only want to isolate myself and hide in my food illness, but now i actually crave the companionship of loved ones and our dogs. i used to not care for anyone else, but now i do. life changes all the time! now i’m at work all day and i want to be left alone for a bit after work, but then again sometimes i want to be around people 24/7.
    most importantly, i want to be around people that make me feel good. so if i’m not going to be alone, i want to like the company i’m in 🙂 xox

    • So glad to hear this Danielle! Isn’t it the best to have people in life who can make you feel good, yet you get to choose to be on your own and savor this time too.

  8. my dear, it is SO evident how detached you are from that mindset and is something to be so effing proud of.

  9. I dig my alone time, but I don’t really have anything to hide so it’s more about being my introverted self. I can go out and party with the best of them, but home is my ultimate happy place, with the hubby, of course. Bow chicks wow wow.

    • Home is my happy place too – thank God it is. And I love my alone time too, especially when I am travelling, which many think is weird, but I still love it.
      Being an extroverted chick, I am still the happiest being around funny freaks like me.

  10. Solid advice, Lucie! I am so pro-alone time but I think the intent behind it is what matters i.e. are you (generic you) turning down plans because you’ve constantly on-the-go and need to unwind OR because you are scared of drinking/eating foods out of your comfort zone? Sadly isolation & eating disorders seem to feed on each other i.e. you when you are constantly alone, you might start to self-loathe and restrict your food as a result. As you get deeper into the eating disorder, you start to turn down plans so that you can continue adhering to your dietary restrictions/fit in your workouts.

    SO glad you are in a far better place now, Lucie :)!

    • Couldn’t agree more – it really is a big difference. And I hated to turn down events or invitations in order to feed my addicition, but still there were times when it simply was stronger.
      I too am glad to be over that!

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