Saturday, March 22, 2008

heavy dreams.

my eating disorder used to run my night life. well, it ran my whole life, 24/7...but it loved controlling my dreams on top of everything else. i would struggle to find the connections with the current status of my behaviors to the dreams i would have. from the first night i slept in my own bed after the original go at residential until... wait, it stopped at some point...??
the treatment dreams were nearly every night. the scary part was that i loved them. i was confused by this when i first left residential and was sure i was magically healed (despite having dropped 2 lbs within the first week of discharge and not seeing it rise from there). it seemed to make sense though; i spent close to a month and a half living in this hospital apartment - it was going to stick in my mind for a while.
for the next 2-ish years, they continued. i would dream about the original apartment, houses, dorms, crazy ridiculous apartment settings where i would have my treatment. sometimes, the girls in my dreams were those that i had been in treatment with. sometimes, they were ed-less friends or random strangers my mind build for effect. the feelings in all of these dreams were either horrible fear or ridiculous, homey comfort. it made me miss living in treatment; i would have given an arm to go back. i figured i just really missed it.
it's kind of like this: when you crave a certain food, it's because there's something in that food your body needs. i.e. when women crave chocolate during their period, it's because their bodies need the iron that's in it. (unrelated sidenote: dark chocolate has a better source of iron than milk chocolate.) i think it was kind of like that. i was craving treatment for a reason. i missed the comfort because i needed what it provided me with.
also, for years, i would have dreams where i would be in a cafeteria (typically one that freakishly resembled that of my middle school's) that would have this enormous selection of food. fruits, meats, cereals, ice creams, hot meals, huge drink selection, anything you could imagine that you've ever seen served in any cafeteria. and every single time i would have a dream in this realm, i never wanted a certain thing. none of it seemed to interest me. i was bored by it all and, while i was painfully hungry, none of the options supplied seemed to satisfy what it was i was looking for. (was it an emotional hunger i couldn't feed?...)
the rest of the dream usually included me realizing that none of my friends were in the same lunch that i was. or, that all my friends were there, but no one cared to save me a seat at the table. i'll come back to this one later; i need to ask my mom (master dream-analyzer) what that may have meant.
the reason i thought to post about this tonight was because of a dream i had a few nights ago. the fact is that i haven't weighed myself in about 2 weeks. while i'm under circumstances where my OPT encourages me to weigh myself, i haven't felt the need. i've become so in touch with my body that i can pretty much feel out my weight. i knew i haven't been gaining, so there's no use looking at a number that's in the same range that it has been. so i keep eating all that i can (in healthy terms, of course) and i'll follow my weight again when i see progress is being made.
the other night, i had a dream that i decided to step onto my scale. the number read 30 lbs below what i've been stable at and my reaction was, "well this blows. i should probably go eat something." that' me. i think, somewhere in my psyche, i knew it couldn't have been right. first of all, considering how i felt 8 lbs ago, 30 lbs would easily have me on my death bed, if alive. the fact that i felt like i do now certainly says something. second, my reaction was the epitome of my most recent motto, "nothing is worth getting upset about." i saw it, i realized i had to do something about it, and i think i went to eat.
i've decided to not pick it apart and find meaning it. it's more funny than anything that i was like, "[low number] lbs? sucks. do i have any brownies?" i'm pretty sure i was just making fun of myself in a dream. it was almost too obvious that it wasn't real.
my ending note, however, is that i haven't had a treatment dream (or any sort of yearning to be back in treatment) since the middle of january when i was discharged from walden... for the final time ;)


e. said...

I dream of treatment ALL THE TIME. It's awful, and at the same time I adore it.

Thank you for posting this.

Anonymous said...

I think it's so fabulously strange how dreams work. When I was dealing with my own disordered eating, I often dreamed about going into treatment, even though I had never been there before.

And I like you new motto. I try to live by that rule myself because I find that freaking out only delays me being able to address the situation and it certainly changes nothing.

emmy. said...

my thoughts exactly. you can sit there and stress and freak and throw a tantrum... or you can deal with it. it's only life, everything's only temporary, and we're capable of handling whatever is thrown at us.

Mama said...

I'm not big in to analyzing dreams but i do think you have a valid point when you say that we yearn for treatment when there's something we need from it that we're not getting. It's been a while for me since I missed being in the hospital. I like life on th outside better. This post was very interessting, keep blogging!!