Intermission

Things have been difficult for me lately. Some steps forward, and many steps back. Recovery wise, I’m not sure if I’m experiencing a series of lapses or a genuine relapse. That scares me.

My life is in flux, and I should probably keep that in mind as I consider whether or not I need to pursue some kind of outside help. At the very least, I need to begin seeing a therapist again, but that’s another item that’s on the back burner as I try to figure my current situation out.

Scott and I split up. In a month, I’ll be moving out. (That will help immensely.) Unfortunately, whenever a break-up happens, people take sides. Having moved to New Jersey as an adult, most of the people I know in the state are through him. Although I know I need to leave our life together behind to get better, it’s hard to be alone, and harder still (especially with my background) to feel “abandoned” by people I cared about.

Worse, there are additional stressors related to particular people who I really trusted wanting to draw up documents to make sure I’m officially out by May 18th. Talks about that being a “long time” for him to wait/me to stay, even though I depleted my savings trying to attend nursing school in order to be the kind of partner Scott wanted. (Employed and making as much or more than him, mostly.) Even though I was interviewed for my current job less than a week after telling Scott I wanted us to break up, because I was serious about leaving him.

I don’t know. Perhaps I’m just a weak person. I’ve found this situation more difficult to deal with than I anticipated. I feel so misunderstood, and have wanted anyone from his side to just ask me why I broke up with him. Or just not take sides to begin with.

It would’ve been easier had this break up remained between Scott and me, but that’s not how things played out. He’s also moved on to someone more family oriented. Someone who is an English teacher, just like him. A girl who his friends will probably say is both hotter and better than me. That shouldn’t matter, probably, but it does. It hurts. I’m being replaced with someone who fits better into their lives. Someone who grew up more like them, and less like me.

I find myself back in a somewhat dark place. I can’t tell if I’m exercising too much again. Probably am. Two hours in the gym five nights a week, especially with a job that has a 10 hour door-to-door, may not be quite healthy. I’ve been binging and purging at night more frequently. My emotional health is really in the toilet between my behaviors and the current context of my life. I’m not being my best self at times, and can see in retrospect that there are moments when I’m being self-destructive and emotionally unstable.

But not all the time. I’m not so far down the hole that I can’t see the light. I went to the grocery store last night after the gym, for example, and I didn’t buy binge food. I had the intense impulse to check out with some of the reduced bakery items (as inappropriate as this is to say, Stop & Shop’s donuts are really fucking good), but I didn’t. I came home. I ate a ton of cashews and didn’t allow myself to feel guilty. I told myself, “It’s fine, Amber. You’ll have a great workout tomorrow because you ate enough today.” And I went to bed, instead of wasting my time puking into a toilet.

I also know that removing myself from this situation will help me immensely. (That’s also why I find it funny that there’s so much anxiety from people on Scott’s “side” about me not leaving – I broke up with him because his life is just not good for my recovery.) The stressors I’m facing are not within the scope of everyday life. These are very particular issues that will go away once I’m not living in our (well, his, as I’ve been reminded) house anymore.

My biggest steps forward are also worth noting: I decided to not continue with nursing school, and I secured a full time job that may not pay a lot, but that I so far really enjoy. Talking to people all day on the phone is honestly a lot better and less stressful than running around all day as a nurse, and I have a normal schedule with weekends off. Even better, since I work for an e-commerce company that deals with food/ingredients and provides a hefty discount to its employees, I can actually save money on my groceries if I’m smart and start cooking more. This weekend I made tofu in the oven, the first time I’ve really tried cooking anything in a long time. I felt that spark of joy I used to when I produced something tasty, and I’m holding onto that as I begin to figure out how to properly feed myself in light of my new job and my training schedule.

Part of why I’m posting this here is so I feel more accountable going forward. I also just want to be honest – I’m not so much in recovery as I am struggling with it, at least lately. But I’m adaptable and strong. Resilient, too. I’ll get through this.

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