Sunday, July 19, 2009

Relatives--Help or Hindrance

My husband threw out all his night-time treats. Just because he loves me. Pretty cool. I let him know I was struggling with the treats he kept in the house and frequently ate in the evenings while we watched TV and played on our computers. In fact, I was just thinking about the ice cream in the freezer and, oops!, remembered Ken threw it out. Thank God. Thank you, Ken.

This disease is not fair to him. It's not fair that his choices impact me way beyond what they should. He can eat ice cream and then let it sit untouched for weeks. He had a taste for yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting and decided to make them himself, ate a couple, and let the rest sit. For him, no big deal. For me, unbearable temptation.

I know they're there. Knowing makes them pop into my mind over and over. I have to reject eating them over and over and over. Taking care of myself by being honest with my husband was important for me to do. It's part of working on being less people-pleasing when its to my detriment. It is entirely to his credit that he chose to get rid of the snacks and not to eat snacks at night in front of me. He wants to be with me. It was his main reason for giving up smoking when he married me. He couldn't smoke around me and he wanted to be with me.

He'll probably still keep some treats hidden and eat them when I'm not around. That's fine. Out of sight, out of mind. If I don't know its there it won't be on my mind, either. Chances are Ken'll lose some weight, too, which wouldn't be a bad thing.

Night-time has always been my most difficult time. Food has always helped me wind down. Some people drink alcohol. I eat food--it puts me into a kind of carbohydrate coma. Those carbs generally come with fat attached. Perfect recipe for slowly but surely putting on the weight.

So many factors in eating disorders. It's such a complex disease. Relatives can help or they can hinder. Ideally, we shouldn't need the cooperation of our relatives. We're asking them to be codependent. But we also need to take care of ourselves. There are people who would deliberately sabotage those they profess to love. There are those relatives with the same addiction who have a vested interest in keeping you the same and not letting you change. There are those who don't know addiction at all and urge you to eat--they made it special just for you, it doesn't hurt to have a little once in a while, etc. There are also those who would never humble themselves and give up their right to eat what they want when they want it and might actually insist that buy those things yourself and keep them in the house for them.

With these people you need to have heavy-duty boundaries and perhaps actually keep them at a safe distance or even totally out of your life. I'm blessed that my husband is supportive. I'm blessed that he reads my blog because he wants to know me better and understand what I'm going through.

He's a little angry at having to change his lifestyle to accommodate my disease and he's entitled to be. But we talk about it. We're no longer ignoring the elephant (my eating disorder not me) in the room. I may get to the point where he can go back to eating snacks in front of me and keeping my favorites in the house, but not right now. Not with the reduced restriction I'm experiencing while waiting for my first fill.

Once again, weight loss surgery is a tool, not a solution. If I don't take care of myself in my relationships, it won't be as helpful.

I'm grateful that God gave me Ken.