When old coping mechanisms no longer work

Hi Everyone,


It has been a while!I am not sure what to write anymore really…So much of this blog was dedicated as a recovery diary and I just don’t really feel the need to write my thoughts out like I used to but at the same time I would like to keep the blog going.

I have started back up at university and I am enjoying second year so far.The course is far more interesting now!I start my placement in overnight intensive recovery next week.It is an 8 week one so pretty long…another post to come on that!

It has been a hard few weeks MH wise,probably the worst In a while and just not feeling that Great a lot of the time.I am trying to improve things though.Trying to remind myself that it is not my fault if I struggle but it is my fault if I do not take ownership and try to make changes.I can see now when things slip and I am the one who has to make the choice to stop anything getting worse.

I remember a while back when I first started recovery and someone said to me “Why not give recovery a go, get to a healthy weight, work on developing healthier habits and ditching old ones and if it does not work you can always go back to the ED.” The thought that I could always go back if recovery did not work out was comforting to me.However the further I got away from the ED the more I realised that the ED no longer worked for me.Delving back into restriction or purging no longer gave me the release and feelings of comfort it did before.

Realising your old habits or coping mechanisms no longer work can be scary, where do I go from now you think?

I preach on this blog about filling your life with things that are meaningful, that give back and are fulfilling.Developing healthier habits to replace old ones.

Easier said than done.

Training and sport gives me a buzz, in particular running but when I am injured I really start to struggle again.I have been out for 5 weeks again with shin splints.It has been a hard 5 weeks.

At the moment I find running is the only thing that really makes me feel good.I do so so much better mentally when I am running.I managed two months of running pain free before I stupidly switched trainers for a week and bam!Pain!

I was really upset,Being on the athletics committee this year and living with three athletes I was worried and I still am worried about injury.It is not just a sport to me but a bigger picture, there is the social aspect, the sense of achievement and when I am running and training the negative thoughts are just so much quieter.

Initially I was overcome with frustration, annoyance,wanting to just quit sport all together.I was pissed off,I thought “that is it,I am done, what is the point”.Out come the restrictive thoughts, out comes wanting to skip meals.I stopped taking medication to make myself feel worse so I was more likely to restrict.

The result;Disappointment. No longer does restriction make me feel good, it feels horrible. In fact I can not even stick with it anymore.Seeing a slightly lower number on the scale meant nothing to me.No sense of achievement no drive to keep going just nothing. Not worth the panic, the frustrations, the tears.

My moods scared me, swinging from feeling numb and like I did not care to anger, to sadness.I can step back and see that I can be plain nasty and manipulative and seek attention in negative ways and want to start arguements but then a while later I am so sorry and I hate how I acted.I hate being so out of control with emotions.Swinging from feelings of hatred and annoyance to feelings of love.It scares me how when I am low all I see is hopeless.Everything in a negative light.I can acknowledge good things in life,I know they are there,I know I am lucky and I am grateful for what I have but at the time all I feel is heaviness and sadness.

The solution;To stop, to start taking medication again to snap out of that mindset.The physical side of recovery I have nailed, the mental…I guess that takes longer.Since I have started taking medication again I can tell my moods have settled and I can deal with things a lot better.Things do not phase me so much and I am more resilient. Why I think it is a good idea to come off them every so often I do not know. Punishment?To validate that It is ok to be on them.

I am starting to see the back of this injury but I am scared…what if I get injured again.What if other things happen at the same time.If I cannot run then how do I cope?

I am also scared of the process of starting running again for what feels like the 100000000 time.Tomorrow is the first track session of the year and I am nervous.What if it causes the pain to flare up, what if I panic?

I get frustrated,I feel like I never move forwards.Sure I run and train purely because I love it but I also want to get better.

One of the things about being recovered from an ED or very nearly is feeling a huge pressure to do well and be better at things than I was during my ED.Sort of to prove to myself that it was worth it.As soon as I cannot do something or things go wrong I get angry that I have wasted my time recovering.

I get sad sometimes, the ED no longer works for me,I cannot use it to make myself feel better.Even habits I still use such as self harm or purging (rarely now) do not illicit the same calming effects as before.I know that is a good thing, it shows I am more far removed from it.I guess the lesson I still am learning is to not put all my eggs in one basket.To have multiple things which can help when I fell shit .To recognise things that can lead me to wanting to fall back into old habits such as getting injured and to find ways around it.To accept that sometimes things are a bit shit and I just need to get through it.

I need to be well for my Nursing degree and if I want to balance that with sports a social life,work an other things then I need to keep reminding myself it is worth it.

Sometimes I don’t want to fight this anymore but I feel I just no longer have a choice.I am stuck fighting to be well wether I like it or not.There is no going back.Old coping mechanisms no longer work, I know it but I wonder how many times I will attempt to try and “go back”.










2 thoughts on “When old coping mechanisms no longer work

  1. conversationswithangelsblog

    Hi lovely girl. I totally relate to this post. And to be honest, having tried to go back to restriction myself, I no longer find solace in this at all. And the same happens to me, I become full of all these unmanageable emotions, I become a version of Jackyll and Hyde. I guess we are both experiencing growth in this area.

    I hear your frustration regarding the running. Find something else, have you thought about getting stuck into some spin classes. It really is hard work, I know it’s not running but it’s still a great way to tear it up and should you find a class you love, I guess it will help with the placing all your eggs in one basket type feelings.

    I think you are amazing. Keep fighting the good fight xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi,
      Thank you for the comment and sorry for my very late reply!

      I think you are right that we are both experiencing growth in that area.It takes time but it will come and we just need to not give up and be patient!

      I did swim and cycle a lot but the past week I have just felt so low.It is just not the same…all my friends are pretty mcuh in athletics and it is quite isolating to miss out.

      Thank you for your advice though,all the best,


      Liked by 1 person

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