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First of all, I have to apologize if this post does not exactly fit in the context of this community, but I don't quite know where to turn.

On monday afternoon, I was at the brink of death. I was not hospitalized, nor was was taken to an emergency room - the reason for this, tragic as it is, should be obvious to those who are present on this community (it is to note that no one was present in my apartment when this happened). At the moment, I remain unsure as to whether or not it was the right decision to not go to the hospital, considering forced treatment, as terrifying as it may seen for a long-time anorectic, may very well be precisely what I need at this point in my life. I believe that as anorectics, ED-NOS-stricken or bulimic individuals, whenever we are told of the dangers we are putting ourselves into, we frequently answer, "I know, I know." Yet, do we really? How far can it go? I dislike thinking that I sound preachy at the moment, and I have to admit that this potentially has been what I could describe as a life-changing experience, although I fear tremendously that even given that it may have been so intellectually (in theory, if you will), I do not have the required courage to do something about it.

Now, on to the story itself.  I took two diphenhydramine-based sleeping pills (e.g. Benadryl) on Sunday night, and the next day, I woke up with horrid stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, tingling in my legs and arms, slight muscle contractions very much akin to spasms - essentially, electrolyte imbalance-induced nervous system instabilities. The fact remains: I do take care of my health in general. I do not suffer from bloating, gas, constipation, lack of vitamins, electrolyte imbalances, etc. in general (I know this as my last doctor's appointment, two weeks ago, indicated to me that even my heart rate was perfectly normal). Of course, given that I feel perfect normal right now, I can only presume that my body was allergic to diphenhydramine and reacted heavily to the massive electrolyte imbalance that resulted from excessive diarrhea, but...

...nevertheless, one can only wonder, especially after reading that "diphenhydramine only causes severe side effects in the elderly or diseased individuals," to which extent one's body has indeed become this weak; to which extent one's immune system has become so tremendously exhausted; to which extent one's body, essentially, is that of an elderly individual or that of an AIDS-stricken female - this, only in one's early 20s. I repeat: other than a weakened immune system (or maybe was it only an allergic reaction, but nonetheless, perhaps a weakened immune system), my health is above-average. My BMI is somewhere around 15.8, and considering my fat percentage, I look emaciated but am healthy according to a very detailed report from my doctor, whose only indications were to gain a bit of fat mass. The question is simple, however: why would one's body react so intensely to such a weak substance? The answer to this too should be fairly obvious.

One may wonder how I can be at a BMI of 15.8 and yet, get a perfectly normal health report. Let's just say a few things have helped me throughout the years:

1. No form of purging or laxative use;
2. Maintaining my electrolyte levels through frequent intake of sodium, potassium, sugar, fat and protein as well as oral rehydration salts (e.g. Gastrolyte) now and again;
3. Complete vitamin and micronutrient intake (meticulously calculated in Excel) by combining a variety of supplements and low-calorie food items on a daily basis;
4. Caffeine and pseudo-ephedrine to keep my metabolism and heart rate up and avoid low blood pressure, low heart rate, unwanted body hair, chills, etc.

And yet, at that moment, I felt as though as I was dying. Actually, I take that back: my electrolyte levels were such that I was on the verge of dying - tremors, muscle contradictions, a state of near-fainting and all that jazz. Little did I presume it was an effect of the sleeping pills I had the night before, hence I took two more to fall asleep. The next day, the cycle repeated itself, and how I was terrified once more, not knowing the source of these completely new problems and fundamentally unable to take account of my actions and call 911. Why? The diagnosis, the tubes, the psychiatrists... It was too much to bear. It shouldn't have been. Thankfully, I had the right reaction: drinking tremendously amounts of liquid rehydration salts (by which I was able to avoid permanent brain damage and heart failure), binging like I hadn't in years so as to fill up my digestive system and stop the diarrhea, and taking three caffeine pills to avoid having my heart rate drop too low.

I went to the doctor's office for blood tests today. Of course, as always, she was concerned about my weight, but since apparently, everything was back to normal, she didn't make a big deal out of it, as usual. Again, my health is above-average - and, still, here am I, wondering if I've taken it too far; wondering if that time has come; wondering if a step in the direction of recovery is worthwhile; and, especially, if I'm mentally prepared for it. Moreover, I hope with all of my heart that this life-threatening experience and my complete refusal of calling 911 will have been a large enough shock that I am going to be ready for recovery - truth to told, I simply don't know if I actually am.

Hence, my questions is threefold. Firstly, other than the tips I have named above, I need any tips as to maintaining my health while deciding as to whether or not I will choose recovery (anything at all). Secondly, what is the lowest possible calorie count, considering my stats (see: my application post), I could go up to so as to maintain my weight without gaining at all (I know it depends on a variety of elements, yet I still would like to know of a general indication - perhaps someone with lower stats than my own and their personal maintaining cal. intake could provide me with this information?) Thirdly and lastly - this is where it becomes an open-ended question -, what do you think of all of this, and what have been your personal experiences with such bouts of straining physical experiences/pondering as to the idea of recovery?

To all who may come to reply with lengthy (or not-so-brief) responses, I thank you, as much as I do for taking the time to read this. It would be nearly impossible for me to explain how much this is worth to me.


(Cross-posted to emaciated_mafia.)
readshare (3 commented)

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I am leaving all eating disorder related communities. It doesn't matter much, I'm not much of an asset, and I honestly don't think I'll be very active anymore anyway. I'm too self centered I suppose.

I hope you all learn to love yourselves. You all deserve it.

Remember, if you still want to help on my survey, I'd greatly appreciate it. My email address is jules_rivette@hotmail.com

Thank you for all the help you have given me :)
share (0 commented)

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I believe I’ve briefly touched on the subject before, but since I haven’t gotten much response, I’ll address it again. I hope this sort of post is allowed here. If not, let me know and I will gladly delete it.

I am writing a book on eating disorders, and I would really love some input. It’s not going to be a self help book at all, so don’t worry about that. It’s more of a documentary. I have been researching a LOT, and so far I’ve got a pretty good foundation. My concept is that I’m going to give a basic overview of the different points of view of non-eating disordered individuals (healthy teenagers, dieters, and doctors/psychologists), and give an in depth look at society’s standards and views on eating disorders. Once my book covers that, it’s going to get into the true face of eating disorders. Kind of a way of dispelling the myths, and showing what it is truly like for eating disordered individuals. Not just isolated cases.

Unfortunately, I think I’ve accomplished all I can with the type of research I’ve been doing. I really want to write this book. I think it could be a real help. Even if it were never published (which I doubt it would be), I would post it online.

Now, to the point. I really need to get some REAL insight. Other than myself. I am going to survey high schoolers, college students, and doctors. I also want to survey people that actually have eating disorders. I’m working on a detailed survey that isn’t too intrusive. I would like to know if anyone is willing to fill out the survey, or if they would like to tell me how their eating disorder has affected their life/the lives of those around them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

<3 Julianne <3

P.S. This is cross-posted to several communities.
readshare (4 commented)

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The other night, I had a really strange dream. I was fasting, and I often have food dreams while fasting, but never like this.

In my dream, I was so hungry. I kept eating and eating and eating, but it felt like there was nothing in my stomach. The more I ate, the hungrier I became, but the guiltier I felt. I ate until I was sick, and felt like I was going to explode, but I was still so hungry. I felt like I hadn't eaten anything in years, I was so hungry. Then the guilt took over, and I purged right in the kitchen.

The part that gets disturbing is that in the dream, I had eaten EVERYTHING in the house... And then I looked down at what I had purged, and it all looked whole... So I ate it again.

I've never had a dream like that before, but it really disturbed me, and I felt the need to get it off my chest.. I feel really disgusting.
readshare (1 commented)

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readshare (11 commented)

Off topic kind of, but... [Tuesday
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Where the heck is ana_for_dummies?!?!?!?!
readshare (10 commented)

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An eating disorder is not one face; we are not a stereotypical cliche. We are everywhere.
Anorexia is the thin girl rushing to catch the bus who always wears a wool sweater, and the quiet boy who sat across from you in lecture hall. Bulimia is the pale woman down the street who always smiles&waves when you walk by, and the round teenage girl who can never be satisfied by the way she looks. ED-NOS is your best friend who is always complaining about her weight even when you think she looks beautiful, it is your favorite actress who has always been "naturally slim."
We love the feeling of hunger. The way that it burns from the inside out, like we're setting every inch of ourselves on fire to burn away imperfections leaving behind an untainted skeletal vision of beauty.
Whether achieved through religiously purging our mistakes or completely avoiding them altogether, we strive for hunger.
We are the purest forms of human beings. We feed off of our own inner strength; we are composed of nothing but pure willpower.
We are perfectionists, in the best of ways. We will continue to improve ourselves until our dying day.
We are not crazy, ignorant, or stupid.
We are the thin.

What do you think?
readshare (9 commented)

Pimping my community [Sunday
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I've created a new community, pro_ed_ucation, and a base, ed_ucation_base, to help support it. The purpose of this base is to make sure the information is correct and the education is the best it can be.

pro_ed_ucation is meant to help encourage Pro-Education in the Eating Disorder communities.

The common consensus of the Eating Disorder related communities and/or websites is that they either fit in one of a few categories:

A) Recovery, helping/providing a supportive environment for a person after they have decided to try to 'heal', 'become healthy', or 'move on' from their previously unhealthy eating disordered behavior.

B) The few "Anti- Ana", working to abolish the "eating disorder movement"

C) Pro "Ana/Mia", where they provide 'tips and tricks', post pictures of models and 'thinspiration', and support and spell out starvation/purging/etc tips for (mostly) young girls who glamorize Anorexia.

I have found that the majority of eating disorder related sites, unrelated to recovering from or ending an eating disorder, focus on the third. Within these sites self-diagnosis runs rampant. The DSM IV, diagnostic criteria is ignored in the majority of these situations. A large number of people in these communities join simply to lose a few pounds. Even more view anorexia as a 'lifestyle' and a quick way to look like Paris Hilton. They hail the "Ana Goddess" and praise their new 'religion', their 'lifestyle', their fad.

This community is to bring together those communities which prioritize accuracy and promote an educated view of Eating Disorders within a non-recovery-based setting. Eating Disorders are very serious diseases and should be understood as such. At pro_ed_ucation we will provide an easy to access home to reach all the communities that fit this criteria. The approved communities will be posted in separate posts, per community, along with the review and link to community. The list of communities, with corresponding links to the posts, will be listed in the userinfo. All posts within pro_ed_ucation will be Public, however this community is closed, and only to be used for the information provided for the communities shown, not discussion through additional posts. Commenting is open, and additional info/feedback is encouraged to be shared, but will be deleted if not directly related to the community the post represents.

Here we will determine which communities will be a part of this group. These communities are to be excellent representations of this priority and should not display any of what I described in (C) the typical 'ANA' communities of idiocy and ignorance.

Please join and help the cause.

x-posted everywhere
share (0 commented)

Opening [Tuesday
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Welcome to ed_share.

In response to this post, ed_share
was created.

This community is meant to discuss such things in an intellectual, open, and understanding environment. Post anything, eating disorder related, that you find striking, interesting, thought provoking, weird, or that you don't understand.

Please see the userinfo for more specifics.

Welcome and feel free to post. :)
readshare (8 commented)

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