House of Cards by Dear Cookie Monster

House of Cards: The Ease of Relapse

This is turning into a diary, but I can’t help it right now.

Writing about “three things myself at age 10 would take to a desert island” just kind of seems pointless right now (sorry to belittle the writing prompts – they just feel like that right now).

I am just writing for myself at this point. I don’t expect anyone to read this because it is so long and rambling. At least I’m writing.

Thank you to everyone who is reading – you all are saints.

I can’t process everything that’s contributing to me feeling overwhelmed because there is just too much stuff, so here are bullet points:

  • I threw up involuntarily this morning because I got food poisoning

    • This is the first time I’ve thrown up in 2 years after being bulimic for 6 years.
    • I’m not counting this as a relapse, but it’s still rattling. ED recovery isn’t black and white, so I keep feeling like I did purge even though I know I didn’t (I think)
    • It felt incredibly amazing to go from stuffed to empty in 2 seconds – like SO amazing. It felt like I was taking a hit from a joint or something. And I really want to feel that again.
    • I am beating myself up for throwing up because I think I could have kept it down if I really tried. I tried not to puke for 3 hours but I was just really exhausted and there were all these mosquitos in my room and I had a job interview in a few hours and it was really hot and kept tasting the food in my mouth because it was coming up my throat and I just couldn’t take it anymore.
    • I am further beating myself up because the food that made me sick was one of the many foods I ate during a binge. If I hadn’t binged, I think I would have been able to keep it down because there wouldn’t have been so much stuff in there physically forcing itself out. Also, I wouldn’t have been so motivated – I can’t pretend that making a night’s binge disappear wasn’t on my radar.
    • I am further further beating myself up because I think I could have stopped throwing up half-way through. I think I got rid of whatever made me sick in the beginning but continued either out of reflex or because I just really wanted all that food gone. It’s too late for me to remember which it was – maybe it was both.

    • I am such a wreck over:
      • The job interview (which I got! 😍😊😬😱😭😵)
      • Leaving this awesome place for a new scary place in the middle of no where (not actually true, but it feels like it)
      • Throwing up
      • Not being able to stop bingeing
      • My life slipping by and me feeling hopeless to change anything
    • My roommates keep inviting me to do stuff with them
      • No matter what, I always say yes because I am so happy there are finally people in my life who like doing stuff with me
      • No matter what, I always eat, even if eating isn’t part of it
      • No matter what, eating always turns into a binge, which I often have to make up an excuse to go do by myself or I sneak food into my room and eat it in the dark with the door closed trying not to make any of the packages crinkle so they don’t know I’m doing it

I keep telling myself to just be normal and knock it off, but I am just freaking out and I cannot stop.

I now have people in my life and I have to somehow coordinate my rigidity with their whateverness and I just go overboard and eat everything and can’t make it stop. I just threw up (talking about the same previous instance) and it felt so good and I want to do it again. Purging would just make my life so simple again (the biggest ED lie EVER – I cannot believe I still fall for this even a tiny bit).

I keep beating myself up (a pattern) for being so hung up on weight, but that’s not it.

This isn’t fundamentally about the weight and how I look. It’s about respecting myself, about controlling what happens to me, about protecting myself from the world.


  • Bingeing disrespects my body
  • Restricting disrespects my body
  • Eating normally respects my body


  • Controlling what I eat controls my body and controls my life
  • Not controlling what I eat makes my body and life uncontrollable
  • Controlling what I eat often gets out of control and then I end up not being able to control my body or my life
  • (Basically, nothing is ever in control and trying to control it just makes everything worse)


  • Bingeing keeps my body large and safe from people thinking sexual thoughts about me, but it also makes me big and noticeable
  • Restricting keeps my body small and exposed to people thinking sexual thoughts about me, and yet still makes me noticeable despite a smaller size because of the increased attractiveness (I’m not flattering myself as a gorgeous goddess – the differences are tiny and probably all in my head)
  • (So: my body shape makes me a (largely imaginary – thanks PTSD) target no matter what, the reason just changes depending on what it looks like)

What I need to do to fix things:

Find BALANCE. Don’t restrict or binge: eat normally. Don’t try to control anything and go with the flow. Protect myself with my words and choices rather than with my body.

I feel like I’m starting to become healthier, but it’s just so MADDENING that any sort of progress I make just gets obliterated by bingeing.

Trying to recover sometimes feels like building a house of cards for hours only for a tiny puff of wind to blow it over.

For example, I just went almost 2 entire WEEKS without bingeing and was finally starting to see some real changes. Then, I binged hardcore for a couple days and my weight zooms back up again, putting me back in baggy clothes, hiding under the covers, and avoiding the world.

It just makes trying to recover seem pointless. Why should I try when it’s all just going to fall apart??

That’s why I love purging. I can work hard and just pretend all the binges never happened. I can struggle and not show it on the outside. I hate people getting to see my greatest weakness at first sight.

OK, reality check: What I’m measuring success by is weight.

Even if I was losing weight by purging, that would NOT be progress. Even though I am gaining weight by struggling to eat healthy and bingeing intermittently, that IS progress.

I just don’t want this to be my life. It’s already turning into my life. I don’t want this.

My mom keeps saying that soon I’ll be all settled and everything will be OK then. She’s been saying that for years. I never will have anything settled. I am bipolar and nomadic. At any given moment, I have no idea what’s next. I doubt anything that seems fixed (like this new job).

The point is, I can’t wait for things to stabilize to become healthy.

I need to become more flexible and roll with the punches. I have progressed leaps and bounds, but I need to step it up.

All this bingeing is NOT OK.

I’m not just saying that as in “we’re going to get fat, so you better watch out.”

Newsflash: you are the size of a whale. That’s not changing anytime soon, either. It would take you months to get back to your former size if you stopped bingeing entirely, and since you can’t seem to stop doing that, it will probably take you years (or never).

I need to take losing weight entirely off the table because right now I’m using that as the metric to measure my progress – which is extremely eating disordered.

Now that purging is trying to inch its way back onto the table, I need to squash it like all these god damn MOSQUITOS that are EVERYWHERE (my walls look like a crime scene. And yet still more come. HOW??)

OK, the end. Please just chill.


Signature: Unknown (Dear Cookie Monster)

Whoever this is


Sorry for not reading anyone’s stuff. I’m a bit self-absorbed at the moment, if you couldn’t tell. Thank you again to anyone who reads this, you all are truly amazing.


One thought on “House of Cards: The Ease of Relapse

  1. braddahr says:

    I read this simply to blow up your expectations! And yes, I actually read the whole thing.
    I can imagine it’s challenging to write when you have so much to process. I have also experienced times when eating and other things are just out of control and it’s so frustrating and painful; loaded with self-loathing. I find I really need to ground myself in my innate worthiness and that I am loved. Then it’s distraction, distraction, distraction – go to the gym, take a walk, go for a nap (that’s huge for me), something to get space between me and what I hunger for.
    When I read the part about going out with friends, I wondered if it would help if you prepared healthy food portions to take with you. When I travel, I’m bad for stopping for fast food or junk at gas stations. I started packing a lunch – old school! Nuts, fruit, water. Sometimes even a little treat. Saves me overeating and money.


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