Anatomy of Recovery

I'm Jules, a 23 year old recent college graduate, currently working and applying for grad school. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when I was 14. I'm 100% committed to recovery because I know how amazing it can be. This blog is about my journey and any help and inspiration I can offer others on their own journeys.
I tag all my personal pics "julespic" so that you can block the tag if you find them triggering. I also tag all photos of food with the "food" tag in case they are triggering to you.

Ask Me Anything

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Theme by @yosoyprincesa.
"I have a cold which started with a sore throat on the weekend, now it's gone but I also lost my voice, I can barely speak. The problem is I have an ED and I've been bp-ing during this sickness too and I'm worried about my vocal chords. Does it cause significant further damage to them if I keep throwing up while my voice is so hoarse and I can barely speak?" With love, Anonymous.

TW, trigger warning
I’m answering from my phone, so this might be a little shorter than my usual answers. This is a question for an ENT doctor but I would go ahead and assume that causing further trauma to an area that is significantly inflamed is always going to cause further damage. The extent of this damage is hard to predict, but adding acid to an area that is raw like a skinned knee is not going to be good. Being sick can also throw off your electrolytes, adding to the risks if purging now. I hope you feel better soon and that you are able to see a doctor ASAP. They might be able to help suggest things to heal your throat or do some damage prevention. It sounds like talk therapy is going to be difficult right now but if you have a therapist, can you email with them about what is going on? Obviously the best answer is not to purge anymore but I understand it’s not nearly that simple to just do. I think it’s important to get medical and psychological support.

"why do you tag all your posts that are about things other than recovery #anorexia#ed#recovery etc" With love, Anonymous.

I have an auto tag-er but I try not to let it tag anything irrelevant, although I’m sure I miss some. You haven’t given me an example but I’ll respond in general. I think you may be misunderstand what kinds of things are also involved in recovery. I don’t post a ton of “fear foods” or things about weight anymore because a lot of my current recovery efforts are focused on how to function as an adult on my own without the negative coping skills that I’d been relying on. Learning to respect myself and deal with setbacks is a big part of my recovery right now. So is coping with change and learning emotional regulation. Sometimes it’s about getting out if bed in the morning or avoiding hopelessness pulling you under at night. I’m dealing with anxiety and feelings of self punishment. Basically I’m trying to learn how to adult because my eating disorder stunted that and the works terrifies me. I post about all these things as aspects of my recovery journey. It’s not going to be about meal plans and hospital appointments on my blog right now.

"I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad days, Jules. Hope tomorrow goes better, sending you a big hug! XX" With love, Anonymous.

Thank you, you’re very kind <3

"Sorry to hear you had such a bad day :( you definitely deserve to treat yourself after having to deal with all of that! I hope you have a much better day tomorrow <3" With love, Anonymous.

Thanks <3 <3

"I have a recovery question. I used to have bulimia and now i struggle with eating enough. When i've had a bad week and I keep the food down that I eat (it's gone from b/p cycles to normal food/p cycles) I actually get really exhausted after eating a meal, and sometimes even feel feverish. Is this normal? Or is this well... not normal? To be exhausted while digesting food that is. (sometimes it gives me energy, but most of the time, it does not.)" With love, Anonymous.

It sounds like you really need to be seeing a nutritionist and physician who can assess what’s going on with your body because it sounds like things are pretty dangerous.  Sometimes people with a nutritional deficit feel really tired and sluggish after meals because the body is working hard to digest the food and send it to where it is needed the most.  So, it can be normal in the sense that your body is trying to protect you but abnormal in that your body might be needing to protect you from the harm that you are causing it.  There’s also the risk of electrolyte imbalances and dangerous fluid shifts in this situation that could be involved.  It’s impossible to know whether this is true for you unless you see a doctor about it.  I’d urge you to do so as soon as possible because balancing your intake safely could be difficult.

"What is your most proud moment? Is there something that you'd really like to achieve in your lifetime?" With love, Anonymous.

I feel like my proudest moments are usually small things.  They’re probably mostly times I’ve been able to help people.  Most of them probably occurred in confidential counseling situations, so I wouldn’t be able to post about them or were private so I wouldn’t feel okay to.

Honestly, I don’t feel like the kind of person with huge dreams.  I feel like what’s more important to me is that I’ve made people feel better and been a force for positivity.  I’d like to achieve something, but it seems to matter a lot less to me than it does to a lot of other people.  I guess writing a book would be cool.  And going to Hogwarts.

"You said awhile back you tag things like #actuallyed and stuff to keep stuff in a safe tag from pro-ED stuff. Could you share with us some of those tags that have been created? I use #actually tags for some of the other things I post about but I wasn't aware there were ones for ED recovery, which I post about." With love, Anonymous.

I’m not super up to date on the tags that folks are using and I don’t frequently just scroll through tags, but the idea was that people posting about their experiences with these things could use the tag without coming across a bunch of pro-ed content that had little to do with the realities of having an eating disorder or which glamorized ed’s.  I think the ones I’ve posted to are actuallyed, actuallyanorexia, actuallyrecovery, etc. but it’d depend on what you’re posting about.  I can’t promise that there isn’t triggering content in those tags because they aren’t necessarily intended to be trigger free (or even that pro-ed content hasn’t trickled in).

"What is genetic counselling? So what is your role? Here you need your masters to do audiology!" With love, Anonymous.

I’d need a master’s to be an audiologist.  I’m just going to be doing audiology testing on newborns, which is a pretty automated test.  I will work under the supervision of an audiologist, who has a PhD to assess patient risks and make referrals based on risks and test results.  

A genetic counselor deals with the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic disorders or diseases with genetic components.  They often function as counselors and educators, acting as the go-between with a doctor and a patient/patient’s family.  For example, if a baby was born with something like a genetic metabolic disorder, a genetic counselor might meet with them to discuss the implications of the diagnosis, what kinds of things the family might be feeling/thinking, what to expect going forward, what kinds of specialists they might see, what the implications might be for future children, and what kinds of supports might be best for the child and the family.  Adult patients also see genetic counselors, like I see one for my genetic disorder.  It’s a really great mix of science and education/counseling, which is exactly what I am interested in.

"Congrats on your new job!!! I have always wanted to go into audiology... is that something you've always been interested in? Did you take classes for it in college? That is going to be such a fun opportunity!!! Yaaayyyy" With love, Anonymous.

I hadn’t really been particularly interested in audiology, but I learned a lot about newborn hearing screenings in the Human Reproductive and Developmental Bio for genetic counseling students that I took during my undergrad.  I just have a general degree in biology.  It’s something that genetic counselors are often referred to for, so I’m interested in it for that reason as well.  I’m super excited to be able to work directly with patients and their families, especially neonatal patients on a really advanced unit!  Who knows— maybe I’ll fall in love with audiology and decided to stay with that field.  Thanks for being excited with me!!!!

"How many followers do you have?" With love, Anonymous.

I’m not sure why it matters?  I’ve been very fortunate in how many people I’ve been able to interact with throughout my time on tumblr.

"You are so beautiful and kind" With love, Anonymous.

You’re really too kind.  Thank you <3

"I really don't know much about ed at all but my boyfriend is physically incapable of consuming anything. It started out with him "forgetting to eat a meal" and has gotten progressively worse. He's always tired and gets intense muscle spasms from not eating. But then he tries to eat, he can only take a couple bites of anything. And the way, he looks at himself in the mirror.. I know he isnt seeing what im seeing. I'm so worried about him but I really don't know how to talk to him about it." With love, Anonymous.

I can see why you would be very concerned; it sounds like this might be a very serious situation.  Here are some resources for talking to someone about their eating disorder:

It’s possible that he won’t listen or won’t listen immediately.  You may need to put his safety first and talk to someone else about what’s going on, like a parent/guardian.  I would really urge you to do so if you can’t get him on board with seeking immediate help.  It can be useful to have an easy plan for him to say yes to.  For example, having the number of a therapist/treatment provider all set and ready to call so that there’s as little effort required to say yes as possible.  A healthcare professional can assess what’s going on and help you both come up with a plan if they think one is needed.  Make sure that you’re getting support as well.  I know that you’ll probably want to protect his privacy, but you also need to prioritize your health.  I hope this helps and I really think it’s important to address this right away.

"I hate myself so effing much! I am always too lazy, too sloppy, too slow... I want to give up!" With love, Anonymous.

Hey hon, I really don’t want you to give up!  You are so valued.  I know what it feels like to feel that way, I really do.  It isn’t going to feel like this forever.  I know that it seems like too much to keep pushing and trying, but you can do it and you are worth it.  Even if you can’t love or respect yourself right now, hang on to the fact that everyone who has gone through this has felt this way and that things have gotten better.  Try to treat yourself the way you would treat a friend and be kind to yourself.  I know it’s hard.  You can do this.  I believe in you.

"What is your biggest bersek button? What infuriates you to the point of yelling?" With love, Anonymous.

Haha, um, well, I feel like arming an internet with the potential use of the anon ask with what really sets me off is probably a bad plan!  I’m not really the type of person to yell, honestly.  One time I yelled about vaginas on the internet.  I guess people giving manipulative, intentionally false, or twisted information really sets me off.  As a scientific person, I take offense when people try to use facts or false info to manipulate people and things.  Idk.

"Why do you tag stuff #actually[ed, or recovery, or whatever]?" With love, Anonymous.

It was something that was created to filter pro-ana, ed, whatever content out of the recovery and ed tags a while back so that people could look at that material more safely and my tumblr auto-tags posts.