When I have gone to bed anxious about my food intake, it is usually an agitated night. I need hours to fall asleep (you can try to listen to some calm music then or white noise player, that cover the cacophony of voices in the head, or some relaxation techniques). But even falling asleep is not a guarantee for a peaceful night. I would have plenty of nightmares concerning food, weight and numbers. I would plan my meals, I don’t know if in my dreams or in the intermittent state of arousal in between.
Actually good sleep is one of the promises of weight restoration that I am really looking forward to. Bad sleep is related to a brain that remains “awake” to find food and also a bad sleep brings more exhaustion and anxiety to the following day, with swinging moods often affecting the eating in the following days. Right now, too often, the insomnia is stronger than me.
Now, in the middle of the night, I can’t stand it anymore. So I have decided to write some of the nightmares that I had.
In the most anguishing dream my mom was begging me not to close my eyes, because they were afraid I would never open them again. I was feeling extremely tired, exhausted, after I had put a lot of efforts to eat more. They thought I could be going by the refeeding syndrome in restrictive eating disorder recovery, something I read about in the last days and that I find really scaring. It seems that in this f****** path that I have no choice but to take, there is even more traps than I could have ever imagined.
In another dream, the gremlin was giving me plenty of choices, tu trust my faith in him. I had a lot of buttons like “low calorie”, “vegan”, “pan fried”, “steamed”, “deep fried” to design my next meal. It was like being in one of those TV games, where the floor opens and you fell if you click on the wrong button. Eating Disorder mind was checking that I remember his commandments, At least I can be proud that in the dream, after a lot of hesitations, I clicked on something that made me fall into the abyss of the unknown below me.
Should I feel relieved that this time, even though the nightmares revolved around food and weight, it was my Eating Disorder mind that was feeling under risk? That she is so desperate she needs to check my faith to her even my dreams, because when I am awake I am showing signs of ignoring her?
If that is the case, welcomed are those dreams, and I guess, the smell of coffee and the hope I feel will be enough to keep me awake!
In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
From the mountains of faith
To a river so deep
I must be looking for something
Something sacred I lost
But the river is wide
And it’s too hard to cross.
– Billy Joel, The River of Dreams