Joanna's Eating Disorder Recovery Book: progress and sleep deprivation clarity


HHH_These days I am copy editing, Healing Your Hungry Heart, my self help eating disorder recovery book. This is a fun, challenging and arduous process.

My publisher, Conari Press, sent me the manuscript last week with the copy edits marked.  Now I'm well into the editing and writing process. 

I'm working on the boundary chapter now, and I have to tend my own boundaries. I need to get this job done and still get adequate sleep time. At the same time I'm looking at how sleep deprivation impacts you when you have an eating disorder.

Making sentences more tight and clear is the easy part.  Providing a few transitional statements to connect a paragraph or section with another takes some thought but not a lot of time. 

It's when I get into sections that really need more information so the reader can identify with what I'm saying and apply suggestions to her life that is the real challenge.

It's great to have the time distance between now and nine months ago when I sent in my final.  Now I can see glaring absences.

For example, I went much too lightly over the sleep deprivation section.  I think that when you have an eating disorder you don't realize that sleep deprivation not only causes health problems and disturbs thinking but also intensifies your eating disorder asymptoms. 

The big problem here is that when you feel badly about yourself you may believe that your mind and body troubles caused by sleep deprivation are natural weaknesses in you.  Giving yourself nourishing and adequate sleep can be a powerful force in your recovery.  Even symptoms of Depression with a capital D can gentle down as your mind and body gets adequate healing sleep.

How has sleep deprivation played into your life and your eating disorder symptoms?






0 # Hi Joanna - glad things are progressingshh 2011-03-07 01:48
Hi Joanna - glad things are progressing well with the book!

It's interesting that you write about sleep deprivation, as it's something I have come to realise about myself in the last couple of weeks as a result of my musings between therapy sessions.

It came about from trying to figure out what a "real hug" would feel like, and I concluded that if I ever got a genuine hug I would probably just want to stay there and curl up and go to sleep, because it would feel safe and I'd finally be able to relax.

The "finally able to relax" is something I'd never realised about myself, but upon reflection, I never truly relax and I have never slept well, I used to get scolded for it as a small child, and it's never really gotten any better. And the way I sleep too with my back against the wall/covers up to my neck (even if I have to turn air con up to make it possible) to make me feel safe....I realised that I am permanently "on guard" 24/7, even during "sleep".

I'm so used to the sleep deprivation, that it's "normal" to me, but if I am honest with myself, I am tired, I feel weary - I used to think weary from all the emotional stuff in my head, and probably partly so, as I never get to switch off, but realistically I think I am physically tired too.
0 # Good luck with the book. As for sleepPTC 2011-03-07 04:42
Good luck with the book.

As for sleep, I LOVE it and that's the last thing I deprive myself of.
0 # Dear Spazzy Bobs, Great that you arepinkjoanna 2011-03-07 13:00
Dear Spazzy Bobs,

Great that you are looking at sleep deprivation in your life. Can you give yourself more hours of rest and find a way to be safe and cozy in your sleep space?

Reading while you are in bed can help. There's a reason why we have bedtime stories for children. The stories help us wind down from the day, go to anothr place in our minds and transition to the world of sleep.

You might try actually reading children's bedtime stories in bed, propped up with pillows and cozy under the covers.

Once you start getting sleep nourishment you'll feel some emotional and physical benefits in your life. Let me know how you progress with this.

0 # Dear PTC, Nice to hear from you! I'mpinkjoanna 2011-03-07 13:01
Dear PTC,

Nice to hear from you! I'm glad you are getting adequate sleep. It's so nourishing for you body, mind and soul.

Do you dream? Do you write down your dreams?

0 # I dream all of the time and remember thePTC 2011-03-07 19:39
I dream all of the time and remember them too. I have very vivid dreams. I LOVE dreaming!! Sometimes I write them down, but rarely.
0 # I have a lot of dreams that I'm being trPTC 2011-03-07 19:40
I have a lot of dreams that I'm being tricked or forced into treatment, or that people know about my ED.

Last night I dreamt about dolphins and driving in Florida.
0 # Dear PTC, If you write down your dreapinkjoanna 2011-03-07 21:52
Dear PTC,

If you write down your dreams and add a little description of what went on the day before, reading them six weeks later can give you a lot of insight.
0 # Good to know. I'll try it. Thanks.PTC 2011-03-08 04:30
Good to know. I'll try it. Thanks.
0 # Gosh Joanna....your response to this hasshh 2011-03-08 05:57
Gosh Joanna....your response to this has stirred up quite a lot of feeling!

I actually really quite fancy the idea of being tucked up all cosy and safe in bed and reading, it's quite an attractive proposition, and potentially 'do-able'...but it impacts upon so many relationships, it's not as straightforward as it sounds.

I'm seriously contemplating it though!
0 # Dear Spazzy bob, When you have an eatpinkjoanna 2011-03-08 22:54
Dear Spazzy bob,

When you have an eating disorder, no fundamental change in going for positive self care is as straightforward as it sounds.

The eating disorder is there to care for you when you can't. When you take over your self care, even in what seems to be small and insignificant ways, the loosen the grip of your eating disorder. Suddenly issues need to be confronted.

The issues vary with everyone, but they come up for everyone. If you want something reasonable and simple, like being able to be cosy and safe in bed reading a book, you have to clear the obstacles that prevent you from having that.

Your real challenge is not about food. It's about allowing awareness to come in, caring about yourself and clearing obstacles that prevent you from living a good life.

This is why obsessions with weight and diets interfere with genuine recovery work.The obsessions deflect your focus from the real work necessary to be free of an eating disorder and live well.
0 # Dear PTC, Let me know how the dream wpinkjoanna 2011-03-08 22:55
Dear PTC,

Let me know how the dream writing goes!

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