Was pregnancy or postpartum more difficult for you with the eating disorder?
Postpartum is harder, by far! During pregnancy I knew I had to gain weight, I had mentally prepared myself for it, and I knew everyone gains weight during pregnancy because that's natural. It was a bit hard the last couple of months when I got lots of fluids and gained LOTS of weight that I "wasn't prepared for". But postpartum is so much harder since my body is changed and I don't know if I believed I would go "back to normal" after pregnancy or what but it's definitely harder than I thought it would be at the moment.
How do you deal with bad days?
Sometimes I don't, which leads to everything being even worse haha. But usually I eat my "safe foods" on bad days, meals I know are easy for me to eat when I have lots of anxiety. And distract myself by doing things that don't remind me of body pressure/postpartum anxiety/my eating disorder.
What's been the most surprising thing of postpartum with an eating disorder?
Most people told me that I wouldn't "fall back" after pregnancy because I would be so distracted by my new family member and simply have all my focus on him. So in some naive way I believed this (just because this was the case for someone else) and instead of maybe preparing myself for the negative thoughts to pop up again and do something about it I just ignored it. So I was actually a bit surprised when I started to feel bad again and started to see the old pattern come back.
What's your best advice to yourself and others in the same situation?
I always tell myself that if I'm not strong enough to fight back this time I'll never be. I've fallen back so many times before and this feels like the first time I'm able to talk about it and do something about it before it gets worse, which feels really good but scary at the same time. So my best advice is to not be ashamed but to be open about it and talk about it even if it hurts, because it helps me a lot to know I'm not alone in this rather than shutting everyone out like I've done before. Everything is possible, a 100% recovery is possible and you never have to go through any of it alone. <3 That's important to remember!