Nevada, Day Seventeen

5 04 2010

0801. It’s been a grand morning. I woke up around 0530, but I didn’t move until 0700. I slept all night, and I slept well. It’s honestly about time. . . . . . I was getting to the point that nothing was really registering, because of how exhausted I was getting. Overnight, we got a good 3 inches of snow, and it is GORGEOUS. I finally got moving, and went off to vitals. Weight, 155, BP 118/70, and Temp, 97.3. All stable. 🙂 Breakfast was a smoothie, but I had to make it with soymilk instead of my normal protein shake base. 😦 Today, we have yoga and art therapy, and I’m not really sure what else.

1050. This has been an awesome morning. Instead of yoga, we took advantage of the warm, yet snowy morning, and went on a walk. The snow glistened like diamonds, the air was crisp and clean, and the time relaxing. Afterwards, since the wind coming in off the mountains was quite cold, we took a break for some hot tea, and then we went straight into art therapy. Today, Victoria is doing her first split drawing, consisting of the darkest place she’s ever been, and the absolute happiest she can imagine. I did a second one, consisting of where I am right now, and where I believe I can go. When I first started this project, I couldn’t even see myself on the recovery side of the page. . . . . . . . I couldn’t see a way to make it over there, although I knew there had to be a way. Today, the appearance of the second part of this project is far different. No longer filled with desolation and hopelessness, there are splashes of color on the “now” side of the page, although, they’re often overshadowed by black and gray. The color shines through. . . . . . . . . . it’s definitely there. . . . . . . . . but there’s a foggy, murky quality to it. On the other side, though, the colors are bright, vibrant, stunning. There’s a small patch of gray, for I just don’t currently see how life can possibly be lived without some kinda fog to it. . . . . . . . . . I’ve never known life not to be “foggy”. The two sides are NOTHING the same, though, and the colors on the “potential” side of the page are colors that I can see happening, for the first time in my life. We’re taking the last half of art therapy to talk about our projects, both the current one, and past ones.

This day feels entirely different from any of the past few. I feel vibrant, connected, and fully in the present. It’s a new day; a new start; a time to make progress. I’m loved, needed, cherished, and not only do I have people fighting for me, but I have the strength and wherewithall, today, to fight for myself. This is my current song addiction, the one that speaks volumes. I might do a post later about why it’s perfect for the current situation.

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

For what I’ve done

I’ll start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done

I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

What I’ve done

Forgiving what I’ve done

1155. We’re finished talking about our projects, and we made several startling correlations concerning my concepts of recovery. Without fail, my “now” or “current” or “deep, dark place” projects involve shades of gray, red, and hints of yellow, although this one had far more color. My recovery projects always are bright, vibrant, and involve bright blue, green, yellow, and orange. This is a correlation we just saw today, when all of my projects where laid out side by side. We’re getting ready to head to lunch. 😀

1843. It’s been quite an afternoon, to say the least. Lunch was wonderful, and then, we all headed out for what has become the normal Monday outing, bowling. That was fun, but I got totally and absolutely CREAMED. It was still fun, though. Victoria and I did some painting, and then, caught up with some various important people in our lives. Shortly after, we moved on to dinner, which was far more difficult than it probably needed to be. Since then, we’ve just been chilling, and we’ve now started a movie called “Old Dogs”. I’ve never heard of it, but it has good reviews.





Nevada, Happy Easter

4 04 2010

0702. Happy Easter, everyone! It was a long night, but it’s finally morning, and time to do whatever I want. 😀 We’re allowed to “sleep as late as we want to” today, so I think I’m probably just gonna stay holed up and be all anti-social. I’ve got all of my art work scattered around my room, and it’s taking on a personable look, finally. Victoria and I have the Easter outing. . . . . . . I’m pretty psyched about that. It’ll be amazing.

1013. It’s been a low-key morning. Breakfast was toasty and melty and amazing. . . . . . .. . . . . A hot peanut butter roll-up. Vitals were pretty good. . . . . . . . . Weight 154.5, BP 107/68, and temp 97.4. Since breakfast, I’ve been enjoying a John Grisham book and holding text conversations with half of America. The weather has finally (thankfully!) cleared, and this definitely has the makings of a good day. I had a great phone call that I took while staring at Heavenly (one of the big mountains out here) and watching the avalanches rumble down the mountains. Apparently, they set them off with dynamite so that the skiers don’t do it by accident. 😀 The only thing to do before going out on pass today is to make my meal plan for tomorrow. I believe I’ll probably spend the morning reading my book, sipping tea, and listening to fine music. Happy Easter to me!

2110. The outing today was WONDERFUL. Movies, laughter, girl time, and wonderful food. Absolutely everything was homemade, and it was very relaxed and enjoyable. The next week is supposed to be insanely busy, so I’m excited about that. It’ll be a good week.

The meal tonight went really well, although I guess I didn’t watch everything as closely as I could have. It was really good, though, although a bit difficult. We started Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. . . . . . . . . . . . I’m lovin’ it. 🙂





Nevada, Day Fifteen

3 04 2010

0811. Interesting morning. 😀 Sometime last night, I went and curled up with Victoria. (We’d already talked about it; don’t worry!) I was having an exceptionally difficult time sleeping, and it was the only way I was going to get any sleep, at all. I sleep better when I’m with someone else, or they’re at least in the room. My other choice was to move upstairs, and sleep there, but I figured there’d be a house wide panic when I couldn’t be found in the morning. So, this morning, Julia comes to get me up, and she is not EVEN happy. We went through the normal routine, though, starting with vitals. My weight was 154.9, my BP 115/78 (a good deal higher than it’s been in a REALLY long time), and my temp 97.6. All relatively stable. 🙂

I took a few minutes before starting breakfast in order to start my day on the right foot, and because I was very nauseous. However, I ate breakfast soon after, and had my normal PB smoothie and this morning, I had a big bowl of cereal. I think it’s going to be a bit of a better day than yesterday. . . . . . at least, I really hope it is. I don’t know how many days like yesterday I can handle. 🙂 We’ve got several projects to work on over the course of the weekend, so that’s a good thing. We found some really cute birdhouses (what am I talking about. . . . . . We? *I*) that we’re going to paint. We’ve got a couple painting things to do, and then, I’ve got some hemp work to do. I’ve got a charm from KY that says “Embrace Life” that I’m going to put on a hemp choker. I only take it (and the ring that I wear on my chain, as well) off when I shower. I feel naked without them, but I can’t stand wearing a long chain around my neck. This one is just too long, even though it only reaches my collar bones. I wear it every day, though. I use both objects on there to not only still anxiety, but to ground myself and remind myself why I’m fighting.

I’m excited. 😀 I can tell that my hair is starting to thicken and get a bit more shiny. . . . . . . . . I am STOKED. My hair used to be so thick, I couldn’t wrap my hand around my pony-tail. My fingers wouldn’t close. Now, It’s probably about as big around as my thumb. I’ve lost SO MUCH hair. . . . . . . . . and while it’s still falling out, it’s not nearly as much. It’s also, like I said, picking up a bit of shine. I’m happy. 😀 I know a couple of other people who are gonna be happy about that, too. 😀 You know who you are. *soft, happy grin*

Today, the plans are few and far between. Weekends are very fluid, but we are going on an ice-cream outing today. *elated* It’s gonna be good. 😀 It’s not supposed to be warm today, so we may or may not make it to the park. I really hope we do, though. I need a good long walk.

1235. It’s after lunch. . . . . . . . . I had another burrito. Chicken and bean this time. I’m having a bit more of a difficult time than usual this weekend concerning food, and I attribute that to the almost non-existant sleep I’m getting. After PDT, we’re going on an ice-cream outing, which oughta be a whole lotta fun. I’ve spent the morning being artsy, and working on re-learning the hemp knots, and I’ve started an abstract painting. Right now, it’s a blended mesh of blues and greens, much like a sea scape, but I’m going to be adding a second layer of abstract detail. I hope it looks really cool when it’s finished. 🙂 I also spent the morning talking to various people, some friends, some family, and there were several interesting conversations going on there.

1745. It’s been a relatively low key afternoon. We’ve basically all been in our own little world, sticking to ourselves. It’s gray and dreary outside, and everyone is very contemplative. Victoria and I have been doing art all day, and Brittney has been doing homework. I’ve painted several canvases, and a birdhouse, and I’ve started working on the promotional DVD for Nouveau Vie. It’s been a good bit of fun, although, of course, I once made the huge mistake of not saving my work, and lost a couple hours of it. Today has been “good” in and of it’s own sense. I’ve been relatively disconnected from both my body and emotions, and so, nearly everything has very little effect. We went on an ice cream outing, and that’s the most time any of us has spent together, today. It was a good outing, though. I just had dinner (chicken noodle soup and a pizza roll), and the anxiety is intense. We’re watching “Aladdin”, and it’s actually only the second time in my life that I’ve seen it, so. . . . . . . . . . . . I don’t know what to follow that up with. So what? *grins* In any case. . . . .. . . . . . . . yeah. I don’t know what’s going on for the rest of the night.





Nevada, Day Fourteen

2 04 2010

Happy Good Friday, everyone!

0813. I got started really late today. . . . . . . . Julia actually had to wake me up, which never happens. I’m usually up on my own around 0630. I missed my morning reflection time, which helps me a good bit get my headspace right for the day. . . . . . . I had a rough night last night, but hopefully today will be better. Vitals were good, all around. Weight, back to 155. It’s hung out there for several days, minus yesterday. BP, 114/74, and temp 97.1. My weight has stabilized, for the first time in years. Alex is bringing Righteous down the mountain today, and I am STOKED. Not only is he a big, beautiful dog, but that means I have an excuse to take long walks, and get in a bit of running. Victoria is going to Reno for the day for a doctor’s appointment, so it’ll just be Alex, Righteous, and me for the afternoon. Christina is coming this morning for yoga and art therapy. Breakfast was a bit rough. . . . . . . . . . It was really big, which means I’m really full. What’s cool, though, is that I don’t even have the thought that purging is an option, merely that I’m very, very anxious. I do know, though, that the anxiety will fade, and that it’s impossible for it to stick around forever.

1228. Lunch is over. . . . . . . . . bean burrito. We did yoga and art therapy this morning. For the project, we painted the paper mache’ masks that we’ve been building all week. Mine is painted solid black with shaman type tattoos in bright red lines all across the face. . . . . . . . . . as if ED represents a darker side of life, or is an angel of the dark. It often appears to be a saving grace, but in all reality, it never is.

1550. Alex and I just got back from Michael’s, and we got some really good deals. We found some cool projects to do this weekend and picked up some art supplies we needed around the house. Victoria is still out on pass, and I’m just hanging out upstairs. This is the first day thus far that I haven’t taken ANY pictures. . . . . . . . .

1947. I just finished a really good session with Dr. Dan. He called me on all of my defensive mechanisms. He said, “Now, tell me if I’m wrong, but as I see it, you are the QUEEN of intellectualism. You use it to keep your feelings, and people, at a distance, along with your dry humor, bordering on sarcasm.” Well, he’s not wrong, and he was very good to pin-point it. We talked about my PTSD startle reflex, and about my need to talk about my feelings, and turn to people here, as opposed to pushing those feelings and reactions back down. We covered a good bit of the workbook, and all in all, it was a good session. I’ve still got food to eat. . . . . . . . . . 3 cups of popcorn. . . . . . . . . . and there’s no telling when I’ll get to sleep tonight. The wind is blowing like crazy. I swear, I’m sleeping somewhere else tonight. 😀 We will more than likely play Wii for the rest of the night, or track down a good movie.





Nevada, Day Thirteen

1 04 2010

0813. Vitals are over, and so is breakfast. Vitals weren’t really all that fun today. . . . . . . My weight has fluctuated a pound and a half (156.5), and my blood pressure is still a bit lower than what it has been, but higher than it was yesterday. It was 100/70 today, but my temp was 97.2. It’s April Fool’s Day, and Victoria and I are working very diligently on a great April Fool’s prank. I’ve decided that I’m a Trader Joe’s addict. There are NONE in my home state, but there are 3 in surrounding states, within a 100 mile drive. *grins* That’s not bad, at all. I’d drive that for the fun of it. The more I discover Trader Joe’s foods, the happier I am with eating. 😀 I had a smoothie this morning for breakfast, with PB, banana, and chocolate whey, using a protein shake as a base, and it was quite good, although anxiety-inducing. I’ve struggled a little bit more the past couple days with anxiety, but it’s still NOTHING like it used to be.

I have a new camera. 😀 *does dance* I’m a crazy happy camper, and have been trying to figure out all the new settings. There isn’t much going on today, at all. We’re starting a new inspirational painting, though. (Remember Stripe Overload?) Well, Victoria has to start HER version today (which can be whatever she wants it to be), and I get to do one, as well. It’ll be fun. I’ve already got an idea, and I’ve gotten some input from a couple of friends. I’ve got to hit the workbook hard and heavy today, because Dr. Dan is coming tomorrow. I don’t think being on Chapter Five two weeks in a row is a good idea.

1234. It’s been quite a morning! I just finished with lunch, potato soup. I’ve gotta say it wasn’t the best, but then again, I don’t typically eat things that come out of cans. 🙂 All morning, I’ve been working on a project. We started another inspirational poster, and I actually finished mine. It’s a pastel beach scene with the words “Never give up for that is when the tide will turn” stenciled above it. I don’t like pastels. . . . . . . . I’d never used them before, and they’re not nearly as exact as I wanted them to be. Color is smeared everywhere, and I can’t say it was my favorite project, but it will add a good bit of color to my room. That will be good. After that was lunch, and while it wasn’t the best, I ate it. I’m really struggling with anxiety today concerning food, and that soup really filled me up. During PDT, I started working on my meal plan for tomorrow, and no matter which way I flip-flopped things, increased portion sizes, and added stuff in, I was short. After 45 minutes, I was STILL short. I’m currently 45 calories short, which is far better than the 250 I was short 20 minutes before that. *sigh* I’m getting frustrated with meal plans. . . . . . . . This is supposed to be EASIER, not harder. 1504. We had some mad Wii tournaments after lunch, and I kicked butt in bowling and tennis, but lost miserably at baseball. I hurt my shoulder in tennis, but the pain quickly passed. Gotta love it. 😀 Alex and I had a session about my meal plans and calorie count. . . . . . . My protein count is great, but my fat count is low. I’ve got to work on that a bit. He tossed the idea out of raising my calories again, and I nixed that one. I’ve also earned the right to go on walks by myself, so I’ll be able to do a bit more exercise. I’m gonna hafta say I’m definitely excited about that, and next week, we’re going to go on a hike. I am stoked! We talked a bit about the Easter outing and rules, as well. Rules there are the same here, but we serve as accountability for each other. It’ll be my first “real world” excursion, and it will be a challenge. Alex says that’s why he’s excited about it. . . . . . . . It will give me a chance to succeed. I’m worried.

1608. We just had an awesome communications group. It was an exercise I’ve done before drawing, but we used blocks. Two people sit back to back with the exact same pile of blocks in front of them. Blocks vary by color, size, and type. One person (the communicator) builds a tower, and then they must describe the tower to the other person (the listener). The listener’s goal is for their tower to appear EXACTLY the way the communicator’s tower does. The hitch is that the listener may say NOTHING. The can’t ask questions, peek, or give feedback in any way. During the first round, the results are often hysterically funny, as there is a COMPLETE communication disconnect. The two towers are often NOTHING alike. So, the exercise is repeated, with the ability for the listener to ask questions and seek clarification. It takes awhile, but the towers eventually match. Then, roles are switched.

This is a frustrating, fun, inspiring, eye-opening activity. It’s a really good exercise to drive home the point that communication without feedback and clarification can be not only frustrating, but detrimental. It helps to drive home the point that if something isn’t understood, advice and feedback HAS to sought because the long-term ramifications can be horrible. I really enjoyed that session.

2104. Last update for the night. The evening was consumed with dinner, PDT, homework, and relaxation. Dinner was grand. . . . . . . . a chicken burrito and fresh fruit. . . . . . . . and was exceptionally anxiety producing. I spent a good bit of PDT pacing, and then had my pacing privileges removed on a couple different counts. Victoria and Brittney played Wii, and I caught up with some online stuff. We then all turned to homework, and I read the rest of the ACT book. I did most of the exercises, but there were several “feeling” based exercises that I didn’t do. Not only was I not comfortable with my own feelings, but neither was I comfortable sharing those feelings with Dr. Dan, for I know he’ll see those exercises. The biggest thing that stuck out to me tonight was the phrase, “Every minute you spend calorie counting, purging, binging, excessively exercising, and having anxiety attacks is a minute you take away from what truly matters to you.” That drove everything home. . . . . . . . that without the eating disorder, I can actually talk about LIFE with the people I love. I can have a different focus, and my life can move forward. Today has been relatively anxiety-ridden, and I’ve still got food left to eat. I’ve managed to put it off this long, but it’s not waiting much longer. Victoria and I are taking our showers (instead of the nightly movie), and that was my last ditch effort at “It’s too late to eat. . . . .” After I eat this snack, I’ll probably head to bed. Busy day tomorrow!





Nevada, Day Eleven

30 03 2010

0812. I slept really well last night, with only one nightmare. I don’t typically have problems with nightmares, but they’ve been coming pretty hard and heavy the past couple nights. In any case, I slept really well. 🙂 Julia woke me up this morning to tell me that there was no rush today, and to take my time, so we got started a good bit late. I had a PB/protein shake for breakfast, along with a big bowl of fresh cantaloupe. I’m learning that PB is a quick and easy way to get CLOSE to my calorie count. Vitals were a-ok this morning. My weight was 155 even, down half a pound from yesterday. That could be normal fluctuation. . . . . . I could very well, for the first time in years, be maintaining my weight. My blood pressure was a bit lower today. . . . . . 106/67, but my temp was close to my normal, 97.7. I don’t nearly as sick this morning as I did yesterday.

It’s a frigidly cold, rainy, snowy day. The mountains are shrouded in fog. . . . . . . I definitely can’t say it’s a pleasant day. And did I mention cold?

1110. I’m finished with my box. “The Box Project” is one of the big ones that is done here at Nouveau Vie, and it’s a good bit of fun. It’s not for everyone, they said, but those that embrace it truly do. My box is almost solid white, which is an absolute bold faced lie. The areas that can be SEEN are solid white, minus a black side on the back, facing away from everyone. There is a ring of color along the very bottom of the box, and those colors are RED, PURPLE, GREEN, ORANGE, BLACK and WHITE. (Remember, it’s a six-sided box). Extending onto the bottom, an area of the box most people will never see, those colors swirl together and mix. Red represents Ana. Purple is Mia. Green is NOS. Orange is drug addiction. Black is SI. White is me. 🙂 I’m intermingled in that mix, and it’s a mix very few people ever encounter. (I’m just gonna say that I’m over nine months clean regarding drugs, and close to 3 months on SI!) Inside the box. . . . . . now, that’s a different story. *simply* My box is glued shut. It’s not able to be opened. It’s full of glitter. . . . . . . . a substance light as air, yet with body and depth. My box is full of secrets. On top of the box is my name, spelled out in blue letters. That’s a meaning in and of itself. 🙂

It’s meant to be an external representation of myself. . . . . . and I think it is. 🙂

1238. Lunch is over. . . . . . I had a massive bowl of chili, with sour cream and chili. I also had some fresh fruit. It was pretty good, although Julia SCARED the fire out of me. She told me that the chili was “a little spicy”. This is coming from the person who eats HOT horseraddish for breakfast! I was like, “oh!” Actually, though, it was really good. 🙂 Two things have happened today, food-wise, that I can’t remember the last time have EVER happened. First off, I woke up hungry. Actually hungry. . . . biologically hungry. . . . like, my body was hungry, and I could feel it! That might not seem like much to most of you, but for me, that’s huge. . . . . I can’t remember the last time I was actually hungry. It’s not a feeling I’m familiar with. Second thing is that for the first time in a few years, I was left alone with food, and I didn’t have one of two thoughts. First, how to get rid of it, or second, how to hoard it for later binging. That thought hit me quite some time after Julia and Alex came back in the room, but still, WOW! 😀 I just enjoyed my chili, without thinking about how to do away with it all. How frickin’ cool is that?!!!??!

We have another resident coming. Victoria is coming, and I’m gonna hafta say that I’m really excited. It’ll be good to have someone else here, to say the least. She and I met yesterday, during the bowling outing. She adamant against coming. I shared a bit of my history and experience, and then, just let it be. I’m excited that there’s going to be someone else here.

1631. We’ve all spent the afternoon getting Victoria settled. It’s been really low key, but relaxing. I’m eating a snack of pineapple, and I’ll have dinner in a little bit. Meatballs and pasta tonight, with marinara sauce. Sounds pretty darn good, to me. 😀 It’s still snowing really hard, but the wind has stopped, for now. They’re getting 3 feet of snow up in the mountains, and they’re shrouded in fog. . . . . . . They can’t be seen at all, and I could hit them with a rock, standing in the front yard. Ashley is planning on coming over with a movie and hanging out for awhile, and that’ll be welcome. I’m starting work on a promotional DVD for Nouveau Vie, so that’ll likely take a good bit of time. It’ll be good to have something to work on.

Dinner was good, but anxiety provoking. Ashley has come to hang out, and there’s no telling what we’re going to do from here. She’s brought a few movies, and her hula hoop. *grins* Sounds like fun. 😀

2045. Ashley just left, and it’s been quite a night. Victoria wasn’t feeling well, at all, so after we got her settled on the couch and as comfy as possible, we started a movie. It was called “Year One”, and it’s got to be one of the STUPIDEST movies EVER, but it’s hysterically funny. I swear, I could feel my brain cells dying, but at the same point in time, I just couldn’t stop laughing! You sit back and think, “OMG how did I actually WATCH all of that”. . . . . while at the same time trying to process how incredibly funny it was.

After the movie, Ashley put on a hooping demonstration. She had an LED hoop, and it was MESMERIZING. I’ve rarely seen a person move like that. . . . . . . It was stunning.





Nevada, Day Ten

29 03 2010

0630. The wind is blowing again, hellishly and hard across the valley. The naked branches of the bushes scratch against the screen in the window, and the window (and house, for that matter), shake against the force of the wind. The direction of the wind will change, and another target, another window, another part of the house, will be chosen. Without warning, it’ll begin to scratch at the original window, harder, faster than before . . . .

Yeah, sounds like fun, no? I’ve got some pretty nasty PTSD . . . . that didn’t make for a fun night. I was having nightmares before the wind started, and after wards, it was royally not good. Monday. . . . . vitals, breakfast, yoga, art therapy, Alex, bowling, Dr. Dan. Full day. I’ve also got to talk to Gene today. . . . . . full days are busy days. . . . . . busy days don’t leave time for thinking and feeling. This is my first official day on the upped calorie count. I don’t know how I feel. It is what it is.

0751. Yep. Gained more weight. Isn’t this grand? I’m at 155, now. I think I’m starting to doubt that I WANT to see my weight. BP stabilized; same as yesterday.Temp is 97.5. Directly afterwards, I ate a massively huge breakfast and I’m way full now. This whole “meeting calorie count” thing is somewhat difficult. Way difficult. The rest of the day should be a little easier. . . . . . . those meals are about the “normal” sized ones. Normal for here, anyways. They’re sufficiently small, but bigger than I would have eaten at home. Anyways, breakfast was good, and that was its saving grace. I think I’m developing an addiction to those ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches. They’re really good.

1151. Yoga and art therapy are over. Yoga was a restorative session, which means that we got to relax, and lay down, and just breathe the whole time. In art therapy, we started the “box project”. This is an external representation of ourselves. It’s a six-sided wooden box, and you can do absolutely anything to it that one so desires. Thus far, I’ve painted 5 of the sides, white, and one black. I’ve also painted the letters of my name, in blue, but I haven’t put them on the box, yet. Lunch is in a little bit. . . . . . . . Alex and Gene are talking, and Christina and I are just hanging out.

1326. Turns out that the weight gain HAS been water weight. It is, my friends, my TOTM. Don’tcha just hate that? Mine is so irregular that I can never pinpoint it, so it always catches me off-guard. It would also explain the cravings that I’ve had recently, and the mood changes. We’re all getting ready to go bowling again, which is the Monday outing. We’re meeting up with several people at the bowling alley. . . . . it should prove fun. I’ve just gotta find the energy to enjoy it. 🙂

1713. It’s been quite an afternoon! A huge group of us met up at the bowling alley, and had a couple of rousing games. Victoria, a girl who has been looking into the program, came, and she and I talked for quite a while. I got totally creamed in both games, coming in dead last. Gotta love it! It was a good bit of fun, though. I’ve eaten dinner, and Alex discovered a discrepancy in my meal plan. . . . . . I was 175 calories off. I really DIDN’T do it on purpose . . . . I’ve got to make that up…… I hinted that all of the weight gain was because of water weight, and not my metabolism. Alex said that would be taken into account. In any case, I still have to meet my calorie count today. I can’t say I’m thrilled . . . . . I fought hard to “meet” my calorie count, and it wasn’t even close. Dr. Dan is coming at 1900. . . . . . . we’re starting to work through The Anorexia Workbook.

2100. Dr. Dan has been, and just recently left. I just finished my meal plan for tomorrow (several hours late. . . . . *gulp*), and FINALLY got it close to 1500. It took me FOREVER, but it finally settled at 1497. That’s as good as it’s gettin’. Dr. Dan’s session tonight had to do with the development of values, and how to weight them against feelings and beliefs. Feelings and beliefs often lie. . . . . . For instance, just because you FEEL fat doesn’t mean that you ARE fat, and it doesn’t mean that you should act on the impulsive to fast all day (in order to relieve the fat feeling), because that directly flies in the face of the values of “Good Health” which supports the values of “Education”, “Work”, and “Family”. ACT (Acceptance-Commitment Therapy) has to do with observing thoughts without judgement, and balancing that urge/impulse against your value system. Values are unchanging. They’re important today, tomorrow, and the day after that. They’re always important, even if you don’t FEEL like they are. Basically, negative thoughts will occur. We can’t make them go away, and the harder we try to, the more those thoughts intrude, and the stronger they get. Accept them; allow them to be there. Then, act on what matters to your VALUE SYSTEM, not what you FEEL. Feelings lie; values don’t.

Meal plan done. Session done. I’m going to bed.





Nevada, Day Nine

28 03 2010

0708. I slept like a rock, am warm, cozy, and settled. I don’t want to get out of bed, and I definitely don’t want to eat breakfast. . . . or anything, for that matter. I feel nauseous, and I’m back to my observation mode. I came to life for a few minutes last night. . . . . . and now, I’m not.

0801. Vitals and breakfast are over. Vitals sucked. I’ve gained a pound and a half since YESTERDAY. SERIOUSLY, how does that even HAPPEN!?!?!?!? I should be slowly, yet steadily, loosing on 1,200 calories . . . . I’m at 154.5. That does NOT MAKE SENSE. My blood pressure was fine; My temp was 97.7. Breakfast was. . . . . . . . difficult. I had an omelet with goat cheese, ground turkey, and beans. . . . . . . I’m full, uncomfortably so. . . . . . . I tried to tell Julia I wasn’t hungry, but I “had to eat”. So I did, along with my morning cup of tea. All that’s running through my head is a triggering comment I heard yesterday, and it’s more than a little difficult. Julia left during breakfast for a couple seconds to run to the restroom, and my all-consuming thought was to get rid of the food left in my bowl. Not only am I gaining weight; I’m incredibly ED triggered right now. I didn’t do it. . . . . . . but I really wanted to.

Today, I will finish Stripe Overload, and I’m working on lining up a job for my return. I can’t believe I’ve been here NINE days. It seems that I got here yesterday, yet time also seems to stretch infinitely. Things move so quickly, and there is a constant flow of people such that everything feels upbeat and energetic.


1217. I am FINALLY finished with Stripe Overload! This center, around the words, is a dark, murky gray, as if one is buried in darkness and desolation, but the edges of the letters all touch bright color. . . . . . . if only one will fight, color is close by. Freedom is Always Worth Fighting For. The entire time I was painting, Brittney and I were watching Eragon. It’s time for lunch. . . . . . . I’m having Mac and Cheese. My calorie count has been upped to 1,500, even though I’m steadily gaining weight. They tell me that the trick now is to eat MORE food, in order to convince my body I’m not going to starve it again. They tell me that I’ll begin loosing weight as soon as my body stops latching on to absolutely everything that I put in it. I logically know that eating MORE will help, but right now, I just want to totally freak out about it. After lunch, I’m going to clean up my work area, finish PDT, and hopefully go on a walk.


1555. I have Stripe Overload hanging on the wall in my room. . . . . . . . It took me less than a week to do, but it felt like, for a few days, that every waking moment was going into painting. Honestly, I’m glad I’m finished with this project, but now, I’m seeking out another one. This was a good one, one that I poured myself into, and one that I’m proud of. I folded my laundry, picked up my room, and grabbed a couple of quick pictures. *grins* Now, you guys get to see the final product. 🙂

2034. It’s been a wonderful night. I ate dinner early, and Brittney ended up staying late. Some wires got crossed on the admin side, and Allison, Alex’s wife, came down the mountain to stand-in for awhile. We headed to Carson City, to Trader Joe’s. It’s an organic health food store that has VERY reasonable prices, and some AMAZING in-house recipes. The feel is very small and homey, and it smells AMAZING. I tried a local specialty called a PB&J Bar, and I’m ADDICTED. I WILL be bringing a couple of these back with me. It was. . . . . . amazing. The texture and taste just blended, and the “special” part of the recipe was POTATO CHIPS. Yes, you heard right. POTATO CHIPS. With chocolate, PB, and raspberry jam. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten, and I’m sure I’ll be eating more of them. I also got some tortilla chips with an identity crisis. I’m not kidding; it said so, right on the bag! (They’re a mixture of corn, wheat, and potato flower.) I got some homey touches for my room, including a cute little plant. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. 🙂 I’m signing off for the night, but I just wanted to let y’all know that I appreciate your support!





Nevada, Day Seven

26 03 2010

0651. It’s been a week. . . . . . .  at least, it will be tonight. I finally got some solid sleep. I didn’t get to sleep for awhile, but once I did, it was really good sleep, and I only woke up a couple of times. This great big huge, fuzzy body pillow? I’m in love with it. 🙂 I curled up with my back to the pillow, and then wrapped my arms around the massive, amazing stuffed dog I brought with me (his name is Jake, and he takes up MORE than half the bed). The wind is slowing down today, a fact that I pleased about, the weather will be stabilizing (for a few days) and getting warmer. This weekend is supposed to be really pretty, weather wise.

I think I’ve finally learned the trick of (almost) meeting my calorie count (which is still 1200), or meeting it, on the first try. It’s adding items (side items) in. I had this nasty idea that meals only consisted of one thing. . . . . . . and that’s not really true.

I have no idea what my weight is doing. I feel bigger than ever. I’m having a really hard time with the solid, full feeling that I’m getting the more I eat. My stomach doesn’t cave in, I don’t fell “empty”, and I’m nauseous, all the time. I’m not purging! The nausea is supposed to go away. It was ok when I was doing it. . . . . . but now, I’m not, and it needs to GO. Alex says that’s a really common problem, and that Pepto Bismal, strangely enough, seems to help it. Anyways, it’s time to get up and start this lovely day in the Valley. . . . . . . vitals, breakfast, and PDT. I WILL paint today. I must. I didn’t TOUCH it yesterday. . . . . . . . and I really needed to. I have to finish Stripe Overload, because I definitely need some stuff on the walls here. My bedroom looks bland and boring right now. . . . . . . a place to sleep, not a place to live.

Activities today? Well, yoga and art therapy, for sure, and I WILL paint. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other than that, who knows?

0749. Breakfast is over, and it was REALLY good. I made a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich (a whole sandwich, all for 235 calories!), and a protein shake. All in all, 395 calories. Now, I’m sipping on my first cup of tea (of what’s bound to be 10 or more). I absolutely adore tea, and haven’t had it since I was back west the last time. The entire time I was at home (more than 2,000 miles from here!), I didn’t drink tea, but now that I’m back out here, I’m drinking it like it’s going out of style. Vitals this morning was interesting. . . . . . . since I’ve been here for a week, now I get to see to my weight. I was 157 when I got here. I made it as low as 151, and I’m now at 152.5. I’m having some digestive difficulties, which probably isn’t helping my weight much. My blood pressure is stabilizing (it was 107/78 this morning), which is a far cry from what it was when I got here. Temp is up, too. I’m actually in a normal range, as of this morning! 98.5! My temp hasn’t been anything but LOW for over two years. It’s been 97 something ever since I got here. My hair is still falling out in chunks, and Julia doesn’t know when that will stop. While I still have intense anxiety after meals, it’s fading quicker. I think not purging is easier when it’s just not an option. When there really isn’t any way around it, and I don’t really want to, anyways. I’m sure there’s talk going around of upping my calorie count. . . . . . . . that will be hard. Probably far harder than I realize. I’m still not comfortable at 1,200, although I am figuring out how to consistently stay up there.

I am making a new page, listing the foods I eat the most regularly here, and would be comfortable continuing to eat at home. It’s a resource more for myself, but feel free to check it out, if you’d like.

1154. It’s right before lunch. . . . . . Christina and I did yoga and then art therapy, and then, we listened to music and just designed with markers. Yoga was good. . . . . . . we started the Sun Salutation today, which was something I had a passing familiarity with, and then, we did “continuous line drawings.” You hafta draw something really complex without looking at the paper, and without picking up your pen. It was difficult, and laughter producing, to say the least. Lunch today is a taco salad. . . . . . . . . it’s probably about time I started heading in that direction. I did paint this morning, and I’ll probably paint the entire afternoon. It’s something to do.

1231. Lunch was good. Actually, it was quite wonderful. Strangely enough, I don’t feel any anxiety. . . . . . . I’m relatively dissociated, so I don’t honestly know how much of this day I’ll remember. I made Alex a sopapilla (a tortilla with butter and cinnamon sugar), and he’s waiting for it to cool down before he eats it. It gets crystalized and crunchy amazingness. . . . . . It’s an amazing taste and texture. He and I have a session later, and we’re going out. Until then, I’m going to paint.

1651. I just got back from walking Righteous, Alex’s massive German Shepherd. That was an absolute blast. . . . . . . I loved it! Righteous is a big, exuberant, excitable dog with a zest for life. We were walking past a pasture, and a VERY young horse took to following us, so I had to stop and give it some love. After lunch, I painted for a bit, and then Alex and I had a session concerning commitment to change, and then, I painted some more. We took a trip to the gas station (it’s kinda sad when it’s like, “YES! I get to go to the GAS STATION!”), and then, Alex left to get Righteous. I’ve got a MASSIVE chunk of Stripe Overload finished, and I WILL finish it tomorrow. Period. Alex and I got some amazing pictures with Righteous. . . . . it was wonderful, and welcome beyond all natural belief.

2104. Dinner was a-ok. . . . . . . . I ate oatmeal and a TON of cantaloupe. I was 60 calories short. . . . . . . and so I thought, no biggie! I like cantaloupe. . . . . . .I’ll just eat twice as much! Well, it’s a really low calorie food that also is really light, and so 356 grams of it is a LOT of cantaloupe. Needless to say, I was eating cantaloupe all night long! I froze a bunch of it, and the texture was great. . . . . . I’m finally finished eating it. 🙂 Brittney and I are watching a heart-rending movie called “The Pursuit of Happiness”. I thought I wanted to paint tonight, but I really don’t, so I’m not. I’ll go to bed after the movie is over. . . . . . . . . Weekend is supposed to be pretty relaxed. . . . . . . It’ll be good. My meal plans are finished for the weekend, so that’s a little less stress.





Nevada, Day Four

23 03 2010

As always, I’ll update this throughout the day.

0657. I didn’t sleep much last night, but I didn’t move until 0530 or so this morning. I need to get up, get moving, and take care of vitals, but I don’t  want to get out of bed. I slept with four blankets and a sheet last night, and I have this cozy nest thing going on. I don’t WANNA leave it! I’m starting to get used to the feel of everything here, and people are warming up to me, and I to them. Julia and I just bantered about our days last night once she got back to the center, and it was really good. It’s starting to pick up a bit of a familial feel, and while I’m a bit wary of that. . . . . . I’m not pushing it away.

0734. I’m in the process of eating breakfast. . . . . . . . I had a bit of a “do the right thing” moment this morning. I was left alone to prepare breakfast, and as I was scooping out my Greek yogurt, I knew Julia wouldn’t questions me about my amounts. I only put half the amount in. . . . . and then I added the rest. I had to convince myself that it was the right thing to do. . . . . . and while it was hard, I didn’t want to all ED to start the day off on the wrong foot, because I’ve got a whole lot of eating left to do today. I’ve read the first chapter of my anorexia workbook, and found it relatively repetitive. However, I’ve been assured it’ll get more interesting within a couple more chapters. The first was about recognizing whether or not you have anorexia, and what anorexia is. I’m chatting with a couple of friends, and I’ll start painting again during PDT. I’m slowly downing my breakfast. . . . . . . It’s going down a little bit hard today. By the end of the day, I’ll end up at 1085 calories.

0938. I’ve been painting for the last two hours, and I’ve made a good bit of progress. I REALLY don’t know if I have the patience to finish this all the way, though. My artistic vision was much more grandiose than my time and energy. Alex is here now, and he wants me to watch a movie. It’s one I’ve seen before, but it’s the typical treatment video “Dying to Be Thin”. Oh joy. Later, we do have equine, so I’m excited about that. I love horses, and I love being outdoors. Until lunch, though, I watch Alex’s movie, go through a reflection time with him, and will probably paint. I’m REALLY gonna hafta say that I’m relatively incensed that Alex gave me such a MASSIVE piece of poster board. In graphic design, this would have been a SIMPLE 45 minute project. I’m on like, hour 9, and I’m about a quarter done.  This’ll teach me to have artistic vision!
1108. Killing Us Softly? Yeah. Don’t ever watch it. I would not EVEN recommend it. Her blatant use of proganda to prove points she otherwise could have proven well using logic simply rubs me the wrong way. About a quarter of the way through, I decided I didn’t like it, and then, she continued to bolster that thought. Afterwards, Alex and I talked about it, and then, he had me do an image assessment of myself and society. Not the funnest activity I’ve ever done. These were the kinda questions that you go, “How the heck am I supposed to know?!?!!?”
1234. Lunch is now over. I’m noticing a reoccurring theme with my meal planning. I shy away from really caloric dense foods because I can’t get away from the thought of “more for my money”. If I can eat this HUGE pile of fruit, and be full for hours, and for a third of the calories, why should I bother with the really dense granola bar? But. . . .  . . what I have to realize is that I NEED to up my calories. Alex brought me a Reese’s cup today in order to nudge my calories over the 1200 mark. . . . . . . I haven’t touched it yet. I ate soup and a ham sandwich for lunch. . . . . . . and I’m supposed to eat the Reese’s. Julia couldn’t find the Luna Bars (which are only 180 calories), so she brought back Cliff Bars. Those have 250 calories, and I’m really struggling with them. I just can’t justify eating something when I know a version with LESS calories exists. I don’t like today, food wise.
1404. We’re off to equine! I’ve got to go throw on some jeans and tennis shoes, and I’m good to go. I’m excited. . . . . . . I haven’t had a chance to really be around horses in YEARS. I’ve been painting for the last FOREVER, and then Alex and I had a talk while I was painting, after lunch. We talked about a few of his concerns, and then just small talk. We dabbled in education, and what alternatives might exist for mainstream ed. It was a good, relaxing talk.
1633. I just got back from Equine. . . . . . . . it was an absolute blast, but totally different from ANYTHING I’ve ever done. I ride Western, and Maggie (the equine instructor) teaches English. Not only does she teach English, but she is an Olympic level instructor! She has two girl who are going to the Olympics in 2011! It was a journey, for sure. Everything felt and handled different, and I felt like an absolute beginner. Which, of course, in this arena, I am. I’m excited to continue learning, although I think I’m going to wake up sore more than once! It’s all about leg strength in English riding, and not so much about balance and speed while fully seated. Alex got a ton of really good pictures. I got a chance to play with all of the ranch dogs, which I greatly enjoyed.

I’ve got a meeting with Dr. Hall at 1700, then dinner, and then a meeting with Dr. Dan. I have no idea, yet, what makes them different, or what their jobs are.

1725. I FINALLY managed to get my meal plan for tomorrow done. It’ll be a good day. . . . . . . . .I’m having a PB smoothie, pasta and garlic toast at lunch, and then  a fresh salmon sandwich with green beans.

1820. My meeting with Dr. Hall is over, and so is dinner. The meeting with Dr. Hall was very low key, but we covered my medical and ED history. We went in-depth into some things, and other things, not so much. Dinner was rice and soup, and I actually ended up at 12o2. I had to re-do my meal plan 15 million times to meet that count (1200 is my goal, for now). I came in with a really low daily calorie count, so we’re working on getting it higher. I’m actually not anxious right now. I think I’m too tired to be anxious. I have a meeting with Dr. Dan, like I’ve noted several times, at 1930, and I’ll probably paint until then, and maybe after. Or, I might just goof off. Who knows?
2154. Oh wow. . . . . . I just finished with Dr. Dan. We talked for well over two hours about my entire ED, family, psychiatric, and physical history, and then about childhood abuse, how I got emancipated, and the pathology of my eating disorder. I am EXHAUSTED. I was tired BEFORE Dr. Dan got here. . . . . . . . let alone now. He gave me a ton of assignments to do, but for now, I am GOING TO BED. This whole 3 hours difference thing is draining me. Night night, all!








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