Nevada, Day Twelve

31 03 2010

0610. I was sleeping quite well when Stripe Overload fell of the wall onto me. It scared the fire out of me, jolted me awake, and took me awhile to figure out where I was, and what had happened. After all the time I put into that thing, you’d figure it’d bee a little more grateful. 😀 So, now I’ve got some time to kill before I hafta get up and get this day started. . . . . . I’m just roaming around online. I’ve got posters to make for Alex, which I’ve actually already done, THREE TIMES, but the printer and computer in the office are apparently very, very, very weird. It won’t print anything with a picture, blows PDFs to 10x their size, and does all kinds of stupid stuff. I’ll find a solution, lol. Alex wants to have posters hanging in the bathroom so that we can read them while we’re in there. After awhile, you run out of things to talk about. I’m finding that as I enter a bathroom, I start rambling about anything and everything. . . . . . . it’s a very odd feeling. Half the time, now, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. *winks* That’s an odd quirk to have.

0713. Vitals are over, and I’ve moved on to breakfast. My weight is once again 155, and my other vitals have dropped. Weirdly enough, they’ve dropped almost as low as my “standard” anorexic range. 96.4 was the temp, and my blood pressure was 96/68. Julia suggests that it might be dehydration-caused. I drink a ton of water (and I mean a TON). In any case, time will tell.

0935. I’ve had my shower, and it’s about time to head upstairs for yoga. I can’t even BEGIN to describe how much better I feel after that shower. . . . . . . I got a chance to shave. *does dance* I feel like an entirely new person. . . . . . .

The snow is falling thick and heavy, and this storm will hang around for awhile. It’s supposed to be GORGEOUS next week, though. The camera is dead, so there’s not gonna be many pictures today. . . . . . . if any. I’ll see if I can get Alex to get the batteries for it, soon. I wouldn’t want to miss anything cool. 🙂 We’re starting a really big art project this morning. . . . . . . a paper mache’ of our head. I’m going to have to say I’m really apprehensive about this one. . . . . . . They wrap your head in saran wrap, with breath holes, and make the mask out of that. From there, it’s decorated with “The Face of ED” so that the voice in your head has a face separate from your own. It’s different; it’s not me. That’s what we’re starting. 🙂 I’ve been told that people are often apprehensive, but that nothing has every gone wrong while casting the mold, and that it’s a really cool sensation. It’s worth a try. 🙂

1125. Yeah, so I had my entire head covered in saran wrap, drizzled in glue and covered in newspaper, and then hair dried. We’re making a mask that we’re later going to decorate. It was an EXCEPTIONALLY interesting feeling, but a good one, I suppose. . . . . . . . . I couldn’t see, and could only feel. . . . . . I had to keep reminding myself that I could move, and that my hands were free. There were small air holes, so breathing wasn’t a problem, but it was just one of those innately human instincts to not want your face covered. We didn’t do yoga this morning; we talked about digital art and creation. It’s been an. . . . . . . . interesting morning. Now that the mask thing is over, I’m like. . . . . . yeah! That was awesome! I think it’ll be a good project, but it was interesting getting there.

1335. Lunch is over. . . . . . . . I had soup and a sandwich, and it was quite amazing. We got some really weird pictures from the start of the mask project, and I’ll probably toss a couple of those up later. Victoria and I have spent a good bit of the morning talking, and since lunch, I’ve done some work in my workbook, and am still reading my book. This workbook (The Anorexia Workbook) provides a good number of insights and new patterns of thinking. . . . . . It’s a great resource. We have equine therapy in a little bit. . . . . . I’m excited. Victoria isn’t riding today, since she still doesn’t feel well, but I most certainly am riding. 😀 I’m a bit more tired than I usually am. . . . . .

1617. Equine was GREAT. Maggie says that my biggest tendency is that when I perceive losing control, I lock down and get extremely tense and quiet. We worked very, very, very hard on that response, and by the end, when things got fast and a little chaotic, I was able to just sit back, relax, and go with the flow. It felt great, as if William (the horse I was riding) and I were actually working together, instead of fighting each other. After we got back to the house, I did my meal plan for tomorrow, and no matter HOW I tried to work it, I was WAY short. It took me forever to work it with enough calories, but after nearly 45 minutes, I managed. Yay. I’ve heard rumors of upping my calorie count. . . . . . . I’m a bit worried about that. . . . . . I’ve been invited to Easter dinner with a local family (Victoria’s family, actually), and I’m thinking that sounds like a good bit of fun.

1839. Dinner rocked. . . . . . . . . I made chicken nachos. They were AMAZING. . . . . . . . Then, Victoria and I had a movie playing in the background, just kinda as distraction. It wasn’t working, though, for her, and so, I started a rousing game of Dinner Uno. A normal game of Uno, with special rules in order to make it move faster. (Switch hands on 5s, clap on 7s) On odd numbers, you gotta take a bite of dinner. It’s gone before you know it. 😀

Then, we started some rousing rounds of Wii. Starting with Mario Cart, we quickly moved on to Wii Sport. It’s been a blast, and I’ve rarely known something to be such a great distraction. I’m lovin’ it, and kinda sad that it’s taken me this long to get this one going. We’re planning a Blindside party, since Maggie is here. . . . . . . It’ll be a good night.

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!

Picture Update!

23 03 2010

Check out the house, the scenery, the horses, our trip, and the start of my art project!

Nevada, Day Three

22 03 2010

I’ll be updating this throughout the day!

0525. Well, good morning, Nevada! Today the program actually starts. I’m not supposed to be up until 7, but here it is, 5 o’clock again. . . . . . gotta love this time change thing. 🙂 Going BACK East is gonna be hard. . . . . . . I’ll GAIN several hours and it will be all KINDS of backwards.

I’m spending the entire morning with Alex. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s very relaxed and fun. . . . . It should be quite interesting. . . . . . . I know that we’re for sure going grocery shopping, doing yoga, and perhaps starting some artwork. It’ll be grand. For now, though, I think I’m gonna go find a couple of extra blankets and curl back up. It is, after all, 0530 in the morning!

0748. I’m in PDT, and breakfast was wonderful. I mixed crushed cinnamon cereal with Greek Yogurt and it was SO good. 250 calories for breakfast. . . . . . supposedly a bit low, but it is what it is. We of course did vitals this morning. . . . . . that’s the time of day in which I get to strip and put on an EVER-SO_SEXY hospital gown, get weighed, blood pressure, and temperature. It’s a prelude to breakfast. During this PDT, I caught up with a couple of friends and talked with Julia about a few political situations. She’s warmed up a good bit since I’ve gotten here, and she’s got some wonderful insight, and is great for some good conversation. She here during the nights, from about 10 pm until 9 am. Alex should be arriving shortly, and from there, who knows what’ll be going on?

It’s frigidly cold. Those massively huge picture windows that dot nearly every wall make keeping the temperature in the house regulated difficult. I’ve got fuzzy PJs on, a heavy long-sleeved shirt, and I’m curled up with a big fuzzy blanket. I had to dig a down comforter out of the closet this morning, but I’m SO glad that I did! It’s thick, heavy, and comforting.

1617. We just got back from bowling. It’s been a crazy fast paced, fun day. I worked on an art project all morning, and it’s not anywhere CLOSE to finished. It’s gonna take me awhile 🙂 I’m excited about it, though. I really think it’s going to turn out well. After I worked on my project (which is an inspirational poster on which I was given the FREE FOR ALL), I had lunch, and then Alex and I had a meeting. We talked about family history and ED history, and we talked a bit about empowerment. He said that while ED has a strong voice, I have the academic knowledge, and that I need to weigh ED’s voice with the REAL voice, mine. That if my goal was to end up dead, that I should listen to ED, but otherwise, I needed to fight to allow my voice to be heard.

Melanie, one of the staff, met us at two, and we headed into Carson City for a friendly game of bowling. We met a graduate of Nouvea Vie there, Ashley. There were four of us there, and we laughed, bantered, and egged each other on. I creamed everyone the first game, but my energy quickly dwindled. . . . . . I was creamed the second round, coming in last place. It was fun, nonetheless. Ashley, continuing with her tradition, made me a hemp bracelet with the word “Hope” in it. She’s made one for every girl who has come through, and will continue to do so. It felt like I was kinda being drawn into this group, and that I was finally settling in.

Alex isn’t all that happy with my calorie count today. . . . . . . all said and done, if I don’t add anything to it (which doesn’t seem feasible at this point), it’ll end up at 999 calories. He’d wanted me to eat a Luna Bar, but we didn’t have any here. I’m REALLY having a hard time getting over that 1,000 calorie mark. Even when I think I’m adding a TON of stuff in. . . . . . stuff that I would never DREAM of doing at home, I can’t get there. I’m working on it. 😉

For now, though, I’m gonna go back to my art project.

1909. Dinner was relatively good, and I did end up working the extra 200 calories in that I needed to for today. It isn’t often that people get the privilege of going, “Oh, well, I HAD to have a second piece of pizza!” Ashley gave me her phone number and told me to text or call at any time; that having someone who understood what you were going through here made it SO much easier. I’m just painting and working on my project, hanging with Melanie, and watching The Notebook. I’ll eat a snack in an hour or so, and that’ll wrap up my eating for the day. I’ll probably paint until I head to bed.

Nevada, Day Two

21 03 2010

I’ll be updating this throughout the day.

0846. So it’s my second day here, but the program doesn’t officially start until tomorrow. Yesterday was a long day, full of doubt and fear. All I could see was the calorie count I was supposed to be striving for, and the fact that I’d gained almost 15 pounds since I left for Virginia almost 2 weeks ago. All I could feel was the anxiety, the self-loathing, and the fear. KY (my mentor) tried time and time again to tell me that I needed to take full advantage of this opportunity. . . . . . that I needed to maximize it. Yesterday, I didn’t want to hear it. I wanted to come home. I hadn’t slept Friday night. I was tired, cranky, and irritable, and these people wanted me to eat 3 times my normal amount, and then “relax” afterwards. Rightttttt. At the end of the day, I was still 500 calories short. That was AFTER I’d. . . . . Well. . . . I planned dinner, and then put half of it back. When asked, I’d noted that I didn’t eat it, and then, I ate a Luna bar to make up the difference. That 500 calorie deficit was AFTER the Luna bar (which, by the way, was ABSOLUTELY amazing. Alex (the therapist, and resident comedian) brought me a Chocolate Mint bar, which was just. . . . . Well, it shouldn’t have been health food.).

At that time, I couldn’t see trying to eat any more. I just couldn’t. I can’t imagine working around to meeting that calorie count, and it was KILLING me.

I woke up this morning relatively dissociated, which means that the anxiety is close to none. I’ve got one phrase running through my head. “Tell me I can’t, and I’ll show you I can.”

I made breakfast. . . . . and I had 107 more calories than I did yesterday. Now, that really doesn’t seem like much. . . .  but it’s a step in the right direction. I’m in PDT right now, which is the time after meals (about an hour) during which we get to hang out, relax, and stay in sight. We’re not allowed to move around, which means pacing is out of the question. We have to sit quietly, and allow our food to begin to digest. Today, I’m really not having a problem with it. Yesterday, it was bad. Really bad. Today, though, I’m barely anxious. I can feel the food. . . . . but I’m dissociated enough that anxiety isn’t even a part of it. I’m going to start researching alternate food choices so that my list of “safe foods” can begin to grow. Right now, it’s REALLY limited. I prefer extremely high protein, low carb foods, and, well. . . . . 60% of my diet is supposed to be carbohydrates. That number seems more illogical than any I’ve ever seen, but we’ll see what happens. I did have some fruit this morning. 😀 I feel that is a step in the right direction.

I’m a compulsive calorie counter, and here, that is encouraged. We have to write EVERYTHING down. Calorie count, fat grams, protein grams, and carb grams. We have to write down EXACTLY how much we are planning on eating (before we sit down with it, while preparing it), and then, eat it all. They feel it empowers us, and gives us the control over food. I have freak outy moments when I’ll see a label and go, “OMG I did NOT want to see that.” All in all, though, meal planning is pretty cool. We have some high techy gear here that makes it more fun. It’s a bit difficult right now, because there isn’t much here (and that’s MY doing. . . . my list of safe foods is very limited right now.)

From Inside the Mirror

18 02 2010

From the outside looking in, an eating disorder is an exceptionally mystifying creature. The solution seems simple; just eat. . . . . but the roots dig far, far, far deeper. Come on a journey with me as I discover the feelings, emotions, and behaviors associated with this strange monster, and begin the process of recovery. I’ve been seeking treatment for 6 months, and it was a battle to find anything. Finally, though, the prayers of my friends and family were answered as a center in Nevada agreed to take me for nearly a 90% discount.  Called Nouveau Vie, this center is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

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