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 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 Five

24 03 2010

0659. I slept fitfully last night. I don’t think I moved until  0100, but then, I couldn’t stay asleep. I had nightmare, after nightmare, after nightmare. I finally decided to move and give up trying around 0630. It really bites, too, because Julia was going to let me sleep in today, because of how tired I was last night.

Today, I have yoga, art therapy, and a meeting with Alex. Other than that, I’m not sure about today. I have a TON of stuff to be working on. . . . . . . . so I’m sure that will keep me quite occupied! I’ve got my Stripe Overload (which is what I’ve decided to call it) project, the homework Dr. Dan left me with, and I’ll be starting a new project today. It’s about time to get up, get moving, and get going! Vitals, of course, and then breakfast. I’m supposed to have 3 Tbsp of peanut butter with breakfast. . . . . . . and I’m having a REALLY hard time justifying 300 calories in 3 tablespoons. That is FAR too condensed. . . . . . . it’s not ok. I don’t know what I was thinking during meal planning.

I’m loosing weight. I can feel it. My hip bones are making a slight appearance again, and my clothes are fitting bigger. I know why it’s happening; I’m not binging. Everytime I stop binging, I start to loose weight, and quickly. I can’t believe I’m loosely weight eating 2-3 times what I usually do, but it’s happening. The oddest thing? I can FEEL the weight loss. . . . . . Feel the tips of my hipbones, feel my ribs, and notice my pants settling lower around my hips, but I still can’t frickin’ SEE it. Why do I view m y body through a distorted mirror, and what made it happen? I know, I know. . . . . . . dsymorphia. . . . . but WHY? How the HECK does this disease get ahold of my eyes so horribly?

Anyway. . . . . . . time to get this day started.
0746. I ate (drank) breakfast, and it was SO GOOD. Like. . . . . . . absolutely AMAZING! It was so perfectly balanced with the taste and the texture, and just. . . . . YUM. I’d never made a PB smoothie before, but daggone, I think I’ll be having more of those! I’m in PDT now, and working on the homework that Dr. Dan gave me. I have to do several ED assessments, and find a person close to me, who knows me well, to send a couple assessments to, as well. He also gave me some reading material, and told me to begin working through The Anorexia Workbook. That book is centered on Acceptance/Commitment Therapy, which basically says that bad thoughts will ALWAYS come, but we must learn to accept them, and commit to what we know is right. I’ll get a shower after PDT is over, and then, I believe we have yoga. 😀
1219. Whoa, it’s been a jam-packed morning! Christina came, and we did do yoga. I’ve never done breathing-focused yoga. . . . . . . I’ve always used yoga to improve flexibility, not really to slow and focus on breathing. So, my flexibility was great, but I definitely had more to learn. We moved directly into art therapy after that. Christina is, like everyone here, very nice, understanding, and fun. We do Yoga here because it improves the mind-body connection, and it allows one to observe their body without judgement. We moved directly into art therapy. After connecting with our body during Yoga, art therapy would allow us to connect with our emotions without judging those.

Christina asked me to draw a picture of the deepest, darkest place I’d been, and where I wanted to end up. I just started in, and ended up with this person standing in the midst of a thunderstorm, being struck by lightening, lashing rain, etc etc etc, in a puddle of blood……. since it seems that ED leeches one’s lifeblood. The person was also covered in cuts, since at my darkest ED place, I was self-injuring the heaviest, and ED cuts to the bone. Then, on the other half of the paper, I drew a meadow with a brightly shining sun, bright green grass, bright blue sky, and a clear, straight path fading into the background. There were dark, menacing mountains in the background, but the path through them was clear. They’re there, but it’s an easy journey through them.

After art therapy, I made lunch. I had whole-wheat rotini, marina sauce, and toast. I’m full, but it was really good. I don’t have much to do this afternoon except for finishing up my project and doing all of Dr. Dan’s homework. He wanted me to complete some ED assessments (which I’m finished with already) and start working through the ACT book. Maggie is here now, and she’ll be here until 10. It’s gonna be grand. 🙂 We’re going to see a movie, but I don’t think we’ve decided on which one, yet.
1419. I’ve spent the afternoon sitting on the deck, absorbing the warm sun bearing down, the sight of the mountains in the distance, and the beautiful sounds of the birds singing their songs. It’s a clear sign that spring is here. Everything is a little drab and dull with the scenery right now, but there is happiness and warmth all around, no matter how it appears. The colors in the evergreens are bright, and the mountains stand tall, strong, and proud. They’re still covered in snow, and they’re sending a gentle breeze down to gently flow through the valley. Far from the windstorms that can happen out here, this is very pleasant and calming. I’ve been working through my Anorexia Workbook. There are some AMAZING concepts and lessons in here (even as little as I am into it. . . . . . . I’m only in chapter 5. . . . .) that I would have NEVER thought of. This book uses ACT (Acceptance/Committment Therapy) in order to provide an entirely new way of thinking to recovering anorexics. It offers an example of what anorexia can be like: Two teams, anorexia on the left, and oneself on the right, get up every morning and immediately begin a daily tug-o-war. Anorexia is shouting “You’re fat! You need to starve! You’re disgusting! You must be in control!” and the voice of logic is shouting, “I need to eat more! I need to be healthy! I don’t look THAT bad!” The constantly struggle and strain wears EVERYONE out, and it always ends up with Ana winning, because she’s so much stronger than self.  However, what if, one morning, the SELF team got up, picked up the rope, let Ana start pulling, and then DROPPED THE ROPE. Ana could shout and rage and yell, but there was no one pulling back! There was no struggle.

The thoughts that Ana was providing were ALLOWED to be there. They’re going to be there anyways, according to this book, and the harder you try NOT to think them, the more they’re going to occur. The task, though, is to learn to ACCEPT them, but not ACT on them. Through several scientific studies, the authors of this book have discovered that the confidence to do something will never come until you actually DO it. Change your behavior, and you’ll change the thoughts.
1748. Outside of dinner, I’ve been painting and playing games with Karen. She’s the staff member that I went on a walk through the cemetery with. There’s a whole lot of local history in that cemetery, and some big Nevada names. I’ve really been painting for most of that time, and talking, but spent about 15 minutes playing a games called “Legs”. It’s a word game that is pretty fun. . . . .  Each person alternates picking a letter, and you have two minutes to write down every thing that comes to mind that has legs that begins with that letter. It’s a fun, out-of-the-box thinking game. If each person wrote it down, then you cross it off the list. Unique ones get points. Person with the most points wins!

Dinner was salmon and green beans. . . . . .  . I had a major freak-out because two nutritional sources varied on the amount of salmon equaling what amount of calories. I flat refused to eat it unless Alex let me take the SMALLEST amount and list it for the highest calorie listing, just to be safe. In the process of cooking the salmon, the grill shut on my on hand. . . . . I didn’t feel the burn, but I can see it. It’s very minor, but it was startling nonetheless.

Now, Maggie and I are trying to see what’s showing, movie-wise, in town tonight. We’d both like to get out of the house for awhile. 🙂 I’m continuing to paint stripes, and will probably be doing so until the day I die.
2139. I have the finals of my project laid out, and it should be finished with about 5 more hours of work . . . . . . NO I’m not exaggerating. Maggie and I went to Carson City to see Bounty Hunter, and while it was VERY funny, the end was a bit unsatisfying. I won’t give any of the details away, but I’d recommend it for a good laugh, which anyone can use. We also saw the previews for a movie we’ve already set up a date for, and it’s called Date Night. It looks hysterically funny, and it actually premiers on April 20th.

I’m on the edge of an anxiety attack. I can feel the feeling building in my belly, in my gut, through my body. . . . . . . . All I can think about is candy, pizza, crackers, chips, cereal, bread. . . . . . anything and everything. . . . . . . That whole “thinking but not acting” thing? Yeah. . . . . . . . . didn’t act, but now it’s consuming me. I had the chance to get a bunch of candy and whatnot, but forced myself to move on. . . .  .

The drive to binge is overpowering right now.

2302. The wind is incredibly unsettling. The anxiety is starting to slip a bit, which is welcome. I might actually get some sleep after all. The drive is. . . . . . . . well, it’s not getting any less; we’ll just put it that way. I know that if I can get some sleep, the morning will be SO much better. I often get bingy when I’m sleep deprived, and I most definitely am. I’m not going to move; I’m just going to turn over and go to sleep. The new staff member, Selina, is having a bit of a rough night. She’s very nervous about the size of the house, it being her first night, and feeling a bit out of her element. I told her it would come quickly, and that it wasn’t particularly hard. I’ll be the first to admit, though, that the wind probably isn’t doing ANYTHING to ease her fears. I’ve heard it gets SO MUCH worse, but right now, it sounds as if it’s trying to shake the house apart.





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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