Minor Relapse

27 04 2010

Today was not a good day. . . . . . . all in all, I spent half the day crying over a bowl of soup, and my final calorie count ended up being 1240. That’s a far cry from the 1700 I’m supposed to be at, although it was the best I could do today.

The speed with which eating disorder thoughts and habits set in again astound me. Had today not quickly been nipped in the bud by KY, I would have fallen faster and further than I think I ever have.

Caused by a number of what Nouveau Vie’s Dr. Dan calls “messy life stuff”, this minor relapse let me very clearly know that each day is a battle, a fight, and must be approached one day at a time, and that I am FAR from clear. I must be ever vigilant, watchful, and prepared.

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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 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.








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