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.

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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 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 Eight

27 03 2010

0801. Vitals are over, and so is breakfast. I’m gaining weight. . . . . . . I’m 153 today. Last Sunday, I was 151. I have NO IDEA how I can physically POSSIBLY be gaining weight on 1,200 calories a day, but somehow, someway, I am. It shouldn’t be physically possible. I don’t see where I’m gaining weight. . . . . I don’t feel like I’m gaining weight. . . . My clothes don’t say I’m gaining weight . . . . but numbers don’t lie. I figure it’s just taking time for my system to get used to all of this new food. My blood pressure was 107/68, and my temp 97.9. We actually turned the temperature in the house up, and it’s toasty warm this morning.

Breakfast was hearty and filling. . . . . . ham, egg, and cheese sandwich, toasted, with a bowl of oatmeal. *somewhat queasy* I think I’m going to be full the rest of my natural life. I have so much that I need to be doing. I need to be watching and writing a report on “Dying to be Thin”, painting Stripe Overload, and working through The Anorexia Workbook. Sounds like fun, no? Brittney and I are packing a picnic lunch and going to the park today . . . . There are several beautiful ones close by. My camera is THOROUGHLY unhappy with me, and has determined it will only turn on once a day, and that once a day will NEVER be when I want it to. In any case, yeah, plenty to keep me busy.

The past week has been a relatively good one. The biggest change, I’m going to have to say, has been in how long my anxiety lasts after meals. I’ve also warmed up to the idea of merely accepting thoughts and not acting on them.

1121. This morning, I have done a whole lot of. . . . . . . . .nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have done enough Photoshop to frustrate a saint. No matter how I try to make it come out, it’s just not matching the picture in my head. Glorious. By the end of the day, though, I WILL have an awesomely amazing blog header. Until then, though, my blog can just be. . . . . . . ugh. Ugh. Lunch is in a bit, and then, the park. I will paint today, for real (not just in Photoshop), and I’m going to do laundry. What a glorious Saturday.

1233. I just ate lunch, which was a broiled tortilla with peanut butter. I got to cut out a bunch of not-so-fun stuff out of my meal plan, and we’re going for ice cream in order to make up the difference. How cool is that? I burnt my hand pretty nastily this morning. . . . . . I’d broiled my breakfast sandwich, and I pulled the plate out, and it took me forever to realize how hot it was. I honestly didn’t feel it, or really know until I looked down at my hand. Yeah, I’m feeling it now, though.

I still haven’t worked on any of my projects. I’m reading The Silence of the Lambs, and greatly enjoying it. Soon, though, it’s ice cream and park, and I will enjoy that more.

1504. We just got back from the park, and from our ice cream outing. It was awesomely fun. I got to cut out parts of lunch and dinner, and replace it with ice cream, which is actually very high in protein. 😀 My calorie count ended up lower than before, my fat content lower, and my protein higher. How cool is that??????

The temperature was amazing, the sky clear, and the park refreshing. Now, though, I’m just gonna lay down and take a nap. . . . . I’m tired.

1817. Dinner is long over; I ate around 1630. I had a turkey and cheese roll-up. . . . quite yummy. I’m still reading The Silence of the Lambs, although right now, I’m doing the homework Alex gave me, which is to watch Dying to be Thin and write up a report on it. Karen is the staff member who’s here right now; I’m working in my room so that she doesn’t have to sit through this documentary. I need to work on Stripe Overload, but I don’t know that it’s going to happen tonight. It might; it might not.

1953. I’m signing off for the night. I’m watched Dying to be Thin, and I’ve posted the paper that I turned in to Alex.





Righteous Walk

26 03 2010

Alex and I took a walk with Righteous, his German Shepherd. The normal post for today is beneath this one.








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