Extended Update

1 07 2010

So it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted and I feel obligated to provide an update. Not only do I wish to do so for myself, but I also wish to show that struggles are common throughout the process of recovery.

It’s. . . . . . . it’s been a rough month. Food freak-outs are pretty common. Sometimes I eat too much and sometimes I don’t eat enough. I haven’t been purging but the battle is stronger than ever. The thoughts are pervasive, annoying, and constant. After a quick drop of a few pounds, though, my weight has been stable.

I’m having an easier time ignoring the pervasive voices and ED suggestions, but at the same point in time, some days, I just want to embrace my eating disorder with ever fiber of my being. I want to embrace the endorphin high, the sense of control, and the ability to shut the voices up.

I do, however, know that ED is an angel of darkness. While I know that the voices would shut up briefly, in the long run, they would quickly become clamoring and loud. They would make me miserable and sap every bit of self-confidence that I have. I know that the endorphin rush comes and comes strong. . . . . yet brings a crash of depression like nothing else. I know that the initial sense of control quickly fades as ana would grip my brain and body once again, leading eventually into the loathsome cycle of mia.

It’s not worth it. There are days I long for the freedom to do as my mind drives me to do. . . . . . yet I know the temporary pay-off isn’t worth the long-term struggle and pain. I’m weary fighting now, yet if I take 5 steps back, it’ll only be that much harder to regain my footing.

Until we talk again, my friends, know that the only option is to keep on keeping on. One bite, one food, one meal, one day, at a time.

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Group

20 05 2010

I attended a recovery group tonight. I’d been promising to attend for weeks now, and never have. I’d definitely always had my doubts about the program, but I had finally worked myself around to it. The issue, for me, wasn’t the “recovery” part or the “support” part or the “information” part. . . . . It was the “Bible and Christ” centered part.

I was raised “Christian.” We, as a family, went to church every Sunday and Wednesday. We attended church functions are participated in all events. I went to camp of a summer, and attended Christian school. My family had a “church” face. We’d pull into the parking lot, and it’s like a light would switch. They’d bicker and scream and fight and cuss all the way there, but buddy, pull in the parking lot, and I had the perfect, most amazing family on Earth. I was exposed to all denominations of Christians, from the wayyyyyyyyy far left wing to the most fundamental Christians of them all, the Independent Baptists.

I grew cold. I grew distant. I will be the first to announce that my moral and values system is Christian-based, but then, most middle-class, white  American’s is. I do not, however, consider myself “Christian.” I don’t welcome Christianity, on any level. I greatly respect those who hold Christian beliefs. I revel in the joy it brings them. I politely listen, and when I have something to add concerning the Bible or Christianity, I will. Most of the time, though, I just listen.

This recovery group is completely Christ and Bible based. There is not a problem with that. There most definitely is not. I know more people who fall back on their faith in God than who don’t. . . . . and I’m so happy that they’re happy, settled, and at peace.

It’s not for me. It’s not a fit. I don’t mesh, click, or feel comfortable. It was nothing to do with the group; they were nothing but open, inviting, and warm-hearted. We were all asked to share our stance and position on God, and I was openly honest with mine. The group was still just as warm and inviting. It has to do with my unwillingness to accept or be directly involved with Christianity.

In any case, there are a couple other resources close to me; I think I’ll check them out. I may attend this group one more time in order to see if perhaps I was just having an “off” night . . . . *soft shrug*





Feeling

16 04 2010

The past few days have been a reservoir of pent-up emotion and feeling.

Al of my live, people have told me I’m incapable of emotion and of feeling. Called a sociopath and a loner, I embraced the image. Often giving people the impression they were talking to a brick wall, I come across as cold, distant, and impersonal.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m full of more emotion and feeling than most people can uncover in a lifetime. Shoved down into the crevices, cracks, and canyons that make up my very being, the emotion, pain, and feelings I’ve refused to face my entire life are starting to bubble up.

I’ve never felt more raw anger, rage, frustration, and aggression than I have over the past few days. It comes out of nowhere, and then, it sticks around for awhile. I’m not the explosive type. . . . . . . . I’m the quiet, simmering, polite type. Only those closest bear the brunt, and that’s unintentional. They come head to head with the force of my passive aggressive will, and only the strongest attempt to worm around it and through it. The rest give up, back off, and maintain a safe distance. Those who know me know. . . . . . the quieter and calmer I get, the more angry and upset I am.

I don’t think I’ve said 50 words out loud (beyond business phone calls and KY) to anyone in over 3 days.

What I’m coming to realize is that my eating disorder was not “a” tool that I used to re-direct these negative and caustic feelings, but that it was THE tool. When that tool failed me, or something was too potent to be tapped back down into its crevice, I’d turn to self-injury.

Well, I’m proud to say that this Sunday will be ONE HUNDRED days for me self-injury free. There’s not a doubt in my head that I’ll make it, because I refuse to get that close to this big of a number and not blow it out of the water.

I don’t know if this is a normal part of recovery or not, but it is what it is, and I ‘m certainly experiencing it.





Emotion and Food

13 04 2010

As many of us know, our “food issues” begin and end with emotion. On some level, anorexia is often used to provide a focus other than emotional pain and numbness, and bulimia is, as well. When you’re too busy hating yourself and pouring everything you are into your disorder, it’s almost impossible to deal with any other emotion.

Failure at school.

It’s because I’m fat.

Failure at work.

It’s because I’m fat.

Argument with roommate.

It’s because I’m fat.

Death in the family.

It’s because I’m fat.

No matter what, our brain twists everything around so that we can ignore the pain of life and focus on one thing. . . . . . . . . how incredibly fat we are!

The past couple days have been an emotional roller coaster, and I’m not really sure why. I’ve noticed the ED thinking kicking it up a few notches, and I’ve watched that, and then, done my own thing. (Yay for ACT thinking. . . . . . . . or trying, at least.) I’ve done what I’ve needed to do, but it was out of sense of obligation, and, often, to avoid stirring the pot. I know I’ll end up eating, in the end, and so, fighting over it doesn’t accomplish much. . . . . . . . well, it does, but I’m not willing to go there.

I’ve gotten a scale to start tracking my weight, since I’ve increased my activity level a good bit, and KY and I will start fiddling with my calorie count based on that data. I’m worried about it, because I’ve developed kind of a wary working comfortableness with 1500 calories, but it just about kills me to go over that. I guess that’s why I’m “in recovery”, no?

Today, I’ve picked up some kind of stomach virus, and I threw up lunch. . . . . . . . . . and had to eat again. I can’t say that I was thrilled, but I also know why KY did that. . . . . . . . to avoid giving my body and brain an out. It can be so easy to say, “Well, I didn’t purge!” and think that’s the end of it. . . . . . when in all reality, I don’t know the difference between ACTUALLY throwing up, and willing myself to throw up anymore. I’ve hands-free purged for so long that I just don’t have the distinction.

So, while I still feel relatively horrible, I have, at least, eaten lunch, and am heading to get some much needed rest.





Struggles

10 04 2010

This journey continues, and while it’s easier than ever, it’s also harder. How, you may ask, can something be both easier and harder?

Simple. Purging and fasting aren’t options anymore. While I think about purging, it’s not a legitimate out. Check, easier. Fasting isn’t an option either. Not only is there no way to do it, I really don’t want to. My energy levels, clarity of thought, and quality of life are getting better by the day. (I’m learning, though, that 1500 calories doesn’t support my running around and walking habits that I have, which I don’t really understand. Nothing has changed in my activity level between now, and when I was eating 200-500 calories a day, and I never noticed hunger or lack of energy THEN. I came in off a 5 mile walk/hike last night absolutely ravenous and dizzy. That wouldn’t have happened before, and I don’t really understand why it’s happening now, when I’m getting what I need.) So, fasting isn’t any option. Check, easier. Meal planning…… while frustrating, check, easier.

So what’s the hard part? Life. TV. Commercials. Grocery stores. I have this overwhelming drive to cut calories out of my meal plan everywhere I turn. Not only do *I* want to do it, but it’s widely supported. The message from EVERYTHING (people, magazines, recipe books, grocery stores, commercials, meal planning advocates…. EVERYTHING) is that if a lower calorie version exists, USE IT. Use low-fat. Use the 150 calorie version instead of the 200 calorie version. Just swap this brand for that one, and look! You’ve saved 70 calories! You can eat the exact same amount, for less calories. . . . . . . . . so what’s the downfall? (This is the message I see EVERYWHERE.) Before lunch today, I saw that Progresso soup commercial. . . . . . . a lady picks up a variety of Lean Cusine (which was part of my lunch) and comments on how high calorie it was, and then puts it back and turns to a variety of Progresso Light soup, which I know has at LEAST half the calories of the meal I was planning on eating. Those soups were a mainstay of my anxorexic days. . . . . . . . .but now, all the rest of the women in America are being encouraged to trade their full meals for a 140 calorie can of soup. And there she sat, happily eating her soup, and nothing else.

I wanted to eat soup, too. I wanted to eat soup and nothing else. Lunch was hard. . . . . . . . . . but I did eat it. Did I eat what was on my meal plan? No. . . . . . . but I made the calories up in ways that I was more comfortable with.

This whole “calorie cutting” phenomenon is driving me crazy. Why do THEY get to cut calories, and not me? Now, I know the answer to that. . . . . . . . . . they get more than enough, and those extra 200 or 300 they could cut a day could mean the difference between losing weight or not. . . . . but the message is still everywhere that EVERYONE needs to cut any calories that they can.

It’s hard. I’ve ALWAYS had issue eating something if I KNOW a lesser calorie version exists. . . . . . . . . and that is kicking in fast and strong.

I’m starting to lose weight again, too. Now, don’t freak out. . . . . . . . I’ve got weight to lose. I’m not even BORDERLINE unhealthy (my BMI actually borderlines overweight), so it’s ok for me to be losing weight. However, that’s kinda adding fuel to the fire, because I know how much quicker it comes off at say, 100 calories…….. which would be REALLY easy to do with a couple of minor substitutions.

But I won’t. Freedom is worth fighting for. Every time I eat something, my overwhelming thought is the substitution I could make, or the fact that I really would only have to eat half of it. . . . . . . I force myself to finish every bite, though, knowing that I’ve fought too hard to get to this point to give any ground.





Nevada, Day Eighteen

6 04 2010

0741. New day, new start. Vitals are over. . . . . . . . 154.5. BP 107/70, and temp 97.3. Breakfast was a banana/PB smoothie. Today, I know Dr. Dan comes, but beyond that, I’m not sure what’s going on.





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.








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