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.





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.





Meal Planning

26 04 2010

Today has just been one of those really fun frickin’ days. Seriously, it’s been GRAND.

I feel like I’m choking down sawdust. It takes me about a minute to chew, and force myself to swallow, each bite. I am NOT having a good day, food wise. Today is, of course, the day that my calorie count is being upped.

1700 calories. I can barely handle 1500 on a day to day basis, and it’s being upped. It’ll be a challenge. . . . . something new to conquer.

I didn’t have a meal plan done for this morning. . . . . . not that it really would have mattered, since my alarm didn’t go off, and I had no time to think about food, anyways. Thankfully, though, I have these great nutrient shakes to go that have saved my butt more than once. . . . . . . . so breakfast was fine. I scrounged together lunch, and because I’m having such a hard time today, I’ve planned a smoothie for dinner.

The past few days have just been difficult. Flashbacks, dreams, large amounts of change, and those stupid obsessive thoughts that WON’T go away. . . . . . . . . I’m tired, frustrated, and irritable, and I HATE food right now.

But. . . . . . . . what I do know is that this, too, will pass. This is just a stage; one that must be conquered. Ed has caught me at a weak point, and I can feel myself slipping. . . . . . . . but I’m grabbing for any hold that I can.





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, 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 Twelve

31 03 2010


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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








%d bloggers like this: