Anxiety

13 10 2010

Anxiety is a really strange monster. It’s intense, overwhelming and all-consuming. No matter what you do, it continues to build. As it’s building, there are frantic attempts to make it stop. Sometimes, this is purging. Sometimes, it’s self-injury. Sometimes, it’s exercising. Sometimes, it’s a drug. Sometimes, it’s music and pacing. Whatever the case may be (outside of purging, which acts as a drug and actual drugs, such as Klonopin or Ativan), nothing is really effective in STOPPING or LOWERING anxiety.

At this point, I expect many of you went “That’s not true! When I do blah blah blah” the anxiety goes away.”

However, consider that point. When you’re pacing/listening to music/rocking back and forth/crying/running/watching a movie, what’s really happening?

Time is passing. Outside of drugs, time is the only things that truly lessens anxiety. It will build, it will reach a peak and then slowly, it will taper off. Here are some things to remember:

  • Anxiety is just a feeling. You don’t have to *do* anything about it.
  • It will go away. It’s impossible to stay at the peak of anything forever. By the very definition, “peak” is a physical or emotional pinnacle. Once it gets as bad as it can get, it’ll get better.
  • Pick safe activities. Remember the key here is TIME. So, while time is passing, pick a safe activity. Play a board game. Watch a funny movie. If it’s allowed by your treatment plan, take a walk with a safe person. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself. ED and Sia have a funny way of worming into your brain when you’re by yourself.
  • Focus on something other than what you feel. Give the dog a bath. Braid your sister’s hair. Focus on your breath. The funny thing about breath is that your thoughts influence your breathing (when you get all worked up, your breath is fast and jerky) but your breath can also influence your thoughts! Calm your breathing consciously and eventually, your thoughts will calm as well.
  • Know that the more you do something, the less anxious it will make you. This is a desensitization process. Facing your fear and winning has a strange way of making anxiety see that there’s no reason for it to hang around.
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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.





Struggling

28 05 2010
Heaven bent to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight
Truth be told I’ve tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear
Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…
We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It’s the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.
I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…
Heaven bent to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I’m lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarassed
Pretend that they don’t see
But it’s one missed step
You’ll slip before you know it
And there doesn’t seem a way to be redeemed
Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…

No, I haven’t relapsed. . . . but I feel as if I’m fighting an uphill, losing battle. Someone very close and dear to me, a man who willingly adopted the “father” role throughout most of my childhood, died tragically and unexpectedly. All desire for food was instantly stricken from me. . . . .Eating is difficult, at best, and feels impossible at worst. I bicker and fight about food, something I haven’t done in a long time. I’ve made the promises to fight. . . . . to stay strong. . . . . and I’m trying, but it seems impossible. I feel as if I’ve been driven to my knees in a world that just keeps spinning.

I purged for the first time in roughly two months the other night. I didn’t binge. . . . but I was eating emotionally. I quickly got back on track the next day; I wanted no part of that demon. I was seeking that numb, foggy feeling that purging brings. . . . . that disconnect from everything around you. . . . and it just didn’t happen.

Since then, I have struggled to eat. I met my calorie count yesterday, but with a lot of consternation along the way. The day before, I wasn’t even close. Today, I’m just struck with the absolutely MASSIVE amount of food that 1700 calories is. It doesn’t make sense; it’s too much.

Four days ago, I believed that this was going to be ok. . . . . that food was coming naturally and easily, most of the time, and it was just going to settle into a lulling rhythm. Now, I don’t know. Nothing feels the way it did, and feels more akin to how it used to.





The Snack Bowl

10 05 2010

So I finally did something today that I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile. I put together a “snack bowl” full of a variety of yummies. Big deal, you may say. . . . . why does that matter? Well, they’re all in individual zip lock baggies, weighed out to the correct portion size with calories, fat, and protein counts on the bag to make meal planning easy. I’ve noticed food is far easier when I don’t have to think about it. 😀 The calories range from 90 to 300, and the snacks from beef jerky, to nuts, to cereal, to pretzels, to trail mix, to popcorn. It’s quite grand, if I must say so myself. Having a readily available bank of pre-measured food makes everything easier in the moment, especially if I’m just not “feeling like it”.

I have my own version of animal therapy here in the form of a older puppy (probably under a year old) that I am pouring my heart and soul into. She brings a ton of joy into my life with her wriggly, happy, bouncy zest for life and learning. I’m currently seeking a home for her; she was a rescue. Any takers?





Recovery Road

6 05 2010

I’m realizing more than ever that this is a long, hard road. I was eating lunch today, standing in the kitchen. Nouveau Vie definitely taught me that it’s easy to eat when you’re DOING something besides just eating. For most people, that’s a bad thing. . . . . they tend to eat whole bags of chips and whatnot. . . . .  but for me, it helps me eat everything I’m supposed to. I was standing there, leaning against the counter, slowly eating a bowl of soup, when a thought crossed my mind.

I was eating. Not only was I eating, but I wasn’t thinking about every bite. For this meal, for this snatch of time, food wasn’t everything.

I was just like. . . . . whoa. That’s not to say that the past few days haven’t been difficult, at all, for they have. . . . but I’m noticing the little changes starting to come about.

I don’t have an overwhelming need to bolt and purge, although I do look forward to the day that I don’t immediately think about puking after I eat. Seriously, that gets old. I don’t understand how normal people just eat and then go about their day. . . . but I hope to join those ranks some day.

I don’t look forward to meals, but I don’t dread them. It’s not like my day is centered around these 3-5 times a day when I have to gag my way through something and feel like I’m choking down sawdust. It’s just food; it’s ok.

My hair isn’t falling out as much. It’s still everywhere; don’t get me wrong. . . . but it doesn’t fall out by the handfuls. It’s also starting to thicken up a bit.

Being dizzy is ODD. It’s something that catches my attention, not a normal state of being. It’s not something that I automatically compensate for when I stand. . . . . if I’m dizzy now, it’s noticeable.

Eating is something that just has to happen. No matter what is really going on, it’s starting to settle in that eating is just something that has to happen. I still forget to eat sometimes, or I feel like I’d rather eat glass than food, but it’s just a normal part of my day.

I’m going to do a post soon on the foods and tools that have helped me the must thus far.





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.





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.








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