Saturday, May 30, 2009

A girl in a state of complete shock.

I guess the biggest question I have right now is "why is life kicking me when i am already down on the freaking ground!" I am trying not to fall apart, I am trying not to be angry, I am trying not to throw my hands up in the air and say "I'm done! No more! You win whoever (or whatever) is trying to destroy me!!" But I don't know what else to do right now. 
I was laid off from my job last Thursday. I was completely blindsided by this. I thought that my position was one in the company that was safe from the effects of the crappy economy...but I was wrong. They had to lay off 10 people from my office, and unfortunately, my position was one of them. My parents have been really supportive these past few days. And I thank them from the bottom of my heart for that because I know their love and support is what's helping me attempt to think "rationally" and not completely fall into my eating disorder. Because that is the only thing I want to do right now. I haven't told anyone else, until now, because I am afraid of crying, of falling apart... but I KNOW that I need to let people in and I need to let people help me. I am just not very good at asking for help. I don't like to seem weak or needy or helpless...

I am scared for me, for my health and mental state, and for my future. Because I am not dealing with this well. But I am trying to take it one day at a time, and trying to lean on the support and love of family and friends - because right now that it all I can do. 


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Let yourself never wander too far from that which you love (people, places, & things); it is your source of strength."

Friday, May 22, 2009

The H.O.W. of Recovery (beating ana - part 2)

An eating disorder places a curiously strong yet invisible barrier between you and your life. In the Alcoholics Anonymous tradition, it is said that there are three key ingredients you must cultivate in order to do this. These three things are the "H.O.W." of recovery. They are, in this order: 

1- Honesty: objectively looking at your life and seeing what is broken and who can fix it.
2- Openness: being open to believing that the way life has been doesn't dictate the future.
3- Willingness: the "I will do whatever it takes" attitude that sustained recovery requires.

We take action when we have the honesty to admit that things are still broken, despite our best efforts otherwise. We take action when we hold ourselves continually open to new techniques, remaining resolutely receptive to new sources of support and new feeds of information. We take action when we are willing, in each new moment, to try again. 

H.O.W. are you going to overcome your eating disorder?For this assignment, write about these three elements, asking yourself whether or not you feel that you have each quality and have it in sufficient measure to commit to healing and to your own life.

1- Honesty: This is a really tough one for me. But it is something that I am continually trying to work on. So, I need to be honest about my life - what is broken - and who can fix it... 
I realize that my life is spiraling and unmanageable and not even close to where I want it to be, but I guess the problem is that I am not even sure where I want it to be really. I have lived with this distorted and deceiving illness for so long that it has left me confused and unprepared for life.
The thing that is broken is ME

And finally, who can fix it is me along with lots of help, protection, guidance, & the trust of my treatment team. I KNOW that I need more intensive treatment, right now, than I am getting. How do I know this? Because if I am being honest with myself (and listening to everyone around me) - I can see that I am sliding backwards, and I have been for a while, at a rapid pace. I can deny this all I want - but until I am able to be honest about it, things are only going to get worse, not better! 

2- Openness: I need to be open to believe that the way my life has been -  doesn't have to be my life in the future. I really want to believe this! And I guess this exercise is telling me that I don't necessarily have to believe that right now, I just have to be open to the idea, until I am able to really believe it. I want to believe that my life is so much more than my eating disorder and my past - but it's difficult (seemingly impossible) for me to believe right now... but I will work on trying to be more open to this. Because I need to believe that I am more than my eating disorder!!

3- Willingness: is the "I will do whatever it takes" attitude that sustained recovery requires. This one is tough, because I feel like sometimes I have it and sometimes I don't. It's hard to have this attitude when you are really struggling and easier to have this attitude when things are going better. But I guess that is the challenge here, to try and have this attitude all the time (or as much as you can) especially when you are feeling the hopelessness, exhaustion, and beaten down feelings e.d. can consume you with.
To sum this assignment looks like I have a lot to work on, but I feel that it was helpful to think about these things and where I feel I am at in each of these categories. I wrote them all down on an index card that I am going to carry with me and read and think about often.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

please, body, don't give up on me!

I have been feeling kinda, sorta okay this past week physically. But last night was really tough for me. I had been feeling bloated and my knees and ankles and muscles were hurting more than usual. It progressively got worse as the day went on (and it didn't help that I had been running around all day for work). Well, when I got home and changed into shorts and a t-shirt, I could see my ankles were SO swollen, and so were my legs and knees! WTF??? So, of course, it concerned me because I was swollen and in a lot of pain - but I elevated my legs and stayed the way the whole evening and night.

When I woke up this morning, the swelling and pain had subsided quite a bit. And now it's back to the "regular" level of bloating, water retention, and pain I have everyday. sum up this lovely story, I am just assuming that I was retaining a ton of water in my body for some reason (especially my legs and feet) and thankfully, it didn't last long this time around. It's just frustrating because my body is always giving me so much freaking anxiety! I know I have brought this all upon myself because I haven't treated my body with respect at all for years and years, but I am trying to now, and I just hope and pray that it is not too late for me to repair this broken and fragile body of mine...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

you can't always take yourself too seriously...

The First Step (beating ana - part 1)

I admit that I am powerless over my eating disorder & my life has become unmanageable.

We can only go so long dragging our heels about regaining our self respect. Eventually we could rather lie down and die than live another day without it - that is how exhausting it is to keep up our own brave face to the face we see reflected back to us in the mirror.

You need your energy for worthier battles. You have the fight of a lifetime on your hands - conserve, conserve, conserve. It has probably not escaped your attention that within the First Step statement lies the loaded cannon of the word powerless. Do not let your eating disorder take this word, and your hand, and run away to dangerous places. Remind yourself that, in the word powerless, also resides the word power.

When your mind is tempted to believe that powerless is all you have ever been, are now, or ever will be, instead affirm for yourself these or similar words:
I am only powerless when I refuse to acknowledge the power that my eating disorder has over me. Once I do this, I gain access to an inexhaustible source or strength and power. In completing my First Step, I receive the strength to ask for and accept help. I enter into the well-populated world of those striving with all their might for recovery and realize that I am not alone anymore! By walking willingly into a place where so many courageous warriors dwell, I become strong enough to acknowledge that I too have something that I struggle with, something that I cannot overcome by remaining alone in my eating disorder's presence. Now that I have accepted the role of student of the art and discipline of recovery, I access the potential to someday be a master in my own right!

Throughout my recovery, admitting that I am powerless and I can't fight my ED on my own, has been a very difficult thing for me to accept. I struggle with admitting that I am weak or out of control. I think I have always known, deep down inside, that this is a cold hard fact - but have been too scared, overwhelmed, guilty to admit it. But I know that I will not be able to truly progress and move forward in my recovery and in my life until I am able to honestly and whole-heartily admit this to others and to myself. Two and a half years ago, I was admitted as an inpatient, and I was forced to admit and accept that I had a problem that would kill me if I did not get help. But ever since then and throughout my recovery, I have really just been going through the motions of recovery, relapsing, going through the motions of recovery, relapsing, ect. It's been a vicious cycle and ever time I have relapsed I have felt more and more hopeless about the possibility of me, Jenn, being able to really and truly recover. The past couple of weeks have been very difficult for me emotionally. I have felt severe hopelessness, depression, anxiety... But thankfully, it woke me up and has forced me to admit that if I don't focus every part of me on recovery - I am going to die, and soon!
So, even though I am still very fragile physically and emotionally, and I feel like I can't do much - the best place to start is with the First Step.

Monday, May 18, 2009

over the weekend...

I am feeling a bit more positive today...which is a really good thing! A few people have asked me what landed me in the hospital for the second time in less than two weeks, and it was from hypokalemia (very low potassium), severe dehydration, and an anxiety attack. No fun, I know - but it got me to realize that I need to put my recovery first and stop trying to be perfect and trying to please everyone around me. It's easier said than done, but I am willing to work on it because...well... I deserve it?? I don't really believe that I deserve it yet, but hopefully I will soon.

Here is a recap of the weekend:

Friday: worked half a day, had an appointment with my doctor and the cardiologist, then came home and slept.

Saturday: slept, slept, slept (oh yeah, and ate!)

Sunday: went to church, had dinner (and a good honest talk) with my parents, got to see my two adorable nieces!!! They can always put a smile on my face. :)

Then it is today. I am back at work, but it has been a pretty chill day...not too stressful thank goodness! I had an appointment this morning at St. Mark's Hospital to get a DEXA scan. The last one I had was two years ago, so I am hoping and praying that it hasn't gotten worse... Then I am off to meet with my therapist & dietician later this afternoon. We are going to talk about inpatient/IOP. But it's hard for me to agree to that because it's like "been there, done is this time going to be any different?" But I guess that is something I can bring up today.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm running on empty...

Can you hit rock bottom, and just keep bouncing and hitting the freaking ground over and over and over...? YES! You can, because I am proof of that. In my journey through this illness and my attempts to recover, I never EVER just "hit rock bottom" and am done with it, I keep hitting it and hitting it and hitting it! And it hurts every single time! I am tired of hitting the ground, I can't keep doing it emotionally or physically...but I don't know what else to do.

I am back at work today, despite the fact that I went to the emergency room again yesterday and was there all night. I am exhausted! My body hurts and is tired, my mind is tired, I really should go home and sleep, but I have too much to do at work. Hopefully after work, I can go home, crawl into bed, and just sleep (until tomorrow when I have to get up and survive another day). That's what I am doing, I am NOT living - I am struggling to just survive each day. And that is no way to live! Maybe, I am just trying to hold off the inevitable (of going back in as an inpatient) but I REALLY need to do this on my own. I don't want to go back inpatient, I can't afford to go back inpatient...but maybe, honestly & truly that it what I need right now, because I can't seem to do it on my own.

I will write more later, I am just SO tired right now, and I have to get back to work. I love you all so much! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

response to previous post

Thanks so much everyone, really & truly.

I feel really bad when I feel like I am worrying people but... one reason I started this blog was so I had an outlet, a way for me to be able to be honest with myself and with others.

But I DO feel the love and support from everyone, and it truly means so much to me! I don't want people to worry because I am NOT giving up!

No matter how far down I fall, I will NEVER EVER give up!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the honest truth

I met with my therapist and dietician yesterday.
I lost more weight...
They are more than concerned and pretty upset...
They have already been trying to get me admitted as an inpatient...
I am on the verge of being medically unstable thus, forcing me to be admitted...
I feel completely discouraged and defeated...
I am in physical pain...
I am in emotional pain...
I try to "fake it till I make it" but you can only do that for so long before you collapse...
I am confused...
I don't know why I can't let go of all of this...
I feel like anorexia is suffocating me...


Somehow, someway I need to keep fighting...
I need to find that girl inside who believes in recovery...
That girl who believes there is a better life out there waiting for me...
I need to get angry...
I need to forgive myself...
I need to let go of all the guilt I hold inside of me...
I need to freaking eat!
I need to not let anorexia win.

Monday, May 11, 2009

food, fear, & me

I am feeling especially overwhelmed and nervous this week. Because there are a lot of social things/work things that are centered around meals this week. And we all know that I don't do well with those kinds of things : (

On Wednesday at work we have our Spring Social that is going to be during the lunch hour that is going to have a ton of food.

On Thursday at work we have a special guest speaker coming, and we are going to have pizza, cookies, soda, ect.

On Friday there is a Luau for my singles ward and there is going to be a dinner.

I want to be normal, I want to enjoy the company and the food, I want to not let it stop me from being social!!! I hate how food isolates me and prevents me from going out and having fun. I hate it, but at the same time - when I try to face my fears and do these things, it's like the fear paralyzes me and I emotionally retreat back into my e.d. mind set. I want to go and have fun and eat like a normal person - and not just eat my "safe foods".

I am going to talk to my treatment team about it today in my sessions, and hopefully they can help me figure some stuff out... And if any of you have any advice - please, PLEASE I could sure use it!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Denial Interrupted

"Sometimes, you live in a state of denial in an attempt to protect yourself from the truth or from reality. You know you aren't doing well, in fact you are doing horrible, but it's too overwhelming or too frightening to allow yourself to see the whole truth. So you live in that state of denial, where things "really aren't that bad..."
Well, any bit of denial I was living in was completely shattered over the weekend. I went to my doctor's appointment on Friday. The nurse got my weight and my vitals, then an EKG. The next thing I know, my doctor came in the room and said "You've lost more weight, and your EKG is very abnormal. I called the paramedics and they are on their way to take you to the emergency room." Wait... WHAT!?!? I tried to talk to her and convince her that I was fine, but she just told me that she was extremely concerned and had no other choice. 

So they loaded me into the ambulance, put an IV in my arm, hooked me up to another EKG machine, put a blood pressure cuff on my arm, oxygen tubes in my nose, ect. The paramedics start asking me all these questions, but I am so confused because everything is happening so fast.... so I have a hard time answering the questions. I have been feeling lightheaded all of the time and have had trouble breathing and if I walked around too much I would feel like collapsing - but this is something that has been going on for weeks... and anyways, I tend to be really good at ignoring or minimizing stuff like this since it happens to frequently in my life (depending on how I am doing with the illness) and I hate to say this but sometimes, I am even used to things kinds of symptoms...

We get to the emergency room, and the nurse comes in with MORE questions, and MORE wires and tubes and needles and IV's. I don't know what is going on... "It's NOT that bad!" I keep saying over and over. Why won't anyone listen to me? I am thinking to myself. Then the doctor comes in, and the questions continue. They take another EKG at the hospital and this one comes out abnormal as well. I tell them that my potassium has been low for the past month or so and it's probably because of that. The doctor says, "Yes, and the fact that you are severely underweight." She is not a very sympathetic doctor (I can already tell)

Then I am left alone for about an hour, while the doctor waits for the blood tests, and tries to get a hold of the cardiologist. Then the radiologist comes in and wheels me out to get x-rays of my chest. She takes me back into my room and I lay in the quiet room for a few hours. The nurse keeps coming in to ask if I want something to eat or drink. I think, I should probably say yes, but I am too overwhelmed and anxious to eat anything. But I can tell that she really wants me to eat something, so I finally agree. She goes and gets me some graham crackers and a diet soda, and nervously waits for me to start eating.

As I am laying in the hospital bed, hooked up to IV's and machines, that's when reality hits me. I am killing myself! I am NOT okay! I can try to deny the severity of my condition all I want, but underneath all of that denial is the truth - and if I don't allow myself to see it, I am only allowing my ed to smother me further and further into the ground.

The nurse comes back in a couple hours later, and asks if she can get me some dinner. I haven't had anything but the crackers and diet soda all day, so I think that maybe I better try to eat something, even though it's the last thing I want to do. She brings me some chicken, rice, and veggies which I attempt to eat - but struggle through...

The doctor comes in and sits by me. She wants to "talk". She says that she is really concerned about my health and my mental state, because my body is not the only thing that is is my mind. She really said that to me! Gee, thanks doc... She told me that she thinks it would be in my best interest if I was transferred and admitted up to the eating disorder unit at UNI. But I told her that wasn't an option for me. And so this begins a long drawn out attempt by her and a crisis counselor to try to convince me to be admitted. But in the end, they knew they couldn't force me to go so they had no choice but to discharge me.

The verdict... abnormal EKG due to hypokalemia (extremely low potassium) and anorexia. It was a 2.7 (it's supposed to be 3.5). So, today I have to call and make an appointment with the cardiologist to have him check my heart to make sure it's not anything else. And she doubled up my prescription of my potassium supplement. And of course, following up with my doctor in a week to check my potassium.

And then, on Saturday...there was an incident with Seroquel...but I am just going to leave it at that.