Thursday, June 11, 2009

an update

I have been maintaining my weight for the past few weeks. That's good because it means I am not losing any weight, but it's bad because I am supposed to be gaining weight! I was feeling pretty proud of myself for being able to maintain and not lose any weight (especially considering the horrible-ness that has been my life these past few weeks) but apparantly it isn't good (or "enough") to be maintaining when you are at a dangerously low weight...ugh! Do people not realize how incredibly difficult weight gain is for me right now?!?!?

I am struggling a ton. I am not sure what I am going to do, but I need to make a decision soon. I think the plan is I am going to use the severance package my job gave me (which is a pretty decent amount) and get unemployement to help pay my rent and my bills - and take a little time off from working full time so I am able to focus 100 and a billion percent on recovery and getting healthy. The thing I am struggling with the most is deciding whether to do inpatient, or IOP, or continuing the partial IOP that I am doing now. I don't know, and everyone is giving me their opinions (and they are all different, might I add) but my therapist says that it needs to be my decision... I am super stressed because I don't know what the right decision is. And to make things even more stressful, I don't have a lot of money and health insurance to keep trying different things. My parents and I have already paid SO much money for my previous hospital, inpatient, and IOP stays that the money is kinda running out. Damn health insurances! I hate them with all of my heart and soul!!! So that's where I am at the moment.

I am also struggling with the fact that I feel very very despondent and adrift. I feel like life is going on all around me and I am just merely wandering day in and day out, not really here or there. I am struggling with the fact that I am 28 years old, still single, no job, have chronic (and all-consuming) health problems, and not sure what "I want to be when I grow up". I have had dreams and have tried to go after them, but because of my eating disorder - they have all been taken away from me. And as the years go by they have slowly been floating away. I want them back! I am just not sure I have the strength or the energy to fight for them. I am not even sure I know what they are anymore.

This is what I am currently working on with my treatment team:

w/ therapist: Trying to recapture my dreams. Find out what I love and want to do - and use that as motivation to keep fighting for recovery and a reason to get better. Work on not putting so many expectations on myself. Continuing to learn to "let go" of my past and being able to forgive myself. And making a decision about what level of treatment I am going to do (meaning IP, IOP, ect.)

w/dietician: I need to try my hardest to follow my meal plan and eat everything on it! I need to start gaining weight consistently. We are also working on body image and daily affirmations I need to be saying out loud to myself every day. I have them posted all over my room.

w/ doctor: I need to continue to eat and get my weight stabilized, keep working on trying to get my potassium levels stable, make sure I drink enough fluids to keep electrolytes and everything stable, and stay out of the e.r!

But... even though things are kinda super horrible right now. I am not giving up, I am not going to throw in the towel, I am not going to just lay down and die - I want my life back and I want so desperately to believe that I CAN have it back! That is the prayer that is in my heart all of the time, that someday this will all be behind me and I will truly be happy and be able to enjoy life again.


  1. I am new to your blog, and i find it so well written and just, well, wonderful. I am 30 and have struggled in a similar way; it is hard but, listen, don't let the number (age) worry you. You have time and you are beautiful and so strong. From an internet stranger reading your words - i know you can do seem like such a brave soul.

  2. Jenn,
    That is my prayer too! It has been for a long time. I miss the Jenn who was so excited to write songs and does such a beautiful way of expressing yourself through words--- your blog is a great example of that. I love how you emphasize certain words in colors and size--- it helps me to know more of what you mean! We are praying for you--- I know your dreams are there, just deep down. Keep working you will find them! We love you!!!

  3. Hey gal!

    It's so nice to see an updated post. I love reading your blog! You are such an amazing, talented and beautiful gal!

    Okay, so I have sooo many things I want to say; I just don't know where to start.. So I guess I will just start typing and see what comes out :).

    First, I am so, genuinely sorry to hear that you are struggling so much. I know what it's like to feel sooo lost in this life- not knowing what your life purpose is and where you are suppose to go from here. It is painful to feel so scared and unsure. But... Behind all the disaster, there is beauty to be found-I'm sure of it!

    While it may suck hardcore to be out of work; look at it as a blessing from God, that you are getting some much needed time off to focus on your recovery. You deserve this time off to focus on getting healthy and establishing what it is that you want to do with your life.

    Next, and in regards to your age; trust me- you still have PLENTY of time on your side to find what it is that is going to make YOU happy in this life, in addition to figuring out what you want to do "when you grow up."

    Just remember, that no matter what, you can get through this crappy time in your life. For example (I thrive on examples, what can I say :)!)... Six years ago this August, I was taken, sexually assaulted and then dropped back off to my office. It was HELL! I thought that it was the end of my world. I thought I would never survive it. I was in sooo much pain mentally and emotionally....

    A few days later, when I finally mustered up the courage, I went to the police (with the support of my family). From there, my attacker was arrested, only to make bail a few days later.

    A few months after the attack, and just as the court case was about to start- the detective working on the case called me at work, and told me that I needed to quit my job as soon as possible, because my attacker (who knew where I worked) could possibly come after me at work. So... Without having another job to go to... I quit my job. I was scared and horrified. I wondered how I was going to pay my bills and survive. And of course, my ED symptoms grew out of control!

    During the whole situation, and while working on trying to find another job, I kept thinking that I would never survive life. I litterally thought it was the end of me. But then.... Things actually got better. Eventually I found a new job, survived the court case (which luckily my attacker plead guilty to all charges against him)... Etc.

    I think that the only way I got through all of it, was realizing that there were people in my life who wanted to be there for me; who wanted to support me. And although it is often hard for me to lean on another person, it was so helpful to know that I had my family and friends who were willing to be there for me.

    You should use this time of hardship and pain- and lean on other people. Ask for help, because I know that people would love to help and be there for you.

    I am not sure if you have thought about it; but you could even turn to your religious leader (if you are comfortable with the idea) and ask for some spiritual help (a blessing) as well as possibly some help with some of your medical / treatment bills until you can get healthier and can get back on your feet. Just an idea, of course.

    Anyhow... I think that my point to all of this rambling, is that I believe in your ability to fight this battle. As painful as this moment may seem, look towards other times in your life that seemed horrible, and that you thought that you would survive, and realize that YOU DID GET THROUGHT THOSE OTHER HARD TIMES, and that you CAN GET THROUGH THIS TOO!

    Love ya!

    Can't wait to hang-out with you and Amelia on Wednesday!

  4. Hey hun,

    I completely get the age thing too, I'm also 28... I have dreams, but no way to get to them or achieve them... life seems neverending most days, but there are glimpses. You are already fighting like hell, so you've already proven you can do this.

    Be encouraged! Keep going, you can do it!!!

    Oh my suggestion (which is completely able to be dismissed) re IP, IOP etc... make the best decision you can with the information you have at the time (finance, time, treatment teams, your knowledge of you and what absolutely helpd and what absolutely doesn't help), think about who you really trust to have YOUR best interests at heart (not just deciding based on what "someone else did") and don't regret yr decision. You just don't know what the other side would've been like!!!

    TElly xo

  5. Whether you were dealing with ED or not, you would have missed dreams, try not to get too caught up in making yourself guilty over that, it was not your choice, it was something to help you.

    You ARE doing amazing! Maintaining is SO good and I'm so proud, Jenn! I know how hard it is to do that, and then all you hear is "well, you have to eat more." UGH! You are doing so well, and try not to think about eating more, you are just doing homework. Though I know it's never that easy, is it?!