Monday, August 24, 2009

Eat, Pray, Love

One of my favorite books is a book called Eat, Pray, Love. I bought it a year ago and loved it, and now I am reading it again - it's that inspiring! I am not going to go one and on about how much I love this book or how I "dog-ear" certain pages that mean a lot to me, but instead I am just going to let the book speak for itself. But I will say that it has had a part in changing my life (for the better)! I think everyone should read this least once!

"By the time she turned thirty, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern, educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want— a husband, a house in the country, a successful career. But in-stead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love and the complete eradication of every-thing she ever thought she was supposed to be. To recover from all of this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, left her loved ones behind and undertook a year-long journey around the world, all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Gilbert's aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature, set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well.

In Italy, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life.

India was for the art of devotion, where, with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise Texan, she embarked on four months of austere spiritual exploration.

Finally, in Indonesia, she sought her ultimate goal: balance-namely, how to somehow build a life of equilibrium between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. Looking for these answers on the island of Bali, she became the pupil of an elderly, ninth-generation medicine man and also fell in love in the very best way—unexpectedlyAn intensely articulate, sensible, moving and funny memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment. It is also about the adventures that can transpire when a woman stops trying to live in imitation of society's ideals This is a story certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change."

Friday, August 21, 2009

My (therapy) goals and HOPES for the future!

Here is the list of goals that I am currently working on and seriously hoping to be able to achieve!!

1- After I finish IOP - I am going to continue doing "partial IOP" (meaning still see therapist, dietician weekly, see all my doctors on a regular basis, and take some of the classes that are open to out-patients at CFC.)

2- Look for a full-time job and start working again (or two jobs or whatever I need to be able to pay all of my bills, help pay off some of my medical debts, and save money for school!)

3- Start school again!!! I want so very very very much to start in January...but depending on the finances...summer at the very latest. And yes, I want to go back to fashion school! I feel like I am in a better place now and I feel I would be able to handle triggering or hard situations a lot better than before.

4- I want my social life back! Have fun again! Go out and do recreational things with people! I don't want my eating disorder to keep preventing me from this!

5- I want to start going to church regularly and get more involved in my singles ward. I want to work on regaining my spirituality (because I know it's in there - I just need to find it!)

6- I want to become more independent and believe in myself more and believe that I can do it! "I am strong and able to do things! I am confident in myself and my abilities!" And one way to achieve this is to be able to set healthy boundaries with people...

7- I want to start dating again!! I want to believe that I am worth being loved and cared for by someone.

8- I want to write a book! A memoir, a novel, a book of poetry...maybe all three???

9- I want to continue getting stronger and getting healthier!!!

Wow! That is a lot right?!?!? But I am not going to let myself get overwhelmed. I am going to take it one day at a time, one meal at a time, one hour at a time, one step at a time. I still have a long ways to go recovery wise - but I am getting there, it's just taking me longer than I would like or thought it would..., more like SUPER rough week

It's been a seriously rough week for me. It seems like I have been struggling in pretty much every area of my recovery - sometimes, when it rains it pours!!! But it's okay because I made it through the week and I am determined to pick myself back up and keep on going! It has been really tough to get back on track "behavior wise" and "thinking wise." (which might only make sense to those of you who are struggling too...) But I am taking one step at a time and trying to not get so upset with myself when I continue to make mistakes - recovery is a process! You will have good days and bad days, ups and downs, slips and steps forwards! But despite all of the struggling (and shame and guilt I have felt because of it) I have been able to be honest with my treatment team and admit everything to them. 

One thing that my therapist told me yesterday was "I am not upset that you were keeping things from me, I am upset that you had to obsess about it and feel all this guilt about what you were doing (or not doing) and feeling like you couldn't tell anyone." Wow! I was not expecting that! I was expecting to get lectured or him to get upset about the behaviors, but instead he was more concerned about the effect it was all having on me! I really appreciated that because it did take away some of that guilt and shame I was feeling about the past little bit.

We also talked about how I am still obsessing and comparing myself to everyone else. Not only body wise but I also compare my level of success, happiness, personality, ect. I compare myself to others because I don't feel good enough about myself, I don't feel like I am "enough," I don't like who I am... And I need to stop!!! But it's so hard to stop something that has been so automatic for so long. We did come up with something for me to work on. Even though I can't stop the thoughts from coming in (right now in my recovery) I can stop how I react to them! So that is what I am going to try to work on.

We also talked about my struggles with body distortion. Because one of the things that happened this week was me finding out what my weight was... Yes, it was disaster because that is a huge trigger for me!! Especially because I am on weight restoration and I am always so worried about gaining "too much" weight! Because I feel like I gained way too much weight after being inpatient at NLC where I was forced to gain weight - which is one of the factors that triggered my relapse, not the only one but one of them! And I think that is why this time around it's been even harder for me to gain the necessary amount of weight, because I am doing it on the "outside" Not inside a hospital like before. 

But I know rationally that I need to gain weight to be healthy! There is just another voice screaming in my head (good ol' ed) all of the time telling me not to gain weight...and telling me a crap load of other lies as well! It's a total control thing for me (I can't control "A,B, or C...or D, or E, or........" - but I can control my weight and what I eat or don't eat) and it's scary to let go of that control because it's been my way of coping for sooooooo long... So, I am just having a really hard time accepting that - and it is stalling my recovery, but I am working on it! I am working on it every single day! That's what the recovery process is all about right? Anyways, where was I? I kind of got off track...

Oh yeah! Body distortion is something that I still have a hard time believing is really true! Yes...still!!! I told him that the number couldn't be right because when I look at myself I see someone who is a lot heavier than that number!!! So we did one of those lovely body tests that therapists and dieticians love to do so much. He didn't have a measuring tape or string in his office so we used tape instead. He had me pull off how much I thought was the size of my waist. And then he told me to put it on the floor in a circle and show me what I thought my waist was. I told him that his plan was going to completely backfire because I was so going to get this right! Then when I was satisfied with the size, we cut off the extra part so the tape would be the exact size I thought my waist was. Let me just say, I was pretty dang confident about this! I have done zillions of different "body tests" like this throughout treatment (remember body tracings gals??) Then I put the tape around my waist... I was really really off! I couldn't believe it! We put the tape back down on the floor and arranged it in a circle again but this time it was the true size of my waist - but all I was thinking in my head was "There is no way, that can't be the size of my waist!!!" But then he said, "See - this is just more proof that you are unable to see your body accurately, so stop comparing and stop judging!!!

Anyways, like I said - it has been a rough week "behavior wise" and "thinking wise" because of the above topics but also some that I didn't mention in this post. But, I am on the upswing, and I am working hard to get back on track! Because I want recovery and I want life!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

meeting jenni

When I began my recovery a few years ago, one of the things I received the day I went inpatient was a book called "Life Without Ed". I highlighted in that book, I underlined in that book, I circled parts in that book, I wrote some of my thoughts and feelings in that book - it's pretty much graffiti'd! But in a good way. I have read that book SO many times since then, and have found so much inspiration and comfort from it. So, I was super excited when I found out that Jenni Schaefer would be speaking at the All Day Conference at CFC last Friday! The whole thing was really really good, and there were a lot of great speakers, but I felt very grateful, lucky, and blessed to have the opportunity to meet someone who has touched me so deeply in my own recovery!

She was even nice enough to bring advanced copies of her new book "Goodbye Ed, Hello Me" for us and it doesn't even come out until next month! I really loved listening to her speak because she has such a positive attitude and is such an amazing example to me! And by the way, I am LOVING the book and I hope everyone goes out and buys it!!! 

Monday, August 10, 2009

treatment update

Things have been going well for the most part lately. I have definitely had my ups and downs, but I think I am kind of, sort of coping better with the emotions, feelings, all the yucky things I like to numb away!

The bad news is that I have dropped in weight over the past couple of weeks. I was doing really well for a little over a month with consistent weight gain (it wasn't much but it was still technically "gaining"). So it is a disappointment. I see my dietician tomorrow and I am hoping that I have gained this week. I need some good news in the dietary part of my recovery because I feel like I am not making as much progress as I should be...

Therapy is tough as always, but I think we are really starting to get down to the core of why I developed and have maintained my ed. But as we all know, I hate feeling my feelings with a passion so it is pretty intense!!! But necessary!

I have a lot more I want to write about, but because of time, I need to be going! I will write more later, promise!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

I live for the moments when I feel the HOPE!

Lately, CRAPPY is how I have been feeling - because my e.d. is so freaking loud in my head. And this latest round of treatment has been the most difficult because I have been the most honest and have been working the hardest. And it really takes a lot out of me...
I feel like most days I don't have the energy for anything else.


The days when I feel happy, excited, & hopeful - those days are when I am able to see recovery and I am able to see my life and what it could be without my longtime companion, anorexia. These are the days (though they may not come around as often as I would like) that I feel like all of this blood, sweat, & tears is truly worth it and that I can have a happy and fullfilling life ahead of me, and I don't need to take my e.d. along on the journey anymore!!!
And my hope and my prayer every single day is that the closer I get to recovery - the more of "these days" I will have! I feel so grateful that that glimmer of hope is starting to claw its way through all of these dark clouds that have hung over me. It gives me the motivation I need to be able to continue fighting this demon.