Friday, April 30, 2010

A special place in my heart

(The lucky seven in this story - I sure had my hands full!)

Yesterday I got up early and got over to my older sister's house by 6:30 in the morning. Keep in mind, I am so not a morning person and therefore, was still half-asleep! She needed me to tend the kids while her and my brother-in-law had somewhere they needed to be all morning. I try and help out and babysit when I can, but it's unusual for me to have all seven kids at the same time. Honestly, I think my sister is amazing because these kids have so much energy and they wear me out after only spending a few hours with them! My sister is an inspiration to me! All three of my sisters and my sister-in-law all are actually!!
Shortly after I got there, the kids started to wake up. The oldest, Arianna, is twelve. I drove her to middle school while Timmy, the 11 year old, watched the other kids. I got back and helped the others get breakfast, get ready for school, and changed diapers. Well, truth be told, I bribed the two oldest to change the diapers for me because this girl is not a fan of changing diapers!

Then Timmy, Gracie, & Chrissy left for school. I played with the younger three for another hour and then at 9 a.m. little Sammy went off to pre-school (someone came to pick him up). So I just had Derek and Zachy for the rest of the morning. It was more calm when I just had the younger two. It can sure be overwhelming with all the kids because they all have so much energy so early in the morning! Geez Louise! But I love them so much!

It's hard to be the only one out of the five of us siblings not married (I am the middle child). And I do worry so much that I might not even be able to get pregnant because of all the damage I have done to my body - and it doesn't help that through most of my teen years and my 20's I haven't had a period....... but I do hope to get married and be a mom. It's something that has been so important to me since I was a little girl. I know 29 years old is still kind of, sort of young - but not when you live in a state (Utah) where most people get married and start having babies in their early 20's.

I love my nieces and nephews so much! I love when I come over and they run up to me and give me big hugs and say "Aunt Jenny's here!" I love when they come and sit on my lap when we are watching a movie. I love when they call me on the phone or when they want me to play with them. I love all the hugs and kisses they give me and when they tell me they love me.

The love of a child is so special because they love you no matter what! It's such an unconditional love and they don't care that I make mistakes or that I am not perfect. They love me regardless. And I want so much to be a good role model for them! All of them, but especially the girls. I don't want them to live with any of the struggles that my illness has brought in to my life. I want to protect them from those things. I want so much more for them! And I miss the two little guys who live in another state because I don't get to see them as often as the others. But my love for them is just as strong! They are pretty special little guys with two amazing parents!
I love all eleven of my nieces and nephews. And this post is dedicated to every single one of them (Arianna, Timmy, Chrissy, Gracie, Sammy, Derek, Zach, Kaitlynn, Halle, Preston, & Parker) with lots & lots of hugs and kisses from their Aunt Jenny.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I wish I wasn't so fragile and breakable

I wish I could run wild, barefoot, and free

I wish I trusted myself

I wish someone adored me

I wish I felt beautiful

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I need to love me before anyone else can

Lately, I have been feeling more lonely than usual.
I have been isolating more.
I am scared to let people into my life - especially lately.
I hold people at a distance
because I am scared of them seeing the "real me."
But who is the "real me?"
I don't even know who that person is.
And if I can't love me and accept me for who I am,
How can other people?
I hide behind the ED because it's safe.
I hide behind the ED because it's familiar.
But in that hiding - is a very lonely place.
Sometimes, I am good at putting on my mask and pretending like
I am okay.
But lately, I have felt so beaten down by the ED
I am trying to fight. I am trying to save my life.
But it feels like a never-ending battle and I am barely hanging on to the rope.

Maybe, if I can let people back into my world,
I can let them help me.
But do they deserve that? Do they deserve the burden of the ED also?
I don't think that is fair to them.
This is my illness - not theirs.
They didn't ask for a daughter, a sister, a friend, a coworker, a roommate who is struggling so much with an illness that is so hard for them to understand.

I wish it was as simple as "just eat."
But it's not - it's so much deeper than that.
And if I am struggling to fully understand why this illness has such an impossible grip on me,
How can others understand me
when I don't even understand myself?

Friday, April 23, 2010

"what does your dietician say?"

Whenever my therapist tries to talk to me about my daily food intake, he always asks "What does your dietitian say?" He knows that I have been avoiding my dietitian for the past few months but he always asks me this question anyways because he doesn't like the fact that I don't go to my appointments. Usually he hasn't been pushing the issue. Until now. This time, he pushed more than usual.

me (panicking): "but I see my doctor and we talk about my weight and vitals!"
therapist: "do you talk about what you're eating?"
me: "umm, no - she thinks I am seeing my dietitian..."
therapist: "so if you are not talking to her, or talking to me about it - how do we know what your daily intake is??"
me: "but I don't like my dietitian!"
therapist: "we will find you a new one then."

Then I quickly changed the subject. I have been successfully avoiding my dietitian for the past few months and I knew that it wouldn't last forever but I hate the pressure when it comes to that area because I can never eat the amounts that they want me and expect me to. I can't! It's too much food for me! I realize that they want me eating lots and lots of food until I am back in my weight maintenance range but... it's too much food! Too much pressure! So I always feel like a failure, and that's why I stopped going to appointments.

My therapist hasn't been pushing the issue too much because he has been letting me see if I can manage on my own - but I guess I can't. Another thing I am a failure at. I am going to try to keep stalling but I don't know what's going to happen. Especially because I have had a drop in my weight this past week but... I am already feeling enough pressure with the weight gain attempts and the food I am trying to eat now - and so it's been nice to not have the insane dietary pressure that I usually have with dietitians. I feel like it's a never-ending cycle with me. I wish I could just eat the way I want to eat and feel comfortable eating... whatever...I don't care anymore... I am just over this whole thing.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

still waiting...

Thanks for all the good wishes regarding this job. HR is dragging their feet and it's taking longer than I was hoping to get all the interviews completed... I have been in contact with the department manager and things look good so hopefully I will know within the next week! So everyone who has their fingers crossed - please keep them crossed!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

fingers crossed!!

I have a job possibility that I am super excited about! I don't want to say too much in fear of jinxing it or getting my hopes up (even though I think it's too late for that). But I think it would be a really good fit for me. My therapist does too. I have been looking hard for a job and I think this one will be really good for me in many many ways - one of them being: I don't think it will be a trigger for my ed - which is the most important one right now! I have mentioned in past posts that job stress & performance is a huuuuge trigger for behaviors, so that's why I have had to be a little bit picky this time around in looking for a job.

I hope I get it because I have spent more than enough time jobless, bored, and wasting my days away with ed trying to keep me company while everyone around me lives their life and goes to work/school while I feel like a loser because I am not... It's been almost a year(!) since I have had a full-time job and... even though half of that time was spent in IOP treatment and soon after that ended, trying to recover from an illness (and subsequent hospital stay) that my poor body almost didn't recover from... That doesn't matter because it's been almost a year and that's too long!!!

I will keep everyone updated soon... I promise! Just keep your fingers crossed for me! : )

Saturday, April 17, 2010

a look inside

I finally convinced myself to get up from my chair and walk the loooong walk (at least it will burn some calories) to the other side of the hospital where the cafeteria is. There is no one here making sure I eat, no one who will notice if I eat or not. Fridays, it's easier for me to get my butt to the cafeteria because there are a couple people who are aware of my situation and will notice if I go or not. But Saturdays, it's different. And usually, the ED wins on Saturdays. But not today. I am not letting it win today! Today I am walking down to the cafeteria. I am nervous. I am filled with anxiety.

I walk into the cafeteria. There are a lot of people here. I stand back in a corner so I don't get in the way. I watch as people pick what they want and order so quickly! How can they know what they want so fast!? It always takes me forever to decide what to get. That's why I stand out of the way. I start to look at the menu. I am not in here very often so I still don't know the menu very well. It's posted on the wall. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot the salad bar. "No jenn, don't look at it! That's not an option." I say to myself. I look over at the daily specials that are hot and ready for people to order. "Nope! Definitely not having that - too scary today!"

I glance back over at the salad bar. That would be the quick, easy, SAFE choice. But I am supposed to be challenging myself. I am supposed to be recovering. So I give a sigh and take a deep breath and look away from the salad bar. I look back at the regular menu on the wall and continue to dissect the items on the menu- mentally placing them in order of the most caloric and fattening to the least. I try not to do this. I know I shouldn't be doing this. But I have to! I am scared of what will happen if I choose the wrong thing. What if I make a mistake? What if I pick something and it's too hard for me to eat it? Then I will have to throw it away, and I will have failed...again!

More and more people are ordering. People are sitting at the tables. Some are eating alone, some are eating with others. But nobody seems to be concerned about what they are eating. "What would that be like? What would that feel like to eat and enjoy? To eat and carry on conversations with other people and not be obsessing about every bite?" The anxiety is getting worse. I need to hurry up and order already! I am taking too long. I look behind me at the fridge - so many choices in there too!! I don't know what to get! So many choices! "Why can't I just pick the salad bar and get out of here?" Do I pick something that is safe or do I challenge myself and pick something a bit more scary - something that sounds like it would be yummy?? Do I pick that and then risk the feelings of guilt that are sure to attack me once I start eating? Am I strong enough to fight off those ed thoughts today? Some days I am. Maybe this is one of those days.

Finally I pick something. It is a more challenging food. Its about in the middle of my mental list of the safest to the scariest. I start to approach the cook to tell him what I want. But wait! Am I sure that's what I should get? Maybe I need to rethink this decision and make sure I am choosing the right thing. Ugh! WHY do they have so many choices! This is too overwhelming for me! I wish they just had a few options. That would be so much easier. After a few minutes of more arguing to myself. I pick a different item. It's still in the middle of my list. "Okay, I am just going to hurry and order and just get out of here!" I order and I pay. I don't want to eat in the cafeteria. I hate eating in front of other people. It's too hard for me. I feel too self-conscious. So I walk back down to my desk where I am volunteering today. I am working by myself today and not very many people are coming in to ask for directions. So I won't have to worry about feeling self-conscious as I eat.

I sit down and take a deep breath. But the battle is only half over. Now I have to actually get through the meal with all the thoughts of how much should I eat, what should I eat first, how fast or slow should I eat?........
This is usually how it goes for me when I go to restaurants, cafeteria's, ect. It's a process for me. It has been for a very long time. Way too long. But I am working on it. I am trying to not be so obsessive. People are always curious about what goes on in my head and why it takes me so long to order or decide what I am going to eat. It's because I am obsessing and arguing (or agreeing sometimes) with the ED thoughts. And of course, the length of time and the amount of obsessing depends on where I am in my recovery at the moment but it's never an easy thing for me... going back and forth between items on menus. Not sure "what I want" or "what I should get." My indecision is horrible when it comes to food. I am always amazed and in awe of people who know what they want and can order so quickly! Why aren't they obsessing about the calories and fat grams? Why aren't they looking and dissecting every single item on the menu? Why don't they have anxiety over "should I get something safe or should I challenge myself and get something that sounds good?"

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Great (liquid intake) Debate

It's been almost three weeks since my commitment to my treatment team and myself to not drink caffeine anymore. It's been a loooooong few weeks and I still miss my caffeine terribly (my diet coke, diet pepsi, & diet mountain dew), but as each day continues to go by - I still long for it (some days more than others) but I am starting to get used to not having it in my life. (did I just say that!?!) I have slipped a few times, but the slips were very small & I have immediately gotten back on track.

Drinking enough liquids throughout the day has been very much a struggle for me! I didn't realize just how much of my daily liquids consisted of my diet sodas (let's just say it was 90% and that is not an exaggeration unfortunately...) This kind of hit me in the face when the first couple days I was off caffeine, I probably had one glass of water total a day. So I knew that wasn't good either! My treatment team is always asking if I am drinking enough and I always say "yes, I'm trying too!" But I also always omitted the fact that my liquid intake was mostly diet sodas. Because I knew I would get in trouble. But I don't really like water, and I feel bloated when I drink alot of it, (and that's why I am having a hard time drinking enough still - even with the Crystal Light). I am not justifying my behavior here, I am just explaining it.

A couple days after my caffeine restrictions came about, I went to the store and bought like a gazillion different boxes of Crystal Light. All different flavors. And since then, for these past few weeks, I have been averaging two 16.9 fl oz water bottles per day (don't worry, I re-use the water bottles). And three if I am having a good day and really pushing myself. I realize that most days, I am drinking just under half of what the doctor wants me to be drinking but in my defense, I am trying and it's better than nothing!

Now, when I say most of my liquids consisted of diet sodas, I am not exaggerating BE-cause:

- I have a tough time drinking things that have calories.
- In my mind they are "extra & unnecessary" calories.
- I have been this way for a very long time & therefore it's firmly ingrained in my brain...
- I have a tough time drinking milk, fruit juices, any kind of juice, flavored waters, - if it has calories in it and I could drink a diet soda or water instead - hmm, guess what I would pick!
- Except Starbucks! For some odd reason, Starbucks (and hot chocolate) is usually okay (but I didn't even drink that very much and when I do have it - I take those calories into account and have it instead of food).

It's something I am trying to change. It's something my treatment team has always been getting me to try to change. I don't have an issue with drinking them every once in a while, but not on a daily basis. Now, I try not to write numbers (or things of that nature) on my blog so I won't write the number of calories in Crystal Light but, I am sure you all know what it is anyways (haha) but let's just say it's hardly any! So I am completely and totally okay with drinking it.

Yesterday morning in therapy we were talking about this and he asked me if I knew how many calories were in Kool-Aid. I said "Not right off the top of my head but I could guess-timate." I haven't had Kool-Aid since I was a kid so I am not familiar with the exact nutritional content in it. He challenged me to drink one glass of Kool-Aid a day for two whole weeks without looking up how many calories or grams of sugar are in it. Umm, that's pretty much an impossibility because if you know me at all, you would know that I can't do that! I might be able to for a few days, but would eventually find it out the info - cause this girl just gots to know what she is eating and drinking!!!

It's something I am working on and hope to become less obsessive about. But I already failed his challenge because this morning when I got to my volunteer job I looked up the nutritional info for Kool-Aid (oops!) but I am still going to do part of his challenge and drink a glass a day for two weeks. Come on, I'm trying to be a team player here! : )


ps- the weather outside has been warm for the past few days and that makes this girl SUPER happy!

my serenity prayer

God, grant me the serenity to...
Accept the things I cannot change:
(things like...)
* my past
* other people's thoughts, feelings, & behaviors
* the fact that I am not perfect
* my "set point" - the weight my body naturally wants & needs to be at to be healthy
The courage to change the things I can:
(things like...)
* recovery & ways that I cope
* my future
* setting healthy boundaries with people
* accepting mistakes I make & accepting myself
* forgiving myself & loving myself
And the wisdom to know the difference:
Understanding that I can't always control what happens in my life - but I can control how I react to them, how I cope with them, and how I learn from them and move forward.
God, grant me the patience for all the changes that take time,
appreciation for all that I have,
tolerance for those with different struggles,
and the strength to get up and live one day at a time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

feeling stuck

Lately, I have been feeling stuck, not knowing which way to go. It's been difficult to get my feet back on the ground especially after this past year. I am still trying to sort out being laid-off from my job last year and the difficult decision to temporarily(??) let go of my plans of finishing up school at SLFI and pursuing a career in the fashion industry. Also, recovery is not going well at the moment, and I feel myself isolating more and more and my social life and dating has become pretty non-existent lately. I know I need to get back on track but I am not sure which path to take. I am just struggling a lot with motivation right now. I feel lost. I feel confused. I don't know what my purpose in life is, anymore. But I just need to keep on going! Keep applying for jobs. Keep going out with friends and being social. Keep going to church. Keep volunteering. Keep going to appointments and therapy groups. Keep thinking about what kind of classes I want to take in school. Keep eating. Keep striving for recovery and a life worth living!!!

I came across this last night in the book I am reading, and it's something I wrote out on a paper and taped to my mirror: "Don't beat yourself up for not knowing all the answers. You don't always have to know who you are. You don't have to have the big picture, or know where you're heading. Sometimes it's enough just to know what you're going to do next."

a quote from the book - The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

Saturday, April 10, 2010

just some of my thoughts on a saturday afternoon

I just want to say thanks so much everyone for all of their comments, love, and support for me! It means more than you know! It's so comforting to have so much love and support when you are consumed with despair and crazy emotions.

I also feel I need to apologize for my outbursts yesterday in my two posts. I just feel like emotions have been building and building inside of me and the doctor's appointment was kinda the "final straw," you know? I don't know why I had convinced myself that the appointment would go "my way" - because it hardly ever does! why am I thinking this time would be different!?!? And then, I guess I was expecting this person I talked to yesterday to agree with me - (no, wait... agree with the ED!) - and when she didn't I was more upset. But I am so glad she didn't because I have enough to handle already with my ED and I don't need other people agreeing with, supporting, and enabling the ED. And thanks to all of you - because none of you did that either (even though a part of me was hoping for someone to write a comment telling me I didn't need to gain anymore weight...). I am grateful I have people in my life (family, friends, my treatment team, ect.) who care enough about me to tell me things I don't want to hear but need to hear even when they know I don't want to hear it!

Last night, I was looking through some of my recovery journals and scrapbooks. It's something I try to do when I am struggling and I especially love to read letters I have saved from when I have been inpatient or in the hospital. It comforts me and reminds me that I am loved and I am strong. Anyways, I came across this letter from a dear friend who I met at an inpatient facility. And it really spoke to me because of what I am struggling with. So I wanted to post it on here and share it with everyone. It's one example of how she describes recovery and trust:
Recovery is like... Someone telling you that the sun is out and you can't see it at all! You are looking at the same sky but you can't see the sun, and they are like "it's right there!" But you can't see it. And you just have to trust that it is there until the clouds you're under disappear and you are finally able to see the sun again.
I am still freaked out and upset that I have more weight to gain but I am not going to let those fears and emotions overpower the part of my brain that is striving for recovery! Well, I am going to try my hardest not too. I need to keep trying to understand and repair those damaged parts of me that are so fearful and obsessive about food, weight, and numbers - and all the inner demons and fears that I have not been able to sort out and recover from yet. I will get there, and I know all of you will too!!!


Friday, April 9, 2010

emotions high, and feeling embarrassed

Someone (who will remain nameless, because I love them and I don't blame them for how I feel right now... I am just using them as an example of comments people make to me on a daily basis) asked me about an hour ago how my doctor's appointment went and when I told her, I got upset and started to cry as I told her about the appointment and getting into an argument with the doctor... (and we were in a public place so unfortunately, people could witness this as they walked by us) - she looked at me in disbelief (because her - like everyone else- think this all should be so obvious to me...) and proceeded to tell me that "I do still need to gain weight, and how can I really believe that I don't because it's so obvious, and I should recognize and accept this fact, and that I should be able to see this because my clothes that used to fit me (when I was at a maintenance weight) are still baggy and too big on me, and so on...." This person loves me. This person means well. This person is just trying to get me to see what my treatment team is trying to convince me of. But I am embarrassed that I get so emotional while talking about something that a lot of people view as so superficial like weight. But... when you are battling something as powerful as an eating disorder - your head is not rational at all, and I realize this... but it doesn't make it any less anxiety producing and my fears are still there and still alive & kicking!! Because I can't see that I still have a lot of weight to gain! I don't see it - so why is everyone expecting me to???

Recovering from anorexia is the hardest (and lots and lots of times seemingly impossible) thing I have ever tried to do! My fears are real, and even though I am embarrassed by my freaking out over something that seems so superficial to most people (my weight) it is real and it is scary! I wish so much that food, weight, and numbers didn't send me into such a tailspin but it does - I don't know how to make it not. Hopefully I will someday (soon) though because I don't know how much more of this emotional anxiety I can handle. Seriously.

feeling so uncomfortable in my body : (

I want to cry... I can't do this. I want to throw in the towel - because this is all too much! And not just what I write in this post today - but all of it!!!

My doctor's appointment yesterday did not go well and turned into an arguing match. Worse than the usual arguments between me and members of my treatment team. I am feeling completely helpless and full of anxiety over my body. Lately, I have been feeling (more than usual) that I have reached my maintenance level! So when I went in to my appointment, I was so sure that she would tell me that the weight restoration could stop. I was convinced! But that was not what happened. We spent a lot of time arguing with each other about it and I just ended up feeling worse than when we first started talking.

She said to me: "Jenn, every time you come in I keep telling you the same thing - that you have only gained a few pounds in these past few months. I tell you that every time you come in and it hasn't changed! You have not gained very much weight and before that you were losing so... how can you think you are at your maintenance point already? You need to trust me, keep doing what we are telling you to, and let us worry about your weight. You are talking to me like you have gained 20 pounds and you haven't! You need to trust me because you still have quite a bit more to gain!

(Ugh, that trust word again. I struggle with trusting people - especially when my feelings are saying something totally different!)

Me: "Well, just let me see the number then! Tell me what the number is- because I feel like I should be done gaining, and I feel like I have gained too much!!"

Doc: "You know I can't do that, you need to trust me! And hear me when I tell you that you haven't gained very much! You still have more weight to gain."

What!?!? Did I hear that right!?! More weight to gain!? I can't do this!! I want to be done, I need to be done! I am struggling so much because when I look in the mirror, I see someone who has gained so much weight! And I don't know how I am supposed to gain even more weight when I am not even comfortable (at all!) where I am right now! The doctor yesterday reminded me (as everyone on my tx team seems to do so often) that one of the reasons why I need to trust them is because "my perception of myself and my body is waaaay off and so distorted that I am not a good judge of my what my body really looks like." I want to believe them and trust them, but it's hard when I feel so different. So I usually end up saying:

"But it's how I feel and this is a good reason why I should be able to weight myself or at least see the weight when I come in to see you!" Of course, my desperate pleas never work...
I am sorry for my venting (and I am sorry if this is triggering) but I am just frustrated, overwhelmed, & anxious with how the appointment went because I feel huuuuuge! I feel like I am eating enough and I feel like I am gaining too much - but obviously what I feel doesn't matter (which people are making quite clear to me).

And I am struggling so much and I don't want to gain anymore & I am not even comfortable (at all) with where I am at now - and already want to lose what I have gained. I hate that, I hate myself so much & I hate that I am so uncomfortable in my body & I hate that my mind is constantly consumed and bombarded with the thoughts of not wanting to eat and wanting to lose the weight I have been gaining...will this cycle ever end??

On a positive note (yes, I was able to find one) is that I am out of the "danger zone" - which is really good because when I am at these points with my weight I am always being threatened with an NG tube or inpatient, or both - so it's nice to not have those threats and one less thing to worry about - but it still sucks that I have to keep gaining). So I am seriously thinking (more than usual) that I need to buy a scale again so I can see if I really do need to gain weight or not. I struggle with trusting others - especially blind trust! : (

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

these are a few of my favorite things...

I realize that I haven't been very positive lately in my posts. This blog focuses a lot on my struggle with anorexia and my path to recovery and unfortunately (and especially because of where I currently am on that path) - that means a lot of my posts might not be filled with sunshine, flowers, and happy thoughts. But... I do need to try to focus more on the positive things that are going on in my life and when I am feeling very overwhelmed and I feel like the ed is trying to drown me - I try to think of the simple things in my life that can bring me moments of happiness, comfort, and peace. So, here are a few of those things (and I will try to add more later):

- waking up in the morning and hearing the birds singing outside & the sun shining through my bedroom window
- getting hugs from my nieces and nephews
- discovering great finds at thrift stores
-going on dates (but this has a taken a backseat to my recovery at the moment)
-taking long walks or going on a hike
- afternoon naps
- hearing someone tell me they love me
- watching an old favorite like Pretty Woman, Ghost, Love Story, Sixteen Candles, Dirty Dancing, Only You, Breakfast At Tiffany's (or any Audrey Hepburn movie)
- getting hugs from people I love
- going to the park and swinging on the swings
- laying outside and feeling the sun on my face & body
-shopping! (or window shopping when I am broke!) or just getting out of the house
- listening to old songs I love like "Smile" by Charlie Chaplin
-being around friends or people I love whom I can be myself with
- anything that can let me be creative or artistic (yes, even coloring!)
- looking through old photos and letters
- taking a hot shower or bath, painting my nails, getting a new haircut, etc.

Those are just some of the things that can bring me comfort and a moment of peace when I am feeling like I am drowning and crumbling. I think it's so important to be aware of these things so you can look for them as a light out of the darkness and to help you realize that there are things, even little things, that can comfort you when you are struggling. It's something that I don't always do but I am trying to... and I challenge y'all to make a list of your own of things you can turn to, so when those moments of pain or sadness come - you have a list right there (to help remind you) of things you can do to bring some comfort into your own life.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I do eat...

I do eat... I do!!... at least I try to... I promise! I don't want people to think that I don't ever eat... (I would be back in the hospital if that were the case). I am just tired of all this emotional drama and I wonder if I will ever have a healthy relationship with food or if I will always be crippled with fear, anxiety, and guilt and forever struggle to cope (and obsess) about everything I put into my mouth...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

me + food = fear, anxiety & guilt

I have a lot on my mind and I am feeling very discouraged with myself so I am going to write about it and be honest about what is going on...

I haven't seen a dietitian since last October which is so strange for me because before that I was constantly being monitored and in the care of a dietitian for years. I just kind of stopped going (I get so much anxiety when I am pushed - and lots of times forced - to eat more than I am comfortable with and I don't cope very well with it). And at the time I stopped going, I was really stressed out and I was sick of having someone pushing me to eat, eat, EAT! And I just didn't want to have to deal with it. (Which I realize is a problem because my level of "comfort" when it comes to food is not very much food, if any at all). The other people on my treatment team and my family haven't been pushing it because, at first they didn't know that I had stopped going and for the past few months, they have been giving me a chance to try and push myself and do it on my own. But if I don't step it up really soon I will once again be forced to start seeing another dietitian.

Deep down, I know I should be seeing a dietitian (I shouldn't have ever stopped, if I am being honest with myself) and it doesn't help that I think I tend to let the people around me believe that I am doing better than I really am in this area...but I just feel like I can't deal with and cope with the fear, anxiety, and guilt that comes with food, eating, and gaining weight.

I am pushing myself and there are days when I do okay when it comes to my food intake but I should be doing better and being more consistent when it comes to this area of my recovery at this point. But I am struggling when it comes to my intake because I let the fear, anxiety, and guilt overpower me... It seems like the only times my intake is consistently acceptable is when I am being forced to eat - which frustrates me and discourages me because I don't understand why I can't do it on my own! And even though my poor eating habits are causing a lot of health and cognitive problems in my daily life - I am so used to them that they usually are not a big deal to me (or I am just numbing them out or in denial about them). 
Will it ever change? Will I ever enjoy food? Will I ever be able to go even one full day without feeling guilty for what I ate?

a very discouraged and scared girl

volunteering update

I am still loving my volunteering job. I like being helpful and useful - it makes me happy.

Also, I haven't had many run-ins with people here besides the doctor that I have previously mentioned and a couple of the nurses who took care of me. But they have been nice and they just smile and say hi (even though I know they are thinking "there is that crazy girl who wouldn't eat...") But I have decided not to worry about it because what happened happened and I shouldn't be embarrassed. I know, easier said than done, but I am working on it.


Friday, April 2, 2010

"Prove it and find the facts!"

Thanks so much to everyone who commented (on this blog, on fb, and in person) to my post about giving up caffeine. Because I am realizing that I need to (...deep breath...) accept that it is hurting me and accept that it is something that I can't have in my life...even though I heart it so much! I am experiencing some really wicked caffeine withdrawl headaches (but I understand and accept that it is part of the process).

One thing that my ed loves to do (and does so well) is convince me that:
"I am okay"
"Things aren't really that bad"
"People are just exaggerating and making a bigger deal of it than it really is"
(or one of the other many ways the ed likes to keep us in denial)...

It is one of the things our ed is so good at! Eating disorders are masters at denial, rationalizing, and minimizing. Something that my therapist is always trying to get me to do is "Prove it, and find the facts to support that statement, thought, or belief". I hate when he says those words to me (especially) when I am struggling with certain thoughts and feelings but... he does have a perfect point with it. He tries to get me to prove why I am feeling that way to find out if it is a fact or if it is my ed thinking. And usually, I am unable to come up with facts to prove my statement, feeling, or thought and so he is like: "See, you can't prove it so it can't be true!"

But the thing that frustrates me so much about it is that I feel it - so it has to be true! And if I feel it so deeply and can it not be true!?!?

It's something I am trying to work on but still struggle with a lot because my feelings are so much stronger and intense than these so-called facts. And a lot of my ed beliefs have been "truths" to me for so long that it's hard to change the way of thinking.

I hope this is making sense to y'all who are reading this because it really is a great concept and can be very helpful when you are having those irrational thoughts. But I am tired, I have a pounding headache, and my cognitive skills are not very high today (or lately...or ever!)... and I am sure you can guess why but we will just leave it at that. : (

Thursday, April 1, 2010

bad attitude(?)

I understand that you have to give up things if they are bad for you and are hurting you but... I really heart my caffeine! And I don't want to give if up! I will, but I don't want to and I am not happy about it.

Maybe I am in a bit of denial or maybe I just have a bad attitude... but I can't imagine living the rest of my life without caffeine! But every damn time I have tried to limit the amount I drink to just a little bit - I always fall off the wagon and am back to drinking it all the time again. So what do I do??
Do I continue with my thinking that "it's not a big deal" and that I am okay and continue drinking it and hurting my body?
Do I abstain completely from it??
I realize that this is total black and white, all or nothing thinking but I can't seem to find a middle ground here...I don't know...maybe I just need some perspective from y'all and people who are not on my treatment team. So if any of you could share your two cents (whatever it might be) it would be much appreciated. And if you feel you need to be brutally honest with me, I can take it so - please don't hold back.