Friday, May 28, 2010

this girl needs to...

find a way to let go of the

hurt
mistakes
pain
trauma
from her past

so she can finally let go of the chains
and finally learn to love herself

and this girl needs to be
brave enough
strong enough
willing enough

to be able to truly, fully, & entirely(!)
confront and understand those issues
she needs to feel those feelings(!)
instead of running away when treatment gets too hard, too scary, too painful
and back into the safe familiar comfort of the ed

because that is the only way she can truly move on
she needs to truly believe that some of the painful memories from her past
that she still holds on to, that still continue to hurt her & haunt her
were not her fault
and she didn't deserve those things that happened to her


maybe then... she she can finally heal the hurt
and finally be able to let go

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

"our secrets keep us sick"

We hear this phrase so much in recovery, and even though we have heard it a bazillion times - it never stops being true. And it never lessens the importance of what those five words actually mean. I think sometimes in recovery, at least for me, when I hear things too much - I can sometimes forget just how important and crucial they are.

Last week pushed me, once again, to my breaking point. And by the weekend - I was done. Finished. No more recovery for this girl! A feeling that is all too familiar to me. But as the weekend went by, and as this week has gone by - the "healthy" jenn has been trying to push through all the static in my head, pleading for me to not give up. But all I wanted to do was forget about recovery. I wanted to give up and retreat back into my "safe" world of the eating disorder. Now, the "rational" jenn understands that the ed is not safe - but... when I am feeling out of control and pushed past my limits - it does feel safe. At least it does to me. It's a place to escape the painful feelings and that's all I wanted to do.

I was also contemplating deleting my posts from last week and possibly even deleting my entire blog. Why? Because then I wouldn't have to be held accountable. I could be "alone" with the illness and not have anyone judging my behaviors or feelings. I have been avoiding everyone on my treatment team for the past few months so... what would it hurt to just completely avoid everyone? Sometimes, I regret the fact that so many people know about my illness and my struggles. I feel more pressure to be perfect and be a better "recovery bound" jenn. I feel like people are more aware of what I am and am not doing and so I feel like when I relapse (cause it happens a lot) that I am letting people down, that people are thinking that I am weak, and wondering why this girl can't get her life together already!

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the time when people didn't know about the ed, or they had their suspicions but nothing was confirmed because I would deny, deny, deny!! Or I would insist that "I am fine, I know what I am doing, I have everything under control! It's not that big of a deal!" But I realize that it's the illness that wants those times back. Not me.

And what would avoiding do? What would happen if I wasn't being held accountable? - The answer is: I would slowly start sliding backwards, and further away from recovery like I have been. And these past few days the "healthy" jenn has been trying to remind me over and over that "our secrets keep us sick!" So I put the posts from last week back up (because even though I am embarrassed by the fact that they were pure hysteria & ed controlled... that was how I was feeling at the time (and honestly, I still am feeling a lot of those things now). I have also decided to continue blogging because I need a place where I can unload my mind and try to get those ed thoughts out of my head! When the ed thoughts are consuming so much of my mind - there is not much room for anything else.

And I do love the support and encouragement from everyone. I do! And even though sometimes I don't want to hear things that are said - I need to hear them. Because recovery isn't sugar-coated. Recovery is honest, painful, and real. The only way to heal is to get to, and work through those painful feelings that helped cause the illness in the first place. It's not fun. But it's necessary. Treatment is not fun. But it's necessary. Being called out & challenged on your thoughts, behaviors, and actions is not fun - but it's necessary!

One thing my therapist (well...ex therapist now...) would say to me was that "you aren't going to always want recovery. And that's okay - because those feelings are a part of the process, and it's natural to go through moments where you aren't sure if you want recovery or not - But just because you don't want it doesn't mean that you stop fighting for it. And those times when you feel like you don't want recovery are those crucial times when you need to fight the hardest and surround yourself with lots of support. This will be the hardest thing you will ever do because it's lived with you since you were 14 years old and therefore, it's firmly ingrained in your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs - so if you can beat this disease, Jenn - you can get through anything!" I want to believe this and sometimes I do. Sometimes I feel like I can conquer and rise above the eating disorder. But other times (like now) I feel completely crushed by it. It's a cycle. A mentally, physically, emotionally, & spiritually exhausting cycle.

The water retention, muscle and joint pain, and swelling finally went down over the weekend. I pretty much slept and did nothing else. I was kind of a emotion-less zombie - if you want to know the truth. Then on Monday morning, it was back to work and the ed once again had me convinced that (this is the ed talking by the way) "I was fine and all that I had needed was some sleep. Not food - just sleep." And then as the days have gone by this week - the "healthy" jenn has been trying to push through again and remind me that my body will continue to break down until I start to treat it right.

I don't know why I thought my new job would help me or save me from my current relapse when I was still doing the same damn behaviors - I was just now adding 8 hours of stressful work each day on top of barely eating, exercising too much, drinking too much caffeine (yes, you read that right. I am drinking caffeine again to get me through the day at work), and not getting enough sleep..... magical thinking maybe?

Am I feeling better? Am I pumped up and energized to start kicking the ed's butt again? No, not really. But - I am not going to give up, I am not going to stop writing, and I am not going to keep my "secrets" to myself. At least I am going to try not to.

My mom (and all of you!) have reminded me that I need to put my recovery first - no matter how tired I am of fighting. And I need to make the commitment to start seeing my treatment team again regularly - (I will keep my same doctors, but I need to find a new therapist... and a new dietitian that I feel will help me better than the one I have now) and I need to not run away from them when I am struggling. Because the longer I avoid them, the further away from recovery I get.

Living with an eating disorder is not living. No matter how much the ed tries to convince you otherwise You are a (slowly dying) walking zombie when you are in the throes of the eating disorder - and that is no way to live!

And I don't just want to survive this... I want to thrive!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

is a "life without ed" possible for THIS girl?


I don't know what happened to me last week.
I don't know why I let my emotions (and the ed) take over complete control of my life...again!.

I need to step back.
I need to breathe.
I need to figure out why I seem to be falling apart.

I am feeling numb.
I am hurting deeply.
I am tired of fighting a battle that I always seem to be losing.

I know I am the only one who can save me...
...but what if I am not strong enough?

Last week's "breakdown" was more emotional than physical.
But when you combine the two - this girl cannot deal at all!!
The proof of that was how I coped (or more like didn't cope) last week.
I was feeling (and still feeling) completely out of control in every part of my life.

I am embarrassed.
I am so ashamed.

The last time I "crashed" I spent 8 days in the intensive care unit at hospital.

Why am I still hurting myself?
Why can't I move on?
Why can't I save myself from the deadly grips of anorexia???

I want a "life without ed" yet the harder I try to find that life - the tighter this disease clings to me.

This disease has taken so many things away from me!
It has nearly taken my life(!) more times than I am comfortable thinking about or want to admit.
yet... I still run to it when my life feels out of control.
I just don't understand.

And I am exhausted.
I need a time-out.
I need to breathe.

Friday, May 21, 2010

jenn needs a time-out...

I am really sorry for the hysterical post the other day. I am sorry if it was too triggering or too negative. And I am sorry to my mom - who, unfortunately, was on the receiving end of my hysterical crying and freaking out these past few days. And I want to thank my mom & dad for spending the evening with me Thursday night - even though I was not a fun or happy person to be around at all. I was not in a good place emotionally and I thank them for their love despite the fact that they are so completely & utterly frustrated and tired of this illness. And for their efforts to comfort me & force me to eat dinner (and since it was my first proper meal in weeks (that I was able to keep down) - I was super nauseous & my stomach hurt so bad!! I went outside with my mom and layed on the grass - in horribly uncomfortable pain - so that my mom could keep an eye on me while she finished planting her flowers and to make sure the whole meal stayed in me. And for the next couple of hours (my digestive system is so slow right now that it just prolongs those uncomfortable feelings of fullness - which makes it even more difficult to try to eat properly), my stomach did not seem thankful at all for that food. It brought back all the memories of the re-feeding process when in the hospital or inpatient. Well, they are more like nightmares than memories but that it is different post for a different time...)

And I also want to thank all of you for your loving words to try to comfort me & remind me that I am not alone. Thanks for your words of encouragement. And I grateful to know that I have people in my corner who love me & don't judge me for some of my hysterical posts. I hate to know that I worry and concern people, but I started this blog as a therapeutic outlet for me while on my journey through recovery - but also so that others could maybe understand and experience a bit of what it's like to live with a disease that consumes you, and the painful, honest, real life & death struggle it is to recover from.

These past few days have definitely pushed me over the edge but all of this has been s l o w l y building up for the past couple of months and so it was inevitable that there was going to be a breaking point - because there always is for me. I am frustrated & embarrassed that once again I have allowed the ed to take the driver's seat and be the one in control again.

And I feel that I need to take a recovery(?) time-out because I have no energy for anything else - physically or mentally. I am no longer hysterical... I am just completely numb. And I feel that I need to stay this way for a bit. And I desperately need to sleep. And I need to figure out how I am going to get myself out of this relapse (...and figure out if I even really want to...)

I am tired of constantly fighting this illness and almost always being the weaker fighter. And I am tired of the fact that whenever I do manage to to be succeeding in recovery - it's only a matter of time before I am knocked down. I am tired of this endless roller coaster. I am just tired of it all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

i don't know what i feel anymore

This entire day at work has been a blur. This whole week has been a struggle for me with trying to adjust to starting this new job - and the fact that my body is not cooperating at all(!) - and I am aware that my choices & behaviors are not making it any easier on my body...

It has been, not easy, but easy-er to live in denial (or ignore) the fact that these past few weeks my eating has gradually become non-existent again. Because when you aren't really doing anything physically or mentally (like while I have been unemployed) - you don't realize (or at least people with ed's don't realize) the fact that the body is starving and the brain is starving. But as this week has gone by - it has been harder and harder to live in that world of denial. BE-cause my body is exhausted, my mind is exhausted - and I am struggling to get through each day before I come home from work ready to just collapse. It's my body crying out, and I am not listening to it! Or I am listening to it - but I feel powerless to help it. I wish it was as easy as "just eat!" But it's not. When the ed voices are loud, proud, and in control - I feel helpless and overcome in my efforts to fight them. And that's the current situation I have been in these past few weeks. And it just seems to be getting worse.

I take food with me to work - but I don't eat it. I make me food at home and take it down to my room - but it just sits there until I go back upstairs to throw it down the sink. Sometimes, I do take bites or nibble at it but the ed is so strong and in control that not much enters my body - and those times that I am able to eat more than the ed would like... I quickly get it out of me. And it's just been this week that I have once again been reminded of the "breaking down of the body" that the ed brings into my life. Because since I have started this job and been a lot more active each day, I am suffering the consequences of my body (and mind) trying to run on empty. When you first start slipping and falling into your relapse, you experience a sort of "high" from restricting - but once that wears off, you are already too deep into the mental struggle by the time the exhaustion sets in. That's one of the dangerous and frightening parts about the ed and the mental control it has over you.

And then, yesterday I had a mini breakdown that my poor mom had to help calm me down from. All day yesterday I had been feeling more bloated than usual... I have a lot of digestive problems. And I have a lot of bloating and water retention (edema) problems, and electrolyte, sodium, & potassium problems that are directly related to my anorexia. (I am not going to list all the health problems I have because that would take for-freaking-ever! But these ones are related to this post so that's why I included them). I am used to (...well not used to it because it still causes me a lot of anxiety & body image issues, but used to it, meaning it happens a lot...) Anyways, I am used to the stomach distention and bloating (because this happens a lot to me) but sometimes my body will freak out and that's what happened yesterday. I knew I was more bloated than usual yesterday and my joints were a lot more sore than they usually are. And by the time I got home last night and took off my shoes and pants to change into pajamas - I flipped out when I saw how swollen and bloated my legs, knees, ankles, and feet were!! Like I said, I already knew my stomach and face were more bloated - but that happens quite often so even though it was causing me a lot of panic and anxiety - I didn't officially start freaking out until I got home and saw the rest of me.

I called my mom and I was hysterical! Emotions had been building all week and this kind of topped it off and sent the emotions into a complete breakdown. My mom then (calmly) proceeded to remind me that this is one of the things that happens to me because of the ed and horrible physical condition I am in. My body is trying to hang on to food, to liquid (!), to whatever it can because it's just trying to survive. She then tried to talk to me about what my food intake had been lately (which I was not in the mood for and tried my best to dodge that conversation because I couldn't deal with the lectures I would get because my parents are past the point of frustration with my ed). She reminded me (again) about the fact that I am not at a point where I can do this on my own - even though lately, I have been trying to. She doesn't think I should be seeing my current dietitian (can I even call her my "current" one if I haven't seen her since October?) but she does think that I need to be seeing someone, along with my doctor and therapist (hint, hint jenn - maybe you should actually start going to your appointments again...) She thinks I need to find someone new - someone that is a better fit for me. After talking with her for a while I didn't really feel better but I was calm enough to crawl into bed and try to get some sleep. Tomorrow, I would try again. I vowed to myself (and my mom) to try harder tomorrow.

Well, tomorrow came. And if I thought things couldn't get worse for me - I was so so so wrong! I am still swollen like crazy, my joints are hurting, and my stomach is so distended with fluids that I look pregnant(!) But I got up, went to work (with my lunch and snacks) and was focused on trying to have a better day. I still am excited about my new job. I still love it! The training has been overwhelming - but I really think I am going to love it!

And then, I get a call from my therapist this morning while I am at work, informing me that he is no longer going to be working at the place I am seeing him at. But he will help me find someone who I can be referred to. I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I was not expecting this at all! And at that moment, any thought of trying to eat went right out the window after that phone call. Maybe this is what I get for avoiding my treatment team. Maybe this is my punishment for relapsing and not going to my appointments. I lose the best therapist I have ever had! And let me just say that I have certainly had my share of therapists - before and after starting recovery - and he is the only one who has been able to chip away at this huge protective wall I have. He is the only one I have really been able to trust and open up to. And now I feel completely abandoned. And of course, I freaked out and panicked. I had to step outside for a bit and I called my mom in tears and I was hysterical. And my mom (bless her heart) was on the receiving end of many phone calls and texts from me throughout the day. And of course, my mom explained that he wasn't abandoning me - he is just moving on. And she also suggested that maybe it's time for me to move on too. Maybe a change will be good since I am struggling so much. I don't agree. I feel abandoned, and I feel completely overwhelmed with the thought of having to start all over again with someone new - especially with how fragile my recovery has been lately.

So I don't know what is going to happen. I feel like I am getting close to the point where "It's just too hard to recover. It's too tiring, painful, and overwhelming to recover." I don't want to believe this. I don't want to feel this way. But it's how I have felt all day. And it's how I feel right now. I just pray that just like all the other times in the past when I have come to these moments that I feel like throwing in the towel - I will be able to find the courage and strength to keep going. I hope I am able to find that. Right now, all I know is I am past the point of exhaustion and there better not be any horrible surprises tomorrow or I promise you, I will completely lose it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the new kid

We all have to be the "new person" at different times in our life. It's not always fun and it can definitely make a girl nervous - especially a girl who is not so confident in herself. And today was my turn to be the "new kid" as I started my new job.

I was so nervous! Especially over the weekend! I think the anxiety of not knowing what to expect, feeling the need to be perfect and learn everything super fast, and not knowing anyone only made my anxiety worse(!) - but now, after having finished the day, I am so excited about this new job! The other people in the department seem super nice and they all seem to get along really well! I hope that I am able to feel comfortable enough around them and that I will be able to fit in too. And from how things went today... I think I will fit in just fine. So a big huge sigh of relief that the first day is done and over.

I am feeling like my head is going to explode from all the job training and medical information it had to take in today! - My mind is not used to having to focus, concentrate, remember lots of info, ect. Because it's been 11 months since I last worked full-time and a bit longer than that since I was last in school. And my horrible struggles with the ed isn't helping my cognitive skills at all! I realize this. I do! I know I need to be healthy and I need to eat(!) to be able to do my job well - but it's way more complicated than that.

I packed myself a lunch and put some snacks in my purse but... because of the anxiety and stress of the day - I didn't eat hardly any of it. And I politely declined when offered some of the brownies everyone was devouring today (ugh, just another thing to stress this girl out on her first day!) I am not proud of this. I realize that it's not what should have happened and I hope that I will do better tomorrow, but that's how I cope when those "feelings" creep up to the surface. Some of today's feelings were: anxiety, self-consciousness, fear, doubt, urges to be perfect, stress, pressure, uncertainty... So when I took my breaks and my lunch I went outside and walked around (because it was a warm & sunny day today). And I did eat a little. But I know I didn't eat anywhere near enough (especially for someone who is supposed to be on weight gain) and I feel disappointed in myself. I hate that I use unhealthy methods to cope. And I hate how fearful I am of food and eating. But I can't change what happened today - all I can do is to do better tomorrow.

"Do the next right thing!"

I am exhausted from the day and I wasn't going to blog (since I have to drive out to the library to use the internet because I am lame and currently don't have a laptop... & I really just want to go home and crash from pushing myself so hard today) but I just wanted to post about my first day and say that I am super excited and I really do think I am going to love this job and love my co-workers! Yippee!! And hopefully tomorrow I can force myself to eat a bit more. I need to stay positive and keep pushing myself forward and in the direction of recovery and not into the direction of hospitalization (where the stress from my last job put me many times). I don't want to lose this job and I want to do my job well and make people happy and proud of me! That's all I want.

Friday, May 14, 2010

i just want to say...


I found out that I got the job a couple of days ago! I am super excited and relieved! At the end of this month it will have been a year(!) since I was laid off. And even though about half of that time was spent doing lots of intensive treatment and therefore, I didn't have the time or energy - and I was way too sick - to hold a full-time job, the last few months have been really tough because I have been applying and interviewing for jobs and none of them were working out in my favor. I had started to get really discouraged but finally... I got a job! And I really think it's going to be a good, stable, and busy job for me. Here is the scoop:

I found out about the job from the hospital that I volunteer at. The hospital I volunteer at is Jordan Valley Medical Center. The place I will be working at is Pioneer Valley Hospital which is a campus of Jordan Valley Medical Center. It's a smaller hospital but one of the things I like about Pioneer is it is one of the few hospitals here in the area that I have never been a patient or had an appointment at, I have never been admitted, & I have never been to the emergency room so... no one there knows me because of my illness! And even though it's owned by the same company as Jordan Valley (whom know me quite well from my illness) it's a separate hospital so no one knows me. And that makes this girl super happy! Because it has been a bit awkward volunteering at Jordan Valley and running into people, you know?

I will be working in the medical records department. There are only a handful of people in the entire department so it will keep me super busy and I will have a lot of responsibility. Which is good because I like to be busy and always have stuff to do. And I like feeling like I am an important part of the company and that what I do matters. It's a job that requires a lot of organization and attention to detail - which are things that I am good at.

The schedule will be a bit different than what I am used to because it will be Wednesday through Sunday. But it will work out perfectly when I am trying to set up appointments with all the people on my treatment team! It's always a challenge when you work a 9-5 Monday through Friday job - because you usually have to take time off from work to get to appointments (because these people don't schedule appointments in the evening or weekends usually). And especially during the times when I have to be seeing all these people weekly it makes it so difficult to do that! So I will have Monday and Tuesday off and can schedule all my appointments during those two days. Even though lately, I have been avoiding my treatment team like the plague. Because I have been struggling so much and I don't want them to be angry or disappointed with me. And I don't want them to start up with the threats of hospitalization again - which I know is what will happen when they find out how horribly I have been slipping this past little while.

I start training and orientation on Monday, and the first couple weeks will be Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm. But then after that I will move into my regular schedule which will be kinda unique because it's
Wednesday: 8:30am - 5pm
Thursday: 8:30am - 5pm
Friday: 6am - 4 or 5pm
Saturday: I pick my hours (but it will be about 10ish since I work at both hospitals)
Sunday: I pick my hours (but it will only be like 4 or 5 hours)
(and Sat and Sun I will be over at Jordan Valley helping them out with their E.R. paperwork and files).

But I like that it's different and that a couple of days will be at a different hospital (even though it's Jordan Valley) so it kind of keeps things interesting, you know? It won't be so monotonous. It will take a little getting used to though for sure! And as excited as I am - I am already feel an enormous amount of pressure because my boss was hesitant in hiring me when she saw my resume and the inconsistent job history but I didn't want to say "Well, it's because I have been in and out of treatment from anorexia since I was younger..." That is not something I want anyone at my new job knowing - especially because I will be working with health professionals! I don't want them looking at me and talking about me. I don't want them trying to fix me or criticize me. I don't want them to know - simple as that! So I feel a lot of pressure to be perfect and do my job so well that she doesn't regret hiring me and giving me this chance. I don't want to let her down! And adding to this pressure is the fact that I am struggling so much and have been slipping and sliding fast downward. I am trying to get a handle on it, and I hope that this job will be a good distraction & motivation to help me to get on top of things and back onto the road of recovery.
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Anyways, there is the scoop. That is the big news of the moment for this girl. I am nervous but excited to start this new job on Monday! And of course I will keep everyone updated on how it goes - so wish me luck!! And I know that all y'all out there who kept their fingers crossed for me really helped so... thanks everyone!

Friday, May 7, 2010

grocery shopping stresses this girl out!

I get so stressed out when I go grocery shopping. I don't like it at all. Because it's one of my eating disorders favorite places to be. And it seems for me that grocery shopping is more overwhelming and gives me more anxiety now that I am in recovery - as opposed to when I was actively & fully engaged in the ed. I used to love to go then, but now I hate it!! Maybe because back then, I didn't listen to the healthy voice at all. I only listened to the ed voice and therefore, felt no guilt when it came to what I bought. I knew what I wanted (which was all the low calorie & diet foods) and I wasn't fighting with myself constantly over what I should get & what my ed is telling me to get.

Usually in my cupboard (unless someone else buys my food for me - like my momma!) I have a mix between the "eating disorder" foods and the "jenn in recovery" foods. And the amounts of each of these groups depends on where I am currently at in recovery. Right now... I am disappointed to say that most of my food is "ED food" and I realize that is not good, but... it's how I am coping right now and it's the only way I can get myself to eat at all lately - so I am trying to pick my battles, if you know what I mean...

I know I am not supposed to be buying the diet foods, the low-fat or fat free foods, and low calorie foods but the urges to buy these foods are still so strong! Especially when I am so used to buying these foods for so long without any guilt while I was actively listening to the ed (this is prior to my start in recovery). Those are the foods I feel safe buying and safe eating. I am working on it, and sometimes I do better than other times.

But I think the biggest thing that gives me anxiety when it comes to grocery shopping is the mental battle I have over what to buy. Most of the time, all of the planning I make before I go (and everything I have learned in treatment) - quickly goes out the window once I get to the store and start shopping. And that's one of the reasons it takes me so long in the store. Because I am going up and down all the isles, looking at all the food, and fighting with my ed thoughts over what I "should" buy and what "the ed wants" me to buy. I am obsessing over the different foods!
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Here is an example of what goes on in my head when trying to decide:
"This one would be safer because it has less calories. But I am supposed to be in recovery so I should get the regular one. But I can't get the regular one because it will make me fat, and it's too scary to eat! If I just get this safe one then I am more likely to eat it...)"
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That is just one example of the many arguments I have with myself. It's exhausting. It's overwhelming. It's too much pressure - and therefore, the ed usually wins so I can move on to the next item. There are three options when it comes to grocery shopping - and all of them give me anxiety & overwhelm me. But here they are:

Option one: I go and buy lots of food to just get it over with so I won't have to go again for a while - but then that gives me anxiety over all the food I have at home, and that stresses me out (especially if a lot of it are my fear foods). And I usually have to throw a lot of it away because it expires before I am able to force myself to eat it. And then that makes me feel bad because I am always wasting food and wasting money.

Option two: I go and just get a little bit - but then I get anxiety knowing I have to go back in just a few days and do it all over again, and then again a few days later, and then again, and so on...

Option three: I go with someone else - but then I feel rushed and hurried and that give me anxiety! Because other people go waaaay too fast for my comfort level! It takes me (and I am not exaggerating when I say this) hours to grocery shop! I spend waaaay too much time in the grocery store. And why does it take me this long? Because I am obsessing over the labels on the food (I try not to but I can't help it, I have to do it or my anxiety is worse).

Option three is probably the best option (and it's the one I do the least) because I am not able to get away with buying "ED" foods (especially if I go with my momma). But then we come to the issue of me not being able to eat it, and then having to throw it away, or it just sits in my cupboard for months because most of the foods we get are fear foods if I go with someone (like my mom).

So to make this long story short, I hate grocery shopping. I hate it and I hope that when I get further into recovery it won't be such a stressful thing for me. I think maybe the reason why I am writing about this now is because I am struggling a lot when it comes to eating. I am feeling super discouraged because I went grocery shopping a couple of days ago. I did option one - and so I have a lot of food, but most of it now is my safe "ED" food. I am also feeling discouraged because I am still on "weight restoration" and still trying to get myself to my treatment teams goal weight for me. (And it doesn't help that I have lost the few pounds that I was able to gain recently...yes I am weighing myself and I don't want to talk about it). And I realize that I can't get there on the low-fat/fat-free and low calorie foods that I feel safe eating. And I know that is one of the major reasons why I can only reach and maintain my "goal weight" when I am inpatient or hospitalized and therefore being forced to consume large amounts of fattening foods and/or having the NG tube (a.k.a. - feeding tube) which I hate! I try to do it on my own but I always fail. It's frusterating and it's discouraging. And I know that it just gives the ed more power to bring destruction in my life.

But it's how I have been coping lately. I know that's not an excuse - but it's the truth. I am trying to be honest here, because this is a place that I feel safe being honest. A couple weeks ago, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I kind of took a turn backwards and towards the eating disorder. I thought I could turn things around but as these weeks have gone by I am realizing that I am slipping. I am slipping fast! I am worried, but there is still time to turn it around. And I need to turn it around soon or I am going to be back in the hospital. Which can't happen right now because I interviewed for another job a few days ago and I think I have a really good shot at getting it! I need this new job - it would be a really perfect job and the last thing I need is a major relapse... but that's where I feel I have been headed.
I didn't want to say anything earlier because I was ashamed and thought I could turn it around. I am saying it now because it needs to be said in the hopes that I can turn it around and back into the direction of recovery! I have been working so hard to stay out of the hospital, inpatient, & IOP. And I haven't had any emergency room visits so far this year - which, if you know me & my history, is an amazing thing for me to accomplish! And I don't want to start it up again now. But I will turn it around... I have to!

Monday, May 3, 2010

"You only fail if you stop trying"

Yesterday in church someone mentioned this quote "you only fail if you stop trying" and it's something that I have heard a lot in recovery - especially from my current therapist, as it seems to be one of his favorite phrases. I love this quote and it can (at times) be a source of comfort for me... but sometimes, it's so hard to believe that I am not a failure when I keep making the same mistakes over and over and I always feel like I am coming up short in life and recovery.

And even though life (and especially the ed) tends to knock me down...a lot!, and even though sometimes (lots of times actually) it takes me longer than it should to get back up - Somehow, I always find the strength to get back up and to keep fighting - And that's what matters! And hopefully, as I get further into recovery, the length of time that I stay on the ground will become shorter and the falls (slips & relapses) won't happen as often. That is my deepest hope, at least.

I haven't figured out how to stay in recovery...yet, and even though I am struggling daily to find that strong and lasting grip on recovery - I have to believe that I will someday. Because the only other option is to fall completely back into the ed, and we all know, some of us know this a little too well, the eating disorder's only end goal is death. And that can't be an option for me. I won't let it be an option for me! And this quote below is one that I try to lean on (and repeat very often to myself) when I am feeling overwhelmed in recovery and in life and I feel like, once again, I am coming up short.
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And I hope it can be a source of comfort to all of you who are struggling as well. I believe in all of you (more than I believe in myself a lot of the time...) and I know that all of us can find a way out of this madness - it just might take longer than we had hoped it would. But once we finally get there - and for those of you who are there, or are close to being there - I know it will be amazing!!
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with lots of love and lots of hugs,
jenn

Saturday, May 1, 2010

currently going on in jenn's world...

I am doing pretty dang good with the caffeine abstinence. I have only had Starbucks one time (which was yesterday when I had a peppermint latte...oops! It sure was tasty though!) But I am having the occasional slip when it comes to diet sodas. I probably slip once or twice a week and then the next couple of days suck as I am trying to once again get back on the wagon - just to fall off it a few days later. One of these days, I will get it right - it's just taking some time to get there. But I just keep trying to remind myself that there are reasons (major health reasons) why I need to abstain from the goodness that is caffeine. But despite my slips, I would say I am drinking 80%-ish less than I was before.
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I didn't get the job that I applied and interviewed for - and I really had my hopes up. But... I have a couple other job positions that are still in the works, so hopefully something will turn up soon! It's got to! I have been out of work waaaay too long...
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Two of my roommates are moving out this weekend. I am going to miss them, but I wish them all the best in this next chapter of their lives. I live in a house with 5 other girls (which can be a disaster in the making if we didn't get along - and if you are a girl you know exactly what I am talking about! LOL.) but the six of us have all gotten along really well and become good friends. There hasn't been any move in/move out's since late summer of last year - so it's been nice. But I hope that the new girls who are moving in will be able to keep the "fun, peaceful, and comfortable" atmosphere that has been at our house. It's always difficult for me when I get new roommates or move somewhere new because then comes the situation of "Do I tell them about my illness or not?" and "If I do tell them, how much should I tell them?" It's always hard for me because for the past few years, I tend to be a very guarded person in real life (I am a lot more open in my blog) and I am naturally a shy person anyways, so to have that added guarded-ness just makes things more difficult, and it takes time for me to be able to open up and let people in. But that is a part of healing and recovery that I am working on. I can't let relationships from the past continue to affect current and future relationships - even though I do : (
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A little over a week ago, a behavior that I haven't struggled with for quite a while snuck up on me and attacked with full force! I still struggle with a lot of behaviors - but not this particular one and so the first time it happened, I was completely caught off guard and wasn't prepared for it... and then it happened again... and then again.... and then again! I didn't tell anyone about it because in my crazy head I tend to convince myself that if I don't acknowledge it - then it's not really happening. But we all know that is not true! That is denial working its magic! I finally admitted what was happening to my treatment team a few days ago and to my mom (which was so hard! It's always hard to tell your parents that you've messed up yet again...) and now I seem to be caught in another behavior as a way to stop myself from doing the first behavior! UGH!!! I am so afraid of engaging in one behavior and my way of preventing that from happening is to do this other behavior... I am just so frustrated with the ed and the endless cycle of behaviors as a way to cope.
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I still love my volunteer job. And I hope that I will be able to work in into my schedule once I start working again. I love feeling needed and useful. I am getting to know some of the other volunteers (like a super cute boy that I talk to when he is here on Fridays). And I am not "hiding" as much anymore from the doctors & nurses who know me from my many stays here as a patient... even though one of the doctors (who I still see occasionally for my kidneys) is still checking up on me. But I know it's because he is just worried about me, and wants to make sure I am "being good" as he likes to say.
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I am still trying to get myself to church every Sunday... some Sundays I make it, some I don't - but my heart is in the right place and slowly but surely, spirituality is finding it's way back into my life as I am regaining my faith in God.