The Blog

I am not sure what to do with the blog.  I don’t have the same compelling need to write and dump stuff out of my head as when I started the blog. My world, that was spinning totally out of control, the self-loathing, the PTSD, the hopelessness, the eating disorder….It has all  been tamed so much.  I feel calm, collected, centered, grounded.  I just feel so different. The need to use the blog as containment for all the “bad” in my life has just decreased so much….

So, what to do about the blog?  I don’t know.  I am thinking of starting a recovery blog, a blog that would be about healing and renewal and be much more upbeat and hopeful.  But I just don’t know.

Hmmm….what to do……

The Project

Right now, my time has been consumed by a project.  My program dietitian recommended that I rearrange my dining room and kitchen to disrupt the possibility of slipping back into eating disorder auto-pilot when I got home.  And so…We have rearranged.  And are still rearranging.  Basically, we are having a whole house purge starting with the dining room and kitchen.  If it hasn’t been used in a long time, it is outta here.  If we have kept it due to an obligation or guilt, it’s outta here.  It’s a new beginning in multiple ways.  And I am liking it.

Except.  Except that I am totally letting the projects consume me and am giving myself very little room to think/feel/breathe.  This is not an ideal position for me to be in.  It also has meant that I haven’t ventured out to yoga at a new studio yet.  I know my hesitation is that it will be a brand-new studio and I am anxious about that.  But…I am starting to feel a bit edgy and off and I know that means that I will have to go to yoga asap.  So…I guess I will be off to yoga tomorrow.  I need to figure out a class…Oh! And I need to check the weather, as I have heard we have bad weather coming our way.

Back to the rearranging…So, we have an U shaped open floor plan living room/dining room and then a galley kitchen (the stairs are in the middle of the U).  I love that it feels spacious and open.  I hate that we have been bogged down by poorly placed and crappy furniture and clutter.  We have moved some of the crappy furniture out and as I said before, we are purging clutter.  But, the rearrangement we have done…I love it.  We moved the dining room table around the corner and on the far side of the U and now it looks over the deck and outside at the view.  We moved our bird feeders so that we can enjoy the birds too.  Where the dining room table was, we put a coffee table and moved two small arm chairs.  This faces the kitchen, but you can see around the whole U from there.  We call it “The Cafe.”  And we all love it.  Such simple changes, but such a huge difference!

Next week, we will be putting a new coat of paint on the walls.  Dh wanted yellow, and I am not invested in a color, so yellow it will be.  He wants to do that thing where you have some walls one color and then an accent color on another wall.  Again, I am game…whatever, just as long as it looks new and different.

We also have some nasty wall damage from our crappy futon frame…I think we are going to cheat to fix it.  It is on the inside of the U and sort of a stand-alone wall.  I think we may slap up some wainscoting and call it good.  It will also be a good trial to see what we think of wainscoting.

So much to do and so much fun!  Well…unless you count that part where I am sooo exhausted from doing all this stuff for hours on end.

Okay…Off to the city for some appointments.

Insomnia Means Means More Time to Blog, Right?

Howling coyotes (if you can call the sound they make howling) woke us up at 3.  They must have been very, very nearby as they were so loud.  As suddenly as the howling started, it stopped.  But I was awake.  I thought for a few minutes about the wild rabbit we have seen the past couple of mornings, or as we like to call him, the Yard Rabbit.  But 3 is early for crepuscular animals such as yard rabbits, so I am hoping he is safe.

I tried to fall back asleep, but the room was too quiet and too dark. And dh was snoring.  And I just didn’t feel sleepy anymore. Then I started thinking about chores and laundry….I know I will  be miserable later because I started my day at 3 (well…technically 4:06 cuz that’s when I got out of bed.)  We are due for some nasty weather later today, so being home and napping in the afternoon is a definite possibility.

The question I am being asked is, “How are you doing?”

I am overwhelmed.  And I am surviving.  I have had a lot of anxiety over doing this all perfectly…Yes, I know.  The last thing I need is perfectionism right now, so I am really trying to cut myself a LOT of slack.  Basically, re-integrating the first couple of days, I just felt kind of stunned and numb.  Yesterday was much better. <phew>

I am eating.  That’s the first and most important thing, right?  And despite a lot of anxiety about it, I am pretty sure I am eating my meal plan correctly.  I won’t know that for myself, I need to wait to be weighed and then someone will tell me how I am doing, but they only will if there is an issue.  So…I will keep doing what I think is right and see where it leads me.

I saw the AT yesterday.  I was soooo glad to see him.  Despite me feeling pretty anxious and worrying about reconnecting with him, it went well.  We actually had a bridging phone call last week when I was still in the program. My program therapist, the AT and I talked for an hour.  I think it was key to re-building my trust with him.  And I wrote a self-assigned piece about what he needs to know about me now.  So, yesterday I felt a little awkward at the start, but slid easily into safe comfort with him.

I have reconnected/connected with half my team now.  (I mean of the clinical team…Dh is always part of the team, even if I don’t mention him outright every time.)  I met the new dietitian Saturday.  She seems okay…I have a couple hesitations but I am going with it for the moment.  I saw the new Couples’ Counselor (CC) with dh yesterday.  He seems really nice and I think seeing him is going to be really helpful.  As I just mentioned, I saw the AT.  I also had a phone “interview” with an OCD therapist.  At the end of the interview, he accepted me as a client and I will be starting with him next week.  So, that’s contact with 2/3 of my clinical team in my first 3 days home.

Today, I see my primary physician.  Tomorrow, I see my Psych NP and the AT (again).  Then the rest of the week, I get to relax and recover and catch my breath.

Between all of Team Heidi, I will have 7 appointments a week to start.  The AT commented yesterday that it is like I will be having a job and that it is exactly what I need to be doing right now.  I felt relieved when he said that because I worry that all of my appointments are selfish, or like I am taking too much from all of my clinicians.  Or that I should be getting a real job and diving right back into the world of employment (which would be a bad idea at the moment.)  I like it when my therapists say things that actually make me feel better.

Tomorrow, I will write about my/our (dh is on board and helping with this) project of changing the physical environment of our home to help me not fall back into old habits and patterns of behavior.

And I will write about my plates.

 

205 Days

205 days ago, at the crack of dawn, I left dh and ds for what I thought was going to be 6 weeks of treatment for atypical anorexia. 205 days later, I am being discharged from the program, a healthier, happier and completely changed person. Although difficult in many ways, this extended treatment was the best thing that I could have ever done for myself. I want to thank all my supporters, near and far for helping me on my journey. I also want to thank my therapists, dietitians and other staff at Hilltop for their expert care and guidance that has helped give my my life back. Today will be a day of mixed emotions as I leave the program that saved my life and also look forward to flying home tomorrow to start a new chapter of my life.

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Reminding Myself

Struggling this morning.  Yesterday was so emotionally draining….I feel tired.  Just tired and numb.  I am pulling some stuff from some recent blogs  and emails/texts to remind myself that I am okay and that I am making progress and that all is not lost.

“Heidi,  You are a fighter and you are both persistent and stubborn.  This is something I have seen from the get-go and if you use that to your advantage there is no doubt in my mind that you can have recovery and maintain it even when there are lapses.  Hold onto that persistence and fight that you have and use it to your advantage.  That isn’t something that someone can give you or take away, it is something that you have.”


So, of the core beliefs I have challenged and changed, what do I believe now?

  1. The sexual abuse when I was 4 was not my fault.
  2. The sexual abuse when I was 14 may not have been my fault.
  3. I can tolerate my body (for the most part).
  4. I can tolerate myself (neutral feelings).
  5. My eating disorder is a serious problem.
  6. I do have an eating disorder.
  7. I did have trauma.
  8. I was treated unfairly as a child.
  9. I have needs.
  10. I didn’t deserve any of my traumas.
  11. I can heal.
  12. I am lovable to some people.
  13. I can trust some people.

Hey Heidi,

Victory indeed!! I hope you don’t mind, but I took a little time to read back in your posts. It is wonderful to see the progress that you have been able to make during your time at “Hilltop” and I can also say I 100% agree with what [your therapist] said! You are a resilient fighter and she is right-NO ONE can take that away from you. I wish you all the best and l would love to see you before you D/C.


Yesterday, dh and I were texting and he sent me some texts that I need to remember, so I am going to put them here so I can look back at them:

Me: I just have “gotta get it all done” panic.

DH: You don’t. You have made so much progress.

You’ll do a little more work with them, and then come home, wherever you are in your process. And you’ll be OK.

And we’ll take care of you and you’ll continue to work on on things.

And there will be good days and harder days.

For better and for worse…

In sickness and in health…

I love you. And your deserve to be loved and to be cared for.

Me: U r making me cry

DH: I don’t want you to heap unrealistic expectations on yourself.

You don’t have to be perfect, to be “all better,” for me (or any of us) to love you.

I know I’m not perfect, either.

wanna video chat?


“And remembering recovery is indeed defined by progress, not perfection; every valiant act of courage taken in hope of overcoming an eating disorder should never be underestimated.”


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This is all gonna be okay.  I’m gonna be okay.

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Sweetarts

The woods near the gravel parking lot at programming are now littered with Sweetarts.

Recovery is such a messy process.

I was supposed to do a challenge snack with my dietitian today.  And I bought Sweetarts earlier this week because I was feeling empowered to do the challenge.  Candy!  Can you imagine? She wants me to eat candy!  But…I was ready.

Only, we didn’t quite communicate on the where and how part of the challenge. I pretended to be all flexible about it but I felt missed, like she had forgotten that we were supposed to do the challenge.  And then my dietitian had her own thought that it would be easy to just do the challenge during group.

I have enough shame about eating candy that doing it front of the group wasn’t even on my radar. And so I refused.  Which was okay, we just rescheduled until tomorrow.

Except that I was thrown.  My plan had gotten messy, my core beliefs got triggered and I had a total melt-down. Only…it was for the most part an internal melt-down, which meant I just shutdown completely.  And I sat through the group, staring at my lap and hoping and praying group would end soon and I could run away.  I sat there hating myself and becoming more and more angry at me, my inability to eat candy, my failings as a person, my eating disorder.  And one of my peers was talking about wanting just.be.normal.  I just raged internally against myself. I want to be normal too!

After group, I quietly packed up my bag. I thanked and politely declined the support I was offered by my peers and I walked to my car, lips trembling, trying not to sob.

I didn’t even know what was wrong with me.  At that point, I didn’t know what had triggered me.  I just knew I was hurting inside more than anything and that I hated my fucking Sweetarts and I hated recovery and I hated food and I hated my dietitian and I hated me.

I stood outside my car, unwrapped a handful of Sweetarts and hurled them into the woods.  I unwrapped another handful and raged them into the woods too.  All the Sweetarts went flying.

I didn’t pause.  I know that I smelled them because they smelled sweet and pleasant and I know I looked at them because the blue one was pretty and I thought about the dye in it. But I didn’t stop to actually be in that moment.  I just flung those fucking Sweetarts as far from me as possible.

I drove home wanting to self-harm, wishing I was dead and hurting, hurting, hurting.  So, I decided to that I wasn’t going to eat dinner.  And I wasn’t going to eat breakfast or lunch either.  And that I didn’t give a shit about recovery.

Honestly, I haven’t been in this emotional place for probably two months+.  It sucked and it scared me.

I got home and I crawled into bed.  And I rested about 5 minutes before deciding that I’d better do the next right thing and get up and make dinner.  I grabbed some paper and a pen and decided to sort of flow-chart out what the heck had just happened.  That’s how I found out that feeling missed by my dietitian triggered core beliefs that triggered maladaptive responses that triggered shame that triggered more shame and urges as ways to stop the shame/pain.  The mystery was solved.  The feelings abated.

I cooked myself quesadillas with pepper jack cheese, seasoned turkey and pineapple salsa.

I ate it.

This is so fucking hard.  Recovery is so fucking hard.

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