So Tired

I am just reeling with exhaustion.  The programming is just so emotionally draining.  I am spent all of the time.

I saw Meg briefly today.  She came to do a transition meeting for one of my peers.  I have to admit that when I saw her arrive, I felt this rush of relief and safety.  She came over and chatted with some other folks and me as well.  It was brief, but reassuring.

Today, I met with the new therapist for the second time.  It went okay…I am super guarded with her as I don’t know her at all.  She appears to be a “no bullshit” kind of therapist.  Now, Meg was also a no-bullshit therapist, but Kyla seems to be even more direct. They different stylistically, except for the no-bullshit part.  But I don’t find Kyla off-putting.  Now, I just need time to get used to her.

There were lots of things I wanted to blog about tonight, but I am just too tired.  Anything else I have to say will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

Suicide (Not Me) and Monday

Suicide

Being part of a community of mentally ill/fragile people is challenging because you never know how close to the edge anyone is.  Last night, I saw a Facebook post from a friend (who I have kept in regular touch with) from my previous treatment facility.  Friday, she tried to kill herself, and it sounds like she almost did.  She had to be intubated, was in the ICU and was in a coma.  Strangely, I have no emotional reaction to this.  But it makes me want to keep all my current peers a safe distance away.  I don’t want to connect with people who are just going to disappear out of my life.

Or who disappear and then pop back in.  I am still Facebook friends with my friend who killed herself earlier this summer.  I don’t know why…I just haven’t had the heart to unfriend her.  Every now and then, someone posts a message to her and so I get a notification from her page.  It is unsettling and kinds of jolts me into feelings that I don’t want to have, so I just ignore it all.

In the transition meeting with Meg and Kyla, Meg brought the suicide of my friend up.  Honestly, at that point, I had buried the suicide so deeply inside of me that I had practically forgotten about it. Although my memory of the transition meeting is a bit sketchy, I think Meg said that I had not grieved the loss of my friend.  I don’t know what to think of that.  Have I grieved? Do I want to grieve?  Does it matter?

Monday

I am so anxious about today, that pretty much as soon as I woke up, my hands were shaking. I don’t know how to get my shit together and not lose it at PHP.  Well…I can almost guarantee I will lose it at PHP, but I don’t want to.  And I will probably have to face Kyla today and I sooo regret that email that I sent her Saturday in which I told her how I was feeling because she forgot me.  I don’t know why I wrote it or what benefit I thought I would get about stating my feelings and showing a bit of vulnerability by doing so.  What the fuck was I thinking?!

I cannot do this.  I can’t do any of it.

 

 

 

 

Slack

Sometimes, I forget to cut myself some slack.  Really…I just never give myself the peace to do it.

I forgot to say something this morning about the restricting yesterday.  Yes, I missed that morning snack and it threw me…But I have an optional evening snack and I made sure to eat it last night to make up for the missed snack in the morning. Maybe I am not a total failure?

Please, remind me that I don’t have to do this perfectly and imperfection doesn’t make me a failure.  Because I can’t seem to find a way to cut myself some slack.

 

 

Not Doing Well

I am totally drowning right now.  Seriously, I cannot handle this transition.  I am losing my shit completely.  I knew the transition would be hard, but did not have any idea that it would be this hard.  I am empty and depressed and scared and hopeless.  And I am already restricting.  Yup.  I am such a failure.  I am so ashamed that I can’t even talk to anyone about the fact that I am struggling this much. So, I sit here, in tears, just wishing I was dead.  Struggling with restricting when given more meal autonomy is probably not surprising to my clinicians, and I am sure that even though I will get in trouble for doing it, it is a way to “practice” the skills that I need to overcome the urges, but I just feel like a complete and utter failure.

I don’t know how anyone recovers from an eating disorder.  I have no fucking idea.  I am not the only one at PHP (partial hosp) struggling with urges and/or actively using symptoms. Is it even possible to recover?

I guess the only thing I have right now is the knowledge that it is okay to struggle and I am only barely restricting and that I know it is about having control.  If I can remind myself of my goals and am honest with my clinicians maybe I can catch this before it takes off.

Oh…and speaking of clinicians, Kyla has earned her first strike.  I saw her for the initial appointment on Thursday and she was supposed to check in with me yesterday to see how I am doing.  And she forgot.  I was sitting at the table and saw her come up the stairs, keys in hand, and go right out the door.  And I felt like every single thing I have ever felt about being worthless was proved true.  Honestly, I was devastated.  Now, I feel like I can’t trust her.  She is not supposed to forget me, she is not supposed to make me feel worse about myself and anything she says about caring about me or supporting me (cuz they always say that) is bullshit.  There is no way I am going to let my guard down around her.

She did actually email later in the day and apologize for forgetting me.  And asked what she could do to support me….but I feel like that ship has already sailed.  However, I worked really hard to set my anger and disappointment aside and respond to her email with some “I” statements and reflections of my feelings.  I figured that even though I likely will never trust her, I ought to at least make an effort, especially since she did email me.

Anyway, for what it’s worth…Here’s what I said:

I really want to be snarky and passive aggressive in my response to you….And I am struggling to set that part aside so I can respond from a more Self oriented kind of place….We’ll see how that goes.

Yes, I noticed that you forgot to check in.  I am very unhappy about it because it just reinforces a bunch of my core beliefs and I feel abandoned and it puts a huge kink in the whole trust-building thing.  I already hated the whole process of transitioning from [Meg] and now I just feel like giving up completely.
I am not sure there is anything you can do to support me right now.  I am miserable and struggling and at the moment, I just want to quit PHP and go home.  I am barely managing my ED urges and I forgot to have morning snack today (It was an honest error….I don’t know if you will actually believe that, but it is true.) which has caused my restriction urges to surge.  I feel like I am hanging on by a thread, but that thread is unraveling and about to break.
I know transitions are hard for me and I want to cut myself some slack, but I just can’t.  This process should be easier and I am not sure why I can’t do it right.  At this point, I just hate everything about me and being here.
So….That’s what is going on with me right now.
Oh, and for the record, I may want to quit PHP and go home, but I won’t actually do it.  I am trying really hard to actually get on the path to recovery, and I know going home would not be a sound choice.
And even though I am mad (i.e. hurt) about you forgetting me, I am glad you emailed.  It saved me from spending the weekend convinced that you hate me.
I don’t know…Maybe I was too honest?  I feel kind of unsure about having actually sent that email.   Of course, I feel unsure about everything.
And as to my comment about forgetting snack, it is actually true that I genuinely forgot. Snack is different in PHP, in that you do it within a certain time range, but everyone doesn’t sit down together and no-one announces it is snack time.  In residential, it is more structured and evidently, I haven’t quite adjusted to the new system yet.  And yes, it was the strong restricting urges after snack, combined with some issues about my meal plan and my shame about eating that led to the restricting.  And like I said, it was only super mild restricting, “invisible restricting” so hopefully, I can nip it in the bud today.  As long as I don’t let the shame, self-loathing and feelings of failure consume me, I think I have a fighting chance. Actually, that sounds far too optimistic for what I am actually feeling…But maybe I can convince myself it is true?

The Apartment, Therapy, The New Therapist, and Speaking of Hard

The Apartment

I am so tired.  Last night was the first night in the apartment housing.  The place is filthy.  And I don’t mean like from my germ phobia kind of point of view.  The place is gross. The fridge wasn’t cleaned, the bathroom is yucky, there is a used q-tip on the floor in my room.  Anything metal is rusted.  It’s just nasty.  Plus it smells strongly of stale cigarette smoke.  It has poor lighting too.  Oh…and the dryer sucks.  I washed and tried to dry my sheets last night (to use my laundry detergent rather than have an allergic reaction to theirs) and after a long, long, long time of trying to dry my sheets, I finally gave up and just made my bed and slept on damp sheets.  The internet doesn’t work either.  Really, it is that bad.  So, what to do?  I haven’t gotten that far yet.  I am so tired and stressed, I am just going to give it the weekend. Plus Mel and I have plans to clean this weekend.  That should help a ton!

Then, last night was also really hard.  I didn’t sleep well, mostly because I woke up in the middle of the night in PTSD hypervigilance mode.  I was terrified and couldn’t calm myself.  I actually had to get up and check the outside door to see if it was locked. And the window and then I locked my bedroom door too.  I haven’t felt that unsettled and needed to lock doors in a long time.  I even considered tucking a chair under the exterior door. Again, I haven’t felt that unsafe in a long time.

Therapy

So the new therapist…She actually seemed pretty on the ball yesterday…I mean for the parts where I could pay attention to her between my severe anxiety, tears and dissociation.  I will probably have to make eye contact with her and actually try to engage with her next time I see her.  I really am struggling with the change of therapist.  All it makes me want to do is go home.  If I have to change therapists, then I just want to go home to see the AT.  He is safe and I know him and he knows me.  And then, if I went home, I would be home! In my safe world, with all the people and dogs and things that I love.  I just miss being home sooo much.  I don’t know why this time in treatment my homesickness has been so strong….

I don’t know….I also blame myself for being here.  If I coped with my issues better, if I had fought my ED harder, if I was somehow a stronger or better person, I wouldn’t need to be away from home.  <sigh>  I wish I could get over this self-blame.  But I can’t convince myself that I am not letting down dh and ds by being gone for so long and not working and not contributing to the family.

The New Therapist

I have been observing the new therapist, Kyla, today.  And I realized something…I actually realized it a little bit yesterday, but as I have watched her walking around and interacting with people, I realized that she looks very similar to a professor I had at my Associate’s Degree school.  And I have a very negative association with that school, that program and that particular professor.  That was the school where the Trigger incident occurred and I got no support over it.  And that particular professor, whom Kyla resembles, was one of the key players in not hearing me and not supporting me (or outsourcing me for the support I needed) and just generally being part of my downward spiral while I was there.  I actually had a lot of issues with this professor before the Trigger and was always on edge around her, but she also happened to be chair of the department, so I had to deal with her about the Trigger.

Now, of course, I know that Kyla is not this professor.  But my immediate response is sort of a visceral gun-shy kind of response.  Which means I should bring it up in therapy. Which means we will have to talk about it…..Ugh.  I hate all of this!

Let me rewind to, “I just want to go home and see the AT.”  I am tired of everything being so fucking hard.

And Speaking of Hard

Cuz I need more stress <eye roll>…..My new dietitian tried to fuss with my meal plan.  Not changing my food quantity, but changing the way I am portioning.  And I listened to her and I tried for one meal….And I freaked.  Seriously, I could barely cope.  It brought back all that shame that I had blogged about a handful of weeks ago about portion sizes and feeling fat and people comparing and my shitty body image.  And I could barely eat because I was so anxious.  Really, I just felt so stressed that I had nausea and could barely get food down.  It is so un-fun having to eat when I feel that way.  I mean, I don’t think any of us would want to eat when feeling nausea, but it’s not like I have a choice, so it makes it worse.

So, in a moment of courage I approached the dietician asked if we could step into her office and I promptly cried.  And she asked what was being brought up for me (one of their absolute favorite questions here) and I barely hesitated before saying that it brought up shame and made me feel obvious and the fact that my body size is so different than everyone else’s (in other words, I am FAT).  And we discussed that maybe right now is not the right time to change the way I am doing my meal plan.  And that maybe I have work to do/processing to do about why I feel so ashamed.  And that we will made the meal plan change but not today or this weekend, and that maybe we will start slow and work up.

And….guess what? I felt heard and validated.  And she even said something about taking me where I am at.  I left her office so relieved.

She did want me to journal/blog about my feelings of shame with changing the meal plan, and I will. But not today.  At this point, I need to give myself a little break.

Making It Through The Day

Today was my first day at PHP.

For what it is worth, I did not cry as much today as I thought I would.  Mostly, I just worked really hard on keeping the tears in.  I just needed to have some sort of control and since controlling my feelings was all I could do, that is what I managed.  I did cry when I got there and was waiting for therapy.  I just couldn’t keep from crying.  And then Meg showed up for the “bridging” appointment and I cried more.  Basically, I cried through most of that appointment….Ugh…All that crying in front of the new therapist that I don’t know and/or trust.  I was sooo unhappy with myself.

I met the new dietitian today too.  It was another bridging appointment, so Mac was there too.  I have to admit I remember next to nothing about that appointment as I was just completely on emotional overload.  I guess I remember little bits, but I was just fried.

The apartment Mel and I are in sucks.  It is really dark and dingy.  Like the fridge is not clean from the prior people.  The place reeks of stale cigarette smoke.  The bathroom is nasty.  And I am not just saying these things from my germ-phobic issues, the place is yucky.  Mel and I will be doing some deep cleaning on the weekend.

Too tired for more details tonight.  And too drained to think.  But I survived day one.

 

The Next Step

Six and a half weeks ago,  I arrived at Hilltop with my suitcase and backpack and my eating disorder. Tomorrow morning, at 8:15, I will be picked up and transported to the Partial Hospitalization program which is a step-down from my current level of care.

I still have my suitcase and backpack, and have accumulated some more things as well.  I also still have my eating disorder.  But I am learning and changing and no longer need the level of supervision and support that is offered here.

I am heartbroken that I am not going home yet.  It just seems like if I have to have a transition, it should be to home.  I am also sad and scared because I have to start with a new therapist.  And  new dietitian.

The next few days will be pretty rough.  But hopefully within a week or so, I will be back on my feet and still moving forward.

I know this step-down is a good thing…but I just am so afraid.

 

Two Things

Thing One

I do appreciate comments and words of support on my blog, especially as I struggle with things like body image and my concerns about my size and weight.  However, I think I need to bring attention to something about me and my struggles.

I have an eating disorder.  Yup.  I do.  I have an eating disorder that wants me to restrict food like crazy, exercise like crazy and count calories, measure portions and has totally taken over my whole flippin’ life.  This eating disorder has caused me heart troubles which had the potential of killing me, consumed my cognition and has eaten up weeks and now months of my life with residential treatment.  I am on the hard road to recovery, but am nowhere near recovery.  I have a couple more months of treatment ahead of me and then months more when I am home.

Soooo….Comments and/or advice encouraging dieting are not really helpful to my process.  I’ve got the whole “dieting” thing down pat.  It is the “surviving and living” thing that gives me the real challenges.

I cannot in good conscience approve comments on my blog that have potential to undermine my recovery process.  Right now, I am referring specifically, to diet related comments, but I also have had pro-ana comments which I also have not approved.  For more on the that, I refer you here.

Thing Two

I am really, really anxious about my transition to the partial hospitalization program. I don’t like change, I don’t want change.  I like my safety bubble here on top of the hill.  I don’t wanna leave.

And yet, as Meg aptly put it, I need the challenge of the step-down in level of care.

The problem is (among others) is that this change of program and coinciding change of living situation has made me desperately homesick.  If I need to leave Hilltop, then I just want to go home.  <sigh>  And the thought of being away from home for 4 months is just painful.  <double sigh>

I packed up most of my stuff tonight for the move on Thursday.  I figured it would be easier to not do it tomorrow when I am in a panic about the transition.

<sigh> Sometimes, it just feels hard.

Self-Worth and My Body

(This was a homework assignment written Sunday evening)

How I Define Self-Worth and How This Became Correlated to My Body

I am not even sure how I define my self-worth.  What things make me worth anything?

  • My intelligence
  • My sense of humor
  • My persistence/perseverance
  • My work ethic
  • My creativity
  • My compassion
  • My love of nature
  • My love of my family

What makes me feel like I am not worth anything?

  • That I am not smart enough
  • That I am not skinny enough
  • That I am ugly
  • That I am disgusting
  • That I am never good enough
  • That I am damaged
  • That I am bad
  • That I am stupid
  • That I do stupid/embarrassing things
  • That I am fat

Just looking at these two lists, it is clear that my sense of worth revolves around things that are intellectually/brain based and the things that make me feel worthless are all about my body.

I guess that the reason my body measures my lack of worth is because of messages I got over and over as a child. I was never good enough because I wasn’t lady-like enough. My body betrayed me by attracting sexual abuse.  Puberty came before I was ready.  My peers teased me relentlessly, first about my early puberty, with ogling and snide remarks about my breasts, and then because I got fat and thus my peers bullied and tortured me for the next 6 years over my size.  Basically, I learned at school to hate my body because my body was what made me a social pariah.  And it was my body’s fault.

I also had lots of criticism about my body at home.  It was never spoken directly, my mother never said to me, “Heidi, you are fat. Lose weight.”  But I was told how to dress and what to wear to make me look good/smaller despite my body size.  I also was told what to wear and how to dress to minimize my busty chest.  And then there was the time that my parents made me do Nutrisystem with them.  No…no one at home ever said I was fat, but the message was there loud and clear.

And the constant focus on my size and my feelings of shame and subsequent hatred of my body because of that focus, consumed my thoughts and emotions and became the central point of my self-worth.  Being smart wasn’t good enough, being funny wasn’t good enough, being kind and compassionate wasn’t good enough.  All people saw when they saw me was my body. And then that’s all I saw too.

So…the past few weeks, at HillTop, I have been feeling a bit better about my body.  I had started to accept my body…I mean, in tiny baby steps, but I was starting to like what I was seeing.  Maybe it was just over-confidence, but I was seeing my body as smaller and feeling some acceptance of it.

But then this afternoon, I undid all that.  I went out shopping with Mel and tried on a bunch of shirts because I wanted some new shirts to wear with my new leggings.  I have been wearing the leggings because they are really comfortable and I really want to be comfortable.  I am also really attracted to the prints and patterns on the leggings.  But when shopping, none of the shirts I found fit right.  And I got to actually look at myself in a mirror and I got to look at myself in my leggings…And I hated what I saw.  And I realized that I have been fooling myself and that I still am disgusting and ugly.  And not worth having any self-confidence.  There is nothing about me to like or feel good about or to even tolerate.

When I look at my body now, like even just sitting in this chair, it looks different.  I am huge.  I can see how big and fat and ugly I am.  I feel stupid and embarrassed that I actually thought any differently.  And that I let myself start to feel comfortable.

This means that everyone is wrong.  I can’t eat food the way I have been eating it.  I can’t not-exercise.  And Mac is wrong.  I do need to know how much I weigh so I can keep everything under control.

And what I really need now is to lose weight.  And a lot of it.

So…I guess the only way I can define self-worth is by my body size.  And right now, I am not worth anything.

 

Tuesday update:  After losing my shit and crying most of yesterday because I hate my body and I am so disgusting….I woke up this morning and pulled out my favorite pair of leggings, put them on, put on a tunic top (which is super comfy and shields some of my awkward body spots) and am trying to wear my leggings again.  I am going to try to tone down the hatred and dial up the fact that I enjoy the comfiness of the leggings…Not sure how this will play out…But I am giving it a try.

 

 

The ED Fights Back

So much for this morning’s feel good post.  I made a tactical error today which has kind of sent me into a tailspin.  I had an outing with a friend and tried on some shirts as I really need a couple of new shirts…And I looked at myself in full-length mirrors….And it was disheartening to say the least.  Really, I am angry and disgusted and my mind went straight to restricting and over-exercising to fix me.

Then we came back just in time for dinner and dinner was a cream based soup.  I don’t eat cream based soups…It is not on my list of “safe” foods and I discovered it is super triggering.  I nearly cried…I would have except that it was my last meal with my friend Mel who is transitioning to a lower level of care tomorrow.  I didn’t want to ruin dinner with her.  She actually tried to coach me along and I tried to eat the soup….But it was a fail.  So, I had to supplement.

Really, I feel like there were too many fails today to make it any sort of a good day.  And I hate myself and I feel like I am disgusting.

And tomorrow, I have appointments that I don’t want to have and I have to “confront” someone about something I don’t want to deal with, but my therapist is kind of making me do it.

Plus, my dish partner has been very unreliable and there was an enormous amount of dishes tonight and I was overwhelmed and frustrated as I was trying to deal with them while I could hear her laughing and chatting with the direct care person in the next room

Plus, my dish buddy and I are also supposed to do the group meal this week….but instead of planning for it, my dish buddy is off saving a sick baby raccoon.  (No, I am not kidding.)  And I just feel like, “fuck it.”

I am done, I am tired, I am angry and I hate myself.  This is not a great way to start the week.