Countdown

  • set up appointments with the AT
  • set up appointment with couple’s counselor (CC)
  • set up appointment with Psych NP
  • Find dietitian
  • set up appointment with dietitian
  • buy plane ticket
  • make appointment with primary physician
  • make dentist appointment
  • schedule physical with primary physician

What else do I need to do?

And I don’t want to have to say goodbye to all the amazing clinicians that I have grown very attached to here.

15 days left.

 

Excited

I am getting antsy!  The end is sooo in sight that I can see it!  I don’t even need a periscope!

I will be home in three weeks.  Not counting today (cuz it’s half over) I have:

18

days left!

<happy dance>

 

Thoughts on Compassion

I got invited to be in a closed eating disorder Facebook group facilitated by the therapist of one of my Hilltop Recovery  Friends.  It has prompted some thinking on my part.

The topic was compassion.

I wrote:  It is hard for me to wrap my head around the concept of self-compassion. My initial response is to scoff at the idea and say that I don’t need anyone’s compassion, much less my own…But the longer I have been in treatment, the more I have realized the importance of acknowledging past wrongs and how they impacted me. Am I more self-compassionate? I am not sure, but I realized about a week ago that I no longer hate myself. This is a huge shift for me and is perhaps the greatest step I will take towards finding and accepting my own compassion towards myself.

She replied:   This is HUGE! The ED has three roots, self-hate, shame & fear. Deprivation is one of the main causes of this. Every human has Core Needs & when ALL of these CN are not consistently met, a person experiences deprivation. A child, adolescent, teen or adult in deprivation of universal Core Needs lives in fear, feels toxic shame and comes to the conclusion that if they were better, smarter, stronger, more this, more that (this is self hate) then none of this deprivation of universal core needs would be happening to them. I am so glad you’re on this healing recovery journey and that you’re here with us!

I wrote: It has been a long time coming. And every word that you just wrote about shame, fear, need for perfectionism, core needs not being met, etc. has been the foundation of who I am as a person. It is almost weird to change….Like who am I now? How do I be with myself now? And how do I not slide down those familiar pathways during times of stress? I just keep reminding myself, over and over again….”Do the next right thing.” All I have to do is one day at or time, or if that’s too much, one meal at a time and just focus on doing the next right thing. (Which is often much easier said than done.)

Ice

In the middle of an ice storm here.  The difference between this storm and the ones at home?  We haven’t lost power here.  There’s something to be said for a much more urban/suburban living.

 

 

Quick Update

Sometimes, the blog just slips to the way side.  It always happens when I am doing a lot of intense, personal writing for therapy.  Then I feel like that part of me, the part that is processing emotions, it just gets used up already before I blog.

But…I have lots of things swirling around in my mind.

  • I am worried about my friend Beibs, who has fallen off the radar.  I hope that she is just in treatment somewhere….But I don’t know.
  • My sister, who I have had pretty much no contact with for ten years messaged me a couple of days ago. What do I do with that?
  • I have a couple of peers here who are falling apart and it makes me really sad.
  • I found a couple’s therapist at home and have an appointment set up.
  • I have appointments scheduled with the AT.  Can you believe that I am so close to going home that I have appointments set up with the AT already?
  • I told my outpatient dietitian that I am not returning to her and got a referral from her.
  • I have a call out to a new dietitian .
  • The eating disorder group at home that I wanted to join has disbanded.
  • I am planning on going home Feb 3.  It’s not officially, official yet…but it’s my plan.

Ummm….that’s all for the moment.

Grounding

Pretty much all of the work I do here is really stressful and I often feel very overwhelmed by emotions and get totally flooded.  Frequently, I end up dissociating, which does no good for working through issues in therapy.  Because of this, it is important for to me to have grounding techniques and tools. Basically, grounding brings me back into the present and changes my focus so that I can stop feeling flooded.  The goal is to calm myself enough to continue the work.  Examples of grounding techniques I use are 5,4,3,2,1 , ice pack/cool cloth, breathing, sensory input, hand fidget toys, reading book titles, counting things, etc.  Some of these I can do on my own, some end up being facilitated by my therapist if I am dissociated.

I do well with sensory input, like my stuffed rabbit, or the ice/cool washcloth, or things with texture or that fit in my hand.  I will automatically start rubbing the hem of my shirt, or fiddle with my socks.  I have some toys, putty, a baby teether with spinning beads, etc that give me something to do with my hands and give me sensory feedback.

 

 

However, I recently found the most amazing grounding tool for me!  I snagged it a local Goodwill.  It is a Crayola product, they call it Mess-Free Touch Lights.  It is basically finger painting, but without the mess.  Technically, the toy is supposed to have a stylus, but being at Goodwill, mine doesn’t.  But that’s okay. I much prefer the tactile input of just using my fingers to draw on it.  And the  best part is it is a light board, so the drawing is backlit and just looks really cool.  I use the board before bed if I am anxious and/or having a PTSD hard time.  I also use it at programming.  Actually, I was lucky enough to find a second one at Goodwill, so now I don’t have to tote my board back and forth.

Here’s what it looks like:

0109170852

And here’s what it looks like with some doodles and then with a hand print and some of the color options.

Anyway, I just adore this toy and it totally works for me.  Oh…and if I leave it by my chair at programming, sometimes I am lucky enough to come back to it and find messages from my peers; smiley faces, “I love you” and one time one of my group leaders was talking to me and reminding me to cut myself some slack and she wrote “Kind” on my board.

I have to say, if you like hands-on grounding things, I highly recommend this.

 

Victory 3 (This is a big one!)

My therapist said something to me Wednesday about how my feelings spiral and I get to a place of self-hate.  I listened, agreeing in my head and then I was kind of looking for that self-hate part.

Gone.

I don’t think I hate myself anymore.  I am shocked.  I know I do fall into patterns of self-hate, but self-hate is not my baseline. This is sooo different. Like, I almost feel lost without it, and there is a sort of hollow space there.

Then she asked if I was neutral about myself of if perhaps I had some compassion for myself. I kind of laughed at the idea of me holding compassion for myself.  But….maybe some day?  At this point, I’m at neutral.

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.

Okay…that’s kind of a mind-blowing list.  And while I have these new beliefs, they are very fragile and get shaken very easily and there are still lots of contradicting feelings about them.  And they are in no way cemented in my brain and I will and I do lapse on them.  But to even accept these things as true (even if tomorrow I will try to deny some of them) is more than I ever had hoped for.

I am telling you, Hilltop has changed me in ways that are going to change my whole being. I am going to walk out of Hilltop a totally different person than when I went in.  It is kind of terrifying, I don’t know how to be a different me, but I am really trying to learn.