Little Victories

Did I sleep well last night? Nope.

Was my PTSD in crazy over-drive last night? Yup.

Am I still depressed? Yup.

But………….

I made it to yoga today.  This alone is an amazing victory.  I can’t say I used kindness to get myself there, but I did get there and I enjoyed it once I was there.

Maybe there is hope for me yet!

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Priorities

Yesterday got better.  This morning worse.  But I did eat.  Eating is the important thing to do when striving for the “next right thing.”

I didn’t sleep well.  I couldn’t fall asleep.  I was up frequently. I had a rape nightmare.  I woke up all discombobulated.

I am exhausted.  I am irritable…no…not irritable, just at my stress tolerance and everything over my stress tolerance pushes my coping skills which makes me edgy.

 

 

Love

Post #3

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?

I love this man soooo much.

Still Struggling

I was a bad therapee yesterday.  I had therapy at 9.  I had been okay, I had talked to my PNP prior to therapy and was feeling good.  I adore my PNP so talking to her always makes me feel better for a little while.  But when I headed out to therapy, my anxiety hit me.  I have no idea why I was anxious, but by the time I got to therapy, I was really anxious.  All I can figure is that it was related to therapy. I’m not sure what triggered it though.

Unfortunately, it was one of those appointments where I was really struggling to stay present and connected.  Grace did a lot of talking, which was fine, she was explaining some stuff and reflecting stuff back to me.  And if you ask me now what she said, I really couldn’t tell you.  I know we talked about peers and feelings, I know that we talked about something about yoga and self-care, I know that when I left she said we would go over two homework assignments on Monday.  But…the details about all of this is fuzzy because I just couldn’t stay focused.  Like, I remember one of the assignments she said, but not the other (but I am going to guess which one she meant). And I can’t remember at all the details about what she said about self-care.  Nor can I really remember the peer conversation other than the fact that I was really unhappy talking about it.

So, What makes me a bad therapee?  The fact that I knew I was having a hard time staying present and focusing.  And I almost said something to her, but I didn’t.  I just kept trying to force myself to attend to her and hear what she was saying.  Only, clearly, it didn’t work.  I am really frustrated with myself for not doing a better job of communicating my state of mind with Grace.  Actually, I feel pretty critical of myself for basically wasting a whole appointment because I couldn’t stay present. Fucking stupid.

You know, I was going to summarize the rest of the day, but I realize that it is all pretty fuzzy.  I did a project in art therapy that I am going to take pictures of today so I can post them tomorrow.  The directive was, “Where are you in the recovery process?”  Oh right, we had our Gender and Sexuality group.  Someone read her homework assignment and I wasn’t really able to give her much feedback because as soon as she stopped reading, I couldn’t remember what she had said.

The other thing about yesterday is that from lunchtime on, I felt uncomfortably overfull.  As if I had eaten too much.  And I am not sure what was up with that because I had not eaten too much.  And the feeling lasted all afternoon and when dinner came, I had no appetite and had to force the food down.  I am going to guess that this was a psychosomatic event.  I say that, because aside from feeling overfull, I totally felt like my body had gotten bigger.  Like, I happened to put my hand on my stomach and I was startled as to how much bigger it had gotten (since the morning.)  Intellectually,  I know that  my stomach didn’t get bigger in 6 hours.  But my distorted perception was that my stomach was bigger, and I looked at my legs and my thighs were bigger too

And then lastly, my mood, which had been feeling a little bit better, dropped again last evening.  I was home alone and it was quiet and I just felt the weight of the depression settle on me.  I know I refer to my depression as being on me a lot.  Have you ever had an x-ray and they put one of those really heavy vests on you to shield parts of your body from the x-ray?  That is sort of how I experience my depression settling on me.  It is just feels like a heaviness in my mind and body.  Like the depression has weight and substance.

I also realized last night that the woman I live with is gone all weekend and that I need to be extra careful to not isolate.  And I am a high isolation risk this weekend.  I feel more depressed, I am struggling with the departure of my peer.  I will be alone in the house.  It will be sooo easy to just stay in bed all day.  However, I already had plans for a friend to come over tonight, so tonight is taken care of.  Tomorrow, I will make myself go to yoga in the morning and to the grocery store too.  And today, I will make a plan for the rest of the weekend.

Depression Steals So Much From Me

Okay…Today’s blog post is late.  I did write it earlier, but last night I had some failure of my wifi adapter which rendered my computer non-connectable.  It was a long 24 hours.  I tried and tried to fix it, but had to wait until this evening and dh coached me along and now, all is well inside my computer again.

The funny thing is that so much happened today….This morning’s post is almost ancient.  Oh well…It is still important.


 

Depression steals so much from me.

Okay…fantastically, wonderful, amazing news!  Dh decided that it has been enough time with us apart and he is coming here in two weeks to see me!  I cannot describe what this means to me!  I pretty much cried when he firmed it all up and bought his plane ticket.  I thought that this would totally get me out of my depressive funk.  I mean, my best friend is coming to visit! And I have missed him soo much!  And he is coming here!!!!  To see me!!

This was all worked out and plane ticket was bought before noon.  And then later, after suppertime, when I got home from programming…I could feel the denseness of the depression sliding over me.  You know, I thought I would be able to ride the dh high for the next few weeks, but I guess it won’t be that easy.  And this is why I say depression steals so much from me.  I want to be excited and happy for the next two weeks.  I don’t want to feel inert.

At least I can count on this…When dh comes, I will be soo happy and so busy and so excited that during those 5 days that he is here the depression will be over-ridden by my joy.  So, I will at least have that time to feel like me.  And though I won’t count on it, maybe the depression will actually be better by then anyway.  A girl can hope, right?

Yesterday, I worried about the day feeling long and me feeling alone but I did not sit in the loneliness of my day yesterday.  I had those errands to run and sort of on a whim, I texted a peer that I like, and asked if she wanted to go along for the ride and maybe go out to lunch too.  She was happy to go, so we spent a couple of hours together, which was really nice.  We did go out to lunch together…And I struggled with my ED.  It wasn’t that I couldn’t eat, because I did.  But the anxiety and backlash from eating was really strong.  It was totally one of those moments where I panicked, the “Oh shit! I just ate food.  Now I am going to gain weight.  I have done the wrong thing.  I need to restrict for the rest of the day.”  This tells me that my eating disorder is a little more engaged than I thought it was.  For what it’s worth though, I have been on track with my meal plan today.  And I was yesterday too.  I can be okay as long as I keep doing the next right thing.

This morning, I get together with Janis, my pastoral care person.  I made the plan at the end of last week…And guess what?  I don’t want to go.  It just seems like too much effort.  You know what I want to do?  Stay in bed all day.  It’s not really an option because I have programming…but I would sure like to do it.

Tenuous Improvement

It is possible that the edge has been taken off of my depression.  I always hate this part of relief from my depression, because I never know if it is actually going to last.  It is frustrating because I had felt such a substantial decrease in my depression over the past few months that this exacerbation has been really hard.  And…as I start to feel better, I am just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Will I continue to feel better? Will I crash again?  How soon will I crash again?  It’s like I can’t have hope that feeling better may last.  I also think that the improvement is so delicate that it would take very little to push me right back down.

My PTSD was active again over the weekend, but not as bad as it had been.  One of my peers actually asked about it yesterday, and I felt really touched.  Like…she actually heard how much I was struggling and cared enough to check in with me about it.  It kind of made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

Grace would probably use that interaction to illustrate the point that connecting with people is good for me…But one positive interaction with one peer does not prove the point.  Mostly, I just can’t accept what my peers say as supportive.  I mean, I have been doing this group therapy stuff so long now that I have heard the support over and over again.  Lots of it is just words with no follow-through.  And at this point, the support just never makes me feel better.  So, why bother?  And Grace doesn’t listen to me when I tell her there’s no point in talking about my struggles in group.  She has some very strong ideas about me needing connection.  I have some very strong ideas about it too.  If you can imagine, our ideas are kind of at each end of the spectrum.

Truthfully, connection just doesn’t seem safe to me.  I don’t want to put myself out there, I don’t want to be vulnerable, I don’t want to be disappointed.  Shit…that’s probably just me stuck in old patterns and then reinforcing them with my stubborness fear of being disappointed and hurt.

Today, programming doesn’t start until 3. I am feeling the loneliness of the before-programming-time already and it is only 8:30.  This is the depression litmus test.  Either I will start to feel like shit or I will hold my own until 3.  I do have an errand to run because my nutritionist wants me to add some cookies into my meal plan.  Cookies!!!  I think she is trying to kill me via my anxiety!

Come to think, I have two little projects started (projects make me very happy) and maybe I can get a couple of supplies while I am out to keep working on them. I also have homework to do today…That will keep my mind occupied too.  I am working on my treatment challenges/goals/objectives for the next month and I also have three writing pieces to do: What is the status of my body image right now?, What do I need both internally and externally while doing trauma work? and How does denying I have needs keep me stuck?

Yikes!  So much processing to do.  It is overwhelming just writing it down.

Containment

I guess today is a post-therapy blog.

Therapy was….welll….therapy.  We always have to talk about feelings and stuff.  Ugh…and needs.  That every person has needs, which means I have needs, even if I don’t want to have needs.

And we talked about emotions and emotional flooding (being totally maxed emotionally, beyond the point of being productive.)  And we talked about containment.  Ways of containing the emotions by writing down a couple of words to ease the emotional overload, with the intent on going back to the trigger when one is no longer overloaded.  Or of writing what needed containing on an envelope and sliding it under Grace’s door for containment and returning too later.

And then that lightbulb went off in my head…..

The AT, an envelope, containment…This has happened before.  And it worked.  So, I have hope that it will work with Grace too.

Other than that, today has been tolerable. Having therapy this morning got me moving out of bed and into my day.  I am trying hard to not go back to bed.  Yesterday, I stayed out of my room most of the day.  It seems less isolating to be upstairs.  Plus, I have the dogs for company.  I cannot express how much it means to me to have these dogs in my life.  They may not be my dogs, but they do me a lot of good.

Now, I am going to make lunch.  I can feel a bit of the depression starting to settle around me, so I am going to keep busy and see if I can deter it for a while

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Hollow

If I am distracted, I am pretty much okay.  I know I am kind of withdrawn when distracted, but I can manage.  But once I am not distracted, the depression just slams me and I am totally not okay.

I went shopping with the woman I live with yesterday. More to the point, she went shopping and I tagged along (she invited me). She went to these higher end clothing stores and bought a beautiful evening gown at one store and then an outfit for a cocktail party at another store.  At the second store, I fell in love with a blue, velvety, embroidered tunic (which would have been a knee-length dress on me) top.  I couldn’t stop wanting it…even the woman I live with looked at it and said, “That’s a Heidi-shirt!”  It was expensive to start, but 50% off…and still expensive.  It’s neither here nor there though, they didn’t have my size, only a smaller size.  I spent the rest of my time in the store wishing my body was smaller and contemplating how I could achieve making my body smaller…It was not a good path for my brain.

We got home and I was drained.  I didn’t have any energy to make dinner, so I had a fluffernutter and some blackberries and a huge mug of my not-coffee. It was probably not a dinner that met my meal plan.

Then, the friend I was supposed to get together with after dinner cancelled. I was alone at home, and I could feel the depression just crushing me.  All I wanted to do was retreat to my isolation zone, but the dogs were out and about and I didn’t have the energy to put the puppy in her kennel, so I put on my pajamas, did my laundry, did some homework, sent out a couple of emails.  It was low key. And I was just depressed the whole time.

Now it is morning.  I dreamed last night that I was weighed and saw my weight. I want nothing more than to weight myself on the way to shower.  Would it matter if I did?  Why do we spend so much energy trying to hide my weight from me?  Why can’t I just know?  If I knew, then I could be more at ease with where I am with my eating disorder.

Of course, to weigh myself, I’d actually have to get out of bed.  I need to get out of bed, I want to go to UU, I need to try to function, I am getting together with a peer sometime later today, I need to shower, I need to move.  And yet, I am still in bed, the depression holds me down as if I had wet sacks of sand on me.  And the idea of rallying and making it to UU is beyond exhausting.  I’ve already been laying here this way for almost an hour…It is almost impossible to get going because I have no initiative.

I think this depression has become a problem.  This weekend, I had planned to do things differently, but yesterday was not a good start, I ended up missing yoga, I didn’t get together with peers (I had two opportunities to do so), I felt smothered by depression, I went shopping but felt hollow the whole time, I lied to my peers to get out of socializing, and I didn’t care about anything. I will try to do differently today, but I am afraid that no matter what I do, I will just feel hollow and dead inside.

Okay.  I have to get out of bed.  If I am going to try to do differently today, I have to get up.

Struggling So Much

I feel like a failure.

I am not going to make it to  yoga this morning.  Saturday morning yoga is my favorite part of my weekly routine and the class has my favorite instructor.  And I am not going to make it because I spent 45 minutes trying to will myself out of bed to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and be ready to go….And I couldn’t do it.  And now, it is too late to get my shit together and go to yoga.

What is wrong with me?  Why can’t I shake this depression?  It is not helping me at all right now…Although I don’t think depression ever actually helps.  But really, it is impeding my recovery process.  I suppose it is a good sign that I still care, because when it gets to a point that I stop caring about recovery, then I will know the depression is out of control.

I didn’t struggle with the PTSD episodes last night.  Last evening, I went grocery shopping with a peer.  I didn’t have a good time.  Last time I went out with this peer, I didn’t have a good time.  I think I will stop doing things like that with her.  She just is always distracted, texting, doing her own thing.  I mean, that’s all fine, but if you are going to do something with someone, it would be nice to actually spend time together, iykwim.

We were out through dinner time, a tactical error for me.  She didn’t care because she isn’t eating right now. I cared.  By the time I got home, it was over two hours after I usually eat.  I was fascinated by the fact that I wasn’t actually hungry.  (When you mess up your body with an eating disorder, you mess up  your body’s ability to cue you about hunger.)  I did eat.  I made myself some quick mac n cheese and had tomatoes dipped in salad dressing.  I am guessing my friend went home and ate nothing.

After that, I video chatted with dh for a while.

I don’t know if it was the being with people, or chatting with dh, or change of routine, but the Friday night PTSD torture did not happen and I am sooo relieved.

But now, here I am, in the depression hole. I have self-harm urges, passive suicidal ideation, emotional pain and no energy for initiation of anything.  I haven’t even gotten out of bed to pee.  And…now, I am going to miss yoga.  F.A.I.L.U.R.E.

I have spent some time this morning, as I have been trying to will myself out of bed, asking myself why I feel so depressed, why I feel like self-harming, why I feel suicidal ideation.  What purpose is this serving me right now?  I can’t come up with much.  The last two days of programming this week were kind of tough.  Yesterday, I did that me-in-the-group check in.  I also checked in about the use of eating disorder behaviors I have had this week.  That was hard…and didn’t really make me feel better.  We had a really hard discussion in our sexuality group on Thurs about trauma effects on sex and masturbation.  I shared something I had written about it on my trauma timeline, which was really hard to do.  (And despite my shame about what I had written…I had several peers thank me both during and after group for my candor and putting words to a hard topic and opening it up for people to talk about it.  Because as ashamed and embarrassed as I felt, I was in a roomful of people who had the same experiences and felt the same way.)  Sharing that probably pushed me farther into trauma stuff than I should have gone.

I don’t know…I feel scrambled as I am blogging…and there is so much more that I want to say, but I feel like I am not making much sense and this post is going to get too long if I say it all.  Wait…this is a time for bullet points.

  • I am still reeling from my therapist saying I probably need to be here another 8ish weeks.
  • I am concerned about our finances and how we will afford to keep me here that long.
  • My anxiety therapist did the Y BOCS II with me yesterday (an OCD assessment) and I scored really high…I am still trying to process what that means for me.
  • I think my PNP is worried about my depression.
  • I am supposed to go meet with peers at Starbucks this morning and I don’t want to go
  • I have started to lose my boundaries with the peer that I wanted to keep distance from because our relationship is unhealthy.
  • I am furious at my friend who is not eating.  I am trying really hard to be compassionate, but why does she get to not eat?  And why does she smirk and look pleased every time someone asks her about it/confronts her about it/or clinicians talk about it?  And is she just trying to kill herself? Is it attention getting behavior?  And when she restricts at our group meals, why aren’t they following their protocol about it?  WTF.  Everything about it makes me mad. Which probably means I need to just ignore it so it doesn’t interfere with my process.
  • My PNP really wants me to do something “sweet,” as in finding something I enjoy for self-care and lifting my mood some.  I don’t feel like I enjoy anything.  How can I find something “sweet”?

Okay…now I know I am rambling. I am going to drag myself out of bed and take a shower, take my meds, get dressed, eat breakfast and try not to crawl back into bed.

Actually, I think I can hear water running which means the woman I live with is showering.  It gives me an excuse to just stay in bed for a while longer.