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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Yesterday Sucked

When I woke up this morning, I had to check to see if I was in one piece.  Yesterday was a brutal day emotionally and I wasn’t sure if I had actually survived.  Honestly, the best part of yesterday was going to bed so that the intense emotions would turn off.  And yup, I still feel a bit sensitive/fragile, but I am indeed in one piece today.

Basically, I had one of those days where I just ended up crying. A lot.  It started with texting my PNP in the morning and she said something that I got both angry and hurt about.  I put my phone down and just cried.

A while after that, I had an intake assessment phone call with the residential facility that I am hoping to go to.  Now, these phone interviews are long, at least an hour long, and pretty intense.  They go over every detail of your eating disorder and of your co-occurring mental illness(es).  It is like being stripped naked emotionally and made to stand in front of a crowd…Just exposing every detail of what I struggle with the most and to a total stranger. Awful.  Plus it totally highlights exactly how fucked-up I am.

But that wasn’t the worst part.  The worst part was the trauma history part.  The facility wanted to know details…Physical abuse? Emotional abuse? Sexual abuse?  And details…If you were physically abused, how often? By whom? With what?  Emotional abuse: In what way? By who? For how long?  Sexual abuse had the same questions and, Did you tell anyone about it/report it?

After the phone call was over, I hung up and burst into tears.  The phone call was sooo triggering!  Of course, the timing of the call was such that I had to immediately make and eat lunch (ha!) and then run out to triple-decker appointments.  So, I forced food into my body and launched into the afternoon, even though I was emotionally raw, PTSD triggered and feeling fucked-up beyond repair.  Basically, I was holding out for my AT appointment. I just needed to keep myself together until Art Therapy and then it would be okay to fall apart.

I actually did keep myself corralled until therapy.  And that occurred even though I had an embarrassing/shame part of my doctor’s appointment.  The shame didn’t help my emotional misery, but I didn’t cry…So I consider that a win.

I did cry during therapy.  Honestly, I didn’t really do much during therapy, I was too triggered to do anything.  After a little bit, I asked if I could draw and I sat at the art table and drew purple spirals over and over on a piece of paper.  It made me feel better and I was able to self-regulate enough to talk to the AT a little bit. But then the appointment ended.  I really didn’t want to have to leave.  I feel safe with the AT…I didn’t want to have to leave that feeling .

I don’t actually remember much about the rest of the afternoon or about dinner.  But after dinner, I snuggled with dh on the couch and felt warm and safe.  And finally, I decided to just go to bed and make the day end.  Sometimes, the easiest thing is to just throw in the towel and start over again the next day.

And today will be better. I have a fun play date with SS, Pixie and Blossom that I have been looking forward to for a looong time.

I also will hear back from the treatment place today to and will find out what level of care they accept me at.  And then the ball will really be rolling and I will soon be off for round two of treatment.

 

 

Why I Cried and Philly

Why I Cried

Yesterday, I showed the AT a piece of art I made while in treatment.  It was the day my lovely friend, Biebs was discharged.  As a matter-of-fact, she left about half an hour before that particular art therapy group.  I took her leaving really hard.  I really grew close to Biebs (and still keep in close contact), she is smart and insightful and caring and we spent many hours together in the late afternoons walking back and forth on the sidewalk in front of the facility.  When she came to say good-bye, I just totally melted.  She and I had started the same day, and I was the last of us left.  Everyone else I really cared about or who were from the core group I hung out with for the first month had already left.  And now, my amazing friend, Biebs was leaving too.  It was just too much.

By the time I got to art therapy, I had not pulled myself together.  It was so bad that even people who never offered hugs offered me hugs.  And there was nothing anyone could do to make me feel better.  I was just broken.

So, I went into art therapy and cried.  I cried for the whole session, even while doing my project.  The art therapist running the group put a box of Kleenex beside me and I just grabbed tissues and cried and worked on my project.  It was horrible. And then when we were done, the art therapist asked me to stay after the session and we talked a little bit and I cried some more.

It was just an afternoon of raw, unrestrained sorrow.

Yesterday, while I was showing the AT the piece of art from the day Biebs left, I felt that deep aching sadness again.  Of course, not as strongly as it was a while ago but it was enough to make tears spring to my eyes.  And for that sadness build and come right up to the surface.

And then, I realized something.  Or…I didn’t realize it, it was something I already knew, but I guess it was just really driven home for me.  One of the reasons I hate dealing with the childhood trauma stuff is that I can’t bear to feel all the feelings that come along with it.  All the feelings that I had as a child who had been sexually abused.  All the feelings that I refuse to feel and that has led to a life of stamping out and not allowing feelings. All those feelings are still there.  And if looking at the piece of art from the day Biebs left evoked the feelings from that day, looking at the me child-me will surely do the same.  And I can’t do it.  I can’t feel those feeling.  The overwhelm of pain and sorrow and all the rest of it is far beyond my ability to handle it.

I was able to articulate my concern about the art triggering the feelings of that day and how I am scared about dealing with child-me stuff triggering those feelings.  And I did it between tears and dissociation and terror (and I am impressed that I was even able to be articulate in all that emotional mess!).  The AT was very compassionate and reassuring. But I am still terrified of the mess of feelings I am going to have to deal with at some point.  I don’t know if I can do it.  However, it seems to be the key to everything….Or at least to lots of my dysfunctions.  But how do I deal with the agony of it without engaging any of my maladaptive coping mechanisms?  And how do I manage the feelings without restricting?  How do I stay safe?

Ugh.  Too much to think about!

Philly

This morning, I am off to Philadelphia.  The treatment facility is having their annual reunion and I am going.  I am really excited about it and looking forward to seeing friends and staff and feeling the safety bubble that is Renfrew.

Join us on Saturday, June 4, 2016, to reconnect with old friends, reinvigorate your recovery and discover new ways to seek support. We invite you to experience a new reunion schedule where you will have the opportunity to attend a variety of workshops and activities that will stimulate new thinking and further support your journey in recovery.

Look out Renfrew, here I come!

 

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I Am A Fucking Warrior!

I had a rocky start this morning…Made some poor choices in relation to my ED. How long has it been? 6 weeks since I got home? I thought this would get easier.

I messaged Glitter H today…spoke briefly of my ED issues this morning.  She had some good insight,

They say with recovery it NEVER gets easy, but things get easier

and the hard days get easier and less frequent

I hope you are right, Glitter H, cuz right now, it just feels hard and harder.

Then I kind of mindlessly wandered around the internet and found this:

13 Affirmations to Strengthen Your Recovery.  

1. My happiness does not depend on my weight or size, but on who I am and what I do.

2. Today I will abandon my destructive behaviors and start using behaviors that are good for me.

3. I am a survivor and I am a warrior. I don’t need my eating disorder to be good enough.

4. I am courageous and from today I will stand up for myself.

5. My life is just beginning, not ending.

6. I will not define myself by my past.

7. How I feel about myself has nothing to do with what I eat or don’t eat.

8. The process of recovery may be an epic one, but it’s worth it and I know it.

9. I deserve to be happy and I deserve to fulfill my dreams.

10. I deserve to treat my body with respect.

11. I will love and appreciate myself.

12. I don’t need to do excessive exercising to deserve food.

13. Everyday I become stronger and healthier.

RecoveryWarriors.com  (This a good ED recovery support site. I like it a lot.)

And then I was reminded of this:

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I feel sort of jumbled and scrambled and my brain is making connections between the past and the present and I am kind of overwhelmed and unsure.  But this much I know…I am going to heal from the sexual abuse. I am going to heal from my eating disorder.  And I am not going to do it perfectly. As a matter of fact, I am going to move forward and slide back.  I am going to re-write my inner dialogue and then I am going to listen to the old dialogue.  I am going to want to do it all alone and I desperately need help and support. It will be progress and setbacks. And joy and tears.  And I will love it and hate it.

But, I am  fucking warrior.  And today, I am not giving up.

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What if….?

What if……?

Okay…I woke up this morning with a thought.  Usually, when I wake up, my thoughts are kind of dreary especially depending on my dreams.  Even though last night I had some unpleasant sex themed dreams, I did not wake up as dreary as usual.  As a matter of fact I woke up thinking about a dress.  My dress.

Now, this probably flies in the face of yesterday’s post about Femininity. Sort of anyway.  I do not wear dresses. I especially don’t wear skirts.  I never feel pretty in dresses and/or worthy of wearing dresses.  And I never feel worth the expense of dresses. But…..Comic Con.  The local Comic Con is at the end of August and I have been pining over a dress for months, like since January.  And my want for this dress has been pretty constant and it is perfect for Comic Con. PERFECT!

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Torrid.com

So…I waited and waited and waited for the dress to go on sale and a week or so ago, it did.  So, I pounced. Ordering the dress was kind of an issue because I had no idea what size I would need.  And I had to break one of my ED Recovery Rules and measure myself to find out. (Weighing and measuring fuel ED urges.)  But I measured anyway and then I ordered two dresses. One that fits my measurements now and one a size smaller because <ahem> since restricting is never far from the surface, I wanted to make sure I had a dress that fit properly at Comic Con.

Yesterday, the dresses came.  I tried on both and the dress that fits my measurements fits PERFECTLY.  Like it was tailored for me.  And you know what?  I felt amazing in the dress.  I love how pretty it is, how nicely it fits and how it looks on my body.  And I even love the little bit of twirl to the skirt.  And as I looked in the mirror, I thought that my body looked pretty good in the dress.  Yup, I actually entertained a positive thought about my body. (And maybe I will be brave enough to post a picture of me in the dress someday!)

When I woke up this morning, I was still feeling a bit giddy about this amazing dress and how it looked on me and how pretty it is.  And then…(I tell you, I am on a roll)…I thought, “Well, what if it isn’t just the dress that is pretty? What if me being in the dress is part of what makes it pretty? What if I am pretty?”  This is kind of an earth shattering concept and one that at the moment, I don’t buy into.  But….then I was thinking about how I think my body is disgusting.  And then…Then I had the beginnings of what is perhaps an epiphany.

What if it’s not me that is disgusting and wrong?  What if the sexual abuse was disgusting and wrong, but when it happened I was to young to differentiate?

Yup.  That’s something to think about.

And then I thought about this and thought maybe I would post it again: