Sunday, August 30, 2009

A tough decision

yesterday i went on my first outting since being here. the outing planner decided we were going to go to a crepe place in davis square. we printed out the menus before hand because it is almost impossible to go to a resturant with 12 girls with EDs and not spend at least an hour contemplating what to get. i was mostly worried about volume so i choose a crepe that would have a smaller volume but still fulfill my meal plan requirements. there were some simple rules for the outing: follow your meal plan--no restricting!--you could not make a "build your own" crepe, and you had to eat the whole crepe regardless of your meal plan. the idea behind the last one is that it is not considered normal eating to portion out your food at a restuarant and one of the main goals of being in a residential place is to learn how to be a more normal eater.

i had heard many horror stories about outings so i was a bit leary of how it was going to go or what i should expect. i knew who i should sit with--the more positive people who dont blatantly restrict and engage in obvious ED behavoirs at meals. so basically that meant there were three people to DEFINITELY NOT sit with. i ended up sitting with two positive people and our conversation wasnt to bad and our eating was all fairly normal so that part went well.

but of course, rules are always meant to be broken and the first person who ordered a crepe got a "build your own" crepe. the CRC was right there when she ordered and i said something too, but she still got the "build your own." her defense was "its basically the same thing" but obviously its not the same thing as some of the other crepes because then she would have just gotten a regular crepe. also, another girl just got turkey on her crepe, so no fat or vegetable--RESTRICTING! not surprisingly, these are the two people who are ALWAYS caught restricting on cafe and one of the almost always restricts on passes too, and ends up on warning the next day--at least when i restrict im still on projection :/ also, not surprisingly, the three people who you wouldnt want to sit with all sat together, so at least all their ED behavoirs were confined to one table so it didnt make it too bad for the rest of us.

for me, the outing was ok. i didnt really realize what i was doing when i was eating. i just ate. i had a nutella and strawberry crepe and a chocolate chip cookie for my desset, but i was unable to get chips so i had to have an extra 4oz of ensure at afternoon snack to make up for it. while i was eating the thoughts were blocked out though i know they were there because when i was back here and filling out my mood monitor, i began to hear the thoughts and feel the emotions i would have while eating if i didnt disconnect. i felt fat for eating what i did and i felt like everyone was looking at me wondering why i was even eating, especially a nutella and strawberry crepe AND a chocolate chip cookie. i felt like i had dessert for lunch and i felt incredibly guilty and awful about myself after this. like ive said before, its really hard to enjoy my food and even taste it because eating is so mechanical. i dont like to do it anymore. the only meaning food now holds for me is to gain weight because i eat so much of it here for that sole purpose.

since friday's pass and after the outing, i was having a hard time deciding if i should go on my pass today. i knew that if i went i would restrict if i even ate and i knew the only reason i wanted to go was for that reason--to be able to restrict and feel good about myself. but i also knew that if i did that my team would not be happy with me, especially since i ate nothing on my pass friday night, so to restrict or not eat again wouldnt really make my team to proud.

if i didnt go, then i know id obviously eat because id be here and if i want to get out of here sooner then staying here and eating would be a surer way of doing that. but, staying here and eating when i know i could be on pass restricting would only make eating that much harder, my body image much worse, and raise my anxiety.

i talked to a CRC about this last night and she said that i need practice; but i say, it's not really practice if im going to restrict, i dont need practice restricting, i know how to do that. the whole point of going on passes is to eat on your own, if i know im not going to do that, then why bother going. it will only prolong my stay here and get me in trouble with my team. i still wasnt sure when i went to bed last night what i was going to do so i talked to another CRC this morning. she basically told me that if i think its best to stay here because i wont eat if i go, then i probably should stay here.

i decided to stay here, but i was very anxious about making the decision, eating lunch, and now. like i said, knowing that i could have been out and restricted was a hard thought to deal with while eating lunch and it still isnt sitting well with me right now, nor do i expect it to get any easier and meal and snack times for the rest of the day.

im nervous to talk to two of my team memebers tomorrow and face them about friday night and to inform them why i didnt go today. i'll really need to have their approval or respect for not going today in order to feel ok about not going. i need them to tell me it was the right thing--i need the external validation. if they dont tell me either way, or say something like "well if you think it was the right thing for you, then you did the right thing" that will still leave me anxious about it, wondering if i did the right thing. but even if they do tell me that i did the right thing, i stil have my ED yelling at me that i did the wrong thing and that im stupid for not taking the chance to restrict. that voice is much stronger and louder than any other voice, my own or someone elses, so even if i hear what i want from others, it will still be nearly impossible to believe or accpet.

there isnt too much else that is going on here. yesterday felt like it went on forever and today is just blah.

i have family therapy again tomorrow so that should be interesting to see where my dad is at and what he has to say after he has had a few days to think things over.

im still incredibly ambivalent to this whole thing and am still on the negative side of the spectrum.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nothing much to say

this is something i wrote in media and culture group yesterday:

I'm so fucking sick of people focusing on people's bodies, shape, weight, appearance. It wears a person down; it causes so much pain, so much hurt. You lose yourself. You cannot live when you are constantly worrying about what others will think of you or where the next bite of food will show itself on your body. You cannot think when all you can think about is the next meal you'll have or if you'll even have one. you cannot breath when you are physically pushing your body to its limits. You cannot be when there is nothing more left to you--when you have become so devoid of all emotion, when you can no longer think for yourself, when your heart no longer beats.
I don't know how to say how I want people to see me. I have lost myself to this illness, to everything that has caused it. I am now the pain and anger I feel inside. I no longer care about myself, about what happens to me. None of it matters. I cannot take control of my life; I gave up that power a long time ago. I've given up, I've given in. I don't want to fight anymore. I don't want to try. None of it ever works. There is only disappoint to wipe out any glimmer of hope that may have still existed.
This world is not kind and most of all, not fair. I only wish that others can hold onto themselves in the way I have not been able to. No one should have to suffer this much. Life should not be this hard.

Family stuff has gotten worse and i honestly dont know what is going to happen with the relationship between my dad and I.

I am still feeling as unmotivated as ever--i hate my body, i hate eating, i hate being and doing nothing.

i talked to the dietician and found out my range--it is a weight i have never been at. the one thing i did not want was to come out of treatment larger than i have ever been in my life and that is exactly what the plan is. i wont be able to handle that.

i went on a pass last night and did not eat. i knew thats what i planned on doing because it would have been impossible for me to eat in front of the person i was with. some people i can muster up the strength and courage to do it, others it is impossible. also, the fact that i know i dont want to eat for myself does not make eating any easier.

ive made it pretty clear to my team how i feel but they continue to hold on to this hope for me, that my mind will change. it angers me that they still hope. i want them to stop hoping and let me go.

i feel like shit for being here for many reasons, but mainly because i am the negative voice of the community. i dont want to bring others down who really want to get better and most of all i dont want to waste people's time and money being in treatment if i dont intend to get better. i know there is someone else out there that really wants and deserves to get better. they should be here, not me.

"Tears stream, down your face
When you lose something you cannot replace"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A couple more passes and life

ive had two passes since i last posted. one on monday night where i went to harvard square with my parents and one last night with my college roommate, maria.

i had applied for a dinner snack pass with my parents but since i had trouble saturday night i was only approved for a snack pass again. i was fairly nervous about this pass because anytime i spend with my parents is stressful for me so when i have to eat in front/with them, the situation is only more stressful. i knew this time i really didn't have much of a choice of whether to eat or not because i was with them. there option was still there to restrict though.

we went to urban outfitters and got a quilt and a couple pillows for my room, since ive been looking to redo my room for a long time now. after that, as i kept close watch on the time, we went to j.p.licks for snack. i don't know why i keep deciding to get ice cream for snack since it is a huge fear food for me. but anyway, we went there and my mom said, "go order what you want," and i immediately freaked and said, "are you not eating with me?!?!" and she said, "ice cream, are you kidding me? of course i am." this relieved me because if they weren't going to eat too then there was no way i would eat. but at the same time it was encouraging and nice to hear someone say something like about a huge fear food for me. it helped me realize, even if for a second, that ice cream shouldn't be considered a fear food, that it can be enjoyed once in a while without guilt. but even though i had that thought to hold on to for a second, i realized that ice cream is a fear food for so many more reasons than just the calories and its nutritional content; its also a fear food because of my behavior that is connected with it.

i ended up getting a medium--a very very large medium--cake batter ice cream. no restricting for me that time. i ate it, but i cant say i was really there for it. i just ate it mechanically, not able to enjoy it at all. all i could think was how i felt like a fat pig for eating that. i hated ordering it because all i could think of was how the workers must have been thinking that im fat enough already and why would i think its ok for me to eat ice cream to get even fatter. i felt like everyone who saw me with my ice cream too was thinking this. it was the most embarrassing thing ever. with all those thoughts going through my head it was impossible to be present with what i was doing.

as far as getting mad at my parents, i really didn't get mad at them that night like i usually do. it felt really weird to not get mad at them; so weird in fact that i was purposely reaching for things to try and get mad at them at. one time in particular my mom said something about how she got low-fat ice cream, but it wasn't said to me or very audibly. so i asked her what she had just said and she replied by saying nothing, but i knew what she said, so i pried and said, "wait, did you just say you got low-fat ice cream?" and she said, "yea, i had to for my stomach because low-fat is much gentler on it." generally if anyone else said this comment my ED would flip out and yell at me for being so fat and getting the full fat ice cream, but in this instance my rational mind was much stronger than my ED and i understood my mom didn't get low-fat because she was worried about the fat content in terms of weight, but she was worried about how it would affect her stomach since she has trouble with dairy. i couldn't get mad and that was aggravating. its sad to think that im so used to getting mad at my parents that when things go ok, i cant stand it. i cant stand the uncomfortable feeling that something going well causes me to feel. ive become so accustomed to feeling crappy, that when i don't feel that way i need to find a way to make myself feel that way so i can feel normal.

the ride back on the bus from harvard square was pretty silent. i was in my head. i felt awful for eating the ice cream, i was embarrassed, i wanted to purge, and i couldn't stand feeling my fat moving around on my body with every bump of the road. i was angry that i had eaten and i was angry my parents were probably on cloud nine seeing that i HAD eaten, and especially that i HAD eaten ice cream. its been so long since they've seen me eat anything like that at all. but i wish they knew that while they were happy, i was hating myself.

i had also applied for a dinner pass for the next day and whether i got it or not was dependent on how i did on the pass with my parents. i talked to my therapist and asked her if she was going to give the pass to me and after reviewing my pass return from the night before, she approved me for a dinner pass. she asked where i wanted to go, and i told her the place i want to go is a place she already said she doesn't really want me to go--the rainforest cafe. once again she said she just doesn't think it is a good place to be present during a meal. the only way to get used to eating is if i can be fully there for it. but i really wanted to go!

so maria came and got me and i was still debating on where to go--the rainforest cafe like i want, or johnny rockets which would be more meet my therapists wants. i knew too, that if i did go to the rainforest cafe that i would get a veggie burger and a water, both of which are off limits because that is restricting. so i decided to do what my therapist would want me to do and i decided to go to johnny rockets. i ended up getting a grilled chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but i did not get my third starch--which would have been fries--and i did not get a caloric beverage, instead i got water. so i still ended up restricting, and though i knew that would get me in trouble, i was able to justify it more because i didn't go to the place i really wanted to go to.

the rest of the pass was fine after the whole eating part and feeling really fat and awful for eating, and then eating in front of maria. we walked around the mall for a bit and went into yankee candle and smelt the whole store. After that we went across the street to a gigantic, two floor, barnes and noble so i could get a new journal. We left there, came back to this place, hung out for a bit, made some origami and put on some cool tattoos--thanks nicole <3

i had a good time, but i knew i didn't have a "successful" pass.

needless to say when i applied for walk group today i expected to get turned down during rounds, which of course i did due to my restricting.

today was rather uneventful. there was a little incident at cafe that involved one of the girls here and another one--obviously. i was the second one at the table and the girl that was already there seemed rather upset and i asked if it was ok if i sat near her and she said "yea that's fine, i just don't want to sit near XX." (i don't use names in this for privacy reasons, lol). so of course XX comes strolling along and scoots down the bench right next to her and she looks at XX and said, "um, XX, i really don't want to see you take small bites." just like that. so XX moved away, clearly upset over the comment and allowed others to sit in between them.

i felt pretty bad for XX because it was said in a rather blunt way that was probably not easy to take, and it doesn't help that XX is rather sensitive. BUT, XX does really need to stop that ED behavior. she has been here for several weeks and has not really improved on it at all, and once you are on cafe, actual EATING behaviors should be pretty minimal, but they clearly aren't with her. on the other hand, the comment had to be said because the other girl needed to advocate for herself and realize what was best for her in her treatment. it is not easy to be around others who are engaging in obvious ED behaviors when you are trying to work on yourself.

so that happened.

then i had therapy. that was interesting. i don't really feel that it was productive at all, but for some reason from the beginning i felt like my therapist was expecting me to bring something up, but i really didn't know what she was expecting. maybe it had to do with her asking me right from the beginning if there was something i wanted to bring up with her. i thought she meant my pass, so i talked about that, but i found out later that that was not what she was talking about.

there was an incident on monday where four of us girls, including me, were pulled aside and talked to by the nurse that was on and one of the CRCs. apparently there was a bit of some mean girl action going on and we were the culprits--parents had been calling complaining that their kids feel targeted. the group of us decided to bring it up in post-meal to try and get to the bottom of it and it turned out that the girls that felt this way were all made to feel that way by someone who wasn't in the room--there was only one girl who was on pass at that time so we knew who it was.

but today, when i had about five minutes left in therapy my therapist said, "well i guess i wanted to bring up how things are going in the milieu" and that was pretty vague so i didn't know exactly what she meant so i asked her and then i got a response that gave me a bit more direction and so i told her about the thing on monday because i was fairly certain she was talking about that. then she continued to tell me how it was discussed in rounds today and she made it seem like i was the only one who was talked about and that i was the main mean girl. i took extreme offense to this because there IS a click here, but i am not part of it. im like switzerland. im pretty damn neutral in this community. i am not a part of that 4 girl click, but then again im not really a part of the other group that there is. and that other group isn't really even a group. its just a hodge podge of girls who don't really have a certain place where they belong, but since they are not in the definite click they feel left out and like they are being bullied. like i said, im in the middle of these two groups, not really aligning with either one, so i was pretty upset that my therapist was bringing this up in therapy and essentially accusing me of being a mean girl.

i told her how i was aggravated and she told me that i should try and figure out more from other people what the deal is. but, without direction as to who to begin to question--because i thought it was all taken care of that night in post meal, but apparently not if it was being brought up in my therapy session--then i really didn't know what i was expected to do or accomplish with that. she encouraged me to talk to a staff member.

so lucky for me, snack was immediately following therapy. just the place i wanted to go to make myself feel even more amazing. the only good thing was that one staff member who i knew was in rounds was supervising snack so i asked to talk to her and i told her what happened and i asked if i was being talked about at the one instigating all this and such. she basically assured me that it wasn't that way, but she said she would talk to my therapist to clear up the air.

next was therapy group, and about five minutes into therapy group, i saw the staff member i talked to go into my therapists room. about ten minutes later, the staff member came out and told me to go in.

soooo we had a nice little chit chat in which my therapist told me she didn't mean to come off as accusatory and that she wanted to hear more of my side of things since we really didn't get a chance to talk about it much. i basically told her how i feel like there is definitely a click, but that i am not part of it. i told her im like switzerland, and that i too even feel sometimes i am not welcomed by that click. it was all talked out but i still feel now that i cant associate with any person without my actions or the people i hang out with being misconstrued as to, "oh shes hanging out with them so she must not like me." i like both "clicks" if you will and i try to spend equal time with both, and when there are conflicts between the two, i try and act like the peace keeper. its a pretty stressful situation to be in. to try and make everyone happy and be good to everyone, yet still for all that work end up getting caught up with the wrong people in the wrong situation and be labeled as the bad person. i try so hard to be fair to everyone and never say hurtful things. im not perfect so sometimes i slip in the moment, but i have started to apologize to people, which is BIG for me. when things like that happen, i feel like all the good i have done is discounted and makes me feel like crap again. i guess all i can really do is try to be even more vigilant and conscious of the group dynamic and try to not get myself in a situation where i am labeled the "mean girl" by association.

oh, p.s. i got a new roommate today. she's 21 and is quite unique. we shall see how this goes.

and with that, i'll leave with a short quote from the front of my new journal:

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." --Confucius

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First pass

yesterday was quite a stressful day. i was in my head basically all day thinking about my pass and the decision i had to make. to eat or not to eat: that was the question. i had gone over in my head what the pros and cons were for eating and there were obviously more pros than cons. however, not eating fed into my ED in a very big way and the satisfaction i would get out of not eating almost ousted all the pros that would have come from eating. i knew i did not want to eat, but in terms of treatment and getting out of here, not eating could possibly mess that up. if i didn't eat the possibility of being on warning the next day was much greater in which case a meal plan increase could be in order, and THAT i knew i could not handle. also, my team would find out and would probably take away my caf privilege and not give me any other passes, so that would be no good.

this whole week i have been in my head and really anxious and engaging in some behaviors that feed my ED. in therapy group one of the girls actually mentioned how she wanted to confront someone about something for a while now but wasn't sure how to do it. i had the slightest inkling that this could have to deal with me and i was right. in group she said, "im just really worried about you, alyssa. ive noticed youv'e been isolating a lot more and that you've been really negative over the past couple of weeks and i don't know if this is true or not but i heard you've been exercising," that made every one's head's turn, "and im just really worried because i miss you." basically i had nothing to say to that one. what could i say. the exercising was true but the other reason i had been so upset and isolating all week was something i did not want the girls to find out.

the group leader then spoke and said, "alyssa, i was just thinking about something you said in group earlier today; how the girl in the poem we read made the decision to save her life and you said that you have made a different decision. is that what you have been upset about?" and i told her basically, yes. she asked if i wanted to expand and i said i really didn't. at this point i was crying, which is hard enough for me to do ever, never mind in front of all the girls. so it basically came out that my ED is controlling me, that im really struggling with motivation and that i feel like i have no option but to go back to my ED. having that out in the open sucks, but i guess it feels a little better to not feel like im lying so much now to all the girls.

after that i was pretty upset and really just wanted to go into my room and cry, but yoga group was next and i knew that i should force myself to do that so i could ground myself, relax and not think for a while. all i really wanted to do was talk to my therapist though, which ironically, she came in for about an hour yesterday. i was going to ask for an emergency therapy session but then i decided just to do yoga and see how that worked.

it worked well.

during dinner and post-meal the anxiety came back. dinner was hard for a few reasons which made me really not want to eat snack on my pass.

7 o'clock rolled around and it was time for pass. i took the hospital shuttle to Waverly place and then from there took the Mass transit bus to Harvard station and went up to Harvard square. the bus ride was an extremely triggering experience because it brought up memories of riding the RIPTA to visit my caitlyn at RWU. i engaged in a lot of binging at RWU on those nights/days i spent there as well as some purging, but most recently i restricted and had to face many temptations and deal with constant intrusive thoughts from my ED, making my visits painful. having these memories made me even more anxious.

once at Harvard square i went to CVS first then to urban outfitters and just looked around. everything was way too expensive and i was not really feeling all that great about actually trying anything on. i did find a quilt that i think i want for my room so hopefully i can go back there with my parents and get that since we've been planning to redo my room for a long time now. anyway, i kept watching the time every few minutes seeing the clock creep closer to the time i would have to find a place to eat if i was going to. eventually i forced myself to leave and try and find j.p.licks, and ice cream place highly recommended by the girls.

after a while of searching i couldn't find the place and i decided just to go to Ben and Jerry's. i didn't want to get lost and i was running out of time to eat, and i knew i'd need to allow myself plenty of time for this task. i got myself in the line and ordered a small, half-baked frozen yogurt in a cup. i sat down and mechanically ate. i tried not to disconnect but i couldn't enjoy what i was doing. i honestly cant tell you what it tasted like because i was in a zone at that point. the fact that i was eating was very bothersome, and the fact that i was eating ICE CREAM was even more bothersome since i had cut ice cream out of my diet and if i did happen to eat it i would ALWAYS purge after. so needless to say, i took a huge risk. but i realized on the bus to go out that whether i decided to eat and apple or ice cream, i would still feel the same afterward. the fact was that i ATE, not what i ate.

after i finished i walked around and went to The Coup--Harvard bookstore--to fill the rest of my time. i "bought" three books--"girl, interrupted," "appetites," and "tipping point."

i returned to Harvard station around 8:45 to catch the bus back to Waverly and then took the shuttle from there back to the hospital. the same guy that picked me up when i went out brought me back and we had a nice little conversation, of which i obviously didn't start. he was nice, probably in his twenties, and talked to me like i was a normal person, though he clearly knows that the unit he dropped me off at is the EDU. it was nice to know that even though it seemed like my ED was a giant elephant in the van, life still went on and i had a normal conversation with a person i had never met or talked to before.

i would say my pass went ok. i really didn't enjoy it and having the responsibility to eat. every one says, "you should be proud of yourself!" but i really don't want praise for eating. i feel like crap about it and no amount of praise or affirmation from anyone will make me feel good about it.

i started "girl, interrupted" which was about a girl who stayed at McLean hospital for a year and a half in the adolescent unit, and finished it today, and i have already begun "appetites." i really liked "girl, interrupted" since i am staying at McLean, so i can really relate to a lot of the places she talks about and rules she mentions. just a little fyi, McLean is a pretty famous psychiatric hospital. Ray Charles, James Taylor, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath all stayed here. there are a few pages that i folded to mark the places where i found quotes i liked or things i could really relate too. i'll end my blog with this today.

"Scar tissue had no character. It's not like skin. It doesn't show age or illness or pallor or tan. It has no pores, no hair, no wrinkles. It's like a slipcover. It shields and disguises what's beneath. That's why we grow it, we have something to hide."

"For many of us, the hospital was as much a refuge as it was a prison. Though we were cut off from the world and all the trouble we enjoyed stirring up out there, we were also cut off from the demands and expectations that had driven us crazy. What could be expected of us now that we were stowed away in a looney bin?
The hospital shielded us from all sorts of things. We'd tell the staff to refuse phone calls or visits from anyone we didn't want to talk to, including our parents.
'I'm too upset!' we'd wail, and we wouldn't have to talk to whoever it was.
As long as we were willing to be upset, we didn't have to talk to get jobs or go to school. We could weasel out of anything except eating and taking our medication.
In a strange way we were free. We'd reached the end of the line. We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: All of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves.
Naked, we needed protection, and the hospital protected us. Of course, the hospital had stripped us naked in the first place--but that just underscored its obligation to help us.
And the hospital fulfilled its obligation. Somebody in our families had to pay a good deal of money for that...if our families stopped paying, we stopped staying and were put naked into a world we didn't know how to live in anymore. Writing a check, dialing a telephone, opening a window, locking a door--these were just a few of the things we all forgot how to do."

a rather humorous one to end with:
"The hospital had an address, 115 Mill Street. This was to provide some cover if one of us were well enough to apply for a job while still incarcerated. It gave us about as much protection as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue would have.
'Let's see, nineteen years old, living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue--Hey! That's the White House!'
This was the sort of look we got from prospective employers, except not pleased.
In Massachusetts, 115 Mill Street is a famous address. Applying for a job, leasing an apartment, getting a driver's license: all problematic. The driver's license application even asked, Have you ever been hospitalized for mental illness? Oh no, I just loved Belmont so much i decided to move to 115 Mill Street."

Friday, August 21, 2009


things have not been easy recently by any means. there really is no other word to describe how i feel but hopeless.

after family therapy on monday, the fact that my family, specifically my dad, really might not have the capacity to change is something that is incredibly concerning for me. specifically with my dad, if he cannot admit, and own that he is imperfect and that those imperfections have affected me as much as they have, then i cannot see how i can let go of my anger. if i cannot let go of my anger then i will never be able to begin to heal.

i have also realized that the situation i am going back to when i leave is a worse situation than the one i was in when i left home for treatment. i will not be returning to school, but home; all of my friends will be at school so i will have no one; david will be in germany for the year--the one person who i felt sometimes understood me or at least validated my experiences; joel will be home, which only brings into my situation another relationship that is not helpful and causes me a lot of stress and anxiety; i will not have a job when i get home so i will have nothing to do all day; my parents and brother will be at work all day so i will be left alone; but mostly, nothing with my dad will have changed and that is something that NEEDS to change if i have any home for recovery.

when i talked to my psychiatrist about my situation i said that i feel like im basically screwed and she said, "well alyssa, you are screwed." that felt just great to hear. i was getting by on the thought that maybe all these thoughts were crazy and only made sense in my head and that my situation really isn't that bad, but hearing my psychiatrist say it really confirmed and made the screwed-ness of my situation real. i told her that it sucks hearing that from her and she said, "well isn't it better to know what your situation really is?" to which i said "yea, i guess so."

i had been doubting the possibility of recovery from the moment i came here since i didn't really come here out of my own free will or for my want of recovery. over the past couple of weeks, but especially since that meeting on tuesday, the possibility of recovery has essentially dwindled down to zero. i admitted today to my therapist that i have almost 100% decided to go back to my ED. i honestly feel like there is nothing left for me to do. if the underlying issues cannot be reconciled--most especially the family stuff that i would need people to own up to so i can begin to let go of my anger--then i have nothing else to turn to but my ED.

there does come a point when you have to realize that the people around you may not have the capacity to change. i realize this may be the situation with my family, and that probably is the situation with my dad. in that case i then have to turn back on myself who is already changing so much just with the insights from my individual therapy, and i have to ask myself to change again so that i can find other ways to deal with the CONSTANT disappointment i will experience with my family. i open up in family therapy, truly showing emotion and ripping myself apart to tell my family how i feel and the things that have been done to me to hurt and anger me, hoping that they will understand why i have so much anger and where things went wrong, but especially hoping that they will own their part in it all. but every time i do this i am constantly disappointed by the reaction i get from them. no one ever admits that they could have possibly done anything to make anyone this angry, especially me, leaving me to feel like my anger is unjustified and just popped out of thin air and that there is no actual cause, but that is just me and my anger and that i have to find ways to cope and manage it. once again i am asked to change and understand the limits of my family, while they get away with not understanding me or trying to change for me. i don't have any ways to effectively deal with this disappointment except my ED.

admitting what i did today was not easy, not only about my ED but also about my mindset as far as things with my family. seeing no progress made in family therapy on their part makes me seriously doubt whether any will ever be made. if i don't see any or get any sense of any brewing changes from therapy sessions before i leave here, a relapse seems my only option. i cannot wait forever for a change and even if they do eventually begin to change i know have the mindset of "too little to late." its really hard to describe the place i am at right now. it is not an easy place to be nor do i foresee an easy way out. the only solution i have is an incredibly harmful one.

since i got on cafe this week i am now eligible to apply for passes. i wasn't going to until next week because i was going to use the weekend outing with cafe group to gauge my readiness for a pass. since we are not going on an outing due to some technical difficulties with the programs credit card, i applied for a pass--two actually. i was only granted one pass for tomorrow, by myself. this was brought up in therapy after i revealed my state of mind and my therapist said, "well you have your first chance to restrict then..." and i told her i certainly know that and i have thought about it and am already really worried and anxious for it and she the said "well that urge is only going to get stronger come saturday; and you have made a decision..." and i said well not really yet. i told her that i would love to not eat but then again that will only keep me here longer because if i don't eat the likelihood of not making projection the next day is lowered. if i eat, which i don't want to, then that will help me stay on projection and get out of here faster to be with ED. this is honesty in its truest form and my therapist recognized and told me that. that i really have almost for certain, made the choice to go back to my ED is something i know will definitely harm me, but it provides a sense of false happiness. but a sense of false happiness is better than no happiness at all, even if it is a lie.

I need more time to find the real me...
to fly like the birds... to be set free.
Why couldn't I stop until I had died?
It was hate for myself hidden inside.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

stinky day

today i was on warning and when i saw that i was obviously happy because that means i did not make projection so i didn't gain as much weight as i was supposed to, but this is a double edged sword because whenever im on warning, even for one day, they ALWAYS increase my meal plan, so i began freaking out about that. sure enough the nutritionist aide called me in the kitchen and told me that i was just under making projection yesterday and again today so that's why i was on warning and that ill probably be on chair rest tomorrow. so i had to add 8oz of ensure on to my meal plan. i chose to do it at lunch. it went ok today.

the rest of the day was pretty laid back; since its a saturday, groups are pretty relaxed. we did tie-dye in the morning which was fun, yet stressful--don't ask me why something as simple as tie-dye stressed me out. and boy was it HOT out there. i got to tie-dye two shirts. tomorrow we will wash them out so i hope mine turn out ok!

today was a bit depressing for me in general though. today was the day of my family's annual clam bake. everyone from my moms side and most of the people from my dad's side come to my lakehouse and indulge in a feast of stuffies, clams, oysters, clam chowder, lobster, hamburgers, hot dogs, and lots and lots of dessert. there is tubing, boat rides, skiing, fishing, a big camp fire at night, and roasting marshmellows. a lot of my cousins end up sleeping over and we have a big breakfast in the morning usually. it's a good time all-around.

im not going to try and deny that if i were there i WOULD have been freaking out the whole time and would have been in my head all day. so it is probably a good thing i did not go. but its just the point that i cant be there, with my family. instead i am stuck in a treatment center for an ED. maybe it is better that i am here though. i would have felt isolated from my family as always, if i were there. i say it is a fun time all-around, but i didn't necessarily mean for as for all the other people that are there. i just like to be at my lakehouse and away from everything, but it definitely would have caused me a lot of stress and anxiety to be there.

not being able to go on the outing was a bit tough today too just because of the place they were going--the rainforest cafe. i have been wanting to go there ever since of the other girls went on a pass there and told me how cool it was, so to hear that was where they were going sucked. this is the 5th weekend ive been stuck here while everyone else goes on the outing. that itself is aggravating.

dinner tonight sucked, to be blunt. it was only me and 4 other girls. 3 of which i cannot stand and one who is fine, but did not eat her meal. that just made things perfect. having to sit next to someone who does not eat their meal while i have to eat a crap load of food at dinner and throughout the day--i think im on the highest meal plan of everyone here right now--just really did amazing things for my self-esteem. i began comparing myself and counting calories. i got very in my head with the negative thoughts and basically felt like shit after that. as a result, for snack, i gave into my ED and choose the lowest calorie option, even though the calorie difference between what i wanted and what i got is 10 cals per serving. but that is saving calories so i did it. i also did this at lunch too.

i thought getting ice cream would be easier as far as volume goes since i added my ensure at lunch today than getting a normal dessert. but then when i found out that everyone else was getting the little rice krispies and only one--90 cals--i decided to switch to the rice krispie which not only has less calories, but way less fat calories.

so that sucked that i gave in twice with my ED today and i also did two really bad things that are against the rules. i repeated the same behavior that got me in trouble with staff earlier this week and another one. i guess today was a rather bad day overall.

"I have accepted fear as a part of life--specifically fear of change...I have gone on despite the pounding in the heart that says: 'turn back.'" --Erica Jong

Friday, August 14, 2009


yesterday started out with a meeting bright and early with my psychiatrist who is pretty much told for telling you like it is and is very up front. i don't generally like my meetings with her because she kinda just puts me in a bad mood and makes me feel dumb sometimes. yesterday's meeting was no exception.

basically from talking to her she pretty much understood that with my mindset right now that i probably wont do to well once i get out of here. to put it in her words, "you're basically setting yourself up for relapse, alyssa." and i was like "yea i kind of feel that way." and she replies, "well so long as we both are on the same page." very blunt. its one thing to think these things in your head but to actually have it confirmed and my my psychiatrist no less, does not make me feel any better. it essentially dashes any sense of hope i did have. so after that i was feeling pretty crappy. i feel bad about being here if i really am just setting myself up for relapse--im wasting countless peoples' time and money as well as taking up a spot for someone that may really want to be here and definitely wants recovery.

in the meeting dr.d--the psychiatrist--was trying to get me to own my recovery and being here. she has asked me several times, "so why don't you just sign yourself out?" and i always tell her, that i really don't have that option and shes like, "but you do. you are the one who is making yourself eat. you are the one who puts every calorie in your body that makes you gain weight." i continue to say that i only do that because im here and i have to do it, but she always says, that i don't have to do anything, that i choose to do it. i guess i really don't want to own this, but at the same time i cant just sign myself out. the main reason being that if i did that and i do need treatment in the future, insurance wont pay for it. not to mention that my family would not allow such a thing to happen and god knows if they would even let me live at home if i did that. so really, dr.d, signing myself out is NOT an option. the only one i really have is to just stay here and do what i need to do to get out. i don't mind the therapy part, but the weight gain part is just unbearable.

after that, i was in a bad place. lots of negative thoughts in my head and i just kind of felt like i was betraying everyone else that is here for recovery. i don't think anyone should be here if they don't want recovery and that they are selfish for staying here if they don't want recovery. isn't that exactly what im doing? so this is what is going on in my head and i really hope its just a phase and that i still can try and find the motivation to want to get better and the hope that recovery is possible, but after being here for five weeks, i feel like i should already have found that.

a new girl also came yesterday, so lunch was a pretty anxiety provoking, and therefore, difficult meal for me. whenever someone new comes i always get worried about what types of new ED behaviors they will bring and how those will affect me. my biggest worry is that the new person will be someone who just refuses to eat their food, which is never and easy thing to have to deal with when i am forced to eat massive amounts of food. it makes me feel awful about myself, even worse than i already do. luckily, this girl is very nice and easy to talk to AND she is from RI! so that was pretty cool. i was able to talk to her during the meal a bit and i explained some stuff about after meal proceedings, so that made her not so scary and me not so anxious any more.

the rest of yesterday was alright.

however, today there were two instances that caused me a bit of aggravation.

my family therapist came up to me and asked if we could meet, which i found rather odd because we only meet once a week to discuss my agenda for family therapy and then once for the actual family therapy meeting, and we already had the pre-therapy meeting. she took me outside and told me how my dad called her, so immediately i was like OH GREAT. apparently my parents were worried because they are finding me to be more "into myself." not so much like im all about me or w/e, but that im being distant and not talking much. personally, i think that is nothing different than how i normally am with them. so my therapist tried to explain how they were asking if that is normal for people who come here, to seem more withdrawn, and if im ok, and what they are supposed to say to me and such.

this irritated me for a number of reasons:
1. if we are trying to work on better communication, why wouldn't my father just ask me outright about how im doing rather than calling the family therapist--might i add this is not the first time he has called her/emailed her asking stuff about me. AND if he is worried that asking me outright would irritate me, then he probably shouldn't be asking in the first place, and he CERTAINLY shouldn't go behind my back and ask the therapist for the information.

2. is it not obvious from where i am that i am going to be a bit more withdrawn, distant and have nothing to say??? this is just stupidity on their part. i have told them numerous times that i live the same thing everyday, and that when they come they shouldn't expect me to talk much because i do not want to talk about life here during the little bit of free time that i do have. i live this shit daily, and to have to talk about it to people ON TOP of that is just not something i want to do.

3. being withdrawn and distant IS how i am with them and it has always been that way, so im not sure why being in a hospital makes that seem out of the norm to them. this behavior/mood is no different than normal, but all of the sudden since im in treatment for an ED it becomes a concern, but never before.

4. why is my dad the one to always be calling and trying to figure stuff out about me through the family therapist. he never cared before or at least never cared to show it before so why the hell is he deciding now that he wants to step in and make an effort. it kind of just proves that something bad like this had to happen before he realizes how damaging his lack of involvement and caring was.

so as if all that and all those thoughts weren't aggravating enough, i got my application to get on cafe group back. i knew i didn't get cafe group because my place was still set up in the kitchen for lunch but getting the application would have the reason on it from my team as to why i did not get it. it read:
"alyssa, you are not yet weight-eligible. Potentially in one more week. re-apply next week.
love, your team"

this set off quite a reaction in me. let me explain about cafe first. to get cafe group you have to be 80% of your range. i applied a couple times last week and was told i was not weight eligible. so the second time i applied i asked them to tell me when they think i would be weight eligible so that i could re-apply then rather than continuing to apply and being told no. so on that application they told me to apply again friday--today. which i did and to only find out that once again i am not eligible but that only POTENTIALLY in a week would i be.

now, WHY THE FUCK WOULD THEY TELL ME TO HAVE RE-APPLIED TODAY IF THEY WERE JUST GOING TO SAY THAT MAYBE, ONLY, POTENTIALLY WOULD I BE ELIGIBLE NEXT WEEK??? that would mean the time span from the first time i asked for a more specific date, to the next POTENTIAL time id be eligible would be like 2 weeks. no way can they tell me that they didn't have some inkling that i wouldn't be the weight i needed to today to get cafe. do they honestly enjoy torturing me. im so sick of applying and being told no. not to mention this is the 5th weekend i will be STUCK here because i cant go on the outing UNLESS im on cafe group. im sick of it. and someone please explain to me how the hell i am not at 80% when i got to 70% like 2.5 weeks ago AND have been on projection for everyone of those days except one??? i can see no possible way that im not at 80% unless my range is like 140 pounds, in which case i would shoot my entire team and i would most definitely sign myself out. so needless to say, all those thoughts caused me to start to mistrust my team.

if i think logically though, i know that i was doing some major catastrophizing with the range being 140. also, my team ISN'T trying to make me anything over my ideal body weight, so i just need to trust that. but still, i want to talk to the dietitian and get some concrete numbers out of her.

i feel like i am at a normal weight and when i look at myself i look huge. however, i know this is just my EXTREMELY distorted body image. this was confirmed when one of the girls here who i really respect and has been in numerous treatments--and has been in this one for about 15 weeks, she knows her stuff--said that, not to be mean, she and many of the other girls honestly didn't think that i was going to get cafe because i don't look like im at 80% yet. they can see me clearly but i cannot see myself clearly, so i just have to use that and remember that it really is all in my head and that what i see is not at all what i really am.

after that i got more discouraged and angry at myself. how can my brain seriously be that fucked up. i look at people who are really close to, or are in their range and i truly believe with my whole heart that i look bigger than them. yet they look at me and see me as still pretty thin, but i look at myself and see nothing but huge. i know what i say probably seems like the most ridiculous thing that anyone has ever heard, but people don't understand that is my reality. when you have an ED, so absolutely believe and feel that you are larger than people who in reality larger than you. i look at those girls who are on cafe and think to myself "they look like they are anorexic skinny. how in gods name are they at least 80% but my huge ass self is not at 80%?" and of course i start thinking that my team is trying to sabotage me or that the scale is broken only when it weights me and reads much lower than my actual weight. all these yes, ridiculous and crazy thoughts follow, but these ARE the thoughts i have and i BELIEVE them with every part of me.

somehow after all that being in my head, i cooled down. i talked about my issues in therapy group and the girls helped me realize just how distorted my body image is, but that doesn't mean i believe them. but to just be able to recognize that my thinking IS incredibly distorted helped me to calm down.

i ate my snack, went to some groups, ate my dinner, went to post meal, and now im here. i just want to add quickly that i only felt very full after breakfast today and that i have been at an ok fullness for the rest of the day after that. that could be due to food choices or it could be due to my body getting used to ALL the food i am eating. in which case i will start to worry and freak out about the fact that my body is getting comfortable with the thousands of calories i am taking in on a daily basis. that is NOT ok.

however, once again i know the thought behind me saying that its not ok and that is that i am constantly thinking about going back to my ED and that having a body that is used to sooo much food and have a stomach that is stretched out to accommodate a lot of food will take A LOT of hard work to get used to eating next to nothing. so once again, not a good thought to have and it pretty much shows the negativity and ambivalence i feel around this whole recovery thing. but i guess, once again, it is good that i can at least recognize where that thought is coming from. though it is a hard thing to admit and and very honest thing to say, my ED is still really strong, it and it pretty obvious from my thoughts that im not so willing to give it up just yet.

p.s. i added the "love" from the message from my team for sarcastic affect.

"If you live your life with a shield up, even the good things in life will pass you by."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I want to believe

I want to share with everyone an activity that we did in drama group today. the instructions were to write to ourselves from another voice--basically we are writing to ourselves now from a different age, a younger self.

i like what i wrote to myself, yet i can't believe it. i wish i could...

you're not me. there is no way that you and i are the same person. No way that time could have changed me that much to become what you are today.
I mean sure, i hope one day to be as successful as you are and were in school, but that's about the only positive quality you, or should i say I, would believe is something i want to have. but you have nothing else. i dont want to grow up to be miserable like you, and it scares me to see that that is exactly my fate.
unless i cant do something about it now to change the course of events. obviously it's too late for you now to go back and change whatever things happened to make you end up this way, but from my vantage point, not so much retrospect as prospect, i can make the appropriate decisions to avoid becoming you.
im sure when things were happening for you, you never thought of the reprocussions and how each experience you had would affect you, ultimately making you who you are. but seeing you now makes me see that everything DID have enormous reprocussions and power in making you the person you are today. a person that i CANNOT reconcile myself with as ME.
i dont want to be like you, and since you and i are one in the same, there is no way you can want to be you, nor can you possibly be happy with what you are. those life changing events that caused this transformation have not yet happened to me and look at me. im still happy and carefree; able to enjoy and feel life.
i know it's hard because those things did happen to you. but if you look at me, at your former self, and see my happiness, then you MUST realize that you ARE capable of feeling the way you once did, because i feel that way now. you just need to believe and work hard to reconcile yourself with your past and gain a valuable insight about yourself from it. it's hard work, but if you commit yourself you can do it. you can regain the spirit you once had. The spirit that I still have. The spirit that is truly you.

i really hope one day i can and will believe this, but right now it just seems too hard to imagine a life that is free from my ED and one filled with happiness. there IS so much work to do and i dont know if im ready to do all the work that is required of me and if i am strong enough to do the work. i am trying to work toward at least some improvement and gaining insight into what has happened to me so that i can try and learn from the past, but a complete change just seems impossible.

"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it." --Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Breaking the rules

though the past few days have been ok as far as mood and such goes, i have still done a few very bad things which are definitely against the rules of being here and have seriously contemplated doing even more things that would be against the rules and cause my stay here to be much longer. of course im not going to incriminate myself and come right out and say what they are nor would i say these things in a public arena such as this blog. but just know with probably the worst thing i did, people saw, and staff found out.

therefore i am on 24 hour restriction which does not matter much since im not on caf and i don't get passes yet, but still.

a very triggering situation happened about a week ago with one of the girls here that put an idea in my head. this behavior which was triggered is something i have not done in a while and would never have done it had it not been put in my head again by what i saw. ever since then, the behavior has been on my mind and even though my days have been ok like i said, i still had the intense urge to partake in this behavior.

i knew i would only be disappointed if i did this and yet i knew if i didn't i would never be satisfied. however, i did do it, but as i say, i "half-assed it" so now i am left feeling unsatisfied still and with an even stronger urge to do it again, and the right way.

unfortunately a call was put into my therapist, and though i know i will have to talk to her about this, i still feel greatly ashamed and that she too will feel that way or think im horrible. this however is just me mind reading because i know she is a therapist and i present my feelings and experiences to her in a non-judgemental environment. BUT, she IS a member of my treatment team and she DOES control the privileges i get. so in a way, she does take on a parental roll, and therefore, i am even more reluctant to open up and tell her what i feel than i was before, if that's even possible.

so today hasn't been bad. it just had some tougher moments in it. and i did cry a couple times which is BIG for me. but im not mad at anyone. the right thing was done and that is good, though my feelings are still unresolved around the urges i feel. i don't know what i will do. i know i say i wont partake in this behavior again, but i can do it and easily get away with it, so knowing that makes the urge that much harder to deny and fight.

when i really think about why i did what i did, i can definitely pin-point one reason, but another reason is a bit harder to admit to. part of me things i am only doing this so that i will get in trouble with my team so that the process of getting on caf and getting passes takes me even longer, thus increasing the time i have to stay here. there is a certain safety and comfort in being here and i have become accustomed to that now and feel that i cannot return to the "real world" or the "outside" as it is commonly referred to here--which does not help a feeling of hope to be instilled in anyone that they can return to those places after being here, which i guess is kind of a "fake" world then? so if i do things that would cause me to get in trouble or delay the granting of privileges, then i can stay here longer and be protected from the real world and everything in it.

also the idea of defiance which is something that strongly drives my ED is one thing that is driving the urge to still want to continue this behavior. i KNOW its wrong and harmful and that it wont get me anywhere for treatment, which is precisely why i want to do it again. to do the wrong thing. to defy what is right. but in the end, as with my ED, though i am trying to defy those around me who want the best thing for me, i am really only hurting myself. but the gratification i get out of the behavior in the moment seems to outweigh the harm i do to myself, so i continue to partake in these behaviors.

anyway. as far as meals go:

breakfast was ok. i had much less volume today because i had my 2 fruits in the form of juice so that made it easier to finish with some time so that i could enjoy my coffee for once and not suck it down in the last minute.

lunch was ok too. nothing really challenging, but i still eat the wraps in my weird ED behavior way.

afternoon snack was ok. not hungry for it at all. but glad there were raisins today so that made the volume bit a tad easier.

dinner. where to begin. i was not hungry in the least for it and it was very overwhelming as far as volume. the food itself wasn't too challenging except i was expecting the meal to be vegetarian and when i lifted the lid i found there to be chicken in the mix--other people did get tofu; i guess you had to specify. but that was minor, while the VOLUME was not so minor. my whole freaking plate was fully of white rice and i just had no idea how to attack it. so of course i used some ED behaviors to ease that anxiety. i picked each type of vegetable out one at a time until all vegetables were gone and then i was left with rice and chicken. then after thatt i didn't have much time less so the behaviors became a little less present since the main priority then became finishing my meal on time. but i did have to rush a bit and as a result i was even fuller than i had expected i would be with a meal that was already large in volume.

evening snack didn't happen yet but i anticipate it will be difficult because of the sheer volume of food i have to eat. it is never easy. i am never hungry for it; as a matter of fact im usually still full from dinner. and i am ALWAYS full after.

on the bright side, my lovely college roommate and friend is coming to visit tonight! so hopefully i can be distracted from being full and try to work up an appetite with some talking!

there was a quote book on the unit the past few days with quotes girls have contributed and i wrote a bunch down in my journal. i figure ill finish each entry with one until i run out of the ones i wrote down. here goes!

"Your wings may be a little damages, but you can still fly. You can still touch the sky. You're hurt but you can still dream. You can still try. You might have to do things a little differently, but you can do them."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Some updates

quick updates for today:

1. i was on warning today after 4 days of being on projection. i could have told anyone this was going to happen after my lovely stomach ache i got after lunch yesterday. i must confess though, i was happy i was on warning and not projection, a thought i know is from my ED.

2. because i was on warning, my meal plan went up AGAIN. so now i have an extra 4oz of ensure at afternoon snack along with what i already had and 12oz of carnation instant breakfast at evening snack along with what i already had. RIDICULOUS! they don't even give you a chance to see if maybe tomorrow i would have been on projection again.

3. LUNCH: basically everything was a "risk" food or had some element of a risk food to it. risk foods were: salt n vinegar chips, jelly on the PB sandwich, pineapple juice and ICE CREAM. the chips, jelly and juice were all minor though. ive been having chips and juice here for a while, just not THOSE kinds but the jelly was something i haven't had in a LONG time, but it wasn't a lot so it was ok. the ice cream was a rather big deal since i haven't had ice cream in a LONG time and the times i had had it before i cut it out of my diet, i ALWAYS purged after. needless to say, it was a big deal, but since it was only a little hoodsie it was manageable. the little hoodsie was a step, but it's the "real" ice cream i fear and that will be a big challenge.

4. the usual person who runs creativity group was not here this weekend so one of the therapists--my individual one--filled in. group still turned out really fun, but only because us girls thought of some great games to play. yea MAFIA!

5. for the 4th weekend in a row i had to stay here while the rest of the girls who are on caf got to go on an outing. there were only 4 of us here for dinner tonight...the four of us who are not on caf yet, but of course i am the one who has been here the longest out of all of us. hopefully i can get on caf this week--that is if i am weight eligible, i have to be 80% of ideal body weight--and go on the outing this coming weekend.

6. finished my sister's keeper today. that is the fourth book ive read while here. i also started the third book in the twilight series today, eclipse.

7. finished my cross stitch yesterday that i had originally planned to give to my parents for Christmas last year. its the biggest and most intense one ive done so far--15x9.

8. im having a smores pop tart for snack tonight. what?!?! i have not had one of those in a long time and would NEVER think of allowing myself to eat that under normal circumstances. of course im having this plus my two granolas and 12oz of CIB. oh the joys of weight gain.

9. tomorrow i am anticipating a tough therapy session because i think im am going to bring something up that occurred a long time ago that has really affected me in SO many ways. i had my mom bring me my diary from a long time ago so i could read what i wrote about. i think i am going to read some of these entries in therapy. i hope it can stir up some emotion within me because i know how important it is to connect with those feelings and really feel them.

i guess im ok other than that. ta ta for now!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Helpful changes and constant stuggles

I had a couple of really bad days this week where i was in a horrible mood all day, very isolative, negative thoughts about body image and my weight kept repeating in my head, and by the end of these days, i had a tension head ache and i was incredibly tired. i knew the trigger for these bad days and i knew one definite thing i could do to possibly make these bad days a little better.

the common link: every morning when after i give my urine sample and get weighed, i take a shower. before i get in the shower, while im waiting for the water to heat up, i undress and look in the mirror. i body check. i see the physical differences from my body when i came here, and these differences have become especially pronounced over the past week and a half. so for the past 3 days, i have not body checked and what do you know? my mood had also noticeably improved.

when i, or anyone else for that matter, body checks, only negativity can come out of the situation. of course you don't look at the areas that maybe have not changed, but you focus on the parts you know have and therefore you are setting yourself up for disappointment right there. also in my situation, i KNOW that what i am going to see is going to be different and not something i am happy with, so why do i decided to scrutinize myself in the mirror and magnify that which i already know and thus magnify the negative feelings by body checking and confirming these things with a head on visual? i have also tried to decrease body checking by body shaping, which is when you touch areas on your body to feel how they have changed. this is something i would do throughout the day in groups or wherever because it is less noticable to do around people. but this too does nothing but to make me feel worse.

meals have been ok. i had a really bad dinner the other night in which i had to ask for a fat that i was missing which was a very hard thing to do. i knew i was missing it and i wasn't going to ask for it but then i realized one of the girls at the table noticed and once i realized she knew my guilty conscience then started going. so as hard and anxiety provoking as it was, i asked the CRC for the fat i was missing. also, a previously mentioned, i had to face chocolate milk again. since they put the syrup in the cup already i had to drink it which only caused more anxiety. then, i turned this anxiety into ED behaviors as far as the way in which i ate my meal went. because of this, i did HORRIBLE with pacing and was left with half my meal to eat in 5 minutes. i debated whether i should have just said "fuck it. im not going inhale all this food. i'll just replace with ENSURE." but then i remembered how many of the girls were talking about replacing one night and how it was their to never have to replace, and i immediately felt horrible for ever considering replacing as an option. so i inhaled the meal.

i was not present mentally at that meal at all. physically, yes, i was there. i ate. but i tasted nothing. i heard none of the conversations going on at the table, only the one going on in my head between me and my ED. i ruined what could have been a potentially good meal which i found rather sad when i processed what happened later in my journal. i allowed my ED to ruin a meal i would have normally enjoyed for the taste, texture, and the company.

the next day i gave into my ED again my asking one of the nutrition staff members to cross off chocolate milk from all my menus. failed attempt #2 at incorporating chocolate milk back into my diet. ED wins again...

i don't want to talk to much about the other intrusive thoughts about calories that have occurred and how i still have to constantly debate about which snack i want vs. which snack my ED wants because that happens daily. but i will tell you about another struggle i had which left me feeling rather disappointed in myself.

snack time rolled around yesterday. i always get one fruit, one yogurt and 4 oz of ensure. i new i wanted raisins that day--that choice was made completely on taste and volume considerations because i wasn't feeling the least bit hungry and a pear may have put me over the edge to the uncomfortable range of fullness. the CRCs put out 4 yogurts--two peach and two strawberry. i grabbed a peach one. i saw the nutrition facts on both though and the peach had 150 cals, 15 from fat, and the strawberry had 140 cals and 15 from fat, but i managed win that battle with my ED over 10 calories, because after all, it is only 10 calories. BUT THEN...and this was my downfall...someone decided to switch their yogurt for the stoneyfield vanilla one. so of course i wanted to too, but this WAS STRICTLY FOR THE TASTE. when i went into the fridge however, i saw that there was a stoneyfield FAT FREE blueberry yogurt. so why did this start another conversation in my head between me and my ED? because the vanilla flavor is only LOW FAT, not FAT FREE. so the great debate began. do i get what i really want OR do i get what my ED wants? i almost made it out of this mess because one of the girls wanted a blueberry yogurt and that was the only one so i told her she could have it. phew! but then she said she doesn't like the stoneyfield blueberry one. DAMN! so the conversation continued and eventually i ended up getting the blueberry FAT FREE yogurt.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT?!?! IT REALLY DID SUCK! so once again i gave into my ED and ended up getting something that tasted less than good, all for the sake of ironically saving 10 calories. i think i just contradicted myself huh? but somehow the 0 calories from fat factor won out.

I cant deny i am still struggling and these thoughts are a constant thing at every meal. sometimes i can fight through them or block them out, but i often block them out at the cost of blocking out all other emotions and am therefore unable to enjoy meals. this is something i NEED to work on and master if i want to be able to managed this ED. i need to find the balance between blocking out these intrusive ED thoughts/challenging them and disobeying them, and being able to stay connected with other emotions and subsequently the world around me.

This goes for feelings in general. i need to be able to acknowledge and FEEL the bad feelings before i can have any hope of connecting and feeling the good ones again. this is the focus of my therapy. it's hard work and i feel like im not making any progress. i am told i am though. just because my work doesn't produce a tangible product, doesn't mean im not doing work and making progress. I have to remember this too if i want to keep any sense of motivation to continue the work i need to do in therapy to work on helping myself.

Just a quote i want to share with everyone and one that i should keep in mind more often and really listen to...

"The day will happen whether you get up or not."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bad days

These last few days have not been good. i've been in a really crappy mood which is related directly to how i feel physically and how i feel about my weight gain.

To sum it up: I feel HUUUUGE! when i look at myself, i see nothing but huge, especially in one particular area. i hate it. and today, while i was reset which is good as far as not being on chair rest for a day or two, being reset is also one of the most depressing things ever. as i said before, to be reset you have to gain weight three days in a row, so clearly, by being reset, my concerns about my body were only confirmed in a very definite way.

because weight gain is such a sensitive issue and something i DO NOT want to have to do and am VERY resistant to, i am basically in a bad mood all the time. negative thoughts constantly run through my head as far as body image goes. also, before i was able to take some enjoyment from the meals here because if im going to have to do it i might as well try and make it pleasurable; however, that was before i actually started to gain weight and feel and look fat. now, i cannot even find enjoyment in meals here because food is seen as a thing just to make me gain weight, because truly, that is now it's only function. the food choices cycle through, so there is no excitement as far as variety, nothing tastes amazingly good, it i only get more things added to my meals as my meal plan goes up, increasing the negative connotation of food. i feel as though being in treatment is only making my relationship with food worse because now, food is strictly seen as a means to gain weight.

something i found rather disturbing happened at breakfast today and decreased my mood even more. i always save my banana with peanut butter on it as the last thing i eat for bfast since i follow the "save the best for last" motto. today, i did the same thing as always, but today, i didn't enjoy my banana as much. the taste of the peanut butter and banana was just not as strong as usual. that that one true pleasure is not becoming less enjoyable is really disconcerting.

another reason why i cannot even enjoy meals here anymore is because i disconnect as meals even more than i did before. meals used to be associated with some sense that i would eventually gain weight, but the feelings that would accompany the weight gain had not yet been felt. now that i AM gaining weight and the feelings are there too, i block the feelings out by disconnecting so i don't have to feel the negative feelings. i am not longer there mentally at meal times. i am simply there physically, eating the food. if thoughts or feelings do break through they are only negative and are basically centered around how each bit i take equals more weight gain and then i begin to think about how the next meal or snack is coming in a couple of hours for the same purpose.

my motivation is essentially nil right now. i feel like i am being set back by being here. set back from progress with my ED that is. because i have that thought i know that my ED is still my #1 priority and it is still in control though i am able to disconnect from a lot of the feelings that would drive me to engage in ED behaviors because i know being here it does no good to feel those feelings since i cannot act on them. the psychiatrist here asked me today why don't i sign myself out? besides from this not really being an option because of family pressures and wants/expectations, i feel now like i would have SO much work to do to get back to where i was before that it is almost an impossible feat.

The truth is, and ED is A LOT of work. it didn't take a day to get to the point where i was at as far as weight loss, dedication, control, commitment, mindset--which mind you my mindset has not changed that much. it took months of very hard work. to know that i wasted all this time here to go back to have just gained weight, and then to have to work so hard to get back to that level of intensity is something i cannot fathom doing right now. i feel at this point i would develop a new eating disorder of over eating because i feel that at the weight i am right now, it would be impossible to gain the control i would need to to get to where i was before and since i basically lost control by being here and submitting to treatment, i might as well keep going in that direction and loose total control and binge eat all the time. but that is really not an option either. i DO NOT want to get fat, and if i binge eat, that is SURE to happen.

i just feel like i have taken so many steps back by coming here and that if i did leave--sign myself out--i would not be able to get back to the place where i was, as far as with my ED and how i functioned in life with it then. i don't even know how i would go about assimilating back into life with work and just daily living and life with my ED at the same time. if i could i would make the choice to just live with my ED and not have to work or have any other obligations whatsoever. however, that is not conductive to any semblance of a productive life either. so basically im screwed. no options is really viable.

well, one option is viable but i don't know if i want to do to the work that is really involved in what i would have to do for it to actually serve as a viable option.