In the deep pit

Although I can’t yet predict the aftermath of it yet, my therapy session on Monday was one that will change my life forever. S dropped the bombshell I’ve always feared: the school may have to force me into treatment. She’s taking steps to see what my fate will be. I had to get blood drawn today, she now needs to know my weight, she’s looking into treatment offerings with my insurance, and talking with L. I am sitting here terrified.

I know I am struggling. I get that. I also realize what I’m doing right now is not okay. The stress I’m feeling that’s led me down this dark path simply isn’t going away. So, quite obviously, a change needs to happen, and fast.

I am beyond conflicted. There is no easy or straight path. I don’t even have 100% control of what will happen if I do xyz. But I do have an impact on what will happen. S put it that by not making a decision to fight this I already am losing the fight.

I have hope. The ED voice is winning by far but my real, authentic self can be heard despite the noise. If I would listen to it I have no doubt I could recover or at the very least do better than this dark pit of relapse. It also whispers that my health needs to come before school. That scares the hell out of me.

For now, I will do the best with where I am and anxiously wait for my fate.

Planning for success at college.

I thought I would take some time to explain all of the resources/plans I have at college to keep me on track in recovery. By no means do I feel it will easily, but I feel very confident that I have the most care and best care available. My opinion on that may change after meeting my new therapist and dietitian. Even if they aren’t the right fit I will work to find someone who is. Anyways, here’s my list:

Therapy 1x per week. This is so essential for me. I honestly wouldn’t have gotten through last year without talking with J each week. Individual therapy is important and allows me to talk through whatever thoughts I have, whether it be ED, depression, anxiety, or even a random SH urge. I also get to check in and if my therapist sees a downward trend she can help me get out of it. I’m also a huge fan of therapy homework. S is my new therapist here on campus and she seems wonderful. I’m hoping she will be a great fit and I love that I get the perks of academic assistance (ie taking a test in a room with less people because 90 kids in a class makes me anxious or even if I need a break from class one day)

Dietitian with weight tracking. Yes, I am seeing a dietitian. I was the girl a year ago who claimed I was above having a meal plan, hated the dietitian I met with, made excuses to never go again, etc. Forest View this time around convinced me to change my thinking. That was actually a big part of why VH let me go so soon. He wanted me on a meal plan and being weighed often so that a relapse could be detected early. It makes sense. I’m open to it and glad to be going. I think since she’s also at the school I’ll have more help with meal planning. Plus I can hopefully resolve my lactose issue or confirm that I am intolerant and plan accordingly. I hope to see her weekly or at the very least be weighed weekly. I’m not sure how that will go but I see her this week.

Following my meal plan (yes for real this time!). I could technically say I folowed my meal plan for about a week last time, but even that’s a streth. Obviously, that needs to change this time around. I’ve had success for the most part so ar. I know it’s not going to be easy, espeically with my lactose resttriction, but I am willing to make it work. I’m hoping that with my dietitian I will hit 90% each week. That’s the goal for now because I know I will screw up sometimes or the dining hall might not have something. I’m going to try my best regardless.

Daily recovery devotional/work in recovery books. Faith and ED recovery go hand in hand. I really can’t tell you all the ways being in God’s word fights the ED thoughts and puts me in better spirits period. It’s wonderful. My goal is to start each mornign in the ED devo book J gave me and work in my recovery workbook daily as well. If I focus on that it will give less time for the ED to take over.

Coping skills. I have so many coping skills this time around. I bought lots of markers and pens and coloring books. I find that to be so helpful. I love listening to oworship music while doing so. Yoga will be a regular part of my day as soon as I pick up my mat from home. Crosswords and other logic puzzles are always engaging. Anything on my computer from netflix to playing sims to just browsing. I have made sure there never will be a time I don’t have something to distract me. This means distraction when I have meals alone as well.

Accountability. I will fill out my meal plan record every week and show my mom, therapist, dietitian. My mom texts me a few times daily to see if I’m on track/having a  hard time, which is wonderful. I’ll have my dietitian and therapist to be honest with. I would love to have someone at Calvin know what’s going on. I’m waiting on that for now but hope to tell someone part of this soon.

Outside support. For now, at least, I’m going to be relying the most on outside support in my mom, Livvy, Lily. It’s hard, but I want to do my best to stay on track and reach out if need be, even though they can’t be physically here.

I have infinitely more resources and options for treatment her. My hope for this year is tgat I get unto a good, healthy groove and use all the help I’m given. As J said at our last session, God put me here at Calvin for a reason. He knew I needed more help and the fact that everything is so close and there are therapists and a dietitian here is amazing. I don’t want to follow the ED’s plan of slipping below the radar into relapse anymore. I have hope that however hard, recovery is still worth it. Here’s to a fresh start and an amazing, healthy, reviving year!

Hospitalization.

That word I’ve been avoiding for the past year (yes even while at FV I somehow convinced the doctor PHP was enough) has crept up on me yet again. This time, I was not expecting it at all. In my mind I’m not even close to needing PHP let alone forced hospitalization.

How did I come to this, exactly? I’ll admit, I haven’t been doing great as college comes closer. I have a million anxieties and I don’t do well with change in general so its been tough on me. My recovery, mood, and outlook on the future has shifted. eating’s wavered and on a scale of 1-10 (1 being basically no food and 10 as my best moments in recovery) I’m a 4 or 5. In my mind not terrible. That’s not Jenny’s concern, though. She says its depression, but either way I just feel down and like I can’t possibly recover while also going to school. I have no motivation to even try treatment, and barely enough for therapy. I don’t think its worth the effort when I could very well be like this forever. This is where her concerns lie.

I made a list of what I currently want to do next year vs what I could do recovery-wise. Its quite triggering, but I’ll just say that the left side worried her and the right side doesn’t seem possible to me. Because of all of these thoughts, behaviors, and how melancholy I am in general, Jenny brought up hospitalization.

I don’t agree with her one bit. I don’t feel it will help and the possibility that I could be forced out of school scares me. At this point school is the only thing that has any kind of pull to keep going in recovery for me. I don’t have a purpose like being a youth leader to push me forward in recovery. So if I were put inpatient and then was declared too unstable to continue school, what would I do? I don’t see any good coming from that. I also have 21 days until move in and I need every second I can get to prepare and pack. Treatment is NOT an option. Not at all.

I seem to be the only one who doesn’t think that. As Livvy put it, only people with my last name (ie my parents and I) would disagree with Jenny. Kim and Lily and Olivia all think hospitalization will help and that only makes me want to scream.

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I’m dreading therapy next week, but I also dread the way my life is going. I guess we’ll see what happens this next week to change or confirm my hospitalization fate.

Processing

Jenny said it in session yesterday and I think it’s a good way to describe what I’ve been doing the past day or so. Even as I’m here living it, it’s hard for me to understand what is going on in my life and why. I certainly don’t have clarity on that yet but I feel like maybe I will.

The first thing Jenny and I talked about was my eating. I attempted to distract her first but she knows how to cut through my crap. I honestly kind of surprised myself by not holding back. I said what it is and left it all out there or her to make sense of it. The verdict isn’t what I want to hear. She’s worried for me. We talked pretty extensively about what road I’m headed down. She thinks I’ll end up dead if it doesn’t change (I don’t believe this of course).

“Hospitalization is the next step.” That killed me. I know I miss Forest View at times and it definitely was a powerful and overall good experience, I just can’t go back. I am FULL of excuses but to spare you all of them the main reasons why not now include money, timing with school, and hopelessness about recovery. She isn’t going to force me in this second (thank God!); however, she does have the authority to breach confidentiality if needed so I can be safe. I hate that she even has to mention it. I probably am in denial, but I don’t feel “that bad” yet. Sure I’m eating about the same as last summer but I was way thinner then and had time for treatment. I’ve made it my goal to do just enough to stay out of the hospital the next four weeks while I have school.

Another statement Jenny made was how it usually takes more than one go at treatment to fully recover. It’s hard enough thinking I wasted my parents’ money and time and everything to get help once. The reality of having to do this all over again is scary and frustrating, She didn’t explicitly say it, but it sounds like no matter what I will be in treatment again. I didn’t really know what to do with that until I came home and just cried.

My homework for this week is to try and find out what block is keeping me from trying to recover now. I’ll sit down or a meal and get ready to try only to give up right away. I have no motivation to work hard or do this for myself. It’s more effort to choose recovery then this disorder. I used to push past the thoughts during those solid few months and now that’s impossible. I hope I can search and find the answer. A teeny tiny wants me to get better and that’s all it takes.

Kim and I had lunch today at her house. I had texted her earlier saying how she wasn’t going to be a fan of my lunch (big mistake apparently) so she decided to “surprise” me with a sub. I so badly wanted to run far, far away, but by the time she gave me the sub we were at her house and I couldn’t really leave. I wanted to throw it away except for whatever reeason the guilt in doing that after someone buys food “just for me” is far worse than what I would experience in just eating it. Plus if I threw it away I have no doubt Kim would resort to extreme measures and buy an Ensure or something like that. I felt horrible after eating half the sub. My stomach hurt so badly and I had guilt and I could feel the fat growing on me. I told Kim all of this which just made her say how I wouldn’t feel so bad if I was eating better. She was right. As far as eating goes, the rest of our time together didn’t involve any more and we got to talk about some things.

I shared basically everything Jenny and I talked about in therapy. God was it hard. I hate that I have to worry her and burden her. I hate the look on her face when I showed her my list of safe, unsafe, and scary foods. As much as that part of her being supportive in my recovery/relapse/whatever’s going on sucks, I am forever thankful for Kim. I get to have someone I can be honest with and who can give me advice and prayers. I got to process and talk through more feelings and thoughts therapy stirred up. We talked about my parents and how the pressure they put on me to not need treatment anymore is so guilt-inducing. I also am so incredibly proud of her own progress against Ed. I see such a difference compared to when I first found out about her ED. That connection we have because of these terrible diseases is something I treasure and thank God for. Someday I hope we can have recovery instead of active disorder as a common thread.

I can’t tell you how I stand right now. I see what I should be doing and what others want of me and what they think I deserve but my brain is just messed up. All I know is I absolutely cannot jeopardize school or let my parents down or give up on other commitments right now. It’s a lot and I don’t have a plan I’m just going to survive the best I can.

This was all written really late last night and then I fell asleep before posting. My eating was better-ish today but then guilt hit me so hard and I couldn’t stop myself from using behaviors and going on bad websites and other self-destructive things. I’m not feeling too optimistic about waking up tomorrow. I’m really worn out and sick of all of these things. I want a break from my thoughts too.

How I’m REALLY Doing

This past week, maybe even a little before that, I have been transported back to Summer 2014. My eating, or lack of, is out of control. I have no energy. The main difference from then to now is the fact that I am 30 pounds heavier than I was.

There are many more differences than just my weight and I will get to them as well. My weight now is allowing me to hide. I don’t look sick. You could put me in a line up with other healthy people and I don’t think I would be picked out as the one with the eating disorder. Now I know size has absolutely nothing to do with how much someone is internally struggling, but in my case it’s the only real symptom I show. My parents never believed I truly had a problem until suddenly my hip bones were clearly visible and I didn’t fit into my clothes anymore. Being at a heavier, normal weight now means that they suspect nothing. Heck, my mom even suggested cutting back or ending therapy which I absolutely still need.

It’s hard to admit, but my eating is out of control. I literally can’t tell you how it happens. One moment I am sitting and doing something else and then my parents leave for a little and I run to make it look like I ate a meal and just throw it all out. In those moments I blank out. I am powerless against the thoughts. Same thing goes with exercise. I start and continue to push, push, push, until I am beyond exhausted and in pain from running. I don’t allow myself to enjoy the run or any food I actually do get in.

It’s hard to actually speak about how little I eat. I don’t realize how bad it is until I see the sad and worried look in Jenny or Kim’s eyes when I am honest. Just today I wanted to cry seeing Kim react. I mean this is more than just restriction. It’s skipping meals and entire food groups. It’s running on the lowest amount of calories and food intake I can bear. Today I had just three bites of sloppy joe after Kim begged me for a good 15 minutes and I felt like exploding. I have moments of clarity like then where I see this is bad but I don’t really want to change.

I am scared. Actually, make that terrified. I owe it to Kim and Livvy and Lily to tell Jenny the truth. She already heard it last Wednesday and told me the next step would be IP at Forest View if I didn’t improve. I don’t want to go back, not now. I really can’t go back. I have five weeks left in this semester and if I don’t finish my parents will kill me. I have to finish, there is no getting around it. Telling Jenny how I have been struggling would mean possibly losing my chance to finish. Although I am in full denial that I’m as bad as she thinks, I can be forced against my will if she believes I need to. I’m also worried that even if I do go to FV again it won’t help. The words of T who was been in and out of treatment for 15 years always remind me how IP is a bandaid to make you stable not to cure you. What if I go and waste more money we don’t have and then I’m not better?

I honestly can’t say what the next few days will bring. Tomorrow school starts again for the week so I at least will have some distraction. I made a promise to Kim to work harder this week. I meet with Paul tomorrow (not looking forward to it one bit) and since it’s also going to be the last time I see him ever I don’t plan on mentioning the restriction at all. Maybe if he asks specifically but I just don’t feel like it. He’ll just give me another “You should consider Forest View” talk which I already got from Jenny. Wednesday I meet with her and I may or may not be truthful. If I can do better with food until then I probably will be. If not then there are no promises. My number one goal right now is to stay in school. Five weeks is all it takes. After that, who knows.

This is not a Pows & Wows

I just honestly don’t feel like doing one right now. Maybe next week or something. What  I DO want to talk about today is my current state.

Jenny said it in session today. I believe it. I’m spiraling downward, and pretty fast. There’s so much going on in my life (Grandpa doing poorly, school, family drama, parents so stressed out they can’t deal with me, etc) and I’ve resorted to a lack of caring about myself. I’m not eating enough. I’m eating even less than I was at some points this summer. I’m hiding everything from everyone. I’m not reaching out to support. I feel really hopeless.

Jenny told me that if I continue she will put me into Forest View. I was angry to hear that. I absolutely cannot go back there right now. If I don’t finish school my parents will kick me out. If I don’t go to Calvin next fall they will kick me out. Failure is not an option. Even if they didn’t have these views I still wouldn’t be willing to go to treatment in the middle of the semester. I am almost done. There’s no way.

I am terrified. I don’t know whether I should just lie and keep going until May or if this could give me a little motivation to do better. I don’t need this fear to add to everything else. I mean yeah I am a tiny bit afraid of getting even worse, but I’m way more afraid that someone is going to find out and/or do something about it.

Apologies for the negativity and if this doesn’t really make sense. It is how it is.

What I (probably) won’t share in therapy tomorrow

Fair warning: this is going to be negative. As always I’ll do my best to stay away from triggering info.

I’ve been dealing with some really crappy thoughts lately. And by lately I mean the past forever. I ignore them usually (smart, right?) and haven’t mentioned them to anyone. I feel like now is a good time to talk about them so I don’t have to in therapy.

My lovely disordered thoughts are definitely changing. Before I would have extreme guilt and self-hate thoughts after eating and also before I ate. This would cause me to restrict heavily then feel bad even eating a tiny bit. Now that I’m all fully committed to recovery I have been eating better, but not really for good reasons. Basically it’s only because I feel extreme guilt letting my mom, Livvy, etc down. In doing this I am creating way more negative thoughts than I could have. It gets to the point where I hate myself and my new body and all of the gross foods I’m eating but I just don’t care about myself enough to change a thing.

The thoughts I’m dealing with now suck. I hate myself 100% of every single day. I can’t think about much else. I don’t even have confidence in things I normally would, like my ability to be a youth leader. Mirrors, old pictures, getting dressed, really anything can be a trigger. Once I head down the negative route it just doesn’t stop.If I’m being honest, I have had suicidal ones lately too. It’s not really wanting to do anything but more feeling like I should be dead. If someone told me I was going to die tomorrow I really wouldn’t care… I know there are people who love me (I don’t get why though) but it really doesn’t make a difference. I’m sick of who I am and who I’m becoming. I would rather not burden anyone anymore.

Well that’s the end of negative thoughts for the night. No way I’m sharing it with Jenny tomorrow. I haven’t told a single health professional about any of the suicidalish thoughts since… Susan maybe? So it isn’t going to happen tomorrow, that’s for sure!

I know certain members of my support would probably yell at me if/when they read this so let’s hope they don’t.

Ramblings

Fair warning there will probably be a ton of word vomit in this post because I have a lot to process and I don’t feel like burdening someone with it all.

Therapy. It definitely gave me some much-needed processing this week. We talked about the downward spiral that Ed is and steps to stopping it. My goal for the week is to get rid of some stress and tackling some issues the end of the semester brings. I want to make a schedule and checklist because that tends to ease my nerves a bit. I also have to try to eat. This isn’t easy. I feel gross just thinking of the minimums I’m supposed to have. Jenny and I also discussed how I’m ever going to choose college. I want to cry because this disorder is ruining my future college experience. I don’t know how I’m going to make it next year, even if I end up going to Grace where I have support. Realistically I can’t do all of the things I should be. I am terrified what will happen when I’m on my own. Ultimately there’s so much to think about with my future. I also showed her the article I found earlier last week about physiological damage that anorexia causes. That article scared me so much. The more I read about it and look at statistics, I start to give up the notion that I can’t get sick like that. I have this belief that I won’t ever have to deal with those effects, when I’m actually already facing some. There is less and less doubt in my mind that my body will stay healthy if I keep doing this. As I said before, just tons and tons of information to process and go over.

Eating. I want to sugar coat it and say how well I’m doing, but that would be a huge lie. I have gone back to pure restriction, past even where I was most of last year/this summer. I maybe get one meal in. Even if I do get one, it usually is lacking majorly. I know I am starving my body. I know this is slow suicide. I know these things but I can’t stop. I don’t even have to think about lying and throwing away food anymore, I just do. I have guilt from throwing food out and also from eating thee little bit I manage. I don’t think I’ll be able to hide it much longer and that scares me. I’m not sure what to do.

Ed thoughts. Some moments it feels like they’re on a loudspeaker and other times not, mostly because it’s all I hear anymore. I just make decisions solely on Ed and I feel like the real me doesn’t have a voice. I think she’s too far gone to even get back right now…

Doctor appointment. Today I visited my new doctor for the first time. I was so nervous going into it because speaking about my eating disorder and other MH issues is hard. Luckily the nurse there and my doctor were amazing and accommodating. She was respectful and completely different from what I experienced with my pediatrician last year. Right away she pointed out that I have an enlarged thyroid that could be contributing to depression. I asked her why Paul wouldn’t have noticed because she thinks it’s been going on a while. I’ll have to get lots of blood drawn tomorrow for that and labs for the anorexia since I haven’t had a full  workup in almost 5 months(!!!). I’m pretty scared for the results but I know it’s better to catch something early. Maybe it would be motivation to fight harder. Either way I am not going to freak out. It won’t help me any and it won’t change the results. I am in good hands no matter what.

Two and a half weeks. My goal right now is to get through this semester. It’s nearly over now and I absolutely can’t do anything that would jeopardize me finishing. I have to hang in there, even if I feel half-dead most of the time. I will put my health on the line if I have to, not that I’m to that point. I’ll have a month off and whatever needs to be done then can be done. At this point, I don’t think I need treatment again. I don’t really know what I need, but I guess I have time to figure it out. I know that life will get 1000x more stressful food-wise once I’m home all day. I definitely am not looking forward to it, but the thought of spending my time  off in the hospital is not too enticing either. Besides, I can’t be that sick when I’m clearly not as bad off as I was this summer. Maybe that’s Ed talking, oh well.

Pictures from this week:

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Look at all the lovely snow… yuck!

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My lovely NEDA necklace I got for my birthday 🙂

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Milo being all cute and tired

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DELICIOUS asian salad I had for lunch today

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The last three were so hard to write down

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Pretty proud of myself for this

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Basically my feelings for this week in general.

Support group?

Yesterday in therapy we talked a lot about what it looks like when I’m doing good and bad. We came to the conclusion that I do my best when I have the most support. This is very true. When I feel alone I don’t even bother trying to fight Ed.

Because my support at home is usually lacking, Jenny suggested I go to a support group. I had heard about this one before, but I didn’t realize that the place also has IOP and is well known for EDs. Th support group is held the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month at FV, which is a 45 minute drive. It’s open to people with EDs or disordered eating and also family/friends/supporters.

I have already come up with quite a few reasons (excuses?) why I shouldn’t go:

  • Karen runs it and she knows me from FV
  • It’s a lot to ask of my parents
  • It’s another thing in my busy life
  • I might be the hugest one there
  • I have gained too much weight to be sick
  • I would be a fraud because I’m not that sick
  • People from FV may be there and they’ll see how huge I am
  • My parents will say no and get mad if I ask
  • I’ll have to go in alone if I do go
  • Going back to FV will bring so many emotions

And reasons I should go:

  • It would give me dded support
  • Karen is very nice
  • It could be useful next year as well when I go to college in GR

I honestly don’t know whether I will go soon or ever. I kind of half mentioned it to my dad yesterday and he didn’t really say no or yes or have any opinion. I suppose that isn’t terrible but not great either. I didn’t really say I was interested either because I’m just not sure. I loved the support I got from other ED patients at FV and I so miss that, but I don’t know if I can go back.

  • “Severe”

    Ever since Kim said I have a “severe eating disorder” on Saturday, I have been coming up with reasons it isn’t true. I’ve been so focused on that one word so I naturally told Jenny about it today. I flipped out internally when she agreed.

    To me, a severe eating disorder means something like I* from FV. She had been IP for 4 weeks before I went there and got into PHP a few days after I started. I* was a 12 year old anorexic. Her story broke my heart because she was the sweetest girl, but the part that made her so severe was that she had an NG tube and was wheelchair bound the first few weeks of IP. Even once she got to PHP she was the only one forced to have Ensures with every meal. She was tiny. That is the definition of a severe anorexic in my mind.

    Obviously, I don’t fit that mold at all. This is why I just can’t accept a severe label.

    Both Jenny and Kim disagree with me on that for many reasons I’m sure, some of which Jenny brought up in therapy. She said I am one of her sickest clients and she only saw me last week (she took time off) because she knew I needed it. She talked about the physiological damage EDs have and how deadly they are. I*, was not just severe but at deaths door. I am still restricting tons and having some physical problems but I can’t be that sick. I just can’t.

    My thoughts are all over the place. Maybe I have an eating disorder but I’m not bad. I’m not so sick. I absolutely am not a severe case. I could list a thousand reasons to prove my point. In the meantime, I’m going to try and pretend that severe notion was ever mentioned and keep on surviving day by day.