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It’s Been a While…Update

19 Feb

It has been quite a while since the last time I have written and so many things have happened since, big changes. I finally graduated from undergrad with my degree in dietetics (May 2015) and was accepted into a master’s program/internship to finish out the trek in becoming an RD. I also got married and am so incredibly lucky to have the husband that I do and I’m not sure how I snatched him up but I know that I don’t deserve his amazingness. Two weeks after being married I moved to pursue my master’s and start my internship and things have definitely been stressful and a struggle.

I guess I am writing this just to throw out my thoughts, feelings, and stress instead of hanging onto them and letting them weigh me down. I haven’t written anything in quite some time and I remember just how good it felt to write things down and clear them out of my head. I used to do that all the time, especially in treatment, but “life gets in the way”. I know that’s a phrase that a lot of us often use but for me, I know that if I use that excuse when it comes to self-care I will eventually lose myself and end up down a dangerous path that I do not want to go on. So, I’m writing. This isn’t my usual type of writing but it’s something. I have a hard time sharing how I am doing or what has been going on in my life but I figured this could give people a little insight and a little better understanding of what it is like to deal with mental (and a little physical) health issues when major stress and changes are going on.

First off, moving has been extremely difficult for me. I am not one that strays far from family and friends as they are a huge part of my life and support system. I’m missing out on being there for my nieces and nephew and being able to see them experience new things these next two years (well, 15 months now). It may not seem like a huge deal to many but they bring such sunshine into my life that I forget everything else that is stressing me out/going on. I’m missing out on family events as well which becomes difficult for me as I looked forward to them. When it comes to my severe depression (and my Dr. is leaning away from bipolar but more towards BPD tendencies, which makes sense because that is quite common in eating disorder patients), any type of stability and joy is something I try to hold on to tightly. When my moods are in the extreme lows or shifting from highs to lows frequently, I feel incredibly out of control. It’s that joy and stability that still keeps me grounded in some way, and it can hold the darkness at bay. Going home every few months is something I look forward to, yet it never seems often enough. I know that this time in the program will go by fast, but there is so much that I feel like I am missing out on. My best friend is getting married New Years Eve 2016 and I haven’t been able to do half the things I’ve wanted to do to celebrate her engagement. I want to be there every step of the way and I feel so terrible that I can’t.

The stress with the program has definitely taken a toll on my mental health. I have been having breakdowns every 3 days, if not more frequently than that. I’m a slower learner and it is so fast paced that I am starting to really question if I can actually do this. Then comes self doubt, a lovely feeling that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. I was more confident when I had finished treatment and recently I feel like my emotions have taken a huge step backwards. I have been completely drained of energy lately and started going to bed around 9 because I simply cannot keep my eyes open or think at all. I feel like I am mentally deteriorating yet I don’t want to give up since I’m just a few months away from completing the first year.

I’m feeling more out of control than I’ve felt in years which terrifies me. The way that I seek control is through unhealthy behavior and I’ve been working so hard to steer clear of going down that slippery slope. Coping mechanisms are creeping back in as I’m trying to deal with all of these factors and feelings going on. My mental health is what is being hindered and it is also the same thing that is doing the hindering. It’s a vicious cycle and I have yet to figure out how to slow it down/learn how to cope. My brain feels like a washer, everything is spinning around and along with the spinning comes extra factors (like the water/rinsing, and then the sudden halting and reverse spinning). All I want to do is sleep. I’m tired and have this void within me. Sometimes that void goes away, but it’s a feeling that’s there 90% of the time. Maybe writing can help fill the void, so I’m giving it a try. I’m just not sure how to process things anymore and I’m beginning to feel detached from myself. I don’t want to end up hurting myself because of this never-ending roller coaster of emotions that never seems to level out.

As of right now, I just need to keep taking things minute by minute, day by day because I know that will keep me going at least for a little bit. Currently, I’m doing to the best of my ability. I need to keep asking for guidance and continue to read inspirational messages. Until next time (hopefully sooner than a year).

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A Look Into My Mind – And a Hope for Change (Trigger Warning)

16 Jul

So my head has been feeling heavy and quite clouded lately and depression has shot up a bit over these last few months.  To start off, I lost my Grandma on June 3 and I almost felt numb in a way but still had my crying sessions.  It hasn’t been until recently that my depression has been high and I really feel the grieving of her passing.  She was the only Grandma I knew from little on up and she was more than just a Grandma, she was my friend as well. It’s been hard realizing that I can’t see her anymore or hear her voice. I can’t watch her flirt with men or hear her give my fiance a hard time for fun. She brought spirit and joy everywhere she went and I’m definitely hurting from this loss now.  I know she is back with my Bumpa, her “lover boy” and they’re having a great time up in heaven, but this is just so hard.  

The spring semester was packed with intensity and then towards the end is when Grandma started going downhill fast.  As soon as finals were over (and even just before they started), I was told that she wouldn’t be bouncing back from this one.  Watching her slowly deteriorate in front of my eyes was incredibly difficult for me, yet I wanted to stand by her side through it all. I wanted her to know I was not going to leave her; I wanted her to know I loved her so much and that she was so incredible to me.   

All this intensity and back to back things have just worn me out emotionally and I’ve gone back to that “wanting to just feel numb and disappear” thought pattern. Even with the greatest support system that I have, I still just feel so alone and caught up in my brain. Towards the end of the semester I was back down in weight from all of the stress and running around that went on.  The frequent rounds of nausea didn’t help as well and I’m sure it was due to stress and heavy emotions.  With my treatment team asking me if I need higher care (and letting me decide whether it would be helpful or not, which it wouldn’t) and really pushing on weight restoration, I’m overwhelmed.  I’m questioning my recovery because that ED voice has become so loud again.  Protein bars/powder have now been added to my meal plan to help bump up calories so they can see an incline and all I want to do is avoid it as much as possible. 

I have no idea where all of my spirit and motivation has gone to and right now I’m feeling incredibly defeated.  I can’t say that I have lost hope, but I’ve definitely lost the energy that gives me the “oomph” to move on.  And when it comes to body image, I can’t even describe the immense hatred I have towards my image.  Even though I’m being told how distorted my view is, I still cannot get over it.  My mind just keeps replaying that I’m not good enough.  I’m not pretty enough.  I’m just not enough.  With a BMI of about 16.5, I logically know that’s not in a healthy range, yet I can’t see it.  Maybe it’s because so many people tell me that I look good or look healthy, and I take that and compare it to someone else with my same BMI and they’re told they look sick.  It just rattles my mind and it feeds into not wanting to restore any weight.  

As you can see, I’m all over the place.  My brain had an eloquent way of writing this, and now as I’m actually putting it down it’s coming out unorganized and butchered. My life is starting to line up and here I am falling apart again mentally. How do I push past the barriers that I place around myself? Fighting my own mind, my own thought process, the disordered mess that started 21 years ago seems to be quite the battle. When will I be enough for myself and stop comparing myself to others? I just don’t know what to do, I don’t understand or know HOW to do it. My brain never stops and this eating disorder and bipolar depression are wearing me down and weighing me down.   

The darkness fell over my eyes

like a blindfold trying to hide the world around me. 

And as I waited for the sun to rise 

the hours passed by and it became harder to see. 

The pitch black air became thicker 

and I choked as my breath became quicker. 

The thoughts in my head were all I could hear 

and the louder they got, the harder it was to control my fear. 

How do you search for a way out when you have no light? 

How do you drown out your thoughts when you can’t see what you’re supposed to fight?

Where I Am, Going into Summer 2014

9 May

So I know I have not updated on here for a while and last time I did I was just going into my Junior year of Dietetics.  Well, the year has come and it is almost done.  I will be finishing up this year in just 2 weeks.  I am so happy that this school year is almost over, it has been a whirlwind, yet I have had a lot of fun learning as well. 

I did not think that taking 16 credits both semesters while tutoring microbiology would be that difficult, but it was. There were so many things to do, and on top of that I was beginning to get really sick.  I started experiencing horrible migraines, night sweats and my temperature would drop to 94.8 even though I felt like I was burning up.  I went to a gastroenterologist and found out that I need to have some things done to help my GI tract, and if that does not work then I may just need to have my large intestine removed completely.  Between all of the classes, tutoring and medical appointments and ailments I had little time to actually take care of myself and continue working out and eating well.  Hence, my stress levels increased (working out helps reduce them) and my eating disorder became much louder.  My weight has dropped a bit and as of right now I feel like I am in a tough place.  I want to get healthy again like I was last summer but the ED voice is so loud now.  I know that I need to ignore it and just do what I have to do, no matter how horrible it feels or the thoughts that are running through my head.  Every time that I finally get to get a workout in, I tend to get a fracture of some sort which makes me unable to workout for a few weeks.  I just feel like there are nonstop setbacks.  My grandma has also been in the hospital a few times this year and we have found out her lymphoma is back again.  She’s really weak and I’m trying so hard not to think negatively.  I just don’t want to think of life without her.  

Looking at the positives, I ended up getting engaged to the most amazing man.  He is my everything and he has also moved in and has been there every step of the way for me and I couldn’t thank him enough for it.  My dad’s cancer levels have stayed down (yay!) and my fiance and I also got a puppy! She is so cute but at times she is incredibly naughty.  Though the naughty times are definitely worth it.  Wedding planning has been fun and things have started to get booked.  

There have been so many emotions this year and while the good ones are amazing, it’s hard because they are joined with the negative emotions.  I feel like I’m in a whirlwind of emotions lately but I am still hanging in there.  As for my body image, it’s horrible.  I know that I need to really change things around on that aspect and stress has a huge influence on it.  I need to trust those around me and what they say when they see me because I guess I’m not seeing myself clearly.  

So where do I go from here?  Well, I want to get back on track, bring positivity back and really focus on being healthy and happy.  I need to do this so things do not get worse, but also so that I can continue living and be able to experience my future.  So my plan for the summer is to clean out my place (get rid of junk I don’t need/clutter that is unnecessary), get back on my meal plan and start working out again, help out at the food shelf and volunteer at some other places as well.  I know that I do not want to go back to where I was before; I don’t want to put school on hold again or end up back in residential treatment for another 5 months.  My life does not have room for that so I have to get my butt in gear and change my ways.  

All I ask for is support and that is not easy for me but I know that i need it.  I need accountability as well. I have one year of school left and I’m ready for that party to celebrate just how far I’ve come.  My ED is not allowed to derail me and all of my hard work.  I will not let it destroy me anymore, I have nothing left to give to it.  It’s time to get stronger than ever before, it’s my next step and it’s a big step.  I know I can do it, look at all that I’ve accomplished so far in this long journey.  There’s no room for ED in my future.

An Update: Lots of Thoughts

4 Sep

So tomorrow starts the beginning of my Junior year for Dietetics.  I can officially classify myself as a Junior now, I have made it that far (took forever but finally!). However, I won’t judge the time it has taken because this isn’t a sprint. Since my last post (which was in October of 2012), things have really changed, while other things have stayed stable but grown into a much larger part of my life.  

Despite doing school last year, I was still deep into my anorexia.  I couldn’t get my head out of the disorder and I honestly didn’t know myself without it. I did well in the fall semester and continued to do well in school in my spring semester but as school continued, my weight continued to drop again.  By the end of march/beginning of april, I was at the mall with my boyfriend and was seconds from passing out twice. Without him there, I probably would’ve woken up on the shiny floor at the mall. I truly became afraid again at that point and I could see the terror in his eyes as well.  That was not something I wanted him to see and I knew it wouldn’t take long before I’d be forced into higher treatment again (talks were starting about it at that point as is).  I made a promise to myself, to those around me, to my future, to my dreams and desires, that I would completely jump into recovery, all of me.  I had to make a choice at that point, and I chose to begin my meal plan again and to listen to my treatment team, to the support around me.  It was VERY difficult at first, but the support to continue on and fight through the awful thoughts helped me so much.  I know I couldn’t do it on my own account, and I needed to lean on those around me.  I had made it through 2 weeks (with no exercise) and found out that a good friend of mine from childhood had passed away from cancer.  I was devastated.  We had just talked a couple days before her passing, wanting to meet up and continue supporting each other through our battles.  I wanted nothing else but the comfort of my eating disorder at that point, but I couldn’t allow myself to turn to it, I wanted to keep fighting, if not for me, but for her.  I needed the comfort of my friends and family, of my treatment team, not my disorder.  I knew that the disorder would keep me alone and give me fake comfort while a pair of arms could provide me actual comfort; something tangible.

 I had made it through the hard month, finished off the spring semester and summer break arrived.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with myself.  It was my first summer with no intensive programming, just my outpatient team.  With my summer starting off with my one year anniversary with Tyler, I didn’t realize there were going to be so many events occurring, including a month of a summer class.  Now looking back at it, my summer was PACKED and it was packed with things I WANTED to do, things I COULD do. I didn’t have to sit in a group all day; I actually had freedom.  It was freedom I allowed myself to have, I earned it by sticking with recovery.   

So here I am today, looking back on this last year.  I grew closer to so many great people that have helped me better myself, that have supported me along this journey. I couldn’t be more thankful for my boyfriend though.  He has been the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  I honestly don’t know where I would be right now without his love and support in my life.  He helps me keep going each day when I want to just quit and curl into a ball, which is sadly where I have been at the last couple of weeks.  His patience with me and my struggle with my anorexia is astonishing and I cannot thank him enough.   

So tomorrow I officially begin my Junior year, and I’m sitting here with the nervous butterflies.  My disorder yelling at me that “I’m not thin enough for the first day” and that I need to be more disciplined when it comes to my studies to get that 4.0 this semester. As much as I’m trying to ignore these thoughts, I have noticed myself slipping back into old behaviors from triggers I’ve been exposed to. The same thoughts of wanting control, of wanting to lose weight, to look good, to be good enough, to be thin enough, to be perfect are circling in my mind.  At times I find this place to be more difficult than being stuck in the disorder.  When stuck in the disorder it feels like you have no other choice, and I DON’T EVER want to get back to that point again.  I’d rather be here, working harder, feeling the struggle, realizing that I DO have a choice and asking myself what my choice is. I know that this is part of the journey; that recovery is a giant mess, but a mess with progress if I stick to it. I’d rather have a choice, maybe make a wrong choice once in a while, but know that I do have a choice and that I’m not stuck, not feeling like I have no say when it comes to the disorder.  I know this semester will be hard, I expect that.  I will have to work my butt off, but I WILL NOT let my anorexia take away my future, take away my dreams and wants. I look forward to the future, I’m excited for it and that’s what will keep me going. Yes, I will continue to struggle, and I foresee the struggling to decrease as time passes.  I trust in that, I have to.

The Last Way to Say Goodbye

25 Feb

Dear ED,

 

Do you realize just how much you hurt me?  Just how much you make me want to disappear?  Do you know how much I have cried because of you or wanted to die because of you?  You never fail to put me down, to tell me how pathetic, worthless and fat I am.  Never forgetting to remind me of things I have done wrong and how I do not and will not measure up to those around me.  You always seem to have the answers too, letting me know how I can be “better” and get “better”: just eat a little less; lose the last five pounds.  Everything will get better then.  Yeah?  No.  It never does, ED.  I follow your rules, I obey, and once I get there, nothing changes.  In fact, you repeat yourself and tell me “just those last five pounds” again.  You add more rules to the list, and the cycle only continues.  Sadly, I keep listening to you because I believe your every word.  I put my trust into you.  It’s like you have me under a spell, like you’re a siren leading me in with your song.  Yet, I know when I crash, you won’t be there to help me.  Instead, you’ll put me down for crashing even though it was YOUR fault.  And if you had it your way, you’d make sure no one was around to help me, to at least gie me a helping hand, some sort of support.  Because let’s face it ED, you’re SELFISH.  You don’t want me to have anyone else in my life but you.  You want me hopeless and dependent on only you.  I’ve seen this in action.  I know how you work.  You’re abusive, ED.  you abuse me left and right.  You abuse me physically and you abuse me emotionally.  This isn’t a healthy relationship and it’s time I break it off.  It’s not me, it’s you and I deserve better.  I am tired of the hurt, the pain, the sadness.  I am not weak like you think I am and my life is going to be so much better without you.  I know you won’t be easy to get rid of, I know you won’t just walk away because of the abusive, selfish thing that you are.  Eventually you will tire out, especially when you see how happy I am without you; when you see that I won’t stay down to let you kick me.  Trust me, you’ll grow tired, you’ll grow bored.  Maybe you’ll get a glimpse of the pain you made me endure.  It will only be a glimpse though because the amount I felt from you could never be repeated, nor would I ever wish it onto anyone else, not even the devil himself.  But you WILL feel that sting, that burn when you see what true happiness is.  I will be able to focus on the man I love and experience life with him.  I’ll be more of a part in my niece’s and nephew’s lives.  I will be a better sister, daughter, and friend.  I will finally be able to help those who have always been there to help me.  I will finally have the strength to be a support for someone else.  I will have the motivation, drive and strength to reach my goals and dreams, because I won’t have your heavy negativity dragging me down.  We’ve spend many, many years together and this isn’t going to be easy but I know it’s possible and I know it’s the right thing to do.  It’s time to break up this relationship, ED.  I’ve never written something like this before, this is new to me.  I think this is the piece that has been missing.  I’ve needed the final and formal break up to happen.  I’m in love, and it’s not with you.  Goodbye ED. 

 

I choose life over death.

I choose life over you.

I choose happiness over perfection.

I choose to let my true beauty shine through.

 

~Meghan (the girl you have abused one too many times)

A New Step Towards Recovery

17 Oct

So Monday night was a really hard night for me.  It was actually quite scary.  Over the weekend my depression was slowly building up and on Monday it overtook me and I became suicidal for the first time in a long time.  I ended up not going to treatment so that I could isolate and be alone which is scary for me.  Although I wouldn’t do anything, just having those thoughts are terrifying! Depression is the worst and I try to think of all the happy things in my life yet it comes back at me and bites me, telling me that “I don’t deserve those good things”.  Monday I was completely hopeless.  I had eaten more over the weekend and felt like I binged on Sunday because I had more of my meal plan than I was used to.  Monday I tried to restrict and make up for eating this weekend but I still ended up eating more than I wanted to, but let’s face it, a piece of fruit would have been too much for me in my mind.  While I was in my hopeless and depressive funk, I talked to my boyfriend and he really opened my eyes to logic and how to view things.  It was nice to hear that I would not be given up on and that people are willing to fight with me and for me and not just leave me behind because of this illness.  As I thought about things, I started feeling more hope again and reason to do recovery.  I have been at a crossroads and I could either continue spiralling down and end up back in residential again, where I will be forced to eat and get to my target weight, or I could fight and force myself to go against my brain and start following my meal plan and become stronger.  That night I chose the recovery path.  I can only be in residential for so long and be forced to eat, and I don’t want to be in and out of treatment centers for the rest of my life because I keep avoiding my meal plan on my own.  It’s time that I fight for myself and my life before I run out of time and it becomes too late.  I can be compliant in treatment, but now I have to really step out of my comfort zone and continue my meal plan and continue fighting those thoughts when I’m on my own, otherwise this will be a never-ending cycle that couldn’t be broken.  I’m choosing to break this cycle now.  I’m choosing to fight against that self-defeating, self-destructive voice in my head and I’m choosing to do something different.  It’s going to be really hard to go through all the muck and not give up, but I can’t give up.  I’m holding hope for a better future and life because of recovery.  Tuesday I ended up doing a majority of my meal plan and today I have only missed a view exchanges.  My eating disorder is fighting back but I’m not going to let it be the loud voice this time.  No, this time it’s my healthy, recovery focused self that is going to be loud.  I’m going to hate every bite that I eat.  I’m going to hate all those full feelings and the feeling of gaining, but it is only temporary.  Those feelings will pass eventually and my thoughts will hopefully become softer and fewer and farther apart than they are now.  I’m trusting that I’ll eventually learn to love myself and accept who I am.  A number will not dictate who I am.  My soul is entrapped in this body, but this is just a body.  My soul is me, and in order for my soul to be shown and fully emulate, I need to take care of my body and treat it well so that everything can work properly and I can start being my true self again and not a shell of a person.  I want to watch my niece grow up and my next little niece/nephew grow up as well.  I want to be able to finish school and eventually help other people struggling with an eating disorder.  I want to be able to show that this is worth the fight and that it is possible to beat this.  I am not going to let anorexia win this fight anymore.  I have a future waiting for me, I have hopes, wishes, and dreams for myself.  I have to break this cycle now, I have the strength to do it and the motivation as well.  I have angels in my life who are so supportive and are there with me every step of the way.  I couldn’t be luckier.  I’m ready for this difficult path, and I know it’s not going to be perfect, and I know I’m going to have my slip ups, but that is life.  I’m ready to have those slip ups, and to not let them deter me from my ultimate goal.  It’s going to be a dark road for a little while, but I truly know that there will be the light at the end.  I just need to keep hope and see that glimmer and focus on my successes along the way.  I need to realize why I deserve this, why my family, friends, boyfriend, deserve this.  They don’t deserve to watch me waste away and give up.  I think I’m finally ready to give up my anorexia.  It’s time to take that scared, 4 year old girl’s hand and show her that everything is okay, and that everything will be okay.  It’s time for a change.  I’m ready for this recovery battle, and I’m ready to fight hard and loud.  I know I can beat this.  I’m going to win. 

Recovery is Quite the Journey

8 Sep

So I know I have not posted in a while, and I feel that for my recovery it is important for me to do so right now.  I have been struggling quite a bit lately and feel like I’m at a crossroads with my recovery.  My depression has been really high lately and it is annoying me so much.  I have SO much to be thankful for and SO much to recover for, and yet I still struggle with all the negative thoughts.  I have an amazing family who has been there every step of the way for me and a truly amazing boyfriend who is also taking every step with me along this daunting, rocky road.  I have been blessed with the people who are in my life right now and I could not be anymore thankful than I am.  The other part of me tells me that I do not deserve this treatment, that I just deserve to be left alone.   

I have been isolating less which is a great step in the right direction, even when the majority of me wants to just stay in bed and sleep to shut out the world.  I had a great conversation with my boyfriend last night and in conclusion I realize that I need to come to terms that people actually want to be around me and be a part of my life; and that they’re not just there for the hell of it.  I need to focus on the idea that people actually want to help me and be there for me and that I do deserve it.  That is just so foreign to me, yet I really need to start listening to that idea instead of shutting it down.  If I keep shutting it down, then I’m just going to push people away or frustrate them and I know that’s what my disorder wants me to do.  I am not my disorder and I need to take back control from it.  If I do not start listening to the healthier part of me, then nothing will change.  I have to actually feed into the healthy part in order to be healthy and actually recover.  I need to listen to those around me who are trying to support me.  I need to trust others right now instead of myself because if I listen to myself right now, a relapse is bound to happen; as I can tell I’m in the beginning stages of it. 

So here I am, really thinking about things and really trying to take that next healthy step.  I feel like this is some sort of progress right now and that is something I need to accept as well.  It is okay to progress, especially in recovery.  It is scary, and it is okay to be scared.  I am scared on multiple levels right now.  I’m scared for the fact that I’m starting to not even realize I’m giving into the disorder.  I did not realize that I lied to my dietitian on Wednesday when she asked how the meal plan was going.  My mind was telling me “it’s going great” and that is exactly what I told her.  So I need to start being real with things.  Next Wednesday I am going to tell her the absolute truth; that I am struggling right now.  Hopefully she won’t be mad and maybe we can come up with some type of plan that I will ACTUALLY have to follow.  Like I stated earlier.  I need to take the steps of change in order to MAKE a change.   

This is a step in the right direction, I think/hope.  Writing helps me come to terms with things so maybe I need to update this more and write more.  I’ll try to anyways.  I’m terrified of this journey, and yet I will never give up.  I will never stop fighting, even when I’m scared.