Tag Archives: Anorexia

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?

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.

23

30 Mar

So today I’m 23 years old.  I’m sitting in a coffee shop waiting for my therapy appointment, reading all the birthday wishes that people have posted on my facebook.  I’m so thankful and grateful for each “happy birthday” I read.  They mean so much to me, and it just shows that there is support out there for me.  I always know that there is support from my family and friends but sometimes this disease makes you forget and treats you as if you’re alone.  It makes you think that you don’t deserve anybody out there.  Seeing all the comments shows that I have more power than the disease, and I needed to see that today.  Who would have thought that on my birthday I would be looking back to a year ago and wishing I was back there.  Not back in treatment but back to the size I was.  It makes me sad to think that I cannot even enjoy my birthday without wishing I was skinnier for it, without wishing I weighed less and that it would be the best birthday gift I could ask for.  This is why I’m still in treatment, still getting help, and still striving for recovery.  Some days I feel like I want it while other days I cannot stand the thought of recovery, but I guess that’s with this disease.  23 years ago I was born, 19 years ago my eating disorder was starting to take form in my brain.  1 year ago I was waiting to get into the Anna Westin House.  Today, I’m sitting in a coffee shop and remembering all of these things; I’m sitting here in awe.  My anorexia is screaming at me, yet proud I ordered a small black coffee.  I know that this thing won’t just go away but today I’m 23 and starting a fresh new year.  I can make it like I’m reborn and try to mold my brain back to a normal thought pattern.  Today is the start of something new.  I do have new tools that I’ve learned and that’s what has kept me afloat so far.  I can turn around and let the disease bring me backwards or I can start anew.  My birthday wish for myself is to start anew.  At least that’s my wish for today.

Exhausted Today

15 Mar

Today has been a slightly busy day! It was productive anyways! I met with my counselors at school and found out that I’ll be in school for longer than I thought.  Part of me is extremely down because of it but I am trying not to let it defeat me.  I know I’ll be done with school eventually, I was just hoping sooner rather than later.  I know hindsight is 20/20 but if I would have just known what I wanted and trudged through with school, I’d be further in life and be where I want to be.  Instead, I took the muddy route with quick sand and got stuck.  Things are going too slow for me and I just want to move on.  I know that my perfectionism is coming out when I say that and that’s what got me into this mess.  I’m just exhausted and struggling as I watch the people around me live their life.  I want to do that, and I know I am, it’s just different.  I want to actually feel like I’m living and not just going through the motions like a lifeless being.  Someday I want a family with someone and I feel like that is going to be much later than I expected because my main focus will be on school.  I’m frustrated.  I’m exhausted and embarrassed of where I am.  I know judging the situation isn’t going to help any, but it’s really difficult not to judge it (there’s that perfectionism coming out again).  However, on the brightside, overall today was a good day.  My meal plan was not the greatest, but I still ate some.  I wanted to workout as well but I’m just too exhausted and unable to push through that exhaustion.  So positive note, I’m listening to my body tell me it’s tired and I”m resting right now.

I guess I just need to keep telling myself that things take time in life, and I will get to where I want to be.  I have obstacles (like everyone else) and I need to figure out how to move through them.  I know that during these obstacles in life, I learn the most.  That is where I find the most strength, and I need to utilize it positively and then I’ll make it through.  I’ll get there, it takes time; it’s frustrating, but I will get there.  I have to.

Introduction

13 Mar

My name is Meghan and I’ve been battling disordered eating for almost 19 years.  I have been battling anorexia for close to 4 years now.  I have been in treatment at the Emily Program for over a year now.  Things had started to spiral out of control to the point where I was barely eating and working out at least 5 hours a day.  Last April (2011) I ended up going to the Anna Westin House for close to 5 months.  During those months I went through the process of refeeding and I did as I was told.  However, I still snuck workouts in here and there behind closed doors.  Even though my body was getting healthy (which I hated), my brain was still sick.  I would have moments of feeling recovery but those moments were rare.  I played them up though; I wanted to get out of the house so that I could go back to what I was doing.  I hated the fact that my body had changed for the better, because to me, it had changed for the worst.

As soon as I left the treatment center, I slowly went back to my old habits, yet I wanted to live life like a 22 year old should.  I wanted to start school again and get a job.  I was going after things so fast, trying to make everything normal, but it wasn’t.  I’ve had to drop classes now in order to stay alive and manage my depression, anxiety, and eating disorder.  Now my job is the next thing to lessen.  I absolutely love my job and it hurts that I cannot do it anymore, or do it to the potential that I want to.  Just a coupld days ago I had completely crashed and jumped off the edge.  I did things that I regret, and I did them all because of self-hatred and depression.  Everything had just caught up with me and my world came crashing down.  My body may not be physically to the point where it was last year but my mind is definitely ill.  Today I hit a realization as I was walking my dog.  The song “Stand Back Up” by Sugarland came on my iPod and it brought me to tears.  I received a feeling I have never felt before.  I want recovery.  I want to live my life and I want to get better, for my family and for my friends.  I’m tired of being submissive to this disease.  If I don’t beat this now, I don’t know if I’ll live later on.  And I’ve realized that I can’t keep being ashamed of what I have.  I am anorexic, I suffer from severe depression and anxiety; I’m struggling, but I want to share my recovery process and show people that it is possible to overcome demons in life.  This is going to be my blog to show that process.  Even if 1 person reads this, hopefully they can get something out of it, and knowing that I have one extra person for support is amazing to me because during times like this, all the support is needed.  I want to beat this.  I want to be there for my dad as he battles his cancer and do what I can to help him, but I can’t do that if I’m sick.  He needs his family and I want to fight and be there for him.  My niece needs her auntie, and I want to be there to watch her grow up.  My mom needs her youngest daughter, my sister needs her sister, etc.  I won’t let them down.  It’s time to stand back up.  It’s time to fight free from this ED.  It’s time to fight.  It’s time for me to go back to treatment and actually listen to them and do what they tell me.  It’s time to change and become Meghan, not just another statistic for an eating disorder.  I’m more than that.  We are all here for a reason, and it’s time for me to fulfill my duties.

 

“Stand Back Up” by Sugarland

Go ahead and take your best shot, Let ‘er rip, give it all you’ve got, I’m laid out on the floor, but I’ve been here before, I may stumble, yeah I might fall, Only human aren’t we all? I might lose my way, but hear me when I say,
I will stand back up, You’ll know just the moment when I’ve had enough, Sometimes I’m afraid, and I don’t feel that tough, But I’ll stand back up,
I’ve been beaten up and bruised, I’ve been kicked right off my shoes, Been down on my knees more times than you’d believe, When the darkness tries to get me, There’s a light that just won’t let me, It might take my pride, and my tears may fill my eyes, But I’ll stand back up,
I’ve weathered all these storms, But I just turn them into wind, so I can fly, What don’t kill you makes you stronger, When I take my last breath, That’s when I’ll just give up,
So, go ahead and take your best shot, Let ‘er rip, give it all you’ve got, You might win this round but you can’t keep me down,
‘Cause I’ll stand back up, And you’ll know just the moment when I’ve had enough, Sometimes I’m afraid and I don’t feel that tough, But I’ll stand back up,
You’ll know just the moment when I’ve had enough, Sometimes I’m afraid and I don’t feel that tough, But I’ll stand back up.