Tag Archives: journey

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).

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.