Saturday, December 29, 2012

In The Midnight Hour

I'm sitting on my couch after showering, having stopped back by my house before heading over to my sister's. Tomorrow (today) my niece is getting Christened, the family is getting together, and I'm spending a full day with those that surround me during the holidays.

I don't really have much to say anything else at this point, I guess I just wanted to commemorate another day of the evening shift.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

the sad lamp is back

At this point I have had a full 7 days of being on my new shift. I love it thus far because I can sleep without an alarm clock some mornings and know I won't be late to work. I'm giving myself a few weeks of ignoring the alarm clock on days I don't have obligations because I feel like my body is catching up from years of sleep deprivation. After the holidays I'll explore needing to get up at a reasonable hour.

The sad lamp has officially returned. It took a while and it looked at me like it was also sad because it didn't get to shine, lol.

So, I will again have sad lamp confession times as I sit in front of the lamp for 15ish minutes.

This morning I found myself reading other people's blogs instead of writing my own. It's more comfortable right now to get distracted in other people's thoughts and day-to-day than to process my own and write about them. Hell, it's easier to spend time in front of the computer on fb, pinterest, etc. as well because then I can procrastinate in all the things I really should be doing. should is too judgmental...things some part of me wants to get done

So, I'm not doing the facebook for the next week, until after christmas. 8 days...I wonder how much free time I'll have after that, lol, and how much book writing I'll get done. How much cooking, how much organizing(because I work everyday except christmas day and this thursday). That's 7 days where I have mornings to get stuff done and projects finished and it'll accumulate to Christmas day with the sister and her kids. I'm thinking I'll probably leave her house Tuesday night since I have to work Wednesday afternoon. That way I can sleep later (not like this past sunday where I was woken up at 7am) and get into work on time. Then I'll drive over after work because my mom is in town. Thursday I'll leave at 1:30 for the same reason. Friday morning I have an appt so I'll go home. spend saturday am with them, work, their house sunday...I need to be cognizant of when I have appts so I don't end up in Hamstead when I have an appt the next morning. it looks like I'll have to calendar it in my iPad...otherwise I know I will get confused.  Let me do that now...haha

Saturday, December 1, 2012


I'm laying on my couch and have hit the 'I'm not doing anything else' point of the evening. I've done a few hours of homework, cleaned some, took a nap when I got home from work...I'm trying this thing where I go to bed at a reasonable hour so this is me winding down for work tomorrow at 7am.

I miss my family. Between my sister being out of town, my training schedule for work, and both of our schedules during the week, it's been a while. I watched a video of my niece tonight of her playing with my nephew and the desire to be with them is so strong. The nice thing about having an evening schedule will be the ability to go to their house in the mornings before work on the weekends.

I love them and I'm not sure how to show this to them because I always feel so dysfunctional. The desire is there but I feel so awkward because I'm learning as an adult how to be part of a family that's healthy. I'm so grateful my niece is growing up in a stable environment, surrounded by people who love her. It's such a privilege to be a part of that.

Sometimes I'm not sure what my sister thinks of me and my struggle but recently she told me that she thinks I'm courageous and my heart warmed. My sister knows I am fighting and that I'm not a hopeless case. I love you Nikki.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dreaming weird dreams

So, I just woke up from a 'full night' of dreams.

I had only been asleep for an hour maybe. But in the dreaming time I 'woke up' several times and every time I went back to sleep I dreamnt a different dream. ( I feel like I should turn into a musical right here)

Those nights are intense, I woke up in a sweat and had to make sure I didn't pee myself, lol.

I'm going to go ahead and do homework with the hope I can go back to sleep in a couple hours (since I have to be back at 0700) but here's a very quick outline.

Dream one (repeat and adding more every time): Almost a game theme where I was running away from a guy who had one of those fbi pieces in his ear. He was talking to another one who were both searching for me. I kept dying because the guy caught up with me and it would be a repeat of sorts like it was set on a rut...until I tricked him by changing it up just enough that he would 'lose' me and I would get a little further. It had several different landscapes, including woods and parking garages.

Then the other one was similar but I was actually playing a game and I had a live dimensional robot counterpart to the one that was killing me in my dream.

I also had a dream where I had gotten together with a group of friends like I had been doing for the last couple weeks. I had wanted to cancel because I have so much work do and I haven't had time to do it. But I got together with them. At one point we were talking new years eve plans. They asked me if I were going to our old church's new years eve service. And I was all 'no I don't go there anymore' I had flashes of living at the shelter where I worked, living in the house, the fact we didn't have a dishwasher and sometimes had to use bleach for dishes because we would run out of laundry soup

We were planning on getting together but I remembered my mom was going to be in town. Fast forward to new years and I left my sister's house to see the CAD who works for genesis but is on leave because she had a baby. I went to see the baby and apologized for not getting there sooner.

In the 'waking up' parts I would dream that I had a one bedroom and I kept seeing the door left open and there were animals outside that did not belong to me. I would also dream that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom kind of intense like but I would go back to sleep instead. **

I feel like there was even more. but I really should do some homework with this energy.

Monday, November 26, 2012

November twenty-sixth

When most people have a Thanksgiving weekend, I worked both Thursday and Friday. It was interesting because one of the pediatricians was talking with me and expressed his condolences for me because I had to work on the holiday. And then I told him I had a research paper to write, with several resources not even found yet, and a little over a week to write it. At this point he told me to use my time 'wisely', lol

And I did. I pulled out quotes from articles and put it into an outline and blocked out the sections of the paper. By the time I left Friday I only had a couple more resources to look at.

Saturday and Sunday I worked on my paper and now I am at having half of the rough draft done. The rest is outlined, I just have to finish it.


Sometimes I think of the plans I make for my own life and the goals I set along the way; milestones I want to hit so I know I'm accomplishing what I have set to do. I need to remember that my life is not like a paper though. For how much I 'outline' my life I cannot push to the finish line just to have it done.

There's a joy in the journey, so I'm told, lol.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November Twentieth

Welcome back to the confessions of the lamp. I was able to get up today but it cannot, in anyway, be contributed to the lamp because I haven't used it in a couple weeks. I am trying this thing where I become a morning person even though it will not be useful when i work nights. Although, maybe it will and I'll be able to work on no fuel. That thought is definitely already planted.

The next 4 weeks are so chaotic and I'm tired thinking about it. 40+ hours a week of training, plus the last few weeks of school, plus recovery, plus trying to not be a total recluse. Isolating may definitely occur though because I have three papers due over the next few weeks and I've barely started on one.

I'm trying to think this is doable. I'm not doing homework after 10pm and I'm trying to be in bed by 11. I do some kind of art/self-care for a while after I do homework. I only clean in 10 minute spurts (ha,ha). It doesn't feel like enough though. And I don't have time to go to the gym. My apartment is still a mess. The homework feels like it isn't getting done. But I can only do so much.

Treatment is. I have been dropping weight and I like this but being an eating disorder patient makes this a bad thing. I know my team is going to be frustrated with me because my new position makes it really easy to go without eating for extended periods. I mean yesterday I only ate 1/4bag salad, half a scone, and a small bag of animal crackers over my 8 hours of work. I did eat a regular meal when I got home though, that counts right?

This post definitely reflects the chaotic nature of my apartment, my job, treatment, my brain. I wish I could call in crazy to work. :)

Maybe I'll make more sense tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17th

Alas, this is not a SAD lamp chronicle, just a short update.

I haven't used this 'wonderous' lamp since thursdayish... life is crazy, hectic even, but that's how it is.

Hopefully I will get back on the homeopathic train tomorrow.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

At War With My Breasts

I walked into the store paranoid of the people who weren't actually looking at me. Anxiously finding my way to the intimate section of the store. As I looked for my 'new' size people would enter the same row and stand next to me; I was ashamed of my size, the fact I had to look over every rack to find something that wasn't too flashy or really bland, and I could sense my ineptitude sweating from my pores.

This is the current outing in an attempt to call truce with my chest. I am in no way accepting them and I still very-much-so detest what they have done to me, but I am conceding into their demands for room, for space.

The part of me that understands what bodies are meant to do and be realizes my breasts haven't done anything to me. If anything there should be a certain amount of irritation I found out at 28 that I am bigger than I thought. But, it isn't my boobs fault. They are supposed to be a sign of health and a source of comfort and nutrition to children, not an object I want to lob off if I had the opportunity. Just because I have been viewed as a sexual object doesn't mean I have to view them the same way.

Space, that's all they are asking for. Not to get bigger. Not to just keep going up in size. But what they haven't ever had because they were stuffed into a 'box' too small in which to breathe. So I am giving this to them in the same way I should have been given what I needed growing up.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

November tenth

I digress that the last couple posts are not, in fact, SAD lamp confessions. My internal clock is all kinds of fucked up because of the 2 hour difference I've put it through; we'll have to see what this does to me next week when I'm thrust forward 2 hours again. Probably some sleeplessness and needing of some SAD lamp time.

The crazy in me is thinking about the fact I have my gym bag in my car and can run by for a quick work out/time in the tanning bed before bed...since it's only going to be 9pm for my internal clock when I get home Monday night. Maybe it'll help me relax, maybe it'll quiet the screaming voice in my head that's worried about the ten pounds it's sure I've gained.

It's good being home because I have friends that know me and my insecurities, that don't allow me to succumb to them, and love me in spite of my self-hatred.

I'm glad I came home. I started out the trip unsure but I'm so glad I  took the time to come back

Friday, November 9, 2012

November Ninth

Arizona rain

The ground wakes up in anticipation for its long lost love,
giving off a scent to greet the falling rain.

The rain cleanses.

As gravity takes the drops to the ground
the rain holds hands with its friend,
and together with the dirt, they greet the earth.

The rain quiets

Barking dogs,
screaming children,
loud thoughts and aching hearts,
all are silenced by the sound of water falling.

Left behind is a fresh smell, clean face, and new perspective.

I have missed the Arizona rain.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November Eighth

Going Home

Well, I woke up on time again today.

At this time this evening I will be on a plane flying West. I'm going home.

There was a lot of excitement about being in Arizona again. I haven't been in my stomping ground in over two years. I'm going to be staying with a dear friend I haven't seen since I moved back to Maryland over four years ago. Going to her hippie wedding reception because her and her husband got married in the court house a couple weeks ago. Seeing my mentor-turned-into-a-friend and spending time with her children.

Just for a weekend. Just long enough to breathe in the Arizona sunshine and remember the desert floor.

This has been a hard week. I can still cry on cue about all that Sunday represents and last night I gained a little more insight (and a little more weight, apparently) on why I might be having body image issues.

The last time I was on a plane flying home was when I was going there to be at my step-father's death bed; I went home to say goodbye; I returned to Maryland with my step-father's ashes as a fellow passenger.

He is one of the reasons I think my thighs are wide and my butt is huge. His comments are part of the reason I don't want to have a chest, I don't want to have womanly curves, and I don't want to be seen as sexy. I'm still waiting for his intended promise that when I turn 18 he will sell me to playboy.

He sexualized me at a young age and then started calling me fat when I went into puberty, a time when my body was changing and I was already insecure. He never followed through on his promise before he died and the little voice in my head that is my eating disorder says it's because he stopped seeing me as beautiful when I started gaining weight.

Well, that's enough for today's SAD lamp confessions. Till tomorrow

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

November Seventh

I woke up this morning at four am. FOUR AM.

I don't think this is related to the lamp. But, maybe the actually getting out of bed was. Time will tell.

Last night was difficult.

I spent the session crying so hard. so hard.

I would forget to breathe in spasms of trying to stop the tears. It's was as if I remembered to breathe the sobs would come forth as well.

Two weeks ago I shared something so deep it has been reverberating since. I've had treatment dreams, the storm just furthered the confusion. I had decided to tell further what had been sitting on me but then my heart was broken because of a circumstance at work and my soul was broken because of my body's betrayal.

I had never hated my body so completely and fully. The eating disorder had manifested in distaste for body parts but never have I so wholly felt like I wanted to escape my skin.

My therapist gave me this as I left, it's the title of a chapter in a book:

"Ugly needs, ugly me: Anxious Attachment & Shame"

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

November sixth

I was not about waking up today. My alarms went off. I even woke up before my alarm that I had set up earlier so I could get some cleaning done. Then I ignored my alarm for two hours.

Anyway, here are some quotes I found from my class I actually like:

"Beginnings are exciting! They are the starting points of a brand new life. Each new step has challenges and opportunities of its own. But that first step really takes a lot of faith." (Hindson, 17)

"The power of our faith rests in the object of our faith. At the foundation of all love is a belief in the object that is loved. If I do not believe in a person, I cannot love him." (Hindson, 18)

" People also are continually changing. Living organisms are not static; they do not stay the same. Change comes when we willingly grow and improve." (Hindson, 19)

It involves several key elements:

1. Honest view of the past- Sometimes the "good old days" weren't as good as we like to remember. We need a realistic understanding of the past to move on to something better in the future. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a rut of nostalgia where we mythologize the past and refuse to deal with the present.

2. Dissatisfaction with the present. We won't change as long as we are satisfied with the way things are. There is something wholesome in a dissatisfaction with the status quo. Good leaders always ask how they can improve and make things better. Unless we begin asking the tough questions now, we may wait too long to take action.

3. Hope for the future. Great leaders are always optimistic about the future. They embrace it and make the most of it. They realize that change is a necessary part of personal improvement.

I don't have a full fifteen minutes today. this is it.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November fifth

Yesterday I received a huge blow to my system. My whole life I had believed one thing about myself to find out it wasn't true last night.

I went to dinner with friends and had a couple drinks. I decided, since I was drunk and we were in the mall, I would go to Victoria Secret and get fitted for a bra. It's something I've never done and I realized I'd probably been wearing the wrong size. I'm not sure what I was expecting when I did this but it was a shock to my system.

Friends tried to console me saying they wish they had breasts, boobs are sexy, and they are desired in a relationship. Last night I was told my chest hadn't been given enough breathing room...if I wore bras the way they are supposed to be worn, my chest would stick out even further.

I don't like boobs. I have stretch marks on mine from when I was even bigger. In addition, I'm working through tough issues in therapy that have to do with body image and wanting to be as asexual as possible to keep myself safe.

I flipped my shit. Well, first I numbed out until I was alone. As soon as I was alone I started freaking out. Being in treatment for an eating disorder and having huge body image issues collided with a fact I can't assimilate into my view of myself. I realize this is a fact, not liking it will not change it, but I still want to try.

I left a voicemail for my therapist and told her I was quitting treatment. I'm definitely not listening to my dietitian now that I know what gaining weight will mean for me. If I'm not listening to my treatment team I become a liability to them and my solution is to stop seeing them so I'm not a liability

Of course, my therapist called me. Quitting therapy was discussed within the conversation and I told her I would quit trying to quit (lol). But, further, I talked through the experience with someone who knows what this meant for me. She reiterated to me she was glad I called her and to tell her I was struggling instead of pushing her away until I took it in and could say it back to her.

As I wrap up this session of SAD lamp confessions I will say this; this issue is going to sit with me for a while. I want to flip my shit now and I'm feeling overwhelmed. And I left the bra in my trunk...I'm safer that way.

Dream: I was running, I walked out back entrances at Walmart. I was 'stealing' my stepdads truck to find something? I was helping a man find different herbs on the country side to save his daughter? I only remember pieces of last night.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November fourth (this will end up being a multi-day long-as-fuck post, sorry)

This might not make sense for several days fyi ( I know it's going to take more than one 15min session) and it will be long by the time I'm done, I'm sure.

Well, I slept in yesterday and did not have time to do the lamp before I got to my sister's house. I don't know if the lamp is working but, I guess, I need to give it more time.

Today I'm going to talk about dreams I've had over the weekend.

Yesterday I dreamt about binging on coffee roll donuts. It was a really weird dream because my step-dad was there and I was living with him and my mother again...kind of. I have a recurring dream regarding apartments and in the dream I had my own place. It reminded me of my efficiency now because of the size but it must've had a bedroom because you couldn't see it or the bathroom door from the front door.

Today I dreamed I upset my mom because I told her I could explain the policy regarding visitors on the pediatric unit. My mom was working with me I guess, or she was a person that very much so reminded me of my mom. I started explaining the why's only three visitors could go back at a time and trying to tell the visitor the rest of the individuals could not go back. I was already allowing four visitors into the room because one of them was a young child. But the person wasn't respecting/understanding the rule and I kept having to reiterate it in different ways. In the midst of this my mom started speaking over me and trying to tell the lady the policy and I told her 'I have this, I'm in the midst of explaining it, please don't talk over me'. She got soooo mad she took her box of cereal (?) and left to go to another floor. The lady looked at me like I was wrong and I tried to say this was a common thing for her to do. When I went over to the table she had left the bowl of honey grahams she had poured on the counter. I looked at it and thought of what a ditz she was.

It was definitely a work centered dream so it was almost a relief of sorts, lol. It probably had a spin off of Sandy because there was a dejavue feel between the 'days' in the dream. The other part of the dream included my coworker that works the night shift. She is a nice person but I spend most days frustrated with her because she doesn't do her job. She was having issues regarding other people at work/in the community (I'm not sure) and she ended up trying to report it to work each day. One of the days she was saying something to the supervisor that particular shift and she hung up upset. The essence of this conversation...

I have this thing going on with my forehead. It's not a breakout per say but I'm hoping it's not a rash. I'm on a medication known to cause rashes that are serious. I'm thinking this is not that but I'm not telling my doctor either. Even the inkling of a rash means she'll take me off the med cold turkey. I've done this before with a sister med and it wasn't pretty. Also, I'm scared the reaction will be bad because the medication mitght also be working.

Friday, November 2, 2012

November Second

Well, today I did wake up a little easier. It's only 6:30am, which is a start...the time it took me to get up from my alarm could be equated to hitting the snooze button a couple times. I don't know that it is light related though, that's why I'm giving it till the end of the month.

School, weight, treatment, and changing positions are the topics that are on the front burners for me right now.

Changing positions. This is going to be great for me because I will be moving to an evening position and will not be pressured to get up to my alarm. Maybe I'll actually get up to the alarm at the time I need to get to work now, lol. It also means a pay raise, more responsibility, and giving me space from the people that make me uncomfortable.

It also gives me the time to go to the gym more exhaustively, the excuse to isolate (because everyone works during the day...duh), and make it easier to restrict. Score one for the eating disorder.

Weight loss and treatment are both first in line on the thought process. I have treatment dreams all the time regarding the higher levels of care I was in before, including the appearances of treatment teams from the programs. Sometimes I remember these dreams very explicitly and sometimes I only remember pieces; remembering the treatment professional.

In one sense, it freaks me out. But I realize denying I need the help during the day is manifesting at night, when I sleep. I don't need help, I don't have an eating disorder, and I'm fat all play out when I dream at night. I've even quit treatment in one...I woke up from this one and was almost disappointed when it wasn't true.

The number is going down so I am focusing on it even more. I'm trying to keep a goal that my dietitian set and am not weighing myself every morning...most of the time. It's so hard because I want to make sure I didn't gain.

My stomach hurts this morning because I ate a snack last night. I ate it right before I laid down because I knew I would wake up in the middle of the night starving if I didn't. But now the food is sitting heavy in my stomach and I want to skip breakfast. And so goes the restricting process.

I'll talk about school on to the rest of my day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November First

I've decided to chronicle my mornings in front of my SAD lamp for you all, we'll see if it starts to work. Each morning for 15 minutes, I'm supposed to sit in front of the lamp. My doctor wants to see if it helps with my depression, my exhaustion, my inability to wake up, etc. So, each morning for 15 minutes I will chronicle what's going on.

Yesterday I woke up an hour late...All my alarms went off, I just didn't get up to them. I have been worried that this would eventually happen because I had not been getting up even though I have at least three alarms set. Thankfully it was the morning after craziness at work and it was one of those 'you obviously need the rest'. And I was only 11 minutes late. This doesn't seem like a lot but you have to take into account I got up at 735 and got into my car at 743. Which means I got to work in under 30 minutes. I booooooooked it.

This morning I did wake up, not to my alarm clock...rather, I heard it and woke up in a sense, but my subconscious said a loud FU and I got up at 640. I've changed the settings on my alarms to make them more annoying and we'll see if this helps tomorrow. Because I am sitting in front of the lamp for 15 minutes and I had to shower, I will have about 7 minutes to get dressed and pack food.

My eating disorder loves this. I have enough time to throw the bag of carrots in my bag...maybe make a sandwich if it lets me, and pick out the yogurt I have left in the fridge. At the same time, I need to try this before I see my doctor and I'm hoping I will eventually get up earlier. Hopefully I'm also at a healthier place so I will take the time to eat. We shall see. Until then score for the weight loss.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


For 33 hours I stayed in a hospital over the last two days. Thankfully I was not a patient; I was at work and became stuck because of road restrictions. I shared my room with two lovely people from my unit and we made the most of the situation. Part of this was requisitioning an extra bed on the unit before anyone else got to it.

In the process I was at work off duty and I wandered back to the pediatric unit on my floor. I went back to help with the babies; I fed them, held them, gave them contact for a while. When the newborns come to our floor they are frequently needing light therapy for jaundice or need more time to detox. The nurses and techs love them too but there just isn't enough time to give them the individual attention. I have fallen in love with one of the babies and the staff have joked I should take it home with me, including the doctor.

It's interesting because the difference between having a job where overnights are a regularity and not having them at all resulted in long days and sleepless nights. After my scheduled hours I changed into comfortable clothing and tried to do homework and this lasted for an hour before I was falling asleep on my books. That sleepiness has continued into today further indulging on my procrastination of this session. I need  to get on track but it isn't going to happen today.

For 33 hours I was game on, in front of people, unable to take the mask off. I realized how much I appreciate having my own place, an area that is safe and mine. For the glorified closet nature of my apartment it still mine only, I can afford to live by myself this way. By 11am my voice had a slight tremor to it when I was checking in with my therapist, who I am unable to see this week because of the storm. She was able to validate my feelings of the heaviness of my situation and she vocalized the difficult nature of what was going on.

Sandy was an unexpected storm that gave me an opportunity to see how much I have grown.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday: Coffee and Light

I'm in the middle of my apartment sitting on my couch. Next to me is my cup of coffee and my brand new lamp that is supposed to help give me 'energy'. If you were just to hone in on me on this Sunday before the storm you might think everything is calm.

If the rest of my apartment came into view the reality of the hurricane having hit my apartment already is very apparent. My kitchen counter is stacked, there are piles of 'stuff' everywhere, and my bathroom needs to be cleaned.

The saying about knowing how a person is really doing by looking at their personal space is true. I've lacked energy, motivation, and self-care. Hopefully the light helps with some of this and I am able to get back on schedule.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A year of ambivalence

I am sitting here thinking about the posts I wrote a year ago, when I was actively trying to grasp health instead of culture’s standard of what is pretty, when I was comprehending what it meant to appreciate my body at 144 pounds; A time when I was cognizant of this life being my own and no one else’s.
At this point, one year later, I am pondering how I have moved closer to my ambitions of last October and how I have moved—just a little—further away.
I have learned a long time ago to appreciate each circumstance, each hurt, because none of it is useless. Of course, I begrudge the process of working through these times, but I have always walked out of them a little wiser and a little stronger. These are some of the things I have learned in the last year:
Nothing is black and white. For a long time I told everyone everything was fine and I told it so often I, almost, started believing it myself. When group therapies were brought up I always used work as an excuse to not participate in them; In reality I was denying myself help and, until,  I broke  down completely I didn’t think I deserved it. There was a lot of fear in a higher level of care because I always thought it would jeopardize my job.  In the midst of going on reduced hours and leaving work through a four month period I was also named one of three employees of the year and given a role model evaluation. I cringed when I had to call my supervisor and tell her I was returning to work because I didn’t know what my reception would be;  It was quite warm because people had missed me. I did not lose my job because I asked for help and I realized it’s a strength leaning on others. I asked for, and removed myself, for help and I kept my job; life isn’t either or.
I have grown closer to my sister. Before I was hospitalized there was no communication between us. Our relationship was based on visits every few weeks and a phone call with little substance, she didn't even know where I lived. Through the process of mandatory therapy we explored some of what caused these blocks. I see her far more frequently than I ever have and we are building our relationship. She's also someone I cannot fool when I am in my eating disorder. Sometimes I (my eating disorder) want to strangle her because she makes me eat.
I am letting go of blame and fault that is not meant to go on my shoulders. It's easier to hold all of the blame to yourself; when the blame is held close the ability to be around the one at fault remains possible and there's a sense of control. But not reconciling the fault with the 'offender' keeps the pain real and fresh. I am closer to letting go of my father by working through this process. My dad committed suicide when I was a child. I couldn't take in the fact my dad would leave me so it had to be my fault he left. Everytime something happened that my dad could not protect me from became my fault. This though pattern became so ingrained I have yet to completely shed it's weight. 
I am surrounded by people that support me, that understand my struggle, and are walking beside me as I heal. Sometimes in your lowest times you meet the people that come to be closest to your heart. The hospital stay gave to me dear friends, a treatment team of excellent, caring, individuals, and a foothold back into life. 
Today, at this moment, I am thinking of the ways my eating disorder can help accomplish all I want to do. And I am able to actually stop and realize the eating disorder thought process because, in the long run, the eating disorder will only take what I want away from me.

Friday, September 21, 2012

I am here

I'm sitting at work and I'm caught up too far ahead. Again. So, I'm bored. I've submitted my paper for school, have 3 hours to do a project for work, and am crazily trying to entertain myself. So, here are some ramblings

You are here
Covered in mud, sweat, and tears
Even through struggles so dark and hope way low
You are here
In all the times you thought you would not survive
Your life was over
And you saw your demise
You’re still here
Even though you’ve beat your body to hell
And atrophied your insides
Just waiting to hear the final call bell
You are here
Don’t rush after things you’ve lost
People that have left
Opportunities you’ve forgot
They are not here
And you cannot be there

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Where have you been?

So, it has been a couple months since I’ve written a blog post. Between long days with treatment to returning to work full time I haven’t had much energy for anything; which is just a little bit sad because the process of writing down my thoughts is actually quite therapeutic.
For a while I actually lost sight of life’s worth; the meaningfulness of my life ambition and the future had been jaded and I no longer cared for their significance. Being away from work, removing myself from my regular environment was, in fact, a wise move. It reminded me of what I wanted to become, what I have to offer, and grounded me to the process of working through my own heartbreaks and issues.
Now I am back to work doing what I did before, in terms of job description, but I find myself looking at life completely different. In a healthy way I am making sure I am taking care of me first. I am learning to reach out to others to actually be part of the world everyone else is part of. I can no longer accept the secluded life I have been living for so long.  
Next week I return to school. I am excited because it was one of the things that has been on hold since March. Learning is such a beautiful process for me. I learn from the day to day but I am excited to start going through the intellectual process again

Monday, June 18, 2012


Im sitting here...awake. Tired but unable to sleep. Whatching the clock tick by; 12:00, 12:45, 1:55, 2:30. I have to leave in 4 hours. Words are eluding me.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Just a little blurb about this one.

How often do we lose focus on what we are reading because we get caught on grammatical errors? How many times have I gotten sidetracked by some imperfection that might be surface level and never delve deeper? How often have I been so overly concerned with my outward appearance to forget about the parts of me that are beautifully imperfect?

So, I think I'm going to work on not fixing grammatical errors, stop tweaking pictures/getting stuck on the exterior and fail to get to know someone/thing/experience more genuinely. And I'm going to try and appreciate the parts of me that are perfect just the way they are: imperfect.


An interesting thing happened during my day today. I was having a conversation with some co-patriots about the word anger. Looking at all the emotions that can be expressed when feeling angry. And then we had a role-play situation happen in which we all realized our mutual anger about a situation.

Through the realization we also reaffirmed our cohesiveness as a group. In laughing about why we were angry we started along the process of looking through the emotion joy. We realized, by venting our frustrations with each other, we were lighter and our burden was not so heavy. We laughed about the frustration and learned to trust each other.

The last word we discussed was love. And the different levels there are to love as an emotion. It's not just about the romantic love. There's love born out support. A knowledge another person has your back, that they are there for you. This brightened our whole day. Because we knew we were going to be ok.

Much like this conversation today, in a crazy time during my own life, the end result of the day was a sense of hope. If a group of people could serendipitously realize they were happy and love and recovery was possible, than they could each take a piece of that promise away with them. I took a piece of this conversation away with me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Who has the power?

Power. A strong word. A word that can mean both positive and negative things.

On the negative side is when someone else (or an eating disorder) takes the power from us. We allow the strength and direction of our life to be given to another person. Despite the fact that it does hurt, it's still hard to take that power back from another person.

On the positive side, when we hold the power to our own life, this strength has no limitation. As long as we do not abuse the ability to direct our life by hindering another there is no limit to how far we can go.

Isn't funny that I think of the word power over the word force? I think it's because I think of the word force in a negative connotation. Maybe because of the various experiences I've had in my own life, but I think power has a slightly more positive direction when talking about the ability to direct our own life. The word force feels more like an external entity (like the eating disorder) has the power over how my life will go.

And how often have I given the power over to my eating disorder? How often have I willingly, without a struggle, decided to give the control over to it with the hope that losing the weight will make my life better?

Maybe I do need to change the vocabulary in my internal messaging a little bit more. Change the direction my eating disorder has on me to something that isn't so positive. Because my eating disorder isn't a strength but something that takes the power away. It has truly taken the power away from me in making my own decisions.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Invisible, emotional, illogical

Yesterday I thought about the word logical and the thoughts that flowed were incoherent and had little to do with logic. A week ago we talked about being invisible but I was not seen and, thus, was not heard. And all these words flow from my brain as I contemplate the emotional mess I'm in. Therefore I find it quite appropriate to write about all three at once...

For me, right now, I do feel that all three of these words are intertwined. Much like the braids of a rope; each individual strand makes the whole stronger for how tightly they are bound together. Not necessarily what I would choose for climbing but, it's what I've got to work with, and I can still get up my mountain with just a tad bit more caution. 

I think all three of these can be both positive and negative really. Sometimes it's good to fade into the background, if only to truly hear (not just listen) to what is going around you. And emotions; they let us know when we are upset, angry, happy, envious, and so many more. It's only in the application they become hazardous. No person is logical all the time and I would question anyone claiming to be so. 

I found this poem and found it very profound when reflected onto my own life and thought I would share it with you as a way of ending this rather peculiar post

The Invisible Person
By: James Laughlin

Life kept rolling her over   
like a piece of driftwood
in the surf of an angry sea   
she was intelligent and 
beautiful and well-off 
she made friends easily 

yet she wasn’t able to 
put the pieces together 
into any recognizable shape  

she wasn’t sure who   
she wanted to be  
so she ended up being 
no one in particular 

she made herself almost invisible 
she was the person you loved so much 
who really wasn’t there at all.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


     Nothing left me feeling more caged and cornered than attempting family therapy for the first time yesterday. I may have cussed at the family therapist trying to stonewall the phone call to my sister's business. And I may have refused to talk to her as well during the 30 minutes in which she was trying to ascertain what was  wrong before we made that call. And then, when we finally did, I may have refused to talk more than a few sentences in response to questions posed by the family therapist in response to what my sister said. And my sister said many loaded opening liners for our in-person session next Friday.  I have a feeling I'm in for some honest to god trouble.
     I don't have a relationship with my sister and it's largely my doing. I don't tell her what is going on in my life, she doesn't have my address, she doesn't know my friends...I could disappear and she wouldn't know. I don't know why I continue to do this to her, to us. Why I don't really have a relationship with anyone in my life. Why I have friends, but each of them only knows parts of me. I have been unable to form genuine attachments with them all and I have left myself alone. 
     I wonder when I lost myself. When I ultimately shut down. My heart is sitting heavy in my chest. Because I'm in the middle of a mess, a briar patch, and even though I know there's a way out I'm not sure which way is the path. There's going to be pain to find myself and some trouble finding that path. I have the feeling I'm going to be stuck in this labyrinth for a while.

Breaking Old Habits


     To me, a core value essential to peaceful living. If it acts as a foundation for everything encompassed within a life each situation has a stronger integrity. Circumstances may indeed be difficult but there's also a sense of endurance of the individual. If the problem is built upon fractured lies, half truths, and secrets they first need to be looked at before the top layer is dealt with; such a daunting task.
     I think about the times honesty has played a major role in my life and also the times I've hidden behind a lie. Every time honesty acts as my backbone I have been able to grow stronger, maintain trust, and have been given grace. But, when I've relied on a lie to carry me through, I end up shattered and exhausted from the effort of holding up false pretexts.
     Currently I am working on a part of my life shrouded in dishonesty. I'm peeling away the excuses of training for a marathon to justify working out all the time. Clearing out 'closets' full of lies told to get out of engagements in order to spend time with my true love, my eating disorder. This relationship itself is centered around secrets. My eating disorder comforted me, shielded me, and protected me.
     In reality it acted as a sugar coat over the real issues, leaving me isolated, broken, and alone. I've never let my sister in, she knows nothing of the truth in my life. It's like the codependent relationships where you forsake all to spend time with your significant other. When you finally come up for air you realize your friends/family/etc have moved on and no longer trust you. After the breakup there's the painstaking process of rebuilding a relationship and basing it on honesty.

Which brings me back to honesty, a core value...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sparing change for new thoughts

I'm back tracking a little bit on a blog challenge right now. I figure, since I'm not asleep I might as well. Times like these, in the middle of the night (especially when I know I have long days on either side), I tend to contemplate the deeper issues and stay awake even longer.

I have many people behind me right now, trying to help me to recover. I have an individual art therapist, expressive art therapist, mindful movement therapist, two dietitians, 3 occupational therapists, and individual inpatient therapist, outpatient therapist, family therapist, the PsyD and Therapists that lead groups, nurses, mental health workers, and a psychiatrist. I see this list, for the first time acknowledging how many people are trying to guide me forward and I think two things: 1) "That's a lot of Fing people" and 2) I must be really crazy.

When you have this many people and you talk with them about trauma and difficulties, if you're honest with all of them, commonalities stick out of what they say back. We all agree that where I am in recovery is hopeful but very difficult. They've helped me see negative thought processes and triggering situations and are helping me think of alternatives and more positive affirmations. They are literally helping me to rewire my brain.

The hardest thing, by far, is what I listen to them saying over and over, but don't actually hear and take in the meaning of their words. To the point where, even when I've tried to repeat back what they've said, I manage to parrot my core belief back to them: It's my fault. I've claimed blame for pretty much everything and I could say the list without difficulty over and over (which is part of the problem). I claim the blame and remove others from their responsibility. I do this because I have to keep some of them in my life. I do this because, to place their piece on them, acknowledging it, makes it hurt even more. It causes me to see my vulnerability and the inability to change what happened.

The truth is, we can't change what has happened to us. It molds us and morphs what we say, do, how we protect ourselves. The growth and process of changing comes in acknowledging who we were when we were hurt and trying to change the thought processes into more positive coping mechanisms and have a healthier life.

It's scary, it's hard, and it takes a long time.

The point is, unless we change, we just stay stuck and aren't present in our life. Sure, we are physically involved. But, there isn't actual enjoyment.

I'm a lifer

     When I think about the word warrior movies like braveheart and the samurai come to mind. Men with incredible virtues, willing to lose their life for their country. Or Veterans of our own wars. Our countries warriors, going overseas to fight for our freedom and liberties, and to protect our way of life. And our heroes that could not come home.
     After  I get through the traditional use of the word I think of the men and women who have fought for rights common to me now. How they have done the battle for rights I deserve. I am able to work, I am able to vote, I am able to question my religion and sexuality because of the work these people have done. I'm grateful to them as well.
     I peel back another layer and get to my own life. My personal heroes. There's the 8th grade English teacher who became a mentor, a safe place in a tumultuous time and, later, a friend. Or the friend I've had since I was 9, who has stood by my side through struggles and good times. And my sister-if I'm honest-who helped me move from a very difficult situation and has always been there. And my treatment team. How often have they gone above and beyond their job description in order to help me when I needed it and might not have deserved it?
     At the core there is me. My life. I've realized recently I truly do not like looking too closely to myself and run from the opportunity until I'm stuck and have to see who I am. Yea, there's the things I don't like and am deeply struggling with. But there's also the survivor. The won who has been through battles and is still here. A part of me is a warrior too.
     I think about the eating disorder community. Full of men and women with different disorders but common themes. Their disorders stem from trauma and stable places, hard times and difficult families, high incomes and low, but situations do not matter. Each of us is fighting an important battle; the one for our life. Even if it's not something one doesn't want to hear, they are also our warriors, and I couldn't be more proud to stand along side them on the path to healing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sincerely, me...

     Sincerity is an awesome quality. Whether expressed through a sincere smile or through genuine concern, when I see it in others a sense of well-being fills my own soul. Too much of our culture is based on fake and superficial needs. Hollywood focuses on obesity and diets when the emphasis should be on balanced nutrition and healthy living. Mainstream focuses on staying youthful instead of aging gracefully. I often wonder how interactions with others would change if we just lifted the shallow lenses from our eyes long enough to see people for who they are, not what they are.
     For me I feel it's important to be sincere, to be genuine. Not being so, with even the smallest things, has never gotten me anywhere. And there's also the interpersonal relationships based on being real vs. hiding how I feel, they have helped me so much and last so much longer.
     In the sense of recovery I am learning to be more sincere: with my treatment team, my family, with friends. It's hard for them to help me build a lasting recovery if I don't let them in to the struggle with me. I've also had several moments of precious clarity in which I've seen my life without my eating disorder and had such a genuine growth of hope for this life that I don't ever want to go back to minimizing what is wrong. My relationship with me has to change before I can fully change my relationships with other. I'm not there yet. But I'm definitely further than where I've been.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Crazy. A loaded word. I hate it and hate hearing others use it in reference to another person; and yet I find it slipping out of my mouth before my brain even processes that I'm using it. Full of stigma.

I am trying to eliminate the word from my vocabulary. Even though the word can have a positive connotation in reference to a love of sports/persons/etc it is, more often than not, used as a synonym for mentally deranged; demented; totally unsound. A derogatory term for anyone suffering with an mental illness.

But, how often have I used this in reference to myself? To apologize when I feel I have failed to meet a need, to needing time of work, for needing extra help? In thinking about this word I am realizing I often use this word without the forethought in how it ingrains my self-worth further within myself. As I grow healthier, my foundation stronger, this word will have no structure within my life. Instead bright, hopeful, beautiful and many other positive ones will be used to describe me.

Nobody should be called crazy.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Power. It’s required for almost all of daily human functioning. From the alarm clock in the morning, and the cup of coffee brewed in a pot, to turning off the lights at night. It moves our vehicles, plays our music, and gives us an outlet to communicate with the outside world. And for those of us with an eating disorder it can be the element that keeps us in our disorder or frees us completely; it’s all in the application.
Here I am, sitting on the floor in my apartment, thinking about power in my life. This is MY life but I do not currently harness the power to control it. I have given that over to my eating disorder. There’s a moment of contemplation going on because I am trying to distinguish how long I have given over my control and if I ever had the power within myself.
At some point in the last three months I did have a moment of clarity where I decided I would claim the power back in this dysfunctional relationship. The ebb and flow of the interim, however, has led to a certain level of ambivalence. Twelve hours a day I go to a partial hospitalization program where I learn about recovery, eat recovery modeled meals, and support other patients. On the inside I’m fighting the desire to return completely to my disorder because I feel like it holds the power to getting back the life I want, even if it is disordered.
I guess, to the recovery community, it’s good that I don’t have the power to remove myself from program. That power lies within my treatment team who will not return me to work until they see I am ready. So, for a little while longer I don’t have the power and I’ve accepted this is probably for the best. It’s not forever. And I would rather have the power when I’m healthy enough to use it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I've made them. Legit. I have no boundaries and this has hurt me. It has hurt my ability to heal. It has hurt my ability to build lasting relationships with my needs being met. It has caused me to push away my family because it just hurts too much.

Today is going to hurt. Time to start building them though. It's never too late to start. You just have to move forward.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger


I have gotten no sleep tonight. Maybe a few hours all together through the night. I can't sleep. I'm nervous.

The decision was made between my treatment team and myself last night to enter an even higher level of care. I'm going to have to leave work for, probably, a month. Go on short term disability. And then enter this level of treatment again.

It's hard. I'm the employee of the year. I know that my health comes first and that the people central to my job are compassionate to my treatment. It's just...I don't want to let everyone down.

I guess it comes down to "whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger"

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Why do I lie?

It's hard just 'being' right now.

I feel like I have two lives running on different tracks.

There's the life that everyone sees. The smiling face. The 4.0 college senior. Employee of the year. Joyful, energetic.

Then there's the person hiding behind the facade. The one who is stuck in the middle of a briar patch, looking for a way out of the pain. The one who is trying to find herself underneath the emptiness. Find hope. Find freedom.

These two people don't intersect. Even with my team of individuals that are helping to guide me to a more authentic self receive the first person more often than not. I don't know how to put the emotion and truthfulness into what I am saying. I don't know how to reach those deepest hurts.

And I wonder why I keep lying. To myself. To those around me. It felt easier for so long and now that it's so hard on me I'm still not sure how to stop.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


So, In a couple days I will start Intensive Out Patient for my eating disorder. My hours have been reduced and I hopefully find out by tuesday what kind of hours they will be asking me to reduce to. The person that notified me of my admission said there weren't any restrictions as long as you could get to the program. I don't know that she knows the specific policy but I'll find out.

 I guess, if there isn't a restriction, I'll have to ask the attending doctor to write me one and fill out my FMLA paperwork because I will try and work the 40+ hours a week and do treatment at the same time. Something tells me being at work at 6am and not getting home until 8 pm is not conducive to recovery or meal planning.

I am currently oscillating between the hope that this will help and the desire to just stay here; stay sick. On my admission paperwork we had to carefully word the answers because I could've been hospitalized. I guess it's supposed to be more therapeutic to do more time in IOP than to have to spend time in IP/PHP. Less drama. The trick is to not get admitted to a higher level of care now that I've finally been placed in IOP.

I'm scared to be me right now. Scared to try. To get up, dust myself off, and start moving again. The people in my life won't let me give up though. In fact I told my doctor I wish she'd just give up on me and she then spent 90minutes the next day filling out my paperwork with me so I didn't have to wait for an admissions facilitator. My primary doctor drove me across town to protect me. No amount of planning and preparation takes away the sting of loss; I'm trying to remember this. I know my coworkers, friends, family would miss me. I just wish I missed me too.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Part of my blog is a participation piece with an inspirational idea group. But, I'm struggling to actually write about the last two topics: something positive about ourselves, and what super power we'd have.

I had an experience this past week when I realized that other's perceptions of me differ from my own. Not that I think they are right. In fact I think they are quite skewed. But it made me think. The sentiment of the conversation was the VP of HR telling me that it's validating when I couldn't even have the chance to put in an application for an opportunity before everyone had already nominated me. This was the one comment that caused me to pause in my deliberations; I realized how much people think of me and that they would actually miss me after I'm gone.

The other. I don't want a superpower. I really don't. But I think this is more the "I don't see myself actually being around to use it, so what's the point".

I'm mostly at peace with my decisions right now. I know that I need to unpack my apartment because I would rather leave it clean than a half-cluttered mess to be sorted through. I know I need to write a will. I want to make sure I tie up loose ends.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Graduation Day

Despite my crazy life I have followed roads to their completion. I finished high school, graduated from basic training, received my cosmetology license. But these things were missing an important element-me.

In high school, I finished a semester early and joined the military. My friends walked across the stage without me and I received my diploma in a harrowing experience by notarized permission to my sister to pick it up. Because I couldn't get home to receive it.

In basic training I finished. But I was part of the 'band'. I say 'band' because I was part of the music flight. But, I was also deemed overweight and the day musical instruments were selected I was getting my body fat read. I was delegated the prestigious position of horn holder. The spot given to those who don't get an instrument and stand in the back of the flight holding a horn and acting like they are playing. I. am. I couldn't even see the graduation of my fellow airmen.

Hair school was, well, hair school. I finished it because every time I thought of quitting I heard the song "beauty school drop out" in my head. But, there are no finishing accolades for completing the curriculum. 

College was different. Of course, I finished it like everything else I've been through. But it says something that I hit my first tumultuous struggle in the midst of the degree program and I still finished. In the process of finding myself my resolve to finish school grew stronger. On the journey of realizing my past my present and future became more real. For the first time I walked across a stage, received my degree, and moved my tassel. My degree is really the only time I have actually been present in my accomplishment.

It's through this process I really overcame a piece of myself and it's something I can say I'm proud of even as I try and minimize how important it is. In that one day I completed everything I had struggled with, everything I was afraid of was overcome, and every dream was realized. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A little bit morbid

What happened to spontaneity? At what point did you lose the right to do something with your day just because you feel like it at the moment-just because you're alive?

When is the last time I was spontaneous? Truly off the cuff? Have I ever done something awesome without planning?

At what point did I forget I'm alive? When did I get lost in the process of the day-to-day, become so task orientated, that I forgot how much it means to actually be living?

It's in moments like this, in the middle of the night, when there's this glimmer. I know I have this gift, life, and I'm trying to return it for store credit. I want to say that this is easier, giving up, but it really isn't.

You have to stand in line with cantankerous people who all feel their return is the center of the universe. Then, you get to the customer service counter and, even with the receipt, the person asks the ins and outs of why this gift has made its way back to the store.

What would I say to the celestial customer service agent? "Uh...I would like to return this life. I was also given an ed, alcoholism, depression, and a few other things. The gift of life is a close replica of these anyway and I would rather have a visa with a shorter life span or, hey, how about I take my refund now as a end-of-life credit?"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Times of stress are the most important times to ensure adequate sleeping and eating

It's no secret that I have been struggling over the last month. In reality I started my nose dive at least two months ago. I wrote about it, saw it happening, and then everything came to a head and collided the end of February.

I think I stopped caring, ultimately. I had/have things going for me; I had two job opportunities lined up, I moved into a new apartment, I'm finishing my degree, I'd signed up to run a half-marathon. But, none of these things were enough to keep me from imploding. They were both too much and not enough to hold me together.

So, I let my eating disorder take over. And it did. Ferociously. What I blogged about in January is happening next month. I am going into a higher level of care. I do, ultimately, have a choice in whether or not I go. But, I haven't taken my life back into my hands and accepted my responsibility. If I don't get better, I have to show I am at least following treatment recommendations written on my return-to-work paperwork.

I will still be living on my own. I'll still be able to work and have a supervisor that's understanding I will have to take reduced hours while I go to further medical 'treatment'. But, because  I need my schedule to stay predictable I was not able to accept either position. Because I cannot concentrate I had to drop my class that started this session.

I am not able to work overtime for the next couple months and will have to supplement my income with savings which, thankfully, I do have enough of. I am not treating my body like an athlete but explain away the ability to train to wait and just wanting to lose the last few pounds.

I say all this because the title of my post was the last recovery advice I received. I realize how simple the advice is and how the simplicity of it does not diminish its importance. The hard part is following this advice and not explaining away my fear of letting go.

If you're still in, I'm still in

In the spirit of comparison I was asked recently which character I remind myself of. There are a few but I will focus on one. Lets see if you can guess :)

I have lived life to my own soundtrack.

I tend to fall in love backwards: whether with a friend, or a significant other. I see what everyone else sees but appreciate the little things and cherish the parts of a person that go unnoticed by most people.

I'm sharp witted and have a quirky, dry sense of humor. I say things people don't expect, without the intention of them being funny, even though the things turn out humorous.

The happenstance in my life, while truly serendipitous at times cannot be undone, much like the pregnancy that juno faces. My life is one doodle that cannot be undid. :)

Most days I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I just want to say I love you

It's really hard thinking about what I would like to hear from someone.

If I were honest with myself I would want to hear my dad say, just once, "I love you"

I would want to hear the stories of his childhood that no one can truly fill in the blanks with. I would want to hear about the feelings he didn't share with anyone.

I would want to hear "I'm proud of you"

More than all these things, I would want to be held and have him wipe away my tears. Because actions speak so much louder than his words could ever do. And his suicide speaks volumes.

I miss you dad

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spring into action

If I had to choose a season that is my favorite, I'd have to say spring. I love to see new seedlings spring up, watch the leaves grow from the branches, and the cherry blossoms bloom in DC.

I also think spring could describe my life right now. I have shaken the ice of relapse off my strong body and can see the budding of new life. I have the time to grow and mature in my recovery before the blistering summer has a chance to burn it up. There is the opportunity to bloom in such a way that recovery is, truly, evident in my face.

I really think our lives cycle, much like the four seasons of the year. Of course there's the biological progression from being born in spring and dying in winter. But there's also the periods we go through in life. There is always a death to something before the new thing grows. We have to let down old habits in order to grasp better ones. If we don't bury decaying relationships there's no opportunities to build new ones...our hands are too full grasping frozen branches.

If the body ideal is not let go of, the idea that diets will get my body where I want it to go, there's no way I'm going to grasp what it really means to eat normally. To eat what I crave, not stuff myself with it. To savor a meal without analyzing it. To eat something and not think of it as taboo.

I am slightly ambivalent about this, so I guess I am right at the cusp of spring. The leaves of hope are still trying to push through melting ice. Better coping mechanism are still trying to grow from beneath the snow. The idea that recovery is something I want is still expectantly waiting for the first sign of warm weather.

But, don't think, even for one second, that all these things will happen. And in this new spring of my life the beauty will be just as breathtaking as cherry blossoms in bloom all over a city.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I am worth it

I came to a full awareness of something yesterday... I don't want to recover from my eating disorder because I feel I will always be suffering with my other illness and food is the one thing I can control. I also feel like there was no point because I had just repeated a cycle of 5 years, almost to the day, of the same thing that happened. I feel like giving up. I said this to my doctor. I also told her I felt more crazy this week than I did when I was taken to the hospital last week and I don't know what to do with myself.

The truth is, I have had some form of an eating disorder my WHOLE life. Healthy eating was not modeled growing up. And then I lost weight with 'diets' to extremes. Even when I thought I was healthy I had a friend tell me yesterday 'no, you had an eating disorder. I told you that a while ago and you've had it, in some form the entire time I've known you'

I am soooooooo very fortunate for what did not happen last week but I'm also fortunate for what did: I was awakened to how serious my issue actually is.

The last year I have been in out patient treatment for an eating disorder. I've had some good months regarding recovery but more blazefere days and bad months. I have also overbooked myself in attempts to run from myself and dealing with what I have going on (another friend said he wondered why I always had myself on high speed. And yet another say he thought I had so much on my plate but he thought I might have been ok). I have been minimizing my problem and fooling no one but, maybe,  me.

I went appointment to return to work and was not because my doctor saw I was not ready. And I thought I was making too much of what was going on, but I wasn't. I then talked to others in my medical team and the most recent one had said that my decline had started happening much longer than a month ago, I just wasn't willing to do anything.

So, I know I NEED recovery. I don't necessarily want it completely. But I know that I am worth it. I also realized by almost losing my job from poor decisions last week that the fear of losing my job for a higher level of care meant nothing if I lost my job from not going anything. And what good is a job, a space in this world, if you're not really living in it?

I am going to recover because I don't want to hit a milestone five years from now and realize I've been circling to the same point. I don't want to be on automatic pilot anymore. The next five years have come up a lot in this blog. And I want to say five years from now that this is the time I really started living.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What I give to you

     "A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one
       deed." ~Henrix Ibsen

So, I'm moving from this crisis shelter and I'm realizing all the time I've devoted here, all the relationships I've put on hold in order to give what I have to the women and their process of growth.

The shelter has also been a huge gift to me. In watching the women change I'm given so much more. In the time that I've live here I've seen relationships with family restored, women get jobs again, and moving on into other chapters of their lives, changed.

I know I will continue giving time to the shelter until there is nothing to give time to. Just not so exhaustively.

Here's my promise to myself. I promise to try and sleep more. I promise to keep my apartment a place of safety to take off my mask. I promise to keep trekking. I promise to try and hit the pause button every once in a while just to breath.

My promise to my family. I promise to be the aunt, sister, daughter to you I haven't had time to be. To talk with you and let you in just a little bit more. Even if it's uncomfortable and stretching for me.

To my friends. I will love you and spend time with you and heal. I will smother some of you because I've needed you desperately and just haven't had the extra energy to reach out. I need your shoulder to cry on and your ear to listen. And I promise to be the same for you.

I give this new chapter of my life a chance.

Friday, March 2, 2012

A drop in the bucket, it's the number that matters

So why do I hear good things when my sister comments that I've lost a lot of weight, or that my doctor makes me get weighed because I've lost a significant number? I hear, "you're in going in the right direction"

This last week I went to the hospital. My Primary doctor drove me there. Thirty minutes and a tunnel ride (each way for her). She had to stop for gas, and kept asking me if I wanted something to eat or drink. She waited with me at the hospital until I was checked in.

She took me to a private room in the hospital, talked to my supervisor about me going out of work and filling out FMLA paperwork, she then took me to employee health and filled out the paperwork. She did all of this because I was supposed to go inpatient to an eating disorder facility.

The key word is supposed to. The next day, when it wasn't communicated to me I would only be on a general unit until a bed became available, I declined admittance. It was only later, when my doctor was speaking to me strongly, that I realized what had happened. I felt horrible. My primary and my other doctor worked very hard into Monday night to make the hospital stay happen.

I told her I was quitting treatment and she said I was practically doing it anyway because I wasn't following treatment recommendations and I was refusing weigh in. At that point she didn't care what I did. She just said with resolution to have someone drive me home, to take a high dose of the sleeping med, and lay flat on my back. That, if I didn't sleep, to meditate.

The silver lining in the experience is that, before I fell asleep, I got a call for an interview, for a job I know I'm going to get.

The next day I did let her weigh me. I comitted to following this minimum recommendation of what to eat. She told me to be in bed by 9:30pm everynight, and to snap out of it.

Now I'm waiting for my primary doctor to return to her office, so she can clear me back to work. She's been sick, which puts me on impromptu bed rest until she returns. I'm starting to go crazy because I've been out for so long. And there was the brief moment where I thought I lost my journal, with all me ed thoughts, forever, out into the world (i was able to locate it by back tracking the day I was released). At least I've had the opportunity to pack and write my paper.

And I'll look sick when I return to work, which is also good. Well, not good, but at least validates me being out for so long. The negative part is the last 3.5 days of the week I'm going to have to play catch up for the time missed, finish my paper, and packing, and move. Sigh.

I realized something in the mist of struggling to follow the minimum. I'm not hungry for food anymore. I'm hungry for the number. I'm hungry for the pounds to go off my body. This is the first time I can honestly say I have an eating disorder.

It's as a friend tells me it's not wise to move out on my own when I'm struggling like this, and my fear that my doctor will not allow me to be her patient anymore, that I know I have a problem. In regards to the doctor I know I need to get a gas card, something, to at least give something for her effort. There's nothing that can replace all she's done for me. I'm scared she won't release me and will make me go PHP. This will put a kink in all my plans.

There's the fear, if I don't go back to work this next week, I'll lose my job. I'll lose the other job opportunity. All because of my eating disorder. Which is hard because, really, I'm more thirsty for the number.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I'm not able to concentrate right now. I haven't been able to concentrate for a long time. Horrible for writing papers

I'm not sleeping. In the last 2 days I've maybe gotten 8 hours of sleep.  If I actually fall asleep I get woken up right after. But that's another matter.

I'm hyper-active. So much so I was told to write my paper and go to my room. I mean, I was talking a hundred miles an hour, and didn't stop.

I've been restricting, bingeing, over-exercising, abusing laxatives-in fact, I have a row of them, that I've been contemplating taking since I got home-because I feel guilty when I eat.

I feel like crap, I know I look like crap, people keep telling me I look sick. I had someone tell me I looked waif-like.

I told my dietician I was contemplating a higher level of care. Then I gave my primary an update because I feel it's important for her to know what's going on.

I talked to her on the phone yesterday and she noticed my symptoms over the phone. Told me to call her today.

Of course, I run into her walking into the hospital this morning. She reminds me to call her. But, work is crazy. Funny enough, I run into her a couple hours later in the same hallway. She tells me she had been thinking of me because she hadn't heard from me. Told me she could make it happen, that she's concerned. I then run into her several more times in a couple hours...I've never run into her so much since I've started working there.

On my lunch I finally do call her. I tell her that my stomach is killing me because I haven't eaten and I just need to throw up. She told me to call her if I go down hill over the weekend. If I needed her to, she would make inpatient happen. Told me to call her 24/7 if I needed to. Legit concern. I wonder if she'd put me on bed rest so I could get caught up...of course, the next couple weeks would not be the time to do it. I guess that's part of the reason I dont want to go into the hospital either, because it'd be detrimental. But, I know, how I am now isn't good either.

Then this party happens. And I eat. I eat a meal meal for the first time in a few days. I see the cake a couple hours later and realize that that looks good and have a piece. See, this is when I start feeling guilty. I'm on a roll, I eat when I get home too. The dinner that the ladies made. Now I'm feeling fat, and my stomach is still upset because of the turmoil I've put it through the last week.

Yet, those little laxative pills-all lined up-look so appealing. I know if I take them the food will go away. My body will HATE me but, for a little while I won't hate me, I will feel like I'm getting justice. Over what? A piece of cake or a couple mini donuts??? I remember what this dose did to me the last time and I'm afraid. When you know what to expect it's sooo much worse. I can feel my whole body cramping from the OD. When my body is doing that already, I get even more scared.

I look at the line of little blue pills.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Round Room

I'm sitting in the middle of a room. And I'm not sure of the way out. I can feel the sunlight but i don't know where the windows are. I know there's a door--paper and opportunity keep falling on my lap--but I can't find it.

I look up at a great expanse of sky. I see the stars. I can locate the moon. I know the outside world exists.

But, the walls still surround me. What good is the ability to look up when you can't find your way out? I'm in jail and I don't understand what I did. There was no trial, I had no justice. Convicted and found guilty without anyone by my side.

I receive notice in the mail and I've seen my prison cell, looked out of my bars; I know where I'm headed. I can't comprehend how it's gotten this far.

It's no consolation that education is still possible. My friends can write, I can write. I won't be isolated. But all I can think about is telling people I'm guilty, I did something bad, I'm being sent away. I'm afraid my friends will leave me.

The day arrives and I'm frantic. I'm running around without getting anywhere. I don't want to accept my fate. I can't find anything. What do you bring with you for a year? Oddly enough, my mom is taking me. The living person with whom I have the most convoluted relationship is the one handing me off to my jailer.

I want to blame her. Because, in the world of victimhood, everything is her fault. But, I know. It's me. I did this. And I will be facing the consequences.

A mixture of thoughts from the day and the dream of a month ago...

Monday, February 20, 2012


Right now movement is difficult. I'm tired, laying flat on my back, and I don't have the momentum to change it. That which is in motion stays in motion...

Maybe it's that I've spent wayyyyy too much time being on the go, transitioning from thing to thing, and not stopping. Having to hold on for dear life as I had more things on my plate than hours to finish them. Trying to fit in time for myself to get mad because there just isn't time.

Suddenly, there's time. At least, time that's forthcoming. On the horizon is a place of my own, a place where it doesn't matter how many hours I work, I get to go home to my own space. Not a space I'm sharing with a group of people, or a roomate, but mine. It's sounds so peaceful.

This move is scary. The ability to finally have a place to just stop.  A place where I can take off my mask, if only to myself. I've had this before and I've forgotten what it's like to leave work out, clothes on the floor, a little mess and clutter. I'm scared, not to be lonely, but to be alone.

This move is hard. This is the beginning of a new chapter. A chapter where I'm closing one of growth so I can grow into another. There's the responsibility of defining what my home means to me. And to have boundaries in place, from the beginning, of what I'm going to allow into my life.

This move is heart breaking. I have the blessing of the CEO to move out. A letter of reference, an accolade in my resume. But I'm leaving something so much bigger than kudos and a good name. I'm watching the end of something beautiful. The closing of a chapter of more than 25 years of helping women in crisis. Of over 1,000 babies being born that would have otherwise not come into existence. The end of the Hiding Place.

Suddenly, I'm ok with just laying here forever. Because I know, once I get up and set tomorrow in motion, the momentum will continue and the next month will fly by, and I'll be in my place.

A new chapter.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Your life is worth a noble motive!

Dedicate your life to a cause greater than yourself, and your life will become a glorious romance and adventure." Mark Douglas

I'm laying in bed thinking about turning points. What it would mean to take the on-ramp back to the road of recovery I was on a month ago. To let go of the security blanket called dieting, the cure-all pill, and the fix-it exercise plan.

I don't know, maybe it was realizing I may actually need a higher level of care, that I wasn't able to get sleep and on schedule by myself, that caused me to start thinking about this. Having other's intervene for me feels so much easier than being an adult about it. I don't want to be a grown up. BUT, if I don't try to put in the work myself, try and get my body on schedule, I can't justify asking for what I need from professionals. It's in this that I'm looking at this turning point.

If I were sitting in a room right now looking at the turning point of my life I would describe it as malleable and firm at the same time. Once I decide to take it, I can't afford to turn back. Besides that, there would be nothing to turn back to. I can see it and I know it has the potential to be a friend. It has the potential to free me. It can change me for the better, if I only let it.

But I'm scared. I don't want to leave behind my childhood security blanket, my cure-alls, and fix its. It's the only way back to the body I had before march 2009. The body I had that was thin and beautiful, when life was going ok. I'm scared to let go of the things that actually hurt me because there's the hope they will still get me to where I wish I had never left. It's so hard to realize, in this bout of illness I let go of a wonderfully beautiful body. and I'm left with this.

I can't let this be the focus of my life. I need a cause that doesn't encompass my disorder. I want to be able to feel the glamorous romance and adventure this journey could be, if only I chose to let go and jump.

"This may be the turning point your grandchildren will tell stories about years from now: the time you leap over the abyss to the other side of the Great Divide and begin to live your life in earnest. On the other hand, this moment of truth may end up being nothing more than a brief awakening when you glimpse what's possible on the other side of the Great Divide, but then tell yourself, "Nah, that's waayyy to far to jump." In that case, your grandchildren will have to be content talking about what delicious cookies you used to bake or what your favorite sports team was. It will all depend on how brave you'll be. Rob Brezsny