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.