Disordered Date Night

Morning Guyzzzz!!

So…I’m going on a date tonight.  Of course, dates involve food and drink which only adds to the anxiety of a first date for one trying to recover from an eating disorder.  I’m so beyond scared.

I want to appear to be somewhat “normal” around food.  As I browse the menu of the restaurant we’re going to tonight, my heart is beating out of my chest.  Normal people don’t obsess over food on the first date, they think about fun things — what they’ll wear, what they’ll talk about, etc.  So sad.

So I want to eat something semi-normal (not a cobb salad with no dressing).  Side note: It’s kind of funny how I really hate “that girl” who always orders a salad with no cheese or croutons and dressing on the side.  Then I realize that I AM that girl.  How depressing.

Also, I don’t want to eat and eat out of nervous energy and binge and then have to excuse myself to the bathroom to *you know what*, and leave the poor guy sitting there alone.  So that’s a problem too.  Can I not just eat a reasonably portioned meal and keep it for one night so I can look like a normal 22-year-old?

This poor kid doesn’t know what he’s getting himself into.

Starbucks Woes

“Do I want a pumpkin-spice latte, or a vanilla bean frappuccino?  Oooh, but a caramel macchiato sounds good too…”

“Have you tried those pumpkin muffins?”

“– Oh I know! I want the peppermint mocha thingy!”

Eating disorders are just awful.  I want to just order something offhandedly like other people do.  I want to order something that is not a black coffee with sweet-and-low…maybe a little cream if I’m feeling wild.  I want to order a yummy and delicious holiday beverage, I really do, but it’s just easier this way.  Having my black coffee keeps the voice in my head quiet.  Even pondering the idea of ordering something with all those calories has my head spinning.  I’m sure the world would just stop, or blow up, or something, if I dared consume those unnecessary liquid fat grams. Right?

Why head? WHYYYY? It’s silliness, it really is! Makes. No. Sense. It’s one drink!  It won’t kill me.  And yet, I’m sure that it would.  Instead, I’ll likely go home tonight and eat my kitchen in its entirety, consuming thousands of calories.  And then we all know what comes next.  Irrational.

Wow, it’s been a while…

Hello!

It has been much, much too long!  I hope everyone is doing well! So much has happened since I wrote on here last.  I attended an intensive-outpatient program over the summer and for the first part of this fall.  I recently stopped the IOP program to give myself more time to focus on my school work.  I want to believe that things are better, but I’m just not sure.  I think treatment did help me a little in the beginning.  The structure and accountability was good for me.  I ate foods that scared me in situations that were more than uncomfortable.  Tears were shed, lessons were learned.  With time, though, I felt that everything I was being told in treatment was going in one ear and out the other.  I suddenly no longer cared to get better or to let go of the eating disorder.

I’ve gained some weight over the months from being in IOP and from having lots of binging and purging behaviors.  To be perfectly honest, the thoughts are unbearable at times.  I feel like a failure. I was terrified to come back to school this fall because I was paranoid that my friends would notice or comment on the weight I’ve put on.  Eating disorders are so irrational.  Surely there are worse things a human can do than put on weight.  In my mind though, this is the ultimate sin, the one unforgivable act.

I am still living at home with my parents and sisters.  That’s a confidence-booster, being 22.  I’m rationalizing with myself that it’s smart of me, and I’m only at home to save money while I finish school.  But I know that if I was living alone I would crash and burn, hard.  Still, I look at the other girls in my grad program, so independent, so happy, carefree, out on their own.  I am jealous.  I feel less than, insignificant, not good enough, utterly useless.

So that’s how things are going for me at the moment.  I want so badly to be smaller.  Sometimes I feel I want to shrink into oblivion.  At the same time I just want to live my life.  I want to try and enjoy these years.  I know I’ll never get them back; I know they are precious.  I know these things, I do.  But why, then, am I so afraid to let the eating disorder go?

“I don’t have a problem”, LIFE DECISIONS, and triggering comments.

Hi everyone!  It’s been awhile!

My life has just been craziness lately.  Major graduate school decisions have been made and my parents confronted me about my ED.  I feel like this is all a dream.

I had been planning to go out of state for graduate school.  I was accepted into an excellent program far away from my home town.  When I was accepted, I was ecstatic.  I’ve always wanted to go on adventures, live freely, be independent.  Now with my disorder lurking over me and stronger than ever, it seems that my dreams are being demolished and are no longer possible.  My mom basically told me that she’s scared to death of me leaving home in the state I’m in.  When she told me this, it kind of struck a nerve and snapped me back into reality.  Who have I been kidding all this time? I thought leaving this place, moving away, literally “running away” from my current situation would solve everything.  I know in my rational mind that this would make things take a turn for the worst.  Being on my own, with a graduate school workload, no support system, not even able to drive home in less than 12 hours.  Yeah, not good.  Maybe for someone who wasn’t having issues feeding themselves this would be an option.  I just feel so trapped, so stuck right now.  I know it’s not this town that’s making me feel like I’m in a prison.  It’s my thoughts, my disorder, my perception of myself that keeps me in this hell.  This is the part that really confuses me, though.  I can have all these feelings regarding my disorder one minute, and the next I feel like I’m a big faker, attention seeker, like “I don’t even have a problem”.  I frequently think to myself, “I’m fine! No one is even worried about me! I’m perfectly healthy and I could totally move away and be 100-percent fine!”  I am so confused by this.  I literally feel like an insane person.  This is so hard to explain.  It’s almost as if I’ve “made up my disorder” in my head, as if I could just stop having behaviors whenever I wanted to and everything would be fine and dandy.  Then, when I try to fight the behaviors, I can never win.  I’ll think, “Wow, I am still really hungry, I should have some more”, and I want to, but I can’t bring myself to eat.  Maybe it’s just that having kept my food issues secret for so long, locked away in my head and hidden behind closed doors they still feel imaginary to me.  Now that they are out in the open and people I love know about them, they have been made concrete in a sense.  My behaviors becoming concrete is still a new concept for me, and I feel like everyone is just making a huge deal out of nothing.  I don’t feel worthy of treatment, I don’t feel deserving of help.  I just feel worthless. What I do doesn’t affect anyone, nothing I do matters, so why doesn’t everyone just let me alone? Sorry, that was really depressing and probably didn’t make much sense at all.

Also, my mom made me an appointment at an eating disorder clinic for next week.  This intensifies all of these feelings of not being ill enough and not deserving treatment.  I feel like I’m going to walk in there and they’ll laugh at me and say, “yeah, come back when you actually have a problem”.  This is crazy, but it’s almost like I need to get worse before anyone should help me.  I don’t need help, I don’t want help, and I feel like it’s just going to be pointless going in because I don’t want to change yet.  I can’t give this thing up.  It makes me feel safe and secure, comfortable, like I have my life all in order and under control.  It’s there for me when I have a bad day, numbs me out, and lets me escape my problems.

I also wanted to get something off my chest that really hurt last night.  I was so triggered and upset that I wanted to lock myself in my room and never come out. So my three roommates and I are taking some graduation pictures and wanted to coordinate outfits.  We were all trying on outfits that would look nice for the picture and one of my roommates suggested that I borrow her dress for the picture.  She said, “You could wear this!  I mean we’re basically the same size.”  I feel like such a horrible person for being triggered by her comment.  I know she didn’t mean it maliciously, but I have serious issues with comparing my body to others.  The whole time we were trying on outfits I felt huge, disgusting, ugly, too fat for words.  It still baffles me how down on myself I get while trying on clothes.  No matter how much weight I lose, I am convinced that I will NEVER like my body.  I will NEVER feel confident or comfortable.  This saddens me so much.

I’m sorry for being so depressing and rambling about how crappy things are at the moment.  Just hopeless.  I feel hopeless.

Sick and Tired

*I apologize in advance for this rant.  This is not very cheery and could be triggering.*

Ughhhhh.  I don’t feel very nice at the moment.  I’m just so frustrated with myself. What will it take me to get myself out of this hell?

I just feel like crap ALL THE TIME.  I have no energy.  It’s 75 degrees outside and I’m blasting the heater and wearing a scarf.  My heart rate is 38 and fluttering.  My whole body is aching and I can’t ever find a comfortable position. I obsessively look at pictures of food during class lectures when I should be taking notes.  I’m snapping at people for doing nothing in particular. Despite all this, I felt the need to binge and purge tonight.  Nothing stops me.

As much as I try to deny it, my body is not indestructible.  I can’t go on like this forever.  So what’s it going to take?  This feels hopeless sometimes.  Right now, it’s just so much easier to lay under my electric blanket rather than to join the real world.  My eating disorder world is such a comfort sometimes.  It’s a place to go when real life is terrifying, difficult, or just plain shitty.  My ED world is always there for me when I need it.  Turn up the electric blanket, lay motionless under its warmth, chewing piece after piece of sugar-free gum.  No thinking, no feeling, no “have to’s”, and no “shoulds”.

My eating disorder world is not fun, but it’s easy.  It’s not meaningful, but it’s comfortable.  It is not at all beautiful, but it is my safe haven.  Right now, it just feels good to be numb.

Spring Break in Review and the Ice Cream Sandwich Nightmare.

HEY GUYZZZ!

I was going to try and go to bed early tonight, but my mind is kind of racing and I don’t see myself going to bed anytime soon.  Sooooo, I’m doing some bloggin’ 🙂

Today was actually a really good day! It was a sunny, beautiful day and I went home for a bit and watched a movie with my sister.  We had a nice afternoon and some quality sister time.  I wasn’t thinking about food the whole time, so it was quite nice.  All in all, it was a very relaxing last day of Spring Break.

So many things have happened this past week.  I almost feel like a different person.  At the beginning of Spring Break, I was consumed with anxiety about going away for the weekend with my family.  The trip could have gone better.  There was a lot of purging involved, and I could tell that my parents were acting odd towards me.  Usually when I’m engaged in my ED it’s hard to remember things, but one event from the trip I’ll never forget.  My family and I ate at a Mexican restaurant for lunch on the last day of the trip.  I ended up eating more than I was comfortable with and as a result binged.  I felt awful, completely out of control, and partially purged in the bathroom at the restaurant.  Then, my sister came into the bathroom just as I was finishing and went into the stall I had purged in.  Later that day in the car, she made a comment about how it looked like someone had puked in the stall at the restaurant.  My heart was beating out of my chest.  It was the most shameful and afraid I’ve ever felt.

After the weekend trip, I didn’t see my family for a couple days and was working a lot.  The following Thursday my parents finally confronted me about my ED.  I was so ashamed, but I felt such comfort and relief.  I think it was a very positive step for me.  I can already see that their knowing is taking away some of the power that ED has over me.  I can’t purge easily around my family now that they’re suspicious.  I feel compelled to eat more, and it’s immensely anxiety provoking, but I know it’s what’s best for my recovery.

The break ended on a good note.  I’m hopeful and excited for recovery.  I’m scared to give up the comfort and numbing behaviors that my eating disorder provides me, but I am looking forward to ACTUALLY ENGAGING IN LIFE.  I know this is impossible with my ED hanging over me all of the time.

Currently, my purging has dramatically decreased, but I’m still semi-restricting.  I haven’t purged in ALMOST A WEEK! Yay for me!  It’s odd but I’ve noticed that whenever I go a while without binging or purging, I start having dreams about it…which brings me to the ice cream sandwich nightmare!  Last night I had a horrific dream that I was in Wal-mart, bingeing on all of these ice cream sandwiches right out of the freezer in front of everyone.  Like I had no shame.  People were just standing in the freezer aisle watching me stuff my face.  When I was done I felt all those terribly familiar feelings of sheer panic and the need to GET IT ALL OUT NOW.  It was SO realistic.  But the worst part was that I never was able to find the bathroom to purge in my dream.  I woke up thinking that I was full of 20 ice cream sandwiches AND SO TERRIFIED.  I’ve had these dreams of bingeing before, and I just HATE it so much.  Have you guys had these?  I would not wish these night terrors on anyone!

ANYWAY, I feel good about this week.  I hope you guys are well and taking care. Let’s have a great start to the week.  Lots of love!!

xoxo Dee

So the poop finally hit the fan…

Well it finally happened…

On Thursday night, my parents confronted me about my eating disorder.  For months I’ve been contemplating how I would tell them, how I could possibly bring it up, what to say, how to even begin.  I’ve built up what their reactions would be in my mind, and imagined how the shock, disgust, and disapproval would warp their loving faces.

In the end, I never had to bring it up.  They knew and could tell I was hurting.  My prayers feel as if they’ve been answered and a load has been lifted off my shoulders.  My parents told me they were worried about me, I felt such love and comfort.  My mom just held me while I cried.  I was in tears within seconds.  Saying the words aloud was such a release but it was also immensely frightening.  Finally admitting aloud the most shameful aspects of my eating disorder (binging and purging especially) to my parents made my problems tangible and “fully real” in a sense. I am happy that my parents finally know, but I am also terrified.  I know they are watching me closely and it is now much more difficult to have behaviors around them.

I just don’t know if I am willing to give this disorder up yet.  I want to think that I am, I really do.  But honestly, it’s how I’m coping.  When I am engaged in restricting, my headspace feels so calm.  Even binging and purging is such a comfort.  I hate that I need this disease.  Why me? Why was I so weak that I needed to develop this disorder? How have I become so dependent on something that is killing me?

My mom is trying to find me a dietician and get all these appointments scheduled.  I’m concerned that my parents don’t understand to what extent my disorder is rooted in a mental condition.  I know that I need therapy to address my guilt involving food.  I know that I’ll never be able to stick to some high-calorie meal plan without first addressing my self-hatred and fear of food.  I feel guilty for needing help, for making my parents pay for someone to tell me that it’s okay to eat.  I just want to be normal and be able to feed myself like a normal 21-year-old.

What a weekend.  I just feel emotionally and physically drained.  I’m trying to do better, if not for my own sake, then for my parents who love me more than I love myself at the moment.

xoxo Dee

Spring Break…yay?

Good evening!

Hope everyone is well and having a relaxing night!

So, it’s finally spring break! I’m looking forward to taking a little breather from classes and studying.

Tomorrow, I’ll be going out of town for a night with my family to do some shopping and just hang out.  I love taking short road trips and spending time with my family, but the uncertainty of what I’ll be eating is REALLY anxiety provoking for me.  I HATE how my plans, thoughts, behaviors are ENTIRELY influenced by food.  It just makes no sense.  Yes, we need nourishment to survive.  But ten years from now, when I remember this weekend trip, I don’t want to ONLY remember what I ate or didn’t eat.  I want to look back on the fun things I did with my family, not something as trivial as food.

So I’ve been doing this thing lately when I am put into a high-anxiety food situation (like a dinner out, birthday party, etc.)  I’ve been rationalizing with myself that “I shouldn’t worry, I can always purge a little if I feel I need to.”  This is very dangerous thinking.  I HATE purging, it’s hurting me and my body.  It’s just that in the moment, it really helps calm me down.  The reassurance of being able to rid my body of food almost immediately takes the anxious edge off.  I know this is a destructive way of thinking, but it’s all I have to hang on to right now.

I am seriously so anxious right now just thinking about the trip.  I will most likely have to take some sleepy medication tonight just to get to sleep.  I HATE HATE HATE feeling this way.

Also, there’s the issue of AFTER the trip.  My three roommates will be gone for the break, and I’ll likely have the house to myself.  I’m terrified of being alone with my disorder.  It’s to the point now that whenever I am alone, there’s usually no doubt as to what I’m going to do with my time.  I hate binging and purging more than anything, but I’ve become dependent on it now.  Maybe I’ll stay with my family the rest of spring break.  It would probably be a lot less self-destructive.

Do you guys have any tips on calming food-related anxiety?  Any help is much appreciated!

Hugs,

Dee

Low heart rate + 5 things that make me happy!

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Good evening, everyone!

So…I was feeling really crappy and lethargic a little while ago. I took my heart rate using an app on my phone and it was 36 bpm (I was just laying in bed).  Have you guys experienced this? Should I be worried? It usually averages at about 42, but it was just really low tonight.  I’m not sure what this means or if I should even be concerned.  Just wondering! Let me know your thoughts or experiences!

I’m not feeling too positive tonight, so I thought I would make a list of a few things that generally make me really happy! Here goes!

1.  Puppies, their kisses, and that “new puppy” smell.  Maybe I’m a freak, but I could smell “new puppy” all day.  Do they make a Yankee Candle in that scent?

2.  Snow days and the immediate excitement that you get when you find out that school is cancelled.  Do you guys remember elementary school, back before all the social media and hand-held computers at your fingertips?  Back when we all relied on the school cancellations posted on the television news?  Yes, I remember watching that endlessly scrolling list of schools in alphabetical order while praying feverishly that Jesus would let mine be cancelled.  Seeing the name of your school pop across that t.v. screen felt as if the world had been lifted off your shoulders. Then, cue sledding and hot cocoa with mini marshmallows.

3.  I may have mentioned this in a previous post, but it needs reinstating.  Dolphins.  Because, well, dolphins.

4.  Doodling.  I don’t mean to brag, but I am a pretty great doodler.  My notebooks have always been filled with intricate designs, landscapes, and cute animals.  Doodling makes a boring class lecture fly by!

5.  Hot coffee first thing in the morning.  I don’t think I could live without it, guys.  Truly… I am a coffee connoisseur, a bean-head, a java-junkie.  Coffee is my life blood.  When I was a small child my Mimi would often give me a china cup full of warm coffee with  lots of cream and sugar.  This was the seed of my coffee addiction.  Coffee is happiness.

What is happiness for you all?

Much love,

xoxo Dee

Lunch Results and Gynecologists

Hey guys! Sorry for all the posts lately! Blogging and getting my feelings and thoughts out of my head really has been helping me cope.  I’m sorry for spamming you!

Lunch went really well! Just goes to show you where positive thinking can lead.  I believed that I was going to do well, and I DID! I ate a reasonably sized lunch and kept it! I felt myself slipping into binge mode toward the end of the meal.  Then I stopped and thought to myself, “Alright you’re not hungry anymore.  You are satisfied.  It’s time to stop eating.” Usually this logic fails me, but I was able to throw my bowl into the sink and leave the kitchen.  YAY for small victories!  I’m currently writing from my cozy Starbucks nook and procrastinating my studies.  I’ve been contemplating a bit…

Seeing my family really did make me feel better.  I’ve been feeling low, lonely, really down.  Talking and getting some love from my Mommy really lifted my spirits.  It’s amazing what a hug and kiss will do.  I may be 21 years old, but I will always appreciate cuddling with my Momma.  I love and miss her and I feel bad for being so distant with her.  I haven’t been able to let her in.

…So my mom keeps nagging me to call our gynecologist.  I’ve been ignoring her and putting it off because only I know why my periods have been non-existent for the past 2 years.  It scares me terribly.  I’ve heard about and am fully aware of the dangers of bone density loss, infertility, etc.  I know I need to be having my periods.  However, confronting my missing period means possible exposure.  I don’t want to go to the doctor, I am terrified of being found out.  Maybe this is the proper next step, though.  Telling my parents, telling a doctor, that means putting my eating disorder at risk of being taken from me.  For two years I’ve used my eating disorder to cope with the world around me.  It has been my comfort, a tool that was always there for me.  But now this disease is killing me.  I have to let it go.