Monday, April 30, 2012

The Thirst Issue

Has anyone else ever dealt with extreme thirst? And not just like after running ten miles in the desert or something, but all the time? That's how I've been feeling for a long time now - no matter how much I guzzle, I can't drink enough to satisfy my thirst. For a while, I thought it was related to the medication I was on starting back in January - it made my mouth noticeably dry, but I've been off the drug for over a month now and I'm still always unbelievably thirsty. Honestly, I could stand by the sink for twenty minutes just refilling and draining my cup. What usually stops me from drinking more is that my stomach gets way too full and can't actually handle the volume of liquid I'm downing.

I try sticking to water, since I assume it's the best/healthiest way to hydrate myself, but I've also recently developed a liking for sweeter drinks (Gatorade, Vitamin Water, Snapple, Propel, that kind of stuff). For as long as I can remember, I've been head over heels in love with Diet Coke, but I'm trying really hard not to drink much of it because it makes me feel super bloated and uncomfortable. The deliciousness is almost worth it, but I also seem to remember hearing somewhere that it's also bad for your bones. (Is that true? I don't remember where I heard it, but it's scared me off from drinking soda regularly.) Plus, I've found that Diet Coke increases my appetite. Probably not a horrible thing at this point, but it freaks me out.

Anyway, my point is that I'm drinking constantly throughout the day, and I'm still always thirsty and always dreaming about gulping down an ice cold can of soda. I've never kept track of how much liquid I actually consume in a day, but if I had to make a really rough least 3-4 liters? So there's no way I'm dehydrated. And I'm not exercising at all, so I don't sweat anything out either. I don't smoke, I rarely drink alcohol, and my only caffeine is two small cups of coffee in the morning.

Anyone else have this problem? It's not exactly life-threatening, just kind of annoying when I have to keep filling up my water bottle and then running to the bathroom to pee every two hours.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

School, Packing, Therapy

We finished classes yesterday, so now I have a full week of nothing but paper-writing and studying. I hate the unstructured time, especially when it feels like I need to be doing something productive relating to schoolwork every second of the day (ahem which is why I am on Blogger). Yesterday was actually kind of sad because I loved my classes this semester and I didn't want them to end. If I weren't so paranoid about privacy, I'd give a big shout-out to my university on here. Coming here was the best decision of my life. I picked it after getting deferred from a fancy-schmancy Ivy League school (no offense to the Ivies - they're obviously fantastic schools), and although I was devastated at the time (DEVASTATED), I can now look back and be glad that things unfolded the way they did. I don't even remember what it was like to sit through classes in high school staring at the clock, willing the hands to move faster so I could get the hell out of there. Now, I wish my classes were twice as long and I hate the fact that most of them only meet twice a week.

Nerdy tangent over. I guess I shouldn't have said that paper-writing and studying are my only obligations, because I'm also moving in a week. It's a long story, but basically I'm subleasing an apartment down the street for the summer, then moving back into this building (but a different unit) in August for the next school year. Have I mentioned I hate moving? Well, I DO. I hate tearing down my room, carting boxes, packing stuff into my car, unpacking, toting everything up multiple flights of stairs, rearranging....argh. Between now and the first week of May, I need to be totally packed up and gone. Plus I will need to have written four papers, taken two exams, and finished several projects for work that I've been neglecting for, um, several weeks. I'm not going to panic. I'm not going to panic. I'm not going to panic.

On to the therapy situation: I saw R yesterday morning and I'm not fired. In fact, we had a better-than-usual session and I'm feeling a little more optimistic. I'm sticking with him for now, and we outlined a plan that I feel really good about.

We talked about major changes to be made, and we both made some concessions:
- He wants me to enter a higher level of care, but accepts that I'm not willing to do that.
- I want to be able to come clean about falling short on the meal plan without having to worry that he will a) pressure me into IP, b) call my parents to recommend IP, or c) kick me out for refusing IP; but I realize that he has a professional and ethical obligation to act as he sees fit.
- He wants me to gain an absolute minimum of XX pounds, but acknowledges that I am not in a medically dangerous place, and that using scare tactics about my bones, heart, eyes, etc. is NOT an effective way to motivate me. Nor are ultimatums involving school, work, hospitalization, etc.
- I don't really want to gain any weight (surprise!) but I understand that it needs to happen, health-wise, and that my reluctance is a symptom of the illness rather than a rational, objective decision.

And here's the part I'm most proud of: I explained how the intense focus on the meal plan, the Boost, the weight gain etc. just freaks me out and makes me feel like a failure for not coming through week after week. I explained that my biggest impediments right now are the terrible body image, the OCD-ish rigidity about meal times, and the automatic, incessant calorie-counting. I'm bad at speaking up for myself, especially about stuff like this that makes me uncomfortable and self-conscious and weird, but I did it, and it seemed like R was really receptive to my suggestions.

So, our new long-term goals:
- Address the compulsive calorie-counting
- Introduce more variety of foods

And, of couse, weight gain. Don't think he's letting me off the hook on that one, although he's definitely backing off in some respects. But, of course, I'm underweight and the gain needs to happen. I KNOW. I'm not happy about it, but I realize that that's kiiiind of a nonnegotiable aspect of eating disorder treatment. Trying to become okay with it.

Oops, this was supposed to be a quick update, considering how much work I have to do. Gotta go, everyone. Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Variety Over Gain

I saw my dietician this morning for the first time in three or four weeks. Surprisingly, after my tough session with R last week, it was a pretty positive thirty minutes. She and R had spoken briefly since Friday so she was aware of the situation, which made it easier and much less awkward than I'd expected. She promised that she would never tell me I can't come back and see her, although we acknowledged that there has been a serious lack of progress over the past eight months and that changes need to be made.

So, taking into account that the future of my treatment situation is still very much up in the air, J and I talked about some realistic next steps. One possible suggestion was to concentrate solely on increasing variety rather than calories. Obviously weight gain will still need to happen, but I think my brain needs a change of focus. When weight gain is emphasized so heavily all the time, I tend to shut down and tune out all recovery-related recommendations. Right now, my brain can't get past a place of I don't care about anything else, I just don't want to gain weight. I'm becoming more and more willing and ready to diversify my eating habits, however, especially since I'm starting to see/feel the effects of an extremely limited and minimalist diet. But I still get hung up on the idea that more food = weight gain every time. Again, I'm not trying to abandon weight gain altogether, just shift my focus so that gaining isn't front and center in my mind every time I sit down to eat. Selective blindness, if you will. Does that make sense? I'm not feeling articulate today.

J also talked about turning points - like what would need to happen that would convince me to change. And honestly? I don't know. I've been fighting this thing on and off since I was in middle school. Over the past seven or eight years, I've been at low weights, I've blacked out on the treadmill, I've been hospitalized, I've been pulled out of school, I've lost an internship that I wanted, I've made both my parents cry too many times, I've wasted thousands and thousands of their dollars on treatment, I've had myriad ED-related health complications, I've lost touch with countless friends and family members, the list really goes on and on. I don't know how you define "rock-bottom," but I've definitely had moments that felt pretty damn low. So my point is, I'm not sure that anything would become a transformative lightbulb moment for me, and change my mindset for good. I've had periods of wanting recovery, but it never lasts. The only solution, really, is to grasp at what I can and do my best to hang in there. Right now I'm feeling like I can work on variety, so that's what I'm going to do.

If this is all sounding super negative and defeatist, I don't mean for it to. I'm actually feeling pretty positive and motivated - definitely more so than I was after leaving R's office on Friday. I hate having everything so unsettled, and hopefully my appointment with him this week will help me put a more concrete plan in place.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Good Timing, Times

Wow, do the New York Times gods read my blog and respond accordingly?

I really like what the author says here:

Many patients need an aggressive therapist who prods them to face what they find uncomfortable: change. They need a therapist’s opinion, advice and structured action plans. They don’t need to talk endlessly about how they feel or about childhood memories. A recent study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Finland found that “active, engaging and extroverted therapists” helped patients more quickly in the short term than “cautious, nonintrusive therapists.”

I think R probably falls somewhere in the middle, as he definitely sets goals and is very behavior-oriented, but I've also somehow been able to get away without making a whole lot of progress food/weight-wise.

Thoughts? How long have people been in therapy, and how did you know when it was time to call it quits? I suppose eating disorders would qualify as "severe psychological disorders," as the author says, that require years to manage. Maybe I'm just being impatient.

I swear I do other things besides read the New York Times.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

An End, Maybe

I hesitate to write about this because I'm still processing it and don't really have an articulate summary thought out yet. Sorry if this isn't coherent, but it's weighing on my mind and I had to say something. In a nutshell, I think I'm getting fired from therapy. My appointment with R yesterday was...rough, to say the least. It was a weird, awkward mixture of him asking whether I found therapy helpful, and me trying to answer honestly without offending him, while also not exactly being sure what my answer even was. We talked about how my eating habits, my thinking regarding food and weight, and my rigidity remain almost entirely unchanged. That makes it seem like therapy has had zero effect on me whatsoever. Except that maybe I'd be a lot worse off without it, who knows?

Staying in treatment was a condition of my parents letting me come back to school this year, so it was never really my choice to begin with. But now that it's pretty clear I'm not improving, I'm mad and frustrated with myself for failing.

A major issue, according to R, is that we fundamentally disagree on the weight thing. Not about gain in general - I know that I should gain weight. But his goal is significantly higher than anything I deem remotely reasonable. He also flat-out doesn't think I can get there outpatient. History is on his side, considering I haven't put on any significant weight in eight months, but I flat-out refuse to go IP. There might be people who disagree with my position on that one, but it's nonnegotiable. I'm not giving up my life again, no matter how stubborn and dumb that may sound. I've been in semi-decline since getting sick over vacation, but I'm not in dire straits medically, and I don't think it's fair for him to force me into a higher level of care.

And okay, deep breath, this is the part I'm still working out: the shame. Just being in therapy gives me this deep-seated sense of inadequacy that I carry around constantly. Outside my immediate family, I think only two or three of my friends actually even know that I see a therapist, but it still feels like I have a neon sign over my head announcing to the world that I'm a wreck who can't keep her shit together without professional help. (I don't think this about other people in therapy. It's a purely self-conscious issue.) I walk around every day with this profound sense of failure, like I'm flawed and diseased, like something is fundamentally wrong with me. And I hate that. Sometimes it feels like therapy has destroyed my self-esteem. I worry that I can't function without it because I've been told over and over again that I need it.

I'm stuck somewhere between not believing there's any valid reason for me to be in treatment (because I'm not skinny, I'm not sick, and I'm perfectly functional in everyday life) and not believing that I'll be okay without a professional support system, simply because I've become convinced that I won't make it on my own.

Our conversation yesterday left me feeling really negative and defeated. R was sympathetic, but his position is that unless I agree to IP, or at least IOP, as per his official recommendation, there's not much else we can accomplish together. I should have seen it coming, considering how difficult I've been all year, so I don't really have any right to be upset. But still, it's hard to hear how messed up you are for eight months, and then get turned out on your own. I should make clear: he didn't officially fire me, but definitely addressed the possibility of us not working together anymore. We left things up in the air for now. I'm going to see him next week, the last time before a stretch where we're both out of town a few weeks in a row, and we'll make a decision then.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Body Weight Denial

Obviously the body size misperceptions for people with eating disorders tend to work in reverse from what's described here, but the neuroscience sections of this article are pretty fascinating: Are Most People in Denial About Their Weight?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Grocery Store Mishaps

This is the first year I've done all my own grocery shopping, and I'm now pretty efficient. I can get in and out of the store in under twenty minutes, if all goes well. This week's trip, however, was quite the adventure. Not in a good way. First of all, there was hardly any fresh produce stocked. I don't know why the shelves were so bare this week, considering I went at the same time last week and the selection was fine, but this week? Majorly slim pickins. So, um, what's a recovering anorexic with a serious vegetable-consuming habit and a pathological fear of change to do? My diet literally includes pounds of fresh produce each week, and Grocery Store was not coming through. I ended up buying frozen veggies instead, about which I was less than pleased. Once you've gotten used to the fresh stuff, frozen just won't do. (I'm a recovering anorexic and a food snob, apparently.)

Then I went to the snack food aisle to buy a box of the same brand of crackers that I've been eating for years and years. (Wheat Thins, if you must know.) And what do I discover? No Wheat Thins. None. Not a single box on the shelf. There were a million other brands, all of which I'm sure are comparable, but really? Wheat Thins isn't exactly an obscure brand. Regardless, there were none. So naturally, I was left totally stumped. I paced up and down that damn cracker aisle, picking up a million different boxes and flipping them over, holding two side-by-side to compare serving sizes, calories, sodium, fat, protein, total price, price-per-cracker, get the idea. There was an employee pushing a mop around who made me self-conscious for standing in the stupid cracker aisle for ten minutes, so I finally just grabbed a box and threw it in my cart.

I finally got through the store with all my staples, picked a check-out line, paid, cringed as the cashier stuffed my loaf of bread at the bottom of a bag and slammed my bananas around a little too roughly, and finally made it back out to my car. I drove home, carried all my bags inside, put everything away, and realized that I didn't have any of my frozen vegetables. I had been so preoccupied watching the cashier manhandle my fruit (does that sound dirty?) that I hadn't even put all my bags in the cart. So I grabbed my car keys and ran back outside, heard my front door slam behind me, and instantly realized that I'd left the key to my apartment sitting on the kitchen table. SHIT.

Luckily, I had my phone in my pocket so I called my roommate, who was already on campus. I drove over to get her key, drove back home, got inside and grabbed my key, drove back to drop off my roommate's key, drove back to Grocery Store, found my cashier, learned that my bag was at the customer service counter, ran to customer service, waited ten minutes for someone to dig my veggies out of a freezer somewhere in the back of the store, drove home, threw my veggies in the freezer, rechecked my pocket for my key a million times before leaving the apartment again, and sprinted to class.

I'm STILL flustered after this whole ordeal, twelve hours after the fact. All for some stupid frozen broccoli. I just ate some of it with dinner and you know what? Totally not worth it.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Tidbits

I'll try to keep it short after my monster of a post over the weekend!

- There are officially two weeks left of classes. For now, the final paper/exam/project situation is under control, although I'll be working my butt off between now and May 7. The end is in sight! But actually, I love my classes and I'm sad they're ending.

- A friend asked me to brunch next weekend, about which I am panicking just a little. Dinner in a restaurant seems more manageable, although I suppose dinner always freaks me out too. I'm just not used to eating big brunch-style meals early in the day, and I'm afraid of feeling horrible and fat and guilty for the whole day instead of just the few hours after dinner until I go to bed.

- But I know that one meal will not make me fat, and maybe this would be a good recovery-oriented challenge for me.

- My ex S contacted me last night and we've been politely messaging back and forth since then. He's abroad right now (another reason I ended things when I did), so it's been conveniently inconvenient to get in touch with him this semester. Not that I've tried - I haven't particularly wanted to deal with the messy post-breakup fumbling. Anyway, it's still a lil awkward now but at least we're on relatively good terms.

- Thoughts go out to anyone in the Midwest, those tornadoes were scary.

Happy Monday! Hope everyone's good.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Exercise Revisited

Well, I'm still not exercising. That's over five months of being pretty much completely sedentary. True, I walk around campus during the day, but not excessively and not any more than I really need to for getting myself from one place to another. For now, I don't think I walk any more or less than any other college student would on a biggish campus.

Here's the summary: For years, I've been a runner. I ran lots all last year and over the summer until I hurt my hip, when I switched to swimming/biking/elliptical-ing. When I got back to school in the fall, I continued biking a lot, plus added some running back in; in general, I was pretty obsessive about it. Then in November, my heel/Achilles tendon started KILLING me and I could barely walk, much less run or work out at all. So I abruptly quit going to the gym and haven't been back since. I can objectively report that this is the longest stretch I've gone without regular exercise in at least seven or eight years.

At first, it really really sucked. I felt constantly fat and antsy and miserable. Without the chance to blow off some steam every morning, I was literally crawling out of my skin. Plus, my foot took FOREVER to heal. Like, I was still limping in January, more than a full two months after I originally got hurt. Since then, it's finally gotten a lot better and now I'm almost ready (knock on wood) to pronounce it cured. Other than the occasionally twinge, it feels fine.

Throughout this whole saga, I've been absolutely terrified about gaining weight. It didn't (still sort of doesn't) seem possible to reduce the calories-out half of the equation and not gain weight. Despite all that, I pretty much kept my intake the same, even increased a tiny bit, and my weight held steady for a few months. Sometime during the winter, though, it started creeping up. Maybe there's a bit of a delay? Maybe my metabolism's just funky? Anyway, it didn't increase a ton (i.e. less than five pounds) but it still freaked me out. In January, I got my period for the first time in nine months, and I'm really curious as to whether or not cutting the exercise had anything to do with that.

Then I got sick over my spring break, lost some weight, and that's basically where I am now.

There were several weeks in there somewhere when I was okay with not exercising. It almost felt nice to take a break and not have that constant internal pressure to get my butt to the gym. But lately, I've been really missing it. Actually, I miss running outside most of all. The weather has been absolutely beautiful and all I see are other runners everywhere I go. It isn't painful to watch anymore like it used to be, but seeing runners definitely reminds me that I used to do that, and I used to love it.

At this point, I'm thinking about exercising again in a vague, noncommittal way. Like, I haven't set a date for when I plan to start back up again or anything like that, but it's in back of my mind, nagging at me, getting louder and louder all the time. And it doesn't necessarily feel like an ED urge, I promise, although I definitely need to be careful of that. It feels more like me wanting to do something that I've always done, even during my healthiest times, and that I want to do again because it makes me feel good.

My therapist and dietician have not given me the green light to resume exercise, although I also haven't really pushed the issue with them since my foot has kept me from working out for so long anyway. But I did work out all last fall, which they knew about and didn't forbid me from doing. At my appointment yesterday, R did mention that I really shouldn't be running until I put some weight back on, but he mused about whether or not the exercise would help increase my appetite and make the meal plan look a bit more palatable. (Obviously I would need to replace any additional calories burned off.)

I guess my biggest concerns now are that A) I'm worried about getting hurt again, and B) I'm worried about getting obsessed again. I don't know how to exercise without finding myself stuck in the pattern of needing to do more each day than I did the day before. All last summer and fall, I was incredibly obsessive and ritualistic about my workouts, to the point where my day would be absolutely ruined if I didn't get a good workout in. I would arrange my days around my workouts, and I would hate myself for missing one. To be clear: I don't want to go back to that. But being in shape also makes me feel strong and powerful, and I miss that so much.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Status Update

The facts:
1) I have lost weight.
2) I am currently at my lowest weight in a year.
3) I am not eating enough to maintain - much less gain - although my weight has been holding pretty steady the last couple weeks (i.e. my metabolism sucks at the moment).

Why this is bad:
1) I had begun to make progress in recovery over the last few months, and now I'm going backwards.
2) Restricting makes my eye problems a lot worse. Finals are coming up and this would be a really inconvenient time to go blind.
3) There are lots of other obvious health reasons that I don't feel like outlining now (including but not limited to: heart/bone/fertility-related stuff).
4) My internship starts in about six weeks, and I cannot let myself get too sick to work.
5) I want to be a grown-up, not a patient.

The plan:
1) Eat more. I'm not trying to be flippant here - this really is the first step. Doesn't matter if I get in the two Boosts a day or finish the whole meal plan, but I need to start taking in more than I currently am.
2) Do not start exercising yet. I should probably do another post on this soon, but I haven't formally worked out in almost five months. Recently, I've been thinking about starting it up again, but I'm not entirely convinced that my motivations aren't ED-fueled at the moment. It probably wouldn't hurt to take my time with that.
3) Get rid of my black skinny jeans that I've recently been able to wriggle back into. They should not fit me, I know this, and wearing them now will only make it harder once they get too tight to button again. I need to suck it up and ignore the fact that I get some sick pleasure out of being able to wear them. What is wrong with me? Seriously, K, just throw out the damn jeans.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Uneventful Evening

Well, I made it through my harrowing ordeal last night. Just kidding, it actually went fine and I had a decent time. It was a big event with lots of people and food/drinks, so there was definitely an underlying anxiety factor throughout - but I got through, ate a reasonable amount, realized that no one really pays all that much attention to what I am/am not eating, and survived to blog about it. Story over.

The hardest part was getting ready beforehand, actually. I was feeling super nervous about the night ahead and super uneasy about the food in my stomach from earlier (literally same thing I eat every day. No idea why it made me feel 10 pounds heavier than usual yesterday). I was also a little fuzzy on the dress code for the event, meaning I had to walk a fine line between underdressed and overdressed while ALSO taking into account the fact that I felt like a whale. But I made it out the door with all body parts appropriately covered in nice-ish pants, a nice-ish top, a cardigan, and flats. Soo...mission accomplished?

Anyway, I wish there were a more exciting story to tell, but that was pretty much it. I don't know why it's so hard for me to believe that the fate of the world doesn't hinge on how much I eat in any given night, but really, it's hard. Just another product of a disorderly and profoundly self-absorbed brain. It can't be very interesting for you guys to read about my periodic freak-outs over this kind of stuff just to come to the same anti-climactic conclusion every time - sorry about that!

I also promise to try and stop complaining about how much I hate therapy. My life isn't always so boring, I swear. I'll think of better stuff to write about soon.

Happy Easter and belated Passover, everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Challenging Night Ahead

In about an hour, I will be heading out for a potentially VERY scary night - lots of food, drinks, new people, eek. I am proud to report that I have not restricted today in preparation...although to be honest, I'm having major feelings of guilt and regret about that, and I'm starting to panic about just how much food there's going to be at this thing. Up until about thirty minutes ago, I was more excited than nervous about it, but I've since started to get pretty anxious.

Some important things to remember:
A) I have eaten a completely normal amount of food thus far today, so there is no reason that my stomach should be sticking out any more than it does any other day when I eat the exact same amount. Hence, my mind must be playing tricks on me and I have not actually gained five pounds since lunch.
B) Regardless of how much food there is tonight, I am in control of how much I eat. Although there might be some peer pressure to eat more than I am comfortable with, no one is going to force food down my throat. And if someone tries, I will call the cops because in all seriousness, that sounds like assault.
C) Even if I do end up eating more than what feels safe, one big meal is not going to make me gain weight.
D) Even if I do end up gorging on an unimaginable amount of calories and do gain weight, I am underweight and need to gain anyway.
E) But really, I won't gain weight.
F) Maybe just some water weight on the scale tomorrow, but that will go away.
G) Really.
H) I'm not fat.
I) It's gonna be okay.

Okay. I think I'm ready. Full report to come tomorrow.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Another Therapy Rant

I'm really sorry to go here again, but my appointment with R today was so lame and uninspiring. Of all things, we talked about - wait for it - basketball. No, I'm not a basketball fan. No, my college doesn't have a good team. No, I don't know what "full-court press" means (even though R tried to explain it in quite some detail). To be fair, R did ask me at the beginning what I wanted to talk about. Only half-joking, I said: "Not Boost." It's true, I'm really sick of R harping on the Boost issue. My weekly success or failure seems to, at least in R's eyes, hinge on whether or not I drank the prescribed number of supplements, regardless of whatever else I ate that week. I've got issues with that approach, but that's a whole other post.

Anyway, after that it felt like R was doing everything possible to avoid talking about food or weight at all. So we talked basketball, authors, poverty, school, and some other equally random stuff. It's not that I don't find any of that interesting, it's just that my parents are paying for a therapist, not for a conversationalist. A couple of times I even tried steering the conversation back towards more relevant topics, but it never really stuck. As a result, I was withdrawn and unengaged and pretty unsure of what I was doing there.

Really, what am I doing so wrong? I don't know what I'm supposed to be getting out of therapy, but I know this: whatever it is, I'm not getting it. Honestly, the only part of the whole ordeal that ever makes any impression on me is the weigh-in. I get super nervous and stressed out about stepping on the scale; I freak out internally for a good 24 hours in advance, and then it's over in three seconds. And then I sit down in R's chair and my mind promptly goes blank.

Actually, that's not true. I'm not always totally unemotional. In fact, sometimes I find myself almost in tears, but it's never because we're making profound emotional breakthroughs or anything - it's usually just because I can't express myself accurately and get frustrated when R misinterprets what I mean. Then I get mad at myself for even trying and clam up.

I really want to make this work. Not only is he covered by my insurance, but R is at the top of his field and I really do like him as a person. I'm trying so hard to be more open and bring up stuff that's bothering me, but to be perfectly honest, I still suck at it. 

In other news:
- Another girl from my school has started coming to Treatment Center on Friday mornings. She isn't just a random girl, either. She used to be president of a club I'm in, and we also live in the same neighborhood so I see her walking to/from campus fairly regularly. I actually never suspected that she had an eating disorder, although she is very thin. She sees a different therapist (not R), so at least I don't have to worry about an extra layer of non-anonymity, but still. We haven't actually acknowledged each other yet, since it's just been a couple weeks and our time in the waiting room has only overlapped by a few minutes, but Oh. My. God. So awkward.
- While heading out to my car after my appointment today, I saw two different patients arriving for the day program, and both had feeding tubes. The weird/scary part: one was a teenage girl, and the other was a middle-aged woman.I guess I should be grateful that I at least still have the option to drink my Boost instead of having it pumped into my stomach.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

A Happy Hodgepodge

Things are still going well. It is sort of bewildering to me that I can have such a string of consecutive great days, although I am certainly not complaining in any way, shape, or form. Every morning, I wake up and roll out of bed, drink my delicious coffee, eat some breakfast, and somewhere along the way it hits me that I'm not miserable or panicky or dreading the day ahead and I wonder: is this...could this be...happiness?

Not that I don't have my moments of stress and exhaustion. There are still a few nagging health issues, but they aren't completely destroying me like they were a month or so ago. Minor snags and inconveniences during the day don't send me into a tailspin anymore. I feel so much more in control of my mind and my emotions that suddenly, life is manageable. I don't know how else to describe it. Maybe it's more that I'm just on an even keel than actually happy; regardless, this is SUCH an improvement over the past few months that I'll take it, no questions asked! Don't jinx it don't jinx it don't jinx it.

There's some stuff coming up that I am really excited about - academically, professionally, and socially. Yesterday, I had a meeting with a professor that elevated my self-esteem in such profound, non-body-image-related ways that I think it may have assisted my recovery more in twenty minutes than a year of therapy has. (Note: I wholeheartedly refute the idea that anorexia is caused by bad self-esteem, but it sure doesn't help!)

Food is okay - not optimal, not horrible. I'm trying to do better. On Friday, R brought up the possibility of drinking Boost there in his office rather than trying to do it on my own. My first reaction was absolutely positively NO. The thought of choking down a supplement in front of him is mortifying. But then I started wondering if maybe it would be better to take away the choice, protect myself from having to agonize over it, and just get the damn Boost down. At this point, I don't trust myself to do it at home. Then again, do I really want to make therapy any more uncomfortable for myself than it already is? Ack. Has anyone ever had to eat/drink something in therapy, and was it helpful?

And a final random tidbit: I may end up starting birth control after all (for non-birth control, non-bone-density-related reasons). Any advice? This probably goes without saying, but duh: I'm afraid of weight gain. Feel free to e-mail if you prefer: Thanks!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Messing Up

I'm starting to freak out a little bit about going to see my dietician tomorrow. I didn't do so good with the meal plan this week, and I'm dreading trying to explain to her why I messed up again. Every logical course of reasoning points to: A) follow the meal plan, B) drink the damn Boost, and C) get the hell over the fact that your butt will get bigger. It all makes perfect sense. But then why is this so damn hard to actually do?