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!


  1. Automatic, incessant, Calorie counting and re-counting was a huge problem for me too. It is possible to actually stop calorie counting though! It takes commitment and patience, but it is possible, and I'm glad you're going to work with R on it.

    1. oh! And it also takes a capacity to handle panic-like feelings when you "don't know the number." If you want it, you can cease to calorie count bit-by-bit. If you want, I can go into more about how this can actually be done.

    2. Hey Laura! I'd love to hear your suggestions. I'm so ready to give up the calorie counting - sometimes it feels like that's the biggest thing keeping me stuck. Was this something you worked out in treatment? (you can always send me an e-mail if you prefer:, either way's totally fine) Thanks!

    3. Cool! I'm going to go do some work, and I'll get back to you later today or Wednesday! :)

  2. I totally agree that fancier isn't always better when it comes to finding a school that's a good fit for you, and it sounds like you made a great decision. I know you put a ton of work into getting yourself back in a position to return to school, and you have a ton to be proud of.

    Really glad to hear that your session with R was productive. It takes courage to speak up about what's not working for you in therapy, and it sounds like you two have set some great goals. It's nice that you'll be there over the summer so you don't have to overhaul your treatment options for a few months in a different city.

    Moving is SO time and stress intensive! Best of luck with the apartment swap, hope it's going okay for you!

  3. Good luck with all of the things on your to-do list! It might seem overwhelming, but you can do it!

    It sounds like the session with R went well, and I'm sure it's nice to not have that unsettled feeling about it all anymore. Congrats for speaking up for yourself! It sounds like that really helped you guys to set some good goals. Hopefully this will help you both physically and mentally by increasing variety in foods and decreasing calorie-counting.

    Good luck with the move!