Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to pop in and wish everyone a quick happy New Year's! It hasn't really hit me yet, but the years seem to go by faster and faster every time. I'm heading out to a friend's house in a few, but wanted to end the year on a more positive note than my last post ;) And for what it's worth, I really value everyone's thoughts on that—I wrote from the heart (well, more like from the gut) and admitted to feeling some things that I'm not necessarily proud of, but needed to get them out anyway. The only good part about having had a shitty 2012 is that 2013 is bound to be AWESOME in comparison.


Hope everyone has a rockin' night and great year ahead. Peace and much love to you all.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anorexia as the Enemy

For a really long time, I never wanted to get better. Sure, it was no fun obsessing about calories and freaking out over restaurants and working out ritualistically. Being hungry sucks. Being tired and weak sucks. Lying to your parents sucks. Shutting out friends sucks. BUT you deal with it. Why? Because being skinny is more important. So for a really long time, I saw my eating disorder as the solution—the one thing that proved I was worthy and capable. I took sick pride in being the skinniest of my friends. I brushed off my parents' worrying and the EKG results because I had the solution. 

And then my body started to fall apart. Last winter, I started getting sharp stabbing pains in my pelvis, hips, and back. I couldn't sit. I couldn't walk. I couldn't sleep, but I also couldn't stand to be awake because of how uncomfortable I was. I saw at least twenty different doctors—orthopedists, endocrinologists, gynecologists,  gastroenterologists, pain specialists—and they all told me something different. No one had any idea what was causing my pain and what I could do to alleviate it. On top of it, my eyes started deteriorating as well. I'd had dry-ish eyes for the year or so prior, but they got infinitely worse about a year ago to the point where I was barely functioning. I couldn't look at a computer screen for longer than about twenty minutes at a time. I had to stop driving for a while. I saw five different ophthalmologists and nothing worked. I couldn't imagine the rest of my life that way. I cried all the time.

Meanwhile, my weight hovered in the underweight-but-not-scary-underweight realm for about two years. I restricted my intake to a low-but-not-scary-low amount. I was not having periods. Only until this past spring when I got food poisoning and inadvertently lost a few pounds did I go back to hardcore restricting because I figured, what the fuck does it matter? I'm going to be miserable anyway, so I might as well be skinny too.

It was hard to see myself as sick for most of the past two years, because my weight and intake were both well above my rock bottom point in late 2010. But I started having all these crazy symptoms—the nerve pain, the dry eyes, and some GI issues. I had a gut feeling that it was all related, but I guess I was just in denial and thought, like I always had, that being skinny was the answer. It was only until I saw Dr. A last week, and heard him say that of course the anorexia, the longterm amenorrhea, and the associated ongoing stress on my body caused the problems, that it really started to sink in. It wasn't a freak thing or a random gene mutation that caused my pain; it was months and years of accumulated damage.

I have much more hope now than I have in a long time, but I'm also sad. I did this to myself. I essentially wasted a year of my life being hurt and sick and so depressed I wanted to die. Dr. A assures me that the damage is reversible, and that the pain will eventually subside, which makes me happier than anything has in a long, long time. But I am also scared, because I don't know how to shed this part of myself, the anorexia, that has been my solution for so long. Forgive me if this seems dense, but it has taken this long for me to realize: anorexia makes me sick. It hurts me. I've never seen it as the enemy before, but now I do. I cannot have anorexia and be okay. My body can't take it.

Ultimately, I think recovery is going to stick for me this time. I simply can't go through this again. And I don't mean the hunger and the weakness and the ED obsessions—I can handle all that. But I can't go through the pain again. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about whether or not it was a blessing in disguise to have this happen to me, since I seem to have found the ultimate motivation for maintaining my weight. And you know what? It wasn't. I am not grateful for anything that happened. This experience didn't make me a better or stronger person or anything like that; it made me a worse person for a long time. It made me angry and bitter. I was a terrible daughter and a terrible friend. And I've only been hurt for a year. I don't know how people with true chronic pain—like with fibromyalgia or vulvodynia or sciatica—ever learn to cope. When I found myself facing a future of incurable pain, life wasn't worth living.

I've tried so goddamn hard to stay positive throughout all this and be my usual happy silly self, but there's only so much you can fake. Pain changes you; it makes you cranky and ugly and mean. I'm angry that millions of girls have anorexia without suffering through the horrible physical consequences that I have. That millions of girls can get through anorexia with nothing more than a low heart rate and some body image woes. And I'm angry that an otherwise healthy person might wake up one morning with head-to-toe pain and have his/her life changed forever. I know that it's incredibly unfair of me to be so resentful over something that none of us can control know. It's my blog, right? And life isn't fair. And I am so angry. 

I wouldn't wish the past year of my life on my worst enemy. But if nothing else, at least now I have full confidence that I will never relapse with my anorexia again, because I can finally see that it will only continue to hurt me.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Holiday Reflections and Exercise Thoughts

I must say, Christmas went much better this time around compared to last year. It seems crazy to me that a whole year has passed since I wrote that because in a lot of ways, I feel like I haven't really moved forward all that much. This past year has been the absolute hardest, worst year of my life, and often it felt like the days were dragging. But now looking back, it feels like time has flown.

On Christmas morning, we woke up, opened presents, made breakfast, went on a family walk (minus my brother....Big B is NOT into nature), then came home and chilled out for a while before my mom and I made dinner—steaks, shiitake mushrooms, brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes, beer bread, and chocolate whiskey cake. I ate really well and enjoyed the meal very much, except that I skipped the potatoes, cake, and wine. Sue me; I'm anorexic.

Overall, my mood is worlds better than it has been for much of the past several months. I haven't cried ONCE since being home, which is actually a huge deal, sadly enough. I'm going a little stir-crazy sitting around all the time, but I'm still not able to exercise and I have tons of thesis work to do over the break so I've been parked in front of my computer all week.

I just really miss working out. You would think I'd be used to the sedentary life by now, but it seems to get harder and harder all the time. It's not even an obsessive ED thing anymore; I just miss the feeling. And I do think I'd like my body better if I were active and in shape. Both my parents are super consistent exercisers, and it's driving me nuts to watch them head out to the gym while I'm stuck at home. In time, Kaylee. In time. I've been trying to go for walks and do push-ups and abs stuff at home, but it's just not the same. Any suggestions? New Dr. A was pretty adamant about the fact that I should probably avoid strenuous exercise FOREVER, but I'm not sure I'll be able to stick to that. I'm assuming that if I eat enough to compensate and am still getting periods, it's probably okay...right? I'd be super careful to no overdo it, but I can't imagine giving up running for life. He recommended yoga, which I've never had patience for in the past, but maybe I'll give it another shot. Can't hurt.

My mother, who teaches fifth grade by day and moonlights as a rapper by night, is currently bouncing around the house singing "Shake it to the ground and bring it back up, twirl it all around, YEAH YOU KNOW WHAT'S UP." I think that's my cue to intervene. This is mortifying for all involved.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Antics

Hope everyone is having a lovely week. I've just been hanging out at home today, having a nice Christmas Eve with my mom and dad, baking bread and cake for tomorrow, and generally feeling pretty okay about life. I haven't started any of my new meds yet (they're getting shipped in sometime this week) but it's such a huge relief to have a plan in place and know that I won't be sick and messed up forever, and that the end of all this crap is in sight.

I know that I talk about this stuff a lot, but it's hard not to think about it. Sorry to be boring. The pain is on my mind twenty-four hours a day, like this horrible nagging burden of a reminder of what I've done to myself. As if feeling like a pudgeball isn't reminder enough.

Speaking of, I'm still not super happy about my weight, but I'm feeling more motivated to maintain it than I have in a long, long time. The last time I weighed this much was back in the summer of 2011, and even then I was sloowly cutting back on food, creeping up on exercise, and fully planning to restrict once I got away from my parents and back to college. Now, I realize that my body absolutely must be at a healthy weight to function, and I don't want to risk losing my period and messing up my body all over again. The stakes are too high, and the risks just aren't worth it.

Anyway, onto some lighter updates: I saw my best friend from high school the other day. In fact, we spent about three hours chit-chatting away in a coffee shop about school and future plans and boys and stuff. We are both kind of in disbelief that we'll be graduating from college in less than six months. I don't think my parents quite believe it either, since they keep putting off making their reservations for graduation weekend... Thanks for the show of good faith, Mom and Dad!

I am also rediscovering some delicious foods that, for some reason, I only eat at home. Omelets, clementines, steak, green beans, crackers, cashews, etc. I'm lazy about cooking at school, and get stuck in a perpetual food rut where I always eat the same stuff over and over again. No time or energy for being adventurous during the school year, I guess.

Oh! And my eyes still feel GREAT. My mom keeps calling it my "Christmas miracle." No one out there ever take your eyeballs for granted, okay?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I promise, this is the last doctor appointment recap I'll be doing in a while (because I have no more appointments until I go back to College City and see R in mid-January), but I had to post something. I am so overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that I almost don't know what to do with myself right now. Yesterday, I saw a new chronic pain doctor in Big Home City and, you guys, he told me I'm going to be just fine. Whereas everyone else—including the "specialists" in College City—told me that my pain was incurable and there were no options besides staying on the evil drugs for life, new Dr. A had answers. And guess what? I'm not crazy. The pain was completely hormone-related, and the solution involves a hormone replacement-type compound (sort of like the opposite of birth control). And I am under strict orders to never ever ever overexercise or restrict to the point of losing my period ever again.

I'm kind of pissed off that every other doctor ignored my gut feelings and assumed that I didn't know my own body. But honestly, I'm not wasting any time on being angry or bitter anymore, because maybe now I can actually get my life back. Well, backtracking—this isn't going to be an instant cure, and the doctor told me it could take at least 2-3 months before I notice any difference in my pain levels. But when I asked him if I were really going to get better, given what all the other doctors said, he responded without a second's hesitation, "You're going to be totally fine."

Basically, Dr. A has made his life's work researching the kind of pain (hip, pelvic, lower back) that I have, and knows vastly more about it than 90% of the other doctors out there. I'm not going to start singing his praises from the rooftops just yet (at least not until my pain is actually better), but he seemed to know immediately what was wrong with me and how to treat it. Besides the hormones, I'm supposed to keep up with PT and use Valium (Kaylee's Little Helper!) as a muscle relaxant at night.

The other point Dr. A made was this: the problem was unquestionably caused by my anorexia. The several years I went being underweight and without getting periods threw my whole system out of whack so that my muscles atrophied, my nerves were damaged, and my poor body didn't really stand a chance. The absolute worst thing I could do right now, or ever, would be to start losing weight and digging myself back into that hole. The doctor was super encouraging and congratulatory about how far I've come in recovery, but really stressed the fact that I will always be vulnerable, and that I cannot ever let myself get sick again.

So, you guys, if there is anyone out there still struggling—whether it be with an eating disorder or pain or some other medical problem or whatever—and you haven't been able to find relief and the doctors aren't helping you, I'm here to say: hang in there. There is hope. I've seen over twenty doctors in the last year, and only TWO of them have done any good whatsoever. All doctors are NOT created equal, and it may take some digging to find a really good one. Only in the last month have I found any relief for my eyes, and only since yesterday for the pain, and I have come so close to giving up so many times. I can't tell you how many days I came home and crawled into bed and cried because I thought there was no end in sight. So, if you're hurting and you haven't found a solution, keep looking. Don't give up.

Anyway, sorry to bombard you with news of all my appointments, but I just had to share this—especially since I've subjected the blog world to my constant griping and whining about this for so long. Love you all very much.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Epic Week of Seven Doctors' Appointments

So, some updates as promised:

- Wednesday: The ED doc was first—she asked me some really hard stuff that I wasn't really ready to talk about, and thus I started crying and couldn't really focus on what she was saying after that. Pretty much her only suggestion as far as the pain was to up the dose of my gabapentin, which I probably won't do because I'm a FREAK and can't stop worrying about my weight. Next was Dr. L, my psychiatrist, who normally never fails to make me feel better and understood and taken care of. She was as sweet and compassionate as always this time, but ultimately didn't really have any suggestions either. ARGH. I feel so lost.

- Thursday was the eye doctor. I LOVE HIM. My eyes feel absolutely fantastic. More importantly, I am finally rid of my evil glasses and am wearing contacts again for the first time in about six months. I was forcing them in for about a year before that, but they were always super uncomfortable. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to remember that this is real and my eyes actually don't hurt.

- Friday adventure. I saw my pain doc (the nice one that I first saw back in October) at 8 a.m.—his research assistant told me that she was "hopeful for a couple of reasons" about me, and gave me another prescription to try. Then I had PT at 9, which was okay except that I'd walked from the hospital to the PT clinic and went into the session already hurting quite a bit, but PT Lady was super nice and understanding and made me feel better.

- And then therapy. My roommate came with me, which I finally agreed to after waffling on it for several weeks. She had first offered to come about a month ago when I was REALLY struggling and scaring her with how miserable I was. R seemed happy to have her there and it was a very interesting session—definitely uncomfortable and not fun at times, but ultimately productive, I think. R and I will have lots to talk about at my next solo appointment in January but for now, I'm happy to be on therapy-vacation.

- Oh yeah, and then late Friday afternoon I had to run back to the eye doctor for a quick emergency checkup because my right eye was hurting and freaking me out, but apparently I am a paranoid loser because my eye was just fine. At least Dr. Q was nice about it and didn't make fun of me.

Does anyone else sometimes forget that I'm a full-time student too? I certainly do. So looking forward to the day when I can have hobbies instead of doctors' appointments.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Pseudo End-of-Semester

I am writing this from my parents' house after getting home from College City on Saturday night. I've been meaning to post a real update on all those appointments that had me so freaked out (and they did not disappoint!) but I'm too lazy at the moment; maybe later. Suffice it to say that I had seven appointments in three days last week, so I am completely worn out from seeing doctors and am very happy to be home and have a break from it all until January 3.

Even though I'm home, I actually still have a term paper due tomorrow so my vacation hasn't technically started yet. And then once I finish that paper, I have tons of thesis stuff to work on that should keep me busy throughout the whole break. That being said, I am having a reeeally hard time motivating myself to do schoolwork when it feels like Christmas-mode around here. We put up our (fake) tree last night, and my dad and I went shopping for presents this morning.

I am still kind of shaken up about the shooting. I have some connections to Newtown from when I was a kid, and it's eerie to think that something so horrible could happen there. Those poor, poor kids. My mom is a teacher and I was terrified about letting her go stand in front of a classroom this morning.

Food stuff: I'm trying hard to stick to my usual intake, even though routine changes are always golden opportunities for restriction. I tried on an old pair of jeans that have been too baggy on me since high school, and they fit almost perfectly. That made me want to rip my hair out at first, but then I realized that maybe they didn't look half-bad. Maybe.

Hope everyone's having a great December so far. I'll post more doctor/therapy details soon.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Don't Understand

My heart is completely broken for those beautiful little kids in Newtown. And I am angry. Something needs to change. I don't know what the solution is, but there simply cannot be guns on the streets, and there cannot be such emotionally disturbed people going without care.

Whatever your politics, I encourage everyone to watch Obama speak about this tragedy:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Appointment Nerves

Ugh, I am so anxious right now—I have appointments with both my ED doctor and my psychiatrist this evening. Even though I definitely need to see both of them, I'm just so not up for talking about all my shit right now. Plus, I don't know what to eat or drink today, because I don't know whether or not the doctor is going to weigh me. Obviously I should eat and drink my normal meal plan, know.

I feel fat. It's silly to feel self- conscious about my weight in front of my ED treatment team, but that's just how it goes.

It shouldn't be this nerve-wracking to see the doctor. I see doctors all the damn time. I just wish they could fix me instead of passing me off. On the plus side, both Dr. C and Dr. L are wonderful and nice and won't make me feel bad like some other doctors who shall remain nameless  (ahem gynecologist, first three ophthalmologists, and pain specialist). Still for some reason I'm super duper stressed out about seeing them.

ARGH damn this eating disorder. Off to eat breakfast now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Vacation Reservations

I've had to make quite the to-do list for the week ahead, between studying for finals, writing my papers, working on thesis stuff, dealing with application stuff, and juggling all of my doctors' appointments. I have six (yes, SIX) appointments Wednesday to Friday—ED doc and psychiatrist on Wednesday; ophthalmologist on Thursday; and pain doc, PT, and therapy on Friday. Whew! I didn't exactly plan things that way, it just sort of worked out. It's reading week so I don't have class, plus I'm leaving for winter break on Saturday, so I guess it makes sense to squeeze them all in.

I am a little nervous about heading home. It's partly because last year, I sank into a pretty horrible depression over winter break. My anxiety was also completely out of control and I was basically incapable of functioning like a normal person. I keep trying to tell myself that I'm in a different place now compared to back then. Last December, my pain issues had just started to kick in, and I was terrified about what was happening to my body. I saw two doctors here in College City before going home, and then two more doctors in Home City, and none of them could figure out what the hell was wrong with me. I wasn't eating well, barely sleeping, crying all the time, and having near-panic attacks on a daily basis. Now, I'm not feeling a whole lot better physically, but not knowing what was causing my ever-intensifying pain was the scariest, most horrible experience I've ever been through, and I am so thankful to be past that. I am also having regular periods now, which wasn't happening a year ago, and my eyes seem to be maybepossiblyhopefully on the road to recovery (knockonwoodknockonwoodknockonwood). Plus I am on an anti-anxiety medication that has been incredibly helpful. My anxiety, which was very quickly destroying my ability to function last year, is literally not an issue at all anymore. So maybe I really am in a better place, even though it doesn't always feel like that.

My body image is, yet again, in the damn gutter. Really wish this weren't so important to me, and that I could have some other, more productive, less shallow obsession. I've always had a hard time accepting my body (goes back to those dreadful, traumatic, pubertal preteen years) so it's unclear how much of this obsession is a symptom of the eating disorder, and how much is just my own lifelong insecurity. Not sure if it really matters at this point, since either way, I feel terrible about my body. I brought this up with R last week, and he said something like, "But XXX [my weight] is perfectly healthy for your height." NOT HELPFUL. My body feels like a fat suit that I can't wait to take off.

That being said, my mood has been up a little bit the past week or so, which is nice. I find it hard to believe that I might have some control over my mood and outlook, but sometimes I do really just need to suck it up and remind myself of the good stuff, and take some initiative about having a positive attitude.

Happy end-of-the semester to all the students reading, and happy December to everyone else!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Medical Musings

I am heading home for winter break exactly one week from today. This semester has gone by insanely fast. I say that about every semester, but this time I swear it's true. I have a bunch of essays and two take-home exams due over the next week, and then I'm DONE. Except for the truckloads of thesis and grad school stuff that needs to get done over break, but at least I won't be graded on that.

Therapy went a little better than usual yesterday, probably because I was in a little bit better of a mood and wasn't opposed to, like, using my words and talking like a grown-up person. Plus, I had some good news about my eyes for once, so we started off on a more positive note. R said that he had brought me up (anonymously) with a couple other therapists to get their opinions and perspectives on the world's most difficult patient, so maybe that helped too. I'm not sure. But for whatever reason, I didn't spend the hour pouting and sniffling away. Progress!

He also mentioned that he had spoken to the MD in his clinic, who wants to get copies of all my records and hopefully help me figure out a more comprehensive plan of action. I see tons of specialists (ophthalmologists, gastroenterologists, gynecologists, pain docs, surgeons, etc.) but no one really seems interested in the full picture. I've always felt in my gut that all my health issues have something to do with my anorexia, being amenorrheic for years, and some fucked-up hormone action—the nature of which I am fully ignorant and unqualified to determine. Being the control freak that I am, of course I've done tons of research, and have thus discovered that** (a) tear production is significantly correlated with hormones; dry eyes are super common in postmenopausal women and women on birth control. The first thing every eye doctor asks me is, "Do you get regular periods?" and then "Are you on birth control?" (b) The type of nerve pain that I have is related to connective tissue damage, which is—you guessed it—affected by hormone production.

So basically, the moral of the story is, something funky is going on with my body and I.want.answers.dammit. So I'm having all my records sent over to Dr. C and hopefully we can get a plan in place to start dealing with the root cause of everything. Not going to get my hopes up—I'm already seeing lots of very good, qualified, smart doctors and it would be silly and arrogant to assume that they've all missed something huge and major. But I still think it'll help to get a broader perspective on things, especially from someone who is fully aware of my history and current level of misery.

** Bear in mind that these are super simplified explanations because I am NOT a scientist and do not have the education or language to discuss these in detail. Most of my info comes from reading studies online and pestering my doctors. Anyone feel free to elaborate on or shoot down any of these theories.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Study Avoidance

I have an exam tomorrow morning that I desperately do not want to study for. Hi Blogger!

- My weight is scaring the poop out of me. I can't handle it going up anymore. I've been on New Drug (gabapentin) for about two weeks now - a fairly low dose, but I am absolutely paranoid about continuing to balloon up. I think my weight is hovering around the same number since then, but whenever I'm gaining, the scale tends to make random jumps every few weeks and I am terrified that I'm due for another one. Unfortunately, I haven't really noticed any difference in my pain levels since switching either—really hoping this isn't another case of the Chub Drug with all the side effects and none of the benefits.

- I hesitate to say this because I'm superstitious and don't want to jinx it, but I'm on Day 5 of having these new contact lenses in and my eyes still feel wonderful. It's the most bizarre thing ever. Ophthalmologists have been telling me all year to not wear contacts because I'd do more damage by having a foreign body in an already-compromised eyeball, but for some reason this works. My roommate is getting a kick out my amazement—I send her about ten texts a day marveling at how un-terrible my eyes feel. Usually they hurt so much I can barely keep them open, but not anymore! I've challenged her to about twenty staring contests and she keeps declining.

- My thesis advisor really is a saint. He's writing me a letter of recommendation for an application that I somehow thought was due in March, but discovered is actually due January 3. I ran to his office yesterday in a panic and was all like "OMG Dr. K I'm so sorry but I'm a spaz and can't read instructions and the application's actually due in a month OMGOMGOMG." Long story short, he will have the letter in by the deadline. Additionally, he surely thinks I'm a lunatic.

- Then, I realized that I just literally had not done the homework for my research seminar. It just didn't even occur to me. We have these little papers due every week, and we are supposed to submit them online by Sunday at 5 p.m. So at 3 p.m. on Tuesday (the class starts at 4), I pounded out the two short essays in about twenty minutes and fired off a hysterical e-mail to the professor that went something like "OMG I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO DO THE HOMEWORK ON TIME, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY TALK TO MY THERAPIST." My professor wrote back that night, "Don't worry, Kaylee, and thanks for letting me know. You finished the semester with attentiveness, poise, and grace." LOL

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Power of Planning

Despite all the crap that's been weighing me down for the past year+, I am finally taking serious, concrete steps towards planning for my future. Many many times over the past several months, I've refused to even think about this stuff because I couldn't imagine getting through the next hour or day or week, much less two years or ten years in the future. It was just depressing to think about all the stuff I could be doing, and how my health was ruining any hope of that, and how maybe it just wasn't even worth trying anymore.

So this morning, for the first time in a long time, I'm feeling a smidge hopeful - excited, even. As I'm pounding away at grad school application essays and tweaking my resume and nailing down letters of recommendation, I'm seeing fleeting glimpses of my old ambitious, hardworking, persistent self. I've missed her a lot, and I really hope she sticks around.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Ophthalmology Magic and a Crisis of Compassion

Wow, December already? Sheesh, not sure where this year has gone. I spent yesterday driving in circles - appointment with R in the morning, and then an emergency appointment with my ophthalmologist in the afternoon. I don't want to jinx it, but New Eye Doctor may or may not be a miracle worker. At first, he was booked all day and I had to schedule with a different one, but then my regular doctor said that if I could wait until he got out of surgery, he would see me. So I had to wait over 90 minutes, but whatever - small price to pay. He worked some voodoo eyeball magic* and today, my eyes feel better than they have in MONTHS. Let's just hope that lasts beyond today!

School is starting to kick my butt a teensy bit. I always forget how much the last two weeks of the semester suck. I will be so happy when this stupid stats class is done - how do professors get away with assigning both a final exam and a final term paper? Since when is that a thing? Dude, pick one. Think of your poor TA who has to do all that grading, not to mention me.

I was a little ashamed of myself in therapy yesterday. Basically, I just put zero effort into engaging whatsoever and shrugged everything off and was generally a big fat baby. I was having trouble articulating stuff, since I feel like Dr. R has already heard it all before. Why harp on the obvious, right? Then I noticed the writing on his little whiteboard from the previous patient. It looked like they'd been mapping thoughts, and it went something like this:

car battery dead ---> starting to go to "dark place" ---> think about cutting ---> want to eat ---> but if eat, will have to purge

I suppose I should have been sympathetic. Whoever this patient was, it sounds like he/she was miserable. But all I could think was, really? Your car battery was dead? And that puts you in a "dark place?" REALLY??!!

I don't know when I turned into such a brat, but I couldn't (still can't, really) muster an ounce of sympathy for this mystery patient. Wish I were a kinder, more compassionate person, but I just can't. I'd give an arm and a leg to have a fucking car battery be my biggest concern.

Ugh, I really want to delete that last section. I feel like a horrible person. Don't hate me, guys, okay? I'm trying really hard to be better, to not turn into a completely ugly, terrible, bitter person.

In an attempt to get that ugliness out of my head, things that are going well:
- the aforementioned eye breakthrough
- thesis stuff - plugging along, making progress
- When my parents were here last weekend, I brought them to the food pantry where I started volunteering over the summer. School has kind of gotten in the way and I hadn't gone in several weeks, but then I was reminded of how amazing and fulfilling it is to do something for others, for a change.

* Not actually magic - he thinks that my problems may be nerve-related, so he had me put in "band-aid contacts" - basically just slightly bigger lenses that are supposed to protect the surface of the eye until the nerves have a chance to heal. The only thing that scares me is that these contacts are continuous wear - meaning, I leave them in for 1-2 weeks straight, even at night. This goes against EVERY instinct I have about wearing contact lenses - has anyone ever tried this?? I slept in them last night and felt totally fine - a little dry, but overall my eyes feel 1000 times better than they have in a long time.