Another big week in terms of Life Milestones: I signed a lease yesterday for my very first solo apartment. I've lived with friends in student housing throughout all of college (well, except for the semester I got yoinked out of school for treatment and was stuck at my parents' house but Idon'twannatalkaboutit), so this will be the first time I've lived by myself. No parents, no roommate, no crew of friends down the hall, nothing. And although I'm excited, I'm also scared. Not so much about the actual living alone part—I really like having my own space and am fairly (fairly) competent at cooking, cleaning, toilet-plunging, lightbulb-changing, etc. for myself. But I'm not so good at distracting myself from dark spells, or rationalizing away the fear when those old horrible nagging anxieties creep in. I'm scared of being alone and depressed and having no one there.
A big issue is losing my roommate. She has been SUCH a huge source of support for me over the past two years. Last fall when I hit absolute rock-bottom, she would basically drop everything anytime and let me cry to her. Not sure I would have made it through the semester without her, to be honest. Luckily she's only moving a few hours away so weekend trips will be easy, but it obviously won't be the same.
Some of you guys might be wondering if my parents are absolutely fucking insane for letting me move out on my own after the year I've had. I think sometimes, they wonder that too. Physical issues alone, I'm not exactly in tip-top shape. The pain is still a major problem (although getting better... knock on wood). I got a bunch of blood work done at the campus health center to see if we can figure out what's causing the constant fatigue, dizziness, and shortness of breath I've been having for the past few months. My weight and eating are pretty stable, but fighting the urge to restrict is still always a battle.
And on top of that, my mood is still shaky. I've been feeling a lot better for most of this semester—very little crying, minimal anxiety, and absolutely none of those horrible dark scary thoughts I was having back in the fall...but overall, my baseline mood is still relatively low. I'm nowhere near my old bubbly, energetic, happy self. I still worry a lot. I still get super down about the physical stuff.
That being said, I have so much hope. The pain is ever-so-slightly improving, just not as quickly as Dr. A had promised. I truly do believe that my body just needs time to heal—time at this weight, time on a high-fat diet, time to build up my hormone levels, and time to undo all the damage I've spent years accruing. I have absolutely zero.none.zilch desire to restrict and lose weight. Not worth it anymore. I've never been more confident in my ability to fully recover from the eating disorder, and that's further than I've ever come in my life. At this time last year, I weighed XX lbs less and was plotting ways to restrict any chance I got.
But still, I think that I need to get my moods as stable as possible before heading into this next chapter of my life. I certainly hope that things never again get as bad as they did last summer and fall, but I want to be smart about this. Yesterday, Dr. P and I talked a bit about the possibility of increasing my meds, just as a safeguard. I've been on the same dose for almost a year, and it has been remarkably effective for my anxiety, but is apparently still lower than the recommended clinical dose. And I've noticed no effect on depression. At my psych appointment in a couple weeks, I'm going to ask Dr. L what she thinks about bumping up the dosage a bit. Can't hurt to take an extra precaution, right?
And super important for me will be getting comfortable reaching out and surrounding myself with friends. One of my best friends from college will be living with her parents in a suburb of College City, and my cousin is a junior at Other University about 15 minutes from me. Plus, my mom's older brother lives just down the road from me—like, literally five minutes away. So I have the makings of a solid support system, and I need to be ready to take advantage of that.
I want to be independent, but that first means recognizing all the ways that I'm not.