Sunday, August 9, 2015

Trip Recap/The Aftermath

Sorry for the unplanned hiatus. I spent an awesome week traveling with my mom, then got home this past Wednesday and things have been weird, so I didn't really feel like writing. Anyway, I'm here now - back home after six glorious days of hiking, exploring, sight-seeing, sun-soaking, and pure mother-daughter time. We had perfect weather out in Beautiful Western State, and the landscape could not have been more different than Midwestern College City State. It was a much-needed change of scenery, change of pace, change of company, change of routine, change of everything.

One major positive - my injured foot was basically fine, despite tons of hiking and climbing in relatively tough terrain. Another positive was that I did no "formal" exercise (e.g. didn't hit the hotel gym once) and didn't lose my mind; though we were fairly active overall, with going for hikes and/or doing lots of walking basically every day, it's still a pretty big deal that I could go that long without a single "workout." On top of all that, eating went well. It helps that my mom is about the safest person for me to eat with and that she pretty much lets me dictate our eating schedule, so I could minimize the super challenging stuff. Still, I gave myself license to eat what I wanted, how much I wanted, and trusted my hunger more than usual. A big difference from my typical eating patterns was that we ate three big meals each day, whereas at home I tend to eat pretty frequent small meals and snacks. So each time we sat down to eat, it had been several hours since our last meal and I was STARVING and ready to scarf down all sorts of new, non-ED-approved dishes (bison burgers, anyone?). And man, sometimes it just feels good to sit down with a growling stomach and tear into a giant plate of food. My overall calories were probably on par with what I usually eat at home, but the pattern of intake was very different. Not in a bad way. And at each meal, it felt like I had come about my hunger honestly—i.e. by climbing mountains rather than restricting. And because rigid calorie-counting was near impossible, I let myself be really really flexible. And it didn't feel like a disaster or a failure; it felt normal and positive and healthy.

So we had an amazing time and there was definitely a letdown effect after getting back to my lonely College City apartment. The past few days have been this weird mix of whirlwind anxiety/crushing boredom/mind fucked-ness about the fact that orientation for school starts NEXT WEEK. I got home Wednesday afternoon and immediately descended into the belly of the anxiety beast. I don't know why the anxiety has been such an issue for me this summer, but man oh man it hit hard again. I was close to non-functional most of Wednesday night and Thursday morning, just totally freaking the fuck out about irrational nonsense, knowing it was irrational, yet still freaking out while berating myself for being such a nutty wimp. I burst into tears in therapy on Thursday morning for the first time in a LONG time, but Dr. P is a rock star badass mofo and after a hard and scary conversation I did feel much better and more in control.

And just like that I got it together in time to have a straight up awesome weekend - saw a concert Friday night with a friend from grad school, worked at the food bank with my favorite old guys all day Saturday, then went to a wine and cheese-type party at another friend's apartment last night, where I met tons of new people and had a fantastic time. Note to self: friends are the cure for almost everything. Must file this one away.

Now I've just got a few days until things really start picking up for the new school year—orientation next week, along with random trainings, meet-n-greet receptions, work stuff.... how is summer over already??


  1. I'm glad the trip went so well! Sounds like a great time! Congrats on being more flexible about exercise and food! Way to go!

    Crappy that the anxiety monster reared its ugly head when you got back, though. I'm really sorry. I'm glad hanging out with friends helped, but that's a super crappy spot to be in. :( Make sure to reach out! I'm always here! I'm glad that Dr. P was helpful!

    Hope orientation goes well! Exciting stuff!

  2. I'm glad you had a good time with your Mom! Just sayin, being able to enjoy it and do all the things you described is a MAJOR recovery win. You're awesome and I'm sure the trip meant a lot to her.

    I think sometimes getting out of your normal routines/environment can really help with shaking up some ED behaviors and "rules"; I'm glad you were able to turn some of that off on your trip.

    End of summer stinks! I'm sorry the anxiety beast is acting up; is there any way you can have some coffee/wine/lunch sessions with friends to help distract yourself in the days leading up to orientation week?