Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Misunderstanding That Lead to Understanding

I'm going to out my eating disorder.

We've--it's been hiding (trying to not make us one in the same) from you all because of fear. Fear it'll be taken away from me. It thrives best when I'm isolated, made to feel like no one cares and that all I have is it. My trusty friend always there for me. It's twisted and weird to me still to think of it as having its own agenda and personality but that's really what it does.

Since last Sunday I had binged and purged 6 times. I fell down and I fell fast.

I believe it was a combination of losing the job (I had no incentive to NOT do it as I could sleep in the next morning I had no one to answer to etc) and the fact that I had to decrease my medication. 

Topiramate is associated with significant improvements in both binge and purge symptoms and represents a potential treatment for bulimia nervosa. Found in a study done by Mountain West Clinical Trials, Boise, Idaho.

Also, my psychiatrist at The Emily Program, a facility focusing specifically on eating disorders, had been prescribing the medication to me since February. I am not ashamed to tell you all that I needed help in my recovery or that I chose to take medication to do so. Obviously since I am typing it out here.

I recently lost a job that was going to lead to health benefits AKA I thought I was going to be able to go back to The Emily Program a week before I got fired. This means I had no way of getting my medication in time for my prescription to be refilled. So I just took one less a day--which on top of the firing and the emotional stress of being unemployed lead to a dramatic increase in depression, anxiety and my eating disorder.

I got a doctor's appointment as soon as I could. I only had three pills left--enough to get me through that night and tomorrow. Just in time I thought.

I waited patiently in the well waiting room and talked for what felt like forever with an eager-to-learn intern from UW all about what it's like to be a bulimic. He was kind, understanding and empathetic. My nerves were calmed, this was going to work and maybe I could get back on my feet again.

An hour and a half later the doctor comes in. I again relay how I have not been sleeping. How I have been bingeing and purging regularly for the past week straight. How I recently lost my job. How I have no income. How I am tormented with depression, feeling guilty for bingeing and purging and working hard all day to eat normal meals only to break down at night, and repeat the cycle. Slipping faster and faster into my old self and relapse.

She leaves the room and comes back in 20 minutes to say she cannot help me.

I feel the tears well up in my eyes and my throat tighten as I hear her say the words:

She goes on to say she'll need my medical records and to talk to The Emily "Project" as I keep correcting her it's "program". 

I fight for myself while feeling so abashed that a medical professional would dare use the words "strange" "don't know what to do with you". I tell her my psychiatrist prescribed this to me for months, there are studies done that says it helps and clearly it does since my behaviors have increased since I had to lessen my dosage. 

She continues to say that she doesn't trust what I'm telling her and doesn't feel comfortable.

I leave after two and a half hours of sitting in that little white room feeling so violated and more alone than ever.

I am being dramatic but that's what I was feeling. I finally had the chance to open up to someone again to tell them the truth about what was happening and they had the chance to help me and I was met with hurtful words and no help.

It reiterated what I've been trying to not tell myself for these past months since I've been out of treatment--That no one understands.

I called up my old psychiatrist and even though she hadn't seen me in over 3 months she was able to tell me that she'd help me. She told me that people just don't understand eating disorders yet and there's a lot of ignorance out there. She was able to help me calm down and not feel like such a freak and a strange case, rather to feel sorry for the doctor who didn't have all the information and maybe even excited that I get to help educate her.

I know I'm not the only one out there that's misunderstood and this situation reminded me of that. To be a little more patient with others, to try to be a little more understanding. You never know what someone else is going through. Or what a smile, kind words or patience can do to help brighten their day or even your own.

Friday, September 5, 2014

I Got Let Go From My Job At Lunch.

I just finished my taco salad and was about to get back to cold calling--my new least favorite thing--when I catch eyes with my manager.

I knew what was about to happen. She didn't even need to call me into her office and do the formalities. I knew I was being let go.

It feels like ages ago when I took the scary step to leave the hell hole that was zulily. To chose my recovery over a job. I felt so scared and yet so empowered.

The months that followed were full of me killing it in informational interviews, sucking up to recruiters and then came the weekly in-person interviews--maybe a couple second interviews.

I was as fresh as a spring chicken. I had just said a big ol fuck you to the company that dragged me down for years and I knew I had so much to offer. I had passion, I am a killer writer, I am on tv, I model, I am a kick ass promo ambassador and I wanted to work--enough of this unemployment crap.

I wanted to be apart of something. I wanted to share my ideas. Improve the place I worked while improving who I was. I wanted to grow and learn.

This began to dwindle with the constant no's and hearing about my "lack of experience" with writing jobs. So I took at shot at sales--and the company I just left took a shot on me.

The first day was like being in junior high. I was clearly at a disadvantage and way out of my element. I was drowning in information, overwhelmed with the material and incredibly insecure. I lost sight of who I was and all the work I had put into my recovery and my values. It seems as though the new me could not exist here.

I compared myself. I belittled myself. I stressed myself the fuck out. And on top of that the people I was talking on the phone with did too. Hang ups, no's, and other relentless negativity was not good for who I was trying to become.

I have to give it up to people in sales that can pull it off--you've got to have some thick skin and be incredibly competitive. Two things that I don't have and am totally ok with.

I have a ping of shame that I really did my best and it still didn't work out. Reading inspiring quotes every morning. Calling my boyfriend crying on breaks. Listening to my favorite music on my lunches. Revamping up every day, every hour trying to do the best I could.

Knowing that everyone is there now and sees my empty desk. Knowing I didn't make it. I don't know what they'll say but I guess it doesn't really matter.

I am really proud that I tried this. I have never done anything like this and I didn't have the support of my treatment team at all during it--and well I still don't. I did give it my all and while it's shameful to me that my all wasn't enough--I know that if I gave up I'd be even more mad at myself.

The part that scares me shitless though is that I have no idea what to do now.

I have no income and I feel I have nothing to offer. I have no direction or idea as to what I want to do or what I am even qualified to do.

It became clear to me that I have no writing experience from being put in a box for three years at zulily. There seem to be no copywriting jobs out there that I do qualify for. And now after working my ass off for a month I can't put sales on my resume.

I don't even know what positions to start looking for, what to even say if someone asked me why me, I feel very empty, insignificant and helpless.

I don't know what the next step is for me or what I'm meant to do.

I know this isn't the first time I've written about this but before I had hope and now that's really dwindled.

This is when my faith in my higher power is tested and when I really have to take it hour by hour and look for omens.

I will keep my eyes and my heart open and my mouth shut--I think I've heard that's the best way to listen.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Feeling Defeated.

I am so tense and frustrated to the point of tears.
I'm sitting here in my shorts and a sports bra--I was going to go workout to try and calm my anger--but I'm getting sick and am incredibly tired from this weekend and that's not in my best interest.
But I feel like the energy is pulsing off of me. I need to get rid of it.
I'm listening to Impavid Evence Remix and every time I close my eyes I picture myself running on an open highway as fast and as far as I can go. No end in sight.

The energy, the anger and my tense muscles are all set up to protect me from feeling.
It's hard and uncomfortable for me to feel when I'm bare like this.
I am forcing myself to sit with it.
My stomach in rolls and my thighs bare. They 'feel fat'.

I forced myself to go further and figure out why it's so hard to sit here like this and feel--it's all about shame. Unbearable to look like this and to have feelings at the same time.
I don't understand that part yet--I just know it's true.

I've been pushing really hard against my ED lately and it's screaming back at me.
I wish it was easier, that I could just yell louder and it would back down but it gets out a mega phone.
It chants. Repetitively. Relentlessly.
I want it to quiet so I give into the urges but then I'm back where I was.
So I know I can't give in but the things it says to me. The intensity of the anger it has towards me is hard to contain. It's hard to focus. It's hard to try to be me and stay on a normal path.

And I'm doing this mostly on my own this time--I really miss my treatment team.

I saw myself in a bathing suit yesterday and what I thought I looked like this entire time was the complete opposite of what I saw. I still need to gain. But then I have this voice in my head telling me that that's not ok.

I'm so tangled.
I feel very detached.

Everything is an ordeal. I can't write like I used to.
This shit head in my head won't shut the fuck up.
Delete it. You just whine. No one reads this anymore. No one cares.
Trying to remember why I wrote in the first place.

All I want is to be left alone. I want my mind to quiet. I want to enjoy my life.
And it just isn't that simple for me right now.
And it's incredibly frustrating and I don't know what to do to get out of this.
As I said I'm working really hard against it but my life just gets harder and more uncomfortable and I get more angry.
I'm so sick of having an eating disorder.

It's funny because after I write blogs--like immediately after I feel like my authentic self comes out. And I am able to think with my wise mind. 

So I'm editing the end of this.

I am exactly where I am supposed to be--and considering everything I'm going through and have gone through it all makes sense. Especially when I'm defying ED it's going to get pissed. But I can't give up now that I'm trying so damn hard. I just need to learn how to take it easy and take care of myself while it is being a bitch. And remember that this intensive anger will pass--this depression will pass. I will be better for it. I'm so sick of this disease ruling my life. I am doing everything in my power to continue on a path to recovery and I should recognize that rather than focus on where I lack--however it takes a lot of guts to post shit like this on here so good fucking job self.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Battle Cry - Angel Haze

Lately I have been feeling like no one sees me.
Like my disease does not matter.
Like people forget I have it at all.
And it's a secret again.
My insurance cut out and I'm on my own now.
And it's harder than I'd like it to be.
But I'm ok I guess.
Or am I?

I don't feel as recovery focused. As in control. As productive as I was when I was in program. I feel like I'm falling.

I miss therapy. I miss my dietitian. I miss my group.
Mostly I miss people that understand.
I guess that's where some of the empty hollowness comes from when I sit alone too long.
Because I feel I have no one to turn to anymore.
My support system's lives never revolved around me in the first place but now their lives have gotten even busier and more complicated.

And even if I did reach out what would I say? What would I need from them? Half of the time I don't know.

But as I'm writing right now I know I would say that I'm scared of ED coming back. As I binge and purge about once a week now. And before I had a month without behaviors. I am no where near what I used to be but it's happening more than I want it to. I still drink more than I wish I did. I'm afraid I'm going to become reliant on it. I'm still scared to eat some foods. I still have major PTSD with sexual abuse. I have lost a significant amount of weight and need to gain it back but am petrified to do so. I keep most this to myself (or dump it on my amazing boyfriend but there's only so much he can handle) because I feel like such a burden. Like my time is over. I am done having the attention. I am no longer eating disorder treatment girl. Fix yourself.

And as I reread this I know that I'm in the part of recovery where I validate my own feelings, I become my own therapist etc and I have to advocate myself. And while this is a cowardly attempt at doing so instead of going to you people individually it's a start.

But it's ironic that all of THAT came out because I was actually feeling seen by someone. My brother.
He sent me Battle Cry - Angel Haze. And I have not stopped crying through this post or the 4 times I listened to the song and read the lyrics. 

You said it girl.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Acceptance, Acting As If and Other Advice I Should Take

Oh life.
You just are so fucking funny right now.
I see you with your sarcasm.
When I’m finally situated to write on the Bolt Bus—shoes off, one leg mashed up against the seat the other one on the ground for stability since my seat apparently doesn’t need to be bolted to the floor.  I’m hunched over like The Grinch attempting to type with my laptop sitting on the empty seat next to me as my purse and denim jacket act as an efficiently failing desk.
I’ve had to switch positions twice since the girl across from me in the aisle decided to make out with her fork instead of use it to eat her salad with it. I wish I wasn’t so sensitive to weird fucking people.
All I want to do is go home in peace.
But that’s hard to do when you’re on a public bus with Chatty Charlie who has a voice for a children’s television show and an opinion reserved for The View.
I’ve got I Mean It, G-Eazy and Remo on repeat in my headphones while I type this so if “fuck” and “bitch” slip out more than often—so every four words—you’ve had your warning.
I try so hard to ignore the world when I’m in a mood like this—lack of wanting to be a  decent human being mood—and it seems that the world doesn’t want to be ignored.
I made fun of the girl sitting diagonal from me before boarding the bus. Her Lana Del Rey headband was asking for it. Of course she would be across from me and she would fucking give me the most genuine smile when we hear Chatty Charlie snort at his own joke.
I would ignore the ‘pushy’ bus driver who was only trying to put my bag away for me and then so kindly greets me when I get on his bus.
I would make fun of fucking Chatty only to see him give up his single seat so a couple can sit together.
And who knows what lesson Fork Girl could teach me if I didn’t have my back to her. Sans salad of course.
Continuously The Universe and my Higher Power teach me lessons, give me guidance and I still have an insanely hard time giving up my illusion of control.
My list making, my “what if, and then” fantasies, my manipulating.
I’m going through a really big change in my life.
I’m relocating from Seattle to Portland to take that next step with my boyfriend.
That means new city. New job. New lifestyle. New friends—no friends at first.
I have no idea where we are going to live.
I have no idea where I’m going to work.
I have no idea what kind of money I’m going to make.
I have no idea what living with a significant other looks like.
And I’m still fresh in recovery. Like Bambi fresh.
This is all so new to me and it’s so exciting, so romantic, so right—and yet fucking frightening.
I have stayed up til 1 AM way too many times already Google mapping where a gym is in comparison to a grocery store in comparison to a bus stop then trying to find apartment complexes that are within our estimated price range. Only to come up empty handed and feeling more frantic than ever. Zoom out repeat.
So I try job searching and I’m pushing my resume and I’m suddenly the best receptionist ever. Ya I love the service industry. Yes I love cold calling. Yes I like suits. Of course I’ll work overtime. WHAT?!
Then I’m living in the city. No I’m traveling an hour to my nonexistent work via the bus. No I’m in the suburbs. There’s a Target. Ok cool yes I can do that.
There are too many what ifs? Then this? Or then that. It’s a web of confusion and I’m stuck.
And of course I’m talking to my man about this (hahaha I never say my man but I just wanted to) and we’ve come to the conclusion to slow the fuck down and take it one thing at a time.
BUT IT SO DAMN HARD. I want the answer and I want it now. I want to know and I want to feel safe. I want to feel secure. I want everything to be ok.

And yet I have little examples every day that show me that it WILL be ok. AND I STILL FREAK OUT.
However, by the fact that I’m in recovery, I’m alive and I have a great life The Universe keeps proving to me that everything will be ok even though I do not see how or what that looks like just yet.
So some tips that help me with this and might help you if you are crazy like me:

-Act as if. So say you totally want to keep checking your ex’s facebook but you know you shouldn't but you so want to one last time (not like last time’s last time but this last time)—just act as if you are that new person you want to be and don’t do it.

-Repeat: “Resistance is suffering.” – So say it. “Resistance is suffering.” When you resist a situation, how a person is acting etc. it doesn’t change said thing. It just makes it harder on you. So Chatty Charlie—who is still going strong an hour and twenty minutes in—is still going to talk and I can be passive and glare and blow out my eardrums or I can say he’s fucking annoying but he’s not going to stop. I appreciate the conversation he’s having with the person next to him. Him talking doesn’t mean I can’t listen to my music or I cannot write.

-One Day—or thing—At a Time. – There’s a reason this is so popular in AA and other anonymous programs because it fucking works. When you look at your day and you see all the shit you have to do you probably want to crawl in bed. However, if you just see that you have to just get to work then do the next right indicated step when you get there it’s not as daunting. So I should listen to myself. I need to see if they are going to take unemployment away from me—then we’ll go from there. I cannot and will not pick my job, apartment, budget and fucking welcome mat tomorrow. I will stay in the present moment and focus on that and only that because that’s all I can do, all I want to do and honestly all I need to do.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shoulders Suffocated.

The bellow is me exploring my feelings about my body and what it means to have one in our society.
About being made to feel like a sex object everywhere I go.
Feeling like it's not ok to take my sweater off when it's hot out because of what I am then subjected to.
How I've been made to feel it's my fault that I get hollered at...or worse.
How it's my duty to put up with cat calls because I have a decent body. And it's my fault that men react to me.
I realize more and more that as years of unwanted advances from men pile up the more I want to hide my style and my body. It isn't fair. It isn't right. And it isn't my fault. And most importantly I shouldn't have guilt or be ashamed.

I have just started to see how fucked up society's messages to men and women are about men and women. And self worth. And self esteem. And more. I really need to do more reading and thinking to develop a solid opinion on this but this video and blog post began to help me believe it's not me that's in the wrong.

Stop Telling Women to Smile and An Open Letter to My Daughter: Your Modesty Is Your Choice.

sunny sidewalk
uncomfortably hot
smooth knees
unknowingly alluring neckline
shoulders suffocated
breath abated
music bumps
windows rolled down
suggestive slang
coil back at the vulgarity
leave me be
life changed
never ok
sex object
my being is no longer mine

self medicated
doctor's out
head hangs with the weight of it all
knowledge, shame, undeserved guilt
eyes averted
no one look
but someone see my pain

a chuckle
manly grunts
I see them seeing me
naked, vulnerable
I pull my clothes tighter
weights slam
echos reverberate my body
they get trapped inside my head
relentless is the panic
muscles tighten
my vision goes
my heart races
I see only shapes
are they approaching me
fight or flight
flight flight flight

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Merry Krismas To Me : Seven Months Later

I wrote this post about seven months ago.
And it breaks my heart because I remember that girl.
So desperately wanting to be free.
Wanting a holiday without addiction, disease, turmoil and torture.
I tried. I know I did my best.
And my best got me about three days in a row. Which bless me, was amazing.
I hated my parents. I never saw how we could ever exist in the same room together.
It wasn't possible. Not with me, my disease and them--it was too crowded.

I was at ground zero then.

Days later I had plans with my parents to go shopping at the Seahawks team store. I would get a new hat. We would go on The Seattle Great Wheel. I would have the happy Christmas I dreamed of each year.

That never happened.

I was confined to my bed because I could not stop throwing up. I was a slave to my disease. I had binged and purged for meals and days straight. Like a zombie I went to the store just a block from my house, spent hundreds on food, ate as much as I could and got rid of it. And then did it again. Slept. Repeat.

But then my body began to shut down. I had no sense of time of day, hunger, self.

I remember lifting the chips to my mouth and so desperately not wanting to. Wishing with all of my might that I could just stop. Leaning over the fridge in my puke-splattered sweats, oily hair, shaking not wanting anything in there and seeing my hands reach for something new.

I could not stop.
Until my body did stop.

My body said I can't do this anymore the day we were supposed to have Krismas in Seattle.

I remember so vividly opening the door for my parents. All of my energy was drained. I didn't even try to hide the dishes, the wrappers, the food or my ghostly appearance.

My mom covered her mouth when she saw me. Shock of what her daughter had become. My dad put down the coupons Mom had cut for me back home. I wouldn't be needing those.

The fear in my parents' eyes is indescribable. The shame I felt was overridden by exhaustion. I felt as though I was done. I hadn't actually eaten in days and my stomach was eroded by acid.

My parents stayed with me for hours.

My dad brought me Diet Sprite at my request (which really doesn't help anything but ED was still so loud as I lay there lifeless). I don't remember their time there as hours. It's a blur. There were crackers and broth. And there was my mom.

I had let them down. I was so scared. How did I get here again? Where did I go?

As I write this I remember how dark my room was, how sick I felt, how ashamed I was.
And by the grace of the universe I began to keep food down.
And my parents finally had to leave.

My mom said she thought I wasn't going to wake up.

Once again I had, my disease had, ruined another family event.

Days later my friends had an intervention with me and I wrote these words in my blog on Christmas Eve:

"I'm looking forward to working my ass off to get a better life. One where these thoughts aren't constantly breaking up my day.

I'm looking forward to a life where going to work won't be a struggle. And I will have enough nutrition in my body to stay focused and not forget things.

I'm looking forward to WANTING to eat which currently I don't have. It's all or nothing at the moment.

I'm looking forward to wanting to cook.

I'm looking forward to a new life. The life I was always meant to have.

Merry Krismas kids."

And I write to you now sobbing and snotting and with total fucking pride that what I wanted and what I looked forward to is exactly what I'm doing.

And recovery is more than wanting to eat, and quieted thoughts.

It's wanting to live. It's wanting to be me. It's having the clarity to carry on a conversation. It's being honest. It's being able to breathe. It's having the peace of mind to think of others. To live in the moment. To remember. To show up for people. To live.