Monday, August 31, 2009

sick day

not much has been going on and I have been kind of blah and not feeling like posting. Well, I have been doing better ED wise. Like, i didn't purge all day yesterday EVEN with making chocolate chip cookies with the girls and sampling lots of dough! And I have been eating regular meals and everything, and not really weighing myself. Much.

I think I know what threw me off. I rented the documentary "Thin" from the library and I should not have done that. I think it is a really great documentary about eating disorders, and I could really realate to it. I LOOOVE watching stuff I can relate to. It helps me feel connected to something, like i'm not so alone. But now I see that it really triggered me. Just putting the thoughts back in my head about wanting to be sick and helpless so people will take care of me. EWWW, I am so ashamed of having those thoughts and feelings. But I have to acknoeledge them because they are there. It's weird. I complain about not feeling "powerful" in my life or feeling like a competent adult, yet I keep making choices that cause me to stay weak and pathetic.

Wow, and I thought I had nothing to write about today.

Well, I have been working to further my identity as a responsible, functional adult. I signed up to volunteer at Emma's class Haloween party. i also volunteered to be "room parent" for her class. I was pretty anxious about this. I kept thinking "what if I get depressed and cant follow through." But I don't want to live my life like that anymore. I don't want to not accept responsibilities and opportunities just because I might not be able to handle them. I'm just going to go for it and trust myself that I can do it.

In other news, I am quite sick and on some serious cold meds and feeling like crap in general. i'm just hoping none of my kids get sick, but Annie keeps taking sips of my pop when I'm not looking. Ugh.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Well, i had a pretty good day yesterday. I didn't binge, purge, or restrict yesterday, and there was the whole garlic toast thing that I am very proud of. So how did I start my day this morning? With my head in the toilet! Why are mornings such a problem for me? I just am so anxious from the morning I get up that i want to stuff my face with the first thing that I see, then I get more anxious so I purge. Why cant I get mornings under control?

The other thing that is getting me down is that the desire to be thin has returned full force. But its not rational, and it's not even really what i want. I still believe all the stuff I wrote the other day. I still want a life that is filled with joy, freedom, and meaning, which does not include and ED. But....I have this burning desire to lose a bunch of weight and be emaciated. It sounds so ridiculous when I write it out loud. I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I don't know why this has such a hold on me. Why i am still so obsessed with it and driven by it. I wish I could have a surgeon go into my head and cut out the ED part. If there was a surgery for this I would have it. I really would.

I'm just so frustrated with myself right now.

Well it's time to pick myself back up and salvage the rest of the day. I WILL be healthy today, even if it's not what I want. But I do want it! Argh...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

garlic toast.

Ok, so tonight I was making a spaghetti dinner for my family (with spaghetti squash instead of noodles, yum!) and I was putting slices of garlic toast in the oven and I put only 3 slices on the cookie sheet. It was automatic. I never eat the garlic toast. But tonight I paused, and thought about it. I never eat the garlic toast for purely ED reasons. I actually love garlic toast! I usually sneak a bite of Annie's but never have a whole piece myself.

So I started thinking about this and thinking about my "being brave" post I wrote the other night and thought "ok Lisa, it's time to put your money where your mouth is".

But Ed said "garlic toast has no nutritional value! It is just white bread and butter".

"Well," I thought, "but it's tasty".

I began to realize that this was about more than just a piece of bread. It was about making decisions not based on ED. About changing my behavior patterns that keep me unhealthy.

SO I had a piece of garlic toasy with my dinner. It was delicious.


Things are going ok. i did binge/purge yesterday, first thing in the morning, which was kind of discouraging, but I picked myself right back up and did very well the rest of the day. No restricting or purging. I am particularly proud of my dinner last night. I was feeling kind of sick, partly because of a vey emotional therapy session, and partly because i don't know why. Anyway, ed was tring to negotiate dinner with me. You know, you-dont-feel-well-so-why-not-skip-dinner type of thing. But I ate a reasonable dinner anyway. After dinner was the worst! i just felt sicker and sicker and ED was saying you-could-just-throw-up-since-you-are-sick-anyway and I wanted to throw up so bad! But I didn't and i went to bed at 8:00 and slept all night. i still feel kind of sick so maybe I am coming down with something. Swine flu? i don't know. i am not going to restict today, but maybe will just stick to simple and bland foods so i don't get sicker and tempted to throw up.

i'm feeling better about my therapist. Turns out she DOES know her stuff! Yesterday she suggested to me that maybe the reason that I feel so anxious all the time is because I have other feelings but I am afraid to feel them and get anxiious about it. I wasn't sure about that, but when i got home and thught about it I realized she was right. I'm afraid of my emotions. Afraid I cant handle them. That is why every time I feel sadness, hurt, anger,ect, I shut down and instead just feel a general feeling of uneasiness. i think that is also how I got addicted to Xanax. You are just supposed to use Xanax when you are expeeriencing extreme anxiety, but i popped one whenever I had any emotion, like if I was angry at chris-take a xanax. Dissapointed by some situation-take a xanax. You get the picture. I never want to feel anything. i do it with my ED too. Instead of taking a xanax, I turn to focusing on restricting and losing weight, or bingeing and purging, instead of feeling my true feelings.

This is a huge realization for me and I cant wait to tell my T. I hope she has some excercises or something to ge tme in touch with my emotions. But I am kind of scared,too. I mean, I have a really good attitude about my ED recovery right now. What is I get into working with my emotions and it just gets too intense and I go running back to ED? I don't want that to happen.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

this is me, being brave

Ok, so i was lying in bed last night thinking (I know, happens alot) and i just started to think about my life and what I really want out of life and what my goals are. So first goal: I want to be alive (duh!). Second goal: I want to be happy.

I used to think that being thin would make me happy. That the pursuit of thinness would add meaning to my life. I am just now facing the reality that I have spent the last 12 years of my life "thin" or in the pursuit of thinness and there has been little joy in it. What there has been is alot of pain, shame, missed opportunities, regrets, letting my loved ones down, ect. I have kept banging my head against the same old wall expecting different results and it has brought me nothing. i live in a constant sruggle of body, mind and spirit that exhausts me, and I find no fullfillment in it.

Could it be I am ready to really, finally give it up?

In order to give up this eating disorder, this WAY OF LIFE, I will have to be brave. I will have to be honest. If I hurt, I may have to cry. If I am lonely, I may have to search out a friend. If I am scared, or unsure, or having doubts, I will find a solution, a way to feel safe that does not include self-destructing until someone comes to rescue me. In other words, I will have to stand on my own two feet. I will have to take responsibilty for what I have made of my life, and do my best to make it better.

In many ways, it feels like I am just starting my life, or at least my adulthood. I've had the role of "sick" for so long that many things have been done for me and I have been able to avoid or get out of alot of responsibilities which should have been mine. What will it mean to me to be healthy? Will I lose my social security payments? That is something I have been terrified of. Can you believe I've been on disability since 2000? But I can't let it be a roadblock to being well anymore.

Of course, i am not expecting to make all these changes overnight. After all, this is a 16 year illness we are talking about. I can't just change into a well- adjusted, fully funcioning adult with a snap of the fingers. This is comforting, though. I know there will be people that are here to support me. I will still have a doctor and a therapist. The difference is, if I'm struggling emotionally, I'm not going to relapse and get sick enough until they know there is something wrong. I am going to USE MY VOICE and tell them what is bothering me, instead of playing some passive-agressive game. This might be hard for me, but hopefully in time it will be easier.

I do not live in a fantasy land where i think all my problems will go away just because I have decided they should. I still have a chemical imbalance which causes me to become deppressed and anxious. But starving, bingeing, and purging has made it much worse than it probably would be. My little dream is that if I eat healthfully, stop throwing up, and enjoy moderate excercise, i will be able to help myself feel better emotionally. Maybe then I could get off a few of the meds. And the ones that I would take would be more effective (especially if I wasn't throwing them up all the time).

This is my goal: to be healthy. ALIVE! THRIVING! I want my kids to be proud of me! Heck, I want to be proud of me!
To be honest, I'm so scared right now. What if I fail? It's easier not to try; to stay sick. Then I would never know if I could "hack it" or not.
But I have to try. For myself, for my family, my girlies, the dream of maybe a baby in the future. Oops did I say that out loud?
Here I go, into the unknown....

Monday, August 24, 2009

short update

I haven't been in much of a mood to write lately. Things are just kind of grinding along here. Emma is in school now, and Chris started school today. No, I did not get brave enough to corner anyone at church yesterday to make plans. Maybe next week. I DID sign up for the PTA and signed up to help with a spagetti dinner fundraiser in october- maybe I can meet people that way.

I have been having alot of disordered thoughts lately. It seems like I restrict for 2 or 3 days, then have some sort of realization or breakthrough and start eating again for about a week, then the ED thoughts get the better of me and I start restricting again and the whole cycle starts over. SO I'm not really losing any weight, just going up and down, which i know is kind of bad for the old metabolism. I'm fighting really hard to change my thinking and not let myself slip too far. It's just getting so hard to let myself eat. It's lik ei have to think of a REALLY good reason to nourish myself before I can, rather thatn just eating regularly because everyone has the right to eat. I don't know if I'm making any sense. It's just that when I eat it feelis like I'm losing some sort of battle. But i don't even know what the battle is or who it is against.

Well that is about it. My mom is visiting and I don't want to be on the computer too long (trying not to be a rude host). I think maybe later we will go to to Reiman Gardens. It is this really cool garden with a neat butterfly exhibit with hundreds of butterflies.

Have a great day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

*yawn and sigh*

I am sad today. Really sad. And empty and lonely.

Ok, I will get back to that in a minute. Here's some good news: Emma had her first day of school today and she had a great day and made friends! Hooray! I thought of her all day and said silent prayers for her and stuff. I love her so much and just want her to be happy.

Now back to the downer. Maybe it is because Emma is back in school and Chris will be back in school Monday and I know that it will just be me and Annie all day. Now, i love Annie and I love spending time with her, but i get really lonely for adult company. Being a stay at home mom is kind of isolating. And I don't know any other mommies here yet to get together for playdates.

When I start to feel isolated my brain starts getting weird. I sort of "turn inward" and obsess about things more. Including food and weight. It's almost like I am looking for my "old friend" to comfort me. Too bad that's the same old friend that could potentially kill me.

I can tell i'm going to have to be proactive about this. Nobody's going to tackle me on the street and say "hey you look cool! Will you be my friend?". I have heard that the rec center has an indoor playground thats open durring the winter months for toddlers and its only like 75 cents to get in and you can hang with the other mums while the kids play. That would probably be good for Annie, too. In the meantime, i think I'm going to corner some poor unsuspecting mom at church and see if she wants to have a playdate. That would be so unlike me. I'm more of a mope-in-the-corner type of gal, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm going to have to be outgoing *gasp*!

I didn't purge today, but there was some restricting going on. At first it was because my stomache was a little upset and nothing sounded good, but after awhile I started to feel better and really could have eaten. But ED crept in and said "you are doing so good (bad) today, why don't you keep it up, if you haven't eaten dinner yet there is no reason to now". Bad bad bad i know. I wish I could get back some of that motivation that I had at the beginning of the summer. You know, when I was all gung ho about recovery. And I wrote all those posts about my deep fat fryer haha! Recovery was more fun back then for some reason. Now it just feels like work. And I'm tired.

Sorry to be such a downer. I'm sure tomorrow will be better. Love you all :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Build-a-Bear guilt

Well it was rainy and crappy today and after watching the girls sit in front of the tv for about 20 hours I finally said "enough!" and we decided to drive to Des Moines to the "cool mall". And it was a really nice mall; I was really impressed. The only place in Iowa that you can find a Bannana Republic. La de da. They did have a huge kiddie playland and the girls played there for a long time which was fun. But.......

I made the mistake of takning the girls to Build-a-Bear just to look, since we don't have one in Ames. Before long Emma was begging hardcore. She just HAD to have a friend for her buildabear that she has at home (that she never plays with and currently doesn't even know the lacation of). I have to admit, though, that Build-a-bear is sort of a magical place if you have kids, and I really was starting to want to buy her one. You know how they say "you can't buy happiness?" Well, at that moment I felt like i really could buy her happiness.

Then thr saleslady came and told me about the special- any bear+one outfit+shoes for $30. That seemed like a borderline-good deal to me. But then I realized that if I got one for Emma, I would have to buy one for Annie, and $30 suddenly turned into $60. And with all the bills we have looming I just couldn't justify spending $60 on stuffed animals. Nomatter how cute their little outfits are.

Emma was just crushed and moped around the mall the rest of the time, which sort of sucked the fun out of the rest of the day and made me feel really guilty. I felt like I was denying her a vital childhood experience or something. I guess it's a good thing Chris was there, or i might have caved. I just feel so sad that I don't have the money to but things like that for her.

I did explain to her that there were lots of things that Mommy wanted to but, too, but wasn't going too. I think it helped her to relate that she wasn't the only one who wanted something and didn't get it (dELIAS).

Grrr i hate money.

Ok and I had that therapy appointment today. It was ok I guess. Well, the first thing is, this lady is only 31! I'm trying to decide if this is a problem or not. On the one hand, I have this sort of belief that my therapist should have been practicing at least as long as I have been recieving therapy (18 yrs) in order to have the insight to help me. BUt maybe I am wrong. I don't know. But here is one thing: I think that I also seek out older therapists so I can find someone to have a "parent-child" relationship with, and I'm not sure why I do this but I suspect it is not healthy. one of my goals is to feel more like an adult, with assurance and power and all that stuff, so I guess I don't need someone with whom I will revert back to a childlike dependence.
One big bonus- she didn't go to the University of Iowa (home of the hospital that has the ED program that I have been committed to 5 times and refer to as "evil hell" in this blog). I have a huge prejudice against those folks in Iowa City, who think they know everything about everything. Hope I didn't just offend anyone. Oh well.
We didn't get through my whole "timeline" today; I saved the worst for tommorrow. Lets just say it's something so bad I don't even talk about it on this blog because I'm afraid of what everyone would think. But I'm allowed to have secrets. Everyone is. Anyway, I'm saving that for next time. but I told her a little bit about it today and she doesn't hate me.

Ed wise i am doing ok. I'm throwing up alot but somehow maintainong my weight so I guess you could say I am doing good In some areas and not so good in others. I really really want to restrict and lose weight but since that laast time that I wrote about I haven't. But I have that secret fear that says " your therapist wont take you seriously or think you are really sick cause you look so normal! You must lose lose lose!". But i'm trying to refute this with the facts and so far am doing ok.

Well thats about it for now.

here i go...

i'm leaving to meet the new T in a few minutes. I'm so nervous, why am I so nervous? I've been in therapy for 18 years and have had who knows how many therapists! What's the deal with this anxiety?

Sounds silly, but I think I am most worried that she'll think i'm fat. A big, fat failure. i'm worried she won't like me. And it is so important to me that she likes me, so she will be motivated to help me.

Arrgh i just wish it was over already!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


ok, so, first appointment with brand new therapist is this wednesday. I'm hopeful and I guess a little bit excited. I haven't had any therapy for almost 2 months now. I think I really could use a good therapist right now.

So here is my dilemma. In order to treat me, I really think that my T needs to know my history, where ive been, what has worked, what hasn't, ect. I need to share some sort of a psych history with her. But how do I condense 18 years of therapy, 21 hospitalizations, an ed that had evolved over time with ever changing symptoms and consequences. How do I explain it all, paint an accurate picture, without taking the next 5 sessions?

Things i have considered:

1. a simple timeline outlining major events, hospitalizations, relapses, ect.

2. an essay-style narrative (but that could get lengthy)

3. ?

Ok, so I have really come up with only 2 ideas so far. I am leaning toward option number one. But I thought I would throw this out there for suggestions. So if you have any ideas, I would love to hear them :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

the truth is...

The truth is that I have been avoiding writing about Ed related stuff for a little bit because I have been going down the wrong path and basically was too ashamed to admit it, and a little bit afraid of what you all might say. I have been feeling a little bit like a traitor to the cause. Well, here goes....

I had decided to lose all the weight that I had gained this summer. You know, the good-healthy-I can eat normal food now with my family and have energy to do fun stuff-weight. I decided that I was just too fat to handle the "extra" weight anymore and desperatly wanted to lose all the weight and then some. So last week I bought a scale. I went to the library and got my number one ED book that always triggers me to lose weight (i know i know, ugh!). I began severely restricting my calories. I wasn't purging, just not eating. I made a conscious decision to adopt my anorexic behaviors again.

This lasted for several days. Durring this time I felt weak, dizzy, crappy, and spaced out. I was crabby with my family and short of patience. I thought about food all the time. I felt disconnected from everyone and everything. It was amazing how fast I got back to that place mentally where only the diet matters.

I began to have arrythmias, but I ignored them. Doubts crept in, but I shrugged them off. Thin was what i wanted, and thin I would be.

Then last night something changed. I was lying in bed (feeling crappy) and I really began to think about the last several days and I asked myself : Have I been happy? I had to admit that the answer was No. And isnt' that the whole point? To live your life in a way that makes you happy? In a way that connects you to the poeple that you love, and allows you to act in line with your values? And I wasn't doing that.

But, the anorexia voice said, when you get really thin you will be happy and nothing else will matter.
But, I thought, it might be a long time befor I "feel thin" enough to be happy about it. It could be months. Do I really want to live like this for months? i thought about this for awhile. i imagined what my life would be like if I were constantly starving and couldn't enjoy my children and sometimes didn't even have the energy to care for them and couldn't cope with anything because of constant low blood sugar and had brain fuzz and nothing left to put into my marriage ect ect. And then there is the whole "I could kill myself on accident doing this" thing. I cant even describe what a tragedy that would be in the life of my husband and children. I have no right to do that to them. I thought about the quote that Z put on her blog one time, from a child whose mother died of an ED. "I wish she loved me more than she hated herself". I thought about that long and hard. I pictured my childrens sweet faces. And I knew. I knew I loved them more. That clinched it.

I decided to stop. To just stop it all, to eat again. To accept that I dont like my body and just try to get over it. To realize that it would be a trade-off. I may not have the body I want, but I have life, family, happiness, energy, ect. I will inevitably have moments of despair when I look in the mirror. Yes, there may be weeping and knashing of teeth as I try on shirt after shirt and realize that nothing I put on is going to make me look the way i did ten years ago. But I will just have to live through it and move on.

You're weak! the ED voice said. You're weak and you are giving up!

No, I said. I am brave. I am choosing a path that may be emotionally painful. I am choosing to live imperfectly in an imperfect world. I AM BRAVE.

Today I nourished my body. It felt like finally breathing after holding my breath for a really long time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

missing the reunion (sigh)

I really, seriously, desprately, so very much wish that I were in Utah right now getting ready for the Center for Change alumni reunion. Alas, I am not. I was going to try to make it, but the timing was just bad, what with the move and everything. I just have too much to do getting settled and getting Emma ready for school. And I didn't want to leave Chris alone in a strange city with the 2 girls while he needs to get ready for school himself.

but I waaaaaanted to go!

As a patient at an eating disorders treatment facility, you gain more than just weight. You gain friends that you will feel connected to for the rest of your life. You share eachothers struggles, feel eachothers pain, rejoice in eachothers successes. No one will ever understand you quite like these women do. And when you leave, you will miss them terribly.

I havent seen some of these people in over 5 years. I don't know when I will have another chance. Believe me, I thought long and hard about my decision not to go.

The fact is, my family needs me now. As much as i want (need) to see my friends, my family comes first. I would expect the same of my husband.

So tommorrow, while my friends are in Utah laughing over "the good old days" and catching up, I will be at Kate Mitchell elementary with Emma for the new student orientation, because that is precisely where I need to be.

Monday, August 10, 2009

finding someone new

Dood. I need to find a therapist. Like, seriously.

Part of me was thinking I'm not "sick" enough to get a new therapist. Like I need to lose a bunch of weight first and then it will be obvious that I have issues ect.
Of course, i know this is BS.

I have enough issues to keep me on the couch for another 10 years, easy. I don't need to add relapse into the mix. And, wouldn't it be a good idea to be set up with someone so that in the event of a crisis or relapse I would already have someone I knew and trusted to help me deal with it? I think so. Yes, how very proactive of me.

Also, fall is traditionally a hard time of year for me. Most of my hospitalizations have been in either the fall or the spring. The change of seasons is difficult for me for some reason. I get all emotional and homesick and weird. So it's not like i'm planning on relapsing or anything, but if you fail to plan you plan to fail. I think I saw that on a poster somewhere or something.

Well, guess I better go get busy with the phone book...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

new minivan, same old ED

We had a super great time at Adventureland! unfortunatly I'm a lamo and couldn't figure out how to take pictures with mt new phone so there are no pictures. Sorry.

We are still getting to know out new city. So far I like it tons better than Waterloo. Everywhere I go I see neat looking little shops and cafe's and I think "oh, I'll have to go there sometime".

Guess what? Someone in our church gave us a minivan! How cool is that, especially since my car just died!? They did it anonymously through the Bishop, so I don't know who it was. It's an older van, but it runs great and looks pretty nice, too. It is by far the nicest vehicle I have ever owned. I wrote a really lovely, heart-felt note of thanks to whoever gave it to us and gave it to the bishop to give to them. i just hope that whoever they are, they know what a blessing they have given us!

I had a few restrictive eating days, but am pretty much back to eating normally, but my mindset is still very ED. I am just having a really hard time with my body and I really want to lose weight blah blah blah. however, the days that I restricted were miserable! I don't really want to go back to that. I think i just want to go on one of those makeover shows where thay suck all the fat out of your body and give you a tummy tuck and straighten your teeth while they are at it. But of course that would not solve all my problems because then there is my brain, which will never be happy unless it has something to obsess over. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

hey y'all

just wanted to say that I have emerged on the other side of the big move with half a brain still rolling around in my noggin (i think). It has been somewhat trying and traumatic but Ames is lovely and our apartment is starting to feel like home.

Oh, when we were visiting Emma's new school yesterday my car broke down so I sold it on the spot to a salvage yard and we took a cab home. The good news is I am $75 richer! Too bad I had just filled up the tank with gas. Oh well....

And the big, great, wonderful news! Anne has not had an allergic reaction to the cat dander in the new apartment! So I am cautiously optimistic when I say that we will hopefully not have to move again. I was sooo worried about that.

We are going to Adventureland Park tomorrow! I am so excited about this (as excited as I get, given all the meds I am on). We haven't told the girls so it will be a suprise :).

Things on the ED front are, well, hmm, I don't really know how to describe it. Indulgence. I am indulging in restricting, which is really the opposite of indulging. But after only 2 days it feels compulsary. The old mindset is taking hold. You know, food is the enemy. That old song and dance. I am not enjoying this relapse, though. I forgot how crappy it feels to be starving. How cranky and impatient I am with everyone around me. How disconnected I feel from my family. The fatigue. It sucks.

Well, on that cheery note I will end because I am so tired. Tomorrow I will start to try to catch up on blog reading. Happy Tuesday everyone!