Saturday, November 12, 2011

explaining the whole med thing

Ok so I feel I need to explain the reason I frequently consider discontinuing my meds. It is not because I am feeling so good now that I don't think I need them (which is a common reason that psych patients go off their meds, deteriorate, end up in crisis, and have to be re-stabalized). This is what my psychiatrist suspected was going on and I had to set him straight on that. I also don't feel weak or look down on myself for taking medication. Dood, if you need medication, you need it, be it psych, heart, allergy, pain, whatever. I don't judge myself or anybody else on that.

Ok, so here is MY deal. I have been taking psych meds since I was around fourteen years old. I have taken ALOT of psych meds. Imipramine, anafranil, prozac, paxil, zoloft, luvox, remeron, serzone, trazodone, celexa, lexapro, effexor, pristiq, cymbalta, wellbutrin, topamax, lamictal, lithium, methylphenidate (yes, Dr. Sean put me on SPEED for my depression). Thats just for depression. For anxiety I have been on risperdal, seroquel, haldol, thorazine, neurontin, buspar (worthless), clonopin, ativan, valium, and Xanax (holla!). So with all of these different meds through the years, I should have been doing great, right?

Not quite the case. Since I was 14 I have been hospitalized in a psych ward 21 times. I was committed 3 times to a long term care facility/group home for adults with mental illness. Spent like a bazillion hours in various partial/day hopsital programs and iop's. I have even had electroconvulsive therapy (shock treatments) to try to lift the depression. I have been on mental health disability for the last 11 years.

So what I am trying to say is that, despite medications, I have been struggling with depression and anxiety that has been bad enough to disrupt my life and impair my functioning.

To be fair, there are some meds that have been beneficial. But it always seems to be a mixed bag. Seroquel works great at knocking out my anxiety, especially anxious and obsessive thoughts. Unfortunately, it also knocks out other thoughts that are harmless and generally leaves me zombified, which is not really compatible with parenting, working, proccessing in therapy, or playing cardgames *ahemNERTZahem*. Oh, and the antipsychotics make me gain a crapton of weight.
Lexapro is my best antidepressant and once started, it has a dramatic effect on my mood. The problem is that my body acclamates to the dose rather quickly, so that every few months or so it needs to be increased. Eventually I will top out. I think the highest FDA approved dose is 20mgs, and I am on 30 right now (but this is common). When I lived in Salt Lake I was on 40mgs for quite awhile, and when I was in Utah Neuropsychiatric Institiute the doctor there bumped me up to 60mgs, at which point I started to twitch. So then I have to get off it for awhile before I can start on it back on a lower dose again and that is frustrating.

Ok, I need to get back to my point, because I need to go to bed here soon. The point is, I have kind of a jaded view about psych meds, not in general, but in regards to the amount of relief I can expect from them. To put it another way: what's the freaking point? What is the point of taking these meds when I continue to feel like crap on the bottom of someone's shoe? Why should I take my freakin Buspar? I have been on it for like 2 years, and in that time there has only been a handful of days that I haven't freaked out, or had a panic attack, or had one of "those days" where I couldn't leave the house, or had to take frequent "mommy time outs" to keep from dissolving into hysterical tears every time my kids hugged me. Do you get what I am saying?

Not that I am one to gamble with my mental health, but I am betting that it couldn't be any worse off of meds than it has been for the past 19 years. And I AM still hopeful that they will come out with a new med that will be great for me (which is why I scrambled for the prisiq when it first came out, but it turned out to be a snoozer).

I DO like my trazodone, since I cant sleep without it. But the flipside of that is, I think the reason I can't sleep without it is because I have taken it to sleep since I was 16 and I don't think my body knows how to sleep on its own. So there is that.

Speaking of sleep, I have to get to sleep because I have to get up at a quarter to five in the effing morning. Why the H would I do that to myself? Well some of you already know this, but I HAS A JOB! I am employed! More about that later.

Oh, and I also have to blog about a stupid med mistake I had at the beginning of the week which resulted in a rather borring 1 day hospital stay (and a new Mary Greeley Medical Center insulated mug). SO I will try to blog more because I have alot to say and alot is going on.

Anyways, thanks for listening and congrats if you made it through this huge long post. Oh, and I am always up for advice on medications, alternative treatments (except yoga) and stuff like that. Sometimes I think that people who have lived it know more about what they are talking about than the professionals

Friday, November 4, 2011

oh well then

I saw my psychiatrist this morning and told him I would like to discontinue all of my medications. Yeah, that went over like a turd in a punchbowl.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

short update/ anxiety stuff

I am sorry I didn't update sooner. I am fine, boobs and all. It turned out to be nothing. I hope I didn't make anybody worry.

I have been ok I guess. My anxiety has been sky high lately which is rough. It seems like I get hyper-sensitive to every physical sensation. Sounds, visual chaos (like too many things moving in my field of vision). Wind, hugs, brushing up against an object, pretty much anything, it all feels like an assault on my body and sends me into a panic. I can only tolerate the gentlest of hugs from my girls, and even then I have to mentally prepare myself.

When I had my ED it seemed like I lived completely in my head. I was always thinking about food, weight, calories, ect. It was almost like a state of constant disasociation from my physical self. I wonder if I used my ED in part to numb out physically and avoid all that anxiety and feelings of being "assaulted" by too much physical stimulus.

I am just confused about why I am this way. If I had been sexually abused, I could point to that and say "see, this is why". Why am I sent into a panic by little noises, sounds, movements, and sensations that most people dont even notice? Will it ever go away? Is there some treatment for this?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I got a callback!

But not the good kind, like a callback on a job interview or an audition for a play or anything like that.

I have to go back for more imaging as the radiologist saw a pea-sized lump in my right breast. Ironically, I had the mammogram because of a lump in my left breast, which turned out to be nothing. But they want to ultrasound the right breast to get a better look at this other lump.

Well I was looking stuff up on the internet but for once I was reassured by what I found. I guess being called in for an ultrasound after a mammogram is common and only 10% of these cases result in the lump being cancerous. Usually it is just a cyst (grody!).

And you know I am not one to turn down medical testing, haha.

I was uspet that they couldn't get me in until next Tuesday. I dont want to wait that long; I want to know NOW! I called my Dr's nurse all upset about this but she made me feel alot better. She said that if they had a really strong suspicion that it was cancer they would have sent me to a surgeon for a biopsy right away. So I guess that's reassuring.

It's also Breast Cancer Awareness Month so I keep seeing all these public service messages and ads about breast cancer. It's getting annoying because I am trying NOT to think about it. Incedently, it is also Mental Illness Awareness Month, and guess how many public service messages I have seen on that topic? 0. Mmmmhmmmmm.......

BTW I am tired of saying (and typing) the word "breast". It grosses me out. I would rather call them "thingeys" or something like that. Any suggestions?

Edit: Ok, so Mental Health Awareness Month is actually in may. Mental Health Awareness Week is October 1-8, so my point still stands. So there!

Monday, October 10, 2011


I had my first mammogram today. I must say that they did a *smashing* good job. Ouch!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

i got your crazy

"Last month I stayed up several nights watching youtube videos that convinced me that the world as we know it was about to end, so I bought 50 pounds of wheat and a shotgun."

-said by me to my psychiatrist at last week's appointment


What about you guys? I'm sure some of you have some gems that you wished you had kept to yourself. Lets hear it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

hello all readers/followers!!!!!!!!!

Hey there! I feel like I have been really out of touch in the blog world lately. It's true I haven't been posting much this summer. I have been struggling with writer's block/depression/apathy/whatever. Plus I have been busy with moving and school and the kids and stuff.

Anyways, I have noticed that I have been getting some new followers. Also, there are people who have been following for awhile that I haven't really "met". So I was wondering, if you read my blog but haven't introduced yourself yet, would you comment and tell me a bit about yourself? If you have a blog, you could share how and why you started blogging. If you struggle with an ED or mental illness you could write about that. Or you could just keep it light and share a few random facts ie: favorite color, hobby, movie, ect.

Oh and if I know you (Erin, Keeley, Cammy, Angela, Kris, and all you guys) you of course are welcome to share. Maybe you will meet some new blogger friends!

I know I don't always respond to comments but check back after you comment because I will try to respond to each comment I get (in the form of another comment).

Friday, September 16, 2011

my dad got the call

Well a year and a half later my dad is going to prison. He was "wait listed" because the prisons were full, but today he got the call. He has to report to begin serving his sentence this Sunday. He got 5 years, but can get out as early as 10 months from now if he behaves himself.

He is in Arkansas so I cant really go visit him.

I am sad. I will pray for my dad. I will worry. That's about all I can do.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The elephant in the room..... me. At least it feels that way sometimes. Sigh.

Well on a more positive note, I passed both my state exams for nurse's aide certification with flying colors!!!! Woohoooo!

Wait, does this mean I have to get a job?


Friday, August 26, 2011

itch itch

I cant stop itching. Right now it is just my palms and behind my knees and I am trying to keep my hands off, because if I start itching the whole area will be read and inflamed and I will get these huge welts. I just hope it doesnt get any worse today.

For the past 4 days I have been breaking out in hives. Usually they start on my knees, ankles, wrists, and the back of my neck. Then I get tham on my back, and anywhere I itch turns hot and the "itch marks" swell up and turn white, like big long hives. Yesterday my back was all red with white lines all over it. Chris said it looked like a sunburn, and when touched the skin felt hot there.

Ugh this is driving me crazy. Between the hives and being zonked out of benadryl I have not exactly been a joy to be around. I have an appointment for allergy testing on Wed, so after Sun I wont be able to take any benadryl. I will be an itchy, cranky basket case.

P.S. I really, really hate my body right now. Just can't freaking stand it. Can anyone give me some pointers for that (no diet tips, please), or maybe just a pep talk?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In which I go for a walk and am very nearly eaten by a mountain lion/wolf/coyote/beaver.

Tonight I ate a meal at Perkins that I swear took a few years off my life. When we go home, I decided to do something healthy to make up for it, so I went for a walk to explore more of my new 'hood. We live in a sort of a sub-division that is on the edge of Ames. I like to walk in off-road, woodsy-type places, and I was delighted to come to a dead end which turned into a lane between a corn field and a creek surrounded by tall grass, with another field on the other side. There was a sign that said "bridge closed", and I could see about half mile down the lane a faint outline of an old bridge. I was psyched to go check it out. As I walked I noticed the beauty of the countryside. There were butterflies and grasshoppers flying around, tall grass was swaying in the breeze, and once I peeked over the grass at the creek, which was down a steep bank, and saw minnows swimming.
As I walked along I was listening to my headphones, but decided to turn off the music and enjoy the peaceful sounds of nature. It was as I was removing my headphones that I heard it: A low, menacing growl from the tall grass just ahead to my left. I froze, not quite sure if I had even heard it. But there it was again, coming from the grass by the creek bank. I couldn't move. I immediately thought back to my last minute decision to leave my cellphone at home. I had no way to defend myself, and no way to call for help. I realized I could be attacked and mauled by whatever was in the grass and no one would come to my rescue.
I had adrenaline coursing through my body and I wanted to run, but I was afraid that whatever was in the grass would take my flight as an invitation to chase me down. I backed slowly away, then turned and walked swiftly away down the lane. I heard the growling again, and fought the urge to run. As I got further along, I began to look back to see if anything was following me, but the lane was clear. I wondered if anything could be stalking me in the tall grass, but I could see no movement in the grass and thought it unlikely.
As I walked, my mind went back to a conservation exhibit that I had taken the girls to last winter. The conservationist had spent a lot of time talking about how wolves and mountain lions were making their way back into Iowa. Still, it seemed unlikely that I had encountered a mountain lion on the ouskirts of my neighborhood. I could hear traffic from an interstate, and a small engine plane was making it's way noisily throught the sky. Could I have heard a weird echo in the creek bank?
I was glad when I made it to the end of the lane and stepped shakily onto paved road. I was back in civilization; it seemed I was not going to be eaten afterall. As I made my way into the neighborhood, I ran into two women out walking their dogs. I asked them if they ever walked down that lane (they did), and I told them my harrowing tale. I asked them if they ever noticed weird echos in that area, and they said no. We wondered what I had heard in the grass. The ladies told me that there were coyotes out there that howled at night, but it was too early in the evening for them to be out. I was distracted for a moment from my big cat fears as I wondered whether or not I should be alarmed at coyotes on the edge of the 'hood.
I continued on my way home. As I got closer to my duplex, my sense of unreality grew. Less than a half-hour ago I was afraid that I was in imminent danger of a lion-mauling. Now I was surrounded by split-levels and ranch style homes, children were riding bikes, moms pushing strollers. Everything was so normal.
Was I having an auditory hallucination? Or was it an echo playing off the creek? Or did I really come this close to being attacked by a wild beast?
I want to go back and check things out, but I will have to bring someone with me. And I will bring my cellphone. And maybe some blow darts.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Still no internet, so I am sitting in a freezing cold coffee shop and their ceilling fan is blowing on me full-blast. I have a huge headache that started in my forehead. Despite the ibuprofen I took, it has spread to the rest of my head and my eyeballs and I now have a sore throat.

Hey just now the Qwest guy called and he said our internet was good to go. Well, we'll see....

So tonight I am going to the nutrition and diabetic education center at our local hospital to help run an ED support group. Last month I went, and there was no one there but the facilitator, so we just sat and talked for awhile and by the end she had asked me to help out with the group. I guess I was flattered and excited at the time, but today I dont feel like going. I just want to lay on the couch and nurse my headache. But I am going to follow through because this is something I really want to do. I will let you all know how it goes.

Ok so here is the BIG news: I completed my CNA program on Sunday!!!! TO be officially certified and able to work I still have to take the state test, but I am through with the school part and I even got an A! This might not seem like a big deal to alot of people, as it was only a 3 month course. But it is HUGE for me. I attempted college twice in the 90's and droppecd out both times. As I got sicker and more dysfunctional and ended up on soc security, I assumed I would never be able to handle a job or school and just staying out of the hospital was about the best I could hope for in life. I have been on social sec for 11 years now. The past 2 years I have been feeling like maybe I want to push myself and see if I could accomplish an educational or vocational goal, but it just seemed like there were so many barriers. Even the task of applying to school was daunting (and it was only community college!). something as simple as aquiring my high school transcript was very stressful, because it involved tracking down phone numbers and calling people I didn't know and stuff. Then I had to apply, and after that I had to register. I am working with Vocational Rehabilitation, and I really just wanted my voc rehab counsellor to do all this stuff for me, but she wanted m to do it myself. Getting into the CNA program was hard because of all the paperwork. I needed proof of a physical and background checks. Oh, and the school kept telling me the wrong date to apply, and then acting like they had no idea what I was talking about when I called them and they told me something different. Most of the time I felt stupid and humiliated, like I was having a hard time with suff that millions of students do effortlessly every year.
The class itself was not that hard. getting there at 8 am every Sat sucked, though. I am NOT a morning person, plus the 200mgs of Trazadone I take at night make it hard for me to get up in the morning. But I made it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

well howdy

Hey there! I moved last week and am having problems getting my internet set up. I finally found some Wi-Fi today and am making an attempt to get caught up with everyone. I don't have time to comment on everyone's blogs right now but I am wishing you all well.

SO here's the quick rundown on what is going on with me right now:

Back on the Lexapro and no health anxiety (suprise, suprise). My body image still sucks but I am just dealing with it.
As I mentioned, we moved, and thathas been very stressful. We are mostly unpacked but there are alot of things I cant find. Under normal circumstances I am not the most organized person. I tend to "file" important bills and papers all over the house and then forget where I have put them. Add the move, and I am hopelessly behind on some things. I am in NO way ready for the girls to go back to school this month. Well, paperwork wise. In other ways, I am VERY ready.
They are getting along better since the move. Having seperate rooms is helping, plus we have a big yard and they have made some freinds and ae spending alot of time running and playing outdoors. It's been so good for them!
Woops, it looks like my computer battery is about to die. I had better publish this quick and do a part 2 later.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

yep, I am still a hypochondriac (I checked)

One reason that I have not been blogging as much this summer is that I have been struggling with body image REALLY BAD and every time I have sat down to blog all I can think about is complaining about my body and weight. Obviously I know that would not be helpful to me or anyone reading, so I have restrained myself. But it has been a struggle, and my zest and zeal for recovery has been reduced to a mere plodding along, putting one foot in front of the other, because I know "it's worth it!".

I have been gaining weight since last December and have suspected Lexapro to be the culprit, since that was around the time I started taking it. I dont know if you all remember but my doctor put me on it because he wanted me on an SSRI (I was on pristiq which is an SNRI) for my health anxiety. My health anxiet is basically hypochondriasis, but that is not my official diagnoses, because I have alrady been diagnosed with anxiety. Hypochondria is only diagnosed when it is the primary symptom, but I have other anxiety problems as well.

So anyways, the Lexparo helped dramatically with my health anxiety and I went from frequent calls to the nurse and doctor, urgent care, and ER visits, to having no health worries at all. It was great! Fast-forward to now. I havent had any signifigant health worries for several months. I dont think I have been to the ER since the lexapro. But I am really down about my weight. So I decided to try going off the lexapro. I called my psychdoc's nurse and let her know and explained why and she said to call if I had a any problems and also to go back on the lexapro if I felt worse after stopping it. Well I went from 30mgs down to 20mgs without any problems, but after I got down to 10, things started to change. This past week I have called the on-call dentist because I was afraid that I had an infection in my jaw from dental work I had done. I don't, but he gave me some antibiotics just to be sure (bad, I know). Then I was having chest pains and I called FirstNurse and my mom, who is a nurse. I went to the ER (but in my defense, they both told me to) and after a few hours and ekg and chest x-rays the doc told me I was fine and it was likely costocondritis, which I have had before. I think I would have recognized that if I had been on the Lexapro. But in my anxiety I went straight to "heart attack", of course. Oh, and I saw a friend from church while I was in the ER which was kind of embarassing.

So yesterday I started my full dose again but I dont think it has kicked in yet because today I was SURE I was pregnant (even though today is the last day of my period) and I had to run out and take TWO pregnancy tests and even though they were both negative I am still worried I am pregnant and worrying about what the dental x-rays and chest x-ray and meds have done to my (imaginary) unborn child. It's like, even though the logical part of me knows I am fine, there is a part of my brain that believes something different and continues to obsess over it. SO frustrating.

Well, the lexapro may or may not be affecting my weight, but I am stuck with it for now, because the turmoil I have gone through this week was more distressing to me than my bad body image. I also think I need to face my body image and learn to look outside of the physical to find value with myself instead of trying to fix the problem with weight loss (even healthy weight loss, which is all I was planning).

Peace out :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

4th of july

 Ok here are some overdue pictures from the 4th of July. We went to Living History Farms in Des Moines. It's this old fashioned village with with people dressed in period costumes demonstrating what life was like in the 1800's. There were lots of hands-on activities for kids, and since it was the 4th of july there were additional games and fun things to do. It was a really fun day and I also thought that it was an educational and appropriate thing to do for the holiday.

Here is Emma in the blacksmith's shop hammering a red hot steel rod. Yeah, I thought it was a bit dangerous, but they seemed to know what they were doing.
 Here is Annie working the bellows. You cant see the bellow because it is really huge and is hanging from the ceilling. The air from the bellows blew into a pipe the went down to where the fire was.
 Here is the one room schoolhouse. Do you see those kids sitting at the front? Well, MY girls were sitting there, but they got up for a second and these kids took their spots. Grrrrrr. In case I haven't mentioned it, other people's kids get on my nerves.
 Annie trying out some stilts. I tried them too and they are ALOT harder than they look.
 Chris letting one go in a watermelon seed spitting contest. He got 19 feet.

 I gave it a shot but I only got about 3 feet. It was kind of pathetic.

 Even the girls got about 9 feet each!
 Potato sack race. MUCH harder than it looks.
 Pie eating contest (Emma and Annie are on the left). I thought about participating but I wanted it to be a fair competition hehe.
 Emma got second place. See the look on her face? Yeah, it took her awhile to recover.
 Annie going for the gusto. When she realized that she didnt get a ribbon she was sad, but this really nice guy who had third place gave her his ribbon. Isn't that nice?

BEST. PHARMACY. EVER. Too bad I didn't have a prescription.
 These pigs were cute but they smelled SO bad. I thought I was going to vomit.

The girls playing with old fashioned hoops, and an annoying kid who kept getting in my pictures.
The girls are playing "penny scramble", which involveds tossing some pennies into a pile of hay and having the kids try to find them. They loved it so much I am thinking of buying a bale of hay.

Emma is scraping a bison hide at the indian farm.

Well that is about it. We had a pretty good day and also watched some fireworks and did sparklers that night. The fourth of July has not been my favorite holiday because I have a very bad memories associated with it, but I am healing from that and have found that actually going out and celebrating the holiday and making new memories (instead of sitting around and pretending the 4th didnt exist) has actually helped to put it behind me.

Well I still have more to update on but this is going to be it for now.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

update coming

Thank you everyone for the great support on my last post. I am sorry I havent updated but I AM doing better and am back to seeing my therapist. I know I owe a big long update but that will have to wait until tomorrow because I am very tired. I just have so many things to write about. So look for the real update soon!

Sunday, June 26, 2011


To elaborate on the last post......

I am freaking depressed. I feel like a bad mom (and I dont want anyone to comment about what a great mom I supposedly am because you guys just see the good stuff on here). I don't have any friends here, in person, that I can relate to or talk to. I hate my body. I know I should probably be excercising but it is too much of an effort. EVERYTHING is too much of an effort. Even things that I usually enjoy are just no fun right why bother. All I really want to do is sit and watch TV and not talk to ANYBODY. If I could just sit in my room all day and watch tv that would be fine with me. By the way, I normally abhor the "plugged in" all the time lifestyle and I really try to limit how much the tv is on in our house. So, right now I am not setting a very good example for my girls. But I am not thinking about that at the moment. I am thinking about NOT thinking and just numbing out.
I dont have anything coming up with my T right now and I should schedule something but I just dont see the point. I'm freakin depressed, what else is there to talk about?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I am NOT ok right now. That is all. I will right more later when this ginormous headache goes away.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

oh no they didn't!

A good friend let me know the other day that our parks and recreation has posted a "very cute" photo of Annie and I at the pool on the aquatic center's FB page. I wasnt sure how I felt about this, and after finding the picture and looking at it, I am still not sure. I think it bothers me. I am just trying to figure out if it bothers me enough to ask them to take it down.

I am a recover(ed?)(ing?) anorexic and bulimic and I have never had a very good body image. That plus the fact that I have gained a crapton MORE weight this winter, and it's a wonder that I go out in public AT ALL in my bathing suit! If I didn't have kids, I wouldn't.

I have a miraclesuit. No crap, it's really called a miraclesuit! It has all this technology and stuff to suck your stomach in. As far as swimsuits go, it is pretty decent. But, even with the miraclesuit, I would be hard pressed to let someone take a picture of me in it. And if I did, I would have to be posed perfectly to avoid an unflattering shot that would make me want to go cut off my stomach with garden shears. But even under the best of conditions, I might still delete the picture. And if I kept it, I would only share it with a select few people.

Come on, think about the last time you posted a pic on your blog (if you do). Tell me you didn't obsess over it, at least a little bit?

Oh, and another thing, I would NEVER let a stranger take my photo in a swimsuit!

Which brings to mind, I remember seeing the photographer. Annie and I were coming around the bend in the lazy river and I saw her focusing her lense in our direction. I immediately put my hands over my face in what I assumed was the universal sign for "take my picture and I'll punch you in the kidney!" but maybe she didn't quite get the message.

What resulted was a very akward photo of me with my hand up near my ear. But..........

Annie is also in the picture and she looks adorable! Something in me feels guilty about deleting a picture of her. I cant quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's the proud mama in me who is thrilled that they posted a picture of my litte cutie! She SHOULD be on the site; she's a cute kid having fun at the pool on a hot day.

Its late and I'm tired and I dont even know what I am talking about anymore. Bottom line is, shes a cute kid and I'm glad her pic is up there but I hate that I'm in it and I want my whole body taken out or at least photoshopped and I think it's a huge invasion of my privacy and its making me feel really insecure especially because at least two people I know have seen it and probably more and I want to call on Monday to ask them to take it down but now that people know about it I am afraid that they will think I am a bad sport or a weirdo or a bad mom.

If nobody had said anything I wouldnt even have known it is out there.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I need a job.

I have started looking for a part-time job and so far I am discouraged. I am not sure how to fill out an application. How do I explain an 11 year gap in employment? And I sure am not going to put any of the 16 jobs I had in the 3 years I was just doesn't look good. I am going to the workforce developement center tomorrow; maybe that will help.

I did get my hopes up a bit when I saw an add for a job houskeeping nude or just in underwear. I know how to clean a house, plus I can supply my own uniform! However, as I read further, I saw that they wanted a young male for the job. Sigh.
Isn't it against the law to to not hire someone because of their gender? Whatver.....

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

conversation with Emma

Here it is, the question I have been dreading.....way worse than "Mommy, how are babies made?". It happened last night......

Emma: mom, do you think I am overweight?

Me (calm outside, internally freaking): No. Not even a little. Why do you ask?

Emma: I dont know.....

Me: did somebody say you were overweight?

Emma: no, but.......alot of kids in my class weigh in the 40's or 50's and I weigh 75.

Me: well, you are taller than most of the kids in your class, so you would weigh more. Your weight is normal for your height. Plus, you are pretty muscular, and muscle weighs more.

Emma:but, you know how when I saw Dr. Paschen for my leg and they weighed me an it said 75?

Me: yep.

Emma: but the last time I was there it was like 74. So I gained weight.

Me: Well, you are growing. You will keep on growing and it will be normal for you to keep gaining weight and getting taller until you get to your adult size. That's how it works. Its ok.

Emma: hmmmm

Then the conversation was pretty much over and we talked about other stuff. I like to think that I satisfied her questions, but I worry that she is still thinking about it. I have forseen this because Emma seems to be developing ahead of her class; she is a head taller than most of the girls and wears clothing sized for kids a few years older than her. I also know that she gets alot of "education" about eating healthy and not being overweight and stuff (thank you Michelle Obama). I had lunch at my daughter's school the other day and heard Emma's little friends talk about which foods they weren't eating because they were fattening. Incidently, this conversation started because Emma and I were eating cheese. I seized the opportunity to tell the girls that it is ok to eat fat because fat is a vital nutrient and we need it to survive. I also told them that no one food would make them fat and that you can eat all foods as long as you eat a variety and not the same foods all the time. I think I blew their little minds.

I was thinking about myself at Emma's age. By nine, I had a really bad body image and felt like I looked different and my body was dfferent that other kids in my class. It was a sort of difference that felt bad. But it wasnt until later that I connected it to my weight. I dont even think that I knew my weight at that age. I didn't know anything about dieting either. My mom didn't diet or buy diet foods. We didn't watch alot of TV and didnt have women's magazines around. I didnt understand what calories were or how they related to my body or shape.
This is why I felt a knot in my stomache, thinking about this conversation with Emma. Not only has she noticed her weight, the number, but she has noticed a one pound weight gain enough to be concerned about it. I swear, the window of innocence in getting smaller and smaller. I wish she wasnt thinking about these things. Well who knows, maybe she is not thinking about them as much as I think she is and I am just spazzing out. What do you all think?

BTW, if you are my friend on FB, I posted a link to a news story about Sketcher's new Shape-ups shoes for girls as young as age 7! Notice they don't make them for boys *ahem*.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


 I cleaned the girl's room yesterday. Here are the before pictures....

 How could they even move around in there?

Much better!!!!!!!!!!!!
ok blogger is being a huge a*hole and I am done screwing with it for now. The above pics are fom visiting with my brother and seeing my new baby niece on Mother's day. Will be back with a meatier post later. @*#&$&%%*!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

insert title here

I start CNA (certified nurse aide) training on Saturday. It will be every Saturday from 8-4:30 until mid August. Suck!
So, I got my textbook the other day and already I see a problem developing. Every time I open the book I see some gross picture that makes me gag! Like a gnarly bedsore, or a cutaway diagram of the CNA sticking her/his finger up someones butt in search of a turd (deimpacting). I can barely read about this stuff- how am I ever going to do this!? Well, we'll see, I guess. On the upside, I did get a cute purplish-pinkish stethescope that I cant wait to play with....

Ok, subject change.

I restricted last week, for two days. Durring these two days I was...

and I...

  1.couldn't stop thinking about food and counting calories
  2.was in a general daze and had brain fog
  3.felt really guilty
  4.didnt really lose any weight

Sounds like fun, right?
Haha, not.

SO I started eating again, and probably overate to make up for the days I didnt eat much. It seems to me I could have just skipped the whole thing and come out the same.. Still, this experience has given me something to think about.

For one thing, the guilt is new. I never used to feel guily about restricting. I think the difference is, now I have a choice, and I know it. There was a time in my ED that I didnt have a choice. I firmly believe that, and so does my T. Otherwise I would have gotten better a long time ago. I wished for a change, but continued in my ED because I didn't know how to stop. I was entrenched in the illness and couldn't see a way out. Well, now that I HAVE found my way out of that hole, I feel that stepping back into it by my own choice would be just....wrong. It would be like throwing away all the hard work and the struggle I have done to get to this place. It would be like a big "eff you!" to all the people who have been there for me, and without who's support I wouldn't be there today. Hence the guilt.

Sometimes I think I a little guilt is a good thing.

Friday, April 29, 2011


I apologise for the lack of postage. I'm ok, jut been super busy. I hope you all had a great Easter! In case anyone is wondering, I did NOT actually buy the Gangsta Bunny. Who would actually get one of those for their children?

Have any of you seen the movie "Idiocracy"? When I see stuff like this Gangsta Bunny, it reminds me of that movie. Our society is truly going down the crapper.

I saw the movie "Black Swan last night, and I must say I did not like it. I found it to be gross and creepy and weird. I fast forwarded through all the sex stuff  because it was waaaay to graphic for me. *shivers*

My Emma ordered her caterpillars from a butterfly kit I got her for Christmas (it has finally been warm enough for them to be shipped). After a week of watching them crawl around they all climbed to the top of the jar and formed chrysallis's. They did it so fast, too! One minute we would look at them and they would be catterpillars, and then an hour later they were completely coccooned! It was pretty neat and we cant wait for them to hatch (should be a few weeks).

My daughter Emma's therapist is leaving the clinic. She signed a "no compete" contract so she could not tell us where she would be moving to, but she did say that she would not be to hard to find if I wanted to look for her (wink wink) and that she would still be taking title 19. So that narrows it down to about three agencies in the area where she could be working. I think I would rather have Emma continue seeing her as opposed to starting with someone new, and she said she would like to continue working with Emma. Emma's last appointment with her is next week, and then it will be time for me to pick up the phone and track her down.

Why do therapists move? Why do they have personal lives? Therapists should never move or get sick or go on vacation or take maternity leave. In short, a therapist should have no life and live at their office and return your call/email within 3 minutes and always have an opening the minute you need them.
Ok, ok, I am totally joking. I guess if that were the case, we would never have to "use our skills" or practice "crisis management" or ask our support people for help ect. For me, most of the work of recovery has taken place outside of the therapist's office. That is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak.

Oh well, thats about it for today.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gangsta' Bunny!

 Gangsta Bunny, complete with gold chain, oversized hoodie, and baggy pants.

 And yes, lets not forget the gang sign. Represent!

 Gangsta Bunny gettin' payyed, yo!

 Hangin wit his peeps.

 Yo, dat aint mine!

 Yeah, right. Look at those eyes and tell me you aint been smokin' the easter grass.

"18 years, 18 years, she got you for 18 years......"

Saturday, April 16, 2011

update, shoplifting, stuff

Hmm, I think I will just do a bit of an update.
I plan to answer Keely's request for a story about one of my misadventures, but I think that will be a post of it's own. Actually, I first want to answer Nobody Girl's question about how I was able to stop shoplifting.

The short answer is: I got busted. Before I got busted, I shoplifted nearly every time I went to the store. At first it was just for the thrill of it, the high of getting away with it. Sometimes I shoplifted clothes and purses, but usually it was trinkets. Something small enough to fit in my hand or up my sleeve. I kept my "collection" on my dresser: crystals, tiny boxes made of seashells, little figurines. I also like to steal costume jewelry. So like I said, it was for the high at first, but after awhile it became like a compulsion.
 I remember the first time I realized this. I was eating with my family at a restraunt in the Amanas (quaint historic villiages in Iowa). There was a gift shop at the restraunt and we were all going to look in it. It was full of little souvenier and trinkets and things. As soon as I stepped in there I felt scared. there was like this elecricity buzzing all over my body. You know the term "itchy fingers"? I definately had itchy fingers. I was overwhelmed being around all that stuff and I felt I had to take something. I just kept thinking "no, I dont want to do this with my family here" and I put my hands in my pockets to try to calm them down. the urge to take someting was overwhelming and I ended up leaving the gift shop because I knew if I stayed in there any longer I would break. Thats when I knew it was a problem. Anyways, I eventually got busted.
 It was horrible. It was like all the guilt that I didn't feel all those times I stole decended on me all at once. My feeling of invincibility was gone, poof! I didn't get into any real trouble because I was a teen. I shoplifted a few times after that, but it wasnt fun anymore. Instead of a high, there was a sick feeling of guilt and fear. So anyways, that's how it ended.

 Ok, update: I am struggling REALLY hard with body image. I have been having lots of ED thoughts lately but am fighting them. Every time I get close to turning back to my eating disorder, something (God) steps in and saves me. For example: Last night before bed I was looking for my prom picture to show Emma. I was sitting on the floor on one side of the bed, and Chris was on the floor on the other side, saying his evening prayer. As I was looking through pictures I came across one from when I was really sick. I just stared at it and I swear it started to hypnotize me. I just kept thinking "I want to be that thin again. I want to look like that. I want to be thin. I want to be thin. I will be thin." and I started thinking about losing weight and making plans in my head and fantasizing about restricting, ect. Then all of a sudden it was like the ED fog in my head cleared and I could look down and see myself from a bird's eye view: Chris on his side of the bed praying and me on my side staring at that picture and I was like "Wow. Look what I am worshiping. Look what I am holding up as my idol. This is SO not where I want to be". I prayed to God, thanking Him for showing me myself in that moment. I also prayed honestly, aknowleging to Him that in many ways I still want the eating disorder, and asking Him to take that desire from me, and to love recovery more.

 Ok, this is getting really long so I"ll finish up with the update:
 I am all registered for CNA classes and start on the 7th of may.
 Chris is having a hard time in school and is taking cymbalta.
 I applied for a job (maybe more about that later).
 It was warm here but now it is cold again (sucky Iowa weather).
My sister is having her baby next week.
 I still feel lost and inadequate most of the time.

 Thanks for being there :) XOLisa

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Sorry I haven't posted for a bit. I am ok, just suffering from some serious writer's block. If anyone has ideas about what I should blog about I would love to hear them. Or if anyone has a question they want to ask? Anyone? Now's your chance!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Award, yo! (edit: when I hit "publish", all my lists were condensed into one long paragraph and I cant figure out how to fix it. Any ideas?)

ok so I got an award from the lovely blogger who writes "Battle in Mind", see here for details because I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste the award to my page : hmmm, it turns out I cant post a link either. I'm so lame. Anyways, BIM is on my blogroll, check it out!!!! The award is called "Versatile Blogger Award", and you have to thank the person who gave it to you (THANK YOU!!!!!), list 7 things about yourself that people might not know, and pass the award on to 5 people. So here is my list:

1. I used to be a compulsive shoplifter.

2. When I was a kid I was obsessed with running away to live in the woods.

3. I really REALLY want to visit New York City in the fall. I have never been there.

4. I LOVE frogs, and I have a collection of frog statues and things that I have been accumulating since I was a kid.

5. My favorite book is Watership Down.

6. I am anti-milk (for reasons other than food allergies or ED). Comment if you want to hear my anti-milk rant.

7. My ED started with a book I read. Isn't that ridiculous? Maybe I should write a post about it.

I pass this award on to:

My homegirl Bananas!!!

Soft Spoken Girl !

Kris (blue flower Kris, who's blog I really need to put up there on my blogroll)!

Jules from Flawed Design!

Liz from The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday!

P.S. I tried to post a vlog the other day and it would not load..grrrrr! I have been in Waterloo the last few days at a WRAP training, when I feel up to it I will post about that because I think it is a great tool for recovery that everyone should know about!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Today I just feel....blah. Tired. A little down. I'm doing ok with my ED recovery. I'm not restricting or purging. Mostly, I am struggling with my body image. I put on alot of (unneccesary) weight this winter and I am just feeling really sluggish and unfit. And its not like I can diet, you know? I have identified a few things I can change that would help, like drinking more water and getting some form of physical activity on a regular basis. It's been hard to move from the contemplative stage to the ACTION stage, though. The truth is, I really like sitting on the couch and drinking diet Coke! Sigh. I'm doing so well. I'm doing so well. I'm doing so well. But the truth is, sometimes I wish I wasnt doing so well. Sometimes I really miss being sick. Don't worry, I'm still totally anti-ED pro-recovery. I am still really proud of myself for how good I am doing, and I am excited about my future. But sometimes I get scared, and I want to go back to what is comfortable. I'm excited about school, and getting a job, and being involved with NAMI, and all of the possibilities that are opening up now that I dont have to spend all my time and energy fighting the ED. But its also all so new and unknown. I know how to be sick. I know how to be in crisis. I'm experienced in it. Without the ED I feel...naked? Unsure? Alone? I keep going because I have faith that this will change. Eventually, health will feel normal and comfortable for me. It's just hard right now.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I am in heaven. It is so rare that I get to enjoy a cup of coffee in my own home. When Chris and I stayed in a hotel last week, I swiped the coffee packet that goes in the room's little coffee maker. So this morning, I heated some water and steeped the coffee packet in it, like a teabag. And now I am sitting on the couch with a nice hot mug of black deliciousness. Ahhhh! Someday I will have a coffee maker.....someday......

I tried to register for a CNA training program today, and was met with quite a bit of frustration. Turns out I need to get a TB test and flu shot and background check BEFORE I can register! Maybe this is common knowledge for the rest of you, but I tend to exist outside the realm of reality. SO anyways, I had to print out a bunch of forms and I have to go see Dr. Sean today and get a TB test and flu shot and stuff. That works out ok, thought, because I wanted to see him today anyway. I am worried I have cirrosis of the liver.

YES I have been googling symptoms again. Sue me.

P.S. I have been thinking about doing a video post on my blog. What do you think?

Monday, March 14, 2011


I havent posted in awhile beacause my life has been crazy busy. My girls were off school last week, I had two parent-teacher conferences, appointments for me and Emma, and my mom came to visit for a few days. Also I went to a mother/daughter sleepover at my church friday night and didnt sleep ALL NIGHT!
But the biggest thing going on has been getting ready for my sister's baby shower. I was collaberating with my sister's sister-in law on it. I have been kind of obsessing on making it perfect, running from store to store for weeks trying to find the perfect little things to make it special, worrying over the menu, ect.. Anyways, Saturday I had to prep most of the food and make the cake, on NO sleep. It was brutal. My wonderful husband Chris helped me so much. He matchsticked so many vegetables for the spring rolls that he actually got a blister!

Here is a bouquet of flowers I made using baby hats and baby washclothes. I learned how to do it on the internet.

Here is the shower cake. It is supposed to look like a onesie. It was my first time using fondant and I was really worried about it, but it turned out nice. The shower colors were pink, green, and black.

This shower was really important to me. I wasnt a very good sister in our early adult years. I was so sick, in and out of the hospital, consumed by my ED and barely functional. When she had my niece (who is now 11) someone else did the baby shower. When she got married I was the maid of honor, but basically all I did was show up. I didnt throw the shower or organise the bachelor party. In fact, I almost didn't make the wedding because I was committed to ED treatment at UIHC (but I escaped, so it was all good). I was supposed to be house and dog sitting for her durring her honeymoon, but was hospitalised with low potassium and had to call her in Hawaii and she and to find someone else. Sister FAIL!

We have grown apart, but I really want my sister to know that I want a better relationship with her and I care about her and stuff. I think she had a great time at the shower and we stayed at her house and got to hang out and talk and it went really well. So I am hopefull that I am on the road to redeeming myself. Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

just a quick post

Hey. I just wanted to say thank you for the support on my last post. I am doing better.

When I get upset my emotions get REALLY intense. It's like I can go from 0 to 100 in an instant. It is uncomfortable to be in such emotional distress, but I think that I have made progress, because I can tolerate it without acting on any of the self-harm urges or doing anything else crazy or impulsive.

I haven't had alot of time to read or comment on blogs the past few days because of some stuff going on at home. Emma, my 9 year old, is really struggling with anxiety and depression and I have been worrying about her and trying to focus more on her (and our family in general). Not that I am neglecting myself. I know I have to take care of myself so I can be healthy and take care of my family. I am just trying to find a balance.

For example, I have decided to start driving Emma to school instead of having her take the bus. This way she can get a few minutes more sleep and hopefully have a more relaxed start to her day. But it also means that I actually have to get up and function in the morning, which means I have to try to go to bed earlier at night. This is hard for me, because night time is my "me time", when I usually check blogs and stuff. I could still do this as soon as the kids went to bed, but that would mean that I would be totally neglecting my husband. Sigh. It seems like everyone wants a piece of me! It's so hard for me to carve out a little time for myself.....

I am thinking about going back to weekly therapy. I had cut back to every other week, but things have been kind of stressful. Besides my depression and anxiety, I am having trouble with my marriage and worrying about Emma. I think I need at LEAST an hour a week to deal with all of this.

Sorry I am so whiny right now. I am just SO GRUMPY! Getting up early makes me grumpy.

p.s. sorry about the swear in the previous post. I was just going throught some really intense emotions. I know that not many people are offended by swearing these days, but if you were, I apologise.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

bad day hello

I just feel.....sad..angry..hopeless..useless...I could go on, but I wont.

There is trouble in paradise. Chris and I had, well, not a fight. We don't really fight. We had a thing. And it is not really resolved, so we have spent most of this evening hanging around our small apartment but not really talking to eachother.

Right after the thing, I was feeling so angry and sad and hurt. And FULL, because I had just eaten dinner. Why is it that this crap always happens right around dinner time? I wanted to throw up so bad. Just throw up all those feeelings. Feel empty and calm and emotionless. Thats how the ED made me feel. I had no emotions. No one could hurt me, because I didn't feel pain.

But I didn't feel joy, either.

I didn't throw up. I did some laundry, and then I decided to look through a box of photos. You know, real photos, not the ones on my computer. I didn't have a digital camera when Emma was little, so most of the pictures are from when she was a baby and a toddler, with a few of Chris and Annie thrown in. But mostly I looked at Emma. Emma, with her baby curls, her huge, beautiful eyes. Her mischevious grin.

It was a mistake, looking at those pictures. Because it all came rushing at me and hit me square in the stomach, like a fist. The years between when those pictures were taken and now. All the mistakes I have made. All the stupid, crazy shit I have done. The times she has seen me cry, freak out, and break down. The eight times I have been hosptialised since she was born.

I have tried to be the best mom I could be!!!!! I have given her everything I had to give, but the problem is, I have never had very much to give.

Maybe I should have stayed with her dad. Or maybe I should have given him custody. Maybe what that one blogger said was right: crazy people shouldn't have children.

What am I? Stupid, unstable, lazy, uneducated, bad mom, failure.

I don't care if I never amount to anything. But God, please save my girls.

I'll be ok (so don't worry). It's just been a really crappy day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

getting the shaft

I am irritated and just need to vent about a few things.
I just had to fork over $25 for two days worth of Lexapro. For some reason my prescription plan had decided that it wants prior authorization, and of course since today is saturday and my doctor's office is closed I had no choice but to buy a few to tide me over. The problem is, I take 30 mgs a day, and the script is for 10 mg tablets, which is 3 per day, but my drug plan has decided it wont pay for 3 pills per day. I could get 20 mg tablets and take 1 and 1/2 per day and they would cover that. But since the script is for 10 mg tablets I have to wait until they can get ahold of my doctor and ask him to change it to 20 mg tablets.
I dont know if I am making any sense. I am just really irritated at the moment.
But seriously, does this look like $25 worth of meds to you? Why is this stuff so expensive, anyway?

Ok, here is the the other thing I want to complain about. Since there were some killer after-Vday candy sales, I treated myself to this ginormous box of chocolates. I took this pic with Annie in it, for scale. I don't even think she knew I was taking her picture because she was mesmerised by the Wii.
So it looks like a big box, right? has a false bottom! How deceptive! It's like they hired some engineers to figure out how to put the least amount of chocolate in the biggest box.

And they weren't very good chocolates anyway. Oh well.

Ok, rant over.

Monday, February 14, 2011

my valentines

Happy Valentines Day to the loves of my life, my reasons for living, my everything!!




Wednesday, February 9, 2011

superficial moment of the day

Oh, who am I kidding....I spend most of my day thinking about superficial crap.
So which do you like better.....

....or long(ish)......

......because I am trying to decide whether or not to keep growing it. Right now I am leaning towards growing it some more. I mean, I can always cut it, right?

I don't know, for some reason the short hair makes me feel younger.

What do you think?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

the job

I wasn't planning on getting a job right now. I am working with vocational rehabilitation, but so far the plan is for me to try taking a college class next fall (hence the application). But then this job popped up at the local mental health center. The position is "Peer Support Specialist". They are looking for people who have lived experience with mental illness, who are stable and can work with others with severe and persistant mental illness to help them with things like goal setting, coping skills, problem solving, crisis management, advocacy, ect. I would be helping others maintain stability so they can live in the community, and advocate for them durring crisis.

I really, really want to do this kind of work. And goodness knows I have the "lived experience". I have experienced pretty much every level of care they have around here...inpatient psych unit, county care facility (otherwise known as residential or long-term care), supervised community living, inpatient and outpatient committment, ect. I think the only place I haven't been is a group home. But I understand what it is like to come out of an institution and try to live in the "real world". All of a sudden having to navigate stressors like bills and grocery shopping and getting to appointments. Not having a nurse or care tech to talk to 24/7 when you feel anxious or unsafe. People get stable in the hospital or in a treatment center, but on your own, in your own place, is where the rubber meets the road. Some people don't make it. Maybe they don't have enough support, or they are not following their wellness plan, or something stressful happens. Or maybe they are just too ill. Sometimes all it can take is a few crisis hospitalizations and you are sent back to an institution.
That's where I think that Peer Support can be really valuable. The PSS can fill in the gap between therapists and case workers who are often overworked. The PSS ideally would have greater empathy and insight because of their own battle with mental illness, and might even be able to see signs of deterioration before a liscenced proffessional.
I have a friend here in Iowa who because of an ED has been in and out of hospitals and treatment centers for years (we have been in alot of the same places here in Iowa and I think she would agree with me that treatment around here for ED's is woefully inadequate). Following a hospitalization last year she was is a care facility for several months, and eventually was released to her own apartment. She had a therapist and a dietitian. She also had a caseworker who was supposed to be keeping tabs on her but kept failing to show up for home visits and to my knowledge only made it once or twice. My friend saw her therapist and dietitian regularly, but it was between visits that she really struggled, and eventually relapsed. She was re-hospitalised, lost her apartment, and is now in a care facility yet again. The whole thing has made me so angry and helpless. Maybe peer support would not have made a difference. Maybe she would have gone downhill no matter what. But I really believe that if she had had a PSS who could have come to her home several times a week and was able to sit down with her and work out a plan to deal with behaviors and even maybe grocery shopped with her or been on call to talk and also hold her accountable....I don't know, but I think it might have made a difference. Maybe with more support it might have just been a rough patch that she would have gotten over, instead of a full-blown relapse. And I am not niave. I'm sure that the situation was more complicated than it appeared. But whatever the circumstances were, it was clear to me that she did not get the support she needed to live independently.

Ok, so back to the job. I am not getting my hopes up about this one. For one thing, I have not been through Peer Support Academy, and I have not been trained in WRAP (wellness recovery action planning). But the job add said that you had 2 years to get this training if hired. Also, I learned from someone at NAMI, this lady who is kind of my mentor there who encouraged me to apply for the job, that in my county only 3 people are Peer Support Academy graduates, and two of them are not applying. So maybe I have a chance.

But, like I said, I was not planning to try work at this time. It is only that this particular job became avaliable that I decided to check it out. If I get it, that would be great. And scary (I haven't held a regular job in years, I would have to figure out childcare, I would have to step outside my comfort zone). But if I don't get the job, that would be ok, too. It would just tell me that the timing is off, and I should get the trainings and apply for the job the next time it comes around. So I think I am looking at it in a fairly healthy way.

To be honest, I am more stressed about finalizing the lease on this duplex we might move to next fall. Geez, it's a hassle! Oh, and I have a cold. Again. I don't even think I was 100% over the last one! I swear it ts the gym. Every time I go I get sick. I think that place is crawling.

Well, that's about it. I had like 3 things I wanted to blog about today, but I think this will have to do.


Friday, February 4, 2011

outside my comfort zone

In the past two days I have:

-found an apartment (hopefully signing the lease today)
-applied to college
-responded to a help wanted ad
-applied for training to facilitate NAMI Peer Connections support group

Also, I need to address and send out the invitations to my sister's baby shower which I am planning by the end of this week.

Feeling a bit stressed out at the moment.......

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Ewww, gross, right? I know! I have always been a nail biter, but when I get stressed I go a little overboard and start chewing on the skin around my nails. It started with cuticle picking and kind of progressed from there. I have to admit that is has gotten a bit out of control. As evidenced in the picture above, one patch on my thumb that I am currently "working on" is nearly a full inch from the nail bed. So I cant really call it nail biting anymore. Is it "picking"? Self-cannibalism?
These pictures don't really show how bad it is. The tips of my fingers are usually red and sore and scabby or swollen. It makes nearly everything I try to do hurt! It hurts to buckle my seatbelt, or open containers, zip and button my jeans, put sheets on a bed, ect. Pretty much anything that you use your fingers for is painful for me.

Also, alot of times they will start bleeding without me realising it. I have bled on alot of my clothes, and there are blood spots on our off-white duvet cover on out bed. It is seriously gross. And it embarasses me, especially in public. Cuz you know, everyone likes to be around a stranger who is leaking bodily fluids. Sometimes I will be signing a credit card reciept and realize that I have bled on it. Yummy.

I have tried so many times to stop chewing. But seriously, I like it. It is soothing in a weird way. I guess I can kind of sympathize with those people who pull out their hair. It seems weird to other people, but it's something I do that helps me relax.

You all know that I'm kind of a hypochondriac, though. I do worry about germs I may be picking up places and putting in my mouth. Like, when I sit in my doctor's office and chew. That is about the worst place to be putting your fingers in your mouth! And I am suprised I haven't caught a staph infection yet. It's probably only a matter of time.

Really, these pictures don't do it justice. It's out of control.

Sometimes when I am chewing around Chris he will tell me to stop and it really pisses me off. I know he is just trying to help me and he doesn't like to see me hurt myself (plus he is tired of me bleeding on our duvet) but some part of me feels like he is interfeering, or trying to control me. It makes me feel rebellious and I want to chew more.

Maybe I should be on that new show "My Strange Addiction".


Friday, January 28, 2011

hell hath frozen over

I am going to see a dietitian to day.

Ok I am not anti-dietitian. Lots of people with ED's will benefit from seeing a dietitian at various points in their recovery. But as someone who had been in treatment like a bazillion times, I have kind of a "been there, done that" attitiude about the whole meal plan-serving size-food pyramid thing. I know that fat is a a vital nutrient and your liver can only store 2 hours worth of glycogen and your brain needs carbs to function. I know this stuff (geez I sound cocky).

But I am actually not going to see the D for my eating disorder (or non-eating disorder, since technically I dont even have one anymore! Yay!). I am going to see if she can help with my anxiety and depression. I have been reading ALOT lately about the relationship between mental health and nutrition. Like for instance, did you know that you need amino acids, especially tryptophan, in order for your body to make seratonin? So in theory, even if you were on an SSRI antidepressant, you might still not have enough seratonin if you are not getting all your amino acids. SSRI's dont make seratonin, they just keep more of it floating around in your noggin.
And I have been reading all about different fats, too. I already knew that omega 3's are good for you, but there are also long chain and medium chain and all sorts of fats that do different things for you that I dont quite understand. And I was also reading about how important the balance of magnesium and calcium is in controlling anxiety.

I guess I'm feeling like I am gathering all this information but I dont quite know how to make sense of it, or how to pull it all together. Like, what does all of this mean for Lisa? I don't want a meal plan per se, because I like having flexability, but maybe some sort of loosely structured guidelines would be helpful.

I am seeing a dietitian in my therapist's office. She works with the eating disorder patients, but also with parents of kids with adhd and other mental health problems to help them get the right nutrition to help manage their symptoms, and she knows alot about the relationship between nutrition and mental health. She is only part time in the office, her FT job is professor of nutrition or dietetics or something at Ia State.
Oh, and my insurance wont pay for me to see her so I have to pay out of pocket. Boo. BUt I am to the point where I feel ok about spending the money if I think she could help me. I have been very frustrated with my psych med situation. Pristiq has been a fail, and that is the newest one that I know of. I am SO over the atypical antipsychotics, cant take the benzos because I cant stick to proper doses, have tried every ssri and snri on the market (and even a few that have been pulled from the market), older antidepressants, lithium, shock treatment, ect.
Don't get me wrong, I am going to stay on my current meds, but I think that casting my net a bit wider in my search for symptom relief might be in order.

I'm trying not to get too hopeful. My plan is to go in with no expectations and an open mind.

But seriously, if she whips out the plastic food I am outta there.

Monday, January 24, 2011

dear lisa,

stop weighing yourself at the gym. it's only going to make you crazy.

p.s. i love you!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

strength in recovery

It has been a REALLY bad week body-image wise. I think the Lexapro is making me gain weight. I am not eating any more than usual but over the past several weeks my weight has been creeping up. Not a huge spike, but enough to make my "healthy" jeans tight. I HATE it when my jeans feel tight. It's hard to ignore, ugh.
So that, plus some emotional/life issues I have been dealing with, have really been wearing on my resolve to stay in recovery. I find myself more and more entertaining thoughts about restricting and losing weight. Like, for instance, tonight I had the urge to skip the rice at dinner. I have that urge often, to skip the starch. It usually shows up under the guise of "healthier eating", but in reality I know that I need carbs. I need them for energy. My brain needs them to function.
But then I look at my body, my hips spilling out of my jeans, and I think "I don't need food. I could live off myself for months." Which is not exactly true, but it is hard for me to justify eating when I weigh this much.
Emotionally, I miss the numbness of the eating disorder. I miss how all my problems kind of dissolved around the one problem: my weight. I miss the safe feeling I got from losing weight.

But of course we know that that is all just an illusion.
So what have I been doing?

I don't restrict. I don't skip the starch. Even when the depression and anxiety has flat out killed my appetite, and the smell of food is grossing me out, I sit down at the table with my family and eat a balanced meal. And its hard. Its so hard. It reminds me of being in the middle of a marathon, and you're exhausted, and everything in you wants to lie down and quit. But you keep going, one foot in front of the other. One bite at a time.
I am in recovery by sheer force of will. And despite all the complaining I'm doing here, I feel good. Strong. I was reflecting today on how much stronger I am now than I used to be. I used to run back to the ED as soon as the going got rough, or the jeans got tight. As soon as recovery stopped being a novelty and started feeling like work. But these days, the mastery I have over the ed and the work it took to get here and stay here makes me feel strong, and that feels good.

The word "strong" means something different to me than it did 5 or 10 years ago. Back then, in the grip of the ED, I thought starving would make me strong. If I got hungry, or wanted to skip the last lap around the track, ED would whisper in my ear "come on strong!". If I gave in and ate, or if I stepped on the scale and didn't lose, I would think "you are weak. WEAK!". I am also reminded of a saying I have seen on the pro-ana sites I used to look at: "be strong...starve on!".
But that's just an illusion. The truth is, it would be far easier to go back to starving myself than it is to stay in recovery. I am not weak for eating. Weakness would be skipping dinner because "I'm just not up for it tonight". I excercise more strength on a daily basis now than I ever did as an anorexic.

I'm not saying all this to brag. I really just wanted to share this to remind us all what real strength is. If anyone reading this is in that place where ED is telling you you're weak for eating, or weak for gaining weight, or listening to your treatment team, I want to remind you that Ed is full of crap, so don't listen.

Be strong.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

ED leftovers

I think that I am pretty far along in my recovery, but some old habits die hard. I have what I have come to think of as "ED Leftovers", or certain thoughts or behaviors that just pop up from time to time. I guess it makes sense, if you think about it. I mean, I was eating disordered for about 16 years. All of the little ways I have adapted in order to live my life with an eating disorder don't change overnight. Also, while I choose to tell myself healthy messages about myself and my body, some of the disordered thinking still lurks around my brain. I don't consciously entertain these thoughts, but some of them are tricky. They masquerade as normal.

One big one that sometimes trips me up is my tendancy to see my body as something that is completely subject to my will. The scenario is usually something like this: I have a hectic day, or a change of plans, and I decide that dinner will have to wait until 8:30 pm (instead of 5:30). I expect that even though the last thing I ate was lunch at 11:00, my body run just fine without food until 8:30 because that is what is most convenient to me. And we all know how this usually ends.

Such was the case Friday night. I had to take my daughter to Waterloo (1.5 hours) and then drive back (1.5 hours). I was planning to leave just after 4pm, and hit the drive through for Emma on the way out of town. I could have made an early dinner before we left, but I didn't want to do that because I was feeling lazy. When we went through the drive through, I didn't really want to get any food because nothing sounded good and what I really wanted to do was eat a huge bowl of popcorn for dinner when I got back that evening (ok if anyone wants to jump up my @ss about popcorn for dinner, leave a comment and I will explain how popcorn can be dinner. I just dont feel like going into it right now. Thats not the point of my story anyways). But I was thinking that I needed some "fuel" for the 3 hour drive ahead so I picked a small cafe mocha. I figured the combo of caffiene and sugar would be just the thing to keep me going.

I have to stop myself for a moment because as I'm typing this I'm thinking "hey, this doesn't sound that messed up! Don't alot of women in our culture operate like this? We shrug off our needs and try to patch ourselves up with the quick fix so we dont have to slow down and admit that we are not superwomen and we can't control everything. We grab a cup of coffee and call it dinner and head off to the next task or errand or meeting. Sad.

But you think, with my history, I would know better. Apparently not.

About 20 miles outside of Waterloo I started to get that crappy, jittery, anxious feeling that I get when I drink coffee on and empty stomach. But of course, I'm superhuman, and my body is completely under my control, so I press on. I drop Emma at her dad's house in Waterloo and start back toward Ames. The feeling gets worse, but I decide that I'm just anxious because I don't like to drive at night, and its snowing a bit. This is partly true, but I am also ignoring some pretty big signals that my body is sending me. I near a truck stop that is the only one for awhile and I briefly consider pulling over for a snack, but I don't because I really just want to get home.

30 minutes later I am starting to shake, and it's more than just anxiety. My muscles are trembling because they need fuel. I am having a hard time keeping my eyes focused on the road and staying alert. I am guessing that my blood sugar is a little low, and I eat an apple, because it's all I have on hand, but it doesnt help much. For a fruit, apples have a pretty marginal effect of blood sugar. I know I need to stop and get something to eat, but the next stop isn't for a few miles. And its a long, scary few miles, but I make it, and pull into the gas station. But not without driving on the wrong side of the frontage road, before the headlights of an oncoming semi snap me back to attention.

So anyways, I get to the gas station. I am pissed. I hate that I have to stop, because I am only about 30 miles from home. Even now, I am thinking "this is stupid. I could have made it. I'm just being a wuss.". But I go in, looking for a banana, which they don't have. I settle for juice, which I know will revive my blood sugar, and string cheese for a bit of protien. I make myself sit in my car and have the snack. I wish that I could eat and drive at the same time, but I know that I need to get feeling better before I get back on the road. I'm so mad at myself. Mad that I am sitting in the parking lot of the Flying J, having a "time out snacky time". I feel about 2 years old. Plus, I'm pissed that I had to drink JUICE (I have juice issues. More ED leftovers).

Then I think "you know, this is ok. I mean, you didn't manage your nutrition very well today, but you are doing what you need to do right now to get back on track. You're doing ok, kid.".

When I am done eating and feel better, I call Chris and explain my little pit stop and why I will be late so he doesnt worry, and I get back on the road. Pulling back on the interstate feels like night and day from when I left it. Just noticing how focused I am and how much better I feel makes me realize that bad shape I was in. It's kind of scary. For one thing, I can see! Not just in front of me, but my whole field of vision has opened up. Not to be corny but I was seriously, like, marvelling at the panorama! It made me wonder if my vision had been tunneling earlier. I just feel really greatful that I pulled over instead of just trying to push through.

I get home just fine, eat my delicious popcorn and watch some TV with Chris, but the whole event has left me feeling a bit shaky. I have to retrace my steps to figure out what went wrong. Ok, so maybe I didnt want to eat an early dinner, but I should have planned accordingly and brought a substantial snack with me. Eating doesn't alway have to be perfect, and it doesn't always have to be according to plan, it just has to happen. No more thinking I'm a superwoman who can live on caffiene and sugar.

AsI said earlier, I think that this situation is typical of the consequences of "ED leftover" thinking. But it could also be typical of our culture. Its a bit of a blurry line. I think, though, that as someone in recovery, I need to be extra super aware of stuff like this. Since I don't see a dietitian or follow a meal plan, I have alot of flexibility, which I love. But I gotta be smart. I have common sense about most things, but when it comes to food...well....I'm getting there. It's a learning proccess.

And that's ok.