Monday, April 25, 2011

The first day part 2

After a weekend of mourning everything I felt I had lost I saw my nutritionist today and fell apart. I stopped caring if I did anything during those bad weeks and it just kept going. She asked me why I didn't care and I had no answer. But I figured it out eventually. I have been on the fence thought-wise for the last almost year now. I am in "recovery", but I believe there are different stages and I have been trying to not get too far from the ED so that I could go back if I needed to. This last year I have been so afraid of completely letting go, that I haven't been living as much as I was the first year I was in recovery. I talked to people who knew a friend who went to Wash U and heard how much they were annoyed by her talk about her ED she recovered from. I remembered that it isn't cool to have an ED in the real world. People look down on you. Yeah I wish they understood more but at the same time they are right. It isn't cool or a way for people to know what you have been through or a way to define yourself. It isn't something that people see and admire and they talk about those people. They think that people in MSW programs who talk about their past all the time are only there to get closer to it. To be around it all the time. I don't want people to think that of me. I don't want to go to grad school with any of my previous coping mechanisms or negative beliefs about myself. I don't want to be sick or push people away. I want to REALLY start over. For the first time in five years I have that opportunity and I won't screw it up.

I know I can't go and really start over if I'm still on the fence, deciding if I want to completely let go or keep looking back in various amounts. It has been too long already and I need to make a decision.

I WILL move on. I WILL find other ways to define myself. I WILL be in healthy relationships. I WILL remember that the ED is not a way to show my pain to the world. I WILL have fun while working hard. I WILL accept my best as good enough. I WILL follow what I know in my heart is my path. I WILL help people. I WILL LIVE. I WILL DO THIS WHATEVER IT TAKES. I'm tired of being on the fence so this is my decision. I am ready to face my future and change the world even if it's on a small scale. I found quotex earlier that I feel like they really sum up what today means to me:

"There are two great days in a persons life: the day we are born and the day we discover why..."
I know my why now and I never want to forget it.

"Just because its not what you were expecting doesn’t mean its not everything you’ve been waiting for"

The first day

These last few weeks have been some of the worst of my life. I would love to say "but I learned a lot from them", but it really, honestly just SUCKED. I wasn't able to do much with school, I was crying all the time, and unfortunately self-harming, which I hadn't done in awhile. But I'm finally all the way back and am looking back getting pissed that I managed to forget meds for so long. And friday I got the letter I had been waiting for- I got into the SLU MSW program! It was ironic because I had literally just come home from talking about the best thing to do and decided on taking a year to get experience. I was excited about it. And then I got the letter. Don't get me wrong I AM excited, but all of the sudden a whole new set of thoughts came up and I hate to admit all of the things I was thinking. I have had things planned out my whole life. And everything has happened in that way for the most part. I was so excited about my new plan and then I had to make a decision. I had PLANNED on going to Wash U. I had PLANNED on taking a year off to get experience, I had PLANNED to double master at the same time, I had PLANNED to I had PLANNED to I had PLANNED all I kept thinking. I thought this wasn't good enough. I thought I would regret it if I went and gave up THE PLAN. But if I didn't go I might have lost what I had. I kept thinking
It's not:
what I pictured
the best scenario
what I planned

And then we come to the worst part... All of the sudden for the first time since going to river oaks I REGRETTED going to treatment. I regretted losing volleyball and track, medicine and being a trauma surgeon, I regretted not getting the "perfect" grades and being in tons or organizations, being the one that no one knew wasn't ok, I regretted doing this to my parents and sister and spending the money and time, I lost my ability to do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING I wanted. And I was PISSED. It was like all of the sudden I felt like I had screwed up my future by going to treatment. I lost a year and everything I felt like I had before going. I lost the ability to get into Wash U because of my inability to do as well in school when I came back. And ultimately I know it was for the better, but I felt an incredible REGRET, and I think that is the feeling I hate the most. I lost everything I planned and wanted, and everything changed. In some ways I miss the old me- I miss not caring, being "perfect", knowing I was going to be a doctor and everything I was good at. I miss being the captain, the leader, the president, historian all at once and being friends with everyone. I miss being the one who did everything really well. I looked around at everything that I hadn't planned on happening and I felt like a FAILURE. LIke if I don't follow my plans I don't matter anymore- I become invisible. I wrote in my journal in giant caps: FOR THE FIRST TIME I'M THINKING: MAYBE IT WASN'T WORTH IT...

To be continued in my next (happier) post

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

feeling better!

So I have in general been feeling a lot better but there have been points I just burst out in tears it's soooo annoying. And today I was just realizing I have so much going on right now and I just wanted to talk to SOMEONE. So I went into student health and was like I NEED TO SEE SOMEONE. I would never do that before any of this but I really want this to get better. I'm desperate. I wasn't sure it was worth it because I didn't know the woman I saw and wasn't even sure what I was going to talk about when I really don't know what's wrong. But it actually helped A LOT. I think a lot of it was because I had to explain everything from the beginning. I had to go over all the potential reasons I'm upset. And I kept telling her "I'm just not ok and I don't know why". But here's what I realized just from that hour...

1--I'm more ok than I think I am- When I explained all the options I had if various things happened in my future I realized I'm going to be ok and figure it out and behind all the tears I'm genuinely happy and excited to be moving on. I'm realizing that maybe this semester has been incredibly hard, which meant I wasn't able to feel my emotions much. And now that it's almost over I'm ABLE to feel the things this semester. I'm flooded with all the emotions of the things that this semester has brought up or have happened and I'm ASSUMING that means I'm not ok. But that's not true. I need to give myself some credit for everything I'm doing and for going to people instead of staying alone these last weeks. Just because I'm feeling shitty doesn't mean I'm a shitty person. It doesn't mean I have to treat myself shitty. I'm trying to be ok with just FEELING it. Even if that means I'll have to self care a lot more. I might have to call off work this week...

2--I don't have immediate things to look forward to- I was telling her I just have to get through classes, then studying, then finals, then my parents coming, graduation and moving, then I can work hard on trauma this summer and figure out what I'm ding with my future. I have to find an internship or volunteer position. She looked at me and said- ok but what do you have to look forward to?? Hmmm that hit me. NOTHING. That's not true at all but the stuff I have to get through over the next few months and even years will NOT be fun. As much as sometimes you have to take it day by day I think I got so into that mindset that I forgot to look ahead. If all I keep thinking about is getting through tomorrow or next week I forget about what I am ultimately working toward. It reminded me to read my blog I wrote a long time ago -Never Look Down- that you have to remember to look up and see where you are going long term. Because sometimes the immediate future is a lot less exciting...

3--part of all of this graduating stuff should be exciting. I"M GRADUATING! and I AM excited I'm about to go to the class ring ceremony and I think it will be really cool and I'm excited to see my ring! But then I think about the senior week events and graduation and how it is about friends and fun and looking back and celebrating. And I don't have that. My friend's graduated last year I know about five people graduating. So I don't get to run around and go on the senior trips with friends. I don't get to take pictures with them in our caps and gowns and I don't get to have an amazing end to my college experience.

All in all I realized that things have just been adding up. It's ok that I'm upset and it's ok that I cry a lot. Because I know EVENTUALLY things will work out. It's just SO frustrating to not know how yet.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What he said

My dad emailed me back last night. The good thing is he did mention heredity and he did believe me about the abuse. The worst thing would have been if my parent’s didn’t. BUT he basically said these things- and some I’m QUOTING
• I’ve been lying my whole life
• He doesn’t understand why I don’t go to them and never have
• “your secrecy was unfair to us, both emotionally and financially. You are lucky that we were able to deal with it and support your recovery.
• They still don’t trust me
• I need to be on my own soon
• I probably won’t get into Wash U
• He will decide what they pay for based on what they see “for my long term future”
• He thinks I’m still being manipulative and planned not to take the GRE’s and not go to grad school and that I didn’t try
• He used examples of my lying from when I was FOUR and FIVE yrs old!

And he said a lot of other random things and I logically know in general where he is coming from but I don’t understand why he doesn’t get some of it and I have so many questions and thoughts so here they are:
• Why didn’t they say this sooner?
• I didn’t want to go to someone if I wasn’t willing to do anything- does this make me a bad person?
• Isn’t all this what my mom does? Why is that ok?
• He’s right – I wouldn’t have said I needed help- but this isn’t just true for me!
• Did I just hurt everyone? Even the people I tried to help?
• Is this all my fault?
• What’s wrong with me? Why did I do this? Why am I still doing this
• Now they just assume I’m lying?!
• I’m glad he mentioned heredity
• AZ MSW- I didn’t plan not to go I’m just stupid! And HONESTLY didn’t know I needed the GRE- NOWHERE else needed it and I didn’t know about my interest in public health
• I can’t JUST TAKE the GRE I need to study…
• I KNOW I have no guarantee of Wash U! But I have a better chance at ANY school
• Do they think I haven’t made the most of it? What if I haven’t? They have NO IDEA how hard I work! But is that enough?
• They are so diff than they were growing up- I can’t just cange what I feel about them as easily and this makes me feel like shit.
• I don’t know why I don’t like them…(even though I obviously love them)…
• Didn’t he keep contradicting himself…?
• Now I want to stop everything- therapy, nutrition, groups, I just want to completely FORGET about everything- I DO think I could be ok- could I? Should I try it?
• It’s a DISEASE no shit I didn’t want people to know or help. How do they not get this?!
• Examples at age 4 and 5- I was ashamed and honestly did not know I did the things they said I did
• I didn’t want to say anything because I was afraid of having more tests, which were a major trauma!
• I couldn’t get help until I wanted it and I knew that- was it my fault? Is that true? Does no one else do this? Was I wrong in thinking waiting to get help when I was ready was better than making them watch me die?
• Mom has always made me feel like getting help is bad- especially meds. She has a lot of shit and she is “strong enough” to get through it without help so she doesn’t see why I need it
• Why is not confiding in my parents a problem? Do all kids confide in their parents? Why are they so mad about that?
• They “didn’t need help” so why are they mad at me for thinking the EXACT SAME THING…
• I had bladder problems because my organs were screwed up when my twin died! I didn’t want to have any more problems- They weren’t really PROBLEMS like he calls it- it was entirely MEDICAL.

So now I feel like maybe I should just move on. Maybe I don't need more trauma work. Maybe I could just be ok. Shouldn't I try at least? Fuck I just can't believe he said everything he did and it just made me want to hide more. And be on my own. Which might kill me. But it might not. And maybe that's not what matters...

Week of Hell

I have seriously had the worst week since I was in treatment. It all started two weeks ago when I saw my psychiatrist. We decided to take me off the sleep meds and take the same med earlier so I didn’t randomly eat at night. Of course me, being me, forgot that I took another med with the sleep meds and didn’t take it until last Thursday… The last time I stopped taking this med I ended up back inpatient for a week because I got suicidal. That was just me thinking I didn’t need it though, not just fricking forgetting. So since last Sunday things have been really bad. The best way I can describe it is as being impulsively self-destructive. I wasn’t suicidal at all I just didn’t feel like I could stop whatever I wanted to do to hurt myself. So it was a terrible week and I’m finally feeling a lot better after my med has caught up but honestly I scared the shit out of myself and almost drove myself to the er a few times. I just felt like I needed to see the pain.

It wasn’t just the med though and I know that. Last Sunday I wrote a letter to my parents to explain to them why I felt like taking a year off would be good. I want more experience, I want to get into a double masters program, I want to be almost done with trauma so I can do my job well. I want to work on my nonprofit…there are so many more reasons than just bc I’m mentally unstable… and my therapist also thought it would help them if they had more context about the trauma. I wish I hadn’t listened but I wanted them to understand and I hoped they would. Just thinking about sending it made me really upset Sunday night and I sent it Monday night. My mom responded Tuesday morning and I’m writing another post about what she said. But she made me feel like a horrible person for not wanting to get to know my family better. I feel like I need to move back to CO somewhere to get to know my cousins and grandparents better…BUT I DON’T WANT TO. And I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person and relative or whatever. I can’t explain all the reasons I don’t want to or don’t care deeply about my relationship with my family. I’m sorry. I don’t know what that says about me but it makes me feel like shit.

That day I did SO many things to try not to drink- I just wanted to to hurt myself, it was for a not good reason. But I did things to try to convince myself not to- I called my therapist and a friend. I went to luch with another friend, then a walk with another, dinner with another, and finally a support group where I talked about the urges. I still drank. I honestly HAD to. I was SO impulsive and not in a place to care last week. I don’t want that to be an excuse but I feel like it is at least important. But my therapist was like well you knew you were going to do it so you didn’t really try not to…Uhh yeah so I was pretty sure I was going to. I REALLY wanted to. BUT I didn’t until I did all these other things. At least I tried and I don’t understand why she doesn’t think that’s at least a little important. I was honestly hoping something would change my mind- it just didn’t.

Ok last thing before I write about my parent’s responses. My dad responded last night and I fell apart. BUT I didn’t have any urges- I have no clue why because what he said really hurt me, but the point is I’m feeling better. And although it’s not the only reason, the med withdraw was a factor. I’m afraid she thinks I’m using that as an excuse. Am I? I just feel like I don’t know myself anymore after all of this :(

Saturday, April 9, 2011

what can I do?

I know I tend to be a caretaker and can put people in front of myself very easily. But I'm getting a lot better at that and I think right now I need to feel like I'm doing something that I ultimately want to. I don't have time for my non-profit or to volunteer or intern until after school. And even then I don't think I'll be doing a ton of work. But right now I want to help in some way. I want to let people know that whatever they are struggling with it is possible to be happy. It is possible to not hate yourself and to take care of what you need. No matter what is in your past you can start over. It will be hard and long, terrifying and exciting. And most of all IT WILL BE WORTH IT. I wish there was a way I could just scream that off my roof and the whole world would hear. But I can still go to support groups and give ideas, hope and support. I can have this blog and hopefully it helps someone at least a little. And I met a girl I feel like I was destined to meet the other day. Seriously I'm never at the place I met her, never at that time, never where anyone can see me. No one ever says hi, no one ever asks me about how I'm doing and if it's worth it. But she did. I could tell she wants to get better. I can tell she is strong and we also realized our names had a lot in common with a lot of double letters...laugh if you want, it was a sign :) Anyway I would love to be a mentor or sponsor or even just support for people who are struggling. I know I have to be careful but I've learned a lot from my past mistakes putting others before me or getting too close to people who don't want to change. But I think I can handle it now. And I could step back if I needed to. I feel like with not going to school next semester and not having an actual job related to what I want to do that I want to have SOMETHING that reminds me of what I'm fighting for. Something that reminds me that I WILL help people, I WILL make a difference, I WILL love what I do. Anyway I'm just excited that I might get to be a sponsor or something because I LOVE sharing my journey and helping others realize it is worth it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I'm really happy

I know it's 7 am and I have no idea why I'm awake...but since I am I might as well blog right? It's finally been warmer and sunnier and I am SO much happier even since monday. I was more depressed for the two weeks before that for still unknown reasons but I am so glad I am feeling better. I was driving home from school yesterday with my windows down and music blaring and all of the sudden I had this overwhelming feeling that I'm going to be ok. I was thinking back to where I was when I was sick or even just how unhappy I was for so many reasons growing up. And I really realized the extent to which I am happier. I still obviously get really depressed and anxious sometimes. Some days I just want to give up. Some days I'm convinced I was happier in my ED. But yesterday I felt the difference. The difference between where I was and where I am. The difference that could still be ahead for me and that I want more than anything. Yesterday I felt truly HAPPY. That with everything that still goes on I am happier than ever before and it helps me so much every time I realize this. Because I'm not done with the work and I'm not done recovering. So I can only assume it gets even better. And I'm excited :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where am I going?

Since I've last written a lot has happened. I talked to my therapist about her not being consistent and she agreed. She said since she is traveling and has so much on her plate she isn't able to really be there for me. I'm glad she noticed and was able to say something. I'm glad she understands. But now I don't know what to do. A part of me wants to stay with her because she is the only therapist I have ever seen. She knows me and has been involved in my treatment for two and a half years. But I also know she isn't helping me right now. I don't want to say she's hurting me- but I'm letting her actions affect what I think of myself when I know it has nothing to do with me. i think I just want it to be my fault because I'm so used to thinking everything is. I want another reason to hurt myself. But I am really seeing now that I'm not doing well when I don't have the consistency. I'm not having a good semester in school and having therapy be unreliable just isn't ok right now. So maybe I'll see her until school ends but I think I will be figuring something else out.

I talked to my parents about the possibility of not going to grad school next semester and they got pretty annoyed. Here's my theory: I have more trauma to work on which is easier when I'm not in school. If I take a year off I can volunteer and get an internship in something related to both public health and social work. I can get experience and maybe find a job in this area. Then I can apply to get a double master's MPH/MSW at either Wash U or SLU. Seems perfect to me. Get work done, get experience, and get into a grad school. But of course my parents say they might not pay for me if I don't go to school next year. I know it's something with their generation but MOST people don't go straight to college or grad school. Why would I get my MSW and then my MPH? Why would I do worse in school because my trauma is still affecting me? Why wouldn't I want to be in a good place with experience when I go to grad school? I don't know what the fuck my parent's are thinking- yeah I'll go home to CO to relapse. Do they think that wouldn't happen? Because I can pretty much guarantee I couldn't make it there.
So I've decided that whether or not they pay for me I WILL stay here. If I have to work full time and get a cheaper place and not pay for therapy I still have a better chance of getting out alive. At first I was angry they didn't seem to care. Then I was upset that they don't really get it or care if I live or die. But now honestly I'm excited either way. If they don't pay it will finally be just ME. What I've ultimately been waiting for all my life. To be on my own. I remember writing about running away as young as 1st grade and I have the journals to prove it. I was the kid who couldn't wait to go away to college to be more on my own. I know a lot of people are jealous of me because my parents pay for most of my stuff. And I am well aware I'm very lucky. But at the same time it's kind of a grass is always greener thing- I feel like I have to be ok when my parent's money depends on it, but when I'm responsible for me I can finally do what I WANT TO DO. And that is recovery. That is do the trauma work. I want to get experience and to figure out how to pay for grad school and do what I want to do the rest of my life. This may sound counter intuitive to people but I WANT to struggle with what people go through. I want to worry a certain amount about money or my future and if I can afford therapy. Maybe that's sumb but a part of me is so sick of feeling like even now my parent's run my life. I want to fully run my life and I'm excited to try to figure out a way to finally make that happen. I would hope they would at least pay for therapy but even if they didn't I think I would still do EVERYTHING I could to stay in recovery. And that feeling excites me more than anything. That it could be fully MY choice, MY life, MY decisions, MY mistakes- MY LIFE. That is all I want. And I finally know I will be ok. With just me. :) yay