Sunday, December 2, 2012


I haven’t written in awhile so this might be a little long…. I left IOP the first week in May. The only reason I did it past March was because insurance was covering it. Anyway, I did well for almost three weeks and then everything fell apart. First let me sum up the main reasons for the relapse: 1- I had never felt as alone as I did at the beginning of the summer, and continued to feel 2- The trauma last summer at RO wasn’t really resolved in cw. I had decided to just stop caring and live the best life I could, knowing that would involve drugs and my eating disorder. I decided to start iop soon after the trauma to hopefully change that, but ultimately as much as I hoped that it did, or that new things I realized would have helped, they didn’t. I still felt pretty much like giving up. So I started to. Oh- and I felt like I could finally get rid of the amount of weight I had gained that spring and not be freaked out about being kicked out of treatment. The reasons I felt alone were complicated. I had made some great friends at school who were fun to hang out with, but after that spring semester we all went our separate ways in classes. I didn’t have all of my friends in my classes anymore, and it was almost impossible to do anything with them because we all had practicum starting in the summer. I feel like I lost a lot of positive fun people that truly made me happy. I had left iop, which although good, meant that I had much less support than I had had in a year. I didn’t have my iop therapist or the other staff who I have known for a LONG time and who have been such a big part of my healing. I realized that there were some people who I had gotten INCREDIBLY close with, who seemed to think that once they were doing well they were above everyone else. And even when I was doing well, I didn’t want to be around people who thought like that. But I basically felt far away from those friends. I also had to be careful about being around my friends who weren’t doing well, at least when it affected me negatively. The summer was really hard for a number of reasons. I had my first practicum, which wasn’t terrible, but took up a lot of time and made me hopeless at times because of the way the staff didn’t really seem to care about the clients. On some level the restricting gave me something to think about while I was there- something else to focus on, so that I could get through that practicum. There was a fire in my hometown that was pretty bad and ended up burning over 350 homes. It was hard to keep seeing it get worse. To know that my mom and friends could get hurt fighting it. To not be able to be there for my family and in a weird way, my town. It was hard thinking that I could have had to decide what to pack up if my house were to some reason be in danger. It was pretty scary. I felt alone too because I felt like I was losing my sister. I’m not sure if it was just me. I know she is busy. I am too. But I felt like she was distancing herself and didn’t really care much about me anymore either. It felt like she didn’t care anymore about being close to me of even sisters. I KNOW that’s not true, but it felt true. The summer reminded me of all of the people I lost last summer, especially because I stayed with my family that had lost their daughter, and my cousin, last summer to suicide. We only stayed with them one night on our way to Canada but it was weird. And all of the people I almost lost. It reminded me of how close I was to losing about five other people than the five that I actually did. It reminded me of what happened at RO last summer and how much I still felt no one really understood. I got really really sick over the summer. The fastest relapse I’ve ever had. (and really the only one, seeing as I hadn’t done well until treatment…). I had a lot of tests to figure out what was wrong but ultimately a lot of things were just screwey because of the restricting. I think people expected me to fall apart when my therapist left, and yeah it was hard. She is the only therapist I’ve really seen and changed my life in so many ways. People at support group kept saying things we because of that or that something was going to happen. And it didn’t. Maybe it’s because I don’t like people to know how I’m really doing- good or bad. Maybe it’s because people don’t REALLY know me. Because I don’t let them. Either way, it was annoying. Yet kinda funny. People thought after my family vacation that my life would fall apart. It DIDN’t. Imagine that! I actually had one of the worst traumas of my life happen in August after I got back from my trip. And only six people even know about it. I KNOW that was a lot of what happened this semester unfortunately. I was doing better again late July and most of August before that. I actually saw two different people in June in order to see if there was someone I could see instead of my therapist. She did a lot of things that were incredibly frustrating and I really started to just be done. Of course, no one knew that. I'm not really sure why, but I didn't want to tell anyone... When she actually left at the beginning of August I had an interesting experience. I got MAD. Not mad at her for leaving- just MAD at her and the treatment center and everyone I felt ike I could finally be mad at without it mattering. And that was so freeing. I could actually let myself FEEL the emotions I was about people without it mattering. Because if I was feeling that way there must be a reason,-even if it was me. I was already alone- I didn’t care if they left, especially when I was able to really feel again.I realized that maybe I had to be alone in order to find the people who would ultimately make me not feel that way. Anyway, my Intimate Partner Violence class was really hard. And this is going to sound stupid on some level. But it helped me a lot. The first day I cried for two hours when I got home. I cried because even though I wasn’t currently in an abusive relationship, I was still getting hurt in similar ways. It was still happening, and I WAS LETTING IT. I snapped. I am SO incredibly fucking sick of people hurting me. Of feeling like people step on me. I’m sick of being there for people who aren’t there for me. I’m sick of keeping people in my life who don’t really care. I’m sick of keeping people who are immature in my life. I decided I was DONE. I told a few of the guys in my life they needed to back off, and that I wasn’t ok with their immaturity anymore. And they all flipped out in a stupid immature way, when I never even really knew them. It was SO dumb. Especially them proving me right…at least try to not be that obvious.... I decided that the only way I was actually going to be happy was to have good relationships. It is the only time I’ve ever really been happy in the past and maybe I needed to feel alone and see that I could be alone and without certain people. I am tired of being around ppl who I feel like use me, don’t care, abuse, walk on, need me too much, treat me like crap, or don’t understand who I really am. And the funny thing is how much people freaked out. How much they showed me EXACTLY what I had been talking about. I just kept thinking you should have done this earlier- if for no other reason than to realize that they were going to prove your point. I remember laughing with my friends over the ridiculous texts one of the guys I met ONCE sent me after I told him I wasn’t interested in him and didn’t have time unless he wanted to just be friends. He FLIPPED out. It was hilarious in the sense of HELLO THIS is what I’m talking about. And people just kept doing things like that. And all I know is that I have a sign on my wall right now to remind me to not let people into my life who don’t really care. To not be afraid to find the ones who make me happy. To remind me to listen to myself when it comes to relationships, because when I stop being around certain people I’ve realized they usually prove what I’ve been seeing in them. I HAVE to start trusting myself. I HAVE to start living and putting ME first. And one of the things I know makes me happiest and makes life worth living is relationships. When I was doing really well that was one of the main things I realized. One of the main things that allowed me to do well. And I’m getting that back. NO MATTER WHAT. And to remind me of everything I want in life- of the fact that I can’t keep letting people hurt me, Because THAT WAS ME that kept letting it happen. ME. Not them. I have a sign in my room - and that sign says: REMEMBER: THIS is why you left them. So now I’m still a little more depressed than usual. I’m still struggling sometimes with my ED and don’t have many people at school. I’m so ready for this semester to be over. I still haven’t found a permanent therapist, but I’m OK. I LOVE my practicum and WILL HAVE A JOB there in May ☺ I LOVE the people there. I go to Happy Hour on Fridays and play vball and run with them. We joke at lunch and play with the therapy dogs when they come in. We have inside jokes and ridiculous holiday parties. I LOVE being around them and although I still need a lot more people in my life, it’s a really good start. So it’s getting better. A LOT better. I’m excited to see what else I can do to find more people to be around. I’m excited to get closer to people. I know I’m still in a tricky place, but I know I can be a lot happier. I know I have a job I love. And I know I CAN have a good life- I just have to keep reminding myself of that… I have to keep remembering. "Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


So...things are at least better than when I wrote the last post. Once I saw my therapist the next day I felt a little better. I was worried she was going to be mad but really I was worried she would tell me what I tell myself. That it's not hard to eat normally. That I always screw up. That I must just be trying to get attention. and on and on as I hear them when I say them to myself. Anyway the session went really well and for the second time EVER someone besides my first nutritionist talked me out of restricting... I even threw away my scale later that night. Eventually after I argued for awhile I agreed to write about the POSSIBILITY that I was self-sabataging... and as much as I hate admitting it, that might be true right now. I think things are really going generally pretty well especially considering only a year ago I tried to kill myself. I'm falling asleep but I'll update tomorrow about how well things are going and yet the new things I'm learning by being upset at the same time. I'm figuring out how to balance them.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Bad, and the Ugly

I was going to write two separate blogs for this but this is easier. There are a lot of things within the good aspects right now that I wish were different. But I really do have mostly good things happening and even a lot within myself. Which is why a lot of things don't make sense to me right now. I honestly don't want to write what I am about to. I want to wait until I figure my shit out and can end with some "But I know it will work out" type thing. But I SWORE to myself that this blog would be HONEST- no matter what.

I just had a major realization. I get pissed when I start doing worse right after leaving treatment. I get pissed because I'm not one of those people who just waits to leave to do badly so they can go back to treatment. That is not who I am. But I don't understand. I don't understand why it happens. But I think I just figured it out... After three months of being in treatment in 2008 I had my world shattered again. I had it shattered last Halloween by being assaulted, I had it shattered this summer by what happened at RO and I had a mini shatter in December when I had someone important who I think has never understood or really tried- someone who had said over and over that we would meet but it never happened, reminding me of who is really important, take someone else's words and twist them to try to scare me, or maybe just not understand- but his reaction did NOTHING but remind me of the truth- that I am really still in all of this shit alone. I am so INCREDIBLY SICK of feeling that way and feeling like it just keeps getting reinforced. Even though I don't think anyone knows that- or at least really understands that I'm not trying to make it about blaming them- that throughout all of this that has never really been the main issue.

Anyway, I just realized this morning that what is still happening, even four fucking years later, is that I feel like I can't struggle HONESTLY. I have to be ok enough to not get kicked out or have ultimatums or any sort of freak-out from anyone. I'm not lying, I'm doing exactly what I need to- but not always because I want to- because I HAVE to. I HAVE to so that I can guarantee nothing else will happen that will kill me just a little bit more. I HAVE to so that I can still work on trauma and as much of the ED as I can without being able to really struggle the ways that parts of me want to- without being able to work on the ED stuff that is still there. Because it CAN'T BE THERE. And if I have to ignore the aspects of what parts of me really wish I could do ED-wise, then I will never be as ok as I really could be. In 2009 I really just though I snapped back into reality and didn't want the ED anymore AT ALL. But in reality I realized that was NEVER it. It wasn't magic that got me to suddenly be in recovery for two years- it was the threats of not being able to go back to school if I needed IOP from the Wash U psychiatrist. It was my fear of getting kicked out of school or not be able to see my therapist or nutritionist if I wasn't ok. FINE. I can be ok if I have to. I could always be ok if I had to- that's what got me here isn't it?

thats why i never said anything- that's why the way i struggle more especially this last year back in treatment is over eating- because it is the only thing that people don't freak out about.

I don't think it counts ED-wise. But in reality I know it counts for me more than anything else does. It is my real struggle that can only be manifested in a way that will not hurt me more. It is my real struggle disguised in the only way it can be so that I can make it out of all of this treatment and therapy shit alive. It is the only thing that will not get me kicked out again. I thought I was over all of this. I had been angry and terrified, anxious and in pain, I had yelled and cried more hysterically than I ever have before. I have talked and been "validated", I have talked and talked and written and written and tried for four years to figure out what really happened. What I really did. Who's fault it was and what I can to to make it ok that it happened- finally ok for MYSELF. I have heard people tell me to stop analyzing it and stop writing the same things. I have worked more myself than anything on it and after an agenda I wrote about CW and RO a few weeks ago I really thought I was ok about it. I really thought I was able to let go of most of it. And I still think that's true to some extent. But maybe far less than I realized. I had to leave to see the ways it still impacted me.

ANd this is it: I was still "ok"- meaning over eating really right now until my mom left tues night. Then I fell apart. Maybe it was because it got so much worse with her being there because I feel like I can eat even more because it's like we are on "vacation". So restricting has been really bad since then. I know it hasn't been long but I know that when it starts this badly it doesn't go anywhere good. I know when I stop caring that something is really wrong. I know that when I refuse to see a nutritionist and don't want to see my therapist because I'm terrified of them telling me to go away that I have to worry. But hey at least I'm worrying right? Ok sorry not funny. But basically I can struggle the ways I have wanted to now. I can restrict and not be as worried that I will be alone. I can restrict because I have never really had a chance to work on that aspect. I was too scared. And I think I always will be. So maybe for right now this is for me to figure out. alone. But that's all I can write right now I'm crying too much.

I try to have a quote at the end of my posts but right now all I can say is I know I still can't lose hope- I just have no fucking clue what to do right now. And I hope I figure it out.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Good

So...I'll try my best to update since it's been awhile...Most things are going really well. But some aren't and I wish more than anything that I didn't have to say that. Classes start on Wednesday and at least the clinical diagnosis one I'm sure I will LOVE, and the ethics class has most of my friends from last semester in it. I have more free time so I am lying outside in the park and reading, going on walks with friends, and in general doing what I want to do. My mom came last week and I got a bunch of new clothes and shoes. I LOVE new clothes! it was nice to have my mom here without my dad but it was hard because we definitely started arguing toward the end of her trip- she was here for 6 days. That is longer than I have seem anyone in my family for two years... I'm a lot less depressed since the change in medication a few weeks ago and I have had a lot of time to just relax and take care of myself since I left IOP. Practicum was the major thing I have been worried about and it is actually going ok. There are things I wish were different but I know I will be able to get through it. And it's been awhile since I could say that. I only knew I could get through Grad school starting in January. Now I know I can do at least the first two practicums which is exciting. I've been doing things with some of my oldre friends I don't get to see very often but love doing stuff with. And I've made some unexpected ones too which has been awesome. Still not rock climbing, I think I'm afraid of what I will have lost by the time I get back. As much as it is something I do for fun, part of what makes me so happy is that you can never stop improving. And I don't care about how good anyone else is- I care about my love of climbing propelling me forward. And I think that scares me. It's been a long time since I had something like that and I always lost it. I don't want to lose this too.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Answer

I used to be a lot more religious than I am now. I lost it somewhere in the struggles in high school and college and all my friends questioning everything because of the International Baccalaureate Program and the philosophical nature of everything in it. I've been trying to find more of my religious beliefs recently but can't quite figure things out. I was watching one of my favorite shows and had a realization. There was a situation similar to many I have experienced where a girl realized she had lost her ultimate dream and was saying that she prayed for things her whole life and they were never answered so why would she pray now? And her friend said that God always answers prayers, but sometimes that answer is "no". And as stupid as a part of me feels this really hit me. Because I have felt this way a lot, but more than that I realized that it was possible that maybe I wasn't meant to take certain paths. Maybe I wasn't meant to play for the Olympic team. Maybe I wasn't meant to be a doctor or own a non-profit. Maybe- just maybe- my "failure" to accomplish the things I wanted to weren't failures, but paths I wasn't meant to take in the first place. Of course then I get angry because I got so hurt by losing these things that I wonder if I wasn't meant to take those paths why was I put on them in the first place? I have so many things I need to figure out, but I really started thinking that maybe all the things I wanted before weren't right for me, and that it wasn't that I didn't work hard enough or that I wasn't able to control my anxiety and depression enough. Maybe I didn't accomplish things in my life that I desperately wanted to not because I didn't deserve it, wasn't smart enough, wasn't willing to die even more to get them. MAYBE I'm not a failure. MAYBE when I wanted some things so badly and I prayed that I would accomplish them, the answer was just no- that that wasn't my path to follow. I still think a lot that the fact that I didn't get where I wanted to in life meant that I never should have lived in the first place, because so many of those things were what kept me alive. But MAYBE the "failures" to get where I felt I needed to in life weren't ME FAILING, but something or someone out there saying no, not because I wasn't good enough or deserving or happy or _____ enough, but because I wasn't meant to do any of that in the first place. MAYBE I still haven't found what I'm meant to do, but I'm hoping I'll see changes in my path as getting back on my true path after I try to take the one I feel like I should, and not failures. MAYBE I'm not a failure. This MAYBE could be a big thing for me. I'm going to need to do a lot more reflecting...

And I think sadly, more than anything this all made me realize how much to some extent I still HATE myself for not being strong enough or working hard enough to get where I wanted. To a large extent I don't hate myself for the abuse as much, but I hate myself for this. And I'm going to need to figure that out, or I will never be able to truly let go of my past enough to create a new future.

Well, I feel like I've repeated myself enough for one night time to go back to sleep :)

Our rabbi once said, “God always answers our prayers, it’s just that sometimes the answer is no.” – Barbara Feinstein

"To believe with certainty, we must begin with doubting." – Stanislaus I

Faith and doubt both are needed – not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve. – Lillian Smith


Yesterday was my last day of IOP. I've been in treatment of some sort for about 10 and a half months now and yesterday night I was crying when I said goodbye to the people who have been there since August. I cried later when I read the cards I got. And as completely exhausted as I am I haven't been able to sleep for more than a half an hour at a time. And then randomly I woke up and just started crying was weird- and I assumed it was the same thing as last night, but all of the sudden I realized it was something I've never really felt before- freedom. Complete and utter FREEDOM. Which on some level I think is weird because there are still so many struggles right now- but I'll take it. Things ending has always been a hard thing for me- even when my last class ended my urges skyrocketed. I think I'm still suppressing more than I think I am and when things come to an end and I have time to breathe it all hits me. I know it will be weird without iop and something to structure that much of my time with, but I'm not feeling any of the urges right now. I'm feeling like this is an ending but more than that a beginning.

I'm excited to start practicum and see that I am capable of working in this field. I'm excited to keep doing better than I was in school, and be around my friends and see where life takes me especially with everything I've learned especially since December. I'm not even as scared as I was when I left in January. I'm going to have to work really hard on the food because things are getting a little off (that's for another post), but for now I'm going to enjoy my new freedom. It's not freedom from treatment or school or anything else's freedom from the old me- from my old ways of thinking, my old beliefs about having to save the world to matter and that I've failed at so many things even with my successes. It's a freedom from my belief that I'm so screwed up mentally that I will never be able to function and that my only purpose is to save others. I know now what I can do when I am in a good place- I just need to keep myself there, which will take a lot of work, but to KNOW I will be ok and find happiness and love and fun and adventure is worth it. I have always HATED to not know exactly what was going to happen in my future- I wanted to know exactly when I would be done with my goals and "happy". But now I'm realizing there isn't one end goal and that pisses me off in some ways still, but I'm trying to see the freedom in my ability to go where I am happy and be able to change paths, no matter how far away they are from each other.

I wrote the majority of this friday at two am...but all day Saturday I just sat in the feeling of freedom- that I could do what I want when I want with who I want. The feeling that I am going to love my practicum because IOP is something I CAN do. Honestly I can't wait to meet the people who go there- they can teach you so many things. I can't wait to see what aspects I like and which I don't- because whatever the answer I can find the next step. I went to a farmer's market and got a yummy tomato pesto mozzarella crepe for lunch. I ate it outside in the park while I read the new book I bought- "The Spirituality of Imperfection". I love it so far and I'm sure I'll talk about it on here more. I'm working on trying to see the good aspects of making errors...which is still a struggle :)

Anyway, I spent the day feeling freedom in my chest and stomach that I have never felt before. It was calming and exciting and I am looking forward to feeling this way more often. But hopefully getting less sunburned...

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote the freedom to err." Mahatma Gandhi

Friday, April 13, 2012

definition of recovery- comment I left for a friend last year

It is really helping me to look through these :)

I think people, including myself for awhile, have this idea of recovery and what it is like. That maybe the first time you use a slight symptom you aren't in recovery anymore and no one can look up to you. I used to believe that but now I realize it is those people that are the ones that are real and fighting and in recovery. It really IS a process as much as I even hate to admit that. I did SO well the first year and when I started having some slips after that year I hated myself. I was jealous of everyone who was doing "perfectly" and how much everyone looked up to them. But now I realize more each day that this is a fight that will take time and doesn't happen all at once. It gets better. It gets better every time we learn from some type of slip- ED or therapeutic or whatever. THAT is what recovery is. It is fighting this battle every day as best you can. And honestly there are some days you can't fight well. It sucks and it's scary but true. Don't ever be afraid to ask for help- that is when you find your true supports. Don't ever give up no matter how hard things get- it is ok to take a few steps that aren't forward- but that doesn't mean they are back- it means they are sideways and the path is NOT straight. The journey is bumpy and slippery and you need other people and to just not give up.

I used to think I could NEVER go back even in the slightest and it was really hard when I had a slip but I have learned more than ever with the slips because they are telling me something. One of the slips I had last summer was because I started putting other people first and that is still so much of a struggle for me. I felt for awhile like I was supposed to be the one who was the example and I started realizing I felt like I was recovering for everyone ELSE It's not about anyone but US and what lives we choose to lead :) keep working hard

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

This is what I do at 2 am apparently...

Since I can't sleep I've been thinking about what topics I want to blog about and something occurred to me- most of us know we are SO much better at giving advice to others and telling them how amazing they are, than we are at using our own advice or believing that we could be worthy in any way. So I decided I should look at the comments I have given people and maybe they would shed some of the insight I have that I can work toward applying to myself...So here is one I gave a friend who wrote about feeling like she had to have the perfect recovery, something A LOT of people struggle with:

Love the honesty- and I feel lucky that for whatever reason I haven't felt the need to do recovery perfectly. Maybe it's just how many amazing people I see go up and down. I realized a long time ago that recovery is so incredibly hard and if those people can't do it perfectly then it can't be done. And I don't know if this helps at all but I think it is almost kinda cool that things aren't just level after leaving treatment. I like that there are always things to learn- I love having lightbulb moments that make me proud to have put some things together. I like seeing that when an urge gets worse than it has ever been, that I can still not act on it. I like seeing that I CAN still get up no matter how many times I fall. I think it all shows the resiliency of the human spirit. I like slowly getting more and more into a life that I want and know I deserve now. I like knowing I am strong enough to get through anything if I have gotten to this point. And honestly I LOVE watching the hardest work I will ever do pay off. I love watching it pay off for others too. Because ultimately if recovery wasn't worth it there is no way we would put ourselves through even more hell :) I think I'm going to have to blog about this...thanks! :)

P.S. Even Jenni S. wrote a second book and said she thought she was further than she was in her first book and she has grown so much even since then. She is in an even different level of recovery now and she wasn't afraid to admit that things weren't as perfect as she thought they were

Another one about feeling behind in life:

I know that you wish you hadn't spent those years wanting to die and I get that but remember we all get where we are by where we were. And no matter what you had to get through in your past you did. And you got through the working on it too- which is just as hard sometimes. It sucks to be behind but I try to see it as an aspect of life that I had that others won't always experience. It wasn't good- but it was something. It wasn't fun but I learned and grew and most importantly want to LIVE for the first time. So even if it took me seven years to want to live I would rather have gone through it than not experience what I am today :) Unfortunately sometimes we only see the true height of the highest point if we once sat at the lowest.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Monday, April 9, 2012


I had a really good session with my therapist yesterday. I was upset that I've been more depressed for the past like 5 or 6 weeks. It's frustrating because It's not nearly as bad as it could be so I'm able to still do a lot, but there is just an underlying sense of sadness that I can't seem to figure out. Maybe it's mostly chemical, maybe it's not. But my therapist did point out that if I look back on the past year a shit ton has changed in my life and I'm about to have even more pretty big changes in my life that could be contributing to the depression. I started thinking about the last year...last march I had two weeks that were some of the worst of my life. I had stopped taking my sleeping meds and then because I wasn't taking a regular night med I for got to take the med I took with them. Besides the fact that it could have had really bad physical consequences, it made me incredibly self destructive. I should have been in the hospital but I really didn't want to risk school or making things worse by sitting in the psych ward... things got better when I realized what had happened, but in general I was pretty dissociative and stressed and just focused on making it to graduation.

I graduated from Wash U and started relapsing around that time. I decided I needed to go to River Oaks, did a ton of work there, and had a traumatic experience as well. I came back and did terrible in every way until August. I started Graduate school at a new place with new people and new ways of learning. Instead of exams I had papers and presentations. I had classes I loved more than previous ones because they were more focused on what I love. I made a ton of new healthy friends and got out and did things a lot more. I started iop and did a lot of work there. I realized that as much as things were amazing on the outside and in some ways internally as well, there was still something that was keeping me stuck in thinking I was still going to die and in some ways I didn't care. I did more intensive stuff and finally got to the bottom of what was behind a lot of the things that still weren't going well internally. I did more work than I ever have before. I was able to get mad at my parents and work through things around them that I never even thought was really relevant, and I sure as hell didn't really want to talk about. I worked on challenging my core beliefs, realizing where they came from and realized that most of them are not true and never were. I continued the work for the last three months back in iop, where there have been tons of changes and many people I will never really know, which makes me sad. I have had a much different experience with school this semester- my friends are much more busy with practicum so I'm not able to see them as much. I have lost two of my closest friends because I did not agree with the things they started doing. I've had a lot more time on my hands because I have less due in classes, which is hard because I don't know what to do with myself sometimes. I started rock climbing which I LOVE and is the only thing since volleyball that I really love for it's sake and not because I'm good. I love working to improve but I do it for fun and don't beat myself up if I feel like I'm not doing well or working hard enough or improving as fast as I want. I have had a few friends who went through some pretty big crises this semester, which really affected me as well. I'm about to discharge from iop in a few weeks and start my first practicum which is exciting but terrifies me at the same time. In the last year I have also dealt with the death of my aunt from a brain tumor, a high school friend from alcohol poisoning, my cousin's suicide, the almost successful suicide attempt of a best friend, the almost death of another best friend, heart attack of another, death of a mentor from undergrad, and one of the most important mentors in my life- the person I first told about the abuse and ED, the person who made it safe to talk about and cared about me as a person- not because of what I could do- suffered a stroke and has been in a semi-coma ever since. So when I look back there really have been a lot of changes. Many for the better, but still I have to remember that change is always hard and puts some amount of stress on people.

So maybe that's a factor in the depression, I know there are other things, but I know that I will get through this just like everything else, it will take time. I will have to keep doing things I don't necessarily want to do- push myself to be around people, do things I love and keep doing the food and taking care of myself. I just hope it gets better soon.

I'm excited about the changes. I know how much better things are because of all the ones in the last year. I know how much I've grown and learned. I think I'm ready for the ones coming up, but I am also very very scared.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Saturday, April 7, 2012

and I'm also working on figuring out my religious beliefs...

I'll write more later but for mow since it is Easter in a few hours I will post something I saw my friend Sarah post on facebook. Food for thought...

Most of our lives are spent in Holy Saturday. In other words, most of our days are not filled with the unbearable pain of a Good Friday. Nor are they suffused with the unbelievable joy of an Easter. Some days are indeed times of great pain and some are of great joy, but most are…in between. Most are, in fact, times of waiting, much as the disciples waited during Holy Saturday. We’re waiting. Waiting to get into a good school. Waiting to meet the right person. Waiting to get pregnant. Waiting to get a job. Waiting for things at work to improve. Waiting for diagnosis from the doctor. Waiting for life just to get better.

But there are different kinds of waiting. There is the wait of despair. Here we know--at least we think we know--that things could never get better, that God could never do anything with our situations. This may be the kind of waiting that forced the fearful disciples to hide behind closed doors on Holy Saturday, cowering in terror. Of course they could be forgiven; after Jesus was executed they were in danger of being rounded up and executed by the Roman authorities. (Something tells me, though, that the women disciples, who overall proved themselves better friends than the men during the Passion, were more hopeful.) Then there is the wait of passivity, as if everything were up to “fate.” In this waiting there is no despair, but not much anticipation of anything good either.

Finally, there is wait of the Christian, which is called hope. It is an active waiting; it knows that, even in the worst of situations, even in the darkest times, God is at work. Even if we can’t see it clearly right now. The disciples’ fear was understandable, but we, who know how the story turned out, who know that Jesus will rise from the dead, who know that God is with us, who know that nothing will be impossible for God, are called to wait in faithful hope. And to look carefully for signs of the new life that are always right around the corner--just like they were on Holy Saturday.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

I won't be able to function in life

In the past few weeks I've worked on one of my beliefs that has always terrified me. The belief that I CAN"T FUNCTION IN LIFE. I have been trying to ignore this belief for so long and yet I know I have to work on it or it will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. Here's what I wrote about why I think I won't be able to function and I'll post the responses from self that I have later.

My worst fear and one main core belief that I still haven’t really been able to work on is that I’ll never be able to actually function well in society. I feel like I have a ton of reasons to believe this and these are some of them. I have had several jobs and I guess they all went ok before the one at sports authority. BUT my first one as a model- not hard and it was fun. Anything I did with vball reffing or coaching was also easy and fun. Working on Pikes Peak I was way over-functioning. For all of these I was in my ED- ironically except them modeling… I’ve had two jobs since I left treatment in 2009- crazy bowls actually went ok- maybe it was the shorter hours, the fact that I was alone a lot, that I was a manager after a month, that I got to make stuff?… I’m not sure why I was ok there- but I was as far as I can remember- plus I feel like I must have been stressed while working there because I was at Wash U. But at Sports Authority I don’t think anything changed- if anything my senior year was easier than the others because I wasn’t premed anymore. Im not sure when I started having trouble going- and I sure as hell still don’t know why- all I know is that I started panicking every time I thought about going to work- I couldn’t think about anything else- just when I had to work next and how much I didn’t want to or couldn’t handle it or something. I guess it was anxiety- all I know is that because of my mental issues I couldn’t keep that job and I had to take time off or had to leave to go to river oaks. All I know is that I have no experience in what I really want to do. I have people at CBW who I can ask for references but no one at SA because I screwed them over so many times. I can only imagine what they think of me. If I couldn’t handle fucking SA, how am I supposed to hold down any job? My mom says I should work at starbucks bc I cant handle life- but honestly I don’t think I could even work there. I am so fucked up how am I ever going to work with child abuse or in the ER or anything? I can’t function at a job if I have mental breakdowns and end up in the hospital every few months…

SCHOOL- Yeah I can do school. But school isn’t life. And school isn’t practicum-I’m terrified of not being able to handle practicum this summer- that is if I get one…I’m behind on applying because I’m fucking irresponsible and cant do shit I need to when I get overwhelmed. Honestly if I can’t keep a practicum I’m afraid I’ll be done. Seriously this time. If I can’t do this this summer- I’m going back to using and my ED. I would rather die slowly because at least I can do that. At least it’s a way to cope with being a failure, even if it’s a shitty way to cope.
One of the most frustrating things is that I cant fucking manage to figure out how to time manage. I can’t figure out how to have a social life while being able to cook and workout and go to school and have a job. I have never been able to do all of this together- and if I cant I will never truly be in the level of recovery I could be.

PEOPLE- I’ve gone out with three guys since I left treatment but either they turned out to be creepy or were too immature. I really liked Joshua but he made everything about sex and even when I talked to him about it he was too used to doing it. I’m afraid I will never be able to have a relationship. All I’ve ever known was stripping, child pornography, or rape. I have no idea how to have an actual relationship and I know I would have to take things slowly- but I’m afraid I’ll never find anyone that is ok with that or who doesn’t terrify me as soon as we are on a date- its just that everyone terrifies me now. And I’m not going to find anyone if that continues to be true. Plus I just attract creeps and I don’t know why. With friends I’m getting a lot better- but when I’m depressed I still caretake a lot. I still have a lot of friends who are more concerned with themselves than me. And I do have some that are real friends, but my anxiety and dep still cause me to cancel plans or feel shitty and I feel like a terrible person when I’m not ok and it affects them. It makes me feel shitty and it makes them mad. When im depressed or anxious I cant hang out with them or be there for them and that affects our friendship a lot. I feel like it’s not fair to other people to have me as a friend- I think that’s why its been so hard for me to open up to people. Plus a lot of my friends do stuff at night and I can’t because of the narcolepsy and my anxiety about wasting time.

MENTAL- I know in many ways I am able to function pretty well for someone with all my diagnoses, but seriously I just have so much shit wrong with me how am I ever going to be ok enough to work and manage my life?

LIFE- I don’t feel like I can function in the important areas of my life already. I can’t keep a job, I can’t keep my apartment clean all the time or my kitchen organized enough to cook, I can’t manage my time or have real relationships, I can’t do stuff for my insurance fast enough, Its hard for me to pay bills on time or even send a fucking package to my sister. I feel lazy when I’m depressed, I don’t self care as much as I should and I can’t keep my physical health ok either if even just self harm wise. I don’t take good enough care of my guinea pig- I don’t play with her enough so she is going to die sooner than she should- it’s not even really a legit pet! And one of my biggest problems still is my compulsive shopping. I spend all my money as soon as I get it and it’s not on stuff I need- it’s to make me feel better. I need something right then to make me feel better. So even if I had a job I would end up on the street…

When I say I’m afraid I cant function in life people bring up everything I have done- got thru abuse, did well in school and vball, was in every social group, developed dissociation to survive, graduated from the IB program, went to WashU, was the 11th player on the vball junior natl team even though they never actually needed me.
----and you know what? Even if this is all true it’s not the same as being out in the real world. I don’t know what has happened since I’ve gone to treatment, I feel like as much as it has saved my life a few times- maybe it is starting to prove that I cant function without my coping mechanisms…

my biggest fear is that I will not be able to function in the world and I will have to go back to stripping and using and my ED. After all the work I have done I’m still not sure it changes this one thing. And if it doesn’t- I’m still going to die, even though I don’t want to for the first time in my life.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Life moves fast and that scares the shit out of me

I really need to write more- but I've been more depressed recently and things start to seem way too energy consuming when that happens. It's interesting actually that I can even say I'm feeling more depressed because I don't think I have been since I've been on depression meds... it caught me off guard. A lot has been catching me off guard recently. When I came back to iop in January I was in such a good place. And it's not that I'm in a bad place at all, I'm just frustrated because I had a picture in my mind about how things were going to go when school started again and that hasn't been what's happened. When I left I wrote about what was different this time. I had a plan and was so sure everything was going to fall perfectly back into place. Looking back I want to laugh because seriously?! Because that would be awesome but is SO not realistic. School is going really well. I LOVE my classes and classmates and am doing well- I may even actually get straight A's....weird but cool. I think I've been depressed because I expected the way things were last semester to continue. But now my friend's have practicum, which means I'm almost never able to see any of them outside of class. One of the best things that happened last semester was getting to know all of those people. I really get a lot of my happiness from my relationships and it has been so hard just feeling more alone again this semester. One of my classes ended after the first five weeks so I am also in only three classes right now with nothing else except iop so I get really really bored. And I can't stand being bored- especially when there is a lot to do but I can't because I'm too depressed.

Anyway, things have been up and down even though the backdrop of my life is better than it ever has been. That's the only way I can think to explain it. That I'm realizing how many ups and downs are in everyone's lives, the variety of severities, and that I CAN be both good AND not great or bad or scared etc. I have a hard time being able to feel more than just one way. If something was wrong I was doing terrible and if something made me happy I was at the top of the world. Now it feel strange but when my therapist asks me how I am I never say good or bad or terrible...I say good and bad or not too bad but overwhelmed. I'm feeling the stability of my general mental health and seeing that things that happen build on that. So the better my backdrop is, the better I usually am, and the harder for me to go too far down.

So at the same time as most aspects of my life are going pretty well, I realized this week that I'm wanting (and had started) to give up because I'm worried if I can't do recovery the way I think it should be done now, how could I ever do it? Now is when I have time and should be able to make sure I cook and workout and follow my meal plan and get all my hw done at the perfect time etc. I had a schedule when I left. I had a color coordinated highlighted schedule of what I was going to do every day. And that hasn't been happening. I'm not doing exactly what I meant to when I left and somehow that started to mean failure to me. But I'm trying to remind myself that most of the time things don't suddenly become perfect in one day. Recovery as with almost everything else in life isn't supposed to be where I wake up one day and everything is done exactly how I think it should be. I guess I'm just so used to either doing terrible or really well food-wise. I don't understand how struggling a little makes any sense so if I start to have trouble I just start to give up. The food hasn't been very good the last week and this is why. I'm not exactly sure what to do about it either. I seriously can't seem to picture how you can struggle but not be at an extreme of perfection on either end...I'll be working on that...

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's behind the anger

I had a breakdown at iop friday night. I hadn't been there in a week because it was cancelled monday so that didn't help. There have been a lot of things that have added up this week and Thursday night it all hit me but I held it in until friday. Over the weekend I heard about a terrible car accident my mom had to work on in the ER. One of my mentors had a heart attack, I realized all I wanted to scream at two friends of mine was "HOW COULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?!" One of my best friends who had been really sick kept getting worse and put me in some really shitty situations this week. eventually she made it to the hospital and i think after I knew I had to worry less I just felt all the anger I had toward the situation. I got angry that my therapist who went on maternity leave came back and I wasn't going to see her. I had been saying I wanted to for four months. I felt like obviously no one listened to me, i was invisible, etc. I feel stupid that I am that attached to her. My other therapist says thats good and I guess I know that but I hate it at the same time. I think a lot of times we get used to not really attach to people because so many people have hurt us or left us. I feel like it makes me weak to be attached after not seeing her that long. I really feel stupid. I feel like a toddler screaming "I want to see X I want to see X".

Anyway I got mad that my school discussed something going on in the community right now without looking at any other side. Just assuming it's true. Really?! you never just look at one side no matter what. Monday was my six months of no purging and it just reminded me of my friend's dad who died in a terrible tractor accident last summer because it was his birthday. I also spent a significant amount of time trying to help muy friend feel better and brought her to the ER and argued with her when she wanted to leave etc. So much for a nice self care day... Anyway crappy week and thursday night I got kinda suicidal and almost binged and purged because I was so overwhelmed but I called four people and talked to two of them for awhile which really helped.

At iop while I was hysterically crying I realized that really I have been pretty angry for a long time- since RO. I'm angry at the way they treated me. I'm angry at myself for it. I'm angry that seven people including my cousin and aunt dies in a three month period. I'm angry that I didn't know how bad things were. I'm angry that I still don't have great boundaries sometimes. I'm angry I'm angry I'm angry. At a lot of things and this week I think I got so angry I got to the incredible hurt underneath it and felt the intense unbearable pain that all of these events caused. I didn't realize there was that much under the anger. It SUCKED to be so angry and it sucked to be so hurt, but i feel better now that I've talked a little bit about it. And - gosh I hate being so cliche- but even with how painful things have been lately I still feel better than I did before doing the recent work. I would still rather be here- in this new step of recovery, than where I was before.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

being vulnerable- written two weeks ago oops

There are so many more people in iop right now than there have been, and only about one third of them I have known for awhile. It is hard for people to open up, show emotions, or that things aren't perfect- especially when you don't know the people around you. It is the opening up that makes us feel vulnerable. When we put anything in the world that we feel like we can lose, we feel vulnerable. And being vulnerable is HARD. It is hard for everyone, especially those with eating disorders, addictions and trauma. We have had to hide what we really felt our whole lives because showing it wasn't safe for some reason.

I've been trying to figure out what is making me feel SO much more vulnerable than I usually do and the answer surprised me. The reason I don't want to talk about where I am, the work I've done, or where I have been is that I am worried about being judged. I look back and see that the work I have done most recently has been more about core beliefs and attachment than anything else. And honestly, I'm embarrassed that working on those two things has made such a difference. They seem like such trivial things compared to trauma. They seem like such stupid things to make me want to die. I feel like if this was the last main thing I needed to work on there is no reason for it to have affected me to the extent it did. I'm still working on countering this because I know my core beliefs keep me from doing what I want to do. I know by ignoring the aspects my parents were responsible for I was denying much of the pain I experienced. I know that this was some of the most important work I needed to do. I'm trying to remind myself that attachment and beliefs are incredibly strong influences in people's lives.

It's getting better- I'm talking about more. I've shared a few things that I worked on more recently and now some people I know better are coming to iop. So for now I'm glad I was able to be more vulnerable because if I can't be now It's going to be really hard to open up in other environments. So for now it's ok.

"when we were children we used to think that when we grew up we would no longer be vulnerable, but to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable." - Madeleine L'Engle

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Sunday, February 5, 2012


One of my friends wrote a post about feeling the need to have a "perfect" recovery. This got me thinking because I hear this all the time. Let's face it- we are all perfectionists and see recovery as just another thing to perfect. This may be weird but I very rarely feel that way. I feel lucky that for whatever reason I haven't felt the need to do recovery perfectly. Maybe it's just how many amazing people I see go up and down. I realized a long time ago that recovery is so incredibly hard and if those people can't do it perfectly then it can't be done. And it wouldn't be worth it if it could be done perfectly.I actually think it is kinda cool that things aren't just level after leaving treatment. I like that there are always things to learn- I love having lightbulb moments that make me proud to have put some things together. I like seeing that when an urge gets worse than it has ever been, that I can still not act on it. I like seeing that I CAN still get up no matter how many times I fall. I think it all shows the resiliency of the human spirit. I like slowly getting more and more into a life that I want and know I deserve now. I like knowing I am strong enough to get through anything if I have gotten to this point. And honestly I LOVE watching the hardest work I will ever do pay off. I love watching it pay off for others too. Because ultimately if recovery wasn't worth it there is no way we would put ourselves through even more hell :) I don't believe in perfection unless you define it differently. For me perfection is always there. Things are perfect how they are. Anything individually is perfect. And ultimately everything IS individual and will follow an individual path that nothing else could- nothing else is meant to follow. I do think there is such a thing as perfection- in my opinion perfection is what IS. right here. right now. Perfection is what is REAL. And what is real is that recovery is UNBELIEVABLY EXCRUCIATINGLY HARD. So in reality recovery is perfection- no matter what it looks like.

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

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous


I've realized something recently. I LOVE updating my blog. LOVE LOVE LOVE writing all the random things I think about and that go on in my life. LOVE hopefully portraying my reality as crazy and scary and exciting and hard as it is. But I'm falling into an old trap. I don't want to partially write anything, partially update, not have a complete entry that comes to some important conclusion or something. Why write anything unless it reflects everything I'm thinking and feeling? Why write if it's not long and has a major point to it or portrays the EXACT thing I want it to?


My life doesn't end each day with a realization or a point or anything really. I don't have a beginning, middle and end to each day or week or year. Things start and stop and start again. I have an idea and add to it occasionally, I start writing and don't feel like finishing or more likely fall asleep... :) Things start and never really end, things add to other things until there are piles of knowledge and hopes and fears and tears and lessons and experiences and laughs. They reflect each other- absorb each other- change each other. Things change and that process is important. My writing isn't always reflecting that because I have tons of entries waiting patiently for me to finish them- because they are not "perfectly ready" yet. And I have so many things I want to write about that if I don't post what I have I will never post half of it. And I love this blog more than people know. I LOVE that there might be some teeny tiny possibility that someone somewhere is reading it or understanding or feeling understood or thinking differently about something. I love that I can learn so much from other people and also share that knowledge. I love that my thoughts potentially mean anything. I love that I can have something to remind myself of the places I've been on this whole long hard interesting journey.

But mostly I love that it reminds me that I am still who I used to be before all of this. I am still that girl who just wanted to make other people feel better. That is still me- at the core of my being. I let a lot of factors turn that into something negative. My experiences turned that little girl into someone who thought she could only help others if she sacrificed herself. And I still wanted to help people more than I wanted to live. It has taken a long time but I am realizing that that part of me has always been there but just needed a way to be expressed without ignoring the person I should be taking care of most. I can do that more now. I can see the things I can and cannot change and am working continually to accept them. I have gone through a lot of layers to get back to who I really am, but I know now that it is real. That the one thing I have wanted more than anything is still very much the only thing I want and is possible. I can make a difference. But now I can do that without hurting myself in the process.I can help people AND live a life I think is worth living. I'm SO excited to find that out because I honestly thought it was one or the other. THIS is gonna be awesome...

P.S.----So I'm going to try not to hold onto posts, because when I write them THAT is when they mean something to me, and THAT is when I'm going to post them.

"Stop worrying about what might hold you down, and start paying attention to why you are standing up" - anonymous

Friday, February 3, 2012

To let go...

Don't know where exactly I got this but I LOVE it... when you get to the point when you realize you can't save anyone but yourself, and you are ok with that, it is incredibly freeing. It allows you to put yourself first and show yourself compassion, something we aren't used to doing. It is a message we don't often give ourselves- I am worth it. As much as anyone else. Starting to believe that has been one of the most amazing aspects of recovery.

Does not mean to stop caring, it means I can't do it for someone else.
To let go........
Is not to cut myself off, it's the realization I can't control another.
Is not to enable, but allow learning from natural consequences.
Is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
Is not to try to change or blame another, it's to make the most of myself.
Is not to care for, but to care about.
Is not to fix, but to be supportive.
Is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
Is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their destinies.
Is not to be protective, it's to permit another to face reality.
Is not to deny, but to accept.
Is not to nag, scold or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
Is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
Is not to criticize or regulate anybody, but to try to become what I dream I can be.
Is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To let go.....
Is to fear less and love more.

~ author unkown

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Things Fall Down

Since I've left cw I've been in a really good place. Classes are going well, I have at least a volunteer/internship at a drug and alcohol prevention program. they go to schools and teach kids life skills and other types of prevention. It is SO close to what I want my non profit to do. I am SO EXCITED. I'm doing stuff with friends and although exercise has been iffy I'm not giving in to the urges. I was actually starting to get worried. The way I get worried when things seem to be going to well... I was getting worried that maybe I'm so excited to be where I am that I'm completely ignoring or not even considering any negative emotions. Nothing bad has happened, I've been more stressed since school started but duh. I had anticipated all of the sudden having a complete breakdown in a few days or weeks because the energy was overshadowing and real feelings. But I don't think that's going to happen. First of all I know that I'm not using energy to cover something up. I know I'm a lot more calm in general and that isn't fake. But seriously I saw my therapist today and thought she would never believe me that so much has changed. She did because I've seen her for three and a half years, but this whole "not always feeling like death is right behind me" thing is weird.

It's hard too. It's hard to feel completely different, to know that I have to make decisions, to be in a place that makes relationships better- but different. I've been so used to feeling certain negative emotions that the better ones scare me. I have urges sometimes just because I don't like feeling happy/excited/unsure etc.

I know I'm still connecting with actual emotions though because I just cried for like an hour. I was talking to a friend from class about her practicum and somehow something reminded me of ro and what happened there this summer. I've felt A LOT about that. But I don't think I've ever been able to really cry about how painful it was for ME without factoring in things I thought were my fault. I hate to feel that much pain, but at the same time I'm able to feel it and not hurt myself. It's completely different feeling it now because I can feel the good energy that's behind the pain at the same time. That's the only way I can explain it. I know I need to write to them about what happened. It is the only way I will ever get some sort of resolution.

I know this is definitely something I need to work on- especially because a part of me is still so incredibly hurt by the people who don't think they did anything wrong, that it wants to show people how much it hurt. To show people how it feels to be completely alone even in a place where people are supposed to care. To show what true hopelessness looks like. To show people why I never trusted anyone. To prove that what they did hurts more than what people did to me who were trying to hurt me. I am still torn apart by this summer in so many ways. I know things are better now- I know there are things that aren't better yet. I wish everything was just better at once. It would be so much easier...until then I have to be ok with everything that comes with the ups and downs of recovery and life. This is one of the down aspects that I still need to resolve. But now I want to resolve it more than I want it to kill me. Which is something.

Things will be built up and torn down again and again. My life is proof of that. But when something is torn down it's also an opportunity to build it up again- to choose the same or new details, materials, shape and height. The things I lost this summer will take awhile to get back, but hopefully it won't get torn down the same way again. I think that is still the one thing I can see destroying me if anything like that were to happen again. And the fact that I can even still think that- reminds me of how many things I need to pay attention to to stay in recovery. Right now that seems exhausting, but in the morning it won't be as bad so I'm going to sleep. I need to stop staying up so late anyway...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Why leaving treatment this time is different

I wrote this when I was trying to decide if I was ready to go back to school this semester. It was a really hard decision because if I stayed my insurance was covering things through april. A part of me felt like if I didn't take the opportunity I would regret it- and regret is the emotion/feeling I HATE more than any other. But I didn't want to stay if it wasn't what was best for ME. I was worried I was just excited to get back to life and I didn't want to leave and once the excitement wasn't there, just fall apart. Eventually I went with my gut- which was pulling me toward school and the new life I was ready to start creating. I knew that my decision was what I really thought was best was coming from a good place when I didn't get defensive when people raised concerns, when I started planning out meals, making schedules, planning ways to make sure I had time to journal and self care, planing time to cook, writing down warning signs of the start of a relapse and putting them in my planner, and a whole bunch of other lists and plans. I surprised myself when I wrote this actually, but I'm a little proud of it:

When I left cw to go to ro in Oct of 2008 I was leaving because I wasn't able to keep myself safe enough there. I was leaving knowing that if I couldn't come back to cw I would die. That is actually the most absolutely sure I have ever been that I would die- more than in the park when I was wondering if my body would be found if the guys killed me. I left cw re-traumatized by the meeting that got me sent away. I was motivated on some level, however, because I was on some level realizing that I was again going to do this recovery thing alone. When I left ro after 9 days not much had changed. When I left cw to go to iop in I was in a fairly good place with the ED, but less in other ways. I hadn't done as much trauma work as I thought- it was more getting the ED under control. I went to iop in Jan of 2009 and discharged in March because I was doing well and iop wasn't helpful. I left doing well, but a few weeks later the effects of having a new diagnosis got to me and I relapsed really badly for three months.

When I left ro this July I was again in an incredibly dark place- I had another trauma there and left suicidal and completely in my ED. I wanted to die, but knew I couldn't do anything after my parents had just paid all that money. (My sister is the main reason I haven't over the years and don't ever think I really could. She is the most amazing strong intelligent beautiful person I have ever met and she means the world to me. I couldn't do that to her.) I knew after leaving I still had a lot to work on. I knew I would ultimately still die of one of my addictions. After the ro trauma I had in many ways resigned myself to live with a partial ED, just enough to function. I was hoping school would bring my spark back and agreed to do iop to at least get the ED more under control, and maybe enough trauma work to have at least a few years left. My life looked fine and perfect to me- and that was what I focused on- so I never saw the ways I was
still in so much pain. I went up a level because I knew if I didn't figure out why some parts were still wanting to die, I would die even sooner than I thought. I don't really know exactly how I got to where I am today-I don't really know what happened, but I know I'm leaving treatment this time somewhere I have never been before (and that is for another post). I hate saying that too- I hate saying anything is going well because that makes me feel more vulnerable than anything else. Once you get what you want you have something to lose- but I guess I need to write this if even just for me.

I'm leaving cw this time knowing how much I've gotten done. In these five weeks I've worked on realizing the impact my parents had on me-I never thought they were at all related to work I needed to do. I was able to finally get angry and deal with that anger. I wrote an angry letter to my parents that was really helpful and I'm going to post realizations from that another time. (Apparently I have too many things to write about and too little time)...I've worked on my belief that I have to save the world to matter- felt the emotions related to why i believe that. I've been able to get all parts to agree to at least for awhile (a year) give me the opportunity to try to create the life I really want. I'm going to stop letting my parents make my decisions- stop letting my instinct to protect them kill me. I know it's going to be hard, to take a lot of work, but I'm willing to do it to save my life now.

Before I would have left knowing that if I want to do something like recover, I will. And I do know that ultimately that is true. But this time I want it too much to take chances. I'm realizing all of the small details I'm going to have to plan to out to make sure I stay on track. I'm making schedules and plans, changing friendships, and trying to work on feeling my reality- not just believing my external world reflect my internal one.I know what makes a relapse more likely. I know the order symptoms tend to come in and I'm going to do whatever I need to in my life so I don't go back. I'm leaving here knowing flexibility is the only way I will make it. Knowing that following my heart (corny I know but true :)) is the only thing that can save me.

It's going to be hard to leave. I'm not so hurt I'm running away like the first time. I'm not in as much denial about the myriad of ways my life needs to change like the other times. And I'm not glad to be leaving this community. I'm incredibly sad. I'm sad because these people have been there since day one. this community is more than I could have asked for- more kindness, more passion, more hope and more strength than I ever thought possible. Each and every one of them has taught me something and in some way inspired me. I can only hope I've touched them in even some way close to the way they have touched me.

I'm leaving here knowing that I have a shit ton of work to do still, knowing recovery will continue to be the hardest thing I will ever do. But I'm leaving knowing I am ready to. I'm not in denial about how amazingly hard this will be- but I am ready to keep fighting. I'm ready to find my own path, my own passion. I'm leaving feeling like for the first time ever I'm not destined to die. I'm not here to sacrifice myself to save others. I don't have that voice in the back of my head that says it has always been too late, that I will still die from this, that I will never be happy unless I am living dying from my addictions. I'm leaving knowing I will live if I listen to myself- and I'm finally able to do that.

So as much as I'd love to say I know I will be ok because I want it and I always get what I want, that I can do it alone, and that I will never have to go back to any type of treatment, that's not going to facilitate life. I know I will only be ok if I continue to be vigilant about behaviors and feelings. I know I won't be able to do it alone, and for the first time I don't want to. I know shit happens and I might have to get more help in the future- and I know it does not make me weak or a failure, but a fighter. I'm leaving excited for school and new friends, for a new opportunity and a new life.

But for the first time I'm also leaving absolutely terrified of how hard this is going to be, how many things will be different, and how many things I am going to have to pay close attention to. This time I'm EXCITED for my future and I'm TERRIFIED. And I think that's exactly where i should be.

Quotes I find relevant:

"The greatest gift you will ever receive is the gift of loving and believing in yourself. Guard this gift with your lfe. It is the only thing that will ever be truly yours."

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

"Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me, I want people to know why I look this way. I’ve traelled a long way and some of the roads weren’t paved"

"Only one feat is possible: not to have run away."

Why You are Here

One of the questions everyone tries to answer is why am I here? Why me? What for? Etc etc. and I don’t think there will ever be actual answers to any of those philosophical questions, but I do know that if I make up my own answers that can get dangerous. I had decided from a very young age that I was alive to save as many people as I possibly could. That was constantly reinforced throughout my life and I think I knew a long time ago that that idea would end up killing me. I was in denial because I felt like it would make me a terrible person if I didn't always feel like I hadn't helped enough people. I was in denial because my goal of being a trauma surgeon wouldn't be what I would choose if I decided for me. I worked through the realization I wouldn't be a trauma surgeon when I was in treatment in 2008, but it wasn't until recently that I noticed I was doing the same thing. I have been planning on taking the almost non-profit I have and making it a national one that holds conventions and goes to schools to talk to school faculty about child abuse, eating disorders, and substance abuse. I know awareness is important, but sometimes the awareness is there- it's the knowledge of what can be done, what can prevent, what to look for and not ignore. I know this can be done. I know it will be hard. But the problem was that I was thinking if I didn't accomplish this and all of the exact things I had planned- I was worthless and I never mattered. I thought if I didn't save tons of people my life was pointless.

I still have trouble always convincing myself that this isn't true, but I worked on the anxiety around what it would be like to not have an exact goal- to be able to make decisions based on what I love and not what my parents want, society wants, or I feel like I have to do to matter. I still have the non-profit idea, but I have a lot of other ideas too. And I am- for the first time EVER in my life- not sure what I am going to do, what is going to happen. And I'm ok with that because I know that I can do something if I am passionate about it. I know I have a lot of passions, and that I will make a difference in whatever area I go into. I think I also looked around at how fast I was going down while still externally having the BEST semester of my life. I really felt how fast things were spiraling and at one point realized (yes I JUST recently realized this lol) that if I die before I can do anything, I won't be able to save anyone, and will have killed someone instead.

As I'm writing this I'm noticing I still feel the need to say "save" people. And in reality no one can save anyone else. I need to work on thinking of helping, not saving. I did go back to the MSW/MPH program I am in and I don't intend to change that because I LOVE it. And even though I'm not always sure if I need both degrees or if I will even use them, I know I want to learn everything. I love learning- yep I'm a nerd :)

So where does this leave me now? It leaves me in a place where I don't know I'm just walking toward death and can't do anything about it. I know there are so many things that make a person matter and saving the world isn't one of them. If someone saved the world and made it perfect it would probably be a pretty boring, mundane, repetitive, existence anyway. Imperfection is what makes things interesting, makes things matter, makes relationships possible. So I may end up with a non-profit. It may address the issues I planned on. I may end up traveling to third world countries to figure out how so many people are dying during times that the world DOES have enough resources to support everyone on the planet. I have always LOVED forensic psychology and toxicology. I would love to be a social worker in a hospital setting. I know I want to be a photographer and am almost done with my website so I can actually sell them! And yet I am so incredibly fascinated by infectious diseases and immunology that maybe I'll cure cancer instead! (or just love my job for what it is and how it fits into the life I create) :)

It's my birthday and I'll purge if I want to!

I wrote this last wednesday, my birthday, but didn't post it apparently...
On Monday I had the scariest urge I’ve had in a long time. I just KNEW I was going to binge and purge all day Wed (my birthday). I just knew it. And that feeling is the worst one I think as far as urges go. I hate to admit that I still have those urges. The ones where I just DONT GIVE A FUCK. I thought once I was committed to recovery those would go away because I would always care enough to stop the urges. But there are still those occasional days when I stop caring for awhile. Those days are hard and I'll write more about that later but at least I know they will be followed by days I remember why I am doing any of this.

Anyway I didn’t have any idea why the urges came on so fast and so strong. I seriously almost binged and purged after dinner just because I was thinking I might as well if I’m going to binge and purge all day Wednesday. I didn't feel triggered by anything; I wasn’t going to spend all birthday alone like I usually do. But for some reason I still thought about Wednesday and felt the complete and utter aloneness that I am used to feeling around times like that. It caught me off guard because things especially around people and friends have been really good. I don’t feel as alone as I usually do. I know there are always people there if I need them or just want them. I know I’m able to really be there for other people now because I’m not caretaking. I think it was just the usual rush of thoughts and feelings that came back, but it almost took me out. I wasn’t sure I could even try to figure out what it was about and almost gave up Monday night but decided that Wednesday could only be a good experience if I tried to do everything possible to figure out why urges were that high before that day.

I went home and had a snack and wrote a TON before I figured out what had been so hard. I realized I had a time in my life where I decided if I was still miserable and unhealthy I would overdose on my 25th bday. It was like I just suddenly had a part come in that wanted to be destructive because I would have only had one year left if I still felt that way. I hadn't thought of this plan in FOREVER. It made sense. It made me so incredibly sad that the person who I used to be felt that shitty all the time. It made me happy to be able to look back and say this is how I know just how far I've come. I was able to set up plans on my birthday that kept me pretty busy but honestly that day I just kept thinking that NOTHING about that day was anything like most of my previous birthdays- or days in general for that matter...I got a massage. I had a birthday dinner and PEOPLE CAME. Sadly that is almost never the case. I don't plan fun things and I don't have people who really want to come or are healthy enough to come.

I do think I would have used symptoms if I hadn't really worked on trying to figure out why I had such high urges. I think I would have had a part justify it because it was what I wanted to do on MY birthday. I had to remind myself all day that even if a part of me wanted that, the real me wants to wake up the next morning and still be able to say it has been five months since I've purged. And three and a half years since I've binged. I notice I often find myself thinking "THIS urge is the strongest one EVER". But I have also noticed that it helps if I tell myself to just get through THIS one, and the next stronger one I'm allowed to give in to. I say that knowing that in that moment that can usually be enough, and when I realize I have gotten through that urge I am so glad that I didn't act on it that I will say the same thing next time. It works for me sometimes and now I can also remind myself that I have gotten through two and a half years without purging and I can do that (and more) again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

lessons Learned, Bridges Burned (part 3)

So where am I now in the recovery process?
Although I was doing really well for two years there were still many aspects of my life that were not fully based in recovery. I think there are levels to recovery. I know I was in recovery, but I also know now that I'm in an even higher level of recovery after these last few weeks. After River Oaks I had pretty much resigned myself to helping as many people as possible, knowing it would kill me in the process. I didn't care anymore. I had worked on trauma and still had too much work to do around a number of things. I didn't think I would have the time or the resources to get better. But in only a few weeks I gained something that would change all that. And besides the realizations I came to I also gained people. I want to say family because my family of choice will have to be a strong source of support in my life. I've never really felt like I had people who cared about me as a person. They only cared about how i could help them or the sports team or with the group project. The people that I have met in these last few weeks changed all of that. I have been mourning the loss of a very important woman in my life- she and her husband and the rest of my university's volleyball team made me feel like I mattered inherently and not for what I could do or who I could help. When volleyball ended so did this feeling. I have only just found it again. Getting to know these people has been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. And I'm aware of how corny this all sounds, but when you have been hurt as much as I have it is a pretty big thing.

The people I've met recently have been some of the strongest most inspiring people I have ever met. They have been there for me through everything and I have been able to be there for them as well.

This time I'm able to believe more of the things I should about myself. I am starting to believe in the various ways I have intrinsic worth. I am starting to believe that I am strong and intelligent and maybe even funny sometimes. By seeing the beauty in these people I have come to see more of my own. I have come to realize the fear that is there if we begin to admit anything positive about us might be true.

I have people now- I've found the ones I used to have as well. And even more than that I have confidence that I will continue to meet healthy people and form relationships that I deserve. I know now that people really can care just about a person.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lessons Learned, Bridges Burned (part 2)

This last semester was the best one of my life. I know that may seem weird considering I was in treatment, but it's true. I LOVED all of the classes I was taking. I finally had people in my life who I could be myself around and friends who went out and did things together. I loved being around my friends and the teachers wanted us to learn more than focus on a grade. I actually got A's last semester, which is still strange to me because I've been in programs that were so hard and so much work that almost no one got an A. Last semester I did. Last semester I learned more than I have in awhile and got to write papers on topics I was interested in. I found new people to be around and figured out how to have a more balanced life. I thought I was as happy as my life seemed when I looked at it. I didn't understand why my mood would go up and down so fast and why people thought I wasn't ok when I was so completely convinced I was. I decided to stay there until school started just to make sure I was as ok as I thought I was. I really expected people to not know why I was in treatment. I thought I just had to figure out how to explain to people the level of my ok-ness. I never thought I would end up where I am right now. I have wanted recovery for so long. I had recovery and honestly didn't see how far I really had gotten from where I was.

I wasn't really able to let my guard down until I was done with school and sent all of my essays in because I can't do homework well if I'm in too vulnerable of a place emotionally. I worked intensely for only five weeks, but those five weeks have truly changed my life. I worked on the two things I see as the last major aspects of negative energy in my life. I had already done a lot of trauma work and symptoms were able to be controlled once I was more motivated. This time I was able to really look at the reasons parts of me still wanted on some level to eventually die from my addictions. I was able to figure out the aspects of my life that contributed to the belief that ultimately I would never be happy.

I also was able to finally look at the impact my family of origin had on me. I didn't know I needed to work on it. I always thought I had worked through what my parents had not done amazingly well and I was ok knowing they did their best. It surprised me to realize I had a lot of anger toward them still and that it was affecting me more than I thought. I've always known I was trying to protect my parents. I've been trying to my entire life. That's why I tried to fix everything in my family, why I didn't want to tell my parents anything was wrong or that I wasn't completely happy. I know they are upset that I never said anything but I know why I never did. People get hurt so much by each other there is only a certain amount I wanted them to deal with. I thought things were my fault. I thought if I never said anything they would at least not have to deal with what I was going through. I never wanted to hurt them- I think that's the irony in all this. They think I hurt them by keeping things from them. I thought I was protecting them. And now that I know they don't want me to I still can't stop. I can't stop trying to make everything seem ok. I can't stop trying to make them feel better about my situations. And if I can't stop trying to protect them I'm never going to completely recover. So I'm working really hard on that and am very motivated to change my impulse to protect everyone else, especially if it hurts me in the process.

The other main realization I had was the impact my desire to pretty much literally save the world had on me. I have always tried to help people even if it was at the expense of myself. I can't do that anymore but my goals in life are still tied into the belief that helping as many people as possible is the only thing that will make me matter. I know it is still going to take a lot of work because changing a lot of my beliefs will take awhile but I am finally realizing that if I don't do what I want to do and what is best for me I won't be alive long enough to help anyone else anyway. I'm realizing how close my addictions and beliefs have kept me to dying for most of my life. And I don't want to die anymore. I finally don't feel like a part of me knows I will still die from the ED or another addiction eventually. I finally REALLY don't feel like I am going to have to die in order to save or protect other people. I never thought this would happen, but I am so glad I kept letting people push me to figure things out more recently.
I have met amazing people who have changed my life through this process and for only the second time in my life felt like I mattered to others for who I am and not just what I can do. I'm going to expand on this in another post though because this one is getting long...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lessons Learned, Bridges Burned (part 1)

I didn't realize how long it had been since I've written. I guess that goes to show how fast time goes when you aren't really aware of it. I wasn’t aware at the time but I was probably slowly slipping back into aspects of my ED starting in May. The end of school wasn’t terrible but once I walked out of my last final I fell apart. I was really depressed and needed to call off work because I had such high self harm urges. The fact that I apparently couldn’t have a job without having to call off every few weeks because of a mental breakdown. All of the sudden I realized I might not be able to function in society. If I cant hold down a semi decent job how was I supposed to make money and live in general? I just kept thinking if I cant do this then how am I supposed to work in the field I want to? I seriously just kept thinking I was screwed. I really thought I would never be able to make it. I’m still really worried about that.

While looking back on this last year I realized that although I had done well for two years, to some extent I was still just holding things together. I was happier and healthier but at the same time there were still things I had to ignore because I had to be able to do school. I realized that before I went to grad school in the fall I needed to work more on the trauma in order to be able to really live in recovery. I started looking into river oaks and had to wait for weeks to hear if insurance would cover or if I could even get in. My ED started spiraling because I felt like I was waiting to hear so I would know if I was going to live or die. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to go to river oaks and I knew if I didn’t use a coping mechanism I would fall apart completely. I started restricting and purging and it got really bad in the three weeks before I went to river oaks. I had to down play just how bad things were to my therapist because she said she wouldn’t let me go if I was in my ED. I finally got to river oaks and freaked out the first day because we couldn’t use our cell phone. It got a lot better and I did a lot of work around several traumas. I had Dianne this time, which was much better than before. The second week I was really triggered by a client who had a flashback. I went into flashback myself and ended up self-harming with something I had snuck in. Obviously it wasn’t a good decision obviously I got in trouble- I was put on SVC for awhile. I felt bad enough already- I hated myself and was terrified about getting kicked out. I saw Dr. Lowe the next day and he was really mad. Everyone fought for me to stay and I got to, but after that I felt like I was always walking on eggshells and felt like everyone hated me.

For the next few days I just had to wait to see if they would kick me out or not. I knew on some level it would make sense but I also knew this was my last chance to really do trauma work. They let me stay but my psychiatrist would hardly talk or look at me the next few weeks. Eventually I was set to discharge and was really excited because I got a lot of work done on my major traumas. A few nights before I was supposed to leave however, I started realizing that although I had done an amazing amount of work there were still many parts of me that still wanted to die. I knew it wouldn't be soon and that it would be my ED or addictions that would kill me, but I still knew I would ultimately die from my unhealthy coping mechanisms. The nurse's and other staff told me i wasn't ready to go, that i had more to work on and i should stay. My therapist here said that too. But I knew my psychiatrist wouldn't fight for me to stay so i thought the only way I could get more work done and really save my life would be to say i was suicidal so they wouldn't let me leave and insurance would be more likely to keep covering me knowing I was struggling that much. BAD IDEA. I should have known that but I've never been able to trust anyone else to care about me. I decided to take matters into my own hands but my psychiatrist got pissed and sent me to another building. I discharged from there a few days later. The way he told me to leave was shitty. He walked out on me at one point. I felt like I did after getting kicked out of another center. I wanted to die more than ever. I can't go too much into that experience but it was really really hard and after I got back I continued to fall apart.

I was using more ED behaviors, I started drinking and self harming. I decided to go to iop more so to try to find motivation than anything else. I was getting stuck with the feelings about the treatment centers that had hurt me so badly. A part of me wanted to die just to prove a point. To show that people who are supposed to care can be the ones to hurt you more than anyone. So I started iop. I started grad school. And the next entry will talk about how amazing my semester went- at least on the outside. I finally had the most balanced life I ever had and it kept me from going backward. Unfortunately it also didn't move me forward so I stayed stuck in a pretty bad place.