Main » February 2006
February 18, 2006
So many times I sit down to write, and my mind goes blank. There's all these things I want to say or write about, but there's so much of it-- I don't know where to start. And so I don't. I've been here six weeks already and there's no way I'd be ready to leave. Ann's insurance only pays for six weeks, so she's leaving at the beginning of March. I know for a FACT that if I were to leave right now-- I'd go right back to old behaviors.
It's so easy to fall back into old habits, old thought patterns. So easy. And then I find myself balancing precariously on the edge, not sure which direction to go. I haven't puked in two weeks now, but yet-- still eating. That in itself is torture on the mind. Then add to that the fact that I'm still about 800-900 calories BELOW what my supposed resting metabolic rate (RMR) is. About 1700-1800 calories a day. NOT factoring in the gym time. It's hard enough just getting in 800 calories a day, consistently, so to think of doubling my intake is terrifying. I already feel like I've gotten HUGE since I've been here, which isn't true--- (at least according to everyone else). But that doesn't make the thoughts go away.
Sometimes I wonder how I let things get this far, to end up at a treatment center. I always thought I could do it on my own; thought that I was strong enough. But maybe being "strong" is asking for help and NOT trying to do everything myself. I dunno. I know I can't go back to the way things used to be if I want a future, and a life with Pete and if I want to keep running. But at the same time, it seems so much easier to go back to what is familiar. I guess I have this warped idea that I can somehow hang onto the eating disorder and still have a normal life. I guess to me--- the word "recovery" is synonymous with "fat". I know that's not true, but in my head it is.
Even though I've been here six weeks already, I feel like I've barely taken any steps. Like I'm just getting started and the finish line is a LONG way off. I guess one way I'll know I'm ready to go home is when the idea of leaving here is exciting, or something I look forward to. Right now-- the idea of going back home is what scares me. Yeah, I miss Pete and my dogs, my sessions with Judy. School and work and my friends. But I know I'm not ready to go back to all that yet.
In the larger picture though-- giving up 3 months of my life to be here is insignificant when compared to the number of years I've had the eating disorder. 3 months out of 16 years is like one second out of a whole day.
Being here is definitely the hardest decision I've ever had to make. But I'm doing ok here. I have my good days and bad days, though most of the "bad" days are due to shitty body-image days. And when you feel like crap about yourself, everything else seems worse off as well. Just one more thing I'm working on in individual sessions.
I need to focus more on ME and take more time during the day/week to just write or paint or whatever. The last couple of weeks, most of my free time is spent with everyone else--- either going for a walk somewhere, or watching a movie or whatever. But I don't take the time to just sit and read or write. I haven't painted in a couple of weeks, and I miss it. Save for the finger painting project we did on Friday for the 4:15 group. Art Therapy. Definitely therapeutic. At least for me it is. But that's the first time in several weeks that I've painted.
I've finished 4 new paintings since I've been here, but I've got more canvas down in the art room waiting to be used. :) The "Westwind Collection" [laughs]. I'll probably leave a couple of them here, one for each house. I definitely want to keep a few of them, as reminders of not only my time here at Westwind, but reminders that I don't want to come back (as a client) after I walk out the door.
I guess right now, that's my long-term goal: to get to a place where I'm ready to leave, and not have to come back again. Maybe setting a date to leave will help. I can re-evaluate that date as it gets closer, but perhaps it will give me motivation. April 9 will be my 3-month mark, so maybe the first week of April?? I've been here 6 weeks already, so maybe 4-6 more weeks will be enough.
February 4, 2006
A Long Way from Home...
Amazing how quickly time passes, and yet, it seems to go so slowly at the same time. As of Monday I will have been here exactly one month, and I already know my plan of only staying 8 weeks is pretty much out the window. There's no way in hell I'll be ready to leave here in 4 weeks. But at the same time-- I realize that after four weeks here, and not feeling like I've accomplished much-- that I need to get my ass in gear and start working on things. I think I've been spending more time trying to always be the stable one here, the strong one. I've been working so hard at NOT having bad days, that in all reality it's probably more avoidance than anything.
I put everyone else ahead of me, being there when people need to talk or need to go for a walk or get out of the house. I'm the one who sits quietly (most of the time) in group and adds to conversations but never shares more than the surface stuff. I don't ask for help or support when I need it, I don't let people know when I'm having a tough day--- I simply tell myself to "suck it up" and get over it. I rarely allow myself to cry in session or in group. And I know I can't be responsible for anyone else's reactions to things, but I don't want to be the one to bring people down when I'm not having a good day. When people ask how I am, or how my day is going-- my typical response is "fine" or "ok" even if I'm having a really shitty day. I tend to minimize things. Tell myself it's not really that bad, that other people have it worse.... anything else but actually admitting that I'm not in a good place. And it's only fucking up my own "recovery".
I still struggle on a daily basis between wanting to give up the eating disorder and fighting like hell to hang onto it. I know I can't have it both ways, and yet-- somehow I think I can. As though I am stronger than biological functioning, and am stronger than it is. But it's bullshit. All of it. My mind is my own fucking enemy and I don't control it and I can't explain it, and half the time I don't even know WHAT I'm thinking cause the thoughts are coursing through my brain on warp speed. And if I try too hard to make sense of everything, I find myself headed even further down the spiral.
It's cold here. The kind of cold that burns your lungs and makes the tips of your fingers hurt-- even with gloves on. But we walk anyway. To 7-11 for coffee, to the "superstore", the mall and Blockbuster. We walk to burn calories, to clear our heads, to just simply get away for awhile. I haven't run since I've been here, mainly for the fact that I'd rather not slip on the three inches of solid ice covering most of the sidewalks here. I'm getting used to it though-- the cold. Many days, it's deceptively sunny. You look out the window and it's perfectly clear and the sun is bright and I half expect it to be quite warm out, though that is never the case. Everything is still, calm, quiet, buried under layers of ice. In a way-- I guess we are too. Life-- REAL lives, buried beneath years of pain and tears and withheld thoughts and feelings, and all the therapy only succeeds in chipping away at the surface. I guess that's a start though. I think I'm more afraid of the 'melting' aspect once the surface is broken.
So I spend my sessions curled up into the smallest ball I can become, drawing my knees up against my chest, wrapped up in a blanket. I still, even here, sit closest to the door. I do that at Judy's office, in her waiting room. I do it in classes at the university. Always spotting the closest door, the closest exit. Just in case. In case what? I guess in case I feel the overwhelming need to escape. To leave. To just get the hell out of there and back into the safety of my own little world.
That's the hardest part. That need to let go of all this, but so desperately wanting to hang on to it. I know where this road will lead me. I know the risks, the certainties that lie ahead if I choose to stay here. I know what I have and what I'd be throwing away, what I've already lost and what I'd be giving up in my future. And yet-- I can't bring myself to let go. I know what I need to do, but I can't bring myself to just fucking DO it already. It sounds so simple, so easy. But it's not. And it's not some fucked up passive-aggressive means of getting someone to notice me, or to take my hand and make me do it or for someone to do it for me. Cause that can't happen. I am the only one who can, in all reality, "save" myself. I'm 28. I guess if I try hard enough and if I want it enough, then maybe someday it'll happen.
The days are one big rollercoaster ride. I change from happy to sad, to frustrated to...... I don't know...., all in the course of a 24 hour period. Or even a few hours. Maybe I should have stayed on the effexor. But then again, I question why. So that I can numb everything and not have to feel because of some pill? Pseudo-happiness in a bottle. It's sad really. Sad that I can't (most of the time), find the joy, the purpose in life. That I have a hard time making myself believe that this is all really worth it, that I am worth it.
It's hard to be content when you're not quite sure what's left to be content about. I've got Pete, my dogs, my art, my running..... but it's not enough to make up for everything else. At least at this point. Those are the only good things I see right now. The rest is lost amidst the chaos.
When is enough finally going to be ENOUGH??