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??

Posted by Wendy on February 4, 2006 11:32 PM


wendy~it's suzanne! i was so glad to see your post. i love reading what you have to say, just something about the way you write, it really keeps your attention! anyway, just wanted to let you know that i think about you often and can relate to so many things that you write about~sitting close to the nearest exit (i even have to sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door)! curling up in a ball, in what, hopes of just disappearing? the constant battle in your head between wanting to badly to give it up, to heal, then fighting with all we have to hold on to it, if only it's just a part. our security blanket, who are we without it? i started with my new therapist about the time you went to westwind, so i find us almost parallel with out thoughts and our feelings. freedom, health, wellness, wholeness~sounds good, but what the hell does that all mean? when you have never had it, how do you know that is the choice to make over what has been our best friend for as long as we can remember? "do it already, sounds so simple", i know this feeling! what is 'wrong' with us that we just can't 'do it'? you're not alone, wendy, this is a hard battle and to me it feels good to know i am not alone. i am always here if you need someone to talk with. just by reading your comments, i can tell you are really intelligent,but let me tell you we are our own worst enemies. please keep us posted on how things are going, and know that there are many of us who care, and think about you often. numbness is easy, feelings, especially those that take us on a rollercoaster ride in such a short amount of time over and over again, are so damn hard.......so hard! suzanneandzach@msn.com ~suzanne

Posted by: suzanne costephens at February 7, 2006 9:04 AM

I live with lupus so I can relate to telling people you are fine even when your not because people do not understand for the most part and the ones that do seem to simply say "I'm sorry". That does not help-there are days when we need to put our needs first and be taken care of and that is so hard for the people in our lives to understand but I am here for you-good luck and take care........

Posted by: Lisa at February 18, 2006 9:47 AM

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