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March 22, 2006

Looking Ahead

I can't wait for this weekend! Wow-- that's a statement you won't hear me saying too often.

But Pete is coming up to visit for a few days and will be here sometime early afternoon on Friday. I'm excited. I miss home and everything about it. But I know that-- at least for right now-- this is where I need to be. I was aiming to be out of here by the first week of April--- but as that is next week already, that is NOT going to happen. Maybe the end of April. I'd like to be out of here by May, though.

It's so weird to think that by the time I get home, the seasons will have totally changed. I left just at the beginning of our "winter" season in January (which is usually when Nebraska starts getting all their shitty weather) and when I return, it will be headed towards summer. Spring in Nebraska is beautiful --- and I will have missed it almost completely. In a strange sort of way, it's like being stuck in this alter-universe, this time-warp. My entire life has been put on hold basically for the last 3 months (four, by the time I return), yet everyone and everything at home has still been moving on without me. It's weird. But when I think of how many YEARS I've given up to the eating disorder, four months doesn't really seem all that long in comparison.

The days go by fairly quickly here-- at least in retrospect. Some days never seem to end, but time just keeps moving on. Time is one of those things you can never really understand. It's the only constant thing ANY of us has, and yet at the same time, it's the one thing that is forever changing. You can't stop time. You can't accelerate it. You can only sit with it as it goes by, and hope you don't go mental in the process.

I spend too much time looking foward to the future, too much time looking back on the past, but not enough time just enjoying the moments HERE and NOW, for what they're worth. Maybe the old adage is true: the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. But ya know what? Even when it seems better over there-- they still gotta mow it, too. (hee hee hee).

I'm currently in this wierd state of being where I want so desperately to move past all of this-- yet at the same time, I want to hold onto everything I've known all these years. I don't really HAVE (or maybe, just don't remember) a beginning point for the eating disorder where I can look back and divide my life into a "before" or an "after". It's always just been there. I don't know what normal is for me, cause for all these years, normal WAS the eating disorder. That was MY normal. I don't have that point of reference where I can say "I want to go back to how it used to be... BEFORE". Cause that point just isn't there. In a strange sort of way, I think people who have that point of reference have it a bit easier than those of us who don't. They at least can remember what living was really like.

I dunno--- I drive myself crazy with my own circular pattern of thoughts these days. Everything has a justification, a reason. But reasons on both ends of the spectrum and I have a hell of a time figuring out which one is the truth. Even trying to negate the negative thoughts with more positive ones leads to opposing thoughts negating the positive ones-- if that makes any sense. Perhaps I should just stop. I'm starting to confuse myself with my own random ramblings.

Posted by Wendy at 4:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 18, 2006

Tough Days

March 15, 2006

I hate being in this place of ambiguity. Of not caring... of wanting everything yet nothing at all. I don't know. Lately I'm finding it hard to even want to be here. I start second-guessing myself, questioning my decision to be here. Wondering if maybe it's better to just stay where I'm at, than fighting to change everything. Everything I do these days ends up in this internal battle in my head. Half of me wants to do what I'm "supposed to" or what I know I need to do, and the other half of me just wants to say screw it all. But at the same time-- I don't want that. Fuck. And with everything in the house changing--- new people coming, other people leaving-- I'm finding it less and less "safe". I don't deal well with change, especially when it's people. Environment is one thing; people are different.

It seems I had just finally gotten to the point where I felt like I knew people fairly well, and had built a friendship with Brooke and I was more comfortable talking in group and opening up about things. But now that most of the group is new--- that safety, security I had just a couple of weeks ago is gone. I'm the sort of person who doesn't ask for help, let alone admit it in the first place. I have to be the "strong" one. I feel bad just going into session and venting about one thing or another or talking about things when I'm not in a good place, mentally/emotionally. Like I have to be the "good" client here. The one who is always ok, and always moving forward. I'm the same way with Judy back home. And I know that's not the expectation. I know (on some level) that I'm allowed to have "bad" days.... but I've always been one to deal with the bad days on my own. I guess my rationale for that, is because I don't want to bring anyone else down with me. If I'm gonna fall, I'll do it on my own, cause no one else deserves that.

Yeah--- there are people here I DO trust-- but I don't feel like I could just go to one of the staff outside a scheduled appointment time. I don't want to waste their time on something stupid. So I minimize everything. Tell myself to just get over it. I guess maybe it's just that I don't want anyone to think I'm whining or complaining about something trivial or stupid. Maybe the biggest thing right now is just feeling totally and completely alone in all of this. Yeah, there are other people here-- but it's that lonely-in-a-crowd of people sort of thing.
And when I get to that place---- part of me just says fuck it all. Go on auto-pilot and simply just get through the days.

And I don't know how to get out of that..........

Posted by Wendy at 1:53 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2006

Another update overdue

I feel like I've been stuck on auto-pilot this week. Empty. Numb. And yet--sometimes the feelings are so intense, so raw, that I don't know where to begin in dealing with it all, myself included. Yet it's too much to handle at once. There's this overwhelming need to write or paint or cry or run. But the words don't come, the picture is never complete and I'm afraid if I start crying, I'll never stop. So I run or cut instead. And I do it to avoid, to hide, to escape from my own mind and all the feelings still left inside that I haven't yet named. Get through the days by shutting down. Auto-pilot. Numb. Whatever you want to call it. And it's fucked up. I'm not here to hide from everything, to avoid everything. I shouldn't be trying to fight it. It's easier to say that from an objective distance when I'm not right in the middle of it.

I feel like I've reached the breaking point-- once again. Sink or swim, fall or fly-- yet always unsure of the direction I'm headed. I've been here before though. Numerous times. I want "recovery" --just as much, just as intensely-- as I want to hold onto the eating disorder, but neither option feels safe right now. And maybe that's part of the problem. I need my "safety" back again. So I'm grasping at straws, the ends of the rope dangling in front of me, always just out of reach. I can't go back to where I've been, but yet the uncertainty of what lies ahead is just as frightening.

Sometimes I wonder if my fear with eating... with food... is in the knowledge that by normalizing my eating, the more 'feminine' body will eventually arrive. I've been avoiding that my whole life. Fucking around with biology and basic human necessity in order to prevent the inevitable. As though in my own disappearance-- all the guilt or shame or whatever you want to call it-- would disappear along with it.

That in and of itself brings up a whole other set of issues that I've tried to push away most of my life. But it's only temporary. The thoughts are still there, the overwhelming feelings that I've never been able to identify, the self-hatred. All there. And it's hard sitting in session and talking about certain things, when I'm fighting myself just to "stay" there. So much easier to just "go away" until the session is over and the topic ceases. But in the end-- the fix is only temporary.

Small equals safe, in my world. The smaller I could become, the less there was of me to take up space. I didn't want to die, necessarily, but rather, just disappear. If you don't let people in; if you don't let people get close; if you make yourself disappear (or at least get as close to disappearance as possible), then no one can hurt you. Use you.

I don't know. There are days I'm finding it harder and harder to care. Half of me DOES want to get past all of this, and the other half just doesn't give a shitanymore. I've dealt with it this long, why bother changing that? Cause staying where you're at is any better? Easier? Weak is taking the easy way out. When I'm in that place of self-doubt and indecision, self-destruction-- in whatever way possible-- seems the road most inviting. I haven't cut or purged in over 5 weeks, and maybe that's where the restricting comes in. When my two biggest coping mechanisms aren't really an option, that only opens the door for something else to step in. And short of getting drunk every night or getting high, or getting hooked on vicodin or other painkillers again, restricting seems the better of the two.

When I'm overwhelmed by unexplainable thoughts and undecipherable feelings, I retreat to a place of safety I created somewhere inside. A place of silence, calm when chaos surrounds me. No one can hurt, touch me, reach me here. Safety in silence, in shadows, inside the mind. Where you control all, and no one controls you. Safety when the external world becomes too much to handle. Sometimes I wonder if my attempt at explaining things to myself is really only allowing me to succeed in creating more confusion within my own head.

Posted by Wendy at 7:33 PM | Comments (1)

March 4, 2006

Leaving the familiar

""It feels like home in this place called familiar/When we're alone we return to familiar/You can't let go of this place called familiar/But we're orphans bound far away from familiar"" -- N.C.

So incredibly true...
I think that's part of my "issue". The letting go. When you've been in a place--- whether it's mental, or physical-- for so long, turning your back on it and just walking away, giving it all up is almost more terrifying than just staying where you're at. For me--- my familiar place is my eating disorder. It's what I know, it's what I've grown up with, it's part of me and how I've defined myself all these years. It's the one thing that's been constant through everything and has always been there. That's not to say it's been easy cause that would be a gross understatement, but at least it's been constant. There's a (twisted) sense of safety, security, comfort in that.

But at the same time--- that comfort zone is what got me to this place. And I know that unless I give it up... ALL of it-- there's no way that I can actually have a full, complete life with Pete, with school, a career, my RUNNING for God sake. I guess I keep thinking that I can still hold onto parts of the eating disorder, and let go of the rest of it-- and be fine. But I can't. It's not possible.

As of Monday, I will have gone 1 month no purging, and today (well, Saturday) marked 6 weeks no cutting. I'm still amazed at the fact that i've gone that long, as those two 'behaviors' were the hardest to break. But it's the restricting that's beginning to kick my ass. It's not even that I'm trying to restrict, or consciously doing it--- but I'm struggling too even get 800-900 calories in during the day. I do NOT enjoy meal times, or look forward to them. There's really no food that appeals to me. I dread having to try and figure out what to eat for each meal. Monday, I'm working with the nutritionist to plan out specifically what I'm going to have each day, in the hopes that it will reduce the anxiety about it.

Today was not so great.... Mostly just doubting myself and why I'm here and wanting to go back home. I miss everything about it, and the fact that I've done pretty good with the cutting/purging is some sort of justification in my head that "I'm fine". But the truth is that I'd go home and go right back to restricting and going to the gym for several hours. The longer I'm here-- the worse the body image gets. I somehow had the expectation that I'd be able to come here and "fix" the behavioral issues, but still be able to remain the same exact size as before. And it's not possible when you go from eating next to nothing and purging what you do eat, and working out for 3 or sometimes 4 hours a day, to keeping everything in and only going to the gym half as long. Whether part of it's water weight or not--- you ARE going gain some weight. And my head will NOT let me accept that fact. I'm still trying to fight against that. I find I'm comparing myself more and more to everyone here, and as always --- (in my head) I'm always the "biggest" one here. And I don't know how to get past that. In a way--- it feels like i'm back to the same place i was when the eating disorder first began. The total disinterest in food, and not caring. The fact that I still see not eating as an accomplishment and eating as a failure. The way I base my entire day on my body image and or self-esteem that day.

I don't know how to explain it. Being here is the best thing I could have done, and yet-- in a way, it seems there were parts of my eating disorder that weren't quite so prominant or so intense. Before I came here-- yeah, I was always working at being smaller or losing weight or whatever, but there were also a number of days that I felt ok enough about myself and how I looked, that it wasn't on my mind 24/7. Yeah-- there were situations in which I compared myself to other people (school, bars, etc.) but I was at least semi-ok with my appearance. Now, half the time I don't even want to leave the house (or even my room some days), because I feel so horribly, disgustingly fat. I don't want people to even see me. And it never used to be that way. I spend most of my days hiding out in huge sweatshirts and yoga pants because I do NOT feel comfortable in anything else. I mostly wear black these days. Dark colors. As though by doing that I'll some how just magically vanish into the shadows. As though people won't be able to see me. It's fucked up. I honestly feel like I've gotten grotesquely HUGE. So why bother wearing anything else or 'getting ready for the day'?? UGH

K. and I went for about a 2 hour walk today after dinner. A. left this afternoon, and it's been hard getting used to that. I don't like saying goodbye. I don't like it when people leave. People have done that my entire life and it never gets any easier. B. leaves next Monday and I hate the thought. By next weekend, 5 of the 8 of us will have left with 5 new girls taking their places. It changes the whole dynamics of the group sessions in addition to everything else. Just when I felt like I was really getting to know people here, and really getting comfortable talking/sharing in group and opening up to people-- the group changes. I have issues trusting people to begin with, so I'm not looking forward to groups this week. I know it's something I just have to accept and get used to, but that doesn't make it any easier. At least K. will still be here with me. She arrived the day after me, so at least we're in this together for the long haul.

Anyhow-- I need to get some sleep. I was up till about 3 a.m. last night, talking to one of the new girls. We had a great conversation, but it left little time for sleeping.

Posted by Wendy at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)