Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Falling

I’m living on my own now. It’s been tough. My eating is all over the place. I’m sick of throwing up everything I eat. I’m tired of worrying about how long I have to throw everything up. Thinking about what I’m going to eat, and how much. I’m sick of worrying about calories in rediculous things, then eating high call food and vomiting it. I’m sick of everything. I don’t wand to be anorexic or bulemic. I don’t want to waste money on food I will throw out, or throw up. I am on my own now.

I’m tired of focusing emotions I should be dealing with into an eating disorder. I’m annoyed that working full time and trying to find a better job leaves me no time to see my therapist. I’m sick of being unsure about relationships, or friendships, or time or money. I just want everything to stop being so crazy. But I know it won’t unless I do something about it myself.

So I have decided. This was the last time I throw up. This was the last time I eat food I know I can’t keep down. I need a plan. To eat something small every few hour. I need to go back to the beginning, and no one can do it but me.  I need to make a routine. Meals every few hours, some light exercise and some free time to think and write.

I should try to journal every day. I will try to write my progress down here.

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Co Morbid

Thus far my focus has mainly been on my most intense metal health issue, anorexia.

However I, like most other eating disorder sufferers, also stuggle with a great deal more than “simply anorexia”.

I have also been fighting a long hard battle with depression since I was 10. I have survived three major suicide attempts, and many, many idiations and incidences of self mutilation (more commonly known as cutting, burning, ect). I do consider myself largely improved, and this may be in no small part do to a more less effective coping mechanism…starving and purging.

Like most individual who struggle with depression, the root cause acctually lies in an anxiety disorder ( personally anxiety has been noticable and debilitating since early childhood).

In my case, the root cause of depression would be several mildly related anxiety disorders. Some purely biological, many triggered by a certain situation and further compounded by biological predisposition. They are as follows:

1. GAD (generalized anxiety disoder)

2. Panic Disorder (think panic attacks)

3. Social Phobia

4. PTSD (Post Tramatic Stress Disorder…for which I will soon be receiving REMDT [Rapid Eye Movement Desensatization Therapy])

5. OCD (Obsessive Complusive Disorder)

The purpose of this post is not to prove what a nut case I am…that should be clearly self-evident by now. It is to demonstarte the complexities of dealing with  co morbid disorders. One more revelent issue will mask the rest, and therapy is the process of peeling back the layers. Then dealing with the most debilitating condition first.

This is also why medication targeting multiple neurochemicals are so effective. Sometimes returning the balance of one or two transmitters can help alleviuate the symptoms of multiple conditions.

I hope this has been midly informative and at least slightly helpful.

Close Calls

Last night I was once again reminded just how terrifying and deadly a battle it is we face as anorectics. 1 in 10 of us will die, if not due to medical complications, then it will be suicide.

At 12:00 in the morning I receivied news that a friend of mine had attempted suicide. She’d been out for 3-4 days. She’s supposed to die. I suppose I should be thankful she even woke up. I suppose only time will tell if this is going to be another close call, or the end.

You never really think when you look around at the girls your facing this with, that at least 2 or three of them won’t make it out. You always think that statistics just belong in text books, and it won’t happen in your lifetime. You won’t see it…At least I thought I would never see it. The truth is, however, unavoidable. This is a deadly disease. It has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. And I will likely have to attend more than one funeral. Perhaps it will even be my own.

Its a scary and sobering though to face. Sure makes reality crash in awfully fast.

Frusterated

I’m so tired of hearing people say, “But you don’t look like you have an eating disorder.” Either to me, or a friend. It seems that our level of health should be determined by how sick we look.

Do they expect everyone who stuggles to look like the girls interviewed on Larry King Live? And what excatly is an eatind disordered person supposed to look like anyways? With thin so “in” in the media, we really can’t look that different. I mean. The modles and stars have eating disorders and we consider them “normal”. So we basically just look “normal” to everyone else. “You don’t look like you have an eating disorder”. No, I just look the same as eveyone else who does!

Conversation With Mom

I went for coffee with my Mom today, and for the first time got an idea of how sick I really was.

My Mom hasn’t told me before what sort of state I appeared to be in before and after my first hospitalization. At the time I was so incoherent that I did not have the capacity to understand the seriousness of my condition. Likely one of the reasons it was so easy for me to continue on with my destructive behavior.

I asked my mom what I was like at my sickest, and she replied “It was like watching a very old person, or a movie in slow motion. You had no motor skills, and replied with only one or two words, sometimes three. You often said them backwards or out of order. You could barley walk.” She later added that she asked professionals if they thought I would die, and admitted that she herself had thought I would for around 6 months. She said it was like a watching a person who had lived their life, and was lying on their death bed expecting the end. I couldn’t concentrate to read or watch tv, I hunched over into myself and was incapable of holding myself up. I had the death paler. My eyes were sunken. My mind was gone. My whole family was scared.

I didn’t know until today that the number of tests they were doing on me was not the program guideline, but the concern of my doctor.  Apparently weekly EKGs, and a full blood work up is not the usual protocol for outpatient observation. I just thought that the program I was to enter wanted to be up to date on my progress…not that my doctor wanted advanced notice of when to expect my death.

It seems a lot has been kept from me, and I was to sick to understand the rest.

I still cant comprehend that I was that sick.

I remember a few glimpses I caught of myself…clearly. All bones. Usually I see myself as I was at my highest weight..but those few honest glimpses scared me.  Still its hard to imagine that those around me expected my death.

Self Help Indeed

I was in a chain bookstore in the states. Being a psychology graduate and in need of help I turned to my favorite section, self help, and stared in a state of shock at the shelf.

Ever book was on dieting and weight loss.

It seems that’s all we care about. That speaks volumes about society. No wonder western civilization has such a pandemic of eating disorders if the main message they are sending to us is “You NEED to be thin”. They are essentially saying, “You need help? You want to feel good about yourself? Loose weight, then all your problems will be solved?”. After all, what other solutions are there to your quandaries?

I had, of course, realized that media and cultural pressure played a role in the development of an eating disorder before. I had never before, however, had the unfortunate opportunity to have this point so clearly illustrated.

The defense rests.

My Return

So I went away to treatment for quite awhile, and am home. Unfortunately I relapsed almost immediately. I’ve been trying to “change my life”, and “find myself”…so I took a rather long break from the online world and my “old self”.

To bring everyone up to speed. I was sent away to a special treatment centre out of province, as I was a severe case. I stayed there for quite a few months, some in hospital, some out. Don’t get me wrong, I made tremendous progress while I was there, and am not at the same pitiful state as when I arrived. However I am less than flourishing.

While away I also learned all sorts of wonderful tricks that are completely counterproductive to my recovery, like how to induce vomiting effectively, and to manipulate blood tests and scales and such.

Anyone who tells you you will not be triggered in recovery is a liar. Anyone who tells you you can’t get worse is a fool. Recovery is something you have to want…and your eating disorder won’t want it. It will grasp these pearls of wisdom and hang on like a vice. There are a lot of sick people in recovery, and they all talk. The one thing that holds them together is their disorder…and so that is what they talk about, that is what they bond over. In a sick way it even makes the disorder stronger. You slowly begin to validate your disorder and that of those around you.

So now I’m back in town, still restricting my intake, still occasionally binging, still purging (adding the wonderful vomiting on top of the laxative abuse), still exercising…and once again losing weight. No one said it was an easy battle. My therapist says this happens all the time. She says its just good we caught it early, its good I’m being honest; and do I need to go away to treatment again?

What she doesn’t know is that its so bad I drove to a mall to throw up today because I knew I would be caught out if I did it at home.

Welcome back