Welcome to my side of the fence. . .

Welcome to my side of the fence. . . Here you will
enjoy some good laughs, maybe some frustrations,
and hopefully (if I'm a good enough writer), a few tears.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Getting to the Root.

I wonder why I am here. I'm physically getting better because I am supervised/forced to eat. But if I were released today, I know I would relapse. So that tells me I'm not getting better mentally. The point of being here is not just to fatten me up, but to find the reason, or root, of why I have an eating disorder. I feel like the surface hasn't even been scratched on that. Why do I have an eating disorder? What triggered it?
I do have possible theories. One, Scott and I have been doing A LOT of talking about what we're going to do when he retires from the military in 2 years. The what-if's and what-are-we-going-to-do's permeate my thoughts and race through my mind all the time. We have what we want to do in mind (farm) but we don't have the resources to quickly get to that goal so we can make a living off from it. We need money, land, operational equipment, barns, milking houses, it seems like an endless list. To get to our goal, Scott will have to find another job so we can apply for an operational loan. Which means we should eliminate some debt now for the loan to come. And he would have to keep working until we start pulling a profit from what we want to do. So, that leaves me to do all the work on what we are working towards. I've never been able to hold down a job due to bipolar and PTSD. Ever. So what if my passion dies and it starts feeling a job? Will I fail?
Between the needed job for Scott, the resources, the what if's of our goals, how to achieve those goals when we have so many obstacles and doubting myself has caused a great deal of stress. And anxiety. And loss of control. I'm projecting so far into the future I have no control over. My anxiety has increased to the point that I'm on meds for it. I'm worried, stressed, and unsure. The panic attacks are daily. I theorize then, that maybe my anorexia stems from the unknown and loss of control. And by controlling my own body, I have control of something.
I don't know. Because then I think about my weight and obsession with it from the bariatric side of things. I weighed 275 pounds before I had the bariatric sleeve surgery. In my mind, the further I get away from that 275, the better chance I will never be there again. When I was at what the doctor called my "ideal" weight, I was told by someone I could stand to lose a few more pounds. Then I gained a pound. And that sent me off the deep end. I started setting goals for myself: lose 5 more pounds, now another five more, another five more. . . It just kept going and then the exercise. I started to run. I ran for a half hour. Then 35 minutes. Then forty-five minutes. Then an hour. I ended up with runner's knee, so I climbed on my elliptical and before I knew it, I was exercising almost two hours at level 5. And then I would only eat 300 calories of actual food a day. Then some days I would not eat at all but still exercise. I just kept pushing the limits. How far could I stretch myself? At what point would enough be enough? I was almost willing to die to find out. I was self-harming, I guess. But why???

I processed in group this morning some of the before-mentioned thoughts and it ended up that the whole group felt the same way: WHY DO WE HAVE EATING DISORDERS???

I asked my parents, sister, and brother-in-law to come visit me next Saturday to a family process group (they kinda get educated and are able to ask questions) and then I could visit them with me getting a pass to leave the hospital. But they can't. It's my niece's birthday. My mom says maybe next week, but not to get my hopes up. That felt like a serious rejection-slap-in-the-face. One it irritated me that I was told not to get my hopes up. I am here, confined with an eating disorder for who knows how long and I have nothing to hope for, so when I asked, OF COURSE I got my hopes up. And then I got a no and a "don't get your hopes up". It was like saying, "we'll fit you in when we can". I felt like a squashed bug. Then immediately after that thought process I felt an enormous amount of guilt. Was my thought process selfish? I don't know. Was it fair to them to perceive it that way? I don't know. But I also felt so guilty because I was asking them to take up an entire day of their travel and time to come see me. And I was also anxious because if they couldn't come this next weekend then Ayla, my pregnant sister, probably won't be able to come at all because she will over 32 weeks pregnant and long distance traveling isn't encouraged this far along. So it makes me very, very sad.
I feel like I shouldn't have asked in the first place because it's just made a mess of things in my head and in family politics. I feel like I screw everything up. Damn it.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Part 2.

Well, as of two days ago, I am no longer the oldest! There's another mom here and her kids are the exact same ages as Dominic and Nina. In fact her daughter is three weeks older than Nina and her son is five days younger than Dominic. Crazy. She loves to talk to me about my goats and gmo's and bio-engineered foods, and homesteading things. She is a nice addition to the group and although it's unfortunate she has to have to be here, too, I am glad in her company.

Today's Saturday, October 4th and I have been crying 90% of the day for two reasons. One is, we have a therapist that leads groups and scares the beejeebee's outta me. She's so by the book and intimidating, I don't understand how anyone could open up to her and be comfortable. She's always correcting me if she's at our meals. We have to keep our hands above the table but the gym is so cold, I naturally put my left hand in between my thighs to keep it warm, while I eat with my right hand. She harps on me sharply. There is no gentle reprimand. I feel like she would make a great drill instructor. Well, this morning we had our first processing group with her and I was afraid to speak and thankfully somebody else did. But then another girl began to speak about a negative reaction she was told about our program, but because it was said by another patient and that patient wasn't in the room, the therapist just spoke sharply and said you can't talk about this. You are not allowed to process this unless the other patient is here. I knew the behind the scene story because the girl speaking up is my roomie and I know what she was trying to process had nothing to do with the other patient, just the meaning of what was said and how she internalized it. It was not an attack on the patient. But the therapist wouldn't take the time to here that. I said nothing in that session for fear of her reprimands. During the same morning session, WHILE a patient was in mid sentence of expressing herself, the therapist said, time's up, session is over and got up to lead us out of the room. No closure, no I'm sorry, no let's continue this on next session. Just bam! It's over. This is also the same therapist that has, when time was up, stood up from chair and just left the room and called over her shoulder time's up. The entire room just sat there for a minute, dazed and perplexed, like what the hell just happened? WE are the ones usually racing to the door! Well, at 11:30 everyday I get to reheat a morning's cup of coffee because it's the only time of the day that meets the criteria of I can't drink a half hour before or after a meal. So they save my styrofoam cup in the office and they give it to me and I go walk it to the gym where we have our little kitchenette set up. I heat my coffee and I get to drink it. It's like the highlight of my day. Well today, Miss Meanie Therapist followed in after me a few seconds while I was at the microwave. She saw me and said, "You are required to be escorted by staff to heat up your coffee." I told her, but I have been doing it this way for four or five days now. She says "Yeah, yeah, I know, but you have to be escorted." I said fine and started crying and got the hell outta her sight. I feel so beat down by her. I felt so squashed.

So that's been 30% of today's crying.

The rest of today's crying has everything to do with my little sister. I was planning a baby shower for her today and I ended up coming here, so I handed the reins over to her best friend and my mom. I feel so shameful and guilty that I am here and not there. I want so much to have been there, providing her with an amazing memory. It's always been on my to-do list's in life: throw my sister her first baby shower. That's what big sister's are for. And I failed to accomplish that. And it's my fault. I talked to the doctor today and he suggested I call her before the shower and after the shower to still kinda include myself. Well, I called her before the shower and got her voice mail. I should have just hung up, but instead I opened my mouth and I blubbered that I love her and hope today is fun for her and that I was so sorry I couldn't be there. I don't quite know how she deciphered it between my sobs, but I got a voice mail back that was comforting and made me cry more.

Being here is exhausting and with everyday that passes, I feel more raw and less formidable. I want to lash out sometimes. But I don't. I just simmer.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Rosemead, CA.

I arrived at Reasons, an eating disorder center Friday, Sept. 25th. I'm in Rosemead, CA.

As we got closer to this destination, I had just wanted to jump ship, wake up from the bad dream, or disappear altogether. I was so scared. Scott held my hand as we were orientated by George who told us which was what and who was which. It was all so sudden and overwhelming. And I remember saying good bye to Scott. One last hug, one last kiss. . . then it was just me. Alone. And then I was scooped up in this unfamiliar whirlwind of activity and faces. I was so scared shitless that I just smiled through it like I was okay and I do this kinda thing all the time.

September 27th:
I woke up the next morning, learning the new routines, like vital checks, blood draws, weight (we're not allowed to see), shower time, line-up time, breakfast time, group time. . . .my first process group time. It started out with deep breathing and the person leading it said take your mind to a place that makes you feel happy. I automatically thought of home. I flash backed to sun spilling through the windows in the morning, a hot cup of coffee in Scott's recliner, playing aggravation my children, cuddling with Scott before bed, and the smell of my goats. On the next deep breath in, I was sobbing. Just crying in grief. I felt so ripped apart. The deep breathing session ended and I was still crying. The counselor of the group asked the typical, "What's going through your mind?" And God be blessed, the door opened and someone called my name to come out. I ran out with relief. And still crying. A woman said she was my therapist and I know she said her name, but I just wanted to be somewhere else. I think she suspected so, because we went to a private office and so started my first therapy session. The Reality Check.

September 28th:
The schedule here is so to the minute that it makes the days go by very fast. We get ten minute breaks a couple times a day and I just go sit out in the sun and think. I get personal time from 7-9 every night cause that's visiting hours and I have no visitor's. Here, I'm the oldest by many years and it's difficult fitting in. There's a set clique and a mom of teens isn't a good fit.There are other moms but there kids aren't older than 5 and we are just not in the same stages of parenting. And everybody's a city slicker. I just don't think like they do. I feel uncomfortable. I feel isolated. The others avoid me, or so it seems to me, they don't sit by me at the meal table, they don't ask questions. We have a lot of group sessions that we are supposed to speak up in, but I never get to speak, not that I would. I don't feel welcomed, so why would anybody care?

September 29th: I've woken up in a foul mood. I had a nightmare last night. Tryin' to shake it off and not let it determine my day.

September 30th:
So yesterday was a hard day. I felt tears threatening  to spill out at every word or action I made. I felt so invisible that I isolated myself and hardly spoke. At the last process group of the day, I finally talked. And cried. (I can't emphasize enough--there's been a lot of crying.) I hate crying. I never like giving people the satisfaction of seeing me hurt. It makes me feel vulnerable and raw. And to top it off, I started the day again from another nightmare. The last few days have been nothing but panic attacks and crying.

October 1st:
Another nightmare. I can't stand it. They absorb so much energy from me.
In a month it will be my birthday and it'll be the second time I have spent my birthday on a psych ward. I feel ashamed. I feel like my life revolves around me always getting better. It's all about me and I feel shame and guilt for that. There's so much more to live than this. I feel useless and unproductive to God and my family.
I did have a break through in speaking in group; the counselor opened up with, "Does anyone have anything they want to speak about?" And the room stayed silent. So one of the "veteran" patients said, "If no one is gonna talk, then I will." And the counselor replied with, "If other people aren't going to talk then that's their problem." I felt like somebody slapped me in the face. I vehemently exclaimed that I totally disagreed with that statement and maybe some people don't talk in group because they don't feel comfortable and they feel pushed out of the group and that if they said anything no one would care. And. . . you guessed it, I started crying.

I'll stop here for now and type more tomorrow if I can get access to the one computer with internet. I, of course, have still much more to say.

P.S. They are stuffing my face. We literally eat six times a freakin' day!