Journal #61

February 27th, 2016

Today’s going to be a good day. I’m going to make it one (how’s that for positivity? :)). The rest of the afternoon at treatment didn’t end up much better than the way I was feeling in my last entry, and Mama was going out with a friend for dinner. So, I used some positive coping skills and decided to go downtown! First, though, I went home and got Rocky. A field trip for the two of us! We headed down to 23rd and went over to the Blush Beauty Bar so that I could get some concealer. Another fun side effect of weight restoration/hormones restoring/getting my period? Zits. Oh, so much fun! How I’ve missed those little guys! -.- After that, we went over to Hip Hound in an effort to find Rocky a little rain jacket. Guess what? They had a Beaver one! We walked around a little bit more, and found a dog-friendly dress store that let me put Rocky down on the carpet! I was nervous he might pee, but they said they had a dog in the back and not to worry about it. The dog (which was a big ol’ lab) even came out and played with Rocky for a few minutes! It was about 6 pm by that point, and my parking was up, so we headed back home. Mom got home shortly after, and we spent the rest of the evening eating dinner, me figuring out which classes I’m going to register for for spring term, and then watching Dateline (me eating my evening snack, of course). Mom, Rocky, Winky and I all slept in her bed together, and this morning has been laid-back and productive so far. Laid-back, with the exception of Mom and Brad getting in a fight. Oh well. I’m not going to let it affect my day, or my eating. One of my guy friends is in Portland this weekend and we’re going to see the new Kung Fu Panda movie this afternoon, and then I’m taking one of my good friends from treatment to church tonight! She’s never been, so I’m excited about that 🙂

OH, and happy last day of Eating Disorder Awareness Week!

Jesus, please bless this day.

-Bridge

Journal #60

February 26th, 2016

Unfortunately I’m not feelin’ so hot anymore. My body image is at about a 2/10, and I just found out that my weight has been continuing to increase, but my exchanges are not going to be decreased before the weekend because they want to wait until Dr. Rock gets back on Monday…ugh. I just hate knowing that my weight is still going up. What if it never stops? And to be honest, if I wasn’t still having to eat MORE than I want, I think I’d be more okay with it. But when I’m constantly having to eat more than I want, and feeling uncomfortable much of the time, and I know that my weight is increasing even though it doesn’t need to anymore…it just makes me very frustrated. It also makes me want to exercise about ten bajillion times more.

-Bridge

Journal #59

February 26th, 2016

I just want to acknowledge that in this moment, I’m feeling good. I had a great taper day yesterday-all the way through the time I went to bed. My vitals were pretty bad again today, but I’m doing okay with it. Sad, yes, but not angry. It’ll come when it comes. I just wish it would come now 🙂 Mom and I even went to the employee store, and I went to Nordstrom Rack by myself, and tried on and bought clothes at BOTH of them!! I haven’t bought (or tried on, for that matter) clothes in about two months. Certainly not since I’ve been weight restored. I was (and still am) so, so proud of how well it went. Okay, now time for process.

-Bridge

Journal #58

February 25th, 2016

Wow, it’s been a little while since I’ve written in here! Tuesday, my second taper day thus far, went really well. I started off my morning walking to Safeway to pick up my prescription, and it was absolutely beautiful outside. There was quite a bit of wind, though…I tried to take the dogs, and they looked as if they were going to blow away! Rocky’s typically a wimp when it comes to walks, but Winky loves them. So when HE looked petrified, I figured I’d better not force it, and brought them both back inside. After my walk, I had my breakfast, and showered and got ready to head out for my appointment with my new outpatient therapist! I LOVED her! I’m super thankful for that, because if we didn’t click super well, I’d probably want to go check out some other therapists, which is just kind of a pain since I only have so many days off that I’m not in the program. I don’t want to use them all just doing MORE therapy! Anyway, after we had out appointment, I drove over to the Oregon Humane Society. Not because I was looking for a new pet (though, I would love a big doggy I could take back to Corvallis with me, since my puppies at home definitely help with my anxiety!), but just for something to do. It was a good distraction and way  to not be just at home, tempted to engage in E.D. behaviors or slip into what I call “Depression Mode”, but also pretty sad. I don’t like going and looking at all the doggies that don’t have homes when I’m not able to give them one! Post-Humane Society, I went to New Seasons and picked up my lunch, and brought it home to eat. I was actually hungry by that point (Success! Hunger cues are coming back!) and not even tempted to restrict! Another victory! After I finished my lunch, I took an hour-long nap on the couch with the pups. I was really hesitant to do that, because of fear of waking up with no one else home, and feeling depressed, and subsequently laying on the couch for the rest of the day. But, I was tired. So I decided to set my alarm on my phone for 60 minutes, and told myself that when that alarm went off, I was going to get up, put on some makeup, take my book, and go downtown to read at a coffee shop. And I did! It was wonderful. The nap was great and made me feel much more rested, and my time down in The Pearl was great, too. After reading for about an hour and a half, Mama called me and said she was home, so I packed up my stuff and drove back home. We had hamburgers together, and talked about our days, and then I went to the Sunset Girls Basketball game. Before I did that, though, I had to change my shirt (Mom thought mine was too low cut-the reality of being a college student living at home with your mother…). Changing clothes, right after a full day of eating, especially right after eating a challenge meal for dinner….not the best idea if you’re struggling with body image. I could’ve sworn I’d gained five pounds just during that day! I made myself suck it up though, and put on a sweatshirt and headed out anyway. Some family friends of ours, who I love but haven’t been able to spend much time with recently, had texted me the week prior and asked if I’d have any interest in going to the game, because they were thinking about going. Honestly, the idea of going to that game elevated my anxiety to about an 8 out of 10…the people I would see, many of which I haven’t spoken to since I’ve been in treatment, and may not know I’m in treatment and wonder why I’m in Portland when I’m supposed to be at Oregon State. But, I decided to go, And now, I’m so glad I did. It was a girls game, and on a Tuesday…two factors working in my favor to decrease the number of fans that would be there. I saw a few people that I knew, but none who didn’t already know I was in treatment, and I felt like it was a great way to slowly start integrating myself back into social situations that I’m not quite comfortable with. I also got to sit with two friends from high school who go to college locally, and whom I haven’t seen in a long time, so that was nice as well.  My anxiety started building on the way home, when I realized that, I’d already gained five pounds (according to my mental scale, which I’ve learned is never accurate, but still seems very real to me) during this day, and still had to have my evening snack. And, it was a large evening snack at that. A full cup of granola, a yogurt, and a cup of fruit…for sure my weight would DOUBLE if I had this as well!!! I knew I had to eat my snack, in order to stay “on track” with recovery. There was only one thing to do. Run.  I’d conveniently worn athletic wear to the game, and found a pair of headphones in my glove compartment. Once I pulled in the driveway, I stuck my headphones into the jack on my phone, opened up the car door and…realized what I was doing. I realized that I’d be back at treatment in twelve hours, and we’d do our check-in sheets, and I’d have to say “Yes”, that I’d exercised. And that would delay my moving towards Level C. And it would potentially delay my ability to have a Taper Day on Friday. And if my weight really had shot up, they’d decrease my exchanges to bring it back down. So, I took a deep breath, prayed and asked Jesus to PLEASE give me peace that would surpass ALL understanding in the moment, and walked inside. I did successfully have 100% of my snack, and then crashed in bed, exhausted from my very successful day.

Wednesday (yesterday), unfortunately, wasn’t quite as hot. I woke up with absolutely terrible body image, convinced that my evening snack really had added on at least another five pounds to my already uncomfortably large body. Thankfully, we have breakfast at the program on Wednesday mornings, so I didn’t have the lack of accountability at home that would’ve made it very easy to restrict. I certainly would’ve been tempted. I got my weights and vitals taken, and, apparently, somehow, my weight was still the same. Actually, it had increased-but only by 0.2 pounds, and according to the professionals, that’s not a weight difference I would be able to feel anyway, and was likely just water weight. My body image continued to be pretty sucky throughout the day though, and I was very thankful when the afternoon was finished and I could just go home. It was a beautiful evening though, and the sun hadn’t quite set, so I decided to drive up to Pittock Mansion and read Decoding Anorexia for a bit. The sunset was beautiful. I drove home, and was faced with another hard meal for dinner. Pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese, Bread with butter, and Tilapia. Mom knew I’d had a hard day, so she was extra-supportive and suggested we watch a movie, which was just what I needed. We watched a comedy with Eddie Murphy, which was really nice and totally distracted me, at least until I had to have my evening snack :P. The Beavs had a huge game against Washington that started at 8 o’clock, and since we don’t have the Pac-12 Network,  I paused the movie every twenty or so minutes to check the score. I was in bed by the time the game finished, and it was another clutch finish by, once again, my boy Stevie. We came back and won by one point in the last three seconds, and it was another hard and emotional night to fall asleep, at home, in my bed, all alone, in Portland. All I wanted in that moment was to be back in Corvallis.

I woke up this morning, my THIRD taper day, to the sun shining, the birds singing, and my dogs cuddling up against me. Mom decided to take the day off from work, as she hasn’t done that ONCE this year (I don’t think) and has been feeling a little sick lately. I really wanted to have the experience of having a taper day for all it’s meant to be, though, trying to do things by myself and without the constant accountability of having support for every meal, so I’m kind of on my own today. So far, it’s been great. I went on an awesome walk (which was actually a little longer than I thought it was supposed to be, so I only have about 20 minutes left for the week) with Worship music playing through my headphones, and came back and had breakfast. After that, I showered and ran something by the post office for mom, got my tires pumped, and drove down to one of my favorite coffee houses in Portland. Now, I’m sitting outside, drinking my Chamomile tea, and blogging. Oh, what a glorious day.

-Bridge

Journal #57

February 21st, 2016

I GOT MY PERIOD BACK!!!! I am officially, clinically, and PHYSIOLOGICALLY weight restored!!! HAAAALLELUUUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

It’s so interesting…I was just commenting to Mom-Four months ago, if I’d have gotten my period, it would’ve practically sent me into a panic attack and made the eating disorder activity increase significantly, because it would mean I had an appropriate percentage of body fat on me. But tonight, we’re CELEBRATING! I can have CHILDREN (if I choose to)! My body is HEALTHY!

Side note-I apologize to any males who may happen to read this blog post. Unfortunately, this seems too key a part in my recovery process to exclude it from my blog (according to my mother).

-Bridge

Journal #56

February 21st, 2016

Tonight was rough-really rough. Before I get too into that though, I want to acknowledge that I had a pretty good day up until about 6 pm. Last night was really hard, after coming back from an enjoyable afternoon with Kat downtown. I started to get lonely, and pretty depressed within the first 20 minutes of being home. I forced myself to eat dinner, but literally took my bites robotically and hardly even tasted it. I fell asleep on the couch after that-around 7:30. I didn’t even feel up to watching Gilmore Girls. I woke up around 9:15 and realized I needed to have my snack. Shoot. I had it and then mom came home and I went to bed, not in a very good place. The same thoughts from the previous weekend came back again. The next morning (this morning, as I’m writing this), I woke up in a better place. I took the puppies for a short walk and enjoyed the beautiful sky and listened to the birds singing. Mom came back from a walk with a friend and helped me with my breakfast, and then we went to Starbucks. It was supposed to just be Mom going, to meet Brad and Dad for a meeting, but I’d just had breakfast and wasn’t feeling so hot, so decided it would probably be better for me to tag along instead of staying home alone. I brought with me my new book, “Decoding Anorexia”, that had just arrived in the mail. It’s AWESOME. And it should be-it costs $69.99 new! The whole premise is about how anorexia nervosa is very biologically based, with over 86% of the determining factor for whether or not someone develops this disorder being tied to genetics. Yet, our society portrays E.D.s as a trap that one falls into, a result of our “Thin-Obsessed” society. If that’s true, though, then why did St. Catherine of Sienna, from the 14th century, “fall victim” to the disease during a time when “Bigger” was considered “Better”? This book, written by a scientist who’s a survivor of anorexia herself, works to promote what is TRUE about eating disorders, and demote the NUMEROUS myths about them, many of which put sufferers to shame. “It’s a choice”, “You’re just doing it to get attention”, “Why don’t you just eat?” and “I know what that’s like-I’ve been on some really intense diets before, and I hate my thighs”, along with many other statements, are far too common from those uninformed about E.D.s, and invalidate the suffering that those with the disorder are going through. Many of the chemical imbalances and malfunctions in parts of the brain are shared by someone who suffers from Schizophrenia, yet society doesn’t tell a person with that disease to “Just get over it” or claim that they’re “Just doing it to get attention”, do they? Anyway…so I read this book at Starbucks, and then Mom and I grocery shopped for dinner tonight-Spaghetti Carbonara. And yes, at this point, the anxiety for this meal was already around a 6. We finished with the list, and went home, where I had lunch, and then left to go get my nails done with Allison, which was very enjoyable. After that, I drove to the Kruse Way Starbucks and met my friend Morgan (from treatment) there. We both had our snack, and just kind of sat and talked for a little over an hour. I stopped at Washington Square on my way home to pick up some hand towels for our bathroom. Then, I went home and it was time for the dreaded Spaghetti Carbonara.

It. Was. AWFUL.

Taste-wise, yes, it tasted good, but it was physically, mentally and emotionally the most difficult task I’ve had to do in a LONG time to finish the two cups of that and the slice of bread I had to have along with it. My anxiety started increasing exponentially once I had only a few bites left, and by the time I finished, I was getting panicky. I tried to just sit for a few minutes, thinking the feeling would pass, but it didn’t. I could feel myself starting to snap. I told Mom I needed to go outside and was going to take a quick walk, but as soon as I got to the driveway I could feel a panic attack coming on. Blood rushed to my face, I started to sweat, and my hands and legs began uncontrollably trembling. So I ran.

I ran as fast as I could possibly run (in my Converse), and then when I got to the end of the street, I turned around and ran home, and walked back in the front door. I was probably only gone five minutes, but it was enough to rid me of the intense, panicky feeling. I came back in the house shaking and breathing heavily, which Bradley noticed immediately. I swear, he’s so in tune with me it’s ridiculous. He grabbed my hand and held on tight for a few minutes, and then once my breathing returned to a more normal state, let go. I sat down in a chair in the living room in the dark for about ten minutes, held Rocky, and prayed. After that, I walked back out into the kitchen, and proceeded with the evening with everyone else, as planned. Brad’s new girlfriend came over, and we played games and they had dessert. We’d bought a mini Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cup for me to have, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it, so I’m drinking an Ensure right now to try and get the rest of my exchanges in before I go to bed. I’m very thankful for my incredibly supportive family, and that we were able to enjoy all playing Settlers of Catan together, talking and laughing.

Thank you, Jesus. You make beautiful things.

-Bridge

 

Journal #55

February 19th, 2016

My anxiety’s increased ten-fold since learning that Dr. Rock’s going to be out of town ALL next week on vacation. What if my weight goes up? Will they adjust my exchanges without his consent? What if my vitals get stable? Will they approve me to move to Level C if he’s not here? I just feel so unsettled going into the weekend, knowing my exchanges are still the same as they were when I had to restore weight, and I’m not going to be weighed in for another 48+ hours. The fact that I’m tapering twice next week doesn’t help things, either. Yes, part of me is excited because that means I’m making progress and my team thinks I can handle two additional days off. But a larger part of me is just TERRIFIED realizing that over the next eight days, I’m only in treatment for THREE of them… I’m going out to Tea Chai Te with Kat after group today, and I’m really excited to see and catch up with her. Then, I have the evening at home to myself-including DINNER! I’m actually kind of excited to be alone and have the night to myself to just relax, though. I guess that’s a good sign. Okay, gotta go-time for reflections.

-Bridge

Journal #54

February 19th, 2016

I’m feeling very, very anxious post-breakfast. It was at the hospital, and I added brown sugar to my oatmeal even though it doesn’t count as an exchange, and wasn’t on my meal plan. Then, Pam brought me more melon to add to my already full cup of fruit, because I guess since it’s melon, and there’s air-space in between the chunks when it sits in a cup, you need a cup and a half to equal one cup of regular fruit. And, my oatmeal was steel cut oats (because that was all they had), which just seems so much more dense and filling than regular oatmeal, and it was a full cup of that as well. And then of course, I also had a vanilla almond milk, box of raisins, and a ton of cottage cheese to go along with it. I’m so full right now and feel absolutely disgusting.

-Bridge

Journal #53

February 18th, 2016

So, I had a successful Taper Day yesterday! It was hard, but it was good. My morning started off with eating breakfast alone (which was hard), but I was able to call and TALK to my therapist afterwards, which I am SUPER thankful for. After that, I headed out to my massage at Precision Healing and it was fantastic. Once the massage was done, I went home and showered and played the piano, and then Brad picked me up and we drove down to Burnside to have lunch at Elephant’s. We ran into Liz (my friend from treatment) there, having lunch on HER taper day with her mom, which was quite convenient, because we were able to snag their table 🙂 I had Mama Leone’s soup, which used to be my favorite, but I haven’t had in YEARS. I had a whole pint of it, which seemed like a ton, but I was actually able to enjoy it! My time with Brad was awesome, and since I’m now on Level B, we were able to walk down 23rd for a bit afterwards and it was SUNNY! It’s amazing how incredible something as simple as walking downtown, with my brother, in the sunshine can feel after not being able to do it for a couple of months. After that, we went home and hung out for a while until I went out to coffee (well, we had tea, actually) with Laney. I got into a minor accident on the drive over there, which TERRIFIED me, even though no damage was done to either vehicle, and the guy who I rear-ended (whoops) was super understanding and just wanted to make sure I was okay. He didn’t even ask for my insurance info or phone number! What a blessing. Lesson learned, however-don’t change the radio in stop and go traffic. Starbucks with Laney was a great way to cap off the day, though.

My day today has been better than any day I’ve had in treatment thus far. My vitals weren’t bradycardic, and I was only orthostatic by 5 points, which was awesome, especially given that I walked around yesterday! Also, my weight’s maintained since Tuesday! I’m looking forward to catching up with some friends I haven’t seen in a while this weekend, and hope things only continue to get easier.

-Bridge

Journal #52

February 16th, 2016

It’s 3 pm and I’m still feeling better than I have the past few days. Not great, but a little more content. Lunch was okay. I’m pretty anxious about dinner, though, because I have pizza for the THIRD time in FOUR days! I don’t even like pizza; it’s a major challenge food for me. Unfortunately, there was a mix-up with the meal plans by the dietitians, so Diane had to pull an old one of mine from two weeks ago for today…and lo and behold, I have pizza -.- Mama’s coming for family session in about 30 minutes, so I’m looking forward to that. My weight was good again today, although my vitals weren’t great. But at least I’m on Level B 🙂

Kailey and Liz were both having very hard days today, which was hard for me to watch. It’s so hard to see someone you care about so much struggling with something you can SO empathize with. I genuinely feel their pain. It was nice to be in a little bit better of a headspace today though, so that I could be more of a “giver” than a “taker” in terms of support, in group today. I was definitely lopsided on the “taker” end yesterday.

Tomorrow I have my first Taper Day! I have a massage in the morning (which has been a planned reward since I began treatment, that I would receive on my first Taper Day), then Brad and I are going to lunch at Elephant’s. It’s a challenge for me, but I’m excited to do it with him.

-Bridge