Journal #96

I’m sitting at the kitchen table writing this, at my house in Corvallis, while picking at the ounce of almonds I was supposed to have with my lunch. It’s now 4 p.m., so inevitably my afternoon snack will have to be relatively soon, if I plan to also have dinner and my evening snack, and not still be eating at midnight.

Ugh.

This is exhausting, and I am exhausted. I know I’m not alone – at this point, my mom is thoroughly exhausted, too. So is my therapist, and my dietician, and my psychiatrist as well, I’m sure of it. Granted, my dietician gets the worst of it (aside from my mom, of course), because she meets with me so frequently and connects with me on such a consistent level. I truly am so thankful for her, and there’s not a doubt in my mind that I would not still be in Corvallis if it weren’t for her care and diligence towards my treatment (and really, I feel, for me as a person).

The past two weeks have really been hard. Hard seems to be an understatement at best, but I really don’t know what other word to use. Rocky was put down, and my heart was broken. I wasn’t able to handle it the way I handle emotions best – by suppressing them, which elevated both my grief and my anxiety by about ten notches. While dealing with that, I was also desperately trying to pass an accelerated-pace anatomy class that was proving to be incredibly difficult before anything was ever wrong with Rocky. Also, I have to gain weight. Which, for me, means I had to withstand a constant battle going on in my head, and do exactly the opposite of what my brain was telling me to do. “Had” to, really meaning “have” to…I’m not done yet. In fact, my weight’s yet to go up at all. I’m still below the point that was supposed to mean I re-enter treatment and move back home. My mom and providers have been very lenient with me in allowing me to still be here. By no means does that mean that I’ve been given a break. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I felt this stressed about food, mainly because the onus is all on me now. I’m the one living by myself (shout out to my amazing roommates though, who really do try to support me in any way that I let them), resisting re-entering treatment, and determined to “make this work.” When I go in to my dietician’s office each time, which is about every two to three days now, I know the number on the scale is directly correlated to whatever I’ve done that week, both activity-expenditure-wise and caloric-intake-wise. With the exception of my newly-diagnosed hyper-metabolism, which, having been “blessed” with before, I’ve learned to hate all too well. If you’re curious about hyper-metabolism, this is an explanation from a trusted source (Carrie Arnold, the author of Decoding Anorexia). Basically, me being hyper-metabolic at this point in my recovery means that I have to eat more than the average person would to gain weight. While most people would LOVE to have this issue, I, for one, do not!

My mom has had to resume her role as “the food police”, and I hate that. More than anything, I hate how much I know she hates it. But I also know that she loves me so much, and knows how important my recovery is to my well-being, that she won’t rest until she feels she can. Which, unfortunately, is definitely not now. It definitely helps to be home, because of the amount of support I have without even asking for it (or wanting it, for that matter!). But I don’t want to be back to LIVING at home! I want to keep living here, in Corvallis, with my roommates who I’m continually becoming closer with, and working the job that I’m consistently having to pinch myself to remember that it’s mine, and taking the classes I need to take to become a nurse, despite the fact that they’re killing me! I want to keep living this normal, young-adult life.

And intellectually, I can so clearly see how obvious the solution to the problem seems. My weight’s down, and if it doesn’t go up, I literally lose everything that I have going for me right now. So, duh-I need to gain weight. I should be doing any and every possible thing in my power to make sure that weight comes on.

But it’s so, SO, so much harder than that.

I can accept how simple the remedy to the pain is, until it comes time to actually do it.

I’m really good at that, actually. If it weren’t for the fact that it’s something that’s so detrimental to my health, I could probably call it a gift. I’m really good at understanding something literally, and being able to explain exactly how I can fix the problem, what should be done, yada yada yada…but when it comes time to actually do it, I freeze. It’s like the E.D. part of my brain takes over, and my “real” brain just surrenders to whatever the eating disorder wants it to do. Which, in just about all cases, is exactly the opposite of what I should be doing.

The battle I’m going to be experiencing over the coming weeks is going to be challenging. I’ve already found it to be seemingly more than I can bear, and I’ve yet to actually gain any weight yet (despite the severe reduction in exercise and elevated caloric intake, which makes me ridiculously uncomfortable, weight-gain or no).

It’s back to no exercise, drastically increased food, and I’m doing it all outpatient. As has become my mom’s new mantra for me, “Scott Night doesn’t like chemo.” Scott is a teenage boy in our community who has been undergoing treatment for cancer for the last several years, which has resulted in two amputations, and is now receiving chemotherapy again. While I would hate to make it seem that I’m comparing my situation to that of one dealing with something as horrific as cancer, it’s a good reminder. Scott doesn’t like chemo. It’s not easy, it’s not fun, and it sure as heck doesn’t feel good. But it’s what his body needs. So he does it anyway.

 

I’ve never been one to seek out support, but at this point, honestly all encouragement is welcomed. I am growing very weary of this fight, and really just want it to be over with.

 

In Him,

Bridgette

 

P.S.

If you want a bit of Sunday night entertainment, here’s a link to a video of my roommates and I trying to kill a giant spider the other night. It’s things like these that make me want to stay here in Corvallis.

 

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8 thoughts on “Journal #96

  1. My encouragement for today, my sweet pea, is this. Turn off the brain. Don’t think about anything. You’re using enough brain power on your anatomy… give your brain a rest! Eat what you’re told to eat, create the new habit, and everything will fall into place. There is no room for contemplation or reason in this journey. Your providers are doing that for you. You’re job is to obey orders. Don’t think that I think I’m asking something small of you. I do understand the challenge. But regardless of how difficult it is, the message is the same. I’m not going to say the obvious Nike slogan, but that’s what you have to do.

    Breakfast: two eggs, slice of toast with butter, glass of milk, 1/2 cup of fruit.

    Lunch: Turkey sandwich w/ 3 oz of meat, 1 slice of cheese, lettuce, tomato, and teaspoon of butter (since you don’t like mayo!).. and add some mustard, cuz I know you’ll enjoy that, too…

    OR: a nice cheese and jalapeno bagel (like you used to love), with 3 oz of turkey… that will help you start things earlier in the day, so you’re not cramming everything in toward the end of the day.

    Dinner: Spaghetti (2 cups) with tomato sauce with hamburger (no measuring), P cheese, 1 slice of Garlic bread (means it contains butter and garlic salt)

    OR: Spaghetti and P Cheese with butter and garlic salt (like you used to love)… 2 cups

    Snacks (choose 3 or 4): 1 12 oz latte w/ 1%, 2 ozs of almonds, 1 med to large apple w/ almond butter, package of pita chips, pita bread with 1/3 cup hummus, 1 cup ice cream or frozen yogurt (not non fat or sugar free), 3 cups cheddar cheese popcorn, 2 cups of Chips and Salsa.

    Bridgey, no thinking it through. You’re working to gain weight. Embrace it. You can do it!

    Love,
    Mom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just want to let you know how well your words encapsulate exactly what I am going through as well – it’s so nice to know we’re not in this alone. I wish you the best and hope you continue pushing to take care of yourself! You seem like an incredibly smart, articulate, thoughtful person and you deserve a life full of freedom and happiness. I relate so much to knowing intellectually what is best and what needs to be done, but how hard it is to translate that knowledge into action. I’m rooting for you! All the best!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much, Alissa! That means a lot. It’s always so amazing to see who will end up finding my blog that I have no relation to at all, not even mutual friends. It just goes to show how many people are affected by this disorder, and that, no, we aren’t alone! I wish you the best of luck in your journey of recovery as well.

        🙂 Bridgette

        Like

  2. Kate Simson Shaw

    I’ve kept up with your blog ever since our chance meeting that day in Starbucks in the Spring. Remember how my daughter walked right up to you and said hello? And how she was so interested in what you were doing and wanted to talk to you and connect with you? I can tell you why she did that. It’s because you have this zest about you, this energy of “I’m a good person” that radiates off you. Mara picked up on that, and so did I.
    You are so strong, even if you don’t feel like you are, for fighting this the way you’re doing. I was texting one of my besties (who also went through St. V’s) about eating disorders today and her comment was, “ain’t nobody got time for that!” And isn’t that just so true? You ain’t got time for that Bridget! You’ve got people to save, both through your choice of career and through your blog because people who are struggling will undoubtedly read it and find courage and strength from it, as I have.
    On the hard days, both at St. V’s and out, the reason for recovery I have always given myself is this: I love my life more than I hate my body.
    With the support you’ve got, I *know* you can do this. YOU CAN!
    p.s. I am so sorry to read about your dog! I was praying ever since your last update that he would be okay. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kate-

      Yes, of course I remember that! How could I not? I was so amazed that our paths crossed and that you HAPPENED to see my blog that I was working on at that moment, went to the effort to look it up, and then ended up being able to relate in so many ways. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement 🙂 You actually just put a smile on my face! Also, thank you for the much needed (aren’t they always?) reminder that I love my life more than I hate my body, AND that I ain’t got time for this. You’re (and your friend!) so right.
      I hope you and Mara are doing well 🙂 Also, thank you for the condolences for Rocky ❤

      Bridgette

      Like

  3. Pingback: Thank You, Sam and Nathalie | Bridgette and Goliath

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