Tag Archives: anxiety

3 Years

Today is kind of a weird anniversary for me. I was scrolling through TimeHop this morning (people still use this app right?) when I came across a post from 3 years ago today. I left for treatment for an eating disorder/self-injury that day. I remember (vaguely, however) being terrified to go out there and have all my vices of coping and not feeling stripped away from me. I was incapable of feeling anything besides numb. There were no plans for a future in my mind, no hope of things ever not feeling as if though they weren’t going to get better. All I remember is being exhausted 24/7; emotionally and physically.

I was vulnerable to the voices in my head telling me that if I only lost a little more weight I’d be happy, I’d achieve that goal of wanting to disappear, to live a life unnoticed. Only the thing is, the more I tried to disappear the more I stood out. That’s where the lies came in. I lived a life of lying, skirting around the truth that I was slowly killing myself. My closest friends would ask what I was doing to lose the weight I had, or if I was eating. I didn’t exactly lie to them, but I wasn’t telling the whole story. I was simply working out daily and watching what I did eat (although a piece of toast with a very miniscule amount of peanut butter isn’t exactly eating). I hid my eating disorder so well and didn’t disclose information about it that my therapist I was seeing at the time didn’t even catch on to what was going on with me (which led to a lot of misdiagnoses, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder) until a month or so before I was sent to treatment.

All these memories came back when I saw those posts from TimeHop this morning. It’s still kind of mind blowing to me that it was 3 years ago, because it honestly feels like it was yesterday. I have come such a long way in my life since going to treatment.

I feel content with my life and where it’s going. I’m now a senior in undergrad with a pretty killer GPA. I’m graduating with research honors next May and hopefully will be going off to grad school after that. Yes I still struggle with my weight, appearance and eating disorder thoughts sometimes but I don’t let them consume me anymore. I have so much to offer the world (that didn’t sound conceded did it?) and after years of struggling, have a pretty good sense as to who I am. The areas of my life which I lost to my eating disorder and mental health struggles, I have either gained back or am working on gaining back. There’s relationships I’m hoping to still amend and the friends I still do have I appreciate them and no longer take them for granted.

There is so much that I have gained over the past 3 years, that it’s incredible to think about how my life has changed for the better. The road here absolutely sucked and was painful. One psychiatric hospital stay, a month in inpatient treatment and a year in outpatient treatment (which sucked more than the hospital or treatment center) are now on my track record. I hated the things that beginning recovery entailed, but if I got my life back in a better way than I could have imagined, I guess I’ll take it.

So today is the anniversary of the day I began the long journey of getting my life back. It’s been almost 2 years since I’ve last self-injured which is huge after engaging in it for 10 years. Being in recovery from an eating disorder is something I feel like I’ll always have to deal with. Every day I have to make choices and check in with myself some days to make sure I’m going down the right path because it is so easy for my emotions to take over and run the course of my life. But I genuinely love my life right now, and I’m so glad I am still alive to have these experiences.

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The Sick Card

As someone who is working their ass off to live a better life, a life of recovery and happiness and self-love, it angers me to my core seeing people who play “the sick card” to their advantage. But that’s the thing about mental illness, no matter what label it has attached to it by psychologists and professionals, it’s a manipulative son of a bitch.

When we’re sick we become monsters, shells of the person we one were. We become liars and co-dependent on things we never saw value in before.

Then, there’s treatment.

We finally find a team or a psychologist who doesn’t make us feel like hopeless cases, who genuinely believes in us and wants nothing more for us than an improved quality of life. There’s actual tools we can use to better ourselves. Things in our life begin to turn around; we see goals we never thought we could achieve being met, new life aspirations and motivation and self-confidence. For the first time in years that light at the end of the tunnel isn’t just some cheesy ass metaphor used on motivational posters or in the abstract way. That darkness that only we can feel and see soon turns into a light, and dammit it feels so good to finally find that exit door out of all this shit we’ve been hiding in for years.

But it’s not like that for everyone.

Some find peace and comfort in the constant worrying of those around them, the phone calls or text messages of friends and family checking up on them to make sure they’re ok. They thrive on the sympathy of suffering from their mental illness, they cloak themselves as the patient and find that having this illness is the perfect scape goat for real life. Treatment, whether it be outpatient or inpatient or hospitalizations, isn’t meant to be fun or ClubMed. That shit is painful, even more painful than life tends to be, but that is their safety net.
Life gets too stressful or something happens that they don’t like, there they go pulling out the sick card they have neatly tucked away just for moments like these. Soon the sympathy and support of others comes pouring in and they gain that control of others back. For some reason, they thrive on manipulating people to feel sorry for them and make them go out of their way to prove that they care about them. It’s almost as if they’re trapping others into a world of misery because hey as the saying goes, “misery loves company”.
Real life becomes their treatment (meaning it’s soon a place they no longer wish to be, even though it’s where they need to be) and treatment becomes their life. It’s no longer a name they see or want others to see, but it’s an illness of epic proportions that they use to greet the world with.
Others in their life are forced to learn how to walk all over again around them, as not to break the egg shells strategically placed all over the ground in their home. One false step can cause the yolk to ooze out of the once complete shell, the shrapnel of broken shell digs and cuts at the heel, causing pain for the person stepping on the broken shell and that perfect excuse for the mentally ill person to absolutely lose their shit and spiral back down into whatever hole they have dug for themselves.

The Beast Called Anger

I feel like I could write a novel on anger and living in it. God knows I’m better at anger than any other emotion you could name; it feels so much better than feeling abandoned, depressed, alone, anxious, stressed or whatever negative emotion you can name. I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few years or so being pissed off at the world. Somewhere along the line I figured out that if you walk around angry and pissed off, nobody will bother you and you won’t have to feel all the negative emotions that are occurring in your head. Hell, if I wasn’t so bad at feeling emotions I wouldn’t have spent so much time in therapy and group sessions.

But I’m human, severely flawed, but human.

Anger eats you alive, but it makes you feel so damn good as it does. It gives you this sense of power, because people stop asking you questions about what’s going on (because who likes getting chewed out every time you express concern?).

Over the course of my life I have sprayed so many bullets around me and hit almost everyone I ever loved and cared about. I’m not sure if any of you have ever watched The Matrix, but I feel like a lot of my anger fueled actions are a lot like those scenes where the agent is firing bullets at Neo, yet he is somehow able to make time slow down. You see the bullets coming at him the whole time but really there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Life with nothing but anger is a lot like that. I could see all of the bullets flying towards the ones I loved, but all I could do was stand there and watch them spiral closer and closer to everyone in my life until they finally broke into their bodies. The part that always gets me as I think about this, is the fact that I was the one who pulled the trigger.

It also distorts your world, turning you into the victim of the fall out, rather than the perp. I’ve always had trust issues when it came to people leaving. Sure, I did some fucked up shit in my life that resulted in people leaving but I can’t say I really blame them anymore. My whole fear of abandonment turned into sabotaging relationships out of fear; I would say things I didn’t mean, almost giving them the excuse to bail, but of course I was the victim (at least in my eyes). But I didn’t see it that way, I saw it as “you bailed on me when I needed you most”. So of course feeling depressed over a lost relationship was distorted into anger. Feeling angry at someone who’s hurt you deeply feels so much better than letting yourself feel sad and alone.

As a lot of you know if you read this blog, I have spent more time pissed off at God and the church longer than I had believed in Christianity and the Bible. I’m not saying my life is the worst of them all, but I’ve experienced some painful shit in my 25 years of life and every time shit hit the fan so to speak, I’d blame God and the people who believe in Him. But then of course that would lash out onto everyone in my life. Friends, my parents, school, classmates, my jobs. It really doesn’t matter what the underlying issue is, all I know is that being pissed was better than being anything else.

It’s still something I struggle with. Probably the greatest piece of wisdom I’ve gotten on anger was from one of the psychologists where I did IOP. They told me that when I began feeling that anger start to boil up, step back and try and think about what is going on to cause it. It helps in certain contexts of life, but there’s still a lot of grey areas.

The Real World & My Distorted World

**Possible trigger warning**

How does everything come back around to my eating disorder? As far as recovery goes, my mindset lately has been anything but recovery based. It’s frustrating as hell for me that I’ve been having such loud eating disorder thoughts the past month or so (god that’s such a cliche eating disorder treatment thing to say.. I apologize for that), and as the stress of life escalates more and more I find myself “not having time to eat” or simply being way too busy to eat breakfast or even a snack before leaving for class. It’s not too glamorous might I add. But like I said, everything fucking thing is coming back down to my eating disorder and I hate it.

If I do shitty on a test or quiz, I resort to counting calories again or simply not eating. I’ve talked about it in therapy tons and I know the reason I do it is because I know in my heart that without a doubt I am great at my eating disorder. How sad and pathetic is this? Call it a Type A personality, but my perfectionism has always gotten the best of me in life and as I’m fully in my life now it’s reared its head again and it couldn’t come at a more inconvenient time.

As I write this I know of everything I have going for me but when I lay my head down at night or am stuck in my head throughout the day, none of these things seem as promising or even significant as compared to things like my weight, how I look that day or other stupid and exhausting thoughts I have. That’s right, it’s fucking exhausting living in my head.

Even my relationship with my boyfriend is impacted by this stuff. I love spending time with him, but every time he touches me all I can wonder is what he really thinks of my body. My therapist would tell me he’s not even thinking about the things I’m thinking he’s thinking about but that feeling of disgust scares the shit out of me and when we’re together and doing things that couples do, I don’t enjoy any of it because I’m so inside my head. I don’t know if he even realizes that I’m not present and that I’m in some fucked up world where the staple in my stomach comes undone and he can see what I feel I really look like.

I always thought that after I got out of treatment I’d have a better mindset and things wouldn’t be this difficult. I knew that the day I got discharged from treatment that I wouldn’t be fixed, but shit y’all I at least thought I’d be able to manage my recovery in the real world and was strong enough and had enough of those lovely CBT skills that were drilled into my head, to be able to manage life stress without slipping down that slope that only leads to being sick.

Life thou art a heartless wench.

Hallucinations & Depression

Hey guys! So I know I haven’t written in a while, I’ve just been crazy busy with school, family matters and just life in general. I got an idea for a post today and I’m a little hesitant to write it if I’m being honest.

Ok so, I want to talk about hallucinations. I know, a little weird, but I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past couple of years and this aspect came to my mind so I figured “eh, what the fuck, let’s just write about it”. I’ve never really talked about this before, I don’t think any of my therapists really know about it so congratulations if you’re reading this you are the first people to hear about the most fucked up time in my life.

Hallucinating is such a weird thing to talk about, because I really didn’t know what was going on when it was happening. I think at this time I was really into my eating disorder, cutting, suicidal and drinking a lot when I went out(I know, not smart on my part since I’m on medication). I only had one hallucination, I think. I remember waking up one morning and I felt something digging into my shoulder blade. It was such a weird pain, and it felt like someone had scratched the shit out of my back the night before. I thought “hm this is weird” but didn’t think anything of it. That was how it started.



 

My hallucination involved a demon. I never saw it, but everyday for about a month or so I felt something clawing the fuck out of my back, and it was perched on me like you see a little kid holding onto a parents neck as they sit on their shoulders. I knew it wasn’t there, but I’d constantly reach for my shoulders, neck and back to try and get it off of me. It was terrifying, and I knew something was wrong with me.

Like I said, I never saw it but I knew exactly what it looked like. It was a black devilish looking creature with long pointy fingers. Their eyes were a dark red that either resembled blood or fire and its spine peaked out of its back every time it moved to adjust itself on me.

Day after day the claws dug deeper and I began hearing it tell me awful things, terrifying things. I was being prompted to kill myself, I heard it loud and clear as the demons head leaned down to whisper in my ear.



 

I don’t write this all out to sound like a freak or wanting sympathy; it’s a part of my past that I struggled with and in writing this I hope others can relate. Anyways….

Like I just said it’s in the past. I haven’t experienced this since it went away. Some call it psychotic depression, but I really don’t wish to place yet another label on myself. No matter though, with being fully in my life lately and things going incredible I wanted to finally write this all out.

Love you guys and I hope you all are doing well and have a fantastic weekend

Under Pressure

I really don’t know how I keep getting up in the morning and going about my day. Lately it’s been feeling like the pressure of perfect has been weighing down on me more and more, and I’m scared it might crush me this time.

Friday I had a meeting with my advisor about grad school and what I should do regarding what degree to go for. As a lot of you know I ultimately want my PhD in clinical psychology so I can work with mental health disorders and addictions. I already knew I had a perfectionistic attitude, but when he told me to keep it because most people who go to grad school in a PhD program have that attitude, I was kind of in conflict as to what to do.

My perfectionism has gotten the best of me time and time again, and I guess this is where compartmentalizing my life is going to come in handy. Since that meeting I have felt that pressure I’ve put on myself every semester come creeping back onto my shoulders. I’m finding myself in a panic knowing my grades need to go up or at least remain in the A ranges; I’m scared and stressed and for the first time in months feel as if though my whole future I had been planning for for over a year is no longer exactly attainable.

Taking a Risk

Hey guys! So I’ve been wanting to get back into music, song writing & simply playing my guitar for a while now. This morning I began typing out words, not expecting to get anything really (I mean I only had 2 cups of coffee lol) but I think I came up with something (yay!) . For some reason sharing this is the most vulnerable thing I can do, even sharing my story & writing out these posts are cake compared to sharing my writings. I hope this risk is worth it & you all enjoy it!

Here are the lyrics:

Do you know, what it’s like 
Drowning in this ocean that started out as rain drops?
Cause I, yeah I
Am in need of a life boat
To pull me up to safety.
Come quick. 

The waters turning violent,
A storm heading my way.
Erasing all the silence
Thunder echoes loud like every word you say. 

Send out an S.O.S to get me out of here.
Rough, rough waters are all I see
I forgot how to swim, throw me something to hold on to
And now everything I loved
is turning into everything I fear. 

**Disclaimer: this isn’t even close to being finished but I just wanted to share what I had thus far**

Feel free to comment below on your thoughts about this!! Have a great day you guys & stay strong!!

Future, Food & Flexibility **May be Triggering**

Today isn’t a good day & I’m so in my head about the consumption of pizza last night at my friends Super Bowl party. In the moment I enjoyed it, I felt normal and wasn’t worried. But after a few moments and that feeling of fullness & the distorted feeling/image of my stomach expanding I began feeling super anxious. All I wanted to do was go home, use laxatives & simply isolate myself, so others at the party didn’t have to be subjected to my weight gain.

The later in the day it gets and the less I am able to do because of this ridiculous snow storm I’m finding myself even more in my head and worrying about the future.

My dream is to be married & have children one day. I don’t think that’s very different than a majority of young adults out there, but I get so freaked out when I really take the time to think of the logistics. There’s so much I don’t want to subject my family to when that time of my life comes. I haven’t touched sweets in so long, & the thought of eating that piece of wedding cake seems impossible right now. I can picture me not partaking in that aspect of the wedding & people left to wonder what is wrong with me.

Then there’s the thought of my child, if I decide to have one. I am still so rigid with my meals & the times I eat & where I eat; I don’t want to raise a child in a home where the mom is bat shit crazy & obsessed with times and amounts. I am working on this currently but it’s so hard and I think I will probably be this rigid for the rest of my life, as well as obsessed about not putting “unsafe” foods in my body. The thought of eating certain foods is enough to induce a panic attack in me so how unfair would it be to my husband and child to not allow those foods in the house, or even reject my presence at a restaurant where the only option is said “fear” foods?

I don’t want to project my disorder onto others, and the biggest fear I have about this part of my life is that I’ll accidentally raise my own child to have an eating disorder as well.

Writing this has actually made me realize how sick I still am and that there’s still a long road ahead of me in regards to recovery. Thanks for listening & I hope you guys had or are having a great start of the week.

Spark of Hope (Feb 2nd)

canstockphoto-spark

“I am still learning”

-Michelangelo

All of life is a learning experience. There’s no age at which you have all of the knowledge you will ever have, even if you’re considered an expert in an area. The people we meet teach us the most valuable life lessons, and in a professional sense there’s always innovations that change our field. I’ve come to realize and get excited over the fact that every day I put my energy into something I have the chance to expand my knowledge in it; whether it’s school family, friends, music writing. It doesn’t matter what it is, but I keep myself open to learning.


Goal:
Try keeping an open mind this week when others share with you their knowledge. Stay humble and accept that others knowledge is neither greater than yours or lesser, but is a tool you can use to add to your toolbox of skills.

Sparks of Hope (January 30th)

“The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

– Steven Furtick

 

I often find it difficult to not compare myself to others. It’s when we engage in this unconscious activity that we end up damaging our own self-identity or self-esteem in ways we never intended. Nobody has their life completely together and we don’t know what that person who we are comparing ourselves to has had to walk through to get to this present moment. On the surface they may appear to have the life or the body we want, but it’s the things lying underneath the surface that matter more. For myself, I am my own worst critic and I can look at others around me and wish to have their life because it looks so much more glamorous than mine. But that mindset is not only a delusion, but a dangerous one that can land you on a slippery slope.

 

Goal: Today instead of looking at others and being envious of what they have, think of your own journey. Write down 5 things you’re thankful for having or experiencing at this moment in your life. It’s when you learn to accept & appreciate what you have, that you can learn how to embrace the path your on and not want to be where others seem to be.