It’s The Courage To Continue That Counts…Or So They Say

This world is kind of cruel.

Yesterday was a shit show. Today didn’t turn out much better, either.

I didn’t sleep well, so I’m exhausted now.

School was really difficult, but not in the usual sense. I had my last day of classes today. In communications class, whoever hadn’t gone yet were giving their debate speeches. The final topic of the day was doctor-assisted suicide, or as they phrased it, “dying with dignity”. Many of their examples were obviously people who are terminally ill. The topic combined with the examples brought up a lot for me. I couldn’t stop thinking about my dad, and his death process, and obviously how it affected me. It’s hard to explain, but the feelings emerged again, full-force. That happens sometimes…it’s not a specific memory that triggers the feelings, it’s the feelings from the entire process/experience. They just emerge out of nowhere. No matter how many times I’ve tried to “deal with it” in therapy, sometimes that just happens. It’s hard for me, because there’s no specific reason I’m crying and shaking…I just am. So I don’t always know how to soothe myself.

I suppose a plus for me today was that I chose to reach out to my professor. I don’t even know her that well, but my options were to ask her for help, or go into the hallway and break out in a panic attack in front of everybody. I said, “I know you’re not a therapist, but can I talk to you?”, and she brought me to her office. I was crying and shaking some but it didn’t end in a full on panic attack. That’s pretty good for me. I took the time I needed to calm down, and went on to my next class.

I made a really big move today as well to pay off all of my medical debt. That was a difficult decision to make, seeing as how my debt was extremely high. I have medical accounts in collections dating back to 2011. I couldn’t even tell the lady at one of the companies what my address was at the time for that account. I did live in Florida for one of the accounts, but I a) don’t remember my living there (besides the main fact that I lived there), and b) don’t have a clue what my address was when I lived there. It’s kind of awful. I still can’t get over the fact that I don’t remember my time living there at all. I really don’t understand how this experience was just entirely erased from my memory. My mom has told me the main facts of the situation, but…it’s just weird. I wasn’t having electric shock therapy while I lived there, so I don’t think that’s the reason I don’t remember. Or maybe it is. Maybe it was a delayed thing? I know I did have ECT around the time I lived there (as in before that event and after that event, in the surrounding years). I’ve tried recalling the information several ways in therapy, and none have worked so far.

There’s other events of my life that have been erased somehow. I went to Ireland with my dad/siblings before he died in high school, and sadly I don’t remember that trip at all. That one I really don’t understand, because I didn’t have ECT until about two years after that event (and I hadn’t had it before). I’d just like to know why my brain erased it.

Moving on, though. I’m pretty tired, and hoping tomorrow won’t be shit as well. Until then, I’ll netflix and chill.

I will add, I’ve decided to take advantage of the Starbucks school reimbursement. I was accepted to ASU online for the fall semester. I looked at the classes they provide there, and I can’t wait. They have so many amazing class options! I want to take so many. Maybe I will, just for the heck of it.

That’s all.

-May 1, 2017

Where Did The Time Go?

I’ve been struggling emotionally lately. I’ve been feeling a lot of anger…but more at myself than anything else. When something bothers me, I don’t know why, but I hardly ever say anything. It’s so automatic that five minutes later, I’m wondering why I said nothing. I had several opportunities this past week to speak my truth, and I naturally skipped out. So I am left with myself, laying in bed at night, hating that I have no courage. Hating that it’s so damn automatic for me to just shut up. I don’t even know that I think to say anything in the moment. I just…freeze.

Anxiety is building, anger is building, and feeling trapped is almost consistent in my life right now. I want to have five minutes to myself, yet I’m always caught up doing something. I feel like I need a retreat. To just take a few days to myself. I’m too overwhelmed with this fast pace of life. Especially since I don’t feel like I’m getting closer to anything. I’m just gliding.

On the more positive side, I applied to volunteer for the Crisis Text Line. I would spend four hours (or more) a week with them, answering the texts people send in. I could see it being somewhat difficult, just with my nature of wanting to save people…but they provide a lot of training and assistance, so I think I can learn how to be effective in this role. I’m really looking forward to it…it’s something that actually works towards what I believe is my purpose (helping/inspiring other people). After going through treatment for seven years, and going from hell to the top, I’ve always thought I made it through so that I can help other people do the same. So…maybe this will help me feel more positive about my own life.

I don’t know what else to say. I will try to update more, I suppose.

-March 31, 2017

When You Read a Book That Sparks a Light Inside of You

I bought a book the other day from Barnes and Noble. Well, I bought several, but this one was read first. It’s called, “The Princess Saves Herself In This One” by Amanda Lovelace. While there are several pages I have tagged, and I did make a word document out of all my favorite passages/quotes, I think I’ll talk about these two today:

Pages 96-97: Fuck the idea that there is such a thing as destiny, that there exists some kind of mysterious master plan, that there is a god who simply does not give us anything we cannot handle. The pain did not make me a better person. It did not teach me not to take anything for granted. It did not teach me anything except how to be afraid to love anyone. I am far too young to be so goddamn broken & if I could go back in time & give myself her childhood back, I would. –what was the point?

Page 142: I let myself know that my life doesn’t have to be over just because theirs are & I went ahead & painted the sun back into my sky. –I am allowed to live my life

I’ve been working on this a lot- living my life even though my dad can no longer live his. Living my life despite the fact that several people have lost theirs in the past few years. Living my life despite the fact that I have no idea why it was them and not me.

I’ve always been so angry with the world about this topic. Why did God take my dad? There was no good reason. No one can argue with me that, like she said, there is some “greater plan”. I bought into that for a bit. I believed that there was some reason for everything, some explanation I wasn’t aware of. I thought, maybe it’s (I don’t have a good word, because “tolerable” and “okay” are not it…so fill in that blank yourself), because now my parents aren’t fighting. I don’t have to live a life at home in constant fear. I don’t have to feel on-edge at every moment, because there won’t be any more of the screaming, the banging, the tears, the wasted energy…the hope that maybe one day it’ll stop. Because it has. It has stopped. Silence has greeted this house, for once.

Then the battle began- did I do this? Every year, when I blew out my birthday candles, I wished my parents would stop fighting. I went to bed hoping that tomorrow, things would change. That the chaos would cease.

I battled feeling like God misinterpreted my prayers, to telling myself that I’m really not that important/this can’t be my fault, to being angry with God for doing this, to disbelief in any higher power listening to me anyway.

And that’s where I remain now.

It’s hard for me to believe in any higher power loving me, taking care of me, watching over me, or giving any justice in this world. My dad was a good person. He was smart, he was funny, and no, I will not agree that it was “his time”. He could have done so much more in this world.

I spent years trying to work through this mess. I nearly killed myself in the process. Yes, I am “together” today, for all intents and purposes. I’m alive. I have learned things. But I feel like I could have learned them another way. It doesn’t take my dad dying to make this happen.

People die- that’s life. I understand that concept. But I don’t agree with how it happened for me. I don’t agree with a lot of deaths that happen. It’s not fair. And no, I don’t care that that is a childish statement. Sometimes, it’s just not.

I had to learn the second quote eventually, though. I had to let go of a lot of that anger, the “it’s not fair” attitude. While that statement remains true, I learned I cannot live out that statement. I cannot ruin my life based on the fact that it wasn’t fair that my dad died.

I still hold some of that anger inside of me. It’s extremely difficult to ditch all of it. And I did learn that I have to “paint the sun back into my sky”. I can’t live my life in anger with something that I can never personally change. I can’t will my dad back to life…but I can progress in my own life and try to make him proud.

Sometimes I forget that intention. The more I was sucked into the eating disorder, the more I believed I had already disappointed my dad- and there was no way out. I imagined him looking down on me, wishing I wasn’t his daughter. Or worse, not even recognizing me.

I was someone completely different after he died. And I am someone completely different now. Some things stay the same, and I know he can see that. All things I learned from him…people-watching, cat loving, getting lost in books, writing poetry…they’re still there. And I’m proud of that. And if I’m proud of that, I think he would be too.

My dad was an amazing person, when it comes down to it. I got the pleasure of spending 16 years with him. While I have a long list of regrets, I always have the love in my heart that I need to believe he can feel. I choose to believe that if he knocked on my door today, we would smile together instead of feeling shame.

I still don’t agree that death like this is necessary…but the ability to keep going despite it, is.

-February 22, 2017

 

Running in Circles

Short Update:

I feel like I’m “back on track” with eating. I put that in quotes because, yes, I am eating “normally”, but I don’t feel good about it. I feel like I am overeating, eating shitty food that isn’t good for me anyway, and eating with no self control whatsoever.

I hate that I always eat when I’m hungry. I hate that this happens multiple times in between meals. I hate that whatever I eat never seems to be enough. I hate that I feel like a slave to my hunger.

I know I’ve gained back some of the weight I’ve lost. I think knowing this is enough to mess with my body image, to extreme proportions. I looked in the mirror tonight and hated what I saw. I see curves…everywhere. I don’t know why my ideal body is that of a child. I try to tell myself I’m 24, I am a woman, and I am supposed to have curves. But that’s kind of like telling myself that the sky is actually orange. It’s not true to me.

Why am I the exception? Why do I get to be different than everyone else? Why do I want to be different than everyone else my age?

I don’t think that I’m better than anyone else in any way. I don’t think I’m completely different than everyone else my age. I have similarities, and I have differences…just like everyone else.

Yet I hold myself to different standards. I impose rules on myself that I would never impose on someone else. I treat myself like I would never treat someone else.

Because it’s me. And I am not comfortable with me.

I wish I could eat without hating myself…because I eat several times a day now. I don’t enjoy the self-loathing that follows every bite of food. I don’t want to spend a majority of my day hating myself for “indulging”…or not being able to stop myself from eating when hungry.

Rationally, I am not over-eating. I am probably eating a fine amount, according to a dietitian or whoever else on my treatment team. So it’s very frustrating when I know this, yet can’t apply it.

I am frustrating myself. What else is new.

-February 17, 2017

What Exactly Is, “Good Enough”?

Things in therapy-land have been kind of rough lately. It’s frustrating for me, because I did start eating again, and I have gained back some of the weight I had lost. But apparently that’s not good enough. My therapist wants me to see a dietitian…I said no, and she said, “You know I can refuse to see you if you don’t comply, right?”. I just hate how I’m trying and, it’s not that it’s not being noticed, but it’s not enough…and there is no way for me to possibly do more right now. She wanted me to go back on the point/exchange system I had at Focus (treatment center)…but as I explained to her, that’s not something I can just do on my own. I wouldn’t know where to begin, or how to progress it, etc. That’s something I’d need a dietitian for. However, I am eating fine, so I don’t think it’s really that necessary. She weighed me even though I told her what I weighed that morning (when I did it myself). After she weighed me, she told me she’s now going to weigh me once a week. It’s just extremely defeating. Not to mention I despise being weighed in the middle of the day. It’s incorrect, and not really that helpful. And she won’t let me see the number, so there’s that. I have no idea what that stupid scale is saying.

I am tired of this stuff. I just want to be left alone.

Work is also giving me some anxiety lately. As I mentioned, my hours are being cut, and I can feel it pay-wise. I’m constantly on edge about having enough money for rent/bills. My new manager also hasn’t confirmed when my training begins, so I’m just hanging out in limbo until they figure it out. I just want more certainty.

All in all, I’m feeling defeated. I’m wondering what the point is in doing well and trying so hard, when it’s never enough. I want things to settle down. I hate this constant anxiety and stress.

And I’m really tired this morning, which doesn’t help. I have a full day of school and I’m not looking forward to it.

Sorry for the negativity. I’m just in a weird place.

-February 15, 2017

And Now, There’s This…

Today I was offered a promotion. I haven’t told many people…my coworkers don’t know. I have until Monday to decide.

I’m going to talk to my boss about it tomorrow…I just don’t know what to do. I’m not in a place mentally to take it. My treatment team is talking about inpatient- as much as I fight with them, and tell them no, I have to be realistic and know that they do have that power. I can say I’m fine all I want, but that is still my reality. If I take this promotion, then have to up and leave…will I even have a job left?

I’d have to leave my coworkers. They’re my favorite people. I love them…I look forward to seeing them every day. They’ve become some of my best friends. Would that be the same at another store? Would they like me there too?

I could work less with this promotion. I could work 25-30 hours instead of 35-40. It’s a huge difference. The store is also further away. I’d be driving 30-35 minutes, versus my current 16-19 minutes. I have to take that somewhat into consideration.

I’ve worked so damn hard to get to where I am with this job. I’ve been with Starbucks for almost five years. In the beginning, I wasn’t a good employee. I was heavy into my ED and had to leave for medical problems a lot…not to mention weeks off for treatment multiple times. When I moved to Georgia, I told myself it would be different. I wouldn’t be a worthless employee. And I’ve worked really hard to make that a reality.

I want to take this promotion. But if I take it and am forced into treatment, I could potentially lose my job.

And the answer to all of this is: get your shit together. Eat. Just follow a meal plan, increase your intake, and get your damn shit together. I mean, is this really worth it? Is losing weight and restricting worth it?

I’ve acted on my ED for many stupid reasons. I’ve been faced with a lot. I had to leave high school and get my GED because of it. I’ve had to drop out of college after already starting late. I’ve had to say goodbye to friends, make family not want to speak to me…for what?

I still can’t venture to understand what this compulsion is. It’s so confusing and aggravating to me. I know what I need to do. I know I need to do it now. But I can’t get up, go into the kitchen, and just eat.

I’ve always hated that- when someone tells you to “just eat”. It’s not that simple. It never will be.

But I really need to figure out what the answer is.

And what I will do with this now.

-February 2, 2017