Friday, June 12, 2009

Help. I've fallen and I can't get up.

It's been a tough week. My depression has gotten worse and my powers of concentration have shot to hell. I haven't been able to keep up with the blogs I subscribe to, nor have I been able to compose a new post of my own till now.

I don't have any pearls of wisdom or sage advice to give. I decided to scroll over my blog and I looked at the section of favorite recovery quotes and it hasn't given me a little hope.

I hate myself right now. It's really hard to love myself. I'm in recovery for anorexia and I've gained weight, which I'm supposed to do, but it isn't easy. I hate the way I look right now. The food obsession has made us go above our target weight and I feel so fat that I can't stand being in my skin. I have no clothes that fit. I tried on five different outfits this morning and they all fit too tightly. I look frumpy and I feel like a failure for that.

On the flip side, I know this is temporary. I must make an attempt to not give in to the negative self-talk and urges to self-harm. I must make a concerted effort to continue to build up self-esteem, and not continuously degrade myself.

I'm putting my hope in a new psychho-iatrist that will hopefully do a better job in managing my meds and in my dietician who has designed a good meal plan for my needs and desires.

I was looking at the recovery quotes I have posted on this blog and it reads, "Sucess is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out."

No matter what we are recovering from, whether it's a dissociative disorder, an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, or any other mental illness, the truth is the same for all of us: there are no quick fixes. Recovery comes only with repeated effort and continual exertion against things that can derail our hard work.

When I was in the hospital this past February, another patient said something about recovery that I will never forget; she said for us to always protect our recovery.

I never looked at recovery as something needing protection. I never looked at recovery as an entity, a creature, or something that exists. When I look at it this way and objectify my recovery, I can then perceive it as something I have or don't have, and I want recovery. I want to have it.

Protecting my recovery means that I have to be patient with myself. I will stumble and fall, but protecting my recovery means that I get back up and continue to try.

Protecting my recovery means being cautious about what types of media I let in my life. If I'm looking at glamour magazines and watching "entertainment" shows that depict skinny girls I'm going to fall flat on my face and lose my recovery. The media images are so distorted against women that my eating disorder will be reactivated.

I'm glad I posted the recovery quotes. They give me hope and, that is definitely what I need right now. So I will fight on. I will not let myself "stay down," but I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and continue to work on my recovery.

Monday, June 08, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand hateful, ugly words

I'm sitting here dissociating like hell. I feel them right behind my eyes. Heaven help me. I hope this post makes sense.

When I was importing my photos to my computer, I saw some my husband, D. had taken of me before and after I went into residential treatment. I almost gagged. There is a marked difference and if anything in the world could make me feel even fatter, it's those damn pictures. I didn't erase them. D. didn't want me to. He thought the pre-residential treatment photos would motivate me to stay on the right track and fight the eatng disorder. All it did was make me buy a scale and diet pills.

I journaled about it and would like to say it made me feel better, but it didn't. I've always felt that being at an average weight made me fat, average, worthless and ugly, but it also made me feel dirty and unclean. Those feeling started at eleven when I developed my eating disorder. It also coincides with more trauma. Anything in my mouth became disgusting and invasive. I don't know how to get over that or help the member who holds those feelings about food.

In addition, seeing the current photos of myself made me reel with disgust. I saw through the eyes of the camera lense how disfigured I look from self-harm. Disgust is the only word. I could see the fresh scars of twelve cigarette burns on my left arm as well as more recent second degree burns with a lighter on my writst. I didn't realize it looked so bad.

The old me would try to hide my scars. I can see people staring at my arm and wrist when I'm out in public, but if I hide my scars that just perpetuates the shame. I don't want to feel any worse about myself than I do.

I remember being at a water park and standing in line. There was a girl of about age 10 or eleven and she was with her father and they were staing in front of me. She turned around and looked at me and my scars and wouldn't turn away. I made a flippant comment to D, my husband, about people minding their own business and not staring at people. Then she asked her father what was wrong with me, how did I get like this. I was so pissed off. I really wanted to say something to the father who didn't raise his daughter to not stare at people with "deformities." I wondered if she stared at people in wheel chairs or where missing limbs or had other things about them that were different. I will never, ever, ever forget that girl or how small and ugly she made me feel.

So pictures are worth a thousand words. They can reveal happy times or times you'd rather forget. They capture moments in time, some you want to embrace and some you want to never remember again. Unfortunately, this experience with my photos has made me camera shy, and I guess that means I'm ashamed of myself; one of the worst feelings in the world.

Going home via Blue Ridge Parkway

After spending six happy days with our family, it was time to head home.

Time to say goodbye to our family. Goodbye is so bitter-sweet. I'm ready to go home, but not ready to leave the family behind. I lov eyou, all!

Here's C. and O. goofing off on Blue Ridge Parkway. Good times.

C. is pointing out the monolith that you can barely see in the background. Mono what? She had to explain to me what a monolith was. And I'm in school to be a teacher? In my defense, I'm an English Ed major, not a Science Ed major.

All the hiking and walking on the trails have these two tired out. Sorry, girls. The best is yet to come. Hope you get a second wind.

Here we are on the watershed in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It's rocky and wet. O. is a little wet from slipping. The water is fun to walk on, but really slippery. At least she had a good attitude about it and went on with exploring the rocks and waterfall.

This is the bottom of the watershed. The waterfall is beautiful. It was such a gorgeous day; people were swimming in the "pool", laying out on the rocks, and having picnics. It was so much fun it made the long drive worth it.

Here's another look at the waterfall. It's pretty steep. You can also see how dangerous it is to climb the rocks, and I had on flip flops!! Not exactly hiking shoes.

Here's O. taking a little rest, sitting in the sun trying to dry off. Poor child! I'm not good with uploading photos yet, so you'll have to crank your head to see her. Sorry!

C. is taking a little rest, too. Hi, C! I love you!

Here are my girls back on top of the watershed. We are all tired. It was quite a walk!

In the van to go home, I turned around and saw both girl, including Twizzler, our dog, passed out. O. was scared I would take pictures of her (she knows me well) so she's hiding under her blanket. I'll get her back later! :)

Twizzler woke up and decided to drive us home. Thanks, Twiz! Only one speeding ticket!