Friday, April 16, 2010

Make way! New thoughts coming through

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much do I want to get better. I’ve been feeling that as much time as we’ve put in therapy we should be further along in the process than we are now. I’ve done fairly well at stopping some of those self-destructive behaviors that used to plague my existence. However, the eating disorder is what gets me stuck in time. I don’t understand how I could still be struggling with those behaviors based on how much inpatient, residential, and outpatient treatment we’ve had. But I’ve realized that one of the reasons recovery didn’t stick before was that I didn’t commit to it. I didn’t do everything I needed to in order to resist falling back into old, destructive coping habits.

An area that I can pinpoint is the way we think about ourselves.

When I first forayed into recovery, I did what my treatment team suggested. I gained weight. I followed a meal plan. I took my meds. By my actions it looked like I was in recovery, but in my head it was a different story. Not once did I stop to work on what I thought about myself. I thought I was fat, ugly, and repulsive. I didn’t even want to change my thinking. I wanted to hate myself. I felt better if I hated myself. If I liked myself then it was as if I was giving myself permission to love something worthless, defective, and damaged. In a sense, it was like I was protecting myself by letting myself think I was despicable. If I hated myself enough, if I called myself enough names, if I drank/cut/burned/purged/restricted enough maybe I would eventually change.

Don’t get me wrong. I am nowhere near to accepting myself, much less loving myself. When I look in the mirror I see flaws, not fierceness. But what’s changed is that now I’m open to the idea of not hating myself. I’m open to the idea of changing the way I think and view myself. I finally see that in order to truly recover this time we are going to have to start thinking of ourselves differently and start accepting us.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thinking out loud: Motivation

I feel like I’m slipping. The quest for recovery and sanity remains eternal. During my career time as a mental health consumer, I’ve seen my fair share of good and bad days. There have been times when I was “recovered” (whatever the hell that means) and times when I relapsed. I’ve seen skinny days and heavy-set days. There have been moments when I cared about getting better and moments when I couldn’t give a crap. It’s this latter category I find myself in now. I just don’t care whether we get better or not.

When I went back to Therapist in September/October of last year I had made my mind over that I was going to commit a 150% to getting better. I felt determined and purposeful. I wanted to get better; I wanted relationships; I wanted a life. But now my motivation is gone and I don’t know how to get it back. More importantly, I don’t know how to make myself do something I don’t really want to.

Someone once said, “Do the right thing and let your heart catch up later.” I know I don’t have to want to talk about the painful experiences we’ve had in order to actually tell them to Therapist. I also know I don’t have to be gung-ho about eating my food in order to actually follow my meal plan. These are things I can do regardless of whether or not I want to. But it would make things so much easier if I wanted to.

I don’t know where my motivation for getting better has gone. I just know I don’t care like I used to. Maybe I’m just bored with my recovery. I know I get bored with my meal plan because there are a select number of foods I’ll allow myself to have. But how does one get bored with therapy? Therapist used to play cards and games with us and we’ve asked him to again, but each time he offers we chicken out. Maybe owning up to being scared and still actually playing a game with him will change things up a bit.

Still, I just can’t care enough to try. There’s something missing in me that makes me not care. The ED behavior came back just when we were working on something difficult in therapy. Maybe not caring and being unmotivated is just a symptom. Maybe it’s a defense, a very good defense, to keep me from talking about what we should.

Question of the post: How do you stay motivated when you’re tempted to “throw in the towel?” Are there times in your life when motivation ebbed and flowed? What did you do? What do you do to keep hope alive?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I’ve been thinking all day of what to write and I come up with nothing. So here are some bullet points to highlight where we are at this moment in time.
• Husband and I are out of town visiting his parents. While I love the in-laws and they are good to me, I’m really stressed out. I’m away from my home, my food scale and my gym. They help me feel safe.
• We’ve been real switch-y since we got here.
• Since I’m not at home, Husband and I got a one week pass to the local gym. Not as nice as our gym at home, but at least it’s a workout. I have to get my daily workout.
• There is an anger right now directed toward Therapist. Don’t ask me why or which part has the anger. But it’s there just seething. Since being out of town this week Therapist and I won’t have our usual sessions. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or bad thing. He’s a good therapist and hasn’t done anything wrong. I don’t know why we’re so angry with him. Hopefully it will go away this week.
• We bought a stained glass kit for our littles. It’s of a puppy dog with a bone in it’s mouth. I tried to engage the littles last night when I was making it but they weren’t responding. I ended up making it by myself. We also bought the littles a book that has 5 stories in it about the Berenstain Bears. We’ll read a story tonight. I get a feeling they are not comfortable coming out at this strange home. But then again, who is comfortable?

I’m very unsettled. I wrote the above earlier and then had dinner. Dinner always makes me edgy. It is the hardest meal I have to eat. It just changes me from like day to night. A switch gets flipped. It ruins me.
I’m sitting in the ruins.
Someone else is pushing to come forward. I’m disappearing.