Friday, June 24, 2011

Clicks and shifts

Today something clicked in me. It was hard to obey the click. But I knew what the consequences would be if I didn’t listen to what the click was telling me.

It began last night when I decided I wanted to run early this morning. Normally my runs are around 11:00 or sometime in the afternoon at the apex of humidity. But my upcoming races are in the early morning, and I wanted to train myself to run between 7:00 and 7:30 to acclimate myself to my race runs. So to better my chances of running in the early morning, I slept in my running clothes, sans the shoes. I did everything I could to prepare myself for an early morning run.

So I got up at my normal time between 6:15 and 6:30. But I was just not awake enough to go running. At least that's what I told myself. I had a banana thinking that would give me some energy and wake me up. Foolish thinking. It’s not like a banana has caffeine.

I kept giving myself increments of time of when I would leave: I’ll leave in fifteen minutes. Okay, make that thirty minutes. I ended up falling back asleep on the couch, and when I woke up, I thought I just wouldn’t run today. If I couldn’t run when I wanted to, it was useless. It was just easier lying on the couch, sleeping, watching t.v., feeling sorry for myself that I once again couldn’t make myself run in the morning.

Silly, Missing In Sight. That’s black and white, all or nothing thinking. But I was all too complacent to give into it.

But as I lie there feeling sorry for myself, something clicked in me. I did a run through with my thoughts, predicted the outcome. I thought my actions, or rather inactions, through and tried to picture how I would feel if I didn’t get in my run. I knew I would feel depressed, would more than likely go off my meal plan, and I would feel fat. Not the best reasons in the world to exercise, but, it is what it is for now.

Then I thought it through as to how I would feel if I went running anyway, even though it wasn’t the exact time I wanted. I knew I would feel better. I knew I would be able to relax the rest of the day, read, follow my meal plan, and not harangue myself for not running two days in a row (I didn't run yesterday, which fed into my feelings of being a failure).

So it clicked in my head. I would go running anyway.

It wasn't a major shift in thinking. It didn't take away all my anxiety. It wasn’t earth shattering. It didn’t move mountains. It didn’t find the cure for cancer. But it was a little gesture toward breaking the black and white thinking that typically dominates my recovery. And to be honest, I will probably have those black and white moments again, where if my life isn’t structured just so, and I can’t follow my self-imposed rules as I set them, I will feel defeated. But just for today, I can celebrate that I didn’t give in to the negative side of myself.

If I hadn’t allowed myself to follow the click in my head, I wouldn’t have enjoyed having fro-yo with my husband (scary as hell, and ultimately not a good idea. Live and learn).

Or gone to see the dollar show with him.

Rango, by the way, was very disappointing, and you’re hearing this from someone who loves Johnny Depp.

So disband the black and white thinking. The all-or-nothing thinking. Recovery can take many forms. It may not look the way we want it, or act the way we want it, but it doesn’t mean we should abandon recovery because it doesn't behave according to our rules.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

A moment in time

I FAILED TODAY. It was EASY. No effort at all.



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Psychiatrist? Fail.

Disclaimer: you are about to read the ventings, histrionics, rudeness and foul language of MIS. Sensitive eyes need not apply to this information. Please scroll down for today’s gratitude. Thank you, and have a nice day.

So today I got up early (okay, 10:00) and went to see a new psychiatrist, at least I thought I was seeing a new psychiatrist.

We didn't get off to a good start. The front office gave me a freakin’ novel to fill out under the guise of paperwork. Page after page I completed. It took me an hour to fill in just a fraction of my history.

(Me filling out the damn mountain of paperwork.)

So a nurse comes and brings me back and begins to interview me. She must have seen the bewilderment on my face because she tells me once she had all my information down (isn't that what the novel was for?) she would “relay” it to the doctor and then make the recommendations regarding medication. Again, not a good start. Thirty minutes into my interview she says they don’t prescribe to and treat people like me. WTF? What kind of people would that be, I wonder to myself. People with pink streaks in their hair? People who swipe Splendas at Dunkin Donuts? People who think your hair is fucked up and from the fifties?

Apparently they, like the other two psychiatrists and nurse practitioners, don’t see people who have dissociative disorders, eating disorders, or people who have recently escaped from the loony bin. Well, in the words of the late Chris Farley, whoopty-freakin-do! Excuse the hell out of me. I didn’t realize I was so f’ed up and that I was such a safety risk that 3 out of 3 doctors couldn’t treat me. What the hell do I do now? I have been rejected by 3 doctors and 2 nurse-practitioners. *Insert sarcasm* Thanks, guys! I’m sure your patients are really lucky to have you.

In addition, after I was told they didn’t treat people like me, the bitch kept asking me questions about my history. She asked about abuse, parts, dissociative symptoms, etc. I asked her why she needed to know if they weren’t going to prescribe medication. That info is on a need-to-know basis. Dumb bitch. If you can't prescribe me medication, what the hell am I still doing in your fucking office?

So my attempt at finding a new psychiatrist was a flaming, fat, fucking fail. (My professor would love the alliteration. I digress.)

In other news, I saw Dietician last night (put me in a bad mood so I didn’t blog) and went to see Secondary Therapist today. I arrived at Secondary Therapist’s office early, so I drove around the neighborhood to kill time and found, to my delight, a Dunkin Donuts (no I didn’t swipe Splendas this time. The clerk was watching me.) So I crossed three lanes of traffic, cut a mustang off, and was the recipient of some very nasty hand gestures, but I didn’t care. I got my iced coffee fix.

(Nothing makes therapy more palatable than sipping an iced coffee while therapist tells you you’re a lost cause.)

(Finished with therapy! But out of iced coffee. Boo.)

Lastly, we miss Primary Therapist. He’s on vacay this week and we didn’t see him last week either. Not sure WHY we miss him, but we do. No wonder psychiatrists won’t treat us. We really must be sick in the head.

Today’s gratitude:

We set a new PR in our running today!

Got the letter today we made President's list for Spring semester!

Husband is continuing to improve with his ECT treatments. He even suggested seeing a movie tomorrow!

Monday, June 20, 2011


This is filed under the category of TMI, but, oh well. I’m going to share something with you I’m not proud of. Here goes:

The mess in the room is so bad, I couldn't even get in the room to take "good" pictures. And the lighting sucks, but I'm a blogger, not a professional photographer.

Recently Back in November we had a yard sale. What didn’t sell we tossed in my “daughter’s” room. Since I was working and in school full-time, my schedule didn't permit me to organize her room. The semester ended, I had more time, but I was on winter break and wanted to rest. So the room sat. And it sat. And it sat.

Until today. What is so special about today? It’s my rest day. After running over 17 miles yesterday, my legs mandated that they be given rest today. WTF? No exercise? Not good. I don’t do well when I can’t run. I was born without the gene that lets you figure out how to spend your day even when it doesn't revolve around running and food.

So in the vein of recovery and not giving into my self-destructive thoughts and behaviors when I can't workout, I stole borrowed a bookcase from birth mother and got my clean on.

Drum roll, please.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I spent my day.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The marathon of recovery

"If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves."
--Thomas Edison

This isn’t an ode to Father’s Day post. I have issues with Father’s Day. I have issues with fathers. I plain have issues.

But I digress.

As I think I’ve mentioned in other posts, I’m training for a marathon. In doing so, I complete a long run once a week where I train and add to my mileage. I will spare you the numbers, pace, speed, etc. I know many of you suffer with eating disorders, and I don’t want to trigger you. But I will say on my long runs there is ample time to reflect and think and meditate.

(When I’m in the middle of a run I don’t often stop to take pictures, but today was different. Want to see where I meditate?)

Beautiful, isn't it?

Anyway, as I was running, it occurred to me how much recovery (from anything, i.e. eating disorders, alcohol and drug addiction, OCD, BPD) is like a marathon. Recovery is not a sprint, nor is it over once you are weight restored, followed your meal plan, been self-mutilation free, or sober for X amount of days. Yes, that is an accomplishment, but recovery isn’t over at that point. That’s when the marathon of recovery BEGINS.

I was obsessively reading on-line recently that many runners train and race with injuries. (I’ve run on many aches and pains myself. I’m still waiting for the feeling to return to my legs after today’s run.) What I thought interesting about these runners was that they alter some aspect of their training to facilitate the healing of their injury. Maybe they include a few more rest days. Maybe they run their next jaunt a little slower. Maybe they do more physical therapy. But they do SOMETHING to ensure their health and their ability to continue to run.

Why should recovery be any different? We may have sustained our own injuries along the way. Some of us may be injured by abuse, poor family dynamics, relationship issues, or whatever. Why should that detract us from our ultimate goal of recovery? If anything, these “injuries” should be learning experiences that help us see what in our training we need to tweak. Just like the runner, these moments provide reflection to see what aspect of our training we need to alter so that we may continue our marathon of recovery.

Just like running, recovery also happens at different speeds. When I run a race, I make it a point to start out slow. I conserve my energy for later in the race when I’m getting weak and tired and need all the energy I can muster to complete the race. Sure, I will see people pass me in the beginning. That doesn’t mean they will run a better or more fulfilling race, because, experience has shown me, I will pass them later in the race since I’ve conserved my energy and they spent theirs in the beginning.

Recovery is the same. We may see people who pass us on the journey. It might appear that it is easier for them to follow their meal plan or to make friends or talk about painful subjects. But that doesn’t mean their marathon is more productive or they’ll reach the figurative finish line before we do. It’s been my experience that those who jump at the start of the race gun end up burning out and relapsing.

(My thoughts were so much more coherent and eloquent this morning when I was running. That’s what oxygenated blood flow and humidity will do for you.)

The point I’m laboring to make is that recovery is a marathon. We are in a rigorous, demanding, and challenging training program to lead a life free from our disease, our obsessions, and our disorders. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes years of training to get recovery. But slow and steady wins the race. We may have to pace ourselves more than others. Take things a bit slower. But if we keep putting one foot in front of the other, we will eventually win the race.

Now go get your run on.