Therapy 11/12

In my effort to find this blog I logged in to 3 of my old ones. It’s crazy seeing the point I used to be in, and how similar my position is now. Regardless, this blog post has nothing to do with that. This is about my therapy session today.

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Am i okay?

In this massive shit pile of a post we will discuss if i’m actually okay, or if i’m entirely lying to myself. Please enjoy the ride as i’m sure i won’t. Spoiler alert: i’m totally lying to myself.

When i was 10 i really went through it. I’m not sure what it was in ten year old me, but something snapped and i shoved every negative (emotional) thing deep down in my soul to never address again. It was the first response my brain could come up with. I stuck with it like my life depended on it; at the very least my sanity did. For me, the automatic repression of sad things has blended into the automatic repression of generally emotional things. For almost 10 years now i’ve been at the point of only being able to handle baseline things. Anything too happy, sad, exciting, scary, etc. gets packed right away. Dealing with any of it feels insurmountable.

None of that is truly important outside of my therapy sessions, but it does provide context for how i am as a person and why this is such a massive thing for me to do. Plus writing that out helped me stall for 30 minutes. It’s a win win.

God help me, i don’t think i’ve truly done this on my own in years…maybe ever? I’ve always had someone to talk with in some capacity, but this time it’s just me. Seriously God, help me.

Okay moving on to the shit pile of a post:

My grandpa is sick. I’ll be honest, i won’t unpack this one too far. I know my limits. Anyway, he’s sick. We know with what, but no one really knows the details (how sick he truly is, lifespan, treatment, etc.). My grandpa is 88, his memory is going, and he is a very stubborn man. We are supposed to treat him normally, so we can’t ask him about it and hell will freeze over before he actually lets anyone go to an appointment with him. This works for me though, because pretending like nothing is happening can now be called “obeying his wishes”. I’m taking what i can get, and i deeply apologize for future me who will have to deal with this eventually.

I’ve been smoking for two years now. This doesn’t seem like a big thing but it really is for me. I started smoking in treatment. Treatment was life changing for me, but it is still a deeply emotional thing for me. When i left i had the goal of writing about it, coping, etc. but that was, and still is, too painful. While its incredibly hard for me to think about treatment, smoking helps me feel connected to it. I know smoking isn’t healthy, but i appreciate the connection.

Work is draining me. I switched to full time a month ago, and i kind of hate it. I used to work 1-6, which are what i call the glory hours. It’s the easiest time of day and what i am definitely used to. I enjoyed my kids so much more when i only saw them for five hours. Now i’m there from 8:30 on and they’re rotten. I spend all day talking sternly, telling them they can’t do this or that, putting them in time out when they’re mean, etc. It sucks. It really really sucks. But without all of that they spend all day jumping off of things, running, hitting, biting, fighting, and screaming. I feel so mean when i’m with them. I feel like i’m always yelling. I am always exasperated. Something has got to give but i have no earthly clue what that is. Im desperate for anything to make all of our days better.

I wake up very sad almost every day. I spend all day yearning to be in bed, alone,  sitting in silence. I have been thinking of self harm a lot lately but i haven’t cut in six months. I used another method the other day, but i don’t really count that because it’s my most mild form of self harm. None of that sounds great, but overall it’s pretty fine. I think that’s what life is going to be and i’m used to it. I’m still getting up every day and doing what needs to be done, so none of this is major in any capacity. The rest of my mental issues are fine, mostly. I ignore them for the most part and as long as i’m not challenging them they aren’t debilitating. It isn’t much of a life, but it’s better than actively fighting them or actively giving in. 2018 is my year of just surviving until death. So far so good.

Bingeing is the only thing i haven’t been able to easily ignore. I haven’t had a proper binge in a while, but i’ve been engaging in pre-bingeing behaviors. I’m not sure if that  is what it’s really called, or if they’re behaviors i don’t use as often, but the point is nothing major has happened. Just little things. I am responding like i did as a child when all of this started; I hoard food, constantly think of food and plan when/what i will get to eat, eat ALL the food i possibly can for fear that i won’t get it later. I’m not sure what triggered little Olivia food behaviors, but it’s exhausting. It isn’t as easy to combat as full on bingeing. There have been a few successes though so i know eventually i’ll manage it. Maybe just not right now.

And i think that’s it? Okay that’s definitely not it. I didn’t even properly dive in to things. But, i am tired. What matters is that i started, and i tried. Here’s hoping this release last me until therapy next month.

In conclusion, life is rough but i just have to keep going until i die. 60ish more years isn’t a big deal. That’s manageable. And on the brightest of notes, it’s finally warm and i’ll get to see my family next weekend. Both of those will turn horrible quickly, but initially it will be really nice. I’m taking what i can get. 

 

All The Things

I intended to make these into several posts, and frankly it’d probably be better if i did, but i can’t find the motivation to do so. So i’m going to do what i usually do and shove it all in to one post.

  • In regards to my last post: I have failed at committing. I still haven’t worked on opposite action (not intentionally anyway), and i certainly haven’t kept up with my journal(s). I don’t have any explanation besides i’m still very fearful of addressing my emotions. This one will happen eventually, just not yet.
  • My anxiety has really been acting up. Anytime i do something slightly out of my routines I get anxious and it’s really annoying. I prefer to handle this by not going out, and following my routines when i do, which really helps both my ocd and anxiety. This doesn’t allow for much of a life though and isn’t always an option. I haven’t figured out what to do in those moments. Hopefully i do soon.
  • My depression has been getting worse. Not by a lot, but it’s noticeable. I wake up feeling so heavy every day and i just want to sit in bed all day. I have started really slacking with talking to my friends, and i feel so burnt out about work. Usually i feel excited about babysitting at the very least, but lately even that’s been hard to make myself do. These are all little things, so all in all my depression isn’t that bad, but they do make the sadness more notable.
  • On that note, i see my psychiatrist in march (although i’ll be working at the time of my appointment so this may get pushed to April) so hopefully she’ll help me start my meds again and these things will be less noticeable.
  • I am also going to start therapy weekly again. This one probably will get it’s own post. It’s a big deal for me. But anyway hopefully this will help in addition to the meds. Fingers crossed.

Now for some lighthearted things:

  • I love my kids at work. They are all so sweet, and while we have a few that need to move up that aren’t (they wear me thin), overall they are just such a fun group of kids. Most of them can say my name now and i love hearing their variations of Olivia. We’re also nearing the end of our Big Pumpkin phase (god willing) which is probably the best thing yet!
  • I finally cleaned my room and things feel much calmer now. Plus now that it’s clean i have time to work on my photo wall, puzzles, and crafts in my room again. It’s a nice reward.
  • I heard from CR recently and it is the greatest. I miss her so much so it’s really nice to hear from her.
  • E referred to her spit as her “mouth water” and it melted my heart. She also plays the “guess what? chicken butt/chicken dad/ i love you” game with me all afternoon. I get to spend all Thursday with her next week and i’m so excited.
  • We (the girls and i) are also making it through car rides almost tear/fight free. I didn’t tell them this was a goal of mine, but once we make it through one ride without any tears or fighting i’m treating them big time.

And those are all my things for now. I know there’s more but i want to get this done and don’t feel like digging in my brain at the moment.

Hopefully the next time i write a blog post things will be going better for me. Maybe baby.

Committing.

There are currently 300 things I could, and probably should, be committing to: true and proper recovery, quitting smoking, saving money, getting a life (according to my mom), the list goes on and on. I have vague goals for my future and to achieve any of those I’m going to have to commit to working on my shit.

In theory this is great. In theory I want to work on all these things and overcome them because I know the end result will probably be better than my current reality. I know I don’t want to live this way forever. And at the very least, I have absolutely nothing to lose in trying. In theory.

In reality I suck at committing. I can’t get myself to do it, at least currently. Deep in my soul I am an emotionally avoidant person. Anything above the bare minimum level of emotions is too much for me. Committing involves diving headfirst into that and changing it. It means addressing my feelings, dealing with them, and then dealing with all the emotions that come with changing my behavior. Committing entails a lot of work, hard work. Work you can’t just quit when you start to feel too much.

Frankly, more often than not I just don’t want to do it. Those things seem like future Olivia problems.

Unfortunately, I’m fairly sure future Olivia will hate me for not working on it now because I’ll just have to work on it then. If my goals are truly to change then the work has to be done sometime. It might as well be now.

So with all of that in mind, I’m going to try committing this week.

I have a mental health journal I’ve been working on. Currently it’s sort of functioning like a diary card, motivational, mosh posh thing. Last week I made some charts so I can document my emotions, and track how I’m using coping skills. It took me a while, but i finally decided to work on opposite action this week.

Opposite action isn’t the easiest skill for me; I tend to lean towards distraction skills (hello avoidance). I am choosing to work on it because I know it will help with the depression I’ve been feeling. I know it will help cultivate a sense of productivity for me each day. I know that it is better for me than just staying in bed.

So I’m going to try. For the next week I will commit to this. I have nothing to lose, everything to gain, and who knows maybe it’ll even serve as a reminder that committing (and working on things) won’t actually kill me.

*insert an endless groan to convey how sad/scared/stressed I am about this*

It’ll be good for me.

I am not doing well

How fun it is (not) to be typing that again. It’s true though.

I am not doing well.

Things definitely aren’t as bad as they have been in the past. I’m not at the point of self harming, planning suicide, skipping school constantly (or in this case it would be work), sleeping 11+ hours a day, etc.  In the grand scheme of things I am still doing well.

Nonetheless, I haven’t been able to shake the heaviness. In the past year any time depression/self harm things came my way, they lasted at most 3 days. After that, without fail, the fogged lifted. In this case it has been almost two months.

Two months of zoning out regularly, feeling numb, feeling heavy, not seeing the purpose in any of my work.  Two months of having zero motivation at all times, not caring about things, wanting to stay in bed all day. Two months of wanting to self harm again, of just not wanting to exist, of noticing distorted thinking patterns and a cloudy frame of mind creeping back in.

The biggest thing is that this is the exact same way my depression started in high school. I’m experiencing same red flags; the same things that initially led me to question if i was depressed. I am in literally the same spot I was in six years ago. It took me five whole years to even partially come out of that. And when I put it in those terms, things aren’t great.

But, things are still pretty manageable. I still go to work each day, I eventually get things done, I haven’t engaged in self harm behaviors. I’m not actually pushing people or things I care about out of my life. Inwardly I feel horrible, but outwardly I’m doing just fine. I’ll let that be the silver lining to all of this.

I feel like I’m at a crossroads at this point. Reasonably speaking now is the time to change things so I don’t fall further. That makes the most sense. It will be easier now rather than later. Honestly, though, I don’t want to do that. I have no desire to do the work involved with dragging myself out of this. I know if I let things continue I’ll be fine for a while longer. Hell, there’s even a chance I’ll just naturally come out of this. If I let things go I won’t suffer right now. And that’s fine by me. That is definitely the easiest way to do things. The issue is that a few months down the line I will suffer. I will have to deal with potentially losing my jobs or having to take breaks I don’t want to. There will be potential hospitalizations, worrying my family again, a whole crock of shit honestly. That isn’t so great.

I don’t know what I’m going to do. I will figure that out soon I suppose. More than anything I just needed to get all of this out. I needed to get it off my chest and be honest with myself.

What fun it has been.

Me, too.

I have been fat for my entire life. I’ve been painfully aware of that since i was a child. I’ve believed that being fat meant being ugly, unlovable, worthless etc. I have been insecure for as long as i can remember, and somewhere along the way i began to believe that no one would love me. That i’d be lucky if any guy ever showed someone like me affection. 

When i was 17 i was in the hospital. The rooms were diagonal from each other, and if each person sat on the end of their bed you could see each other. For whatever reason i wasn’t tired that night, and neither was the boy across the hall. We stayed up for a little while holding up signs, trying to talk while not catching the attention of the night guard. At one point, out of nowhere, the boy across the hall started masturbating at me. I was caught off guard, and yet somewhere in me i felt like i should be flattered. Because there i was, this ugly, fat, shy, self harm covered girl, and he found me attractive enough to masturbate at. It didn’t matter that i felt like a piece of meat, disgusting , or that he then felt obligated to see my boobs (which didn’t happen). I felt like i should be grateful for his behavior because at least I was worth something to a guy.

This happened five years ago. I still feel gross. I still feel like a piece of meat, here for a mans desire and nothing else. I don’t know how to erase that feeling. From time to time i still worry that it will happen again.

But, i refuse to let it hold me back. I refuse to be the same self-loathing girl who believed that i should be flattered any time a guy shows me attention. I refuse to remain silent and let anyone think sexual assault/harassment is okay. It is not okay.

I refuse.

I refuse. 

I refuse.

 

Summer 2017

I make goals quite often and i almost never follow through with them. I forget they exist or, on the off chance i do remember, i make up excuses as to why i can’t do them. Still, i like making (easy) goals. It gives me something to do. So here are some summer 2017 goals.

  • Collage more and finish going through my magazines.
  • Paint at least two things.
  • Save my money and buy a new laptop; consider a timeline for moving out.
  • Wear short sleeves and shorts more.
  • Wear my hair natural and work on liking it.
  • Don’t pass out in the summer heat.
  • Meet Emily.
  • Clean my room.
  • Enjoy my families company a little.
  •  Spend as much time as possible with my girls.

Who knows which of these, if any, will get done. I avoided all the mental health and work related ones, so while these are easy goals there is still plenty for me to be doing. I’m excited though! I want this to be a more fun summer compared to previous years.

Things

I don’t have any concrete, well thought out post ideas at the moment. So instead lets go through a random list of things.

  1. I was reading an article about the removal of two kids from their family (youtubers who abused their kids). One of the comments i read was from a man who said “I was treated worse when i was a kid and dont consider it abuse.” It has bugged me since then and all i have to say is this: Just because you don’t label your experience as abuse doesn’t mean it wasn’t abuse. Just because you were treated worse than these kids doesn’t mean they weren’t being abused. Your experiences and how you choose to label them does not negate the validity of others experiences.
  2. Toddlers are exhausting. I love the kids i work with so much. They’re sweet, they’re funny, the give me a purpose. And holy crap they wear me down on a daily basis. I don’t blame them too much; they have a lot of unfiltered energy and emotions running through tiny bodies. They can’t help that. But listening to so many kids cry at once, or yell, or refuse to share, or hit, etc. is completely overwhelming and tiring. Balancing all those needs with the rest of their needs (getting diapers changed, feeding them, teaching them to be decent kids) is just so dang hard.
  3. I have some intrusive OCD thoughts that are pretty intense. I have only vaguely told four people about them in my life, and i have never once discussed them at length. That thought alone terrifies me. However it came up in therapy last week and i’m so confused about how to proceed. I want to move beyond the thoughts. I also never want to say the actual words out loud.
  4. I am also trying to map out my OCD behaviors more clearly for my therapist. It’s hard when i’ve always done them and don’t recognize a lot of them as behaviors.
  5. I haven’t binged in quite a while!!! Like weeks!!! That’s the longest i’ve gone in years and i’m excited about it. It’s not exactly the best news because other behaviors have popped up and my desire to suppress things is in full force, but for right now i’m just going to focus on the weeks i have clean.

And for now that’s it. I have pretty much just been working and sleeping for months on end. That’s life right though?

I hate having an eating disorder.

Here are some things i hate about it (trigger warning):

  • First and foremost i struggle with accepting that i have an eating disorder. This is one of the things i hate most about it. Aside from society generally ignoring Binge Eating Disorder (BED), my brain spends so much time trying to convince me my struggles aren’t real. Arguing that since my issues aren’t as severe as other disorders, or even as severe as others who struggle with BED, it isn’t real. And it’s exhausting.
  • I hate wanting and needing to lose weight, but i can’t. At least, not easily and i haven’t done so successfully. My brain is very black and white, so there’s an “obvious” choice to my weightloss, but that’s unhealthy and triggering. If i go that route it worsens my ED. Other routes wind up being as triggering and difficult to stick with. There’s no easy way to handle it, and for me i don’t believe i can work on losing weight until i’m further in recovery. Which brings me to the next point:
  • Realistically i know being fat is not the worst thing you can be (or even a bad thing), but it is something i hate. It is something that i struggle with constantly. I can’t change it just yet, and it eats me alive. Living with this reality is tough. I’d give anything to change it, and i feel horrible about that. I want to be confident.
  • I have yet to find the balance between a healthy relationship with food and avoiding triggering goods.
  • Overall its really difficult for me to figure out recovery. I haven’t ever had formal treatment and i don’t have support for recovery. I have no clue where to start or what to expect. I don’t know what’s realistic in terms of full recovery. I’m just very lost and confused.

I know this is a very whiny post. But i’m in a very whiny spot. Having an eating disorder is never easy, and i’m really feeling that right now (on an introspective level, let alone with the actual symptoms/issues). I want to be clear that this post is riddled with cognitive distortions and is essentially my emotion mind rambling away. There is a lot more that could be said that would balance things out and bring a healthy reality to this post. I’ll save that for  another time though.

The end of NEDA week

NEDA week is over now but I ran out of time to write yesterday so today will do. 
I didn’t quite do this week, or myself, justice, as I have so much I wanted to say that I just didn’t. I truly believe binge eating disorder needs more awareness. As I mentioned previously, though, it’s hard to get that out. I’m not as in tune with my eating disorder as I am with my other mental illnesses. 

All of that aside, I want to make this clear: Bing Eating Disorder is serious. It is hard. It is messy and complicated and all consuming. It is a different extreme from other eating disorders, and it is still incredibly hard in its own right. I don’t think enough people acknowledge that. 

I have spent the majority of my life dealing with binge eating disorder and disordered eating. I have used it as a coping skill for so long that it is hard to imagine life without it. I’m not sure what life is without an eating disorder in it. It is messy. It is intense. And, for me, it can be subtle. It will be gripping me tightly while also causally convincing me to use behaviors. It doesn’t always yell, sometimes it just whispers. And those whispers can be harder to ignore than the yelling. Before I know it it has taken control of every aspect of my life and affects everything I do, even things completely unrelated to food. It consumes my thoughts and energy. It makes me tired. It is a bitch of an eating disorder (as they all are).

I hope that after this week I’m able to keep talking about my eating disorder and sharing my experiences. I think that’s important. 

Anyway, that’s all.