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.

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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. 

Recovery Goals

Once when i was babysitting i noticed how much Q was snacking that day. She had a big breakfast, and about three snacks before lunch, with many more after that. I try not to police when the kids can or can’t eat, so if they’re hungry i’ll honor that and let them have a snack. That’s the life i want to lead for myself.

I remember thinking that day that she was having more snacks than i’d ever let myself have (at the time). She’d eaten more calories that morning than i was planning to have that day. She was snacking, listening to her body, and feeding it accordingly. She was doing things that scared the living crap out of me. Things that left me in awe because they came naturally to her; without any mental conflict, intense thoughts, emotional pain, etc. And you know what? She was fine. She was able to live her wild little life, she had energy for the day, she didn’t spend a single moment worrying about food in any capacity, and she was just fine.

It just serves to remind me that i’ll be fine once i learn to have a healthy relationship with food. I’ll even be fine during the rocky process getting to that point. I’ll be fine despite how hard and daunting it all may be. All the thoughts that control my decisions and fuel my fears won’t kill me. I will be fine.

I can achieve that level of normalcy. Not easily, but i can do it. I am grateful that Q (unknowingly) showed me what a normal relationship with food can be. I’m grateful i was able to see first hand that the food itself won’t kill me. Sometimes it’s scary, some foods trigger me, etc., but none of it will kill me.

My sweet Q could handle it and so can i.


For the record, i left out some detail (i’m tired y’all) and i don’t mean to make anything sound easy or downplay the reality of EDs. They’re so fucking tricky and look different for everyone, and recovery can be a lifelong process (and that’s okay!!). This definitely isn’t everyones goal and won’t be everyones reality. This is just something i hope to achieve one day.

My original goal for NEDA week, at least the goal i set in my head, was to write each day about my experience with binge eating disorder. This hasn’t happened yet, mainly because i’ve struggled with what to say. I feel the need to say something profound, something that will really influence or relate to others. In reality i can’t do that. If i spend my life trying to say profound, influential things i will never say anything.

Since lent started today i decided on a new goal: I will write every day for the next 40 days.

I know traditionally lent is about giving something up, but i was taught growing up that you can also use lent to add behaviors to your life. One year i read the bible each night of lent, etc. So i will be using this time to write. Luckily that coordinates with the rest of NEDA week.

On to the real post:

It’s hard for me to decide where i stand on recovery. When i compare being in recovery between the different eating disorders, binge eating disorder (at least for me) seems to be the least important. Not being in recovery doesn’t cause an immediate threat to my health. The suffering isn’t outwardly visible to the people around me. It is seemingly easier to stay stuck; to just go downhill.

I want to be in recovery but i have no clue what that means for me. I don’t know what the treatment is like. Heck, i don’t even know what is at the center of my eating disorder. It’s all very confusing.

I want to get better. I do. I want a life free from my eating disorder. I’m just not sure how to get there. I’m not sure if i’m ready. I hope someday i am.

NEDA Week 2017

This is my first NEDA (National Eating Disorder Awareness) Week since i’ve been diagnosed with an eating disorder. I’ve struggled for much longer than a year, but i never felt it was my place to say anything without an official diagnosis. I needed the validation before i could allow myself to speak.

I still seek a similar validation because of my diagnosis (Binge Eating Disorder). While i recognize it is a real, serious, and valid eating disorder, it often doesn’t feel that way when compared to Anorexia, Bulimia, or other eating disorders. It doesn’t receive the same amount of attention or awareness as the other EDs do, and often a lot of medical/mental health professionals aren’t trained or educated on B.E.D. Proper help is few and far between.

With all of that said, i hope to raise a little more awareness for B.E.D. this week. I want to speak about my experience and hopefully validate myself while doing so. It’d be cool if others can relate to what i have to say, but i want to focus around sharing my story and finding healing in that.