It’s been almost a year since I posted last. I was in school, doing my pre-reqs for nursing during most of that time. That ended mid-September. I had been deep in my eating disorder for several months and my outpatient team decided they couldn’t treat me anymore, I needed a higher level of care. By the time I went to get my medical clearance for treatment, I was severely dehydrated, anemic, had low potassium, had a Mallory Weiss tear, and my liver and kidneys were starting to fail.
Until I received the news from my medical clearance, I had thought I was impervious to complications from my eating disorder. Yes, I’ve had chronic low potassium and anemia, but I thought that was the extent to which I would be affected. To hear that my liver and kidneys were failing was a cold splash of water on my face, a cruel wakeup call.
I admitted to a local partial hospitalization program on October 4th. It’s a 7-day-a-week, 10-hour-a-day program. It’s intense and challenging. I’ve been in it for 8 weeks now and I’m making progress. Before going back to treatment I was purging up to 26 times a day. Now I’ve gone 2 weeks without purging. I will probably move to their intensive outpatient program in a couple weeks. That starts out at 7 days a week from 10-3:30, then 5 days a week, then finally 3 days. I’m both looking forward to and nervous to transition. I know slips are a normal part of recovery, but I’m so scared of falling back into my old habits. I really want recovery to stick this time.
I would write more but it’s almost 2am and I have to be up in about 4 hours so I will try to sleep now.
Thank you for reading this and I hope you have a great day.
I’ve reached the point of restriction where I become very calm. I don’t think it’s because my demons have gone away, rather I think it’s because I have too little energy to be anything other than calm, flat, emotionless, zen. I have hardly moved today. I sat on my sofa and took a final exam, then I sat on my sofa and watched Christmas movies. I haven’t even used the bathroom today because I’m severely dehydrated. I don’t think I’ve left my couch since I got up this morning. I just don’t have the energy. I frankly, I just don’t care. I don’t anticipate moving until I go to bed. I look forward to sleeping. It seems so welcoming. When I’m eating well, I hate sleeping because I have too much I want to do, too much to get done to sleep. Now, I just have Christmas movies and sleep because I have no energy for anything else. I’m ok with this. Like I said, I have reached my zen.
I was looking at my Christmas tree earlier. It has candy canes on it. I wanted to taste a candy cane. Not eat it, just taste it. But I didn’t have the energy to cross the room to get one, and I’m too afraid the sugar will digest in my mouth and I’ll consume calories by licking it. I like being completely calorie-less. Maybe I won’t go back to treatment. They want me to eat there. I don’t want to ever eat again.
I’m in treatment, but I’m struggling. I haven’t been eating outside of treatment meals, which is dinner and HS snack Monday-Thursday. Before I started treatment, I was binging and purging all day long and I went back to the EIOP to help get that under control. Well, I have for the most part. And for a week or two, I mostly followed my meal plan. But as I’ve explained to dietitians in the past, following a meal plan feels like restricting, which triggers me to restrict more and more. And that’s exactly what has happened. To the point where I’m just not eating at all outside of program.
I dream about food every time I sleep. I’ve taken to watching Food Network. Right now, they’re playing Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives back-to-back. The food looks amazing. And I know my body is hungry, but I can’t bring myself to eat. Nor do I actually feel hungry. Or maybe I do and I’m ignoring it hard enough. I’m not sure. I’m definitely not focusing on my finals the way I should be. Today I took a nap because I just kept thinking about eating but I knew I couldn’t let myself eat, so I took a nap to take up a couple hours of time where I wouldn’t have to think about it, or feel weak and in pain. I dreamed I ate all kinds of things. Luckily, I didn’t actually eat any of those things.
I can’t get warm. It’s 36 degrees outside, but I have the heat on. Even with the heat, a jacket, slippers, and gloves, I’m still cold. I’m listless. I can’t concentrate on anything. I’m so bored. Nothing sounds interesting. I just watch the food on the tv and long for what I won’t let myself have. What I can’t have. What I don’t deserve. I want it all. All at one time. And that scares me. And now I’m just rambling.
At the treatment center where I’m getting treatment for my bulimia, we just moved to a new building. This means a new art room with clean, fresh walls. So, the art therapist decided to turn one wall into a recovery wall. She is having all the patients paint a symbol that means recovery to them. The anatomical heart above is what I painted on the wall. I chose a heart because I wanted to symbolize courage and to me, courage comes from the heart. I used red to symbolize the blood pumping through your veins when you are doing something courageous. I used yellow to symbolize life because recovery is about reclaiming your life.
The picture above is what I did in art last night. I wanted to try to process a little the trauma I’ve experienced in my past. This was a HARD piece to do. I cried throughout it, and I had to take a break at one point, but it was a good experience, very therapeutic. I used black to represent the feeling of oppression that the trauma gives me. I used the red slash marks to indicate the wounds to my body, spirit, and soul that the trauma caused. Then I wrote words that the trauma brought and things that I felt I lost because of the trauma. Next week I want to either paint something pretty over it or on the back of it to acknowledge that the trauma will always be there, but it doesn’t need to control my life or be my focus, I can still build a beautiful life for myself.
This first week back in treatment has been hard. I got hardly any schoolwork done, I ate meals and snacks every night with strangers, I’m overwhelmed with trying to follow my meal plan and not binge-and-purge and catch up on homework and deal with my emotions and everything that treatment entails. Now I’m on my own for the weekend and I’ve already purged 2 meals today and so want to binge and purge tonight. I am weary. I am tired from the week and from treatment. I need time off. I can’t wait until the semester is over.
Wow, it’s been a couple months since I posted last! I’ve been SUPER busy with school. My human anatomy and physiology class in particular is trying to kick my butt!
I’ve been in recovery limbo the last couple months. Issue with my insurance kept me from starting the evening intensive outpatient program like my psychiatrist wanted me to do after I left my ex and started spending all my free time binging and purging. School has helped reduce my binge/purge episodes, but I’m still struggling. Last week, my psychiatrist wrote a letter to my insurance company, and this week they FINALLY approved me to start the EIOP. So, Monday I will be starting back at the EIOP. I’m dreading it, and I have no idea how I’m going to get all my schoolwork done, but I know I need this right now.
“Women don’t eat, they just stare at it and then jump on the treadmill.”
I’m going to try a new plan: when I feel like binging and purging, I’m going to hop on my stationary bike instead until, hopefully, the urge passes. I don’t know if my plan will work, but I need to try something.
I’m still really struggling with binging and purging, though I did manage to cut down on the number of binges and purges a little today. That also means I was able to cut down a little on the amount of laxatives I took, since I take them after each time I purge. What I’m happiest about, however, is that I somehow managed to get 100% on my test today. Despite all the binging and purging I’ve been doing instead of studying, I still managed to eke out enough studying between binges to do well on my test. I’m still behind in my other class, but I have a couple weeks before my first test to catch up. I’m just treading water here, but I’m surviving and that’s important.
I had my intake assessment for the PHP/EIOP at the eating disorder center this morning. It went pretty much as expected, I’ve been through it before. The worst part is just now waiting. The intake coordinator I met with this morning meets with her team on Tuesday morning to go over new intakes, so she said I’ll hear from her Tuesday or Wednesday of next week with their recommendation as to which program. I don’t know when I’ll hear about whether insurance will approve a higher level of care.
I’m trying hard to work on my own to cut down on my binging and purging because of my diabetes diagnosis yesterday, but I’m not having a lot of luck so far. However, I’m going to keep trying. And hopefully I get into the partial hospitalization program or evening intensive outpatient program to help out.
According to a study, bulimics are 4 times more likely to get diabetes than the general public.
I didn’t know this until about an hour ago. I also didn’t know that bulimia can cause diabetes. However, an hour ago, my doctor called me. She knows about my history with bulimia and the severity with which I’m struggling right now. She told me my lab results came back, and I have diabetes. She also said it is likely a result of my 15 year struggle with bulimia. I was shocked. I am still kind of in shock.
I don’t know what it means for me yet. I have a doctor appointment scheduled to talk about it in more detail. However, I know this means I need to get my bulimia under control if possible.