It’s officially summer break! It technically has been for 3 weeks, but I’ve been in California on vacation with my now-fiancé having so much fun that it hasn’t sunk in. But yay! No more school for a couple month! I registered for fall classes last night. I’m taking Human Growth and Development and Human Anatomy and Physiology. I expect to be VERY busy with these classes, but I’m excited to be working toward my nursing degree.
I have no idea what I’m going to do with myself during summer break. During the spring semester I was taking classes and doing treatment. Now I’m doing outpatient once a week and my DBT group once a week, but other than those, I’m completely free. I feel a little overwhelmed by freedom. And when I have nothing to do is when I tend to engage in eating disorder behaviors, so I need to find a way to set up some kind of schedule for myself this summer.
That said, I did really well on my vacation. I had some restricting, but I did pretty well at following my meal plan and my fiancé was a huge help in keeping me on track. He was very supportive and encouraging the whole time.
School ends in a week. I have most everything done, I just need to finish my discussions and take my final exam. I turned in my final project already (yes, this class had a final project AND a final exam). I fly out to California with my boyfriend in 6 days and 4 hours. I have already half packed. I packed everything I’m not going to use in the next 6 days. Most everything else I need to pack I can’t pack until the day I leave because I’ll be using it right up until I leave.
I have eating disorder therapy on Wednesday. She wants me to increase my breakfasts to 3 times this week. She also wants me to draw a new picture of Kyle where I’m fighting back instead of lying prone. I don’t know if I’ll have time to do that before I leave next Wednesday, but I’m going to try.
I had DBT therapy yesterday. I have been in the DBT program for 6 months now. I feel like between that and the eating disorder program, I’ve made a lot of progress in my life in the last 6 months. I feel so much more stable. I’m not self-harming. I’m not depressed. I have skills to deal with things that come up in life instead of being overwhelmed by them. I’ve been able to maintain a healthy romantic relationship. A relationship that is getting very serious, in the most wonderful way possible. In the past, I would have sabotaged my relationship. I never thought I was good enough for anyone, so I always broke things off when they started to get serious. Now I feel secure and comfortable in my relationship.
I need to go shopping before I fly out, I need some things for the trip, and I need to pick up kitty litter so my kitty has fresh litter for while I’m gone. I meet with my dietician on Monday to talk about eating while travelling and on vacation, and tips for eating out, which I’ll be doing a painfully large amount of while we’re in California. I need to finish packing, take my final, finish my discussions, meet with my eating disorder therapist, and go to one more DBT skills group all before I leave. I have a mental to-do list of everything I need to get done. I have a list on my phone of everything I need to pack, and the list keeps growing daily. I feel like I’m taking everything I own, but we’ll be there for 3 weeks and I have never travelled for 3 weeks and I feel like I need everything.
My fibromyalgia was so bad yesterday. My whole body hurt. I spent most of the day in bed because it just hurt too much to get up. Because I was in so much pain, I didn’t go to my DBT group or treatment. Even though I didn’t go because of a legitimate reason, I feel like a naughty child who skipped school.
Also, because of the pain yesterday, I didn’t work on anything school-related. I am now behind and feeling overwhelmed. I have a test due today I haven’t studied for and discussions I need to post that I’m lost on and an assignment due tomorrow I haven’t even started. Plus, my fibromyalgia, while not nearly as painful today, still hurts and has me feeling absolutely exhausted today. I just want to crawl back in bed and forget I’m a person for the day.
Yesterday was day four of treatment. Before treatment was rocky between entering my food into the school software that calculates my calories, trying to follow the meal plan, stopping laxatives, and flushing my laxatives. By the time I arrived at treatment I was absolutely frantic and couldn’t eat dinner. I cried through the first group, which was dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). After DBT was proccess group, where I was able to talk through my day and process everything that had happened and get advice and feedback from the group.
Process group was sooo helpful. I felt so much better after processing my day. I was able to eat and finish my evening snack.
I am still working on increasing my intake to get up to my full meal plan. I’m supposed to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. Today I’m going to try to eat 2 meals and 2 snacks. It feels overwhelming. Especially since I no longer have laxatives and I’m trying not to purge.
All the changes I’ve made this week have been hard and exhausting. I wish I could just have something magical happen and I just be recovered! Why does it have to require so much work?
This morning’s intake assessment didn’t go well. The woman I met with doesn’t think I will utilize the program because I keep missing my DBT program and she’s not convinced I would show up for program at the clinic either. I tried to convince her I would, that the reason I’m missing DBT is because I’m sick from the laxatives and I need their help to stop them. I tried explaining that I need that accountability, and that I’ve found it helpful in the past. She didn’t seem convinced. She said she would talk to her team and get back to me.
I’m so nervous they’re not going to admit me to any level of their program. I don’t know what I’ll do at that point.
Well, I didn’t go to DBT group or therapy this week. I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time going.
However, I do have some super exciting news! I’m officially going back to school! I’ve decided to go back to school for nursing. I’m all registered for classes for this upcoming spring semester.
I’m already dreading therapy on Wednesday. Partly it’s because I haven’t done my homework or my diary card this last week and I didn’t even go to therapy or group last week. I want to just drop out of the group. I can’t believe I made a year-long commitment. I don’t know if I can make it. I don’t know if I can do this week, let alone a year.
I am dreading seeing my therapist. I am dreading doing another chain analysis. I am dreading telling her all the behaviors I’ve engaged in the last 2 weeks. I’m dreading her wanting me to change and me not wanting to. I am just dreading.
I skipped therapy this morning. I would have just finished up my hour-long session. Why did I skip it? I’m not sure. I’m just having a hard time going lately. I didn’t want to face her. I didn’t want to do another chain analysis. I didn’t want to try to work through, again, why I’m not eating. It’s exhausting.
Lately I’ve been just not eating except maybe one meal a day. However, I want to be more intentional with my eating, so I’m going back to the Fix It Fast Diet. Therefore, today is a fasting day.
I feel like I’m floundering. The longer I do the DBT program, the more I hate it. It feels constricting. And they want me to change my eating behaviors and I’m not ready to. I don’t know anymore why I’m doing it. I want to quit. And I feel like my eating disorder is consuming me more and more, but I don’t want to give it up. I need it. I’m afraid of losing it.
I didn’t actually go week 4, but I picked up the handouts last week so that I wouldn’t miss this skill. Now, I’m sharing it with you.
Sorry for my silly doodles, I get bored.
This pro/con chart was filled out using a made-up example we were given in the group. Yours will look different based on what scenario you’re charting.
Here are this week’s handouts. Yesterday we learned about STOP.
Take a step back
We also learned about what Crisis Survival Skills are and when you should use them. STOP is just one Crisis Survival Skill, and so far the only one I know.
I tried using STOP yesterday when I was having an anxiety attack over being in the car (being on the freeway, especially, terrifies me) but it didn’t work. However, that may just be because I’m not practiced in it yet. Or, maybe it’s the wrong skill for the situation. I don’t know. But the important part is that I tried it.
I had worried about sharing my DBT handouts on my blog. I worried my audience would find it boring. However, I received a very heartwarming email thanking me for sharing them, so I’ve decided to continue for now. My hope is that they find someone who need the skills but doesn’t have a DBT program in their area.
But please, do let me knwo what you think of me sharing, whether you like it or not. If you aren’t interested in reading my DBT handouts each week, I might just start a new blog for them. However, I kind of want to keep it here as it’s all part of my eating disorder recovery journey, which is what this blog is about. So feel free to weigh in either way!