Tag Archives: fear

Drawing Emotions

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I’ve been having floods of emotion, moments of panic, periods of numbness since learning I’ll be starting partial hospitalization this week. I was told I would get more information today, and didn’t, so that added to my anxiety. In an effort to help myself calm down, I decided to art.

The first one I did was “How I Feel Now”. I am the center dot, retracted into myself, dark, trying just to hang on amidst the emotions surrounding me. Each level of emotion is spiky because it feels spiky and jarring. The bright colors in the center are “activating” emotions like anxiety, panic, excitement, and motivation and are like an explosion outward. The darker colors around them are immobilizing emotions like depression, overwhelmed, and fear, and are like an implosion, pushing inward.

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The next one was my interpretation of what my emotions would look like if I were calm. It made me think of waves, or a gently flowing river.

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Hospitalization: part one

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while doing inpatient over the last 10 days in a local psychiatric ward, I made some journal entries. Here is the first of those entries.

“I need my bag!”

The quote from an episode of Psych flitted through my head in the most terrifying way possible.

Sitting in the stark, barren room in the emergency psychiatric ward, I heard the frantic screams of another patient demanding her purse.

“You threw it out the window on Santa Fe,” a paramedic responded.

The other patient wouldn’t, or couldn’t, accept that, and grew angry, insisting on the return of her bag.

This was the latest in a string of tirades.

She had yelled about not being allowed to go home, over not having feminine pads, over her shoes, the list goes on and on. At one point, she had taken to hitting and throwing things at the staff, and had to be restrained, then proceeded to shout profanities for a good hour.

Here I was, in the next room, just trying to stay alive, feeling like I was being punished for doing the responsible thing and seeking help.

That first afternoon and night were terrifying. I sat alone in the most empty room I had ever seen, just a bed, chair, table, and the security camera. A guard sat outside my door. I had to ask to get water, or use the bathroom. I couldn’t use my phone, and all they gave me to do was a stack of children’s mazes, a crayon to fill them out with. Shortly before I left, they scrounged up a word search book.

Though the bathroom door had an 8″ gap at the bottom, I purged every meal. They either didn’t notice, or didn’t care.

After more than 24 hours in the ER ward, I was admitted to the regular psychiatric ward, or Three West (third floor, west wing).

What Eating disorders are Really About – This Resonates

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“It’s not about food or weight…It’s about feeling unsafe in the world. It’s about feeling like we can’t trust anyone, not even ourselves. The Eating Disorder becomes “the reliable one”.

It’s about the feelings we can’t verbalize, that can’t be expressed through words so we try to “say” it with our bodies.

It’s about an extreme, intense feeling of being inadequate.  Like nothing we do or say or feel is “right”. “Not thin enough” often means something more painful to admit. That we are not enough. full stop.

It’s about feeling overwhelmed by life. Like nothing makes sense. Nothing is simple. The Eating Disorder gives us a sense of calm…to an outsider our life may look like it is in absolute chaos but it gives us the false sense of security we so desperately need. Problems that seem too big and complicated to deal with, feelings that are uncomfortable to sit with; the Eating Disorder provides us with simple, concrete answers to our distress. Our bodies are the problem and we need to fix the problem by losing weight.

It’s about needing to feel loved and comforted but feeling unworthy of real love and comfort. It’s about hating having needs and desires. For some of us, needs make us feel greedy and selfish. For some of us, having needs means we can easily get hurt if those needs are not met. For some of us, we don’t believe we deserve to have our needs met. We try to convince ourselves that we don’t need anything by avoiding food, one of our greatest primal needs.”

Read the rest here.

Facing Fears

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buy_ensureI just got home from my doctor appointment. I got all the labs and tests the eating disorder center want, plus a few my doctor wanted. She also wants me to start drinking 2 ensures a day. And keeping them down, she added after a couple seconds.

Inside I’m freaking out, but I know I need to be willing to do what I’m told is in my best interest if I’m ever going to recover. If I can’t even drink ensure, I’ll never be able to eat 3 meals. So I will try.

I’ll start with one a day, and try to work my way up. Facing my fears.

Do I pass for human?

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This is basically how I feel all the time. Not the specifics, but that I am crude and clunky and something that doesn’t appear human and that others just pretend that I look human.

But I’m Scared…

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All I can see are they.

The blue veins of life…of death…

I have the blade in my hand, ready.

But I am scared.

I want to, but I can’t bring myself to.

The finality.

Tonight, I am afraid of the finality of it.

Other times, I long for that.

I crave it. I need it.

But tonight, I am scared.

354

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I had 354 calories in one meal. It’ll be my only meal today so that I can drink tonight. However, i had more calories in this meal than I ate all day yesterday and that freaks me out 

It’s amazing how quickly my mind goes back into freakout mode when I get back into restricting. I think I’ll go purge, I feel sick and so full. I might eliminate my 800 days and tonight. This is just too much. 

Shame

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One thing that many people don’t know about bulimia is the shame that is often associated with it. Shame ate the amounts of food consumed, shame at vomiting food, shame at “wasting” food, shame from laxative “accidents”, etc, etc, etc.

I haven’t felt that “bulimia shame” so strongly in a while as I did yesterday.

Normally, I am the one who does the laundry, at the laundromat, for the whole house. However, since I’ve had a fever of 102 and above for a few days, my parents went to do the laundry instead. I found myself in a unique situation: I was home alone. Naturally, I did what any good bulimic would do, I decided to binge and purge.

Who cares I was home with a fever? Who cares I was “supposed” to be out doing laundry? Who cares I had a terrible migraine? This was an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted!

To further add to the shame, I ordered food with money I don’t have (as in it’s been budgeted for bills). Not only that, but my parents know I’m broke, so the whole time I was waiting for it to arrive and while eating it, I was terrified they would come home and find I had ordered food.

I ordered my food and waiting anxiously. I then answered the door in my shame, hoping the delivery guy couldn’t see it oozing from my skin. I then ate quickly, trying to get everything eaten before I could be discovered.

Unfortunately, I ordered more food than I could eat, which meant I had to go purge partway through. I covered my remaining food, and went to purge. The whole time I was vomiting, I kept thinking about that remaining food, about what I’d done, about how I would explain it if I was caught.

When I finished, I went back to my room to finish. The first thing I noticed was the smell of the food. Oh, great. Even if I finished, my room still smelled like that food. Even with the window open and fan going. You’d think I would have invested in air freshener, but I don’t have any.

I sat down to finish my food, eating methodically, only half-aware of what I was putting in my mouth. I watched Parks and Recreations on Netflix while I ate to help myself zone out even further. I finished my food, purged again, hid the evidence, and prayed the smell would dissipate before my parents got home.

By the time I finished both purge sessions and downing the obligatory laxatives, my migraine was pounding and it felt like my brain was frantically trying to escape my skull. I lay there in bed, pain in my head and pain in my stomach, filled with the shame of my actions, still feverish, and zoned out until I fell asleep.

Good news, bad news?

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So, I’ll start with the not exciting news.

I got a call from my rheumatologist. Based on my symptoms and recent lab work, she believes I might have rheumatoid arthritis. I need to go in for some x-rays to know for sure. If I don’t have it now, I’m at high risk to develop it, she says.

This is kind of scary.

Now for the exciting news!
I got a call from my case worker for my insurance and learned that the company they go through for behavioral health has changed. I called them, and they said I should have the eating disorder center resubmit a request for treatment and that I might have a good shot at getting covered for more time.

I should know something sometime next week. Please pray and hope with me. While I decided that I can’t do the recovery thing right now, that’s because I can’t do just outpatient right now. It’s simply not a high enough level of care. Especially coming from the IOP and having that cut short. But if I can get approved for more time, or (I’m afraid to even hope for this) PHP, I really believe I can make some progress.

So, there’s my news. I’ll know more about both in the upcoming weeks and I’ll keep you informed.