Monday, December 21, 2009

Trusting "Ana" despite her lies~

I was thinking today about how much we get sucked into "ana" or "ed" lies. It's amazing how much trust we put into "ana" when there's so much heartache involved and trusting in "ana" is like standing on quicksand motionless. I have recently been dating a gentleman, Mike, see above! Anyhow he seems to just "get" the anorexia. I have been so programmed in it for 20 years that even now fully in recovery things come out of my mouth naturally, like my stomach looks big and I am too busy to eat (statements i say regularly). Mike doesn't push, doesn't control, doesn't give in to the thinking. He simply reminds me that it's "flawed" thinking. He encourages without babying. As much as he cares and so many others in my support system do and say the opposite of "ana" I still sometimes question it because I have been so programmed to believe "ana" lies. Even now "ana" screams I don't deserve happiness and will mess it all up. But deep down I feel confident. Deep down I know who I am as a person and do like me and what I have to offer. I just need to bring it all out of me and not let "ana" in for even a moment as that's what keeps pushing it down and making me doubt and not have the security I crave. I challenge you all to do the same. Hugs, Brandee

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recovery immersion~

These were taken yesterday. The top one of my littlest son Jack and I and the bottom two is one from high school (1994) then we repeated same pose yesterday (2009).
I have been trying to embrace the healthy side of recovery and it's no easy task. The more I focus only on recovery the easier it gets and I start to actually feel ok with my body. When I let even one day of restricting in or start comparing or reminise about my past anorexic emaciation I start down that dark road again.
So I challenge you all to immerse yourself in recovery with no ounce of your Ed to be let in~

Friday, December 18, 2009

It Takes a Village to Recover an Anorexic~

The top two are from eons ago! I graduated in 1994 and was on the varsity dance team. Highly bulimic but looked healthier those days! I said looked! The bottom one was taken on my way down to 92 pounds which I reached a month later but never saw the thin then either. So much for Ana and her promises!
I have been thinking a lot about recovery and what it takes. It takes a village to raise a child and a village to Recover an Anorexic or other eating disorders. I say anorexic for my own purpose here. I am in such a bind and want recovery so bad so now I am going to start going to a new church and surround myself with positive, uplifting people. I believe God will provide a job soon and make sure somehow I get those appointments for January and early February. The lack of stability and not knowing kills me and fuels the depression but I have to have hope or I have nothing but Ana and I sure don't want to be friends with her anymore. I also need to find a support group to hold me accountable. I have all of you here which helps so much and I devulge everything to Barb (Medusa) which also keeps me accountable and helps (Thanks Medusa). Not to mention when I even think of starving or start to I leave a message for Dr. Waraich~
In other words ladies and gents create your village and hold yourself accountable because you are so worth it~

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Troubles ahead~:( but still both feet in recovery~

These are of my twin brother and I in preschool! As you can see in 3rd photo my mouth is open. I had a big mouth then and do now thank you very much!
There is no perfect recovery because if there were it would be ANA not recovery. And what would be left to work on? I have debated even blogging this for fear of some being disappointed because I am not sure how high a pedastal others have me on now. But regardless I know I am in recovery with both feet but have moments of falling like I did the past few days.
I have been real depressd about my father's passing, more anger than anything, and about finances. I don't want for much. I rarely go anywhere to save on gas and the kids have plenty. But without a job still and unemployment pays way low I am going in the negative in January. I am selling on ebay and trying to find babysitting or housecleaning for side jobs to be in the positive for bills. Thanks to Barb I was able to see Dr. Waraich this week and next. I am so grateful. I then have to brace myself for not seeing her all of January and part February until tax return IF IF IF I don't find side jobs or a real job soon. This kills me and only fuels the depression. It's like the drug addict needing more of the drug to feel good. Dr. Waraich is like a healthy drug. Normal recovery takes years and I am barely starting and it's been uphill all the way. I want recovery more than anything and can't do it alone. The past few days I have no had an appetite and restricted some and even took laxatives yesterday. I gave them up today and only took a few yesterday.
I am back on track but barely. Could use many prayers for a job~

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's in a size? Can you really tell? really? look again!

ok so these photos were taken tonight and this time I am posting them for a reason even with insecurities about how I look!

I won a 100 dollar kohls gift card through a sweepstakes and received a walmart gift card from a close friend. I needed jeans badly because I am gaining and got rid of all my double 00's, 0's, 1's, and 2's. I am 5'8 and on the low end should at least be a 5 maybe 7. So as I was shopping clearance, because even with a gift card I am bargain queen, I noticed my beloved "ana" sizes were the cheapest and there were plenty to choose from. ugh of course I couldn't buy them so on to bigger, NO, HEALTHIER sizes. Took a while and several racks but found a few pairs of jeans and low and behoold they were different sizes yet fit nearly the same!!!! Go figure. And I bought 4 pair for 6, 12, 15, and 22 bucks! and the 22 dollar ones were Candies brand and love them because the little black ribbon with beads for the belt. lol I am a girly girl!

So I started thinking about how oftentimes I would want to be smaller than small, emaciated, in little girl sizes yet no matter how small the size I always thought I looked big. I thought the sizes lied to me. I would define myself by a size. I would beg Dr.Waraich to tell me the double 00 abercrombie jeans were really a 7 or that my size 16 girl's roxy shorts were really a junior 5. No way was I anorexic! and if I ever believed the sizes I were wearing were true then I would have to admit I was anorexic! sick and twisted huh?!

Here's my point. The jeans in these pictures range from 5 to 9!!!!! Did I say 9? Did I admit 9!? Can you tell? Can you tell which are the 5's, which are the 7's, which are the 9's? I took photos at different angles and I look bigger or healthier in some of the photos than others. My point is no one gives a shit what size we are yet we focus on that. I know the 9's are like a 3/5 because that's technically where I am right now so do I look at the 9 and lie and say I am huge when a 9 for someone who is 5'8 is normal? Nope. I bought the jeans and like the way they feel. They are comfortble. Not too loose, not too tight.

It's not easy being this weight. I still see fat and want to be thinner but I want recovery more. As some who read my blog a few entries ago I admitted to now being 116 pounds. That was about 3 weeks ago though not sure now as Dr. Waraich documents my weight when I am able to see her without skipping a beat. In other words the woman never forgets to weigh me backwards and she's so nonchalant about it which I so love about her.

I have had a rotten few days but recovery is my choosing despite set backs. I am feeling the pain IN recovery, not the fat OF anorexia.

Build your support team, reach out, be brutally honest and recovery is yours for the taking~



Monday, December 14, 2009

When someone believes in you~

For those of us serious about recovery from this deadly, gripping disease we know how extremely difficult it is just as with any other "addiction". I hear so many excuses from so many sufferers of why recovery is so hard and too difficult. I hear so much whining instead of more sufferers walking the walk and as the nike saying goes "just do it"!

At times I have been resentful of other sufferers in recovery because many have so much support, endless financial support for help, don't have to work, and many just have recovery to focus on. In my dreams that would be for me but such is not the case. I battled in court near 40 times in less than 2 years for custody of my youngest son, while experiencing a major car wreck putting me out of work a while, losing hours at work, losing my apartment, being hospitlized, then losing my job of 9 years. Bills piling from the accident and no work and struggling to find work has been depressing in itself. Being 33 and living in a one bedroom apartment while trying to support and be happy for my two boys so their memories don't reflect my trials and pain is no easy task.

What has helped me is really focusing on recovery and the bigger picture. Medusa's blog and emails have greatly helped along with a friend from my old job who has helped me cover a therapy session and helped me buy diapers when funds were low. My therapist is seeing me pro bono, though I pay her agency she doesn't get paid and she sees me for the length of time, as often as I can come, and has even called when I have been in "Ed" crisis etc. She's gone above and beyond. My dietician stepped up recently and gave me a much needed pro bono session. Recently someone I feel extremely connected to and met here on the blogging world sent me funds for 2 therapy session and floored me bringing me to tears. After receiving news this weekend of my father's passing and having a rough week with other personal stuff going on I had no funds for counseling this week and was frantically selling on ebay to go. My therapist is that powerful and so is my blogging friend! So with Dr. Waraich, Barb, Terri from my old job, Lisa, and my mother's help I am in awe of their belief in me which drives recovery that much more. I am extremely appreciative of every therapy session I get, still selling on ebay to go, still pushing through the ups and downs, still looking for work, still climbing out of this anorexia hell which still whispers to me to fold and come back on a daily basis.
Finding those who believe in you and basically stick it out with you through the ups and downs makes all the difference. My support team is building and I need them so much right now and so grateful. I challenge you all to do the same instead of retreating to anorexia, bulimia, over eating, ednos which is a cop out, an easy way out as miserable as it is~


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Regrets when life really is too short and cut short~

These were taken today! It took me 3 tries to get the cake to turn out ok! I have a knack for drawing things I see, copy artist, so I thought a cake would be well "a piece of cake" easy! No way. Not too bad and the boys loved it! We spent the day at my sister's for a family birthday party for the boys! You wouldn't guess by the photos how much time was spent crying and falling apart just hours before~
I had been thinking and reflecting a lot about my bio father this past summer. I wanted to "reconnect" and allow him to meet Jack and see Seth again. Due to the hospitalization, loss of home, loss of job, and tough times it never happened. So this morning I called him. I got his machine which only stated his wife's name and her voice. An hour later my message was returned but it wasn't what I expected.
My father passed away of lung cancer this past June. No call to inform my twin brother and I he even had cancer. No call to say he died. No funeral. No graveside for closure. Nothing.
I regret not having a better relationship with him though I tried and I saw him off and on through the years by my effort, not his. I was extremely close to my Grandma though, his mother, and she passed a few years ago which was the last time I spoke to him as he did not attend her funeral in Idaho in which my twin brother and I handled everything.
He was an alcoholic, a quiet one from what I know. He smoked cigars and read the Bible and stayed a hermit. He had 3 kids, my older sister Sammie wanted nothing to do with him or us.
I am sad he's gone. Sad I waited. Sad I let his neglect get the better of me and didn't respond sooner. Sad Jack ever got to meet him.
I am thankful he gave me life~
At the moment I am mixed up, in shock, angry, hurt, and sad~
I ate today regardless. not much but I ate~

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Do I look fat?...

These are random and the top photo is my wonderful, caring, loving, supportive, strict therapist! I adore her!
Anyhow I only put a few random photos as I took many photos during my time in the throws of anorexia. I was constantly taking photos in hopes of seeing some thinness. I tried different angles, lighting, outfits etc and NEVER did I see ANY thinness. I never felt like a "STAR ANOREXIC". I never saw illness. I never thought anything was wrong with me other than I was "fat". I was disappearing weekly before my therapist eyes and despite her warnings, confrontations, care etc I couldn't see past what was staring back at me in the mirror ,"FAT", and below that "FAT" was even more fear because below it was me:(.................
I was bruised and broken for so many years. I hated me and still do but am getting better slowly. Facing me has been so incredibly painful and continues to be.
Today I saw my therapist. She noticed color in my face and I looked a bit different. She said I was still very thin but looked better. I was grateful this time for hearing this. "Ana" didn't have time to scream "fat" like she would before because Recovery is much stronger. So sitting in session we talked about a few painful things and I cried so hard but you know what? I didn't starve. I felt, I cried, she hugged me, I was ok. She still weighed me backwards and still cares and I am really trusting her and letting her in. Now if only I can continue ebay sales to see her weekly instead of once a month!
Anyhow I titled this blog "Do I look fat" because so many years and thoughts have been spent on "do I look fat" and "am I thin yet" and "how skinny can I be". In our sick distortions it seems all we think about it how to appear, be, and live emaciation yet in the disorder we won't see it until we choose recovery and see disgusting pictures of ourselves later on.
Set aside the weight part for a day, a week and try "feeling" without the crutch of Ed. See what happens. It's so freeing to be able to feel the pain and be able to eat after!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Refeeding process

Nicole and I have known each other since we were in 7th grade! So roughly 20 years! We had a fun time having a yard sale this past weekend even though we didn't make much:)!
For those just stumbling on to my blog, I post pictures on just about every post to expose "ana" and also since I like photography. So these 2 photos have nothing to do with what I am about to write! They were taken recently as of two days ago though!!!!
I have been thinking a lot about writing my book and jotting notes. I have often wanted to help others through my own pain and recovery. So recently I was thinking about the anorexic side of eating disorders, as that's what I mostly struggled with, with bulimic tendencies (minus binges). Anyhow no one ever addressed the RE-FEEDING process!
When an anorexic is in the disorder itself she/he doesn't see the damage, or ignores it anyhow, like I sure did for so many years. So when entering Reasons Edo in Alhambra and receiving my first meal plan from my wonderful, scary dietician Lisa Arroyas, I thought no fucking way (excuse my french)! I was used to an apple, crackers, water, tea etc. I about freaked the 2nd day of treatment when you had to be 100% or boost. Needless to say I boosted after crying at what was on my plate that Lisa happened to help choose and happened to be at my table that day! Thankfully she understood and helped me through the 2 boosts then changed my meal plan to add 6 boosts a day and smaller quantities of food.
Anyhow within a day or two I started feeling incredible dizziness, extreme nausea, and my balance was off. My body was in shock from having nutrients! A week into the program I passed out in the dinner line in front of my therapist, dietician, director, and the girls in the program. SO embarrassing. For a month the dizziness, shakiness stayed constant! The nausea, however, stayed until about 2 weeks ago! (8 long months!)
So when people say just feed her, stuff her with big macs, have her eat large meals, they have no clue the danger in doing that. It's why people with ALL different eating disorders need to be guided by professionals, especially a dietician when it comes to re-feeding.
Lately I have been trying real hard not to skip meals at all as I am so used to. I am completely focused on recovery but get busy at times and old habits die hard! I try to grab a snack and boost for the car if I am just gone an hour to do errands so I don't go too long without eating.
Having an eating disorder is so much like Russian Roullette.
Hugs and support to all who suffer and those choosing the incredible path of RECOVERY~

Monday, November 30, 2009

Pro Ana Emaciation~

The top 2 pictures were taking a few weeks before hospitalization this past year. I could point the fat out but then that would be giving "ana" great satisfaction and well screw that. The 3 bottom pictures were taken post Reasons EDO treatment center. I'd reccommend that place to anyone. They are tough yet caring and know what they are doing. I was hesitant to even post these pictures because "Ana" starts to say "you never succeeded in being thin enough you idiot" and in the "HEALTHY" pictures "ana" screams huge arms and face! Well screw that because RECOVERY screams HEALTHY.
So some may wonder wtf with the title! I am not a pro ana site by any means. I post pictures to force myself to accept me. I am tired of feeling ugly and stupid and fat (which btw is NOT a feeling:)).
For 20 years I didn't just want to be thin. yes at first but soon I wanted to be a Star Anorexic! The sicker the better. Feeling bones was everything to me. I had to be emaciated to be a "true" anorexic. But even at my lowest of 92 for my 5'8 frame which wasn't this year, it was in 2001, I NEVER saw thinness. I saw fat. You didn't think "ana" would ever give me the thin satisfaction did you? of course not, otherwise that would end the starvation!
So I am continually exposing "ana" even as we speak. A few nights ago I found out what I weighed and threw a fit......... at first! The next day was thanksgiving and I had a great time with family and minus a few struggles with food I ate "ana" free!
So now I expose the biggest (no pun intended :)) secret yet! I am 5'8 and 116 according to my scale! Now "ana" screams fat as I write but who gives a shit what "ana" thinks because "RECOVERY" is so much nicer, more sane, and it's like standing on solid ground now, not the usual quicksand with "ana". And I fully intend to get to my goal weight of 130!!!! I am the heaviest I have been in 20 years minus pregnancies!
No one says it will be easy to gain the rest as I am hyper by nature but I am eating and actually enjoying it for once!
On a side note for those struggling to "give their Ed up". I have a wonderful therapist and support team that I am just now really listening too, that means you Medusa too! Anyhow my therapist even at this weight is willing to eat with me and shows concern nd this is where i need it most, not with starvation and danger zone. I crave her concern and care and my support teams concern and care over "ana". It's basically like redirecting a child. When you tell them not to touch something or to give you something they got a hold of, like dangerous scizzors, you in turn give them something safe!
My therapist is giving me "recovery" as she takes my danger "anorexia" away~
Just a thought~

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Surviving Recovery~

These were taken today. Jack is in Oregon so I just had Seth and we spent Thanksgiving with my sister and some family. Seth not thrilled about the pictures as you can tell but my niece Hannah on my lap and niece Alyssa love pictures!
Thanksgiving seems to be an anororexic's (and other ED's) worst day of the year! of course for obvious reasons. I was thinking about how drug addicts and alcoholics don't need alcohol or drugs to survive. You expect them to keep away from their addiction by not keeping the substance in the house or anywhere near them! Not the case with eating disorders which makes it so complex. We have to face our "substance" daily and somehow manage to turn what our "Ed" perceives as negativity, fat, danger, poison etc and allow this "evil" thing Ed calls FOOD to be something that actually nourishes the body. Wow like no wonder Recovery is so hard! In order to even begin to allow this we have to face the reality that our Ed truly isn't about food or weight and allow ourselves to go deep into why we allow Ed to work against our natural instincts of survival. Why we live against ourselves. We need to learn to live for who we are and step by baby step grieve, feel, and become who we are that has been pushed deep inside because of Ed.
I've been struggling quite a bit lately. I haven't been able to afford therapy much and need my therapist so much right now. I was able to make money through selling something this past week and see her. I finally admitted how much I hate myself and that I felt I would never fully recover though stay afloat. She was so caring and so supportive on so many levels in session. I cried so much and felt so safe and connected to her. She even offered to eat in sessions and do what it takes to help me.
I hadn't seen her in 5 weeks and kept saying I was ok. Yesterday I bought scale for the first time in near a year. I freaked at what I saw. Though I am not to my goal weight it was too high. Like DUH! Of course I will think this. I shouldn't own a scale and my therapist has been weighing me backwards for almost a year now. Now all I want to do is lose weight. I know I need to tell her and will try to see her if I can financilly this week. I will be taking the scale back.
It's not a relapse. The urge to drop weight IS INCREDIBLY STRONG right now and I am not saying I won't drop weight but I will tell her. Regardless of this I still wore a tank top today with tight jeans because (I) wanted to. I still managed a healthy breakfast, a variety Thanksgiving dinner, snacks, and dessert. Other than Wii bowling I didn't purge, exercise, take pills etc. I am writing this sitting with it all, hating it, but no one said recovery was fun or heck we'd be through it in a heartbeat.
So yes I am struggling but determined now to see my therapist more, blog with honesty more, and continue the fight and pray to help others someday.
something else I thought of was how much hope Dr. Waraich gives me and how quickly Ed interferes and clouds it. After buying the scale I thought about our session and how much she cared and a few things she said that really helped. How quickly ED stepped in making me forget. What helped was doing dialogue and just writing thoughts and getting it out which I will send to her. I crave seeing her and that will be stronger and stronger overpowering Ed. She's my safety right now.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Little glitchs~

The tree ones were taken yesterday and last photo a few days ago as I dyed me hair lighter but you can't really tell!
I have been distant here lately though managing ok.
Yesterday I put those jeans on and they were tighter than I normally wear. I hated my ass in them and still do. I think it's way huge as well as my arms look big in the photo. I wore them anyway! Made myself~
I got to thinking about being comfortable in my "genes" instead of my "jeans". I tried to relax, even ate a lot of cookies and chicken! I enjoyed visiting friends and soon was ok and felt good about just being me.
I challenge you all to stop and think about what really matters and give yourself a day of trying to relax and be in the moment without ED!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Starch Protein with one condiment! shaoooo

OK so I have a sense of humor and well I just couldn't resist! This I wear for Dr. Waraich, Lisa, Reasons, Medusa, and all my Ed peeps who can have a sense of humor in the midst of such turmoil and pain of suffering from Ed!
Reasons was all about exchanges and how all foods fit! We didn't focus on calories though we all know what experts we are when it comes to calorie counting! We don't need labels by the time we are faced with being in patient!
It's such a draining and miserable disease to say the least and battling 20 years seems surreal at times. I still battle near daily but here's my little way of telling Ed to BITE ME! hahahahaha
p.s yes I shall be trick or treating with both my boys dressed up! My oldest son will be super mario! Photos to come!