Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rock Bottom~

My stress level, due to someone else's insanity, is at it's max. It's been a rough few weeks but I have support and have come to realize I need to separate myself continually from the madness. It's sometimes a moment to moment conscious decision. I am better than this.

My therapist made such a good point today when she pointed out that I take such good care of my kids and do so much for them yet I hurt myself with weight loss and retreating within. She also pretty much laid down the law today so my ass is kicking into gear. I am grateful for her and that I trust her so much and have really connected with her over the years. I find myself really looking forward to sessions. For those of you struggling and thinking you can do this on your own, I encourge you to seek help and connect with someone. Therapy is such a healthy avenue for anyone.

I am struggling with this and doing what I need to work my way up out of this as I feel I have hit rock bottom. They all say the only way left to go is up. I have quite a bit to gain weight wise which we all know is not easy but in the long run will "gain" so much more and grow from this so that someday I can really reach out and help others which is a passion of mine.

The boys and I have a full weekend ahead with a fun birthday party Friday, barbecue pool party Saturday, and new church Sunday. I am a bit insecure about my weight but will still wear a bathing suit Saturday and the sun dresses and skirts I desire. I will not go back to baggy clothes and covering up.

The pain is deep and ongoing but I am learning to reach out more and learning to just be me~



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Living in the moment~

These were taken these past few days. I really enjoyed some down time with the boys at chuck e cheese and the pool. I have been on such a rough road due to someone else's illness that I feel I have been robbed of the true happiness in just enjoying the simple things in life. I am learning despite it all that I can just focus on what truly is important which is my kids and I. I finally include "me". I have left me out for so long. I think when we do that we have a greater risk of relapse or slip ups into the eating disorder. I am struggling with this now.
Sometimes I wonder if children are more resilient than adults. We tend to hyper focus on things that just aren't important while children look just to what's in front of them and enjoy the simple things in life. My boys were thrilled we had the pool to ourselves an hour and Seth was so proud to be swimming in the deep end now on his own. We hadn't been to chuck e cheese in several months and they were so appreciative and excited to be there and I enjoyed just playing games with them. I am looking forward to taking Seth to a ballgame tomorrow through my work as it's his first time.
My kids continually remind me of how to just live in the present moment and enjoy the simple things with them. I have had a rough time of things and thankful to be starting a new church tomorrow and believe the kids will really enjoy it there as well. It's been a near daily struggle to separate myself from someone else's illness and not to care what their abusive comments towards me are and not stand for being put down. It's happened so much in so many ways which has been a heavy burden but not one I have to bear any longer. This reminds me of the burden of anorexia. It's like continually fighting against evil. We continually fight against the pull of this disease and need to be ok with needing a great deal of support. I am at that point at this moment where I am needing a great deal of support and thankful for all that I do have in this.
Hugs to you all on this journey. You are not alone~

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back in Therapy~

These were taken at a barbecue this past weekend with close friends of mine. It was a fun and relaxing time and I was so blessed to have a few close friends pray over me and be so supportive. Yes, a full body shot! I think I look too thin but "ana" screams "nah you are thick in the thighs and look fine." I haven't been focused on recovery per se as I am tied up with court drama from my ex. Btw one of my fellow eating disorder friends has informed me my drink counts for a fruit serving so I want credit! lol and it was a virgin so I want double credit!
I finally returned to therapy!!! I have missed her terribly and so grateful my mom is helping until my insurance kicks in soon. It's been a stressful few months starting a new job, which I am so blessed with and love, and having to deal with so much crap and bs with court. Therapy to me is self care. I do so much for my boys and put them first that I often neglect myself. Juggling work and court drama has not been easy as I miss my boys when I am gone and rush home to them which doesn't leve much time for self care. I have fallen into bad habits of forgetting to eat and not making it a priority. This is one of the first things Dr. Waraich pointed out and was concerned about as last year I fell pretty hard from all the court chaos. I often fail to make ME a priority. I have to learn that others illness and stuff is not who I am and not to carry the burden of it.
I was not too thrilled when she brought up the weight but need to listen to her. We will be working on ways to push through the chaos of court and try and gain regardless. As we were talking I got excited at my idea to take a swing dance class while the boys take a class of some activity. I used to dance and miss it so much. I miss performing on stage. It's been years and I have been afraid because of my car wreck and sore back but thought I could at least try a class. Dr. Waraich immediately said no way because it's exercise. I said I swear that was not my intent. She pointed out that it's natural for me not to look at it that way just like when I forget to eat. It's habit. I think our eating disorders become so ingrained and it's so hard to break the mold, the habits, the routine. It reminds me of opposite action where you have to make yourself do the opposite of what your eating disorder tells you. Instead I will be enrolling the boys in an activity in a few weeks when money is a little better as it's been quite a struggle for such a long time.
I am bummed about the dance class and I am bummed she wants me to toss the scale and I am not thrilled she wants me to drink ensure but I am determined to follow her guidance and thrilled to be back!!!!!! Many prayers appreciated for the court drama and my boys!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer fun~

Joyce is a very close friend of mine. We were at a pool party and the kids had a blast. Jack didn't want a picture as you can see. lol The kids loved the slide and water falls and jacuzzi. They especially loved when I jumped with them and went on the slide with them. It was a lot of fun as we spent 4 hours in the pool and with several other friends. And this was after 3 hours at a park as well as 2 hours at the roller rink for a party!!!! Jack took the bottom two photos. lol I think I look ok. Not glamorous but ok with myself. Still need to gain but it's a long road though becoming more steady~
I got to thinking about being in my bikini with so many people around. They were people I know but not as close to all of them. I used to cover up with a tank top. I have started to think how short life truly is and what a waste it is to not just embrace life itself. With anorexia or any other eating disorder we tend to scrutinize every little flaw or mishap of our bodies and of ourselves in general. I use to spend so much time looking down at my thighs and how huge I thought them to be. From that I would look at other flaws which became magnified by "ana". Such a waste. There's no way others spend that much time focusing on or even noticing the flaws I notice in myself so why worry about what others might be thinking?
This again goes with what I have said before in that it's so much better and more freeing to look upward and outward than to look downward at our bodies and ourselves. Life is just waiting to be lived if we embrace recovery and start enjoying the simple things in life. I know for me I wanted to date and was actively searching but came across so much scum in so many different ways. and I didn't even meet these guys in person. I prayed about it and realized I am so content right now just being my kids mom and have so much fun enjoying the little things with them that I don't miss dating or having a boyfriend. I am not saying I wont date when the time is right but with my kids, work increasing some, and still needing to gain that my focus is on what's really important for now and I am truly ok with this.
Part of beng in recovery is being content in where we are right at this moment, as long as it's not harmful to ourseves or anyone else~

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Escaping the prison walls of "ana"~

Top photo is of my senior prom! I double dated with my twin brother. I was highly bulimic back then but I post these to show a much heathier weight. Part of me thinks I look a bit too heavy but could be "ana" being a bitch again. Regardless my goal is to be at a healthy weight. It doesn't really matter the number. I could bargain and say I am small boned and make the goal a smaller one but numbers and health professionals don't lie. I am not a number. My goal in general is to be healthier overall~ (Mind, body, spirit).
I have had to really dig deep the past few days to keep myself from restricting again. I was afraid of slipping again which is so easy to do with something so ingrained that it has become second nature to me. I text a friend and he encouraged me in such a simple way but then I didn't feel so alone in it. I was able to really admit "ana" was still ever present but needed to know how to make "Recovery" more present. To do this I have come to realize I have to literally separate myself from "ana". Yes, I have anorexia nervosa but NO I am NOT anorexia nervosa. It does not define who I am. It's a deadly disease I have battled 20 years but does not mean I have to be sentenced to it for life! I can and will be free from it someday~
Two weeks ago I went to walmart to get protein powder to help with weight gain ( I have yet to even use it, ). Protein powder is near all the diet stuff. Going down the aisle was surreal because it's been so long and I started to tear up. For several years I was enslaved to "ana" to spend so much money on so many different pills etc. I can't say too much as I don't want others to happen upon this blog and use it to gain ideas to stay in the disorder. I will say I abused many different pills so extreme that I ended up in the ER dozens of times and with I.V's and hospitalizations due to medical complications from it all. I am no longer even tempted to use any pills whatsover but was so sad of the time and money wasted for all those years ( most likely in the thousands just for pills etc and more for ambulance and medical bills).
I have never been to jail nor do I ever intend to go but of course t.v allows us to see what it's like. I feel having anorexia or any eating disorder is like being imprisoned inside yourself. You can't escape the pounding, incessant thoughts. The further into the disease you go the harder to get out it is. I feel at times I have escaped the prison cell to be let out to the prison yard but have yet to leave the prison completely. It's time to get past the wire fencing. The only way to do this is to admit it's still there and keep pushing forward with recovery and really mean it.
So I sit here after just eating dinner as well as a full day of all meals and one snack completed. I will still have a rootbeer float tonight and make it a bit larger to make up for one missed snack. I have what I call a "buddah belly" that many of us had in treatment last year from refeeding. I hate it but I still wear my cute shorts and tops and will continue to eat and reach out for support. I encourage you all to do the same. Your life is so much more than this deadly disease.
((hugs)) Brandee

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Uh oh, the scale budged!!! Ana is not having it!!!! But I am~

Top two photos taken just a few weeks before I left Reasons after 3 months treatment last year. I was a bit healthier even though not to my goal weight. At that time, in treatment, I was confronted that I lost weight in treatment. My dietician and therapist suspected water weighing and exercise to explain weight loss towards the middle of treatment and confronted me as they weigh you backwards for those who don't know how treatment is and I never had a scale back then. I was soon back on track and gained a little more before discharging from program. I so badly wish I had been able to fully reach my goal weight before discharging. The bottom photo was taken last night at the police station (I do custody exchanges with my yougest there). As you can see I don't wear baggy clothes to cover anything up. I think I look ok but more importantly I love how affectionate my boys are as they are used to this from me and know they can always come to me.
This morning I stepped on the scale and it was 111!!!!! It's been months since I have been above 110 and I struggled to even keep 110 for a while. For a while I was eager to be above and thought I could handle it but for some reason my heart sank this morning and I started to freak. I am 5'8 so it's still very low, too low, unhealthy low. I have noticed my stomach sticking out more as well and I know this is normal for refeeding as I went through this with other girls at Reasons. It will level out after a few months. I am merely having a tougher time than I thought I would.
So, regardless of this, I still ate a sausage, egg, cheese biscuit as well as two hash browns for breakfast with a fruit smoothie I got for free! (I had to supervise a visit at Mcdonalds for those wondering!). I ate it all and tried to think past the fear and embrace recovery along with it. It was several hours later that I did eat leftover roast, potatoes, and carrots for lunch and am currently eating cookies and dorritos for snack! Dinner is cooking as I am making chicken quesadillas with tomato, taco sauce, and seasoning with a vegetable on the side.
It scares me that I want to restrict right now and will have to journal and find out why. I need to push past the fear. I think the pain is very real and the more I gain and eat the closer I feel to that pain as I am not starving it away or running from it. I also feel disgusted when I gain too much and dirty and I hate this. I hate this hold the anorexia has but I am determined to beat it. I am determined to push past this point and see where it leads.
Many times in treatment of therapy, Reasons, and seeing my dietician I would try and tell them what I needed for treatment and how severe or not I was, instead of doing what they said and listening to them. It's hard to hear words like " you are severely anorexic" or " you will die from this if you don't get it under control". It's hard to be confronted and even harder to accept the truth. I am used to being independent and not needing help but I can't do this alone. If I am to beat this once and for all I need help and support. I have to be patient and nurturing with me along the way and also be brutally honest in where I am at. It's not easy but doable~
((Hugs)) Brandee

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"Ana" the sneaky bitch~

This was taken yesterday. I met up with someone who flat out told me I looked too thin and my anorexia would kill me. I have to say I was a bit stunned. I don't think I look that thin but in all honesty I am underweight by a decent amount. I guess I have been so bogged down by court drama with my ex, who won't stop false claims and allegations and who loves to drag me to court for fun, that I have felt distant from even considering I have anorexia. I don't take diet pills, laxatives, ipecac, purge, exercise, or starve for days anymore. I simply don't eat enough. I am also fairly active with my two little boys who are full of energy as well as my job working in foster care.
I am now writing down my intake and trying to be more aware of my energies and if I am burning more than I am taking in. To gain I have to take in more than I burn which is a significant amount and I doubt I am even coming close.
I am under 110 and wonder if I am holding on to a low weight and making excuses for being above 100 and out of danger zone so I can still be slender and under the radar. Some tend to over eat when stressed. I under eat when stressed. Through trying to stay afloat through so much stress and giving all my energies to my kids so they don't suffer, I have put myself aside and have not spent time working on me and doing good for me. Anorexia is disguised sometimes in different forms. Because I had extreme behaviors for several years before I had my kids but not nearly as bad after, I told myself I was ok. Even when my weight plummeted last year, forcing me into 3 months of treatment, I excused it because I was eating and not taking pills etc to the extreme but was consuming no more than 600 calories most days and quite active with my boys and doing 100's of stomach crunches a night. Even now I say it's not that bad as I don't even do all those behaviors but I am obviously not eating enough or it would show on the scale and it's not and there have been some days I have not eaten a thing.
I have battled anorexia for 20 years. It's what I know and many times has been who I am though I have to say I have still come a long way in recovery but still have a long way to go~

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stagnate in Recovery~

Ok so not the best photos of me but I need to embrace me even on bad days. Top two taken yesterday and bottom one a few days ago. Jill is with me in the middle one. She's so pretty. She's a social worker I worked with for 9 years. I took the kids to see her and her kids, another mutual friend and their kids, and we all went swimming and had such a nice time yesterday. I didn't get home until midnight~
I almost feel stagnate in recovery. I don't really feel like I am in a recovery. Maybe it's the procrastination in me. I have plenty to eat and have the protein powder sitting on the counter unopened. I did the shake ONE day this week. I ate fine at Jill's and even wrote her recipe for chicken quesadillas with seasoning for the crock pot on my grocery list today. I think if I had a personal chef I would be eating just fine so maybe it's I need more variety and to cook more other than just for my kids.
Some may say deep down I don't want to gain. But deep down is in me not them and I feel I will look much better at 125 and maybe even 130. I think quite frankly I am tired of being underweight and definitely hate the pictures of me when I was in the emaciation stage. Thankfully I am past that.
The scale read 108 this morning. It has gone from 106 to 110 but have to say it's averaged 108. Maybe it's time I start keeping a journal of what I do eat so I don't lose track and over estimate caloric intake which those who know me and know this disease that I am notorious for it. I used to bring my food journals into therapy and then she'd weigh me and beg to differ at what was written!!!!
At the moment as I write this I am near tears. I think deep down there's a deep sadness and I can't figure it out. I dream of seeing my therapist weekly again and my dietician at least monthly just so I have some support through all the court drama and some other stuff I am going through................
((Hugs)) Brandee
(p.s) Jade and others you can find me on facebook (Brande Gomer).