Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recovery despite insurmountable stress~

These were taken this past weekend at my brothers place in the mountains. The boys had a blast. 2nd photo is my niece between Jack and I. Last photo is my nephew Brandon!
The reason I started this blog last year was to show the ups and downs of "true" recovery. I wanted others to know that you don't just get out of treatment and BAM, you're cured. That's a high expectation and many feel so much pressure to get well quick that they often revert back because the pressure is too much. But the truth is recovery takes a long time. You didn't get this disease overnight and certainly won't get rid of it overnight. You can be at your right weight for years and still have insecurities and issues with your eating disorder until you reach full recovery.
Stress of court was a huge factor in my relapse last year sending me into treatment for 3 months. It took me a couple of weeks there to really accept even the word recovery. When this disorder is so ingrained for so many years (20 in my case) it becomes who you are and a way of functioning. And if you focus merely on weight, without anything else, it's very difficult to see that there is hope in overcoming this.
The past 6 months have been devastating as court started all over again by my ex. I feel extremely violated and abused in the worst possible ways. I can't even begin to express here what has transpired by pure evil, due to spies. I will say that despite it all, I am still standing and HAVE NOT retreated back into full anorexia relapse. I am still trying to gain, which is not easy with the insurmountable amount of stress related to court and keeping up with responsibilities as a single mom of two adorable little boys, but am gaining slowly. Some days are easier than others. On the hardest days I reach out to God and to my support system.
Right now I try not to even focus on my weight. Even a few nights ago my oldest son looked at my stomach and said something to the affect of "mom there's a baby in there." I had to laugh. What else could I do? My stomach does protrude most days with eating so much to gain (aka refeeding process). Eventually it will all level out. It takes time to accept this. Some days I cringe at all I have to eat and see in my stomach but then I look away from it and look at what's really important which is my boys, getting through the sickness of court, and doing the best I can at the job I love.
It is normal to watch shows with other anorexics and miss the disorder but then when you really think about it, you need to be lucky you are not that person anymore and you are one of the lucky ones to be surviving this and not be 6 feet under. People who don't get this disorder don't realize it's like a grieving process in a respect. It's giving up a very close and dear part of you. Many refer to "ana" or "ed" as their best friend and closest confidante. I have heard that what helps this is to write a good bye letter. I may do this in a future blog though in my case have to be a bit careful with this again due to spies. Then again, this is raw recovery and a part of who I am so I will be raw in it!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Slowly Gaining. You can too!

These were just taken today after I got home from church. I do notice my arms a bit fuller and my face. For the first time though, I wore stretchies with a top, which totally shows every ounze of body weight (notice I didn't say fat!). It was a big step for me as I had always tried to wear things that made me look thin though "duh" always been thin. Never would I wear leggings alone with a top, only under a dress!
I have been eager to keep above 3000 the past few days despite such chaos and heavy heart regarding court stuff. I think it's a breakthrough as minor stress use to be enough for me not to eat. It's frustrating that people who are over weight aren't always seen as having a disorder yet to me it's the same thing only reversed. Some stress eat and some stress restrict. Some feel out of control in their lives and try to control others through micromanaging and abuse while others abuse themselves.
I sit here with a heavy heart for my son and for what I am going through but each day I make myself eat to gain based on professionals meal plans and I focus on all that I do have which is two great kids, getting my health back, support from so many friends and family, a great job working in foster care, and my own small place.
I think when we focus on our burdens and what we don't have that we fall back into the grips of the eating disorder. While gaining and eating an insurmountable amount of food is not easy, it can be done and does get easier after a while if you push through it each day and with support.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

You know you are no longer "Ana" when..........

Some of my favorite photos of the boys~
So this past week has been incredible for me with food intake and really doing well despite the drama from my ex. Really learning to separate myself from his illness has really helped, as well as so much support from friends and family. Anyhow, I have noticed my skinny jeans a little snugger. Not much but enough to where I can't take them off without unbuttoning them like I used to. I used to constantly pull them up and never had to use the buttons! This is a good thing and I am not at all freaked out. I no longer know my weight and don't care to. I just hope it has gone up a few pounds and may know in about a week when I see my therapist again as she is currently on vacation and has been for over a week now. My goal is 4 pounds by the time I see her again which is healthy at gaining 2 pounds a week. She wont ever reveal the number and may not reveal how much I have gained but she will say something if I have lost or not gained so that is how I know.
I started thinking about sayings and you know you are no longer "ana" when..... so here is what I have come up with and you can always add in fun!
You know you are no longer "Ana" when......
You no longer go to the blank spot 10 to 20 times a day where your scale once was!
You remember to eat every 2 hours instead of every 10!
You have to unbutton your small skinny jeans to get them on and off instead of being able to just pull them on and off!
You are eager to make sure the calories go up instead of below 900!
You no longer shake your legs profusely when sitting to burn off that diet soda!!!!
You make health your goal instead of weight!
You no longer hesitate when grabbing the shampoo bottle to look for calories!
You no longer guesstimate (my made up word lol) your calories going way over just so your therapist approves your meal plan ( this never worked with Dr. Waraich lol)!
You can no longer shop the tween's department store for clothes!
You can walk upright in the wind instead of struggling to keep your balance!
You no longer double check to see if the laxatives you are about to down have calories in them!
You say "wow that mini quiche looks good" instead of "Gee, that egg and cheese bomb is probably 5000 calories!"
You no longer fear holding a fattening piece of food thinking you will gain through osmosis!
Your knees are no longer the "fattest" parts of your body!
You are no longer mistaken for a drug addict or 12 year old girl!
I am sure there are plenty more but since I am not entrenched in it anymore it's hard to go back and think of it all. I know for me I don't keep laxatives, pills, scales, or diet foods in the house. I do keep plenty of health foods as far as fruit, yogurt, milk, veggies etc but nothing that is non fat etc and I don't use sugar substitutes in my coffee anymore.
This is in fun so if anyone is offended then you are still entrenched and my apologies. Life is too short to be so serious all the time and while this is very serious, it's also very freeing to pull away from it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Recovery in my blood!

These were taken last year! It's that time again and one of my favorite times of year. My boys go to the Pumpkin patch faithfully every year and love the pumpkins, popcorn, and bounce houses with slides!
The past few days have been filled with...... CALORIES! I feel like I am at Reasons and overstuffed. I try and eat every 2 hours and if I am still full I make every effort to drink an ensure or eat a piece of fruit. I had been at roughly 2000 a day and increased slightly above. Then yesterday a very special someone called me from out of the country and left such an inspiring message on my cell. She didn't have to do this but she did and encourged me in my recovery and to keep eating and to not slack off. I was in tears hearing the message because I truly felt her care and concern. So yesterday I was above 3000. My goal is 3600 in order to gain. Don't freak for those gaining. It's normal for it and after you reach your goal you can go back down some, but not where you were!
Today has been a little harder to reach the 3000 but I will be up a bit more. Had a great day with my youngest son taking him for a walk with his scooter and playing preschool board games with him as well as just cuddling with him. It's been hard still to keep up the eating since it's not a normal amount of food but I will drink the calories if need be as I have stuff to make shakes.
I am trying hard to gain while getting through a tough situation. It's a daily commitment just like separating myself from anothers insanity and choosing to live my life focused on the needs of my boys and their happiness as well as caring for myself.
No one said recovery would be easy but it's totally doable and so freeing in the end if we stick it out. I plan to. Come join me~

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Ahhh love watching my babies grow up and miss these stages yet love every stage. This is just one of many trips to Disneyland~
As I was driving today I thought about Triggers. Many girls think Triggers are seeing other thinner girls, models, grotesquely thin movie stars, seeing other girls in treatment and comparing, and seeing "sicker" girls. While I did go through this as being many of my triggers in the past, it has not been a trigger for me currently or last year.
Stress has been a major trigger for me. I have been in an insane court battle for almost 3 years now and not by my choice. It has been very stressful and took it's toll on my appetite so to speak. I didn't set out to dwindle down to such a low weight last year. After relapsing last year and going into treatment for 3 months I realized recovery was a long road of ups and downs just like life in general. I did ok for a while after treatment until losing my job of 9 months and still battling court. Court died down for 6 months and just when I got a new job it started up far worse and not by me. Dealing with the insanity has been difficult but I will not allow it to rob me of myself or my time with my boys. I have to continually choose to rise above it and do.
Pain is also a trigger. I think when people have pain in general we run from it because we don't want to feel it. Some do drugs while others become shopaholics and others turn back to their eating disorders. I now choose to deal with it in therapy and with support.
What are your triggers and do you subject yourselves to them? I no longer have a scale to trigger me nor do I dwell on models pictures and sickly emaciated pictures of anorexics. If I see the photos I am not even triggered. I am not triggered by others disorders. If anything my goal is to help others and why I do this blog and at the same time I will not try to help someone who refuses it and who wants to be in competition with me.
Recovery is ours and ours to be protected. It's not healthy to expose yourself to what triggers you. It's healthy to expose your disorder and be accountable. I left my lunch at home today and was so hungry by 12:30. I had't eaten at all so I went to taco bell for a burrito, small nachos, and a taco. The burrito had onions and hot sauce which I hate and they messed up. I forced myself to eat it anyway because I didn't want any excuse not to gain. I will not give "ana" another thought because I want no part of "her".
Recovery is mine~

Sunday, September 12, 2010

If you want "ana" look up Holocaust, corpse, and death!

Ok so the silly faces have nothing to do with what I am about to write but omg I love this kid and had him to myself the past two days as his brother was in Palm Springs. I love how he mimicked my silly face at the end! He's so much fun and cracks me up constantly.
So a friend of mine posted that her goal was to be weightless. She's struggling with "ana" and commitment to recovery. Two other girls posted they were in agreement. I was pissed to say the least. Many young girls WANT ana. They strive for thinspiration and sickness. They make goals of being thinner than thin and love to be in competition in losing weight. They swap stories and ideas on purging, dieting, pill taking, tricks, fads, and starvation. They post notes all over their walls calling themselves fat and ugly for gaining or not being thinner than thin as motivtion to lose more. They spend countless hours on the internet searching for emaciated, stick thin, grotesque looking models and girls. They might as well just look up the word holocaust, corpse, and death.
She may start out with a small goal of just 5 pounds. 5 soon turns to 10, 15, 20. I know all to well. Being 5'8 I always felt so big and tall. I was 135 when I started. My goal was 125, then 120, then 115. I stayed at that for a while before deciding I needed to be in double digits. I swore I would stop at 99. Once I got to that I thought 95 is good. NOPE! I wanted 88. No rhyme or reason. Everyone has different numbers etc. I didn't make it to 88. I made it to 92 before I decided I needed serious help and this was after time at Remuda Ranch. It was in 2001. I have to say I was pregnant within 6 months, too soon, and my child became higher up than "ana". I was still thin after both pregnancies but never did I have the behaviors so extreme and never below 100 until last year and barely.
"Ana" never allowed me to see the thinness no matter how low I went which is why I kept going and why many do keep lowering their goal weight. It becomes a disease instead of a goal. It's a trap! What's amazing is when you get weighed backwards for months in treatment, where you talk and feel and eat with others and focus on being alive and being around those who understand, you don't notice the gain being so bad after the first several weeks. You no longer see fat that was never there to begin with.
I can't make you want recovery or admit you need it. I can only document the ups and downs of it and to say it is possible. You have to make it a daily priority and to do this you have to make YOU a priority. This takes time, patience with yourself, structured weekly therapy, some need in patient, and extensive commitment! I have therapy and am acountable to a friend I text and let him know I am near proud at increasing my intake and even make sure my calculations are right so I don't cheat. He's has been a great encouragement and holds me accountable as is my friend Joyce who has invited me to join her church two weeks ago. She took me out to lunch today after a very moving church service where I cried and she just held on to me and noticed I struggled a bit and gently encouraged me to eat a bit more. Not only did I eat a bit more but ate the entire huge burrito from Miguels!
You have EVERYTHING to lose with "ana" and nothing to gain with it and I am not talking weight. I lost time off my life, 20 years of depression, friendships, thousands of dollars, medical problems, irreversible damage, my education (dropped out early when just a few classes from my bachelors!), and I picked bad men to be with causing so much damage even currently. I'd give it all back in a heartbeat though never my kids as they are worth the sacrifice. Life has been a constant struggle and for what? A stupid fucking piece of shit number on a scale? A competition with someone else? Do you really think others pay that much attention to you getting thinner? You aren't much fun to be around when your brain is starved along with your body. Bet you become a real bitch.
It's your choice. Recovery or "ana". I would seriously weigh the pros and cons before either continuing with "ana" or trying to be "ana" or even idolizing "ana."

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Whoa Reality check! Looks bad!

Ok so I have just had Jack alone the last two days and have been taking him places and spending down time with him. These were all taken this afternoon. I had given Jack a shoulder ride after he kept wrestling with me on the ground (my back already paying the price. lol). He then wanted to give me one. So cute. He kept pushing up and making me lose balance which is the top photo and why my arm is out trying to balance. I uploaded it to my facebook and was shocked. I think I look horrible. I may not be the skeletal, thinspiration model some anorexic and bulimic hopefuls look to but I would certainly look much better, healthier, and even prettier with about 30 more pounds!
I have been trying to eat every few hours, sometimes every hour if I remember. I don't wait for hunger as my body is still off kilter. My therapist wanted an ensure every morning as I hate breakfast. This morning I finally listened and even added a granola bar. I was at 2200 yesterday and hoping to reach 2500 today. Have about 900 to go. Will reach it. No, not easy. The thoughts are there but are over ruled by Recovery.
Recovery really is a choice, a daily one, and sometimes a minute to minute one. After time Recovery becomes ingrained more and more just like "ana" or "ed" once was. It's time to make your disorder past tense and recovery present tense!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Raw Recovery in an unforgiving world~

Total random shots of the boys and I and even my therapist and I from the past 3 years. oh and the guy in the photo of the neck brace is my twin. My honda was totaled two weeks before by a semi on the freeway. Still have major back pain 2 years later. These photos show the ups and downs of the ravages of anorexia. I take photos constantly. Just looking at my boys in so many photos brings me to tears of such joy they add to my life and others'. I am just so proud to call them my own and to watch them grow and just be kids. It hasn't been an easy road for them or myself due to abuse and continual drama from my ex. I have to continually separate myself from his illness and enjoy just being my kids mom and the job I do for work and keep my connections to family and friends. I focus on my kids~
"Ana" sees fat in all these photos. I, however, see thinness. I was instant messaging a gal on facebook who is in patient with a tube and has battled anorexia over 30 years and has lost so much due to her illness. I had mentioned when my weight had gotten too low my therapist had threatened hospitalization and then eventually I went in last year. She stated I must not be that bad if she only threatened and didn't hospitalize me. It made me a little upset at first but then I realized that her illness has such a hold on her that she is in competition with anyone struggling. Too many times anorexics and bulimics compare weights, tube feedings, symptoms, and overall illness in it. It becomes a "who can be the sickest" and "who needs the most attention" disease. It's sick. This fuels those stuck in the disorder. Last year I got extremely low but my worst was before I had children. It's been because of my kids I have been open to recovery and even admitting needing recovery last year while in patient. I fought it for a while last year and even tried outpatient before it took its physical toll and I needed monitoring for medical reasons.
I am not 70 lbs nor have I ever been but I am also a bit tall at 5'8. Regardless, I have battled it bad for many years pre kids and don't need to go into too much detail for fear it would give those stuck in the illness more ideas as it did me over some books I read on it 10 years ago.
Today I have consumed 2200 calories. I am uncomfortable but managing. I need to work up to near 4000 if I am to gain 20 to 30 pounds on low end depending on where my therapist wants me. If I continue this road and not have too many slips then I should be at a "normal" weight for the first time in over 20 years (minus pregnancies people (got to 155 and 154 with the boys in my final deliveries!!) within 3 months. I have to write it down which helps. I don't obsess. I just jot it down and don't over calculate like I used to! I am more exact. No exercise other than chasing and wrestling with my little ones! lol I don't weigh myself anymore and wont cheat. I will simply journal and deal with the shit that comes up the heavier I get. I mean the HEALTHIER I get!!!!!
This disease is deadly at any stage so don't be in competition with anyone or allow others stuck in this illness to drag you down or rob you of your freedom that will be found in recovery~ It's so easy to stay stuck or to fall backwards while in recovery, especially when other stressors come into play. I know as I am living in stress brought on by someone else, but have to continully choose recovery regardless and stay on track. I have to really surround myself with support and positive people as this world can be incredibly cruel and unforgiving. We have to realize our worth and then fight for our own recovery~
(FB Brande Gomer)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Warden (aka Dr. Waraich) has laid down the law!

Ok so the photos don't have much to do with what I am about to write but since Halloween is coming up I thought I would take a trip down memory lane! Some have seen the top one of Jack in utero 8 months! Yes, I even went to work like that! The 2nd one is my two protein/1 starch with one condiment costume. hehe had to be a hot dog last year as a joke to Reasons, place I spent 3 months at for treatment from "ana" last year! And of course a few fun disney ones when Seth was little.
So, I saw my therapist this week. She remembered she told me the previous week to drink an ensure every morning as I never eat breakfast. I hadn't started it yet. ugh. So then she asked for the scale. That I did turn in. She also said I needed to gain or at least not lose anymore. I had a scale up until two days ago so I knew I gained though she never says much after weigh ins, unless it's to lay down the law! So I did two out of three!!!! Anyway I had brought an ensure to session as I sometimes do. She told me to drink it. I took sips. Periodically she reminded me to keep drinking it. I noticed I easily get distracted as food intake, no matter what form, is not the norm for me. I have tuned it out for so long. I think I have really tuned "Me" out. The "Warden" was a little too intuned during therapy. It was almost like enough was enough for her to watch me like this. It made me realize I need to give a bit more to recovery.
Ever hear the term "walk the talk?" I sure have been talking but my feet seem to forget how to do the walking. With "ana" it's been hard to put the food to the test so to speak. Needless to say I have been eating a bit more. It's not easy and I have to continually remind myself and pack full lunches for work and remember to cook more not only for my kids but for myself.
I have to admit a few times I went to the empty floor space where my scale once was! I posted this "No more scale for me. I am now the proud owner of empty floor space where the scale once was. The warden has laid down the law and this time I am listening and obeying!" on my facebook yesterday. Had to laugh though the Warden is very serious. I am too. I have to do this and want to. None of it feels right or normal but that's how I know I am really in recovery because it isn't at all what I am used to after battling 20 plus years!
So now it's time to let the mouth do the chewing. hehe I think I am going to go get some Dibs! Got the jumbo bag from the grocery store! sooooo good!

Monday, September 6, 2010

What really matters and it's not "ana"~ WARNING Uncontrollable laughter may erupt!

Hopefully you are cracking up by now. I know I am! Top photo is so precious of Jack the other day. I was taking him to work with me and he spotted a tiny little grasshopper he picked up. It reminds me if stopping to smell the roses and enjoy the simple things. Jack constantly reminds me of this. The 2nd photo is of the boys and their friend after a long day of swimming at a friends' barbecue. I told them to make a silly face. So cute. The following two are of yours truly. I was cracking up at my hairdo when I woke this morning and when I went to make my coffee decided to goof off myself. Life really is too short and there's enough stress with craziness all around us and unecessary drama. We only get one life. I think it helps to let our hair down and just be ourself. I love the ones of the kids with the pinata just being kids and enjoying a good birthday party. My boys enjoy simple walks to the park or pool. They enjoy bug hunts and legos and just being kids. What's great about being a parent is I get to join them. Even if you aren't a parent you can find simple thngs to do to have fun and let your hair down~
It's sometimes a daily struggle to really just focus on the little, simple things that mean so much. I know with "ana" I was insecure and would have never posted such freakish, silly face shots but it's fun and who cares. If someone needs to judge me, then what a waste of their time and how insecure they must be. I choose to be my boys' mom and when I feel in the mood to just goof off, I will. Life is serious enough with being a single parent, going through unecessary court drama, and having to work and juggle. I need to be able to enjoy life daily regardless and find the good in the simple things. I hope you all will join me~