Friday, October 29, 2010

Ups and Downs~

Ok so I wore this shirt to therapy the other day as a joke. My therapist was so not impressed but I sure was. hahaha She was like, "Brande what are you doing? So not funny!." I still laughed. Will wear it tomorrow as well. Money is tight soI figured I would be an anorexic for Halloween!!!!! Come on peopke, have a sense of humor. We know it's a serious desease but at the same time you have to joke some!

It's been a trying few weeks as my ex may get access to my therapy records and hospital records from last year. It's a huge invasion of my privacy and he does this to try and take my child from me who is very close to me and needs his real mom. He and his wife want nothing more than to completely destroy me as they have nothing better to do with their own lives and don't know how to get along in life with people or how to be normal. It's beyond sick but I still have to hold my head up through it all and focus on what is most important and that is my two boys, my job, and my recovery from this anorexic hell.

I am working hard at following my dietician's meal plan and see my therapist more. It's not easy as finances are extreme with bills and not enough to cover it all just yet. Through it all I am still stnding which to me speaks volumes but, to others out to destroy me, is used against me.

There are so many anorexics, bulimics, and over eaters that are therapists, doctors, lawyers etc. Our eating disorder isn't who we are and doesn't define who we are. It is merely what we have and are batting to get rid of. This does not make me a bad or incompetant mother. Everything I have been going through has only made me that much stronger.

Quote from Jenni Schaefer's book called Life without Ed: "Recovery is about making room for the real me to exist~" I love this. I am so ready for this. Our eating disorder goes against who we are. It fights us to be who we really are. I challenge you all to choose recovery every day you wake up and look forward to a new day~


Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Ana Contraband"

The bottom photo is one of my fav's. Love the top, too, but hate the thighs. Of course that's "ana" talking but regardless I look healthier. I was close to 120 according to the doctor who weighed me at a physical just two days after these were taken.
okay so I was commenting on someone's status today and mentioned "ana contraband". I was speaking of how I gave up numerous books I had on eating disorders because I felt they were triggering at times. I have owned them for several years and they sat in a box for such a long time. I turned them over to Dr. Waraich recently. While most of these books are on women overcoming this disease, I felt a lot of these books give too many ideas etc for, those struggling, to stay in the disease. The one I do have is by a Jenni Shaefer titled Life without Ed. I have yet to read the entire book but going to start this weekend as many say it's a great one that truly focuses on recovery.

Other "ana contraband" for me has been vhs tapes that date way back when, full of talk shows and movies on eating disorders that I have watched so many times that I practically have them memorized. Time to give those up. I also gave up my double 00 and size 16 little girl sizes from last year. While I don't use laxatives or any other types of weight loss pills anymore and haven't in a very long time, I don't keep any of it in my place. Other "ana contraband" is keeping in relationships with people who are in competition in the disorder still and not even remotely looking to recovery. I wish I could cut all ties with toxic people who trigger me, like my ex, but stuck with that another 14 years.

So while we can't control all triggers, we can eliminate what we do have control over and be honest in giving it all up despite how difficult it is. I wouldn't recommend doing this alone but with a friend or therapist because it's a process to let go and a process in grieving what once gave you comfort, even though it was a false comfort.



Friday, October 15, 2010

Coping with anorexia~

Struggling a bit these past few weeks with so much abusive/ harassing shit from my ex. Hard to stay afloat. I have managed to do well with my job and my kids amongst the chaos of court and insanity of it all but not so much with me.
It's like juggling several balls at once and dropping one, me! Still managing the others but can't seem to pick me up completely for fear I may drop the others.
The stress has really weighed me down. No wonder I feel so heavy and struggle with the anorexia. What's even more difficult is it's hard to even consider myself anorexic with what I currently look like (photos from today). Yet photos don't always show true reality like being in person and as I sit here typing, my butt bones are sore from sitting in this chair.
I wish I could just maintain right where I am. I don't want to lose more weight, just fear gaining at times. I even asked my therapist if I could just stay where I am. Guess that's "ana" talking. Sometimes I just feel so removed from it all.

Today as I was driving I tried to think real hard of ways to really focus and make myself eat. At reasons we all sat together and would play games as we ate and encourage each other during our timed half hour to complete meals (15 minutes is the norm to complete a meal for those not having an eating disorder btw). I thought maybe candelit dinners at night to bring peace and serenity after a day of work, kids activities, and the never ending court bullshit. It's hard to get everything done with so much to do and I just don't have an appetite. Some people turn to food when stressed. I turn from it. It really isn't always about weight with me. I don't stare in the mirror longer than the time it takes to put my make up on in the mornings. I do stare down at my legs most days and have issues but other than that I just go about my day and try and get through and see the positive.

Dr. Waraich pointed out this week that I don't nurture me. She pointed out that I fear doing so and instead turn on me through starvation. I hadn't realized this but it does make sense. I have always been good at giving but never good at receiving. I tend to push comfort away as not being deserving of it but see others deserving it.

I am trying hard to journal and dig deeper to get where I can continue to gain and process this. Anorexia is one of the hardest things I have ever had to overcome and takes so much time and effort. I am learning but I am struggling and need of support.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Facing "Ana" Head on~

These were all taken today. I have gone to the Pumpkin Patch every year since Seth was born as it's tradition for us. The boys have so much fun and it's nice and relaxing for me as well. This year they were excited to bring a friend.
During a recent session with Dr. Waraich I really started to break down about facing "ana" so to speak. With so much court stuff going on I have put "ana" and dealings aside. I would eat and try and stay to a weight gaining level of eating but was removed. In other words I would eat and just not face any of it. I was okay with it because I didn't think about it much though each day was challenging whether it be a big or small challenge to consume so much. I start to do really well for a few days and weeks even and then stress hits and I struggle to keep up with the demands of recovery.
I have felt removed from "ana" but also removed from recovery. With so much going on with court it's been difficult to really just focus on me in therapy and focus on recovery.
Dr. Warauch wants me to write down what I am feeling and face what's really going on when it comes to eating. In other words, to be present and in the moment and then write what comes up. I am so used to removing myself from it and separating myself that this is such a scary point for me to be in.
I started to really journal about this today and had to stop several times because I just kept tearing up. I reached out to my close friend Joyce and shared a few things with her to make sure I was really going deep as I need to take this to my next session this coming week. It helped having not only the validation from Joyce but also her true understanding and complete love and support over some really tough things and some embarrassing feelings regarding "ana" and what it's like inside.
It's so not about the food. It's the food we run to or run from as a symptom of what's hurting so much inside and what we fear. This disorder becomes us and takes over. It's very difficult to let go of something so incredibly strong. We really can't do it alone and can't even come close to letting go if we keep being in denial about it and talking around it and removing ourselves from it. It takes huge support and commitment to letting go of this after TRULY facing it on so many levels. I need to be raw for a while and face this and deal with this. Sigh~
The pain is very real and very deep~

Sunday, October 3, 2010

101 Ways To Cope With Stress!

This was given to me in one of many groups at Reasons last year so thought i would pass it along to you all!

Courtesy of the Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
1.) Get up 15 minutes earlier
2.) Prepare for the morning the night before
3.) Avoid tight fitting clothes
4.) Avoid relying on chemical aids
5.) Set appointments ahead
6.) Don't rely on your memory ... write it down
7.) Practice preventive maintenance
8.) Make duplicate keys
9.) Say "no" more often
10.) Set priorities in your life
11.) Avoid negative people
12.) Use time wisely
13.) Simplify meal times
14.) Always make copies of important papers
15.) Anticipate your needs
16.) Repair anything that doesn't work properly
17.) Ask for help with the jobs you dislike
18.) Break large tasks into bite size portions
19.) Look at problems as challenges
20.) Look at challenges differently
21.) Unclutter your life
22.) Smile
23.) Be prepared for rain
24.) Tickle a baby
25.) Pet a friendly dog/cat
26.) Don't know all the answers
27.) Look for a silver lining
28.) Say something nice to someone
29.) Teach a kid to fly a kite
30.) Walk in the rain
31.) Schedule play time into every day
32.) Take a bubble bath
33.) Be aware of the decisions you make
34.) Believe in yourself
35.) Stop saying negative things to yourself
36.) Visualize yourself winning
37.) Develop your sense of humor
38.) Stop thinking tomorrow will be a better today
39.) Have goals for yourself
40.) Dance a jig (only if allowed exercise!!!!)
41.) Say "hello" to a stranger
42.) Ask a friend for a hug
43.) Look up at the stars
44.) Practice breathing slowly
45.) Learn to whistle a tune
46.) Read a poem
47.) Listen to a symphony
48.) Watch a ballet
49.) Read a story curled up in bed
50.) Do a brand new thing
51.) Stop a bad habit
52.) Buy yourself a flower
53.) Take time to small the flowers
54.) Find support from others
55.) Ask someone to be your "vent-partner"
56.) Do it today
57.) Work at being cheerful and optimistic
58.) Put safety first
59.) Do everything in moderation
60.) Pay attention to your appearance
61.) Strive for Excellence NOT perfection
62.) Stretch your limits a little each day
63.) Look at a work of art
64.) Hum a jingle
65.) Maintain your weight
66.) Plant a tree
67.) Feed the birds
68.) Practice grace under pressure
69.) Stand up and stretch
70.) Always have a plan "B"
71.) Learn a new doodle
72.) Memorize a joke
73.) Be responsible for your feelings
74.) Learn to meet your own needs
75.) Become a better listener
76.) Know your limitations and let others know them, too
77.) Tell someone to have a good day in pig Latin
78.) Throw a paper airplane
79.) Exercise every day (only if alloed to exercise!)
80.) Learn the words to a new song
81.) Get to work early
82.) Clean out one closet
83.) Play patty cake with a toddler
84.) Go on a picnic
85.) Take a different route to work
86.) Leave work early (with permission)
87.) Put air freshener in your car
88.) Watch a movie and eat popcorn
89.) Write a note to a far away friend
90.) Go to a ball game and scream
91.) Cook a meal and eat it by candlelight
92.) Recognize the importance of unconditional love
93.) Remember that stress is an attitude
94.) Keep a journal
95.) Practice a monster smile
96.) Remember you always have options
97.) Have a support network of people, places and things
98.) Quit trying to fix other people
99.) Get enough sleep
100.) Talk less and listen more
101.) Freely praise other people

BONUS: Relax, take each day at a have the rest of your life to live!

Not your typical "Talk Show" anorexic. WARNING may trigger!

I am about a week to a few days from delivering in the top two photos. Minus the belly my arms and legs are what I should have now weight wise. The 3rd photo I hate. I didn't have make up on and hair looks aweful but I put it to show me at my heaviest when I was about 14/15. It was also right around the time I started dieting. So roughly 20 years ago I went from that and ended with the ones below so to speak. I say so to speak because these below are from last year but I had been up and down through the years. I stopped myself from going any lower when I chose to seek treatment.
I was watching the Dr. Phil show the other day on a girl who was beyond emaciated. I started to think how often those girls are the ones picked for these kind of shows for shock value. While I did get extremely thin, I didn't even fit the mold of these extreme girls on these talk shows. My fear, as I struggled with this years ago, is that young girls will see these shows and not seek treatment for fear they aren't thin enough to need help and in the sickness of it go further in losing weight. The majority of girls struggling with eating disorders are not 50 to 70 pounds underweight. What I loved about Reasons in Alhambra was they didn't even allow us to talk weight, fat, etc during meals or groups with the exception of one evening group designated to get that out. I know for me it helped me not compare to others and to focus on what was hurting inside and not focus on a number or what I thought my body looked like. There were many things I struggled with accepting at Reasons but I chose to follow program.
One thing that is very difficult for those of us struggling with any form of eating disorder is feeling like we are losing control as well as trust to the professionals if we give the disorder up to treatment. Being able to truly trust your treatment team to not allow you to "get fat" or "lose control with food" is no easy task because as you slowly let go and allow them to help, the disorder grabs tighter because it's comfortable and what we know and are used to. I challenge you to take those small steps and see what happens. Take that leap of faith into recovery. There are so many who have fully recovered and who are living proof that it is "safe" to trust your team!
I have had a rough week due to some real sick things that happened in court last week but have managed to stay afloat and on track through it all. I have reached out a bit more due to it all and it's not over yet with trial coming this week which is insane to say the least. Gaining is not fun but it's getting to be ok for me now. I have ups and downs about it so by no means is it simple or something i love doing. I am just choosing recovery through it all instead of faling back into old habits. I certainly don't want to live the next 20 years with this.
Weekly therapy is helpful as is reaching out to those who are truly commited to recovery and those who truly understand.