Thursday, December 20, 2012

Foooood stuffs

Hello! I am sorry that it's been so long; grad school got crazy and there was very little sleeping, let alone blogging.  But I am finally on break, at my parents' house, and relaxing. And I figured it was time for an update.

About my last post, about social services: Everything got fixed! A few days after I posted my enraged post about the idiotic system, I got more mail from Social Services. The last one that I got explained everything. Basically, they have an electronic system that sends out mail automatically. When it doesn't receive the authorization that it needs, it sends you mail, even if it's not your fault. I finally got a letter approving me for $200 of benefits per month, which is awesome. After three months, they are going to check up on me and make sure that that is an appropriate amount. Thank goodness that's over!

So, I'm at my parents' house. I am making a conscious effort to call it 'my parents' house' instead of 'home', because it is not my home anymore. I live in Missouri, not Oregon. I will live there for two years, only coming to Oregon for Christmas and other random times. And I don't want my parents' house to be my house! I want to be independent, not strapped to them. Unfortunately, I am still relying on them for lots of funding and support, which kinda sucks. But soon, I will be able to have a real live job and make real live money that is alllll miiiiiine, muahahaha.

Speaking of my parents' house, it is always challenging to be here. Especially with food stuff. My mother is incredibly controlling about food, with herself and with others. I didn't notice that she controlled other people (well, besides me) until this week. Normally, I am so focused on how she is controlling toward my food intake, that I have failed to notice that she controls my dad too. For example, last night, we went to dinner at this nice Lebanese place, before going to see the Nutcracker. My dad ordered a Gyro sandwich, but then also ate a whole bunch of my food and my mom's food. (This was fine with me, because I had the stomach flu on Tuesday and wasn't feeling well enough to eat very much on Wednesday night at dinner, so he was welcome to my food). But my mom was piiiiissssed. She got all up in his face about it, and accused him of being selfish and eating all of her food and then his food. It was completely ridiculous. My dad is a hungry guy. He doesn't eat very good lunches sometimes, so by the time dinner comes, he is hungry. And he's a big guy, so he isn't going to eat the same amount as my mother, who is average sized. The amount of shaming that was happening was outrageous, but I couldn't say anything, because she would have gotten angry at me too. (Of course, I did numerous things to make her angry that night anyway, so whatever...). The whole thing made me realize a) how concerned my mother is about appearances, b) how concerned she is about food consumption, and c) how she needs to be in control at all times. I am amazing that she doesn't have a full-blown eating disorder. It's no wonder that I have eating issues...

I just can't wait to go back home, to Missouri. Please God, take me home! I want my friends and my own bed and my apartment and all of my stuff back. January can't come soon enough!

Here, have some pictures of my apartment :)
 This is my messy, messy bedroom ;)
 The other side of my bedroom with my dresser and cute shelves.
My kitchen!
My living room :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I HATE SOCIAL SERVICES

I am so freaking fed up with the Social Services people here. Let me start at the beginning, and you can share in the immense frustration that I am feeling right now.

I applied for food stamps about a month and a half ago. For those of you who don't know, food stamps are government assistance to help you buy food. You apply for benefits, and if you qualify (i.e. you are poor enough and other random-ass qualifications are met), they give you free money for groceries. I applied and never heard back... until I got a random letter in the mail saying that I had missed my scheduled interview and was required to interview with them by November 9th or lose my eligibility. And I was like, "Um, I never scheduled an interview, so how could I have possibly missed it?" I called my case worker, but she was unreachable and I kept getting redirected to other phone lines. So I finally went down to the office, which was a pain in the butt and took three hours total. I interviewed with another woman (not my case worker), who took all of my income verification and other stuff, and told me that I would qualify. She asked me to mail my last few pay stubs to them, to verify that my income was steady. She wanted pay stubs from September and October. When I arrived home, I realized that I didn't have any pay stubs from September, because I was unemployed then. So I mailed the other pay stubs to my case worker, with a note saying that I didn't have any from September.

Then about a week ago, I got a letter with my brand new EBT (food stamps) card and my pin number, and found out that I had been approved for $140 per month of benefits. Yay! I was so excited! Grocery shopping has never been more fun!

But THEN I got this ridiculous letter in the mail from Social Services yesterday saying:
"Based on information reported to us, your food stamps benefits have been closed effective 11/30/12 because: requested verification was not provided."
What the fuck.
What fucking verification did you request?
I don't know what they want from me! I just want my freaking free money! And because the office is virtually unreachable by phone, I would have to go back down there again, to sort this all out. I don't have time for this! I don't have transportation! This is such bullshit.

I am annoyed in general, because this is a waste of my time, but I am also annoyed at the system. Think about this: what if I was not a student of social work, but a single mother working three jobs to stay afloat? Would I have time to go down to the social services office twice, missing almost a whole day of work, to get these food stamps benefits? I think not. This is so messed up; the people who these food stamps should be benefiting are unable to get them, because of how screwed up the system is! This is unbelievable.

GRR.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Update

Hey guys, sorry I haven't updated in forever! It has been crazy busy over here, and I just haven't had time. I barely have time to sleep, let alone blog.

Things are fine. I had my meeting with the school counselor lady, who is also my academic adviser. She was pretty much completely useless. I was hoping that she could help me get a sooner counseling appointment, but she couldn't even do that. The meeting was literally 5 minutes long, and she asked me maybe three questions (Are you safe? Do you have plans to see a counselor? Is there anything that I can do for you?). Dumbest meeting ever. Part of me is glad that she didn't pry, and part of me is pissed off. If this were my friend who was suicidal, I would want this lady to ask her more questions and actually be helpful. But since it's me who was suicidal, I am grateful that she didn't get up in my business. I wouldn't have told her anything anyway.

My professor and teaching assistant have been fine too. My professor is acting like she doesn't know, which is great, because I was worried that she would treat me differently. I talked to my TA about it yesterday, and he assured me that he didn't think of me differently. He has been treating me the same too, so that's been nice. As for my friends, I am still pissed at them. I will probably never trust them again. Actually I will probably never trust anyone ever again, but whatever. I am being civil to my friends and pretending that it didn't happen, and that's working for me right now.

I haven't been suicidal since I told my friends about it. That night, they actually came to my apartment with me and took away my pills (that I had bought specifically for killing myself). And not having access to my means of suicide anymore relieved a lot of the pressure. I think that having the pills there in my room was freaking me out, and it made it more real. I felt like I needed to continue with my plan, because I had that crucial piece figured out. And the more I continued with the plan, the scarier it got, and the closer I came to actually doing it. So having the pills gone is great, and I have felt normal since then.

Other than that, life chugs on. School is crazy busy and I am really excited for the semester to be over soon-ish. I seriously need a break.

Ya'll are awesome. Keep being cool :)

Friday, October 26, 2012

FUUUUUUCK

The same thing that happened two years ago has happened again. See this post for more info on that situation. Last night, I admitted to a few friends that I was suicidal and that it was getting a little serious. I trusted these people, although I shouldn't have, obviously. Today, I got a phone message from my school.

School counselor lady: Hi Beth, this is *****. Please call me ASAP when you get this.
Me: Oh FUCK.

I knew what was happening, even before I checked her message. I had this sinking feeling in my stomach that I was screwed and my friends had told someone and it was all over. So I call the lady back, and she basically told me that my friends had told our class's teaching assistant about my thoughts, and he had told the counselor lady. And she was "concerned" and "just wanted to make sure that I was safe." I couldn't meet with her, because I am attending a conference this weekend, but she made me promise to stop by her office on Monday. She assured me that this would not affect my enrollment status, and that the school just wanted to support me and help me. She had better be telling the truth... because I am not in the mood for games.

I am so fucking pissed. I can't believe that a) I trusted these girls, and b) that they told on me. I can't believe that I would ever trust anyone ever again, after what happened during undergrad. I am such an idiot. I am going to be freaking out until Monday. And now my favorite professor and teaching assistant know about my personal issues. And that SUCKS. I am so mad. UGGGGGGGGG!!!!! HATE.

Don't worry. I'm not suicidal anymore. I will live, sadly.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Stuff! :)

Things have been going okay since I last posted. I have managed to keep the cutting under control somewhat. I haven't done it in 8 days so far, which is good for me. I also saw that counselor at Student Health again, and he referred me to another school counselor. He said that I could try to see her for a while, and then decide if I want longer-term counseling. I haven't made an appointment with her yet, but I will soon.

The reason that I'm blogging today is because I have exciting news! Well, it's exciting for me. Do you all remember when I was interviewed by that researcher about pro-ana blogging in June 2011? Find the posts that mention it here and here. Anyway, she just published her research! And I'm in it!! I read her published article today, because I'm awesome and have access to journal articles through my university, and it was so cool! I could definitely tell which quotes in the article were said by me. I feel so famous! My name was changed, so no one would know that it was me, but it was still awesome! Let me know if you want to read the article; I have it saved on my computer and I can send it to you.

Oh hey, speaking of something completely different... I forgot to tell you guys something! I did a 3.5 day prayer fast about two weeks ago. I was participating in this prayer and fasting week that my church in Oregon was doing. So I didn't eat anything, and just drank water, for 3.5 days. And you know what? I didn't relapse! Since I was fasting for a healthy reason, I didn't have any body image issues during the fast. I didn't have any impulses to extend the fast and make it longer than originally planned, and I wasn't thinking about it in terms of weight loss. And once the fast was over, I was completely able to resume regular eating, no problem. Yay! I am so proud of myself, and thankful to God, for staying healthy throughout this whole thing. I knew that it could be dangerous for me, but I trusted Him and did it anyway. And I am so glad that I did :)

Well, I have SO MUCH HOMEWORK, so I'm going to do that. Love you all!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Life... is interesting...

I didn't make this, but it describes exactly how I feel...

Oh gosh you guys... I miss the days when school was easy and I had a life. I am officially seven weeks into the semester now, and it is HARD. Classes are starting to get crazier. The school atmosphere is interesting, at best. I'm am stressed as hell. Life is difficult.

So, the school atmosphere. I knew that social work school would be liberal, but I was hoping for acceptance too. Not the case. Social work students in general are pretty intolerant of Christianity. And if you mention religion in class, then you are attacked. Especially if you mention a conservative viewpoint, which I tend to do. So I'm just getting used to being on guard all the time. I feel like I'm always tensed and ready for the next attack on my beliefs. Fun times.

My classes are super hard and there is a TON of reading. I have a big assignment due for at least one class, every week, until the end of the semester. I can't wait for the end of the semester. I am just tired of being tired.

My mood has been up and down. I'm not depressed. I was homesick for a while, but not depressed. Now I am mostly just anxious and stressed. Which has led to... you guessed it: cutting. I have been cutting myself every few days (or every day) for a few weeks now. So that's not good. I am currently in the apathetic stage, in which I don't care about my body and what I'm doing to it. I'm moving into the 'fighting back' stage though, which is good, because then I'll start to fight my urges instead of giving into them.

I actually went to see a counselor at Student Health last week. I am training to be a social worker, so I'd like to fix my own issues first. I don't want my issues interfering with my work with clients. The counselor told me that he doesn't think that he can provide the level of care that I need. He basically said that I need long-term counseling, and that I'm not as "fixed" as I thought. I had somehow deluded myself into thinking that I was doing pretty well. And I am, considering all of thing things that I've been through. But I guess self-harm is alarming to other people. It just seems normal to me, honestly. When you have been hurting yourself for nine years (yes, that long... scary, right?), and the longest you've ever gone without hurting yourself is four months (and that was only one time), I guess it's natural to think that this is normal. But if I have a friend who is doing it... then of course I am concerned. Double standard, anyone?

So anyway, that was a slap in the face. I am considering seeing an outside counselor though. I do really want to fix my issues. I DO NOT want to still be cutting in two years, when I am done with my Master's and starting to get my license. NO NO NO. I will NOT be like this in two years!!! This is a promise. The only issue with seeing an outside counselor is that I have to tell my parents... because they will see in on insurance. Ugg. That will be a fun conversation.

So wish we luck with everything. I would really like to stop cutting. I would also like to be less stressed, but still get everything done. (Haha). I love you guys, okay? You are wonderful.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Glad to be alive :)

This week is National Suicide Prevention Week, and I'm pretty grateful to be alive. I'm sure you all remember fall 2010, when I was contemplating taking my life every day. I am so blessed to have the friends that I have... without my friends, I literally wouldn't be alive today. I don't remember the code names that I used for everyone... but thank you to MM, MF, DK, TW, SJ, IJ, AB, DD, KH, and many others that I'm forgetting. It is so amazing to be on the other side of depression and suicidality, and to be able to look back and be glad that I didn't follow through. There were so many times when I sat with a bottle of pills or a suicide note or a razor blade pressed to my wrist, just thinking about death and struggling with life. THANK YOU, GOD for saving me from myself!

And thank you, dear followers, for being here for me. Your comments and readership during that time and other times really helped me. It was wonderful to know that even when I didn't want to live, other people wanted me to live. A special shout-out to Peri, who has been my rock for years. Thank you for being ridiculously amazing! Thank you thank you thank you.

Learn more about NSPW here: http://www.suicidology.org/about-aas/nspw
And here: http://www.twloha.com/blog/join-twloha-for-national-suicide

Monday, August 27, 2012

Grad School, OMG

So sorry about the long delay between posts! I would say that I will post more often... but I'm afraid that it's not true. I am starting graduate school classes tomorrow, and I feel like I will be more busy and have less time for blogging than before. LAME SAUCE. I'm in a weird mood, sorry.

So grad school! I finished up my summer job about two weeks ago, THANK GOODNESS. I was going a little crazy with the children and my supervisor. He was not the most fun person to work with, let me tell you. I am so glad that it's over, and that I will probably not have to do that job ever again, YAY! And then last week, I moved to St. Louis, Missouri! It was a little crazy and I had to do a lot of stuff in a short period of time, but I made it. My apartment is AMAZING. It's really cute and way bigger than I expected and awesome! I love my room and all my new furniture. I officially own a couch, a smaller couch chair thing, a bed, and various drawers and shelves. I have been cooking for myself and have officially cooked spaghetti and beans and rice. And they both tasted good! Amazing, haha. Not having a car has been an adventure, but my school provides a free bus/metro pass, which I have been using TONS. I took the bus to school today and then to Walgreens to get more allergy medication. And yesterday I took the bus to the grocery store and to a pizza place that was a few miles away. It is suuuper hot and humid here, and I am grateful for the air conditioned bus and not having to walk tons.

So classes start tomorrow, and I have Research Methods and Social Welfare Policies and Services. Sounds exciting, right? I think Tuesdays will be the most boring days. But I am excited to start classes and get a taste of grad school (orientation doesn't count).

Food stuff... is going okay. I didn't bring my scale, which I kind of regret. I have no idea what weight I am at. I know that I have been eating much healthier since I got here, mostly because I have no access to junk food. Going to the grocery store is too difficult to do every time I want chocolate. And when I do go to the grocery store, I purposely avoid buying candy and sugary things. So far, so good. But I am worried for when I get stressed... that's usually when I binge or eat lots of sugar.

I will update more later. I am sooo tired today! I love you all. I am sorry for neglecting you :(

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blarggggggggg

This is Meg <3
Sorry for not posting for such a long time; I think time just gets away from me, and I forget how long it's been. Lots of things have happened in the last month and a half. But I will talk about the following: 1) my job, 2) my school stuff, and 3) my food stuff.

My job. I started working five weeks ago, and it feels like FOREVER. Don't get me wrong, I love kids. But sometimes, it is just extremely exhausting and I can get burnt out quickly. This is why I don't want to work with kids full-time or for my real job. I can't handle them except for in small doses, and 30 hours/week is waaay more than small doses. I only have four weeks left, but I really wish it were less than that. I will be really excited to stop working and start school.

School stuff. I leave for St. Louis on August 17th, and it can't come fast enough. I registered for classes a few weeks ago, which was so exciting! I am taking five classes, which is apparently average, but I think it will be quite challenging. They are: Human Behavior, Research Methods, Social Justice and Human Diversity, Social Welfare Policies and Services, and Social Work Practice with Individuals/Families/Groups. I have taken classes in human behavior and research methods before, so my hope is that I can breeze through those and focus on the other three. Changing the subject slightly, my housemate moved into our apartment a few weeks ago, and it looks amazing! It is sooo much bigger than I expected, and everything looks brand new. I can't wait to move in :)

Food stuff. Sucks. Still at my highest weight ever, higher than last month. Hate. Don't know what to do.

We interrupt this blog post to bring you some sad news. Remember Meg, my cat who was sick last month? We had to put her to sleep. She had some sort of cancer, and it was growing very rapidly, and she was suffering. There was no treatment available and no money for treatment anyway, so we had to do it. I am really sad that she's gone, and I miss her tons, but I'm glad that she is not suffering anymore. I petted her and held her as she died, and I hope she knows that I loved her.

I guess that's about it. I love you guys, and I will try to keep you more updated. <3
Now look at this video of my cat Ginny (Meg's sister).

video

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Oh summer...

Ugg, you guys, my summer is not going the way I want it to so far. My room still isn't fully unpacked, even though I got home three weeks ago. Here is what it looked like last week:
And here is what it looks like now:

Better, but not great. There are still crazy piles of stuff everywhere, and this doesn't even show you the mess in the bathroom! So that's annoying, and it's freaking me out. As a clean person, it makes me anxious to have such a mess. But I just have NO motivation to clean it! I don't understand! It's like finishing college made me lose my motivation for anything.

Speaking of college, I am officially a college graduate! I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, departmental honors and summa cum laude :) It was really sad to leave all my friends behind, but I am glad to be moving forward with my life. I loved my school while I was there, but I needed to leave. Luckily, some of my friends live in Oregon or St. Louis, so I will see them again! Speaking of St. Louis, I leave for graduate school on August 17th! Orientation starts August 20th and classes start August 28th. I'm super pumped. I also have an apartment and a roommate! Her name is Chloe (not her real name, for privacy reasons) and she is 25. She will also be a 1st year student in the social work program. She has a deposit on a great apartment that is a 20 minute walk from campus, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, washer and dryer in the unit. The price is decent, and my parents are helping, so we can make it work. I'm super excited to start my new life in St. Louis! 2.5 months, baby.

I haven't started my summer job yet, but I will be working at the science museum that I worked at last summer. I start June 18th, and I'm doing aftercare again. I will work 12-6 pm every day. I hope that this is the summer that I will finally prove that I am an adult, that I can control my emotions around the kids, and that I can make a good impression on my supervisors. Man, I am not cut out for working with kids...

Food and body image sucks. I can't seem to get my chocolate consumption under control. I'm still at my highest weight ever, and it sucks balls. I really dislike my body, and because of that, I have wanted to hurt myself for the first time since I stopped taking my meds. Not cool! Of course, it was a very small urge and I didn't act on it. I just really want to be healthier, but I'm having a hard time doing it. I'm tired of being fat and lazy, and I just want to be a normal person.

Finally, the last big thing happening in my life is that my cat is sick :( Her name is Meg, and she and her sister Ginny are my kitties. They grew up in my room, and I am their mommy. She started losing a lot of weight in the last few weeks, and I didn't notice right away, because I just figured that I was making it up. But my dad noticed this weekend, and we took her to the vet on Monday. A few years ago, she weighed 11 pounds, and now she weighs 8 pounds (or she did on Monday). We found out from the vet that she had a fever, she was really dehydrated, and her kidneys were swollen and lumpy. They took blood and urine samples, and found that she has a bladder infection. However, they don't think that this is the cause of her weight loss. They gave us some oral antibiotics, which made her throw up, so they had to give her an antibiotic shot. Tomorrow, if she is not significantly better, she may need an ultrasound to figure out what's wrong with her kidneys. I am taking her in first thing in the morning so they can assess her and give her IV fluids. I am super worried that she won't be much better, and my parents don't want to pay for the ultrasound. I don't want my kitty to die!! I am praying that she gets a lot better overnight and the antibiotic shot will fix her. She seems a little perkier already, and she ate food and drank water without throwing up tonight. I'll let you know what happens. Here are some cute pictures of her:


She is so cute! I love her so much <3

Last thing: my friend is doing okay (you know, from the last post). Of course, suicidality doesn't just go away, so I am still praying for her, and I encourage you to do the same. She is an amazing person, and I definitely want to see her live :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

S.O.S. HELP

I want to write an update post (sorry for not posting very often, I suck), but I'm too upset right now. I have an online friend who is suicidal... sorry friend, you are probably reading this and I don't want to upset you more. I'm just really worried about her, and I can't stop thinking about it. I really care for her, and it's killing me that I can't do anything. Especially since she lives on the other side of the world, and there is no possible way of getting in contact with her! She could be dead, and I would never find out. This is the worst feeling ever. I need help, guys. I have no idea what to do. I just really care about her and don't want to see anything bad happen to her. Please help.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

CRAZINESS update :)

I am SO SORRY I haven't posted in forever. For a while, I honestly forgot about this blog. My life has been a little hectic the last month or so, and I just totally flaked. One reason I haven't blogged is because I have been sans laptop and living off the computers in the psychology lounge at school. I sent in my laptop to Toshiba to fix the webcam, it came back with a cracked screen, I filed a complaint and sent it back, it came back cracked again, and I FINALLY got it back in one piece today. 1.5 months later. Geez.
Let me try to gather my thoughts. Here is a general synopsis of everything that has been happening:
  1. My diet died, haha. I knew I couldn't keep it up, especially when I realized that I was getting a little obsessive. I started seeing things in terms of "good days" and "bad days" and "good foods" and "bad foods," and I knew it was time to stop. I have been eating pretty unhealthily since, but whatever. I'm not super bothered by it, as long as I stop eating so freaking much by graduation.
  2. Eating stuff is okay, although I have been doing a lot of emotional/boredom/stress eating recently. Stupid girl hormones.
  3. I'M GRADUATING IN 9 DAYS! OH MY GOSH! It's crazy. I finished classes on Wednesday, and my only final exam is on Tuesday (the 8th). And then I graduate on Sunday, May 13th. It is soooo weird to be almost done with my undergraduate career, but it feels good. I'm super ready to leave this place.
  4. I picked a graduate school! In the fall, I will officially be going to the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis! It's super expensive and I'm going to have crazy student loans (and so will my parents), but it will be worth it. Top program in the US, baby! I officially decided about a week ago, after I visited the school for a weekend. It was AMAZING and I'm so incredibly excited to be there in the fall. Orientation is the week of August 20th!
  5. I am almost done with my thesis! All it needs are final edits, and then I'm finished. My adviser already graded it (without my permission, I might add) and I got an A! And I think I'm graduating with departmental honors! Yay!
  6. I am happy. Like actually happy. No medication, no therapy. Happy! I know this is going to sound crazy, but it's God. Once I stopped freaking out, pitying myself, and using man-made techniques, and I started trusting Him with my depression, things got a thousand times better. I haven't felt depressed in almost two months, which is NUTS. This hasn't happened since I was 12! I'm amazing and truly blessed.
  7. I have a summer job! I am (almost) officially working at the science museum that I work at every summer. Glad to have a job, but wishing I was in graduate school NOW instead of in August.
  8. This semester has been a time of crazy spiritual growth, and I have become a lot closer to God recently. This has led to some surprising changes in my views, personally, religiously, and politically. But I am honestly okay with it all. I am at complete peace with my life and I'm ready for whatever God throws at me next. I live to do His will and build His kingdom! :)
Well, that's about it. I hope I haven't left anything out! There is so much to tell about the last month and a half, and there just isn't space. I love you all <3

Friday, March 23, 2012

Diet Update

This is Mocha; he's my kitty :)

Oh hay! It's been far too long. I have been busy and I honestly forgot about this blog. That seems to happen to me a lot. Things have been pretty great. It seems that there is no end to the amount of procrastination that I can accomplish. I haven't touched my thesis since spring break, and I want to have a draft done by Sunday... we'll see how that goes. I'm sure it's going to be fine; I just find myself with a serious lack of motivation and a paralyzing fear when it comes to writing my thesis.

My diet is going well. I had a friend confront me a little bit about it, because I don't have the best track record with dieting (hint: eating disorder relapse every time). And she's right; in my last post, I did sound a little more disordered than I meant to. But I feel like I have things under control, and I know what to do if things get out of control. I have to admit that I was counting calories for a few days. I mean, really, it's hard not to. But I've stopped. And I'm not obsessed with it or anything. I have definitely had some slip-ups, in terms of not following the "rules" of the diet. But I am not upset about them. I am really trying to look at this as more of a lifestyle change than anything else. Normal, healthy people don't eat dessert with every meal, plus candy in between. Normal, healthy people don't lose control and binge on a weekly basis. I want to be a normal, healthy person. And I think that starts with realizing that my eating isn't healthy. The changes that I've made to my diet have been legitimately healthy changes: less fried food, no sugar (like candy and such), no snacking unless actually hungry, less alcohol consumption. And I think I'm doing okay with everything. I haven't had the urge to starve myself, or to binge and purge. I'm not doing anything unhealthy with the food that I'm eating. And I haven't been getting obsessive about my exercise. I was going to exercise every day, but that is unrealistic, I realized. And I accidentally injured myself this week, so I have had to take time off. And that's okay with me, because I care more about my health than my exercise regime. So on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is completely relapsed and 10 is completely healthy, I would say I'm at around a 7. And that's pretty good for me.

In terms of my graduate school decision... I am no closer to deciding where to attend than I was two weeks ago. Both schools that I'm looking at have their pluses and minuses, and I just don't know yet which one has more pluses. I'll keep you posted.

Weeeelll, that's about it, I guess. Everyone have a great weekend! <3

Monday, March 12, 2012

Goals!

I have decided that I want to end my senior year of college on a healthy note. So I'm starting a healthy diet and exercise plan today. My friend and I are doing it together. Basically, we aren't eating sugar (like desserts and candy, which I shouldn't eat anyway because I gave up dessert for Lent) or fried food (like french fries), and trying to eat healthy stuff besides that. But nothing too crazy or restrictive, and NO COUNTING CALORIES. I have to admit, I am super tempted to count. But I'm not going to do it! I do NOT need a relapse right now. Or ever. I am super determined to stay in recovery.

As for the exercise, I am going to try to work out every day for 30 minutes. Maybe not Sunday. But again, I'm not going to stress out if I miss a day or can't do the full 30 minutes. I'm also going to make an effort to pace myself, so I don't injure myself or get crazy. I got a little obsessed with over-exercising during my last big relapse (March 2010), and I don't need that happening now either. I need to be healthy for grad school!

I have to admit though: I do want to lose weight. This isn't just for being healthy. I mean, I want to lose weight to be healthy. But I do want to lose weight. I want to lose 10 or 15 pounds before my sorority's formal on April 28th. It would be great if I could look hot in my dress! But either way, feeling healthier is the ultimate goal. And I'm not going to weigh myself all the time, I swear.

Sooo.... Peri gave me the idea to set some goals for this month! I like goals; they keep me motivated. So here they are:

  1. Stop eating candy/desserts, unless absolutely necessary (like in dire emotional situations, like a failed exam, lol). 
  2. Work out at least 3 times per week, but preferably every day.
  3. Stop drinking so much! Only drink (alcohol) once this month max, and don't get too crazy. 
  4. Finish a draft of my thesis by March 25th.
  5. Figure out which graduate school I am going to (but if this goal doesn't happen, it is not the end of the world, since I don't have to tell WashU until May 1st). 
That's it! I will update ya'll and tell you how everything is going. 
Have a great week!
<3

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Freeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Hey! It's spring break! Yay! Except for the fact that it's Thursday and I haven't really done anything productive. I have mostly been a slug and watched a lot of TV. That's okay though. I worked on my thesis a little bit yesterday and today. I still have to write a stupid short story for creative writing. Why did I sign up for this class again?

I am officially off my medication! I did it a little fast, which wasn't perhaps the smartest idea ever. From 400 mg to zero in 17 days! I had minor side effects from withdrawal (dizziness, loss of focus, etc.) but nothing major. Today is day four without medication. I feel normal. Like actually normal. Like a real person. Not sad, not overly happy. Not depressed, not hypomanic. Isn't it sad that I think something is wrong when I'm not depressed? I have been depressed for so long that it freaks me out to be normal. It makes me feel out of whack, weird, off-balance. I mean, don't get me wrong; it's nice! I like wanting to be alive! I DO NOT miss wanting to die all the time! I really like being able to enjoy life! And it's for real this time. There is no antidepressant or mood stabilizer behind my good mood. It's all me, baby. Weird, right?

Other than my medication, things are going well. Well, mostly. I got my period today and it's making me feel like a blob of fat. So that sucks. I hit a high weight this morning, and freaked out a little. There is a certain weight that I refuse to go above. This isn't one of those eating disorder things. I am not a tiny waif who needs to gain weight so she won't die. I am honestly obese. You wouldn't know it to look at me; I just look overweight. But my BMI is in the obese range. And when I go over this particular weight, I am NOT okay with it. NOT OKAY. I wanted to purge today, but I didn't. Mostly because a) I had just finished telling a friend that purging wasn't worth it, and b) I didn't feel like going back down that road. I feel confident that with the help of my friends, I can stay on the recovery path throughout my period. I am always a bloated, cranky bitch during my period, and this month is no exception. I will survive though!

Have a wonderful week guys :) Also, you should all watch Demi Lovato's new documentary about her eating disorder, self-harm, etc. It is wonderful!
http://www.mtv.com/shows/demi_lovato_stay_strong/series.jhtml

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Good stuff

Oh haaay! Things are going pretty well over here. I am almost done collecting data for my study!! I need one more participant, and then I'm DONE! Amazing... I thought I'd never get here. The trouble is, I have to find this last participant... I'll figure it out. But now that I'm almost done collecting data, I have to start analyzing the data and writing my actual thesis. Which sucks. I have to do a symposium (20 minute talk) on it on April 12th, and I hope to be almost done writing the whole thing by then. I mean, I barely have any other homework. How hard can it be? Haha :) I'll just have to rustle up some motivation. Anyone know where I can get some of that?

My medication taper is going well. I did 4 days on 350 mg (down from 400), and then got bored and impatient... so I skipped down to 200 mg. I know, not the smartest idea. But I'm fine! I've been on 200 mg for five days now. I thought I was having a few side effects during the first four days. I had some headaches and a serious loss of focus, but I think I was just tired. Since then, nothing. However, I am super sick right now, so I can't be sure. I have a cold. It suuuuuucks. But I got some really good drugs and that helps :) I'll keep you all updated on my progress and any side effects that occur from the taper.

I went out drinking last night, despite being sick. My sorority did golf (Google it, it's a drinking game), which was fun. I took a bunch of cold medicine so that I would feel well enough to go (maybe not smart, but whatever). I drank waaaaay too much, but what else is new? I don't remember half of my night, but the good news is that I spent that part of the night hanging out with friends (apparently), so nothing bad happened. I do have mysterious injuries though. My left knee really hurts, and so does the right side of my head. I think I must have fallen or something, and bumped my head and knee. Weird. I also woke up in the morning to find blood everywhere. Scary! It turns out that I had a bloody nose before going to bed. There was blood on the floor, blood on my towels, blood on the clothes I had been wearing. I did laundry today, and everything is good now, but it was kind of scary to wake up to!

Other than that... I actually am feeling pretty good these days. I don't know if it's the medication taper or what, but I haven't really been depressed at all. No suicidal thoughts (or at least no lasting ones; I always have passing ones). No cutting. No weird food stuff. I have been doing this new thing where I try to talk myself out of my negative thoughts. I learned it in my psych disorders class (haha). We talked about it during our unit on cognitive behavioral therapy. It involves distracting yourself from the negative cognition, analyzing what is distorted about the cognition, and disputing it. You dispute it by examining it, searching for alternative cognitions, and looking at the usefulness of the cognition. Let's have an example.
Let's say that I study really hard for an exam, but still get a B. I know, a B is a good grade for some people, but in my mind, it's not a good grade for me. Remember, I have a 3.8 GPA. Because of my "bad" grade, I decide that I'm stupid. This is clearly a negative cognition.
1) Distract: Think about other things to avoid ruminating about the grade.
2) Distort: This cognition is distorted because clearly, I have a 3.8 GPA. I wouldn't have a GPA like that if I was stupid.
3) Dispute: I kind of already did this one in 'distort.' But I can examine the cognition and search for alternatives. Like, "I am smart." Or, "A 'B' isn't a bad grade; it's above average!" Or, "I don't need to get good grades to prove that I'm smart. One B doesn't make me stupid." I can also look at the usefulness of the cognition (And it's not useful at all. In fact, it just brings me down and makes me feel horrible).

I have been having relatively good success with this. I just have to keep it up and quit the ruminating! Did you know that women are more likely to be depressed than men, partially because we tend to ruminate?

So I guess that's about it! I will update you all soon. <3

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pillssssssssss

Ok, let's be real. I am hiding. I feel like I am perpetually hiding my feelings from others, because I don't want to get in trouble. And that's freaking ridiculous. Why should I have to hide?? They're my feelings! But unfortunately, people don't see them that way. People feel the need to share my feelings with others. My feelings aren't theirs to share.

No, nothing like this has happened recently, but I have been keeping many secrets in order to avoid this happening. And that's frustrating, because when I feel like I need to talk to someone, I find that I can't think of who would be safe to talk to. It sucks when you are scared to tell your friends anything.

I mentioned that my thesis has been relatively unhealthy for me. Because of the topic of my thesis, disordered eating, I come into contact with a lot of data about people's disordered habits. And I start to miss my own disordered habits. This has led to four or five almost relapses, one of which I chronicled in my last post. It has also led to depression. The depression I'm currently experiencing is due to a few things.

  1. I'm stressed. My thesis is stressful.
  2. I feel kind of hopeless about my future. I mean, I have been depressed or eating disordered or cutting or suicidal since I was 13. Eight years. Is this ever going to get better? What else is there that I haven't tried? I'm tired of this.
  3. The obvious one: I have chemical depression. Duh. 

I'll be honest with you; I have been suicidal. And that both freaks me out and frustrates me. I'm so sick of this! So I have decided to do something about it. I have decided to try something new.
I'm going off my medication. 
I can see your reaction coming from a mile away. A million questions. Why? How? Are you consulting a doctor? Are you an idiot? Do you really think this will help?

Why? Because the meds aren't helping. I started Lamictal last December (2010) at 100 mg. I am at 400 mg and feel the same. This is not normal. I am still depressed. Nothing has changed.

How? I have a plan. I have both 200 mg and 150 mg tablets. I can use a combination of these (splitting the pills in half if needed) to taper down to 75 mg. At 75 mg, I am not completely positive what to do, because I can't evenly spit anything lower than that. I will figure it out when I get there. I am going to do this slowly, because I have read horror stories about the side effects of tapering too quickly off Lamictal. If you go cold turkey, you can have a seizure! No thanks. I am going to try to do this right. Obviously, if I have bad side effects, I will go slower or stop. And if I have severe depression or whatever, I will stop too.

Are you consulting a doctor? Nope. Is this stupid? Maybe. I just don't want to talk to my prescriber. She would probably tell me to wait till I see her next, which is at the end of May. I want to feel better NOW, not in three months. And even if this doesn't make me feel better, at least I will have tried something. Honestly, feeling hopeless is what is making me the most depressed. Trying to taper off my meds gives me hope.

Are you an idiot? We kind of already covered this one. Yes, I probably am. But I know my limits and I know when to quit. What do I have to lose?

Do you really think this will help? I have no clue. I hope so. If it doesn't help, then at least I tried!

I hope this is going to go well. I will keep you all updated, obviously. I took my regular dose, 400 mg, this morning. I will try 350 mg tomorrow. I should be able to tell by Monday if I am going to have bad side effects. We'll see what happens!
<3

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Oh my gosh, so much typing...

So I posted about a month ago... how do I let it get this far? It seems like I have been at school for years, not just a month. This is going to be the longest/shortest semester ever. Longest, because I have soooo much stuff going on and every day feels like an entire week. Shortest, because I am graduating in three months... that's right. Three months. Ahhhh!! Speaking of which: I got into University of Michigan! I'm so excited! Of course, I can't actually go there unless they give me tons of money (it's 57,000 DOLLARS PER  YEAR), but that's ok. I'm still waiting to hear about scholarships from WashU. They said between February 1st and 15th.... it's the 12th. Hurry up! I'm getting a bit impatient. I know that either way, scholarship or no scholarship, that things will work out the way that God has planned them for me. But I just want to know! It's a human thing. First world problem, lol.

This semester has been crazyyyyyy. I have been far too busy. Why? Because my stupid thesis is eating my life. I have officially begun Phase Two. I selected participants during Phase One through a series of questionnaires. I was looking for participants with disordered eating (NOT eating disorders; disordered eating is different. Go here to learn more.) My participants do a series of tasks:
- An anxiety inventory
- A candy taste test (M&M's, Skittles, and Reese's Pieces- they rate the candies on a variety of scales)
- A food word search
- Creation of an advertisement for a fictional restaurant

Some participants are observed through a one-way mirror during these tasks (and they are told that), and some are not. Some participants are told that they must present the advertisement that they created (and be filmed), and some are not. What I'm hoping to find is this:
- Anxious participants (no observation) eat more than all other participants.
- Observed participants (all groups) eat less than non-observed participants.
- Participants who are both anxious and observed eat less than all other participant groups.
I don't know if I will find these things, but those are my hypotheses!

The point is that my life is getting a bit crazy. All I do is run participants. Literally. I did 18 participants this week. Each person takes 35 minutes. Set-up takes 20 minutes. Clean-up takes 20 minutes. Data collection takes 10 minutes. That's a minimum of an hour and 25 minutes per participant. And sometimes I get side-tracked, or the participant asks a ton of questions (which is fine, I like that). So I'm spending 1.5 to 2 hours on each person. Luckily, I am able to do people back-to-back, which helps a ton (less set-up and clean-up). But I'm pretty sure that I spent at least 20-25 hours this week on participants. That's a part time job! And that's on top of my two classes and my 11-hour-per-week job. I don't do homework much anymore. I had an exam on Monday in Psych Disorders, which I had to CRAM for, because I hadn't had much time to study for it before then. Plus I have no motivation. But that's a different story. Anyway, it's a blessing that my two classes don't have much homework. But I have a paper due on Friday for Psych Disorders and a digital story draft due sometime this week (I think) for Creative Writing... and I'm not sure when I'll do them.

That's another thing: I have absolutely no motivation for ANYTHING. I just want to sleep all the time. I don't want to do homework. I don't want to go to class. I don't want to hang out with friends. I don't want to go to meals. I just want to sleep. I skipped dinner tonight to take a nap. I either have serious senioritis or depression. Or both. It's like I just don't care anymore! It's getting really annoying.

And finally... I have been having some mental health issues. I'm okay right now, but in the past month, things have been a little dicey. I have done some cutting. And I had a fairly serious issue with food this past week. I decided that it would be a great idea to not eat for five days. I mean, I was kind of eating. Like 0-300 calories per day. But that doesn't really count as eating. I was pretty convinced that it would turn into a big relapse, like spring 2010, when I started this blog. And I was happy about it. That's what always scares me; I miss my ED sometimes! I miss the feeling of losing weight. I miss the high of a fast. I miss the solidarity of the other people online with EDs. I miss having a secret.
But here's what I don't miss: lying all the time, being really freaking hungry, hating myself, isolating myself from friends, not being able to concentrate, being tired all the time, sneaking around, avoiding social gatherings because there might be food, bingeing, purging, worrying constantly about my weight, using any methods possible to get thin.
Oh yah, I purged too. Oops. I forgot about that.

Luckily, I remembered these things on day 5 and made myself eat. No one had to tell me to eat this time (yay!); it was my conscience (actually, it was God, but you guys don't care about that). I had just finished running a participant through Phase Two. After they do the tasks, I tell them about the experiment and why they were selected. I am SO TIRED of telling people that they have disordered eating. But anyway, I always tell them that there are ways to be healthier (and I send them resources), and I encourage them.** Sometimes, people tell me about their eating issues, and/or they realize that what I'm saying makes sense. (sometimes people get upset and refuse to believe me, but whatever). The participant I had just run through the experiment had told me about her struggles with an eating disorder. I was entering her data and cleaning up, and I suddenly reached my breaking point. I mean, I am such a hypocrite! Who am I to tell these women that they are unhealthy, when I'm just as bad?? So after much freaking out and crying, I ate lunch. I've been okay since then. Once I eat, then it's easier and easier to eat each time after that. But anyway, that sucked. That's the third or fourth brush with relapse I have had this semester, and they all have had to do with my thesis. Whether directly or indirectly.

Ok, this is ridiculously long. I will post more some other time and tell you about other stuff. There has just been soooo much going on in the last month!
<3

**Btw, I'm not forcing anything on them. I just tell them that they were selected because their scores on the initial survey packet indicated disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. And I tell them about disordered eating, and leave the rest up to them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another month...

This is Aaron Carter. PLEASE say you know him!
Oh, cute 90's pop stars...

I realize it's been another month since I've last posted. It's just so hard sometimes! It's overwhelming coming back and realizing that I've missed a month of other people's posts. By the time I get through reading everything, I'm so tired that I don't even want to blog. But whatever. Suck it up.

I'm back at school. I had winter break for three weeks, which was completely unproductive. I was supposed to work on thesis stuff, which I did not. Now I'm back, and wishing that I had. I'm taking two classes this semester: creative writing and psych disorders. I'm also doing my thesis experiment and being the department tutor for the psych department. My thesis experiment is coming along nicely. I'm running a few pilot participants this weekend (assuming my candy actually comes in the mail) to see how the timing goes and everything. Remember, my thesis is on the effects of anxiety and observation on eating behavior in disordered eaters. I'm recruiting disordered eaters, making them anxious (or not), watching them (or not), giving them food, and seeing what happens. Should be fun!

I'm trying to make this semester better than last semester. My prescriber upped my meds over break, so that might help. So far, so good. I am trying to sleep more, but have only been getting 5-6 hours per night because I get up at 6 am every day. Going to be before 11 pm is hard! But sleeping is worth it :)

I was having a little trouble with rape stuff, because I had several conversations with different people about my rape/rape in general, and there is a girl who sided with my rapist who just came back from abroad. So that's been interesting, but oh well. It was only a few days, and it wasn't much. I am trying to utilize God and my friends when I'm feeling upset, instead of turning it on myself.

OH! I got accepted to a graduate school! It's my top choice: Washington University in St. Louis, the Brown School of Social Work. I had an interview for scholarships today (ahhh!!), and I should find out if I get any scholarships between February 1st and 15th. YAY! I'm super excited. I don't know if I can go to WashU if I don't get scholarships, but my dad hinted that maybe we could make it work. YAY! SO EXCITED! It's been a good few weeks.

Other than that... Christmas was good. I got a new laptop (it's super sweet). Graduation is super soon (freak out). School is school.
Peace out, kids :)