May 5, 2010

M.I.A.

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:24 am by eddejae

Dear Readers,

I must extend my deepest apologies for neglecting you these past few days. I have been quite overwhelmed with a multitude of emotions, thoughts, events, and the like, and have not had the opportunity nor *gasp* the inclination to blog. For this, I confess, I do feel some measure of guilt and not a small amount of trepidation that my heretofore faithful readers shall begin to lose whatever faith they had in my consistency of posting. However, I must give myself credit where credit is due and admit to myself that I have been under a considerable amount of stress as of late and, as such, deserve a much-needed break from the word of facebook, WordPress, Yahoo, and other such social networking sites.

Ok, enough of that.

So, as I was saying, I’ve been quite preoccupied with two very important males in my life. First, my wonderful boyfriend. And second, my little brother (who is not technically my little brother, but may as well be – I’ve basically adopted him as such). Most of my time has been divided between these two amazing people who I love so dearly. I have been especially worried about my brother and have been doing whatever I can to keep him afloat. He also deals with severe depression and I have been trying my hardest to be there for him and help him work through this.  On top of all this, I have been working to deal positively and effectively with the emotions that still seem to come out of nowhere at random times, triggered by random events, and that is exhausting in and of itself.

I also have some big news that I will have to wait until tomorrow to share as I am too exhausted at this moment to write any further.

I have a million things I want to expound upon in the next several posts, and I am therefore anxious to get back to my normal blogging schedule tomorrow.

Take care, my friends!

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March 23, 2010

Head Above Water

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:29 pm by eddejae

I broke down last night.

I didn’t even see it coming.

I was able to pull myself together enough to go to sleep. Today has been difficult. I am struggling with feeling disappointed with myself for “giving in” to my negative emotions instead of using coping skills to keep my head afloat. At this point I am fighting to keep my head above the water, fighting to keep from drowning in a sea of self-doubt and despair.

How did I get here? Everything was going along splendidly. I was finally starting to feel empowered. I felt like I was making so much progress in just a short time period. I was even feeling that somehow this couldn’t be real… How could I have come so far so quickly? I have actually been rather proud of myself for how I’ve been doing. However, despite my good spirits and increasing resolve, that little doubting voice in the back of my mind kept saying “Keep alert, this is just the calm before the storm…”

Sure enough, before I was able to perceive the warning signs, the storm broke loose.

I have been spending most of the day today prostrate in front of the television, seemingly engrossed but really just spacing out as I’ve tried to figure out what happened.

I think I’ve pinpointed it.

I became overconfident. I started to take on too much, too fast. Because I was feeling so good for a couple weeks there, I thought I could start going on Facebook more often, start having more online conversations, start going to larger social events again. I figured I would be fine, that I would be able to back off once I started to feel overwhelmed. The problem was that I lost touch with my own internal warning signs telling me that I was becoming too stressed. Looking back, I can see the increased anxiety manifesting itself through nightmares, rapid heart beat, and more urges to binge and self-harm. Yesterday I started to feel a cold, creeping emptiness come upon me that I hadn’t felt in weeks, that seemingly came out of “nowhere.” Well, that’s never true. Emotions don’t originate in a vacuum… I just wasn’t able to recognize what was happening inside me as I opened myself up to more and more outside pressure, which is not conducive to healing at this point.

It also doesn’t help that I haven’t seen a therapist in three weeks. I’ve been putting off calling my new therapist because of fear of the unknown and my phobia of making phone calls. I bit the bullet today and called both my insurance company and my new therapist to set up an appointment for Thursday. Hopefully seeing him will help get me back on a good path.

I am upset with myself because I fell back into that familiar pattern I’ve gone through for the last four years. I start to see improvement, I start feeling better about myself, and then I start to get lax, get “comfortable,” and think I can take on the world again… Then I crash.

Well, as much as I’d like to think I’m endowed with supernatural abilities including spontaneous regeneration…

I am no Superwoman.

I still have a long ways to go in my recovery and I can’t kid myself into thinking I’m “just fine” when I’m not. I need to take it slow, and also give myself another break from outside pressures that just serve to overwhelm me. My biggest mistake was getting involved in conversation with someone who completely invalidated my view of myself and my illness. It tore me apart. Then right after that, I got a text message from someone I did NOT want to hear from, and was so upset I threw my phone against the wall (I can’t tell you how many times THAT has happened!) Basically, I need to focus on myself right now and not spread myself too thin. I simply don’t have the skills to take on more than the basics right now, as much as I’d like to do more. I have high expectations for myself, and big things I want to do with my life… but those will just have to wait. I have to be patient with myself. My priority right now… is me.

So here’s to “falling forward.”  Here’s to restoring my focus on the essentials. Here’s to simplifying my life again and resetting my priorities.

Tomorrow is a new day… I pray for the strength to press on.

February 24, 2010

It’s Now or Never

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 12:57 pm by eddejae

Today is a brand new day with brand new goals!  I have to say, I’m pretty excited to start the program I’ve created for myself.  The two over-arching goals that I will be constantly working on, even as I master other goals, are:

1) Stick to exercise and nutrition program to achieve weight loss goal and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

  • Start with 30-min cardio/day and work up to 60 min cardio, 5 days a week.
  • Gradually incorporate strength training 2 times a week and stretching every day.
  • Eat 1,200-1,400 calories/day – high protein, complex carbohydrates
  • Cut out any excess sugar and caffeine.
  • Weigh myself once a week to track my progress.

2) Attend weekly therapy sessions and work on applying skills discussed.

  • Journal what is discussed during therapy
  • Identify skills I need to work on and set up a plan of action with therapist

The other three goals I will be working on now are:

3) Daily scripture study and prayer, and weekly church attendance.

4) Reading assigned therapy materials.

  • Read at least a chapter a day in one of the books I’m reading and take notes

5) Practice my piano and singing.

  • Practice piano at least 30 min every day
  • Do some amount of vocal exercises every day

And, of course, blogging every day 🙂

I think my medication is finally starting to take effect… The last few days I’ve had a lot more mental and physical energy than I’ve had in a long time. I’m currently on Seroquel (an anti-psychotic) and Lexapro (anti-depressant). The Seroquel still makes me sleep 11-12 hours a night, but I’m a lot less sleepy during the day. I’ve also noticed less obsessive thoughts and mood swings. My uncontrollable urges to cut myself or overdose have also left almost completely. After trying so many medications that either made me a zombie or made me suicidal, it’s such a relief to finally be on something that seems to be working for me.

I still struggle with urges to binge, but I’m hoping that by sticking to a healthy eating and exercise program, that will decrease as well. Also, since my binging or restricting urges are usually a way for me to escape or distract myself from emotional stress, I’m working on turning to other outlets when I’m feeling triggered. That’s where my 3 goals come in… Practicing my music is a huge emotional release for me, and nourishing my faith and continuing to learn from my therapy books will keep me motivated to choose healthy coping skills.

I will be honest… I’ve never been good at sticking to things or keeping promises to myself. But I know without a doubt that if I don’t stay committed to my goals and to my recovery, I will never have a fulfilling life. It will just be the cycle of depression and self-destructive behaviors, over and over again. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t accept that anymore. I know what kind of life I want, and I will do whatever it takes to get there. For the first time in my life, I feel truly committed to something. Sure, I may make mistakes … It’s kind of inevitable… But as long as I “fall foward,” and pick myself up again and again, there is no way I can truly fail. I will make it, step by step…