Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gloomy with a chance of hopeful

Yesterday was reletively poopy. I got a call from Rosie's bakery saying that they didn't want to hire someone who was leaving town in January. That'll teach me to be honest with potential employers. Everybody, and by everybody I mean my parents and Heather, have been telling me to lie and say that I can work indefinitely when people ask how long I can stay. This seems dishonest. Probably because it is I s'pose... and generally I have no problem being dishonest. I lie all the time! But it seems particulary maliciious to lie to someone who is paying you to work for them. Hmmm... ethical dilemmas are tricky.

So getting that news wasn't fun. I guess I was feeling self destructive after that so I WEIGHED MYSELF. I haven't weighed myself in over three months. About a week and a half ago I found a neighbor's scale sitting on the sidewalk and I stole it and hid it in my mother's car. I've been thinking about using it... but Dr. Gordon thought it would lead to massive restriction behaviors which would in turn lead to mega binges. Anyways, I was feeing impulsive and rather than wallow in my feelings of heaviness I thought I'd check and see how many actual pounds I'd need to lose in order to be thin again. Turns I'm not QUITE as huge as I thought, but only by five pounds. That puts me fifteen pounds away from being thin, and twenty five to thirty pounds away from being skinny. I shall work towards the first goal in a thoughtful and diplomatic manner. This means no crash dieting, starvation, or scary exercise, but also no snacks before bed and certainly no desserts. Blugh. Maybe this'll be fun? Oh who am I kidding. It's maddening having to weight for something you want. LOL see how I spelled wait?

Anyways, I shall not become consumed by the quest to physical perfection. I shall keep my mind on more pressing matters like my ED support group tonight at MEDA, my Psych test next Monday, and the seemingly hopeless job search.

Monday, September 27, 2010

La di da blogging in class

Okay, so I shouldn't be blogging during class... but we're going over the central nervous system and I feel pretty confident in the notes I took this afternoon. I like writing posts when I'm not at home. I feel like a spy. However there is an extremely suspicious looking girl sitting at the desk next to me and I am 99% sure that she is reading this whist I write.

I don’t mind having class from 6:00-9:00, especially since it’s only once a week, but it interferes with dinner and that stresses me out. I usually eat dinner between 7:00 and 7:30. That’s when I feel most comfortable eating. It’s hard to make this work during the lecture though… not impossible but hard. I just finished a modest meal of hummus, crackers, and EXTREMELY crunchy carrots. It took me twenty five minutes to eat eight carrot sticks because I was trying so hard to chew noiselessly, and even then a few people still turned around and looked at me.

And here's that girl again! My god, she's not even trying to be subtle about it either. I physically shifted my laptop out of her view but she just won't give up. Mabes I'll get her to start a blog.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHhhhhh!!!! DO I have a story for you guys!!! Today I witnessed an exchange that I'm pretty sure I've only seen in the movies and it was just HORRIFIC (Note to self: find out origin of the word "horrific"... because it sounds like a combination of horrible and terrific. is it?) Today I had a two hour riding instruction class all the way out in North Oxford, Mass. It was another one of those hour long drives into the middle of nowhere. I'm becoming quite fond of my little equine excursions. Anyways, as I was tacking up I noticed some of the other girls walking up to the stables- most of them in their early twenties and thirties, and one woman who was probably my mom's age. This one girl, one of the younger ones, was short and stout. Like a teapot! Her stomach in particular was rather distended looking and I vaguely wondered if she might be pregnant. We all started talking to each other, just sort of introducing ourselves, then the older woman said to the teapot girl, "When are you due?"

Teapot girl paused and replied, "Oh... I'm not pregnant." After that- silence. You could have heard a pin drop.

"Oh, God. I'm sorry." The older woman covered her eyes with one hand and made that gun shooting gesture to her own head with the other.

Teapot girl was actually really good natured about it. She said, "That's okay. I just had a big breakfast, that's all!" Then she laughed. "I know I've got a bit of a belly. I need to hit the gym..."

Then the older woman said, "Well good thing you're riding today!" I guess she thought that line would be a good recovery from the first insult but honestly I think it just dug the hole deeper.

My point is, OH MY GOD. After she said that I felt like crying, and it wasn't even me who she said it to! Imagine someone looking at your stomach, and thinking that because it's SO BIG, you must be carrying a child. I just think I would kill myself if that happened. Last week my dad asked me if I wanted to start going to the gym with him again, so I skipped lunch and dinner that day because I was convinced he was implying that I needed to lose weight. Who knows how the girl felt about it though. The odds of her having an eating disorder with a whole slew of severe body image problems are statistically not in her favor, but you never know. I just pray she doesn't have an ED because a comment like destroys people like me.

The rest of the class was okay... but before I left my instructor pulled me aside to talk to me about my attire. I wore converse sneakers, a gigantic pair of jeans, and my brother's Celtics t-shirt. I mean, I guess I knew that my eating disorder clothes weren't appropriate for riding but I was just sort of hoping that no one would notice. For next week she said I need to wear boots instead of sneakers, and either chaps or tight jeans for pants. Now that is horrific.

Holy mother of all that is good and pure. I cannot, will not, and must not wear anything of the sort. I mean, ideally I would love to wear something attractive that fits me and isn't from the men's section... but the last time I wore anything resembling "tight" jeans, I was thirty pounds lighter. What to do??!!! I can't show my real body in public! What if someone accuses me of being preggers!?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"Perhaps the most mysterious universe of all is the one within us."

My Psychology textbook finally came, which means I can start studying. The only material we're being graded on the entire semester are the combined scores of three tests. That's it! No quizzes, no papers, and no homework assignments. This is SO the opposite of how things work at my real school in New York...

I don't know how I feel about Psychology yet. Part of my ambivalence comes from the fact that I can't really decide if I think it's a science or not. I think there are certainly parts of psychology that can be attributed to chemical and biological factors, but so much of it seems like overly generalized theories thought up by people who wanted easy answers to complex phenomena. It's making me really frustrated actually. I mean, I don't pretend to be a genius about anything, so I'm not trying to sound superior. In fact, psychology is such a budding field that I probably sound incredibly ignorant... It's just that my thoughts are complicated enough and I'd rather be learning something like Biology where I can have concrete answers. Anyways, I'll stop knocking the subject and try to keep an open mind. After all, mental health professionals have done a lot for me.

Speaking of which, I had my first support group session at MEDA last night! Yesterday was just kind of mediocre emotion-wise. My mood was pretty much shot all day so by the time 6:00 rolled around the last thing I felt like doing was talking about my feelings. But, it turns out the best time to talk about stuff is when it is the last thing you want to do. The turnout was pretty small, just the group leader, me, and two other girls. Neither of them were extremely thin so that was a relief and I didn't feel overly fat. It's funny. No matter what, before any sort of support group or group therapy with other patients, despite how much I know about eating disorders, and despite knowing that a person's weight has very little to do with whether or not they have an ED, I ALWAYS assume I'm going to be the heaviest and everyone else is going to be emaciated. So far it's never happened. Anyways, both of the other girls were bulimic. It is the most common ED after binge eating. We went around and checked in about how our weeks went and how our moods have been. One of the girls, Jamie, is in pretty much the same boat as me- Took last semester off from school thinking she'd go back in the fall, then took a sharp turn off the deep end in August and put off the return until Spring. The other girl, Laurie, is one year sober today but still binges and purges. We talked about addiction and habits and then spent a good fifteen minutes talking about how none of our friends or family members understand what it's like. Everyone expects recovery to have a definite timeline but eating disorders just don't work that way. It was an interesting conversation, and then I drove home and had a big bowl of whole wheat crackers for dinner. Not a 100% balanced meal but it's all I was hungry for and I think it evened out calorically.

Now I'm off to Staples to buy index cards and a big old notebook for class.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today was an epic day. A day that will live in infamy. I'm so sad that's it's almost over! I'm trying to hard to milk whatever is left of it.

Lately, I've been feeling trapped and suffocated by my daily routine and anxieties, so in an effort to escape the downward spiral of doom, I decided to make today totally fun and exciting. I woke up at 7:30, because I wanted my best day ever to start off nice and early. I drove my mom to work so that I could have the car, and then I came home and brainstormed ideas of how to spend my precious day. I thought about things I used to do when I was younger and thinner and happier but haven't done recently because I've felt too poopy to bother. I settled on horseback riding, because I haven't ridden in years, and apparently it's therapeutic. After some diligent online research I found where I wanted to go, printed out the directions, packed a pb & j sandwich, and drove off into rural Massachusetts.

The farm is called Powderly Meadows :) It's about an hour south of Boston, in a little town called Lakeville that I'd never heard of until today. It's adorable! One of those quaint New England hamlets with a general store and a town hall that looks like a farmhouse. Powderly Meadows itself is only a couple side roads off of Main street, so it was easy to find and I called ahead so they were expecting me. I walked up the driveway, and was greeted at the barn by none other than Mr. Powderly himself. He introduced to a girl named Vanessa, who helped me saddle up and groom. She came with me on the ride, led me through some woodsy trails behind the farm, across fields and around swamps. We saw deer! We rode around for almost an hour and half just wandering through the countryside, talking about horses. At the end of the ride I practiced trotting around the fence, which was painful at first because it took me a while to remember how to bounce in sync with the horse, but I got the hang of it again more or less.

Once I was back inside the familiar confines of the city I went grocery shopping for dinner ingredients. After all, a perfect ending to a perfect day would be a perfect meal for everyone so I bought three pounds of sweet vedalia onions and fontina cheese then came home and made onion gratin with homemade bread crumbs. It was so yummers, especially since I cooked the onions in butter and white wine so they'd be extra soft and juicy.

Now I'm up in my room with Rachel, making friendship bracelets and listening the Hannah Montana soundtrack. Both of us have pretty much grown out of Miley Cyrus but we are feeling nostalgic.

No plans for tomorrow. I'll probably take it easy, maybe go to the gym if my ass isn't too black and blue.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Good stuff

Good news on the therapist front! I was initially hesitant to express how much I liked Dr. Gordon with my parents because I didn't want them to feel guilt-tripped into signing on with a doctor who doesn't take our insurance, but they both made it clear to me that if she seems like a good fit it'll be worth paying out of pocket for a while. So now I have another allied combatant in this war against ED. Hooray! I should give her a pseudonym for the sake of this blog... Dr. Biteme was good for my last therapist because she was cross and punitive and the only thing I ever felt like saying to her was "bite me."

Dr. Gordon is probably in her early forties. She's small... about two or three inches shorter than me, and super skinny. (Ugh. I know, right?) She has lightish brownish blonde wavy hair and today she had it in a pony tail. She looks a little like Sarah Jessica Parker only less pointy in the face.

One thing that struck me initially about her is that she tells me things about herself occasionally. Like, I was talking about how I don't want to wear jeans and skirts and attractive looking clothes because I don't feel thin enough to look nice yet. She told me that she just had a baby, and while she was pregnant none of her clothes fit but she still went out and bought maternity clothes because no matter what, you need actual clothes. I guess I understand where she is coming from but in all honesty, pregnancy weight is completely different. You're carrying the weight of TWO humans whereas I'm just toting around 30 extra pounds of Nutella on my thighs. Anyways, my point is that she likes to use examples from her life when she's giving me advice, which Dr. Biteme never did. I wonder if that's normal. Well it doesn't matter. I embrace the irregular.

I still need to think of a name for her. Maybe I'll call her Panacea. Panacea is the Greek Goddess of healing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A saw the sign

Today began as many Saturdays often do. I woke up at 10:30, had a bowl of Cheerios with milk and frozen blueberries, did the crossword, went on a Starbucks run for mom and myself, then took Georgia for a walk around the block. (Note: if you are an easily frustrated person like me, I don't advise attempting to train any sort of rodent how to walk on a leash- it may be cute but I'm pretty sure my Guinea Pig thinks it's a punishment so she just sort of sits there glowering). I'd managed to get her to move about ten feet from the house when I saw a familiar shape and figure resting in a crate on a neighbor's grassy curb. It was white ceramic with black rubber footpads and the all too sinister dial of numbers under a circular window of clear plastic. Now, when I see a scale, I'll tell you what it feels like. My heart jumps about two inches into my throat and I feel like I've been spotted in the hall by my High School History teacher who's class I just skipped. It's terrifying and guilt producing.

I haven't weighed myself in over three months, and I honestly don't plan to anytime soon. I know I'm heavy right now and honestly, I don't need that judgmental red needle shoving it in my face. However, finding a lone scale right outside my house feels a little like fate and I'm not one to pass on something that feels like it's meant to be. How to snatch the fifteen pound apparatus without Mrs. O'Leary poking her head out the window and bellowing at me though? I thought about this while Georgia hovered under my ankles, chirping to go back in her cage. I brought her back into the house and thought about it some more.

About ten minutes later I just went for it. I grabbed one of our empty blue recycling bins and wandered innocently down the street. I picked up the scale and put it in the bin, then walked innocently back towards my house. When I was hidden from sight I laid it on the ground and pressed my palms down on it, just to see if it appeared functional. I think it works... I took it over to our car, opened the trunk, and slid the scale under my dad's golf clubs and gym bag. It is safe and sound for the time being, until I can find a time to move it to the basement or something.

Thing is, I don't really want to use the scale. In all honesty, it might not even work! It was in the trash, right? But I have to believe that having it in my possession is good. Not healthy, but... somehow good. The only times I've ever used a scale religiously was when I was at a low weight and needed to make sure I stayed there. Those were the days when things felt good. I have to hope that things will be good again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Nothing is working out the way it should, and it's making me want to lash out irrationally. Actually that's not really true. I don't feel like lashing out irrationally. I just like to say "lashing out irrationally". It makes me me sound like a vampire.

My session with Dr. Gordon was awesome. She is super nice and totally on the same wavelength as I am. A few times she even finished my sentances, coming up with words to describe my eating disorder that I had never even thought of but that totally worked. The bummer is that my family just changed health insurance providers, and Dr. Gordon doesn't take our new plan. Sooooooo, I 'm back to square one.

Also, I was supposed to feed my neighbor's cat over the weekend but I guess somewhere in the vast clutter of garbage that is my memory, I forgot to. Luckily it was only 48 hours so the kitty is still alive but I felt horrible and spent like twenty minutes apologizing over the phone. Think I might buy the cat a present actually... catnip mouse or something?

I also really need to find a job. I filled out an application to work at Rosie's Bakery near my house... but I'm in such procrastination mode I haven't been able to muster the strength to actually go over there and drop off the form.

The only glimmer of a silver lining in my life right now is my Psychology class. The professor is awesome, really down to earth, and incredibly smart. Too bad it's only once a week :( I can't wait for my textbook to come in the mail.

Just four more months till I can go back to college for real!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm hopping the next train to Crazytown

Today sucked major balls, emotion and behavior wise. It was Rachel's birthday (little sis is turning eleven!), and she had a party with all her friends. My mom hired this guy to come and show us his exotic animals for an hour and half. It was cool. He brought a woodchuck, a cockatoo, a python, flying squirrel, tarantula, alligator. It was quite a show. The excitement proved too much for me though, so I ended up feeling anxious all over the place. I really wanted to go running but I couldn't just ditch my little sister's party so I sort of just stuck around and munched on chips and m&m's. All in all I wouldn't call today a binge... I mean, I had cake and ice cream and seconds for dinner and then more candy but so did everyone else! It's just really hard when my mom pulls me aside and asks if I'm okay because she sees me eating more than usual. It's unfair is what it is. Everyone else gets to enjoy the celebration with a little extra food but it's like the moment I look like I'm overeating people assume I'm having a nervous breakdown.

When my mom asked about how much I ate, I started crying. She insisted it wasn't the amount of food she was concerned about so much as the "shift in my mood." She says she can tell when I'm getting worked up about something. I told her it was because I wanted to go running but I couldn't. I wanted to get away for a little bit but I couldn't, and that put me on edge. I feel awfully guilty crying in front of my mom because she is the last person who would ever act out emotionally or impulsively. My mom never cries. She's super sweet and very empathetic, but never really feels out of control and upset like I do. Sometimes I wish we were more similar. I wish that she could be more like me or I could be more like her, but there is no rhyme or reason to the genes that determine personality and brain chemistry.

Anyways, I felt a little better talking about it with her, but, like most heartfelt and serious conversations, I felt brutally probed and vulnerable afterwards. I cried some more by myself, and then engaged in a little self harm to try and bring myself back to baseline. Speaking of which, in regards to this blog, I've been wondering whether or not to acknowledge self harm behavior when it occurs. It's not an ED behavior, but it's still a maladaptive coping mechanism that I've been turning to recently, so for all intents and purposes I feel like I should mention it. I don't want to write about it though if it puts people off or makes you guys think I'm weak and deranged. I'll be okay. I think.

Hey, can I get some credit though? I haven't binged at all yet this month and today didn't even come close to the amount of food I usually gorge on.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Who am I?

Well today was a total waste of a holiday. Most people had off from school or work but I spent the morning and afternoon driving around aimlessly, riddled with random anxious thoughts. Actually "thoughts" is too specific a word. Sometimes I just have days where I'm not thinking clearly, so everything sort of fogs up and thoughts and feelings are no longer organized in an understandable fashion. The only thing left is really intense negative energy. Argh! It's so hard to explain. I sound like a psycho trying to articulate it. Anyways, I was driving to the gym but all of a sudden I lost the desire to work out, or maybe I couldn't really process the fact that I wanted to go, so I just kept driving around. I drove and drove and thought about bingeing to make the bad energy go away. But then I remembered that bingeing is what got me fat and getting even fatter wasn't a good call. So I started picking at my arm with a credit card, because sometimes physical pain brings me back to reality. I stopped picking just as I was about to break the skin though. I stopped and got out, went into Newbury Comics and bought a keychain of a little watermelon with eyes.

By the time I got home I felt a little better but still antsy and bingey. I ate a luna bar and then went running. I ran to the High School then home again. Not very fast though. I suck at running.

I wonder why I didn't want to go to the gym today. Any thoughts? It was just like all of a sudden my mind stopped working and I didn't know what I wanted. Does that sound insane? I'm not crazy.

Tomorrow is Friday. Fridays are fun. I really need to find a job. My dad asks me just about every evening if I've heard back from all these different places that I told him I would apply to. I miss school. What on earth possessed me to put it off another semester? I'm already counting down the days until January when I can return to college, FINALLY take my life back, and discover who I'm truly supposed to be. Often on days like these, when my mind does that thing where it stops working, I get worried about who I am and what I'm going to do or be like when I'm all grown up. I hope it's not anything like the way I am now... oh god. That's what I'm worried about.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Things that are awesome and why

Man, I'm bored. I didn't end up having class yesteday so I guess the first one is next week instead, which means I have another seven days left to my own devices. At present I am the only one home because today is the first day of school for everyone else. Rachel is starting fifth grade, Jake's in his final year of High School, and my mom is teaching seventh and eighth grade English at her new job. Poor dad works all the time so today isn't really any different for him.

I came up with a list of things that are awesome and why. Just cuz it's nice to appreciate little things.

- my guinea pig, Georgia. Because she is like a miniture person with four legs and fur who you can play with and feed grapes.

- the previews right before the movie, because have you noticed that a good preview will make even the dumbest plot look intriguing?

- strawberry greek yogurt, because it's got 22 grams of protein and when you're feeling really pathetic you can pretend it's strawberry ice cream.

- driving on route 9 out to Natick, because you can roll down the window and stick your head out like a dog.

- the television show 24, because Jack Bauer is god and also my future husband. Also I enjoy violence. What can I say? Sometimes I think being raised a Quaker has backfired.

- coffee. no explanation needed.

- exercise. because if you do it in a non ED way like I'm trying to, it can feel fun and liberating.

- the Boston Globe crossword puzzles, because up until Thursday and Friday they are super easy and make people of average intelligence like me feel smart.

-ordering stuff online, because you don't have to go out and see people, plus when it arrives in a package you feel like you're getting a present :)

Hmmm... that's all for now I guess.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Just finished clipping Georgia's claws. I feel a little stupid because she is after all, a guinea pig, and most pigs don't need at ton of grooming. Whatever. It's fun and I'm bored.

Tonight I made gorgonzola fettuccine for the family and it was quite good if I do say so myself. I've volunteered to cook more often since my mom is going back to work and won't have a ton of time to make dinner when she gets home in the evenings. Aren't I such an angel of a daughter? Plus I love food and it's a surprisingly good DBT skill.

Tomorrow should be my first Psych class... but I wonder... Labor Day is usually given off for school and work. Oh well. It's not until six so I have time to figure it out.

So I heard back from a possible candidate for my new head doctor. Her name is Dr. Gordon and she lives around here I think. I hope she's not pretty. I begrudge pretty doctors. They're greedy. It's like, is it not enough to have a Phd? You really need beauty to boot? I put the message she left me on speaker phone so my brother could help me analyze her voice and tone. She seems nice. She's quiet and soft spoken, maybe a little overly formal, but that's hard to determine without a face. Jake agreed with my assessment, but thinks she might be attractive.

"She sounds hot." He said. "Sorry."

I just want September to be over. You know that horrible Green Day song, "Wake me up when September Ends"? That's how I'm feeling. I've managed to go a week without bingeing but a week is not enough time to have lost all the weight I want to lose. I'm so done with being chubby. I've done the math though, and based on past experience, if I follow a moderately restrictive diet, it should only be one month till I'm normal sized again, two months till I'm thin, and three months till I'm skinny. God that's such a long time. I don't have that kind of time!

Yesterday I saw the movie Going the Distance, with Drew Barrymore and Justin Long. It was so cute and hilarious and not at all like other generic romantic comedies. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Elephant in the room

For the past month or so I have been sort of tip toeing around admitting this, but for the sake of recovery and for the sake of this blog I think it's important to just get it out. I'm overweight. Not by a lot. Not by enough for doctors to staple my stomach shut and put on me on all liquid diet but certainly a good ten pounds over. It's not my eating disorder telling you this by the way, in case you're sitting there rolling your eyes and saying, "OH god, EVERYONE who has an eating disorder thinks they are too heavy." When I entered the Day Program in March I was thin. I wasn't skinny like I was last fall because I'd just started bingeing, but I was thin. I actually managed to maintain that normal thin weight all throughout program which was awesome, but then I was discharged, and all hell broke loose. Since then I've put on about thirty pounds. THIRTY POUNDS. Thirty pounds, and none of it was actually necessary to restore.

I'm saying this because I feel like I've lost what I liked most about myself, and that was my willpower and control over food. How exactly does one go from a total diet and exercise obsessed fiend to a ice cream guzzling couch potato? It just saddens and confuses me. And I know I talk about this all the time, how much I miss being skinny, but I just can't help it. I am not the same person I was a year ago and it breaks my heart.

I guess I hold out a little bit of hope because in reality, I've been overweight before. Freshman year of college was a total death trap for overeating and I really pushed the envelope that year. However, I was stronger then. Much stronger. I was able to lose it slowly and healthfully, over the course of last summer. I was wise-minded about it. I am no longer able to attempt weight loss in that way though. I've tried! I just don't have the patience. Now that I know how much faster restriction works, its like, why do it the old way?

I guess the reason I've been avoiding the subject of being overweight is because I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I have an eating disorder with many faces, some I prefer more than others, and the binge face is the most shameful for me to admit to. I feel stupid thinking I have an ED since I'm heavy, but everything I've learned tells me that it isn't the number which determines your disorder, it's your intent and behavior.

Some day I hope to wake up and realize that my appearance doesn't have to dictate my feelings and actions, that being overweight doesn't mean I'm unloveable and unworthy of happiness. Until then, I'm stuck in a body that keeps me from going back to school, keeps me from wearing pretty clothes, keeps me from calling my friends back, and keeps me from growing up.