Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's going to be just fine


Well, I think it's going to be alright. I started IOP yesterday, and so far it seems like it's going to be just what I need. I need the support and the dinnertime meal and the groups, but I don't need to be in the hospital 24/7. Had to get bloodwork today and am going again Friday, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that I stay healthy and on track.

The IOP (though I've only done one day) is good. There are about 12 people and we do groups together and eat dinner in the cafeteria together. It's overwhelming because we get to decide what we eat, but the dieticians are there to make sure we have enough servings and items and stuff. Plus we have to have dessert and at least 2 hot meals per week (aka you can't get away with a sandwich and salad every night!). I really challenged myself right away last night by getting a hot meal and getting a hefty slice of apple spice cake with tons of sugary icing for dessert. I've realized from my blogging hiatus that it's ok to eat like a normal person and not like a health freak!!! Everything doesn't have to be organic or all-natural or meatless or gluten-free. Our dieticians teach us ALL THINGS IN MODERATION. I have been following the meal plan to a tee and have never felt better! I can have carrots and hummus with my lunch but also have a bakery cookie! 

Balance is health. Balance is happiness. There are no good or bad foods!!! 

The con to this week? It sounds awful and mean, but my grandparents are "visiting", aka my parents don't trust my ED and my 80+ year old grandparents are here "babysitting" my 21-year-old perfectly comepetent ass. Oh well, I've just been going about my business. My grandma doesn't understand anorexia AT ALL. She doesn't seem to realize that offering me homemade fudge and cookies and lasagna and casseroles isn't really my idea of fun. My parents and I explained the meal plan and all to her, but she just doesn't understand. She makes comments about food all the time and about how I should eat more. It's really difficult. And especially with my history of bingeing!!! 

They are only here for 2 more days, so I'll manage.

Anyway, tomorrow night is family night where our family can eat with us and attend a group afterwards. We'll see how it goes. I am going to just take my mom, I think. And then my dad next week. Grandparents = nope. I love them to death, but trying to explain my struggles with them is futile.

Well, I'm off to IOP! 

Have a wonderful day, and stay safe.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I'm Back!

I'll post in more detail later on, but this is just a quick note to say I'M HOME!

It was a rough week. I was inpatient for 6 days and came home last night. I am starting IOP on Monday. It's a program Mon-Thurs and it's from 3:30-7:30 every day. You attend groups and eat dinner there. I am hoping it will be a really positive thing.

The hospital was NOT what I expected, both good and bad. I did manage to get myself back on track though, for real this time. No half-assing my recovery any longer. I didn't even realize how bad things were until my blood glucose level fell dangerously low and my heart rate slowed in the hospital. Now, however, I'm happy to report I am doing really well, all my labs have been normal, and my weight went WAY up even in just a week!

So, I am on my way. I will try to read your blogs and catch up on what you all have been up to! Thanks for your supportive comments on my last post.

I know this journey is going to be long and bumpy, but being in IP made me realize just how important it is for me to get better RIGHT NOW. Today is the first day of the rest of my life, and I refuse to waste it any longer.

Much love to you all, and I'll post more later!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goodbye for now...

Well, ladies, this is it. 

I made my choice. Tomorrow at 8:30 am, I am going inpatient for 14 days, then doing IOP after that. I am withdrawing from school for the semester and will see how things go.

I almost can't believe this. It's been a whirlwind. Just yesterday I was giving a class presentation. But last night was rough, and then today I met with my treatment team and just broke down like I never have before, and I realized that this is what needs to be done. School can wait; my health cannot. It's really that simple.

Am I scared? YES. Disappointed? A little. Nervous? YES. Worried? YES. 

But am I sure this is what I need? YES, YES, and YES.

It is SO hard to admit sometimes, and part of me feels like a failure and feels weak. But that's the ED part. The real Coco knows that I am being strong by taking the real, serious steps I need towards recovery.

So, I won't be on the computer for a couple weeks, maybe even longer. I'll miss reading your posts. But I'll be back, and when I am, I am hoping I'll have gained more than just weight.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Life doesn't start tomorrow.

So, I have to admit, my second week of school was a struggle. This post may upset people, and for that I am sorry. I don't want to bring people down, and I also don't want to take away from other peoples' struggles by acting like my life is oh-so-terrible, because I know it could be much worse. 

But I am finding myself extremely triggered by the school environment. Ever since high school, I have thrived on being busy and active and doing lots of things and working hard in school and extra-curricular activities. This can totally be a healthy thing, and back in high school, it was! I was a dancer, actress, singer, straight-A student, student body Vice President, Prom Queen runner-up (damn! almost had it!), and was genuinely a happy person with lots of friends. BUT, the difference is that back then, I didn't have an eating disorder. Back then, my mind was filled with a hunger to learn, and I would read and write and watch movies and sing and go to dance rehearsals and play rehearsals and I loved and LIVED every second of every day. BUT, back then, I didn't have an ED. Back then, I had no qualms about stopping at Dairy Queen after ballet class and grabbing a blizzard with chocolate ice cream and Reese's Pieces (my ultimate fave). Back then, after opening night of every show, my fellow castmates and I would head to Friendly's for some buffalo wings and nachos. Back then, I enjoyed my womanhood and my body and I fed it (albeit, sometimes with junk food, but such is life) and nourished it and rested it when it needed to be rested.

And now, I feel like I am my own worst enemy. School has been ok academics-wise this week--I already turned in a paper and have a few projects coming up that I've been working on. And I've been staying on top of my reading. My job at the coffee shop has gone well, and I enjoy the laid-back environment and chatting with coworkers or reading on slow days. My friends and I have been getting along, and my roommates and I are doing well. I talk to my parents almost every day, and I am in fact home again this weekend (yet another appointment) and have spent time with my mom and dad.

However, my mind is doing worse. This past week, the ED thoughts were stronger than they have been in months. I have been restricting and then binging, binging and then exercising, exercising and then restricting, and everything in between. I compare myself to my roommates, friends, and basically every single girl I walk past on campus.

I weigh myself incessantly, and even though I am upset by the low number, my disorder says "See, you have control. You have power."

I saw Anne today and, for the second time EVER in my sessions with her, I cried. Bawled, actually. (The first time was when my mom came in with me in June.)

I am realizing that enough is enough. Although my weight went up about a pound, I feel like my mentality is getting worse. And I know what I need to do to fight it but sometimes I feel too weak and I give in. Anne thinks maybe I should take the semester off and go inpatient, something I've never done before. Something I wish I had done this summer. I had myself and everyone around me fooled. I thought I was doing so much better.

As of now, the plan is that I am coming home to see Anne during the week since my class is cancelled on Thursday, and coming home again next weekend. But she really wants me to evaluate my needs and priorities. I can't keep doing this to myself. I can't do it anymore, physically or mentally. I am exhausted beyond belief. 

So, I am going to give it one last shot. I am going to go back to school and work tomorrow and I am going to plan out my meals and snacks because I know that's what I need at this point. I am going to have to start being honest with myself and with my family and friends. I need to focus on recovery 100%, and if that means graduating a semester late, so be it. Anne told me to give it 2 more weeks, and that if I am not feeling significantly better mentally, then I need to reevaluate and possibly come home for more intensive care.

It's hard to admit to myself that I am struggling. But you know what? I only get this one life and this one body, and if I am ever going to enjoy it and truly live it, then I need to start nourishing and LOVING myself again. And if school isn't helping me do that, then it's not worth it. 

I can always go back to school next semester, or next year. But I can't delay my life and my health any longer.

So, wish me luck, ladies! I really don't want to have to pull out when I'm a few credits short of graduating. So, I am going to try really hard to turn things around. However, I'm going to be completely honest with myself, and if I truly in my heart am still feeling overwhelmed by my disorder, I am going to withdraw for the semester and do what needs to be done.

I'm sure you guys didn't read that whole thing, but if you did, thank you. Also, I'm sorry. I feel like my posts used to be so positive, and lately they've been a drag to even read. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Well, week one of senior year of college = completed!

And I may not be doing amazingly, but I'm alive!

Basically, there have been a LOT of ups and downs this week. Moving in went well, and our house looks even MORE amazing than before because we got new furniture. The roomies and I have been getting along SO well, and I've reconnected with old friends. I have gone to the bar 4 times in the past week which is pretty good for being social, I'd have to say! And ordered drinks! Usually I think of alcohol as too many empty calories and blah blah, but you know what? A drink or 2 won't hurt! I'm 21, it's my last year of college, I'm supposed to live it up!

Classes have been pretty good, for once. I am doing an independent writing study and a research project for psychology, and I also have a portfolio class that prepares me for applying to jobs and grad schools. Then I have an Indian Lit & Film class taught by an adorable little woman named Rachana Sachdev. So it's pretty engaging and fun academics-wise (yes, I'm a nerd and not ashamed!). Yes, it will be hard work and it will be stressful, but I'm ENJOYING the work, so it's worth it.

Here's the cons:

ED has been creepin' on in more than I'd prefer. I also started a new anti-anxiety med which was supposed to help me sleep, but has had the exact opposite effect. I wake up at least once every night and can't get back to sleep for a long time. It's awful! So, lack of sleep usually means Coco isn't thinking straight, is more emotional, and is more likely to give into ED.

I have been making all of my own meals and don't have a meal plan, and it's tough. It's also tough because my 3 roommates are all either trying to lose weight or naturally don't eat much (one roomie will have a couple wheat thins and call it dinner), so ED has been making me feel SO guilty for eating. Which has resulted in an alarming weight loss. I won't post numbers, but I am at home right now because I had an appointment with my therapist, and she weighed me and it's lower than it has been for months.

This scares me. If I don't gain 2 pounds by next Saturday (a WEEK!), Anne told me I may need to re-evaluate school. It's so frustrating though because I actually feel happy there. I have been bonding with my friends and enjoying my studies. It's so HARD. And I keep forgetting to add extra food to make up for the fact that I walk to campus and then walk from class to class, and have a job where I'm standing for hours.


But you know what, I'm glad I got this "wake-up call" and that Anne was really frank about how concerned she is. I can't keep restricting. I can't keep exercising. I can't keep doing this to myself or I will never recover, physically OR mentally. So, I had ice cream today and bostom cream pie and I am drinking an Ensure and having a Luna bar right now. I know I can't undo the damage overnight, but starting right now, I am going to really put my heart and soul into recovery. Even if it means focusing less on school and my social life. I have a 3.7 GPA or something insane like that (ED perfectionism, anyone?!), so it doesn't even matter if I get all C's this semester--I'd probably still have a 3.5 at graduation!

Here are some goals for this week:

*bring snacks with me ANY TIME I LEAVE THE HOUSE. Yes, I may have to get up earlier to make a PB&J and pack some trail mix, but this is what needs to be done.
*eat with my roommates without comparing myself to them. They are already at healthy weights (or a bit above), so obviously they're not going to want to eat a weight-gainer diet. I am actively recovering and gaining, so I need to do what's best for me without worrying about them.
*limit exercise to NO CARDIO whatsoever, only light yoga and walking to and from class. That's IT.
*the next time ED wants me to choose the "lower-calorie" or "healthier" option between 2 food choices, I am going to laugh in his face and choose what I WANT, regardless of calories or "health". I'm sick of all these bloggers with their organic this and tofu that...don't get me wrong, I love me some good organic fruits and tofu stir-fry, but I want to be able to be a NORMAL person at a birthday party by taking a damn slice of store-bought, "unhealthy", "processed" cake! Eating that stuff isn't gonna kill me and is delicious every once in awhile, so why not. I eat such a healthy diet most of the time that a few Oreos or Cheese balls here and there aren't going to do anything.

Sorry to rant.

Ok, well, talk to you guys soon. Sorry my posting is sporadic. I still read all your blogs daily though!
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