Thursday, 28 February 2013

Not Responding To Treatment

Today has been a hard day. I have been putting off going to a new therapist, and today I finally made it to my appointment. It started off normally enough, filling out forms, discussing medical history and goals. Then I was asked to fill out some questionnaires  Anyone who has been to a therapist for depression or anxiety is familiar with the types of questionnaires that I am talking about. I filled them out and gave them back to be marked. 

I still scores very high on both tests. Unfortunately these are not the type of test you want to score high on. It seems despite the support groups, therapy, medication and countless self help books I am still severely depressed and have very bad anxiety. 

Apparently I am not responding to treatment, the tools I have don't work well, and my medication isn't working well. It's very disheartening, especially since I already feel so badly all of the time. It makes me want to give up. 

But I made an appointment for next week. I'm also setting something up with a nutritionist and I'm hopeful it will be next week too. I need to try some new things. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I'm not ready to give up yet, so the only other option is to keep trying. 

Monday, 25 February 2013

Dis-Functioanl Nutrition

Recovering from an eating disorder is hard. Recovery while dealing with depression and anxiety is harder. And trying to fix yourself while still feeling suicidal occasionally is excruciating. Eating well takes on a whole new level of anxiety when if I believe if I get it wrong, I might just as well kill myself.

How do you even quantify eating well? Who do I listen to? The food guide, a book, a magazine, Dr Oz? Depending on the source the answers to how to eating well can be very different. I wish I knew where to turn for help. It is even more maddening because I am an education person, I took nutrition in University. I "know" how I should eat, I just can't do it. I keep flying over moderation and land in restriction or binge eating.

I am planning to get a consultation with a nutritionist soon, and I meet with a new therapist this week. I just need to make it through this week. I'm trying to at least reduce my purging, even if I can't manage to reduce the binges.  One day at a time.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Mom Drives Me To Drink!

I have a volatile relationship with my mother. Often I wont pick up the phone if I see it's her number. I will wait for her to leave a message and depending on her mood I will call her back or wait for another day. I know this probably isn't the best way to deal with her, and I certainly wont win Daughter of the Year but I have a responsibility to take care of myself. And sometimes that means not dealing with her drama.

I have a hard time understanding my mother. How can she be the same woman who used to do my hair every morning before elementary school that is now spreading harmful gossip and vicious rumors about her own family? That's why I let her calls go to voice mail often, I need to know which Mom is calling. Caring loving mom, or the Other Mom? Is she calling to chat, or to passive aggressively tell me what a disappointment I am? She is master of the insult compliment. Recently she told me that my new hair cut makes my face less fat. Thanks Mom. She used to rage against how my old job treated me until I quit. Then I was over sensitive and stupid to have thrown away such a great opportunity.

I used to react to these conversations by binge eating and purging. And I will admit I purged tonight after speaking with her for a scant 5 minutes. She hates my sister in laws, and she wants me to collect dirt on them from facebook. I refused and she accused me of being on their side, whatever that means. But after I recovered and got myself pulled together I decided I needed to find a better way of detoxing after her phone calls.

I have started juicing recently and I find that it has been helping me feel pretty good, if I leave out the grapefruit. And I decided to recover the nutrition lost in my purge by making some juice. Juicing allows me to get the nutrients from a variety of veggies and fruit without overloading my battered system with fiber.

                                 Take all of this veg...
And make two cups of juice.

By far the best juicing book I have found so far. 
Some juice recipes are delicious, but I chose to make a couple of recipes that are a bit stronger. The ingredients included garlic, lemons, celery, broccoli, apples, onion, cayenne pepper and agave nectar. It was a little hard to chug down but now my tummy is full of nutrients. I am interested in getting my body back into a healthy state and even though I have bad days and sometimes fall into bad habits I can still treat myself well. I deserve it. Plus a popsicle, because that juice might have been nutrition but I needed to get the taste out of myself.

Until next time my fellow dis-functionals!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Medication Malfunction

I'ts no secret that I take medication for my ED and depression. I have also been having a hard time lately. My anxiety skyrocketed, and I stopped sleeping and my digestive system was in turmoil. I was agitated and moody all of the time, even when things were going well. I could be relaxing on the couch, just watching tv or reading a book when suddenly I would feel like crying or screaming out of anger, completely unprovoked. I was having a very hard time. I had been doing so much better, I had been sleeping and enjoying life when suddenly I was thrown violently back into depression.

I had been eating better in an effort to heal my body. My in-laws had even given me a juicer which was allowing me to supplement my diet with fruit and veggies without overloading on the fiber. I was experimenting with juicing everything including beets, broccoli, herbs, carrots and citrus. Two weeks ago I was at an all time low. Suicidal thoughts began whispering in my mind again. What was the point of all of the hard work? I was never really going to get better. It didn't matter what meds I took, food I ate or support groups I went to.  But then, thankfully, I figured out what was wrong. Strangely enough I clued in to the possible problem while on break at work. Somehow the topic turned to grapefruit and medication reactions. And it hit me, things began to go down hill after I got the juicer, and began eating grapefruit regularly.

Healthy or Harmful?
I added it to my diet because it is healthy, and I want to loose weight. But it can have a strong impact on how medications are metabolized  I researched it and found that my symptoms could have been caused by the sudden spike in prozac remaining in my blood stream. And to my shock I found out that left unchecked it could have progressed to serotonin syndrome which could have been fatal. I immediately stopped eating grapefruit. Later in the week I brought up the topic at my support group and the nurses confirmed that it was likely what had been happening. I don't remember if my pharmacist warned me against grapefruit. He likely did but it slipped my mind. I had been working at not actively harming myself for so long that I wasn't suspicious of things that are commonly thought of as healthy. So if any fellow dis-functionals out there are on meds please take the time to talk to your pharmacist about possible interactions. Ask not only about grapefruit but any other OTC meds you may be taking. It's not your fault you are sick. And sometimes when things are going badly there is a simple explication and an easy fix. Thankfully I realized what was wrong before it became fatal.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Nurturing Hobbies

I'm a girl who likes to try new hobbies, I don't always keep them up, but I'm always on the lookout for the next thing. I recently tried knitting, and I think it is going to stick. It is a great way to quiet my mind when I can't sleep. But now that we are stuck in the middle of winter I'm looking forward to spring. Last year I started container gardening and I'm excited to get going again. But I've been playing around on Pinterest and I have a new project to start.

Behold the beginning of my avocado orchard.

I love avocados and I have started saving the pits. Apparently you can grow an avocado tree. I don't have much of a green thumb but I figure it's worth a shot. Being dis-functional means I spend a lot of time worrying about things. I find planting things soothing. It's nice to see something you put your time and energy into flourish. It's hard when things don't go well, and your plants die, but life is full of ups and downs. But when things are going well, and you are able to give life to a nurture a living creature, no matter how small it makes you feel good. You feel needed, strong, and capable. These feelings are rare for a dis-functional.

My green thumb is sometimes more gangrenous than green.
I don't have a perfect track record with plants, but I try real hard. And I'm hopeful. Maybe I will find a new skill. Maybe I will be the first avocado farmer in Canada. Or I can always go back to knitting scarves.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

I Regret

I wrote the following on Dec 12, 2012. Things have improved a little, but scary things do still live in my head. It is hard to live with mental illness. And it is better to write down these thoughts than to act on them. If you are feeling anything similar please get help.

There are a lot of things I regret about 2012. The thing I regret the most is not killing myself.

I know it seems harsh but I really do think about it often. Of all the things I managed to completely fuck up in my life the one thing I regret the most is not having the strength to kill myself. I should have done it during the summer. I would have had more life insurance and my loved ones would have been able to comfort themselves financially after my loss, if they mourned at all. My husband would have been devastated for a while, but he would find someone better, and would probably have ended up wondering why he had wasted so much time with me anyway. I would have made it look like an accident so the insurance would pay out and everyone would be spared the horror of knowing the truth about me.

But I took the cowards way out. I was honest about my illness and sought help. I went into treatment, got medicated and attended therapy. I even switched to a lower paying job that is less stress. Most days are better, I sometimes feel happy or even hopeful about the future. Then I start to remember that while on sick leave I missed two months of bills and I wont be able to pay them off any time soon. I remember that my student loans are in default, and I will never get them paid off. I remember that my credit cards are overdrawn and sending me letters and angry phone calls. I remember that I missed the car payment last week and worry about picking up the phone.

When I have a bad day I can’t help but thinking about what a waste of life I am. How I am a burden to those I love. I am worthless, completely, totally, worthless.

But if I had been hit by a car three months ago I would have been worth quite a bit. The car would have been paid off instantly. My student loans and credit cards would have disappeared. And my husband would have had two insurance policies to comfort himself with. If I get hit by a car tomorrow he will only have one.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Self Care

Self care is necessary, even on a bad day. And today has been a bad day. I didn't sleep well again. I had to dig my care out from under a snow drift that had buried it. I found out one of my credit cards had been canceled because my credit rating has crashed lately. I also had to borrow money from my in-laws to pay my student loan. All in all, not a very good day.

I have been fighting a sense of panic all day, and it almost came to a head at supper. I had to go to the grocery store to pick up a few things and I could feel my eating disorder clawing at my stomach and mind. I wanted to fill my basket with chips,cookies, pizza, diet soda and cake. I scurried quickly through the store and managed to get out without giving in to my urges. I had another spike of panic when I had to pay, not knowing if I had enough money to cover the bill. But it went through and I got back into my car.

I made it home and decided that this day deserved a little silver lining. I gathered up my nail care tools, mixed a fruity drink and gave myself a manicure  Even though I'm broke, tired, and a failure at life I still deserve to be treated well. That is why self care is so important. The world is not going to take care of me, it is too busy trying to beat me down. It is up to me to treat myself well. Even on a bad day.

Self Care Is Important

Sunday, 10 February 2013


Dealing with My Crazy is hard enough most days even with a good nights sleep. Most days however I do not have the luxury of a restful night. I don’t sleep well. It seems like a lifetime since I laid down, snug in my bed, comfortable under the covers and was able to relax and drift off into blissful slumber. Dealing with My Crazy is like fighting a war, and bedtime is like hunkering down in the trenches. At worst I am left knee deep in the gore of my ravaged soul and body, in agony after another day of dealing with myself. At best I lay in the eerie quiet of exhaustion, unable to drift off for fear of the next attack.

Like any other insomniac I have tried dozens of different methods of getting to sleep each night. My bedroom is cool and quiet. My alarm clock sits on its face so there is no LED light to disturb me. The blinds are closed and the curtains are thick to block ambient light. There is no TV or radio and the house is quiet.  Still I cannot relax. I don’t have any caffeine after lunchtime. I try to keep to a schedule and go to bed at a consistent time. I have a cupboard full of various herbal teas purported to help with relaxation and induce slumber. I have tried all of the various CDs; rain forest  classical music; white noise; rain and soothing instrumentation. I lay awake and listen to them repeat over in over with a warm tummy of herbal tea. I have tried OTC sleeping pills, prescriptions of various kinds, herbal concoctions and even alcohol. I still find it near impossible to get to sleep and to stay asleep.

Even when I rarely manage to get soundly asleep all is not well in my subconscious.  I have bad dreams often. It can vary between anxiety riddled dreams that make me restless and wake feeling as though I never slept, to nightmares that force me awake terrified in the dark and drenched in sweat. Then I lay awake, exhausted, needing rest but scared to drift off.

I often leave the comfort of bed so I don’t disturb my husband, there is no need to make him suffer with my sleep problems. He already has to deal with me during the day, it seems unfair to keep him awake too. I sometimes try to sleep on a couch, or watch the discovery channel to distract myself. I have watched 3am come and go so often it is almost as familiar to me as 3pm. I also know a lot of odd nature trivia from seeing so many nature documentaries. Did you know the bombardier beetle can create a chemical reaction in it’s body that causes scalding acid to shoot out of its rear in order to protect itself? I do because I don’t sleep. I also read when I don’t have a stress headache.

Being awake doesn't help with the depression or the bulimia. When the rest of the world is quiet The Crazy gets louder. McDonald's is open 24 hours so if I try to go for a drive to clear my head those golden arches might draw me in like a moth to a flame. I could use this time to improve myself but my focus is too shot to study, and I’m too physically worn out to exercise. I usually just lie in bed or on the couch, worried about the damage I have done to my body and mind and hate myself. Sometime I hate myself so well I work up a full panic attack and scare my cats and my husband with my hysterical crying and threats of self harm.

And all  of this happens when I should be off in dream land. I want to sleep. I try to sleep. I have done guided meditation, full body relaxation and even tried to write all of my worries down to get them off my mind. Yet here I am awake, exhausted and crazy.

Maybe I just need more tea and deep breathing….

Dream Forest

Friday, 8 February 2013

Breaking Bad Habits

As a dis-functional I have several bad habits that I am trying to break. Other than large problems like bulimia and depressive tendencies I have a few simpler ones. One that I have been trying to break lately is biting my nails. I have been doing this for as long as I remember. I don't just bite them a little, when I'm having a bad day I will bit them until they bleed.

It is proving to be a difficult habit to break. Now that it is classified as an OCD I feel a little more validated that I can't just stop. I have tried several things, from bitter tasting polish to wearing gloves when I sleep. I even bit my nails when I spring to have them done professionally. I even bit them when I had gel nails.

It seems like an inconsequential habit to focus on, especially when I compare it to the other problems I have. But I'm trying to start small and easy. The only problem is it isn't easy. It's harder than Hell.

I had my nails done today and my goal is to go a full week without biting them off or ruining the polish. I feel like if I can break this habit that I can move on o something more difficult. Like fixing my depression or anxiety.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Indecisive Decisions

A a disfunctonal I have trouble making decisions. I tend to put off making decisions or changes until things get desperate, which doesn't help me feel confident in my choices. I guess that is why I often defer to others or maintain the status quo even when things aren't working.

It is also hard to try to get other people to help me make decisions because I don't like to admit to weakness. I don't like to let other people know that I'm sick, or suffering. But lately things have been getting worse. I think it's because I didn't completely deal with some of the issues that I faced last year. Now they are trying to resurface despite my best efforts.

For the most part mental illness is silent and invisible to others. But some people can tell. I recently had a friend make a point to tell me she was concerned about me. I have been doing better but some woulds are beginning to reopen despite my best efforts to ignore them. So my goal for this week is to amp up my self care. I have been putting off going back to the doctor because I am broke, and I also want desperately to be normal. I hate that I am sick. I hate that I'm not getting better. I hate that I can't forget the bag things that have happened. I want to not have to be worried about any of this stuff.