Tag Archive | CBT

Let’s Call It A Comeback

While I’ve been crafting my multiple tales behind the scenes to release unto you [ooo so fancy sounding] life clearly keeps happening. Anorexia and anxiety don’t just disappear. Those who are cured I am disgustingly envious of.

Again, I am a lifer.

I may have learned to cope with it and how to “interact” with anorexia and anxiety, but I will never be cured. Alas, my only cure is death. And while I have begged for it at times and needed it as well, I could never do it.

I digress.

I have been struggling a lot lately with stress and eating. I’m doing decently in the sense I’m eating at least one meal a day. This is major for me. It’s not like I’m actively trying to avoid it; I have no hunger instinct so I can go a whole day without even noticing I have not consumed anything. It’s bad.

My job is unnecessarily stressful. A post to come. But I also have a new stress trigger that is really driving Ed’s voice into overdrive. It will come out in another post, but let’s just say there is an extreme amount of pressure on how I will look and eyes will be on me.

OH heyyy Ed! Edie, you’re here, too?! Omg it’s a party!!

Let’s throw in all that PTSD training trying to counteract all that. Mmmm joy.

A few months ago I was cleared to return to the gym. After 2 years of physical injury. And 1.5 years before that of restriction for therapy.

Just a reminder, I have hypergymnasia: I have spent excessive amounts of time at the gym in an attempt to lose weight. It was my purge. And when I go to the gym, I lose myself and all sense of time. It’s a total mindfuck to be honest.

The last time I was in a gym, ugh I was so unhealthy!!! I had just broken my ankle and shoulder. And I was at the gym running on the treadmill while in pain. That was 2 years ago OH SHIT TO THIS WEEK!!!

Well, I made plans with one of my besties to return to the gym. Part of my recovery contingencies [for life] is I’m not allowed to workout alone. We were supposed to go last week and again Monday.

I got so anxious I panicked and canceled.

Between the stress of work and this pressure to be thin, I did the healthy thing and did not go.

I know if I went, I would be starting under the wrong intentions and it would be downhill from there. My bestie knows everything that’s going on and has been so supportive.

So today we went. And I was so anxious. And scared.

I was worried I was too fat in the gym outfit I had. I was honestly fearful of the judgment by people at the gym. I was scared I would lose control. I was afraid I would spiral; that Ed would slide into control.

What I was most fearful of? My injuries being so bad that they would incapacitate me from doing the exercises I know and love. And I would have lost my identity.

Good news: the broken shoulder has healed enough through physical therapy that I was able to do the exercises I have done in the past!! I actually cried at the gym. The ankle has as well.

Bad news: I can’t turn off the hypergymnasia. My beastie turned to me and was like we have been here an hour time to go. I honestly thought it had been 10 minutes.

Absolutely no concept of time. It’s scary. I could end up hurting myself again. Breaking something. Or, as Eddie points out, getting fatter because I am working out too much without enough caloric intake.

I gain weight when I stop eating. I am am atypical anorexic due to years of anorexia and no formal treatment till my late twenties.

I feel disgusted by myself for feeling pleasure in the muscle burn and stamina I have. It’s not because I’m healthier than I thought but for the idea I can keep pushing myself harder.

But dammit, this is a massive comeback!! Literally years in the making.

Cassie is back at the gym. My happy place. Under supervision of a bestie. Without therapy support. Trying to do this the right way.

Here’s a big challenge!!

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Where to Start?!

This is my return.

I’m overwhelmed with what to say. Like where to start.

There has been so many changes in my life over the past 7 months. I wanted to write as they happened. It helps me process and feel. Experience the moment as they say in DBT.

Thanks to fear and trying to protect my anonymity, I had to give time in-between some significant events so that I cannot be identified.

I have followed of you and am so proud of you. Your accomplishments and strides you are making. These struggles are so. Real.

I guess the first biggest struggle, which will be my first focus, is I completed, and graduated from the Trauma Therapy.

As in I had no choice they basically told me, in one month we are cutting you free because that’s the end goal. After 4 years of intensive therapy. To nothing.

Oooo plot twist?!

Battling Myself

I saw this awesome project on Pinterest. It involves a mini 3 drawer system in which you organize things. In this project, you organize your coloring things. 

I LOVE coloring! It is my zen. My go to self healing self care thing. 

It also is an OCD thing. Arranging my coloring utensil of choice by color. Coloring in the lines. You get the point. 

This project requires one to put all crayons in one drawer, all colored pencils in another drawer, and all markers in the third drawer. 

Sooo simple right?

Haaaa.

I like my crayons to go back in the exact spot they came from. No one is allowed to use my box of crayons because they might use them wrong. I own 6 boxes of the same type of crayons [1 for sharing] so that I have backup if anything goes wrong. They are to be used a certain way.

Yes you are thinking, dayam Cassie is crazy. I am thinking, I have control and it is perfect and how I left it… Exactly how I left it and will be the way I left it. 

With the little I have ever had control of in my life, it is this I have come to rely on.

Was my OCD behavior bred? It is possible. My invalidating environment definitely fostered the behaviors.

I digress.

Tonight I did it. I bit that crazy hard bullet. I mixed 3 boxes of crayons: 2-24 packs and 1-64 pack in one drawer. 2 boxes of colored pencils in a second drawer. 2 boxes of fine tip markers and 1 box of regular markers in the third drawer. They have all been mixed.

It looks so organized! I can easily access my coloring now and color more. I might actually use them now!

I mean I have to because they are all cross contaminated by each other. They can’t go back into their original boxes… No way of knowing now…And they cannot be mixed because that is just wrong to put them with someone that is not their crayon family…. they belong together!

Omg wtf have I done……

I am glad I am lying down. I was so proud of myself for the past hour. Now I have a headache and this is almost too much to bear.

Contaminated! 

Bite size pieces to process….

New Year’s Goal Met

Success!!

Feeling pretty damn accomplished right now…

I completed one of my New Years Resolutions/goals.

At the beginning of the year, I made a list of goals for myself on my iPod Touch so I would always have it with me. To obsessively obsess over. 😀

Anyways. One of these goals was to get back on track with something that fell off when I went to college–pleasure reading. I never had time. I accumulated books over those extensive never ending years [hey working full time and school full time is no joke!!].

Almost all was lost and I forgot how to get back into it. So much so I had started about fifteen books and never finished one. That was partially credited to the whole first major relapse with anxiety, hypomania, and inability to focus.

This year I was determined to just finish things.

Goal: read 50 books.

Sounds stupid easy to some I know. But for me, there were months where my energy was so low or I was too anxious I couldn’t do it. I was too overwhelmed. I went a couple of months not reading at all. Those compulsions drove me crazy!!

But I am proud to say, today I finished two books [one previously started] and made it to 50!!

There were times where I really thought I was not going to make it. It stressed me out because I was missing out on literature and expanding my mind!

My job and its hours really limit me on a lot but I found my own ways to sneak in reading.

The best part? It builds on one of the DBT Skills–building mastery. This in turn provides confidence. And right now I’m feeling so high!

No fear work will crush that!

But I met a major New Year’s goal. :]

OITNB Wisdom: Pain & Suffering

Another beautiful moment. I cried with Pennsatucky because in my therapy this moment and first quote has really been emphasized.

Is it DBT? CBT? Who knows because it’s very real and amazing life advice.

If you can, I recommend googling for this clip because words cannot capture the raw emotion that was captured so well by the actresses. Truly depicts my turmoil.

Sidebar [and spoiler if you haven’t seen past Season 2], Pennsatucky was raped and this is a moment where she reflects on that pain, suffering, and forgiveness.

Pennsatucky: Do you know the difference between pain and suffering?

Big Boo: Oh I can’t wait to hear this…

Pennsatucky: Ya well you should hear because pain is something that … Pain is always there because Life is freakin painful ok? But suffering is a choice. 

And you my friend, it’s not my right to say, but you’re suffering! 

Forgiveness. You need to move on Boo.

I forgave him for me. And I think you are capable of doing something like that. 

Coping Level: Avoidance

No I am not avoiding you.

This is cathartic. It helps me process my feelings and thoughts. It lets me vent. And sometimes I’m validated by a reader.

I’ve been avoiding myself.

Ok we all ready know my feelings on the word crazy–I prefer either mentally hilarious or personality instead. But I agree that that aforementioned statement just sounds whack.

I am the master of avoidance. It is my go to technique.

Harmfully so.

In DBT group last year, I was the one who lead that lesson. Because I am pro.

But avoidance truly is a coping skill.

And damnit it got me through these past few weeks.

My therapist, you remember the newbie who is still fresh on the scene to the Cassie story, tried at one point to “bring me to reality” that everyone everywhere suffers and that I am not the only one who does.

First off, never said that. Secondly, I validate that, but I said that in my life I have recognized that my life is filled with nothing but horrors and is randomly speckled with positives which I’m constantly fighting to find; sometimes it’s too much.

She didn’t believe it.

Until she finally listened.

Like when I had RSV, that I got from coworkers [who got it from a patient], then had to take my car in for repairs and they lied about it and it was out for 4 days more than they said it would be, then was fighting for my physical therapy appointment because they cancelled for no reason, then told I had to go in for urgent eye surgery [again!!], all while fighting an elated Ed’s voice. There was more but I don’t remember because my memory is shot.

That’s just my life.

I have radically accepted it.

But sometimes I come back around and I’ll get sad by things.

Because it straight up sucks.

Anyways.

SO HERE IS CASSIE EN BREF:

  • I had eye surgery, again, same shit different eye. Molluscum contagiosum.
  • Turns out I have molluscum contagiosum all over my body. I had a full on OCD panic attack and clawed at my face. Hashtag fail.
  • This has led to even more body image issues because I feel dirty and it looks like I am a teenager with serious acne all over my chest, torso, neck, shoulders, and face. 
  • And I haven’t worn makeup in almost a year. Not good for the anorexic trying to cover up and feel pretty. To not be seen as me all flawed.
  • Huge melt down by Dramama. Somehow my fault.
  • Other coworkers smelled my blood in the water and came after me. Trying to say I’m incompetent and can’t do my job. Didn’t matter that I had escalated asking for help and they all refused. They all played victim. 
  • I’m so sick of nonvictims playing victims in the situation. Because somehow it always ends up my fault.
  • Then turns out my boss straight up had told my coworkers to not talk to me because they “distract” me and I need to do my job. So they feared for their jobs. I was isolated.
  • I went to work angry and bitter. Couldn’t win. Well still can’t. Not sure how me wanting there to be a positive and happy work environment is such a bad thing. I throw parties and organize out of office events. I’m such a bitch. Quick ignore her!
  • I fell in the shower, again.
  • My breathing isn’t getting much better

In summary, toxic work environment. Cannot breathe and still injured from falls so unable to exercise. This leaves me feeling extremely fat and the door open for Ed’s voice. I have molluscum contagiosum [from someone else’s house towels or the massage place I go to] so I can’t wear makeup until it’s all gone. I can’t cover up my insecurities or make myself up with false confidence. Feeling really ugly. My trust is just so fucked up as if it wasnt to start with because of all the stuff at work.

So what did I do with all this in my plate?

A-V-O-I-D-A-N-C-E

😀

I lived minute to minute because it was all I could process; all I could do from losing it.

Thus, I apologize for not being as bloggy and transparent through this whole process as some may have liked.

But this is how I do when I’m drowning.