Tag Archive | PTSD

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!!

Advertisements

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?!

Cassie? 

Ok so I might have left y’all on quite a cliffhanger there… Seasonal anxiety has started what with this being the food months and all. And the whole starting a new therapist amidst wanting to die…

Let’s add a dash of continued work stressors, family drama, and other loss of control.

I had my first status asthmaticus [severe asthma attack]. Solid. Been super sick–the joys of malnutrition thanks to anorexia. Still dealing with the stress of my injuries.

Flew cross country to spend my first week ever with PC’s family on vacation. I was extremely stressed about this–would they accept me? Would I be good enough? All I want is to be part of a family and be accepted; to be appreciated. How was I going to go from barely 2 snacks and 1 “dinner” to eating meals in front of his observing family? Who, PS, are all thin like him and eat allll the time!

All in all the trip was amazing! We had a wonderful time and it was everything I have ever dreamed of in terms of acceptance from a partner’s family! Spent individual time with the parents, siblings, babies; even had double dates with the parents and the siblings! I felt at ease almost all the time except meals.

I did my cope ahead and tried to meal plan as best as I could. But the south is all meat based and a lot of fried foods. This is a stark contrast from California let me tell you!!

His family was also acutely aware and accommodating to my “vegetarianism” which made it harder for me to not eat and go unnoticed. I did, however, manage to skip breakfast every day to compensate.

I was constantly feeling sick. I had upgraded to 2 full normal people meals and 2 snacks with 1 dessert every day! Ick thinking back makes me sick again. My stomach wasn’t ready for that.

The only other significant thing has been therapy.

New style. I was nervous at first but when I thought about it, it made a lot of sense.

I am now in eating disorder and anxiety therapy that is trauma based.

Yes. Whaaaaaat?! Trauma?!

If you have read my about me page you would see one of my diagnoses is PTSD. Well, it seems it extends a lot further than realized. All the recurring nightmares and thoughts–reliving things triggered by people/words/events. That is what we are going to tackle.

The thought being, treat the trauma, break some of the anxiety which reduces a lot of the stress and anxiety responses which are tightly linked with my anorexia.

Right now we have been fine tuning my DBT skills so that they are “natural occurrence” when the trauma portion starts.

I will definitely blog through that.

Nervous but hoping it works. It’s been months since I’ve slept through the night. Work drama and stress is increasing the night terrors and nightmares. Poor PC. :[

And there I stand. Literally living hour to hour trying to survive. Hating many aspects but always looking for that rubbish silver lining.

Cassie is still around. She just shuts down when she is overwhelmed and there’s been too much new new.

And still fat because vicious cycle of not eating.

Seasonal Anxiety

Shoutout to my fellow eating disorder sufferers. Our season is approaching.

DBT Skills: Coping Bullet Journal

Ok let me start off with I’ve been channeling my OCD behaviors into Bullet Journal ing. I love it and it’s helpful for me. It’s cathartic. It gets crap out of my head. It shuts out Ed and Edie’s voices for a bit. 

Naturally, I’m on Pinterest looking for things to “bujo” as us lazy I mean cool kids say. 

I stumbled on these. They are so going in. An excellent reminder [for me minus the prayer part but insert mindfulness].

I’m guilty of a lot of these. Helps me identify. Are you?

The Intake Interview

Everything was so slow up until the actual intake. Panic attacks happened. My anxiety just blossomed into full on panic.

I was fearful that this was my last attempt at help. What if it didn’t work out? What if there is nothing wrong with me? What if it truly is all in my head? What if I’m too fucked up for her to help me?

I didn’t take any Ativan because I needed her to see me in the raw state–me at my worst. That is the whole point of this I take interview. It sucked going at it that way.

Leaving work early also was not fun. I still have fear that there was gossip about why I left early. All that nasty whispering that has been going on.

When I arrived to the clinic, during check in, another patient had seizures. So, naturally, I stepped in to assist. I don’t think the clinic handle them well, but now I’m all jacked up on adrenaline and panic juices. Fab combo.

Of course my new therapist is cute. Tiny, petite. I swear it’s like a requirement.

She has a close relationship with Cherry which makes me ecstatic. They talked about me which to most people is upsetting. To me it’s a relief. Cherry is a Cassie expert. Cherry can and will be an excellent resource as needed. Cherry was apparently proud of me for telling my boss about my struggle with anorexia. I’m still not sure if I regret that or not, but it felt wonderful to hear that from Cherry.

I had to take 3 assessment quizzes. One stated I was depressed. I said the last month it’s hard not to be when I’ve been bullied at work and home and I am unable to exercise because of my fall. I still don’t think I’m depressed–anxiety filled for sure!!

Then I had to do the usual in depth questionnaire that I hate.

Purging habits. Restricting habits. Explanations of how I truly have no desire to eat. My earliest memories of dieting desires and compulsions were 5th grade. My need to not eat was as early as 6 or 7 years old; yes I’m a lifer anorexic. I really hate food.

Then the conversation about how I’ve started to get the baby belly back again because I haven’t been eating so I’m agitated. That I’m having confusion and excessive sleepiness and it’s because I get out of meals and don’t eat not depression. But forcing to eat sucks. But I need to to lose weight.

Vicious fucking cycle.

She is tabling the idea of me working with a dietician. Ummm I will fight that. None of that.

After two hours, all I kept thinking, and still think, is I am not that sick. I don’t have a problem. When she asked about how many breakfasts/snacks/lunches/snacks/dinners I have eaten in the last 30 days, I just felt really fat. Like too many. And way too many to qualify.

But she wants to see me effective immediately. Definitely once a week minimum. She thinks maybe twice but she knows how hard it was to get once a week off for work.

She proceeded to give me a pamphlet of the labs she wants completed with my doctor as well. So while I still feel like a huge fake, it seems I’ve triggered something to indicate further and closer follow up.

It’s a relief in a way because now I can stop fighting on my own. I have someone on my team and someone who can validate me and my experiences.

Be thankful if you have friends and family who support you in your recovery. Some of us would kill for that. It’s part of what’s killing me.

My parents today told me I’m too fat that I’ll never be able to fit into a certain size. They also constantly tell me that PC must be grossed out seeing me naked. Both of my parents are more overweight than I am.

Glad to have someone remind me that what they say is not ok. Because Ed’s voice still latches on. And I’ve been crying all day over this.