Working on Positivity

I have been shifting my mind lately over and over to the positive and what I am looking forward to and it really works. I am tired of dwelling on things, and while I still do it, I am proud of how I balance that out with positive thoughts. Going to keep at that!

To SOME extent, you CAN train your brain to more optimistic thoughts.

Today, I need this mindset a lot.

This week, I have been approached my first my mom and then my uncle about my eating disorder. It has been very hard for me. I have been so much happier and more optimistic latey; I can see the light at the end of this hard tunnel.

In one way, I am glad I was approached because it helped to sit back and take a look at things. I think I do really well at keeping myself at a baseline weight (I made a goal when I was 18 to never lose my period again and I never have – comes regularly every single month), and I have weighed almost exactly the same for 2 1/2 years.

Two times I have gone up five pounds from that baseline but then lost it again. Two times I have gone 2 or so pounds below that baseline and it really scares me so I get back up. Right now, I think when I was in Montana, I am at that 2 pounds below point. I hate trying to gain weight. I wish someone could shoot me with a magic wand and go “POOF” to make me gain it back. Alas, it doesn’t work like that.

But talking to my mom, I am going to make a goal to gain those two pounds back right now. The main thing that has gotten worse in the last year is my binge-purge behavior, but since I went to Thailand (where I made it 16 days and only did it one time). I KNOW it got worse this year because my boyfriend was deployed. That has just been so hard for me. But since Thailand, I have reduced the frequency more and more. THAT is the thing that really scares me, and I have been more scared about it since talking to my mom which has prevented it from happening.

But bad has come out of these talks too. I feel extremely judged, hopeless, shamed, and depressed whenever I think about them (the collective family).

Whenever I am confronted by one of them, I feel SO pressured and rushed to conform to their standards and recover right now this very second to fit those standards. It is the worst feeling in the world.

It makes me feel very lonely and so, so afraid. It makes me feel very small and like a little kid (also the worst feeling in the world). I have had suicidal thoughts from this and I haven’t had that since July/August. Don’t worry, I am okay, it just sucks that they pop up from this.

So here are the hopes I have, the goals…I am reminding myself of these over and over to keep me going and to make me smile…and to BELIEVE.

I don’t know what THEY want me to do, but what I want to do is this:

  • My current therapist charges $100 a session so I haven’t been able to go every week (do you know that works out to $5200 a year if I did?!).
  • So I am switching over to a therapist in my HMO that is part of an eating disorder department they have there. I am very frustrated about this, I HATE starting over, taking all the time to get to know each other instead of just working on things, and finding the right person. But I have to. It will only be $30 a session, so I can go weekly. Another con is that I will have to depend on family for rides but I will just have to accept that too.
  • I am going to work with her for a couple months. I am going to have her help me integrate a team of therapist-psychiatrist-M.D.
  • I want to just do that for now. Then assess later if I need more.
  • I am also finding a new psychiatrist because I hate the one I have and refuse to be made to cry by a mean person every time I go…thus not going, which isn’t good.

My personal goals are these:

  1. Have faith. Everything is going to be okay. BELIEVE that my nerve problems with improve, that I will continue to work hard, that soon I will start having better life circumstances where I am happier, that I will get a job, that I will get out of my parents house, that I will get my self-esteem back, that I can do this in a way that makes me feel empowered as an adult woman. Let myself be optimistic and enjoy the good things I have.
  2. Gain back the two pounds I lost by just relaxing about it. It is SO hard to gain weight when you have no appetite and generally/innately aren’t much of a food-oriented person, not to mention my crippling anxiety and the depression. I hate feeling full. So I think just not worrying about adding calories such as extra cheese, fuller fat milk, whipped cream, etc will do the trick (this allows me to not feel fuller but adds calories). It has been a long time (many, many years) since I ever made a goal to gain weight. I have just let it happen sometimes, but never made a goal since I was 16 years old and at my lowest weight. This is kind of a combo of letting it happen and making little changes.
  3. Continue to not binge and purge, totally eliminate that.
  4. Be open to considering other medication options, even if they give me more of an appetite. Accept that that may be a good thing. Accept that even if I don’t like eating, that doesn’t mean that it is healthy not to do it (similar to an old person who has no appetite but should still try to “keep their strength” up…like my grandma…she doesn’t feel like it but that doesn’t make it totally alright).
  5. Do this at my own pace. Don’t feel like I have to explain everything to everyone. I just want to talk to my mom sometimes, to my friend M who has bipolar disorder and understands mental illness, and to B —> the most amazing guy who always supports me in just the right way and helps me believe in myself and in the world because HE does.
  6. Take the lessons I have learned from their concerns, but also believe that this takes time and that I know myself the best of anyone, that I have to do things for me.
  7. Be more positive! 🙂 Don’t let anyone get me down.



2 thoughts on “Working on Positivity

  1. Hi there! I saw your comment on my blog and thought I’d stop by. Thanks for finding me. 🙂

    It sounds like you have a lot of great goals. I can relate to several things you wrote here, especially when it comes to creating and maintaining the feeling of independence from your family. I keep a lot of the details of my disorder to myself, often because I do NOT want to feel “small” and “like a little kid.” It’s hard. It’s hard to admit that you struggle to do very basic things and to still feel strong and independent.

    I also relate to the feeling of being pressured to get better. Because I keep so many of the details of my OCD to myself, my family often hasn’t been able to see or understand just how much of my life it consumed. But I suppose that’s the price I pay for keeping more things private. If I want them to have a better understanding, I have to share more, but sharing more also comes with the price of feeling “small.” I try to just be mindful of my progress, congratulate myself on how far I have come, and realize that the pressure that I feel is placed upon me often comes more from how I perceive others remarks than what they are actually saying.

    As for switching therapists, that’s hard. Do you read the blog ED Bites by Carrie Arnold? She recently did a whole post on her tips for finding/interviewing new therapists (she’s done it a WHOLE lot!). And as for switching psychiatrists, good for you! I don’t think you should EVER have to put up with a doctor whose meanness brings you to tears. Therapists and psychiatrists are there to help, to serve, YOU. If your psychiatrist is just upsetting you it definitely sounds like it would be helpful to find someone who is a nicer and a better fit. That’s not only your right as a patient/client but also what you deserve!

    Hang in there! I think your goal to gain two pounds is amazing. I was thinking as I read this, that though I have gained weight off and on since I recovered from the eating disorder time of my life, I have never really made the GOAL to gain weight, even when I have started to get a little too thin again. That is really tough, and I think you should be commended for being proactive and making an effort to gain the weight back. It reminds me of exposure and response prevention for OCD – it’s great to avoid performing compulsions when you find yourself in situations that trigger your desire to perform them, but it’s even better when you seek those situations out or create them for yourself head on. Something about the deliberateness of it makes the blow to the disorder that much greater. Making the CHOICE to gain weight and actively pursuing it though it may make you uncomfortable is a great step, I think, in moving forward in your fight against your eating disorder!

  2. Thank you SO much for this comment. It has helped me so much today and been a great support. I can relate to so much. The first and second paragraphs are almost exactly how I feel too.

    “If I want them to have a better understanding, I have to share more, but sharing more also comes with the price of feeling “small.” I try to just be mindful of my progress, congratulate myself on how far I have come, and realize that the pressure that I feel is placed upon me often comes more from how I perceive others remarks than what they are actually saying.” — This especially is exactly how I feel and what I am striving to do too. It helped a lot to hear it reiterated by someone else.

    It is interesting how eating disorders and OCD can be so related for some people. I have both, but have a lot less trouble with classic OCD stuff now. But they both function the same to me – to control my world and my fears and prevent “bad” things from happening. They are both so much related to my anxiety.

    I have never made a goal to gain weight either. I have actually never tried to lose weight, it just happens because of my anxiety and lack of desire to eat and rituals/rules, but then I am afraid to gain weight. So thanks for your support on that. I do read Carrie’s blog occasionally but haven’t for awhile so I am going to check out her therapist post you mentioned.

    I look forward to continuing reading your blog and thanks again!

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