I started writing this a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t seem to post it. I knew things were going south, and I had filled out the paperwork needed for the counseling center, I just hadn’t gotten around to actually calling them. One of my teachers pulled me aside after class the other day to ask what was going on. Clearly I’m not as good at hiding it all as I used to be! Normally I’m not one to just bear my soul to people when they ask like that – especially teachers – but I didn’t realize how lost and scared I was until I got talking. After a little extra push, I called counseling and had an appointment earlier this week. Now I’m working on getting in contact with a therapist in Manhattan that would be better for me long-term. I’m not going to say I’ve relapsed; I’ve just had a bit of a slip-up. However, if I don’t get it under control again, a relapse is in my near future.
Let’s back up a few months. I know I talked about some of this in my last post. The ugly cycle of last semester. I don’t know anyone, so I stay home and watch Netflix. I stay home and watch Netflix, so I don’t know anyone. Being outgoing and talkative is something that takes practice for me. It doesn’t come naturally like it does to some. That’s not to say I don’t like talking to people, but there is nothing worse than small talk! Really – nothing worse. With working as much as I was last year, I got good at it. I had to, so it wasn’t nearly as anxiety provoking. When classes started I was still good! I had no problem talking to the people I sat around, but it never got past that. We never met up later or did anything outside of class. As time went on, I quickly realized I didn’t really have any friends. The friends I have that are here with me are always super busy – as am I. Our schedules just don’t mesh. The depression started creeping in. Depression and anxiety are two of my biggest triggers. I began overeating, but didn’t think much of it. I think, deep down, I knew it was a way to cope with the depression, but I didn’t necessarily want to believe it. I don’t know if that makes any sense to y’all. Anyway, overeating began happening more frequently, which turned into a couple of full binge episodes. Then this last week, it’s all I can do to eat anything. I had forgotten how much of a toll it takes on your body, even just a couple of days with not much food. Unfortunately, there is that little part of me that likes the feeling. I’m doing my best to keep that voice quiet, though, as hard as it is! I ate a somewhat normal dinner tonight! That’s something!
Having a lack of a social life is not the only thing that has contributed to this little relapse. Between roommates and work, they don’t necessarily make for the best recovery environment. I’m a nanny for a thirteen year old girl. The thing is we are similar sizes. She’s a bit shorter than me, and obviously we have different body shapes, but, overall, we’re pretty damn similar. She’s constantly talking about how fat she is. It’s hard to listen to. I’ve tried a million and one times to tell her she isn’t and that we should try using other, more positive words, but it’s in one ear and out the other. It’s to the point now that I just have to tune her out. I’m not worried about her following in my same path, otherwise I would say something else. It just kind of sucks because in my head she’s calling me fat, too. I guess I’m just surrounded by people that are focused on being “fat” and losing weight. It’s super frustrating!! Unfortunately, it’s waaaaay too common for girls to want to lose weight. My roommates fall into that category, as well, so I get back from work and the “bad body talk” continues. One of my roommates has started a diet 5 or 6 times. I caught myself thinking a couple of times earlier this year “if she doesn’t have to eat, why do I?” The logical part of me knows that dieting isn’t realistic and that you need food to survive. However, sometimes logic doesn’t cut it.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that being a part-time student is the best thing for me. My anxiety has been at an all-time high lately – to the point that it makes my stomach hurt, which makes eating difficult. I put so much pressure on myself to do well in school that it just eats at me. It’s not like my major is insanely hard or anything; I just expect too much from myself. After I got done venting to my teacher (seriously, God Bless, Dan! I don’t think he was expecting everything he got.), we talked about dropping his class. That’s the writing class I talked about before! Not one I need, but one that I thought would be fun. I hate quitting, but, after lots of thought, I decided it’s not quitting if I come back to it when I have my shit together. I’ll just have to take it a different semester! Nothing wrong with that. Besides I’m not really getting anything out of that class at this point. I can’t form thoughts because I can’t stay focused on one thing long enough. It’s also right before lunch, so this week I’ve been thinking about whether or not I’d be able to go without lunch.
It’s so frustrating that I know the thoughts I’m having, and I know they are only going to take me down, but I can’t seem to fight them either. I was driving to work today trying to eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As I looked down, I realized how stupid it is to be so afraid of food. You need food to survive; I understand that! Once again, logic doesn’t always cut it. It’s frustrating because I just want to be “normal.” If I’m being completely honest with myself, I think the reason I took these off Facebook in the first place wasn’t entirely because it’s not what I want people to know me by. Of course that’s part of it. But, in reality, I think I was doing so well that I just wanted to pretend that I was normal – like I didn’t spend 2 months in a treatment center. This makes it sound like I was lying about how I was doing before. I wasn’t! I really was doing so well! I was happy, could eat what I wanted, when I wanted, and it didn’t bother me. I didn’t constantly feel like I was ready to crawl out of my skin. I just need to come to terms with the fact that this is just something I’m going to have to deal with for the rest of my life. I’m always going to have to stay on top of my meals and be sure to keep my depression in check. I got too confident in my recovery. Confidence is good! Being stupid and over-confident – not so much. It sucks, a lot actually, but this is just the hand I was dealt. I’ve decided that I’ll keep posting these to Facebook (feel free to share them again!). Not that I think y’all love to sit and read my incredibly long posts, but because if I can help even just one person or help people understand the reality of mental illness, I’d say it was worth it. Until next time….