I Regret Everything

As most of you readers know, I’ve been struggling with a spectrum of eating disorders since an early age. I exhibited signs and symptoms of behavior from around 6, and actively began restricting knowing full-well what I was doing at age 11.

I’ve been in and out of treatment centers, inpatient, and have seen so many therapists and psychiatrists it’s a wonder I even think there’s hope for me at all. Especially on top of my many other ailments (both mental and physical).

Last September I started seeing an eating disorder therapist. In December she referred me to a psychiatrist. This has been my care team.

Today was the first time Matt came with me to a therapy appointment. I’m desperately trying to remember everything that I said.

For those of you who may not be aware, eating disorders are at least 95% lying and keeping secrets, avoiding the truth, over-justification, and investment in our own secret “safe” world inside our eating disorders. Some of us are more enmeshed in our secret eating disorder worlds than others. It’s to the point, after decades, that I literally do not know what’s my personality coming out or if it’s my eating disorder talking. About almost anything? I can make any life situation about how fat I am etc. And I always could! Not just since I’ve gained all this weight. All this fucking weight. How did I gain so much weight? “RECOVERY?!” You fat fucking joke.

I’m getting off track.

Today I spilled some secrets. Just last time I admitted to a friend that I’m not ready to give up my disorder. I don’t want to recover. I want to lose weight. Now that my eating disorder has swung from undereating and purging to overeating and purging it seems so hopeless.

My therapist tries to assure me that it’s a common swing, and actually confided in me that this means I never actually recovered when I thought I did. The disordered thoughts and thought patterns along with behaviors and mindsets followed me all this time and manifested itself differently over the years. So that’s real comforting, as you can imagine.

So what secrets did I spill? Big ones. My secret dinners. That when I joke around about food or “I went to the gym last week I deserve a treat” seemingly off-the-cuff jokes are really just me being good at making things normal and ok in appearance for what I think are others’ benefit.

I’ve talked about that wanting things to be normal before, too. In another post I qualified it with “I don’t want to be a drama queen” around friends, and I want to be seen as normal. Not broken. But…. I think I knew which side is showing its prevalence recently. Stupid fucking fatass piece of garbage.

Oops lost my train of thought.

I don’t want to let go of my secrets. Because once I start undereating full time again (restriction is easy until I feel pressured (mostly by my own self) to act normal or fun about food) then I’ll desperately need these secrets back.

They’re usually the cliche “I already ate” or “I don’t feel well” or “I didn’t even go to the gym today I can’t have toast” you get the gist.

Eating disorders are fucking impossible and I feel horrible. The worst part? “You don’t have an eating disorder. You’re just weak.” Not just from my own brain, but this happens in others’ minds as well. I know it does, because I read it online when I see mentions of Binge-Eating Disorder.

I think now I’m just ranting? I feel so lost. If eating disorders are part of my personality then I’m almost okay with it staying. I like to think I’m pretty down to earth and easy to hang out with. I’m empathetic and my-own-brand-of fun. I’m hardcore but nice? I don’t know I don’t know. Just like the anger. That’s me too.

My therapist called me defensive and I said “NO I’M NOT” as a joke, but…

This has become almost incoherent.

Happy Monday.

But, You Know, Whatever.

My bones are cold. There’s a constant, aching chill, and find myself shivering then try to stop myself. But I can’t feel warm.

My jaw hurts from the pressures of keeping it together. The urge to sob and scream and burst into hysterics all mingled into my ready smile should someone look my way.

It’s always the corner of my eye. Or not so much the corner, but just barely beyond perceptibility. Dark shapes, light shapes. Metamorphosing into some terrible nightmare fodder. Humanoid, demanoid. “It’s just my imagination” I tell the slowly-growing shadow. My jaw aches.

I’m quick, though. They’ve always told me I have “wit.” So while in the company of others I laugh and I joke and wow so normal until a moment’s silence and I remember everything terrible that’s ever been and ever will be while the shape in the doorway grins at me and reaches out then I think of a clever response and get a few laughs.

Silence is painful. There’s a hum, and it’s not just from all the concerts. I know. It physically hurts. Drives me to tears when I wake at night. Because they’re trying to reach me. That faint hum before the speech, the dying to say what can’t be said and I’m afraid of what they’ll say. So I put the pillow over my head try and snuggle up to the warm mass who snores and moves away from me and I’m forever left alone in my head with these new ghosts and the old ghosts who won’t leave me to a moment’s peace.

When I drink my cheap, fruity liquor I’m too engrossed in my phone and trying not to have drunk face that it’s peaceful for a moment. But heaven forbid I have to pee or go somewhere else alone because they follow me and they take advantage of my fear and my tears and they laugh and I have to pretend I’m not scared out of my goddamn mind because no one likes a drama queen.

I’ve hallucinated before. It’s been years. And I’m terrified.

I’ve been desperately trying not to be so whiney or dramatic (hence the infrequent posts) and even to friends I’m like eh I’m depressed but whatever but damn it even as I type this they’re brushing me on the shoulder and trying to whisper in my ear and I shudder and try and remember where I was in my thought.

And I thought being coherent was difficult before.

Is this the bipolar? The dissociation? The stress? Have all the many, many, long years of too-frequent nightmares started following me into daily life, desperate to be heeded?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

It’s almost the anniversary of my last utter descent. Makes me think it’s bipolar. I made a promise it’s almost impossible not to think about. Even now my pants are sticking to my hips and my sleeve to my arms and my jaw hurts and my usual hurts hurt because everything hurts but it’s “just stress.”

But you know lol everything fine it’s good 🙂  how’re you?

The Recovery Shame

I’m ’bout to get real real with you guys. It’s been a while since I’ve made a post, and it’s because I thought about being less personal. But I just want to be frank with you guys.

I hate being “recovered.”

I’m making a pause now to let you readers who don’t know me imagine what I mean by recovered. Do I mean from drugs? Gambling? Porn?

It’s all 3.

No it’s not.

It’s eating disorders.

Now, I put the word recovered in quotes up there because though I don’t partake in the daily activities of an actively disordered eater anymore, I still have so many thoughts and bad feelings and bad self-esteem surrounding me that I feel like a cheaty faced loser saying I’m legitimately recovered. I’m more like, I don’t know, in remission. The behaviors aren’t there lately (purge free since May?) but it’s very much an undercurrent.

I’m sure lots, maybe most, of the humans who have recovered from an eating disorder of any kind often think “man, I could easily go back to that. That’d be great. I could be so skinny. Eh, nah.” But what I think a lot of the time isn’t “I could go back” so much as it’s “I should go back.”

Cuz I get a lot of hate. I hate being recovered because I’m chubby now. I shouldn’t care that I’m chubby. I should embrace it and whatever and be happy I’m healthy (not really but whatever) and whatever.

But I’m really upset.

I fucking hate myself.

And there are people who see me at work who may notice the panic in my eyes when I pass the snack bar, who may notice I eat lunch 3 times, and there are friends who I accidentally admit to having 2 separate dinners to… but they wonder why because I’m too fat and I obviously eat too much.

There are those IN THE SAME HOUSEHOLD AS ME who comment on what I eat being unhealthy or that I eat too much or that I should exercise more/better.

These comments come from a good place but damn. Let me pretend to be a normal American. Jesus.

I hate it. And I hate it.

I hate being a regular chubby first-world unhealthy loser. I hate liking fast food and beer. I hate thinking about food ALL THE TIME whether I’m trying to lose weight or not.

I hate how I let the idea of being a happy healthy person made me fat.

I’m legitimately overweight now. And it makes me so sad. And I try not to let it. I think, hey. I don’t have like serious weight-related issues, right? I’m fine? I’m smaller than some people, right? Does that matter? Should I even make that comparison? God what should I do? What is normal? WHAT IS RIGHT WHAT IS HEALTHY WHAT AM I DOING I’M KIDDING MYSELF I GOT FAT.

I meet new people and I just know they’re judging me for being fat. Like you don’t know me! I was skinny once, too! Shut up! Shut up those thoughts! Stop it!

This could be a post about how fat-shaming is bad but it’s not that it’s me hating myself for letting myself get to a non-disordered weight.

It was so much easier not kidding myself into thinking I had a healthy mind.

Right now, I’d take the bloodshot eyes, the inflamed esophageal lining, and the lying and wasting over this shame and remorse.

 

Altoids are so Weird

First public display of anxiety overload at my new job: complete. They officially know I’m a basket case. Luckily, they didn’t fire me. Hooray! I’m good enough to keep even though I’m emotionally unstable!

If the general public didn’t have to be such a RAGING CESSPOOL OF ASS-FLAVORED BITCH BISCUITS it’d be a lot easier to contain myself.

Don’t be grumpy at people who have done nothing to you to deserve that. PSA of the day.

At least I have my cat. And I’m hopeful that one day this place will allow me my dream: working from home with the degree I drunkenly achieved. (Literally all my online classes had at least 30% of its work completed while I wasn’t sober.) That didn’t sentence very well but the cat being all cozy next to me makes me not care to correct it.

I’ve been socializing almost every weekend night for the past few weeks and I’m so happy to be having a me night. Not that I don’t love my friends; I do. Very much. That happens to be why we’re friends! Weird! But damn I get peopled out. I need me time. I need a 3-day weekend every weekend. I need friends days (the normal weekend…) and another day for Shley day. A day where I can read and blog and be with my thoughts.

Without my thoughts I get more anxiety-y, I think. Not like the rush of the day and the social calendar filling up shit I have all these things to do and I’m broke thoughts, but I should write a poem damn that tree is good looking I’m so happy carpet is soft thoughts. Those thoughts are good thoughts. I need me time to have those thoughts.

When I’m with friends and I talk too much what’s in my head people just tune me out then I feel shunned then I get sad then I remember I’m fat and worthless and moral of the story is I sabotage myself when I don’t get sufficient social recovery time.

Yayyyyy

I still hate being tired all the time. I’m tired all the time. I still hate how far I let myself go. I still hate the 2 relapses I’ve had in the last 2 weeks. And I still hate how alcohol is so many calories when all I want to do is forget but it makes me gain weight sad face.

My cat is soft. My cat is soft.

I wish I was cat. I would be the most boring, persnickety cat. If I were just a cat version of myself, I’d be like a regular cat. Touch my belly NO DON’T TOUCH MY BELLY ok rub my head not THERE rub THERE god you’re worthless *struts away* feed me.

And those are my thoughts for the day my tongue hurts on the side from salt and vinegar chips good day.

Look at this Photograph

Okie dokie so I’m taking the plunge with today’s topic. Belive it or not, I don’t enjoy sounding like a whiney whine-face. I do like whining, though….

Damnit.

Anyway I wanted to blog about my issues with my mom and my dad’s divorce. This really ought to be old news by now, seeing as they  divorced almost 24 years ago, but I feel like it affected a lot of my personality and traits and important skills like coping and knowing how to trust and all that and stuff. Mostly because I was around 1 year old and I literally grew up with it. (And I still had to deal with fighting, damnit. So much fighting).

There’s a lot to the story because they both got remarried within a year, and I have what I would call “a curious history” with all 4 of my parents. It’s mostly because I turned into a crazy bitch near the end of high school. Plus there are the (half) siblings and the ≈20 living arrangements I’ve acquired on top of the occasional verbal bloodbaths that ensued between 9 of the possible pairings of these 4. Maybe even more so if you take into account the incredibly tense vocal-almost-phsycial-half-the-time wars between just 2 of them. And if you include my yelling and being yelled at 🙂

Basically from the time I started developing a clear memory my mom was dating/engaged to my stepdad. Then, by the time I was 6, my dad married my stepmom out of the blue. Surprise! My mom and stepdad married less than a year after that. I only got to be at one wedding. But boy did I look good in that flower girl dress! And somewhere there is VHS video footage of me stealing swipes of frosting from the wedding cake during the reception. And I thought I was sneaky. Imagine all the fun I’d have had at 2 weddings within a year! If I could turn back time… (is my issue with this apparent yet?)

Ahem.

I lived with Mom mostly forever, then at 16 I did that thing that teenagers do and decided to switch parents. Then my mental breakdown really happened and I moved back in with Mom because I make no sense and wanted to be 3 again cuz I was a hopeless dipshit and everything sucked and suddenly I was 23 still living with Mom. That simply wouldn’t do. Now you’ll find me in (how funny, in’t it?) Matt’s mom’s basement. Almost 24. No big deal, right? RIGHT?!

After all this time, and all this history and all of these parents having to (try to) cooperate at least sometimes for school stuff and music stuff and stuff and I only own 1 physical picture of my mother, father, and myself.

One.

It’s from my baptism in 6th grade. Though I wasn’t the happiest camper that day (another story; I won’t bore you more than what’s necessary for this 1 post ;)) I insisted that I get this photo.

I believe I got one at my wedding, but I can hardly remember because I was such an anxious wreck and I got really drunk that night so I only remember the more wedding-related things.

(Like the fact that Matt was really trying not to cry but he’ll never admit it. Or were his eyes peeing?)

Even when I made a card for my mom and my dad after the wedding as a “Thank you for Birthing Me” present, it physically felt weird to write “Mom and Dad.”

Call me weird, but I find that weird. It’s uncomfortable to put my birthers next to each other even on paper, for biscuits’ sake!

Now, I’m not saying I wish they were back together. No offense, Mom and Dad, but you would kill each other off. Honestly I don’t even remember really wishing this getting back together. I had my “father figure” from the time I was around 2 years old (thanks Darrin), so I never really felt like I was missing out? I just got bonus family on Tuesdays and holidays and stuff!

Then came the step-mom-into-the-story days at age 6 then I got to go on a plane by  myself 654,665,465 times a year and that was fun. Plus all the presents. I even got to miss a lot of school around the holidays. School hated me. And I, it.

(One time I got in trouble on a test because the teacher was reading us the questions and then we were supposed to answer, but I was 3 pages ahead of everyone, because DAMNIT woman I was in FIRST GRADE I KNEW how to READ.)

How many tangents does it take to make me feel like I’ve made a good blog post?

Like, a hundred.

I wish I didn’t hold this divorce grudge. Or rather, I wish it didn’t affect me as much as it did. And I wish divorce wasn’t so fucking prominent.

Matt, I swear to potato, you’re stuck with me.

 

 

Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.

I’ve had trouble building up the courage to do what needs done. Too shy. Too ashamed. Like I’m a betrayer. But it does need to happen. Already I am red and scabbed on my inside and more on my outside. At this rate I won’t have any skin or teeth left. Burned away or cut away. Stress and a feeling of failure and incompetence because I’m stretched too thin, “like butter over too much bread.”

A weekend not of fun, but of shame, shakes, sobs, and more red. Some pink. Shirking responsibilities to make way for the intention of normality.

Don’t get me wrong. Everything is great and I’m lucky to be alive and all that but damn do I need some coping skills.

Something tells me my current arsenal for self-destructive-deal-with-it techniques are somehow unhealthy.

 

UPDATE: I finally quit the second job. Hopefully the worsened depression subsides shortly.

Community College Papers 101

So I wrote my final reflection paper for my final graduation-required course in about an hour and a half last night. It was a 5 page paper. It was done while some scary show was on TV behind me and I was still slightly tipsy from beers at dinner. I thought the teacher would read it begrudgingly asking herself why she ever became a teacher because she hated crap poured into keyboards like this, but this was her real response:

“GRADE: 250

Your first paragraph pulled me right into your paper!  Very honest, from the heart paper.  I liked it a lot!  Your last paragraph, While it’s one thing to want to learn as much as possible, it’s another to put it into practice. And the practice makes perfect. Most importantly, I think college has taught me self-motivation. I learned what it takes to be successful, at least the first steps I can take and resources I can utilize along the way. It was all worth it.” needs to be something ALL students in college need to think about.

Well done Ashley.  You should be so proud of yourself.  I am proud of you.  You are a role model for your family showing them how hard work and determination got you to where you wanted to be today!”

And here I thought the instructor hated me.

Well, I must’ve learned something in college.

Oh, and that “It was all worth it” sentence made me physically cringe as I typed it. I’m not sure what this teacher was thinking giving me 100%, but I’ll take it!