I had to go away again.
After much thought and ping-ponging back and forth, I decided to enter residential treatment for my eating disorder for the second time in my life. Some of you are well aware that I was in treatment for a total of 2 months just over 3 years ago, and I really wanted it to be a one-and-done deal.
It was not.
I had been noticing and up-tick in my ED behaviors over the past year. At first, they were subtle. A change in my "rules" about when or when not to eat, what I can or cannot eat, what is a proper meal and what is excessive. The ones that I was supposed to be trying to follow diligently had kind of fallen off the wayside. I was a loose cannon, and a majorly unstable one at that.
My depression hit rock bottom. I literally felt like I had fallen down a very, very deep well and just SMASHED face first into the concrete floor. Everything was bad, nothing was good, I couldn't calm my brain or my body and every cell of my body was screaming at me to DO SOMETHING.
So, I did.
I literally sent out one very rushed "Hail Mary" message to my old Case Manager at CEDC in Cambridge, MA, where I had last been for residential treatment. It basically told her that I was so far gone that I could barely function, and that I had no idea what to do to get back on the recovery route.
She immediately turned me over to her boss for an intake, and a week later I was back in that same old group room, attending those familiar coping skills groups! I'm not going to lie....I initially felt pretty ashamed that I was back there. I had PROMISED myself that my previous residential experience had been a ONE-AND-DONE and I was NEVER going to let myself get to that point where I needed it again.
... I did.
I started from square one and retraced my steps. Luckily, I had a firm grasp on the tools I had picked up from my last stay, so I hit the ground running. My anti-depressants were bumped WAY up, so I was able to start climbing out of the hole I was stuck in. I was put on a meal plan with set breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner/snack schedules and rules. I started to learn how to eat "normally" again. Or at least, in some sort of "socially acceptable" way. I kept my nose to the grindstone, leaned on a really fabulous bunch of ladies for support, and powered through in just 5 weeks this time as opposed to the 8 weeks it took me the first time to get back home.
As a mom, I felt guilt about being away from my kids. As a wife, I felt guilt about not being home to help my husband bear his heavy load. As a person with an ED who had previously had a decent grip on recovery (or so I thought??), I felt guilt about dropping down to that level of care again.
Then I allowed myself to stop feeling guilty and just do what I needed to do. I challenged the hell out of myself on a daily basis. I ignored the screams of rage coming from the ED part of my brain, and I tried to focus on what my treatment team was telling me was healthy and appropriate. I know you will be SHOCKED to hear that those two voices clashed over literally everything having to do with putting a bite of food into my mouth.
Eventually, ED got quieter.
Now I can begin the next step of my journey - taking everything that I learned with me and bringing it to my family at home.
Wish me luck.
Definitely going to need it.
Chaos is about to reign.
Calm down - this is not a political post. (I have yet to be able to put my thoughts on this election into coherent words and am instead just finding solace in all of the #Jobama memes that have been going around. I'm really going to miss those guys...)
No, I am referring to the fact that we are about to go from 2 children to 3 very shortly. VERY shortly. Less than a month away. This is terrifying to me. I am pretty sure my husband is still in denial about all of this because he is a lot calmer than I am and THAT IS NOT THE NATURAL ORDER OF THINGS IN OUR HOME!!
It just hit me a few days ago.
I have also been in denial. My stomach has been growing larger and larger, but there is still that moment where I still wonder why I am having so much trouble standing up from the couch. (I have to do the whole roly-poly bug thing a few times in order to launch myself up from a sitting position.) I have painted the nursery and emptied it of everything that did not have to do with a newborn. I have slowwwwwwly been accumulating baby things that we will definitely need within the first few weeks of her birth.
Gahhhhhh I just remembered we need tiny socks. SOCKS!!!!! Her feet are going to get frostbite and fall off WHATKINDOFPARENTSAREWETOFORGETSOCKS?!?!!?!?!?!
I was sitting in said nursery the other day, folding all of the tiny little outfits that look like they were made for dolls and it hit me.
THERE IS GOING TO BE A BABY IN THIS ROOM VERY SOON.
So, panic ensued. We have this whole parents-of-two-kids thing down to a science these days. We are so familiar with the routine and who gets assigned which gross jobs that my husband and I could go without speaking to each other for days and nothing would be thrown off track.
Come to think of it, sometimes we do forget to speak, unless it is in the voices we are using to convey what we think is running through his little mind at that very moment.
I am exhausted already. With the preteen and the toddler who is going through a very rebellious phase, I am sure we are stretched as far as we can go sanity-wise.
WHY DID WE THINK THIS 3RD CHILD WAS A GOOD IDEA!?!!
In my defense, I blame my husband. (This is only because he tells everyone he blames me.)
I know that we will adapt, and I know that a year down the road it will be as though she has always been there and we won't be able to imagine life without her. I'm just worried about that first month. Or two, or three. The great unknown where we could be dealing with anything from weird reflux issues or colic or her being a total nightowl who refuses to so much as blink after the sun goes down.
Terrified, people. I am terrified.
I am still doing the stay at home mom thing and dealing with the neuropathy in my feet. So, YAY! Figuring out this new schedule will very much be lying on my shoulders. My lovely husband gets to flee the house for hours and hours at a time and speak to other ADULTS and DO THINGS and get a LUNCH BREAK!
(I know you work very hard when you are not at home, dear. I'm just very jealous of those small perks you get...)
So, here we are. Add to all of that the apprehension of the post-baby body and how my ED is going to deal with it. It's sucked enough being pregnant and having the compulsions to use behaviors, but at least I've had another child being affected by all of my choices. This body will be mine and mine alone again in less than a month. .....yay??.....
I'm sure it will all settle down very soon.
Fingers crossed for no colic, reflux, or insomniac tendencies!
Stay well. Hang in there. I know it's been a rough week all around. Everything will right itself soon enough.
When I was little, all I ever wanted to be was a Mom.
I thought it would be awesome. I'd just hang out with my kids all day, snuggle with them and then tuck them into bed with a story and a kiss every night. Now that I am much older (and a tad bit wiser), I realize that I was missing a few parts of that equation...
These days I find myself worn out by noon and ready for bed at 7pm. The 3rd child that is turning into an actual being is already adding onto the weight on my shoulders and the panic is beginning to set in. How am I going to be able to do this with 3 kids??? I just got the routine down for the first 2! And having a toddler and an infant at the same time? Clearly I have lost my mind.
Note to self: Buy twin beds for the master bedroom to be sure this doesn't happen again...
I honestly thought that being a psych nurse was the hardest job I've ever had....Now I glare at my husband as he leaves to work on the same type of floor I used to frequent 40 hours a week because there is a very good chance that his day will be easier than mine. Not necessarily physically easier (usually), and requiring the use of higher functioning brain cells (probably)....but easier.
To put it in words my former-coworkers (and perhaps even my husband) may understand best:
Being a stay-at-home parent is basically being on a 1:1 with the same patient every single day for a few years at a time until they are old enough to reliably contract for safety.
And when they are asleep, they remain on random frequent checks to be sure that they are still breathing/not playing with electrical sockets/actually in their room where they are supposed to be and not wandering the neighborhood wearing just a pair of your slippers and their underwear.
I now LITERALLY live at my job.
Even the most hardcore workaholics can't say the same.
I wouldn't trade it for the world, but maybe for a 15 minute nap?
Parenting is not for the faint-of-heart.
Twin beds for the master bedroom....put it on your to-do list!
Stay sane. (...At least give it your best shot!)
I'm about to write about a taboo topic.
Eating disorders and pregnancy.
A lot of people seem to think that if you suffer from an eating disorder it magically fades into the background when you get pregnant. Maybe that's true for some people?? If it is, I wish I were that lucky.
It doesn't disappear. It does, in fact, get louder.
I'm not saying that I am over here using behaviors. What I am saying is that the fight has been constant and exhausting since I found out about this new baby. There are so many (SO MANY!!) misconceptions about eating disorders. The majority of the population who do not battle with one can't even begin to understand what it is like.
Let me enlighten you.
When I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked. Not too far behind that followed elation. Of COURSE I want to be a mom to 3 kids! I love being a mom. I love the snuggles and the hugs and the good days and the bad. I love the constant challenges and the insane problem solving that comes with trying to help to shape what starts as a tiny blob on a screen into a happy, functional adult.
I LOVE IT.
What I DON'T love is the barrage of disordered thoughts that come along with pregnancy symptoms. Hormones go crazy, hunger increases (as does nausea for those of us lucky bastards who suffer from "morning" (aka ALL DAY LONG) sickness.) and clothing sizes go up. None of these things are avoidable. All of these can trigger ED thoughts.
So now you have all of these things making you feel mentally and physically worn out. Add to that the shame of having ED urges in the first place.
What kind of sicko would still feel temptation from their ED when they are supposed to be growing another human being in their belly??
The disorder doesn't just go away. What actually happens is the level of guilt increases exponentially. More triggers, more urges, more of all of the negative aspects of the ED continue to attack.
So, it's extremely tiring. And depressing.
I wish I could just enjoy being pregnant without having to worry about the monster that attacks my brain and seems hell-bent on grinding my soul to dust.
I'm not going to let it win.
So I keep fighting. I keep screaming back at the voice in my head trying to get me to do awful, disgraceful things.
The urges may still be there, but that doesn't mean I have to follow through on them.
Go away, you fool. You're not welcome here.
I'll never give up.
The past month has been very busy/hectic/crazy/overwhelming. I didn't even realize it had been so long since my last post. Now that I think about it, the past few weeks probably would have been a little easier/happier/warmer had I used this outlet to empty my brain.
Writing that makes me anxious, which then makes me angry.
I'm not anxious about having another baby (this will be #3), or at least not more anxious than I can cope with. I'm anxious because I know what people's reactions to that will be.
Seriously? Another one?
Do you really think this is the best time?
How are you going to be able to manage??
Is this really fair to the 2 kids you already have??
How can you possibly afford this??
Great. Just typing those out made me furious again.
I pride myself on minding my own business (most of the time) and tend to get really perturbed when I see a person being judged by someone who only knows the absolute basics of the situation.
YES, ANOTHER ONE. Of course this is not the best time, but when would have been? We will manage the same way we always have - we do what we need to do to deal with any problems that arise. Um, I'm pretty sure that giving our first 2 kids another sibling is just adding to the list of people they will have to love and support them throughout life. And as for the last question - I would never, EVER assume to know everything about your financial situation and it is COMPLETELY inappropriate to comment on mine. Nobody is going to be wanting for anything, and there will be plenty of food for all of our mouths. Just stop talking.
Why does everyone doubt me so much?
Yes, I've had more than my fair share of problems throughout my life - I'm certainly not the only one who has had to deal with setbacks. I'd like to think that I've shown time and time again that whatever I am up against I am able to overcome.
What I'm trying to say is....keep your opinions to yourself. You are not the one having this baby, you are not going to raise this baby, you are not going to be financially funding this baby.
So, unless you plan on being a positive part of our family's life, turn around and walk away.
I don't have time to worry about someone else's ideas on how we should be living our lives.
We like our life just the way it is.
A HUGE, HEARTFELT THANKS TO ALL OF OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT SUPPORT US AND REMIND US THAT IT IS JUST FINE TO BE HAPPY ABOUT HAVING ANOTHER CHILD.
There is more than enough love to go around.
Apparently I am at the point in my pregnancy where I absolutely LOSE MY MIND.
I don't remember this part with my daughter...I am pretty sure I kept going on working, and shoveling snow, and carrying loads of groceries up 3 flights of stairs without batting an eyelash.
20 was the best time ever to have a baby. I highly recommend it. Of course, there are all of those downsides, like not being in a stable enough relationship...still needing to figure out who you want to be...not having any money...etc etc etc. But health-wise?? Chances are, you haven't done too much damage to your body by the time you are 20.
30, my friends, can go either way. If you like to go to the gym, or are outdoorsy, or eat lots of salads instead of loads of butter and brie and things that cannot be classified in any way, shape, or form as a fruit or vegetable, I'm sure pregnancy at 30 will treat you just as wonderfully as 20.
I decided to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted from about 15-29 years old. I did not realize that this would end up making me feel like I'm a 90 year old walking around with a giant rock attached to my front (calm down, I love this rock of mine!). Every step I take causes me to run out of breath. I've developed gestational diabetes (which they insist is just a fluke, but I am pretty damn sure it is my punishment for not listening to my mother for over a decade...) so I get to stab my fingers 4x a day and then give myself insulin shots 2x a day to keep us in a healthy range. I also get to spend the majority of my days on the couch because my blood pressure and pulse like to hop all around, which means no more work for the time being. The whole process is so much more frustrating and tends to bring me to tears when that frustration bubbles over. I love this baby so much, and we have wanted him for so long....I just wish I could enjoy the time I have to spend with him like I was able to with my first daughter.
I know those of you who are friends with me on facebook are probably terribly sick of hearing all of my numerous complaints that pop up. I apologize for sounding like a drama queen. I am just overwhelmed with how difficult pregnancy can be and how DIFFERENT it can be from one baby to the next. No worries, though. Feel free to block me if you don't wish to see my whining, and as long as I keep doing everything I am supposed to do then we should have some new HAPPY posts in a month and a half or so!
Thank you all for sticking in there with me!
I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later...no more work for the time being!
First off, 32 WEEKS - YAY!!!
The doctor has had some concerns for the past 2 months or so, and she finally decided to yank me out of work this past week. My poor husband said, "do you think she'll be able to go back next week?" and she responded with, "Errr....I doubt it, but we'll see?" Poor guy....as if he doesn't have enough stress going on, he also has to worry about me possibly having zero income 8 weeks sooner than expected. :(
Luckily, I am an ostrich of sorts. I am choosing to stick my head in the sand anytime he brings up stuff like us going completely broke, possibly losing my job if I'm out for too long, etc etc....(my brain tends to turn on this "wah wah wah" noise when these come up as it doesn't believe in negativity! Unless that negativity is coming from me, of course.)
I've been trying to make the best use of this time at home to get things done before Waffle comes. I'm starting to get a hospital bag packed for him, I've got the majority of his clothes cleaned and put away, and his room is ready for his arrival! It is great that I am not on strict bedrest, as that would probably drive me bat shit crazy. I'm just on "rest as much as you can and keep your feet up" per my doctor. As long as I keep track of my vital signs and nothing starts to elevate again, I am allowed to maintain this routine. It can be a little frustrating being at home not making money and feeling fine half of the time, but then my body will crash and be like "ENOUGH!" and I'll realize that what my doctor is saying is correct. It wouldn't do me any good to have to curl up into a ball and lay still for a few hours in the middle of my shift. (It also probably wouldn't be fair to the patient when I commandeered their bed for me and the tiny human...)
I have found that I suddenly am filled with creative energy and no outlet for it. I miss playing with modeling clay like I used to before I was a real "grown up". I have the urge to sit at the table and make hundreds of miniature Christmas ornaments featuring my family and Bebita (our fat cat). I also want to go to the fabric store and buy a million types of fleece and making baby blankets galore. Unfortunately, the materials for these projects cost money, which is coming in at a much slower rate at the moment....so I'm trying to dream of things I can do with limited funds and use every day items we have around the house.
If you have any ideas, please share!!
I found myself becoming jealous of my 8 year-old when she was talking about art-on-a-cart a few days ago.
Hopefully I don't go completely bananas while waiting for Waffle to arrive sometime in the next 2 months!
I feel like a teenager again.
I have not had this many mood swings since back in high school...and we all remember how those years went! My poor, poor family has to deal with my random rants and rages about absolutely nothing significant. I am HUNGRY, I am HOT, I am TIRED, I am I am IAMIAMIAMIAM....seriously, I want to knock myself out. Unfortunately for my beloved husband, he is almost always the target of my unhappiness of the moment. I literally wanted to throw something at him because we didn't have the right kind of butter in the house tonight. (As if I need to be eating more butter at this point...)
In my defense, I really am feeling as miserable as I am coming off. I am exhausted by every single thing I do during the day. And as easy as it was to just switch my sleep schedule from night to day before, it's just become an "OMG I NEED TO SLEEP ALL THE TIME OR I'M A RAGING BITCH" kind of thing. Poor, poor hubby. Lucky for him, I am sticking to a few of my normal personality traits. I have yet to burst into a pregnant, irrational shower of tears. I cry about once a year. I feel like I'm going to cry about 5 times a day right now...but I never actually manage to evolve my frustration into something physical.
I really need a new hobby that can level out these insane hormones. Before I rear-end the next slow driver in front of me on the road, or I punch a random stranger in the street for doing something annoying, or end up in jail...
I'd imagine that would be a bad way to kick off my 30th year, no?
Mother and wife by day, psych RN by night. So many different ways to view life. I try to take everything in and be very slow to judge.