Archive for February, 2011


I’ve mostly stopped fighting it now. After last week when I worked so hard at eating and I still lost weight. And this week where I can’t make myself eat.

And last night when I nearly started crying in class. We were working in groups on a needs assessment and intervention planning. The assigned topic: healthy eating. It started out with a couple people going on a rant about how muffins are really just cake and people fool themselves into thinking muffins are healthy. These are the people I see in class every single day as I eat my (extra-large) muffin and drink a frappe. Can you say calories and sugar? An idea for the needs assessment was to give people a list of foods and have them make lists of the healthy/unhealthy ones. (The ED treatment mantra is “there are no bad foods.”) Then it went on to designing an intervention. They chose to focus on college students with a meal plan. One suggestion was to place calorie counts next to “unhealthy” items along with something saying how many minutes/hours/miles you would have to exercise to burn it off. I was screaming inside and it was nearly 15 minutes later when someone was like “maybe we shouldn’t do that with concern for eating disorders on college campuses.”

I went home and sobbed. Sobbed about all the damn healthy eating/obesity/physical exercise interventions I’ve had to design. Sobbed about how I couldn’t even finish my muffin and coffee. Sobbed about how full and fat I felt when I only had 600 calories yesterday. Sobbed about going back to partial.

And yet it was a bit of a relief. Knowing I probably would go back to partial, but also knowing that would give me a respite from all the health behavior lectures I struggle through every week.

I talked to S—-, the director of partial, yesterday. She did help me realize that it would be okay. I could still make school and work fit in, though probably not on the schedule I have been doing.

Random funny story about S–. She is one of my favorite people and last time I was in partial I (only half-jokingly) said “I want to grow up to be just like you” Her response was “Honey, I don’t think you’ll ever be as tall as me.” And she was very serious. Haha.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to maybe getting some more help. That I’ll be able to take on food in a more supportive environment. And that I’ll get a short break from obesity iterventions.

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…I’m safe.

I won’t mention how I managed it, but I’ve skeeked by until Saturday.

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Once again I stand at the edge of it.

I was told last week that I had to gain x lbs this week or I would be going back to partial. It was so hard, but I ate. I ate because I knew I had to and then I freaked out about gaining weight and eating too much. I’m afraid it didn’t make much of a difference though because for the last three weeks I have been stuck at precisely the same weight regardless of what I ate.

The only reason I’m resisting partial is my job. Working on a psych unit. But it’s not necessarily that, I don’t want to have to tell my boss or coworkers why I need time off. And from time to time I work (as a colleague) with some of the people who work in partial. I don’t want to be in the large percentage of eating disorder patients who relapse. I want to present the image of being strong and capable of everything I take on.

Apparently I am not. And that makes me feel like a failure.

I see E— at 1 today. Crunch time has arrived.

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For several weeks now I have had a recurring dream.

It is always set at my parent’s house. I walk in and, as they start telling me about something bad that happened on the farm, I realize that Zephyr hasn’t come to greet me. I always ask where he is, knowing the answer.

They tell me he did it (hurt the neighbor’s horses, chewed something). That this episode wasn’t the only reason; it was just the tipping point. That this is best for me. This is best for the farm. This is best for him. They killed him. But they got me a new dog, one that is calmer, more well-mannered.

A roiling flash of anger strikes: I scream, I yell. And then I sink into uncontrollable sobbing. My heart has been torn from my chest; the pain is unbearable.

The dream continues as I go through the next days trying to keep my school/work routine. But I am unable because every little thing causes me to break down sobbing again. I can’t even look at the new dog.

I always wake up terrified. I roll over and reach for Zef. Feeling his warm, furry body next to mine. Making sure he is breathing. But it still takes me time to calm down and get back to sleep.

Is this dream really about losing Zef? Yes, that would be unbelievably hard. But I think it’s more about other people forcing me to give up something that is important to me. Or losing those people (and dog) that I care the most about in this world.

Regardless of the reason, it continues to haunt my sleep.

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Not my day/week

I’ve been so exhausted this week. For no particular reason. But it has made work harder than usual. And with the bunch of patients we have now work is always incredibly difficult.

I should have left over 1 1/2 hours ago, but I’m still sitting here. Listening to a suicidal patient talk about death and dying and not having a body, and people stalking him, and concerns that people are jealous of/stalking/purposely locking him in here and wishing bad things on him, and visions of the god and devil dancing, and questions about dreams, and”do you think God or Satan would ever destroy the world”, and how loving someone results in getting hurt, and that living under a bridge is better than being in a psych unit, and that he had good reason for telling the police his name was Noble Self, and alternating between bouts of sobbing and hysterical laughter. He ends this with “I’m not paranoid or psychotic!”

And it’s all topped off with screams from the patient next door of “F*(#)@ B*@#” and IV pumps going off at different pitches and different rhythms, and another patient screaming to “open the door.”

I am on sensory overload. I am burnt out on work. All my coworkers are burnt out on work. We have been chronically understaffed for weeks (well, technically we were staffed “correctly” but because of the difficulty of the patients it’s been unsafe). Our manager’s mantra is “think of the budget” and the staffing office’s mantra is “we don’t have anyone to send you, does anyone want to stay later?”

I managed to make my required weight gain last week by wearing extra layers of clothes and conveniently “forgetting” to take off my sweatshirt even though I know E— always makes me do it (she forgot about it too).

I have to “gain” 2 more pounds this week.

I need a break.

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