Trying to Feel

I still haven’t been able to feel much as of late. I sense that I’m depressed due to my lack of motivation and being considerably tired all the time. I went to my NA home group on Monday and celebrated 60 days…although I’m 69 days clean. While there I shared and asked for “experience, strength and hope.” The most I got from them was one woman who hadn’t cried in almost two years during her early recovery. Other people stated how they are “emotional roller coasters.” During my first 45 days I was an emotional wreck. I was so depressed that I’d lay on my bathroom floor for hours crying and barely able to move.  Then all of a sudden it stopped. 

I’m not a doctor. I’m only a masters student in clinical mental health. But from the research I’ve conducted my body has gone into “protective mode.” It means subconsciously my mind felt it was feeling too much so it decided to not allow me to feel anything at all. It’s frustrating because I don’t know how to tell myself that it’s ok to feel. That I’ve learned tools over the last five months that could help me through some of those feelings.  What I’m nervous about is when i eventually explode with all the emotions that have been building up. 

Looking back I mostly definitely looked forward to using when I went into these states because although I may not have been able to feel emotions, I could at least feel high. The tough part is having to endure this clean and without the support of my eating disorder. 

Going back to using wouldn’t kill me right away. Relapsing with my eating disorder will. Regardless both could lead me to institutions or death. I’m not currently feeling suicidal at all. 

I see my counselor on Saturday. I will discuss some of what’s been going on. Maybe she’ll find ways to help my mind stop utilizing this method of protection. 

All I can do right now is stay focused on my recovery and learn as I go along. 

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Numb

Part of the reason I engaged in self-destructive behaviors is because there would be times when all I left was numb. And all I wanted to do was feel something. This week has been one of those times. All week it has been a struggle to remain in a recovery mindset. Such a struggle that I am exhausted from keeping myself in recovery. 

I’ve definitely been tempted to go ahead and disregard recovery all together. Then there were times when I said “I’ll just stay in recovery from drugs, but I can resume my eating disorder behaviors.” And then I met someone who is going through a physical illness and is so thin it’s painful to look at. That got my mind racing. Since amphetimeans were a big issue for me I thought of resuming them so I could be that thin. 

I had to do a lot of reaching out this week. Ana was talking so loudly. And then when I wouldn’t listen Mia started to drop hints of times I could compensate for my food intake. In turn I wasn’t sleeping well or at all and so that just wanted to make me use. 

My OCD has been really bad lately probably because I can’t utilize my other ways of dealing with the anxiety I have. The medication they use to treat it can’t be upped in risk of putting me into a manic psychosis. Due to my sleep problems I did get put on a non addicting medication to help with that. I should have that medication by early next week. The hope is that it’ll help with sleep and lower the compulsions I’m having. 

What im beginning to learn is that recovery is a balancing act. It’s definitely not easy but with everything I’ve read and heard, recovery is worth it. 

Denial

It comes with the drug territory. Today I’m in complete denial. When it comes to a drug addict we generally think of emaciated people who use needles or have nose bleeds. 

I wouldn’t say I was emaciated but from what people tell me, I was close. Yes it was definitely in part from my drug of choice but mostly from my lack of eating or during my bulimic episodes. The problem I’m having is that I don’t think I qualify as a drug addict. They say “it’s not what or how much you used,” but in a round about way isn’t it? 

My fiancé and I are both clean. She’s having a much more difficult time than I am and it’s because she had a real problem. If a drug addict asked to hear my story about drug use, they would laugh and say I couldn’t possibly understand drug addiction. 

I feel that people want me to say I’m an addict. They don’t understand my complex because they don’t have a complex. Their addiction is clear and evident. My use could be considered experimental. 

First Sober Holiday 

(Me on the left, Brittany on the right)

Today was the first holiday that my fiancé and I were clean for. That hasn’t happened in many years. We always thought we were hiding it well but looking back at pictures, anyone with a brain could tell we were on something. 

We got in the car this morning, our vapes in hand, ready for what the day would hold. Before leaving the driveway we decided that no matter what happened today we were going to go to an NA meeting. 

Shockingly my family did wonderfully! They hugged Brittany and they complimented us on not only how we dressed but how we actually looked. It felt good. We weren’t just putting on a show, we were actually present. We ate…a lot. I wasn’t thrilled with myself…with that being said I declined a drink my father offered me. 

We then went to brittanys step family. While there one of her step fathers brother in law stated that drug addicts deserve what they get. That hurt. What is it that I deserve? Do I deserve to die because I was self-medicating myself? Do I deserve to be homeless because my head got out of control? What exactly do I deserve? 

Of course that family is Italian so there was A LOT of food. To be nice, I ate again… After hearing that I deserved everything I get to me I instantly planned on going on a binge purge spree. I figured I’ll go to the NA meeting so that I don’t get high but after I’m going to do what I want…since that’s what I deserve. Then it hit me, do I really deserve to punish myself? What has my body done to me?

Over the last few days I’ve definitely struggled with my body. I have gained a lot of weight since leaving the hospital and it’s scary to me. I don’t like how I look, I feel like 100lbs bigger than I am. It could be because I was stressing about the holiday or that I’ve met a person in the full thros of bulimia. 

The thing about eating disorders is that they get competitive. Everyone wants to be the thinnest by any means possible. The sick part of my brain says “now that your clean you can pay more attention to your eating disorder” and “your thinner than [said woman] but prove to her that your a better/stronger bulimic.” All of those thoughts are my addictive brain trying to find its way back into my life. 

January 6 is the last time I engaged in eating disorder behaviors. In the hospital I decided to eat healthy. I ate all the meals to the best I could and didn’t do anything to compensate. I felt like I was accomplishing something. After leaving the hospital I maintained the regime. I kept that work up and relapsed on drugs. 

On March 4 I didn’t just decide to be clean. I decided to start recovery, in all areas of my life. Yes! It is a constant struggle and some days I just want to say “the hell with it all” But all these ways I’ve tried to deal with emotions have lead me no where except more pain. 

I just have to remind myself to live one day at a time and to appreciate that I have emotions for a reason. 

Once upon a time

I believe that everyone gets their happy ending, whether or not they meet someone. Our happy endings could be any number of things. Mine I hope will be with my fiancé. She makes me a better person. 

Together we decided we’d start planning our wedding in January. January 2 Brittany decided we should try going clean and by January 8 I was admitted myself to a psych hospital. (Doesn’t seem like an ideal time to plan a wedding, don’t you think?) With that being the case we decided to put off the wedding. 

I have my issues, abandonment being one of them, and her not living at home has exasperated those feelings. She can tell me all she wants that she loves me but I can never seem to get that through my head. 

Before going into the hospital I was doing a high stress job and no one in the department was helping me. I had so much work and later I found out I was one of the top people in the agency. No one told me that and all I kept hearing was that I needed to do more. They say stress caused my psychosis. 

When I was released I told the agency I would no longer do that job. They were surprised but I told them I just couldn’t keep up. They then employeed someone else while I stepped into a new position within the same agency. Since this new employee has gotten into the position they have held him through. I’m learning to not let that consume me. He is getting married in June. 

I saw Brittany today and she said “I’m so glad that they’re holding his hand so he can get married. My wedding had to get cancelled because the amount of stess they put on you. You got shit on by the agency!” 

I feel the same way…but regardless it made me feel good to see that she’s hurt by the fact that our wedding had to be cancelled. It made my mind realize that I even through the shit storm we’ve been through, she still wants me to be her wife. 

We have a lot of healing to do, but every day I feel stronger and a better communicator. I’m becoming a better person who she’s gonna be happy she waited to marry. 

Psychosis

Part of my story includes psychosis. It runs in my family and good thing I know of that history. It helped me identify when it was beginning to happen to me. 

I’m diagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline. Both disorders can have this symptom. Medication has helped. There are still days when I have a delusion and have to reach out. I won’t have to do this my entire life. But today was one of those days I had to reach out. At first I became embarrassed, but then I realized the importance to my health it is to reach out. 

A mind like mine likes to live in chaos and be isolated. It thrives on keeping secrets. Look how well that worked out for me. What I came to realize is that no one who cares about me is going judge me. If anything they’ll be proud of me for talking with them so I don’t end up in a downward spiral. 

Putting my recovery first means putting away my reservations and asking for help when I need it. 

Longest I’ve been clean in 5 years

When you’re in the midst of any addiction you don’t realize your an addict. At times you may have your suspicions but quickly your mind justifies what you’re doing. 

This happened with both my eating disorder and my drug addiction. Then someone pointed out to me what I already had suspicions about and I got mad. Probably because I was caught. I couldn’t justify to someone what I was doing. Mainly because when I went to formulate my argument I realized it sounded even insane to me. 

The first step to recovery is admitting you are powerless over your addiction. 

I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for 8 years. There have been times I’ve been healthy and other times of relapse. Each relapse got worse. But with that being said I have enough time under my belt to be able to say I’m powerless over that addiction. 

My addiction to drugs gradually happened. I like to say my gateway drug was alcohol. Being only 24 I could justify myself because “this is what you do in your 20s.” I thought “I need to get partying out of my system.” The problem was I didn’t see an end to this glamorous life. How I thought I could become a mom while doing this I have no idea. I’ve only come to terms with being a drug addict 41 days ago. And some days my sick side of me convinces myself that “this time I’ll have control.” Last time I was clean i took half a shot of vodka and quickly went on a two week binge on any and all drugs. That wasn’t control and next time I won’t have control either. 

With that being said part of me doesn’t believe I’m powerless, but the healthy part of me puts up a good fight. In truth, I am powerless over my drug addiction. No amount of self-will will keep me clean long term.