Celebrating!

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been working really hard on getting to, it may not seem like much but it’s a huge deal for me.  6 months of recovery from bulimia.  The first day of April this year I ended up going to the hospital due to severe dehydration and an irregular heartbeat and the day after that I started getting serious about my recovery.  It hasn’t been easy, there have been ups and downs but I’ve made it.  Next goal is to make it to a year, and then the rest of my life! 🙂

Yay! 6 Months of Recovery from Bulimia!

I have an appointment at my college Thursday to see about getting back in classes for the spring semester. Nervous but hopeful and excited as well.  All in all things are going very well. I’m stable and happy. I’m doing artwork much more frequently and really able to get lost in it when I do, I struggled with motivation for a long time but all it takes is sitting down with a pencil and starting, that’s the hardest part and the rest follows/flows pretty easily.  I’m able to enjoy it more

Oh yeah, I’m at 6 months of recovery from Bulimia!!  The official day is October 2nd. Very proud of myself. Trying to think of ways to celebrate, any ideas? 🙂

Happy

Things have been going very well in my world.  My meds were tweaked just a bit more and it’s the perfect balance where I have full stability but also have the energy and motivation I need, and am not completely sedated out of my mind like I was for awhile.

I’m drawing much more frequently.  I’m able to focus, I’ve read a few books already this month.  So all in all I’m happy.  My case manager is signing me up with a vocational rehab program so I can get a part time job, I feel ready for that.  I’m keeping on top of checking for when the apartment I applied to get into is having an opening.  It’s looking like it won’t be till after the 2019 holidays because I don’t think anybody’s gonna be moving during them, which is okay.  It will be a fresh start whenever it does happen.

I’m proud to say that October will mark 6 months of eating disorder recovery.  It’s been a long rocky road but it’s getting much easier over time!

 

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Favorite Mental Health Related Books

I’m not great at reviewing books but I thought I’d at least but together a list of books that I’ve enjoyed and have helped me in with dealing with my mental illness.

These are non fiction, with the exception of one

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Here are some of my favorite mental health related books

Hearing Voices, Living Fully by Claire Bien 

Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life by Melody Moezzi 

Bulimia a Guide to Recovery by Lindsey Hall

The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin 

What a Life Can Be: One Therapist’s Take on Schizoaffective Disorder by Carolyn Dobbins, Ph. D

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey 

Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders by Naomi Feigenbaum

Coping Skills: Tools and Techniques for Every Stressful Situation by Faith G. Harper 

The Soloist by Steve Lopez

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (graphic novel)

The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder 

also, anything by Geneen Roth relating to eating disorders is good 

 

Here are some workbooks that are very helpful:

The Dialectical Behavior Skills Workbook for Bulimia by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher and Michael Maslar

The Bipolar Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz

The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook by Carolyn Coker Ross

Thoughts and Feelings, Fourth Edition: Taking Control of Your Mood and Your Life by Matthew McKay Ph. D, Martha Davis Ph. D and Patrick Fanning 

 

Fiction Mental Health Books:

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update – Eating Disorder Relapse and Other Stuff

I had, I don’t know, I guess it would be called a relapse with my eating disorder.  Yesterday was rough. I feel like I’m failing with recovery but I’m going to keep moving forward. There’s no such thing as perfect, people make mistakes.

Anyway, things are going pretty well otherwise. My ceiling is in the process of being repaired from the water damage. That should be finished this week thankfully, it says been giving me a lot of anxiety.

I’ve been playing a lot of Stardew Valley, it’s such a relaxing game. It’s fall right now in my game so I’m growing a bunch of pumpkins 🎃. I’ve also been playing Hexalogic, it’s a sudoku type game, I got it awhile back for $2.99 on the Nintendo Switch Eshop. There’s well over 90 levels, the graphics are beautiful and the music and sound effects are very chill and relaxing.

 

 

Recovery Update

Flowers

It’s 2 and a half months into my eating disorder recovery and I’m doing very well.  I’m to the point where I eat when I’m hungry and don’t obsess about whether I should or not.  I think one thing that’s helping is that I’m happy in my life.  I have hobbies and goals again.  There was a long time where I wasn’t motivated or excited about anything like I normally am.  Nothing held my interest, I just felt flat emotionally.  When I’m doing well, I’m generally a very happy person that enjoys life.  That disappeared for awhile, and I was indifferent about everything.  Last Christmas was the first time in my life that I didn’t care one way or another about the holidays.  Normally I get so excited over the them, like crazy excited! I’m sure the med changes have helped a lot.  Now that I’m stable mentally I’m able to fully enjoy my life again.

So back to the recovery part, I still worry about my weight, but I’m not obsessed about it.  I’m not doing stupid, dangerous things to be a certain weight anymore.  Finding things outside myself has helped immensely.  My faith, taking walks/being outside, art, music, and other hobbies, I have actual interests besides what I weigh for once. I was so wrapped up in my ridiculous goal to be the “perfect” weight that the rest of my life was put on the back burner.   I may have gained some recently with a medication increase but it’s not the end of the world.

I’m just me and I’m learning to be okay with that. 🙂

Progress

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I started getting obsessed with my weight again, not eating enough, overly active.  I recognized it quickly though and have consciously been making sure I don’t do that and make better decisions.  I understand recovery from eating disorders isn’t linear, and nobody’s perfect, so falling back into old habits sometimes happens.  It’s hard to change something that’s been part of your life for 7 years.  I’ve been reading through different books on the subject and I realize I do have things in my life that are more important than my weight, much more important things.  I love life, love my family (including my pets!) and friends.  I have a lot more to live for than spending my days trapped in the obsession of weight and calories.

 

Why I Vanished for Awhile

Hello! I haven’t posted in quite awhile.  I had some medication changes for schizoaffective/bipolar and was struggling pretty badly with my eating disorder but I’m recovering now!

I’m determined to get better, and am working hard at it.  I had a serious wake up call recently.

Anyway, it’s now spring, and I already miss fall and winter but I am enjoying the sunshine I’ll admit.  Thankfully it’s not too hot here yet, I really dislike hot temps, I love the snow and cold weather.

I ended up having to take a break from school and am going to be working on getting a part time job, the plan is to start taking classes again in the fall.

Sorry for not posting in so long, just have had a lot going on but I plan to be more active on here now that I’m more stable 🙂

Great Used Bookstore Finds: Eating Disorder Recovery

I got this book the other day at a local used bookstore I go to often. I have read it before but it was a long time ago so I’m going through it again. I was happy and surprised to find it there because it was actually on my list for mental health related books I wanted to buy. I’ve had very good luck finding good eating disorder recovery related books there in their psychology section. Another one I found and bought recently was “Women Food and God” by Geneen Roth. And awhile back I purchased “The Eating Disorder Sourcebook” by Carolyn Costin (Third Edition). They have amazing prices too, all of these books were just $2 each and in great condition. I love that place!

I’ve been struggling with recovery lately and I’m hoping to get inspired and start making more progress. It’s hard, much harder than I ever imagined. It’s more than stopping the behaviors, which of course is difficult in itself, the thoughts are hard to fight and they’re constantly there.

Bulimia and GERD

I was diagnosed the other day with a type of silent GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).  I was experiencing chronic dry coughing which lasted a month and soreness/irritation in my chest and throat.  At first I thought maybe I was getting sick because it’s the flu/cold season so I was surprised that it lasted so long.  I was also confused because I wasn’t experiencing any flu or cold symptoms, usually the only time I ever cough is when I have a bad cold or something like bronchitis, plus I’m not and have never been a smoker.  My main concerns were that it was driving me crazy, coughing all day, giving me headaches from doing it so much and I was worried maybe I had some sort of upper respiratory infection and I didn’t want to get people around me sick.  I’m in college so when I have class part of the time I’d be coughing and the other part of the time I’d be trying to hold it in which is very uncomfortable of course!  It was annoying to me so I’m sure it was annoying to others.

When I went to the doctor they diagnosed me with GERD.  At first I didn’t understand because I thought GERD was strictly when someone experiences acid coming up into the mouth frequently which I have experienced before but not in a long time.  They explained to me what silent GERD and how it can cause irritation in the chest and throat area and result in chronic coughing.  They said it is likely that it was caused by the many years of bulimia.  I was prescribed something for it and I haven’t experienced all the coughing and barely any irritation in my throat or chest for the first time in quite awhile.  It’s such a relief!

I am so glad that I finally stopped the binge/purge behavior about 2 months ago.  It went on for around 5 years. Purging had caused a lot of damage to my teeth over time and I always told myself I’d stop before anything else happened but continued convincing myself that I had been doing it for so long and hadn’t had any other kinds of problems so it was unlikely anything else would be affected by it.  Of course, that’s completely illogical thinking.  I’m glad it’s over and that I won’t cause any further damage, there’s a long list of very serious health problems resulting from bulimia, the worst being death.  This motivates me to continue on my recovery.  I hope anyone who’s struggling with bulimia reaches out to help from someone and takes the first step toward recovery.  Take things one step at a time, your health and happiness is much more important than the effort to avoid gaining weight.

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Photo taken by me in the summer of 2018 at a local rose garde,