Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shopping Trip

I went shopping last week with my mom because I needed a couple of new hoodies and I'd been waiting for the Boxing Week sales, because heaven forbid I purchase something full price. Anyways, I thought I'd enjoy shopping - I haven't gone for a while - but it was mainly and anxiety provoking trip and I'm not even fully certain why.

I felt anxious and embarrassed being in the stores. It was almost as though I didn't feel like I was "worthy" of being there. I felt like the (stylish) clerks were looking at me and thinking, "why is she here?". I don't know precisely what I thought they were thinking I was out of place for. Perhaps because I was shopping with my mother (at 20 years old). Perhaps because I tried things on and was worried I looked stupid, ugly, flabby, and young all at once. Perhaps because I felt as though I shouldn't try things on (as if I were deceiving someone or taking advantage) unless I was planning on buying them - and I wasn't always.

I also tend to dislike malls because they seem to have a higher population of thin, sleek, well-dressed girls, often in their pre- or early teen years. I feel short next to them and as I am short, and they may be similar to my height, I'm even more prone to comparing my size to them. I know I should be larger - at 20, I shouldn't look like I'm 12. But when I perceive them to have smaller thighs, slimmer waists, larger breasts, I feel uglier and more awkward than ever.

Anyways, it was an awkward, confusing struggle of a trip, though finally, after weighing option after option and wandering the entire mall, I returned to the first store and bought two hoodies. Just as the store closed - so I'm pretty sure the clerks were definitely glad to see me leave. And then I found out last week that the same store at another mall was having a closing out sale and I could have gotten cheaper prices there. This definitely led to some major feelings of guilt. All that aside, I don't need to go shopping for a while again now, and I like my two bright hoodies.

Friday, December 31, 2010

I Can't See You...

So this blog has in one sense become another project begun and forgotten - except that I didn't forget and I'm still here. Actually, it's more like another project begun and put off and procrastinated on endlessly because I'm afraid of ruining or marring it somehow. Much like the emails that linger in my inbox, receiving every day a look, endless guilt, and no acknowledgement. Much like the research project that I'm doing in which I've barely begun and haven't replied to my supervisor about. Much like the things that I continue to put off, not because it will make things better or make them go away, but because I'm scared to face them and denying them is easier. Except that it isn't because I still feel endlessly guilty about all of it. This needs to end. And I keep telling myself that it will, and I'm getting closer to doing everything that needs to be done. But I'm still avoiding certain things.

Mainly, I'm avoiding things that require contact. I need to reply to emails. I don't. I need to reply to Facebook messages and comments. I don't. I need to call certain people and make appointments/talk to them about something important. I don't. And it's not like they don't know I'm around. I can't say I've been away, incommunicado for ages. They know I haven't. I feel like I'm enacting the adult version of "if I can't see you, you can't see me", except in my case, it's "if I don't acknowledge your email/comment/phone call, you'll forget that I exist". It doesn't work any better now than it did back then. *Sigh*

On another note, here's to a fresh-and-soon-to-be-muddied start. Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I'm scared. Of staying the same. Of changing. Of letting people know about my past. Of the loneliness that comes of not letting them know. Of being "normal". Of being abnormal. Of staying this weight forever. Of gaining weight. Of eating. Of the consequences of not eating. Of life in general.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Busyness As OCD Treatment

When I was in junior high, I was often late for school because despite waking at a reasonable hour, my rituals meant that it generally took longer for me to leave the house than I'd planned for. When I was in high school, I was the same way, although said rituals were even more ED-driven (sit-ups, how I "had" to eat, etc.). In my final year of high school and now, in university, the incidence of my being late due to ritualistic actions has greatly decreased. Yes, there are occasions where the fact that I am weighing my food, or myself, or carrying out semi-ED-related rituals makes me late, but compared to prior years, the incidence is reduced heavily. Why?

My psychiatrist would likely attribute it to the (much despised) Prozac that I take, my doctor to the (similarly despised) increase in weight and general cessation of malnutrition. While I begrudgingly must agree with those reasons to a certain extent, I have my own hypothesis: I no longer have time to indulge my anxiety with these rituals.

Now, I'm not by any means saying that individuals with OCD or eating disorders are indulgent and spoilt, wont to spend their time on meaningless activities for no reason. What I am saying is that, for me, part of decreasing my obsessional tendencies has been to face my anxiety, deny myself the ritual absolving it, and focus on the fact that the things that I want to do are more important than illogical rituals. I am involved in more than I was in junior high or high school, and additionally, my studies now take up more of my time. So should I spend two hours of my day tapping the wall until I've done it "just right" or tying and re-tying my pyjama pants drawstring until it feels "tight enough" (disregarding the fact that I pull so hard on it that it's cut into my skin, frayed, and eventually snapped), or should I spend it at that club meeting that I want to be at and studying for my exam so that I get the grades I'd like? The answer is simple and logical, yet, in the moment where I have to choose to actually stop the ritual and move myself out of the situation, it's not as clear cut. So I remind myself: My life is more important than the irrational quelling of anxiety and fulfillment of my minds illogical rituals. And then I feel anxious. For a while. And until the next challenge, I move on.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Situation Connotations

Katie wrote a post yesterday that touched on a topic that I've thought about recently. She said that "It only takes a slight drop in the temperature and that strange cold smell to the air to make me feel as if everything is wrong," and I've felt the same way.

I tended to be hospitalized in the late summer and in the wintertime post-Christmas-February/March. When these seasons roll around, no matter how good I am feeling at the time or how well I am doing food- and/or weight-wise, I feel anxious. I feel as though I am waiting for the other shoe to fall, for the axe to come down. The past memory of those seasons being times of condemnation and entrapment holds firm and I have to do a lot of rational talking to myself (silently of course - I'm already crazy enough; there's no need to add to the look :) ) to convince my mind that things can be okay despite the seasonal shifts. The first winter that I wasn't hospitalized felt strange indeed.

Likewise, when I started university last fall, things weren't going well. I was off my medication cold turkey (as I thought I was allowed to do) and I was overwhelmed with university, too many commitments (like 24 hours of work/week + school + volunteering, etc.) loneliness, and life in general. I spent about three hours a day in tears and my grades were not near where I wanted them to be. I doubt that I'll ever forgive myself for immediately ruining my GPA. Anyways, this year I still have at the back of my mind a hanging dread of the start of classes. I'm afraid that as soon as everything is back into full swing, my life and mental health will just disintegrate and fall to pieces like last year. And I don't want to ruin things again. And I am so scared.

I think that the next few weeks will require planning, self-reassurance, and some courage. Here's to breaking another personal seasonal connotation. Have any of you felt similarly?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Conspicuously normal

Yesterday being the end of August (*tear*), I had some coupons, etc. that were expiring. I also had three ten dollar vouchers for various food places at the university that I attend. While I am not back at school yet, I do work near there and decided that I would use them to buy something, because not doing so would be wasteful, and therefore, forbidden :).

Anyways, out of the $30 I had to spend, I calculated the items (all storable, non-perishable) close enough that I paid $29.97 of the $30. I was rather proud of that. I'm sure that means that I'm a greedy person, but it's also like a game. I love playing with numbers of any sort. No wonder anorexia's constant tallies are so comforting.

The point of this entire thing is that I ended up buying an Iced Cappuccino with part of the vouchers. A large Iced Cappucino. It seemed huge. It felt so strange to order something that big, as I'd never have done so prior to the eating disorder, and definitely not since. I know that I felt "safe" drinking it because I essentially knew the calories and had worked it into my daily plan, but I also felt greedy and excessive, especially carrying a large, sugared beverage into work at 8:30AM, where some of my coworkers are aware of my AN. Although I knew that it was no different than me eating anything else of equal caloric value, I felt the whole time as though it looked to others as though I were instantly recovered, carefree, and wanting, so wanting, to voluntarily order that much.

I only thought after how silly it was to even consider that people were gaping internally in shock at my massive drink. Compared to some of the fast food beverages today, it's disturbingly normal.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Battling "Uncomfortable" Foods

I don't really have "fear foods" any more in the sense that I did when I was initially in treatment. There are definitely things that I avoid or that I am uncomfortable eating, or that make my shake my leg under the table, but I don't think that there's anything that, on it's own - circumstances aside, would make me break down in tears anymore.

That being said, butter is still not my best friend. Nor is unmeasured melted cheese. I was intolerant to milk protein as a child and resultingly, I rarely ate butter/dips/sauces, etc. I grew up eating raw, plain vegetables and dry cereal. I only occasionally put spread on my breads. This tendency alone caused much distress when in treatment - I felt as though the food rules weren't in place to wipe out ED so much as they were trying to change who I fundamentally was (irrational, I know).

Tonight my father cooked dinner, a rare but increasingly common affair due to his extended unemployment. He made corn, pork chops (another "uncomfortable" food) in mushroom soup, and scalloped potatoes. With cheese. And butter. Copious amounts of butter. More than I've knowingly eaten in......well, I don't know how long. And I got quite the pile of potatoes. And following the (usually) unspoken rule since my eating disorder began, I ate all of what was on my plate.

The point of this post? I managed to eat the potatoes without freaking out externally, meaning that unlike past meals involving (what I consider) excess butter, it did not end in a screaming match. Or a slammed door. Or treatment threats. It did involve some wiping of butter on the plate/lips and subsequently napkin, but again, nowhere near the level it may have been at years ago.

So I'd say it was a success. Not one I really wanted to have, per se, but nonetheless a I won a victory, if not the war, over the eating disorder.