Wednesday, December 14, 2011

So, I guess it's time for a more practical update (Of course, during finals week. Very timely.). It's been a lot of me trying to conceptualize what I've been going through, etc. And I suppose that is practical in one sense. But here is an entry that's a bit less abstract. Well, I guess words will always remain abstract -- that's the nature of trying to linguistically capture emotions and ideas. But here's my attempt.

Okay, maybe this will just end up being more of a ramble.

Yesterday, during my paper writing frenzy, I had a mini breakdown and I began wondering, "How the f*ck do people DO things? How do people get through life -- go to work, go to school, sleep and wake up on time, eat normally, throw on clothes without rethinking it 10 times, go to the bathroom the appropriate number of times?" You get the idea.

Well, I just wanted to make the reality of being in grad school more transparent. Because I think the image is that people go through college, go through grad school, as if it's the most natural thing. They shoot out three 20 page papers in one week during finals, go out to dinner happily with their classmates, read 184029584 pages in five days, always know the perfect question or comments to say during seminar, and on and on.

This is not me. And I suspect it's not most people. But on the surface, this is what it looks like. Even as an insider. I'm lucky if I can go a whole year without hospitalization (And actually, aside from partial, I haven't been back IP in a whole year! Which I'm quite proud of!) I guess I just wanted to write this entry, because for me, this is the part of the reason I have this blog after all. I want to reveal that being in academia is not a smooth ride. Sometimes I don't finish all 200 pages or reading, because I spent all day binging and purging. Some days, I don't go to class because my eyes are too swollen from crying all night and my arms are freshly covered in cuts. Other days, I'm late to teach my students because I had a late night, paralyzed by frightening hallucinations. And days like yesterday, I let myself be held captive by an overwhelming insecurity, and only managed to write 16 pages for a 20 page assignment.

I'll probably get a B (and we alllll know that a B in grad school is like DEATH). But you know? I tried. Honestly, I feel stupid and useless. I feel like everybody else is smarter than me, functions way more normally than me. But you know what? I gave it what I could. Maybe it wasn't 150% like I wish it was. In fact, it wasn't even 85%. But I have to remind myself that I have disabilities, and sometimes staying in school the whole semester is enough to be proud of. I'm trying to be positive about this.

Well, that was a long ramble, but I wanted to reveal a bit about what it's like to be in grad school with a mental disorder, or multiple disorders. I also wanted to say that it sucks sometimes, and I doubt myself endlessly. But, it CAN be done. You may not get straight As, you might not be able to read all 200 pages for all three seminars in one week, like everyone else, but you're there. I just wanted to make this all a bit more REAL. So, there ya go.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"Failure of a human being. Must starve." These are the thoughts that run through my head when I begin to feel a hint of sadness, anxiety, anger.

I know there's more to me than this. But somehow, I can't get past the horrible feeling of FAT.

And this exactly is part of the eating disorder. It protects you. It doesn't let you get past your skin. It doesn't let you acknowledge the depth that is under it -- the pain, the trauma, the horror of things past. Instead, your ED transforms these things into the superficial matter of BMIs, numbers on the scale, nutrition labels. The ED creates a barrier, to make these things manageable.

I know there's more to me than this, and this is the problem.

Now, to try and write 10 more pages before 4 PM tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What kind of life is this when even the triumphs are sad and lonely?

Monday, November 28, 2011

I popped in a CD I burned during college (four years ago), when I imagine, I must have been in a similar emotional place that I am in now, and this song came on:



Things are not as bad as they were then, and I don't really want to go into details about that, but this past week back in LA brought up some things. Staying at my parents for the holiday wknd, having to eat in front of a lot of people (for Thanksgiving), drinking and using -- this wonderful cocktail stirred with the usual insecurities and negative thoughts....

I'm drowning and I need to breathe. Most things will just have to go on hold. even if it's just for four days. Maybe not doing any work this week. Well, kind of. Being in grad school, I can't shirk off everything. But it's totally bare minimum for me till Friday. Not finished grading those papers? It's ok. My students will survive. Not able to start on my thesis yet another week? Not the end of the world. I have bday celebrations on Friday, which I'm really looking forward to. But I also want to ground myself a little before I head back down to LA. No idea how I'm going to do it, but it's that or keep sinking further and further from the surface.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Friday, I decided to quit ED treatment. They required me to come in a minimum of three days a week, and I could only afford to come in for two. Well.... that's half the reason. The other, more honest half is that maybe I decided to give in to my eating disorder.

I couldn't handle being in treatment only three days a week and having all these issues brought up, and then being left to deal with it all on my own for four days. I don't know how to do that. If I did, I wouldn't be where I'm at. So, i figure it's 5 days or IP, and I wasn't ready to give up school for treatment. I know it would help in the long run, but I just am not willing to sacrifice my first semester of my PhD. I've had to drop out of school for hospitalizations before, and I don't want to do it again. I need to prove to myself that I can get through this. Besides, when have EDs ever been logical?

At first I was really sad and disappointed in myself for not being able to handle t. But I realized, I made a positive decision. I made the decision to commit myself to school. I have something I want to work hard at and am excited about. And that's a good thing. So the eating disorder may have won one battle, but I've won one too. And I'm okay with that for now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I'm sorry I haven't written in a really long time. School + treatment has been really overwhelming. I guess I haven't explained yet that I started a partial hospitalization program for my ED last Tuesday. I went full time last week, but I guess I'm technically intensive outpatient now due to my school schedule.

Treatment is insanely hard.

I don't know how to push through. I keep asking myself, for what? Someone please tell me what the fuck I am fighting for. When you don't love yourself, "you" is simply just not a good enough reason to keep on.

I've given up on recovery for the past two days. I'm still unsure whether or not I will let my eating disorder win.

All I know is that I just want to hide in a hole and disappear.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm still here.

I apologize for not writing in so long. I feel like this coming week will be the first in which I'll feel a bit more settled down. Between classes and teaching, I feel spent. I still have my thesis to finish, and I have no idea how I'm ever going to get around to that. It has me feeling a bit discouraged, but I guess I'll just have to go with the flow for now. I wish I could plow through it, but I'm so tired, that when I have spare time, I just want to stare at Netflix on the comp. Well, maybe I will be able to get around to it this week since things are starting to get more routinized.

As for my ED, it's been out of control. That's also probably a huge part of why I'm so tired. The past two days or so I've only b/p once a day, but since I've moved up here, it's been about 3-4 times a day. I spend all my free time binging and purging. I started a new med two days ago (Saphris), which is supposed have less of the weight gain side effect that most antipsychotics have. Hopefully, this means less cravings, which will equal less binges and purges. Who knows, maybe that's even why I've only purged once a day this weekend.

Everything else is more or less okay. It's hard to say. I'm either too busy or tired to really know how everything else is doing. I've cut more since I've moved -- once a week. Not bad, but more than when I was at home. So I guess that means something. I'm not too sure. I'm in the process of getting consistent professional support. I suppose I'll have more of a chance to delve into things then.

I wish I had more of an exciting update, but sometimes boring can be okay.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm finally in the bay! I've settled six hours north of home and so far, so good.

Yesterday was my first night alone here. I had my moments, but I'm still here. Having my boyfriend help me through this and hanging out with my best friend during the weekend majorly helped me feel more stable. I'm lucky to have them in my life. I don't think I could have done it myself. Well, perhaps. But it would've felt something like trudging through lakes of molten lava in hell.

Now, to tackle my PhD.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Apologies for a lack of posting. I've been busy catching up friends and everything before I leave for the bay. Things have been decent, though a bit anxious about the big changes coming up.

The move is next Thursday and so there are a couple things I'm worried about. 1: I have yet to finish my MA thesis. One year since I started it, and I'm only five pages further in. I think about how in the world I'll ever finish a dissertation or a book at this rate. I wanted to finish the thesis before I leave LA. Let's see if I can plow through this! 2: I'm also crossing my fingers that my eating doesn't get too out of control as the moving date gets closer and closer. 3: I'm worried I''ll have another psychotic episode with so much going on. I am starting to see some warning signs. Not hearing the usual noises yet, but getting sounds confused with my name and getting dreams confused with reality more frequently. Gotta make sure I take all my meds on time and watch myself carefully.

Everything else is going decently. Please excuse my absence for the next week or so while I make the trek up north and get settled in.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

HELLO FROM... SCHOOL BOUND

So, it's final!

I'm moving to the bay on the 18th of August. I had planned for the 12th, but I honestly couldn't imagine having a whole two weeks before school. I know for some this is small peas (is that the idiom?), but being alone is a huge trigger for me. It also would've made my next trip back to Los Angeles, three weeks instead of two. I talked it over with my mom and she agreed that it would probably be too much for me to handle all at once in the beginning. Plus, I really didn't feel like starting off an emotional wreck.

Things to do before I move:

- Finish my thesis (I don't know why I'm having such a hard time making this happen. I need to
just swallow my anxiety about perfection/failure and just DO IT. It's only two 20 page
chapters. I should technically be able to push it out in a week.)
- Research and find a long-term therapist and psychiatrist up north. Set up appointments. Also
make crisis plan just in case of emergency.
- Prepare for the class I'm co-teaching
- Create final schedule for fall
- Pack
- Spend time with friends and family

It's exciting, but scary too! Getting my PhD is a dream come true but I know that it won't be a cake walk for many reasons -- my mental health being one obstacle. Wish me luck and stability as I transition into a new chapter of my life!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HELLO FROM... INFO

I've been looking up info online about psychosis and schizoaffective disorder since I was diagnosed with it my last hospitalization. But I've also been diagnosed as bipolar II and I, and so I've been trying to figure out what the hell it is that I actually have. Even more so since I had a brief psychotic episode again about a week ago. I guess I never felt fully schizoaffective since my psychosis is very transient, though what I experience is indeed psychosis. But then again I never felt fully bipolar either since my "manic" episode don't exactly have me feeling euphoric. In fact it feels horrible. Well, I came across this great article that details Bipolar Psychosis and differentiates mania and mania with psychosis if anyone needs some info on it. Without further ado:

http://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/psychosis/bipolar-psychosis-toc/menu-id-67/


It's pretty comprehensive and gives specific examples that helps you understand the difference as well as explain how it is different from schizophrenia.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

HELLO FROM... ME

I made it. I made it through rough and difficult emotions tonight. No madness, no cutting, no being overly dependent on my boyfriend. No, I did this one all by myself with tears to spare. I was proud and excited for five minutes, before a pain settled in. Yes, this victory was a painful one. But in quite a different way than when I let myself be swallowed by insanity and self-destruction. It was the pain of loneliness. There is an utter loneliness in realizing that you got through something entirely on your own -- in the fact that you pulled yourself out of the trenches with your own herculean effort. Maybe for many there is only a feeling of triumph. But for me, there was also the overwhelming loneliness when I climbed my way out of the hellish burrows created by a life of war

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

HELLO FROM... AT HOME

Well, I managed to come out of this one alive. I can't say totally unscathed, but I've finally come out the other end of the madness. Sans hospital. Though in all honesty, I probably should've been in there. I just didn't feel like ending up in there for two weeks, when I knew in my heart that I only needed to be there till I stayed on my period. I also thought if they changed my med dosage it would be kind of misjudged, since I was PMSing and it wasn't my "normal" state. I also wanted/needed to progress with my thesis. It's so rare I get in work mode these days, that I really couldn't imagine giving that up for a week in the hosp. So, here I am.

There's not much in other news besides my ED. That problem, has yet to dissipate. Yea, I know on the outside everything looks dandy. I'm a little over average weight. I eat normally in public. I no longer pass out, have irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, etc. But it's there. And at this moment I want to let it swallow me whole. I'm not quite sure yet why. Maybe I'm triggered by being at my heaviest. I don't know.

Well, I have some stuff to write about school, but I'll have to update later since my meds are kicking in for the night.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

HELLO FROM... UNCERTAIN

Things have been very difficult this past week. Like I mentioned in my last entry, I've been noticing things gradually worsening. Well, with the added factor of PMSing, it has been very hard the last couple of days.

I've been debating whether or not to go to the hospital or not. I keep telling myself to just hang on till Wednesday when I'll get my period, and hopefully this will ease up. But it just keeps getting worse and worse. I guess some of the reasons I'm staying out is because the suicidal thoughts are not that severe. Also, I feel pretty clear headed. I can't even open a book and my concentration is zero, but there isn't much dissociating. My memory is decent. The self-harm thoughts are there, but that's not too out of the ordinary.

I don't know. When is bad, really bad, you know? When is enough, enough? When is too much, too much? I feel so lost and unsure about what my next step should be.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

HELLO FROM... INSECURE

I feel like I'm drowning in my insecurities. This is not your average "Oh I wish I was skinny/pretty like her," and moving on in the next 30 minutes as that person walks away. This is more like "What the &!$%^# is wrong with me?!?! Should I jump off the bridge or stick my head in the oven? Slit my wrists or hang myself?"

So okay, maybe I don't plan on carrying out such plans. But they do definitely cross my mind during the height of such self-doubt. After something that rekindled my insecurity today I cut myself for the first time in MONTHS. I had been doing so well in that department. How can insecurity become this painful and crippling? How does it go from being those passing 30 minutes to causing my emotions dip to dangerous levels?

All from looking at magazines and entertaining the possibility that my boyfriend could find someone else besides me attractive. I know it seems absurd. But I have to say that the issue of incest has been resurfacing (after joining dailystrength.com's support groups and reading about others' experiences), and that I think my increased insecurity this past weekend is very much related to my emotions tied to the abuse and my PTSD. On one hand, this makes me feel somewhat relieved that I can tie my insecurities to a objective reason (struggle as I may with denial about the reality of it). I'm not just crazy. There's a serious explanation for this.

On the other hand, I've been having to deal with the incest issue and PTSD. Not easy when you live at home. I am planning on moving in the beginning of August for school, but am now tempted to just move out a month earlier and live in my car or something. I will assess how things go in the next week or two. If things get worse (e.g., more self-harm, severe PTSD symptoms, etc.), then off I go.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

HELLO FROM... WRITER'S BLOCK

I initially began this blog to talk a bit about my academic life. Well, sorry to say, I haven't really talking about it much. Maybe because I haven't been doing any work.

Here's my current situation:

So, one year later (from when I began on this dreary path) I am still plowing through my MA thesis. Well, more like trudging. Briefly, my thesis about death and photography. More specifically, lynching photography. While I'm completely invested in my topic, it has been very difficult to progress with it. Looking at photographs that are a result of racism is not easy to say the least. And to stare at them for months.... Well, it takes a toll. There have been several times I try to do my work and just break down crying instead. I sit down in an attempt to analyze them and I become overwhelmed: How do I articulate such violence? How do I even begin to do justice to these people who were subject to such pain? My desire is to keep trudging on. But I feel paralyzed when I look at these black and white images that so explicitly evidences a history of racial violence.

As far as how I'm doing otherwise, I'm actually a bit worried. My mood has been dropping steadily. I don't know what to do. I have my fingers and toes crossed, hoping this is not a longer episode and that this is just for a couple of days. But I feel my world slowly starting to fall apart. I can almost see the seams of this reality loosening. I don't feel like I have anyone to relate to or turn to right now. I feel scared and alone.

Monday, May 30, 2011

HELLO FROM... CROSSROADS

Due to the reasons I wrote about in my last entry, I've lost a couple of pounds. I'm still at my heaviest, but I'm the lightest I've been in TWO months. It's the most "success" I've had since I began gaining uncontrollably after my last hospitalization.

*Deep sigh.* *Seriously deep sigh.* Half of me is quite triggered by this and wants to keep on restricting and lose, lose, lose. (Okay, maybe more like 87% of me.) The other part of me from two entries ago is disappearing quickly, the longer I keep myself from recovery.

The question is how. How do I recover? I've never contemplated the idea of recovery until a month or so ago. I don't have a regular therapist right now, nonetheless one that specializes in EDs. Yes, it's mostly my responsibility to recover. And it's definitely my choice. And that's all well and fine, but I need someone to guide me. I am too deep in this addiction to pull myself out of this one all by myself. The voices are too strong. Addiction controls your thoughts, confuses you. Sooner or later, you don't know which way is up or down or sideways or inside out. Sooner or later, the persistence of the addiction disguises itself as stability and tricks you into its arms.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HELLO FROM... ?

I apologize for not having written for a while. I've finally finished coursework for my MA! So I've been busy finishing up my last semester! Onto my PhD in the fall! I do have my thesis to complete, something I've been struggling with for a whole year now. But I feel more confident about it now than I have previously.

For the most part, I've been doing well. Since the last post, I've increased my Seroquel which has definitely helped me stabilize my mood. I should cut the Depakote first instead of the Seroquel. I went backwards. I have no idea why I did that since Seroquel has never done me wrong. So now I'm completely off the Depakote and back on 600 mg of Seroquel and feel pretty balanced. My erratic mood has definitely gone (I'm sure my boyfriend is very excited about that.). My relationship is great, I'm excited about where I am in my academic career.

The only unfortunate thing was this past Sunday when my mom made a comment about my weight. I'm at my highest right now. It wasn't anything more severe than usual. But somehow I think it was the emotional straw that broke the camel's back. I usually feel like shit for an hour then get over it. But this time.... I slept over at my boyfriend's after slamming the door in my mom's face. I cried for a couple hours -- both out of feeling intensely hurt and feeling extremely guilty about getting upset with my mom.

Well, since then my appetite has really diminished. I've been restricting a lot, though not quite intentionally. It's the kind of absence of desire of food that one has when depressed. Which is sort of how I feel I guess. I feel highly uncomfortable living at home right now. And my mom (having noticed me eating less, and knowing why I was upset on Sunday) just walked in, and said, "So, are you on a diet now?" Ugh. My parents don't know about my ED, but I don't know. I don't even know what to say. I just feel crushed. I've been eating very minimally in front of her since then. And now I think I should not eat at all around her.

Monday, May 2, 2011

HELLO FROM... SQUARE ONE

I have some things to say that are very difficult. I have decided to attempt recovery from my ED as well as go back on one of my meds. I've held onto my ED like a sack of heroin, and not once entertained the idea of giving it up till now.

I had a very rough weekend. I totally broke down while I was hanging out with my boyfriend on Friday. About what, I don't even know. The amalgamation of fear, sadness, and anger become too much for me to retain inside myself and continue suffering quietly. In other words, I had an mixed episode. I became the me I was before I went on meds. My world crumbled, my sense of self -- utterly chaotic. It wasn't an argument as much as it was me freaking out, and then my bf freaking out about me freaking out, and me getting even more freaked out because I thought he would leave me any second -- unable to bear the burden and the monster that I was.

Anyways, long story short, after a close call (to heading back into the hospital) I am doing better with the higher dosage of Seroquel though I still feel a little bruised from that night. The day after, I got to thinking about myself and my relationship. I had two options. I could go on being my stubborn self and have my way but not gain a damn thing. Yes, I'd keep my ED, I'd keep my cutting, I'd have my fancy stolen things. But I would lose my bf, lose me, lose my chance to live. Or, I could try and get better. Yes, it will be horrifyingly scary for a couple of months, maybe even years, but I will end up with me in the end. I will have a life not governed by fear.

I am on day 2 and it is hard.

The actual act of eating is hard. I have chosen to trust my mind and body about when I should eat and when I should not. Eating "normally" and listening to my body is hard. It is hard because it tells me things I don't want to hear: "I am hurt," My heart is breaking," "I am scared," "I am so fucking lost." It is also hard because there will be the initial weight gain as you eat regular meals and keep all your food down. Already, thoughts of giving up cloud my mind. My ED whispers to me to b/p just one more time. I think about giving up and purging and fasting to thinness. But I am going to stick with this. I need to have faith in myself and in my body.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HELLO FROM... SCAREDY CAT

"It is not possible to be obsessed with food or anything else and to be truly intimate with ourselves or another human being; there is simply not enough room. Yet all of us want intimacy. We all want to love and be loved.

Once we had no choice; now we do."

- Geneen Roth, "When Food Is Love"
This book has been really good to me. I refrain from highlighting one passage because it would lead to me highlighting the whole book. It's a must for anyone who has problems with food and relates love to pain. The above quote really hits home for me. Especially since I have been thinking about my relationship with my boyfriend a lot lately. I've complained a lot about my insecurities recently, and it has gotten to a point where I feel I am being unfair to the relationship and him as my fears overtake the reality of the situation. So I've been reflecting about it a lot, and I've found this book at an opportune time. (There are some more passages below that hold special significance for me.)

Back to the quote. I feel relief when I read it because I relate so much to the author's own feelings on love and abandonment. Yet, the last sentence scares me, because it is true. I am an adult now, and I have the option to make the choice, which I once did not have. I'm scared of being scared, and that's precisely how I got to where I am, isn't it? The problem is that I have no idea where to go from here and how. And even if I did, how do I overcome my fear of getting better (I know this sounds odd, but I'll have to dedicate a separate entry to that topic to give it due space.)? How will I ever feel strong enough to be willing to stand -- and fall, on my own two feet?

"Compulsion is despair on the emotional level. Compulsion is the feeling that there is no one
home. We come compulsive to put someone home.
All we ever wanted was love.
We didn't want to become compulsive about anything. We did it to survive. We did it to keep
from going crazy. good for us."

"Love and compulsion cannot coexist.
Love is the willingness and ability to be affected by another human being and to allow that
effect to make a difference in what you do, say, become.
Compulsion is the act of wrapping ourselves around an activity, a substance, or a person to
survive, to tolerate and numb our experience of the moment.
Love is the state of connectedness, one that includes vulnerability, surrender, self-valuing,
steadiness, and a willingness to face, rather than run from, the worst of ourselves.
compulsion is a state of isolation, one that includes self-absorption, invulnerability, low
self-esteem, unpredictability, and fear that if we faced our pain, it would destroy us. "

"We create drama by externalizing pain, by making things hard between ourselves in relationships instead of being honest about how hard it is inside ourselves."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HELLO FROM... SEPERATION ANXIETY

My boyfriend is gone for the weekend at Coachella/visiting home and I've been having horrible separation anxiety about it.

I've had separation anxiety for as long as I can remember. I remember being five years old and crying at night imagining my parents dying without warning and envisioning their gravestones. These days, the feelings are reserved for significant others for the most part. I get nervous that the person will get hurt while away, never come back, forget that I exist, or all of the above. I'm a lot better now, but there have been times when I've even freaked about people leaving to go to the bathroom. Nowadays, I can manage to not cry and remain calm for the five minutes it takes for him to return. I guess it helps to be in a healthy relationship in which I feel safe.

So, my boyfriend is coming back tomorrow, and I'll see him on Tuesday but that seems so far away. I've been trying to keep myself occupied with other friends and have been sleeping a lot to quell the emotions, but it's not really working. I can't focus long enough to do work. I can't stop the obsessive thoughts. I can't keep the overwhelming fear and sadness at bay.

Honestly, I don't know where I'm going with this entry. I just had to get words out because I feel so horrible. I wish I wasn't like this. I wish I didn't have the emotions of an abandoned four year old. I have no idea how to make it through the night. I feel so lost. I am craving some kind of security and have no clue where to find it. (Okay, let's not front. Where else besides in blades and toilets?)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HELLO FROM... CRAVINGS

Since my last entry, my med adjustments have gone relatively well. I do feel more susceptible to my emotions, but I do feel some of the affect flattening (part of the reason I wanted to taper down) has gone away. Two sides of the same coin.

One thins that has come up since I've gone down on the meds is that I find myself craving drugs. Hardcore. (For those who don't know, I have a history of substance abuse and have OD'd twice. Though I;ve stayed off street drugs since 2006, I used pharmaceuticals on and off beginning 2007, but am not clean since last October.) I smoked a lot and drank a lot last week. I haven't smoked like that since 2006. And all the meanwhile, I was aware it was just a poor substitute for the pills I could not get my hands on. I believe there are two reasons for this. 1) I'm dealing with my emotions more, thus I feel more of a need to run away from them. 2) The lack of meds that my body is feeling = craving compensation with more drugs.

There are some other things I'm currently dealing with, but I don't want to overwhelm you with a lengthy entry or excessive details. I'll post again soon.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

HELLO FROM... LESS MEDICATED

I'm making a big move.

For many, it may seem banal. But for myself, I know I risk my sanity. I've decided that I can no longer deal with the weight gain that is the side effect of my medications. Unfortunately, this means reducing meds that have been very effective for me until now. While it has been really (and I mean really, really, really) helpful, it's made my eating out of control enough to depress me and cause me to self-harm more frequently the past two weeks.

I know it's the meds because I've been restricting more and working out regularly and I'll drop one pound a week. Maybe. And I've been abusing laxies more which is something I almost never due. But I've simply gotten that desperate. All in all, it's not worth it for me to take this strength of meds if it's going to result in me getting more engulfed in my ED and cruddy mood. I mean this is not 5 or 10 pounds we're talking about here. It's 30. And as if I didn't have enough problems with weight and food.

So, while I'm not planning to entirely get off my drugs (I mean, I do need to retain some semblance of humanity, here.), I would like to taper down a bit. I'm reducing my 800 mg of Seroquel at night, though I'll keep the 25 mg 3x a day. Within the last month I've tapered down my Depakote 250mg 3x a day to 125 mg 2x a day. I'm happy staying there for now. I have more faith with tapering down on Depakote since I haven't been on it as long and it's not my "main" one. The Seroquel I am nervous about. I started tapering down yesterday and took 700 mg. I will keep tapering till I get down to 500 or 600 mg, depending on how things go. No major withdrawal yet since it probably is still in my blood. However, I am veryyyyyy tired. I think this might be from some mild depression settling in due to the decrease in Seroquel that's making me want to crawl into bed all day. I also had mild halluncinations last night, but nothing too horrible.

Sorry for a dull entry filled with so many numbers. Wish me luck! I hope this helps.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

HELLO FROM... MINI-BREAKDOWN

Why am I falling apart right now...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

HELLO FROM... BERKELEY

This past weekend, I spent Friday afternoon to Monday night visiting Berkeley for an admitted students event.

Not only am I excited about the opportunity I've been given to study in this particular department, I've also come to a point in my life that I've been working so hard for, for the past three years of my life. Getting my PhD is finally a reality. I'm proud. And not in a pompous way. It's not the school or the department that I feel the urge to boast about. I'm proud that despite the hardships I've dealt with, the difficulties with my health, and other miscellaneous challenges in my life, I've achieved a huge dream of mine.

But I still have my reservations. I am notoriously horrible when it comes to living away from Los Angeles. I might have to be away from my boyfriend, who is a large part of my support system. I will have ton build an entirely new treatment team. But really, it's the idea of living alone that I am nervous about. I know the monsters in the closet will seem that much more horrifying. Eating will become an even stronger addiction that I already know I'll succumb to, willingly. Slight mood changes will become debilitating.

I'm trying to focus on the positive though. This IS my dream, indeed, and I hope to maintain it as such. No need to turn my dream into a nightmare this early in the game. I hope setting up a strong plan will help ease some of the anxiety I'm having about this. If any of you have suggestions, I'd be more than happy to hear them.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Interesting link re: EDNOS.

Friday, February 18, 2011

GOOD MORNING FROM CRAZY

During my last hospitalization, I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. And although I take diagnoses seriously, I have around ten. And as crazy as I am, I'm sure I'm not THAT crazy. So when I got my latest label -- schizoaffective, I thought, "Oh, just another one."

I do have auditory and visual hallucinations, as well as paranoia, etc. But I guess I never felt like I was seriously schizophrenic, because my symptoms are not as severe as often portrayed in media: I have a graduate education (or three), I have an active social life, which currently includes a great healthy romantic relationship, I don't look disheveled, I don't go around talking to animals, etc. Also, much of my paranoia has often been delegated to my PTSD. And though when I was younger I also had constant auditory hallucinations, thought broadcasting, and paranoia, for most of my late teenage life, those symptoms had resided enough for me to dismiss it a serious problem. And so long story long, I didn't feel like I can call myself schizoaffective, proper even though these symptoms returned again once I started grad school.

That is, until yesterday.

I had a really disturbing hallucination that was unlike any that I've had before. It was not my usual auditory sounds or the belief that someone was behind me, or looking over me in my bed. Something like the negative of a movie was being projected on any of the white surfaces of my room and depicted graphic images which were really disturbing for me. It was visually different and gave me really horrible sensations. It felt like I was stuck between two worlds, being sucked into a parallel. Mind you, I'm not a spiritual person or whatever you wanna call it by any means. I just put on "American Dad" super loud on my iPod and pulled my covers over my head.

When I woke up this morning, I cried about how scared I felt last night. Last night, I guess I was too scared -- survival mode, is what I call it when I get really freaked out, to be sad. Today, I was upset and semi-"traumatized" by what happened. I was nervous to even step outside the house, lest something horrible happen to me. I also was so frustrated at myself. "Why am I so weird?" And not in a superficially silly oddball way, but in fundamentally socially unacceptable way. In other words, not the acceptable "outcast" but a serious "freak." Well, in the end, my boyfriend was super sweet and helped me get distracted.

I was beating myself up all day for being such a freak. When I got home, I started thinking about the dialogue more seriously. I looked at some forums and sites online and found it really helpful. It's amazing how far a little relatability will go for helping relieve the self-stigmatizing and nature of mental illnesses. It also helped me that media representation of schizophrenia is just that -- media representation. In real life, schizophrenics (or anything on that spectrum) can look like any other person. I guess, well, like me.

Anyway, perhaps to help with the stigma and relatability issue, here is a True Life episode re: schizophrenia. The video that features a girl who is trying to juggle school with paranoid schizophrenia. Thought that was somewhat relative to the sometime-theme of this blog:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

GOOD EVENING FROM ANNOYED

I know everyone means well. I really do.

But I wish everyone would stop saying things like, "Just _____ to lose weight." Or, "Just ______ to feel better about your body/self." I mean, I have an eating disorder, I'm not effing retarded! I KNOW a good diet and exercise is what will keep me fit. I KNOW that binging and purging is ruining my body and not a good way to lose weight. If you knew anything about eating disorders, you would realize that it is not a superficial, and that would imply that only superficial changes such as diet and exercise are not going to make my ED magically disappear and have me all of a sudden feeling wonderfully content with my body.

And by those same rules and the same society who thinks that these changes will fix everything, people also assume that because I'm restricting I have somehow managed to have some discipline in a good way, and fail to see that insisting on eating only one salad and fruit a day is not appropriate. As long as I'm not binging, I am "getting better."

Like I said, I know people are trying their best to understand. But sometimes it's so frustrating = it gets so lonely in an eating disordered world.

Okay, end rant. I should be writing a paper, not a blog entry.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

GOOD MORNING FROM UNQUANTIFIABLE

Today I told my boyfriend that I wished we could live together.

He said that yea, it could happen. Granted, this is no means concrete. We're both looking for work now, and I'm (hopefully) going to school in the fall, but don't know where yet. He even said he'd be willing to go with me to San Diego if I ended up there. (SD is two hours south of us in LA.) I'm a happy girl today.

For once, the numbers on the scale at the end of the night don't mean as much.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

GOOD EVENING FROM MILK-DRINKER

Today, I drank milk for the first time, in what is probably years.

Growing up, I'd come home from swim lessons during the summer and drink half gallons in one sitting – I loved it so much. Now, I live with the sorry excuse of almond milk, which I don't even like. This afternoon, I poured myself half a teacup. I'm not sure why I felt so daring. After I drank a couple mouthfuls, I poured the rest down the drain. I didn't know whether I should kill myself or pat myself on the back. I walked to and fro from the kitchen to the bathroom about ten times, holding my head in my hand and pondering whether or not I should purge for the fourth time today or try and keep it down.

Well, I kept it down and I didn't end up killing myself over it. I guess I will try and pat myself on the back instead.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

GOOD EVENING FROM MINI-BREAKDOWN

I drove home from my boyfriend's house last night in tears.

And it had nothing to do with my boyfriend or my day. We had a pretty good day and things went as usual. But for some reason when I was driving home, I felt it. I felt the too-much-fat everywhere. I'm not sure if it's because I delayed my fourth dose of meds of the day for a couple of hours or because the idea of food was invading my thoughts at 2 AM.

I felt something like a mixed episode coming on (which is super rare these days), and drove recklessly home to binge, cut, purge, and over-medicate. I kept wondering, "Is this all it takes?" Do I only have to forget my meds for something like three hours to begin to lose my sanity?

If that's the case, helllooooo old me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

A pretty good, thorough, and empathetic look at bipolar disorder:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

GOOD NIGHT FROM DEPRESSED

I'm depressed.

Yea, okay, I know you know that. But this time I'm actually depressed! But depressed, to me, usually means feeling like my soul is being sucked into a hellhole of torture, followed by major bingeing and purging, and cutting, and drug abusing, and etc. So, generally I have mixed episodes where yes, I am depressed, but I also feel like i could bash my head in. Actually, one time I did try to bash my head into a concrete wall. Thankfully, my ex-bf prevented me.

This past week or so I've been thinking how the current cocktail of meds seem to be particularly effective. Usually my two weeks of PMSing are two weeks of madness. Three months ago, I was arrested. Two months ago, I ended up in the hospital. Since then, when the PMS gets me down, I find myself laying in bed quietly. It's like the kind of depression they write about in books. What?!? I don't know if I should have be glad or sad. I guess if anything, I'm safer.