Friday, October 17, 2014

What Has Helped Me In Recovery So Far...

At the moment I have been struggling a lot with eating but most of all my depression. Things just really haven't been going great, home life isn't the greatest, my therapy might be being stopped (I'm hoping not) and really university is just getting extremely stressful and I'm finding it hard to deal with it all. This is all being reflected in my food and my exercise, my way of choice to compensate for my feelings I guess..
For me I don't really have any "inspirations" for recovery or anything like that. Really I was forced into recovery by my doctor and really just haven't allowed myself to slip (by my perfectionistic personality and also because I know the stress it would put on my parents).

Anyway onto some of the things that have helped me stick with recovery

- Music - This would have to be one of the things that have helped me to stick out recovery and I use it multiple times a day to help me get through the day. For me music has always been something I have really enjoyed, whether that just be listening to it or playing it.

I find that music can be extremely powerful, a great distraction and its easy to get lost in it and switch your brain off when listening to it. Right now I have two songs in particular that are helping me a lot.. One around eating and the thoughts associated with that, and the other is helping me with my depression..

- Instagram - This would have to be one of the most helpful and inspiring things that I have done throughout recovery and I would recommend anyone do it that is starting out in recovery. You just have to make sure you are following people in the recovery community and not the "pro ana" community especially if you are easily triggered. Though annoyingly enough you will find a lot of those accounts will end up following you...

This community is amazing, and so supportive. I have found so many people that live in my city alone (as well as throughout NZ) and I hope one day soon to meet all of them because they are all amazing, strong and such inspiring people who have helped and supported me through this. It also helps that they have a bit of a better understanding of what its like to go through this (both the ED and onto recovery) and just how hard and what a struggle it is.

- My Friends and Family - without them I would have probably would have been in relapse a long time ago. Let me clarify that I am no way stating that I'm the picture of recovery at the moment, if anything I feel like I am in a pretty bad place.. But I'm managing to carrying on with eating even though its getting extremely hard.

Having friends and family to talk to when I find things are getting a bit hard is really helpful. I actually only let friends know about my anorexia about a month ago by following them on instagram. All of them were extremely supportive and its really reassuring to have people you know and trust helping you along and also being aware of what you're going through.

- University - Currently I am studying to be an early childhood teacher, being around and interacting with children is something that really brings me joy. They never fail to cheer me up, they will say or do something funny or adorable and it just automatically makes my mood better and brightens my day.

When I finally finish my degree my hope is that I would become registered as an ECE teacher and find a job in that field. Something else I would love to do is studying nutrition and fitness as this is something else that I really enjoy and find interesting - more so nutrition.

But I've found that uni is also a great for a range of things. it gets your brain thinking again, gets you out of the house and also throws you out of your comfort zone especially when it comes to social eating and just interacting with people again - which I know I found hard. Luckily my uni has let me continue with the class I was with and haven't held me back to complete what I missed at the start of this year, which helped a lot.

- Work - Currently I am a reliever at an early childhood centre and have been associated with that centre in one way or another for about three years. I find that work is a great distraction because its a chance to interact with other people, being thrown into a completely different environment and gives you something else to focus on (and earning some money in the process doesn't hurt). For me I love the other teachers that I work with but most of all I love the children within this centre. They never fail to cheer me up and to be honest I have been to 5 different centres through work and university and none even come close to my work!

- Reading - This is something I am still trying to get back into, though I am finding it extremely hard because I am finding it extremely hard to find the time around uni work and also I am finding it quite hard to concentrate. I used to love reading. Though as a child I absolutely despiced it! I think up until I started reading for enjoyment in my very late teens there was only one chapter I had actually finished (I'm not kidding). I started reading for enjoyment 6 years ago and I have never looked back. I have found some amazing series and authors because of this and it is something that I love because it gets you out of your own head and focusing on something completely different.

I hope that this was helpful to someone and that someone got something out of it, I'm sorry it's so long

Monday, October 6, 2014

My First Six Months In Recovery...

As of today I am 6 months and 5 days into recovery. In that time I have been hospitalised/inpatient once, have gained a total of 18kg from my lowest and have been maintaining for about two months now. I am also 99 days binge free...

What I have found from being weight restored is that most people without an ED (even the people living in the same house as you and are around you 24/7) start treating you differently, like everything is alright and that you are completely cured... That is 100% false.

For me, mentality wise I am probably in a state much the same, if not worse then when I was at the height of my ED.. The only difference is that my body is functioning a little better than it used.

What a lot of people (even people with an ED, I know I didn't to begin with) don't understand is that an eating disorder is a mental illness just like depression and that weight loss is only a side effect of it, and as of today my anxiety/depression medication has been doubled...

My biggest regret in recovery would have to not be doing FBT properly.. Since I was over 18 when I first went into the system they really couldn't force me to do it. But my original plan after getting out of being inpatient was to do FBT and have my family take over all my meals and be supervised pretty much all day everyday (just like being inpatient, only at home).

I only stuck to that plan for maybe 3-4 days, and to be honest I really didn't like who I became when I was in those 3-4 days... I threw food, yelled and screamed and was just generally a completely different and horrible person. The compromise that me and my family came to was first to agree on meal plans the day before and I would prepare it under their supervision, though that only lasted a couple of weeks also. Eventually what ended up happening is that I took charge of all my meals (choosing and preparing them) and my weight was just monitored...

What I regret most about not doing FBT is that I am still petrified of food... I only eat a very limited amount of items and have very rigid guidelines (which my ED has set up in my head) that I have to follow in regards to the calories I have, what goes into the meals (especially lunch and dinner) and also the exercise I do and how I spend my day. I feel that if I did FBT properly I may be close to being recovered by now (or at least a lot further along then I am).

Things really have been spiralling down hill for me mood wise lately and its starting to affect my eating.. I'm still making sure I have everything I need but its just making the thought of eating and going through my day a lot harder and I just feel like my quality of life has diminished significantly.

I am still heavily involved in treatment, seeing my psychiatrist once a week, having medication reviews every 6-8 weeks and medical checks every 3 months with my weight being taken every time I see my psychiatrist.