Intervention

My mother, who is not typically super involved in my recovery, decided to have a bit of an intervention after this past weekend. Between comments made at Jim’s birthday party, my appearance, prompting from other member’s of the family, etc. she thought it might be a good idea to have a chat with not only me, but also my husband.

Both she and Jim privately text Ryan on Sunday after we left New Jersey to interject their opinion on my progress and what needed to be done.

My future step-father and mom have always taken the hands-off approach because they figured as an adult, married woman, it might be best to leave this stuff to my significant other, but seeing as we have been doing this for quite a few years, I think they realized Ryan and I need extra support.

Ryan could use assistance in fighting with, influencing my daily decisions and implementing “rules,” and I am just a big freakin’ basket case who feels horrible that the only person to which I verbalize my thoughts, feelings and struggles is my poor husband.

On Monday my mom insisted I see my family doctor.

“If he says you are a perfectly healthy, normal 24 year old then I will leave you alone and you can do what you want.”

The physician I grew up seeing, oddly knows nothing about my condition because I have always gone to specialists for medical appointments concerning anything ED related. Since I see those stinkin’ professionals so often I haven’t been to my family doc in years.

I think my mom’s request for me to see someone from my past, who I have known since I was little, was so I (and she) could have an unbiased opinion on my “condition.”

After work I made my way to the practice and sat in the waiting room feeling like this was a complete waste of time, and $15.00. Of course I am not healthy, or normal, but what could this man possibly tell me that I didn’t already know?

I was basically there to appease my momma because she demanded she be on speaker phone when the appointment occurred.

I didn’t really have a problem with this or think it was in invasion of privacy because I love her, share pretty much everything with her anyway, and if I am going to be one hundred percent honest, maybe I was a little happy she cared.

The nurse took my weight, which I didn’t look at because I knew after the 4 liters of liquid I drank that day and the fact that it was 4:30 in the afternoon, ED would hate the number and it could potentially impact my evening food choices (ashamed to admit that but I have to be truthful.)

Blood pressure and pulse were good, and now all that was left was a few brief minutes with the main man.

Phff brief.

My mom asked a lot of questions and I should have known the Dr. I went through many years being fond of because he seemed so compassionate toward his patients, would actually take his time listening, sharing his opinions and thoroughly assessing the situation.

He did recommend a higher level of care, but said if I did not feel an inpatient hospital was necessary, he supported that decision.

He encouraged me to get a new psychologist, continue working with my current nutritionist, and absolutely increase my meal plan right away.

I did particularly appreciate when my mom asked about me having to drink Ensure, that he suggested there were other alternatives that taste much better and would get me to be more comfortable with foods outside supplementation.

Thank you doctor. Thank you! If I never see another can of Ensure again is will be too soon.

Ryan was disappointed he couldn’t make it to the appointment, since he too was curious what a non-ED physician had to say, but my mom communicated with him the outcome of my afternoon, and I was very upfront with what was said.

My family outlined their expectations, provided a new grocery list of things I had to pick up since a lot of what we keep in the house is inappropriate for recovery, and some rules that needed to be followed if I truly did not want to go to a hospital.

If the criterion is not met, then guess where I will be?

I am really not comfortable with any suggestions made; especially by my mom who is surprisingly less flexible than Ryan when it comes to meal choices, but I guess changing your life isn’t about being cozy.

And really, that is what I am trying to do; overhaul my lifestyle.

Unless I am training for something, there isn’t a need to run for an hour a day. (Actually there was an article in Women’s Health that any more than 30 minutes of intense cardio reverses stress relief and other benefits of the effort)

Lunches and dinners shouldn’t always have to consist of 80 percent vegetables and low calorie condiments.

Food shouldn’t be the enemy and I should be able to attend social gatherings without having a major anxiety attack.

Spontaneity, fun and freedom should be on the menu, not solitude and lettuce leaves.

And looking back over the past few days, with the reduction in exercise and increase in calories, the smaller amount of treadmill time is getting a little easier.

A LITTLE.

Truth be told, it is nice not to feel as rushed or fatigued because of my obligatory morning date.

I feel kind of rejuvenated about the smaller time limit; even though my brain tells me I am not, the rest of my body knows the reality.

The dietary hijack has been difficult.

I am not at the level everyone wants or needs me to be, it is still immensely difficult to convince myself that I need anymore than I am eating now. It is hard to make the choices necessary to meet a higher meal plan without wanting to crawl out of my skin and fear grips me every time Ryan makes a suggestion or tells me I should have more.

But I have to do it or my life will really change for the worse; no job, no cushy bed at home next to the one I love, absolutely no choices or independence; just the confines of a facility where I don’t want to be.

I now start my mornings thinking “I have to make good decisions,” remembering Ryan’s last words before I leave for work, “make me proud today, goose.”

Make him proud, not ED.

That is what I have to remember.

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21 thoughts on “Intervention

  1. Loved the last paragraph! That’s so great to try to keep in mind 🙂 I know you can do this…I know it’s not easy, as I am in the same process, but keep reminding yourself why it’s worth it! Believe in yourself 🙂

  2. 1) I thought you were seeing a GP all along? I think most should (monthly blood work and EEG’s are important).

    2) you say in a lot of your posts “and there is no need to run for an hour every day…so i’m reducing the exercise time”…so you keep repeating yourself and you are contradicting yourself. Are you not honest on your blog (and if not, why not? what’s the point?). If you have been running all along, why didn’t you just say it? Why not document it each day on a sheet of paper on the fridge to relieve the stress and prove to your family and yourself that you are taking this SERIOUSLY?

    3) I’m glad others are taking charge of you because you seem to be going in circless literally. I mean, if you look at posts from 5 months ago or 10 months ago, you repeat the same things, the same ambitions, the same resolutions…but you never actually do them. That doesn’t make you a bad person, but it makes you absolutely stuck and kind of in a weird denial (you are, but aren’t).

    4) At the same time, how do you keep your patience with your mom and ryan? I get freaking impatient when family get on my coattails since I’m in my 30’s and feel pretty old for all this crap.

    5) Have you increased the calories? Since last wednsday I increased A LOT more. The trouble is that I have no hunger for it , plus I am eating about 500-1000 more than any other nutritinoist has ever recommended. Also, Im not at all hungry for it and ahve a lot of cramping and discomfort. I feel I should investigate that further, but I keep hoping it will go away (maybe that is wrong? Ive felt this way for a long time).

    6) I checked out that Gwyneth website and see truth and validity to it. But it defies what I’ve been told. Plus, I do not fit the description for anorexia or any of the other ones on the spectrum. But I appear to fit into a framework of REDS. So I’m confused about whether I really fit into this at all. I was never an overexerciser or semi-starvation. I had/have a lot of panic attacks and OCD and things of that nature.

    Anyway. STICK to this plan and increase CJ. You are only going in circles and I hope you finally get out of it.

    • To answer some of your questions, I was seeing an eating disorder physician at my outpatient facility, who is different from my normal physician that I saw as a child/teenager. they work in different practices. I also am NOT running. I was making a general statement because my ed voice tells me exercise is only “valid” if it is an hour long and at a high intensity. ED continues to tell me walking isnt good enough, so what i was referring to in that statement was that when i am again ALLOWED to run, i shouldnt feel like i HAVE to. So in summation, I am honest on my blog and I will let you know when my intensity does increase. My husband and my mother are two of the most important people in the world to me; two of the only people iactually trust, so I am hoping and believing they wouldnt steer me wrong. I have accepted that my brain isnt functioning at a completely normal level due to malnourishment, etc. so I have to go with the guidance of others to do the right things. Physically i am almost 25 but sometimes emotionally i feel like I am 7. I dont know if that makes sense or not? Yes I have increased my calories. My doctor/nutritionst gave me a recommendation and that is what my family is sticking with. I am trying NOT to count calories and my husband is making a lot of the food decisions and measurements so my calculations wouldnt be accurate anyway. The less i think about it the better it seems to be. Sometimes I think we are all in denial of our EDs. You sound like you fit the description of having an ED and honestly, I am not too big into labeling any kind of sickness. If you have a poor relationship with food, your body, etc. then you are sick and help is needed. I hope this answered some of your questions and concerns. Just know I am always honest with my readers and if I am not, or ommitting information that I feel is necessary, I always write about it when the time is right. If there is anything you need please dont hesitate to ask. Thanks for your support ❤

      • Yay for walking (I say this sarcastically because LIKE YOU …my daily activity is one 30 minute lazy walk , and that’s not on a treadmill —so it feels boring and it feels not “enough”…but I’m SICK of feeling like this, time to gain and get back a freaking life already. Jeesh).

        Curious if you doc/Nutr. guidelines are similar to on the Gwyneth site (?). Would like to know, I’ve read the research and it seems legit . (I know in my past experience I gained the same amount of weight on 2200 that I gained on 3000…so maybe that idea of “more” and not restricting is better…jeesh, its hard to freaking wrap my head around it and do it. My calories are now at their highest and I’m physically suffering for it,,I’m also way overeating “junk” food late at night…BUT I found today after lunch i wanted to keep going and going almost but held back because i’d had quite a large large lunch and didn’t want to upset my already exploding and gassy stomach…and then 2 hours later i FORCED down a snack). So that confuses me…its like if I could just eat what i wanted when i wanted would i gain…maybe…but maybe not which is why i count the calories and slot things into meal and snack times…i hate the fixed-schedule and the bloody counting BUT I know i’m in “that phase” that I must GAIN first and foremost (and put up with those things), similar to YOU being in that phase where you have to hand some control to your husband and mom UNTIL you get to that “better” phase…so maybe its just “suck it up suzy”…

        For my age , I’m nearing that number as specified for my age on Gwyneth’s site, but not exercising (except for that tedious walk…and that makes me feel “wrong”…stupid me, stupid me, stupid me….i think YOU SHOULD walk and gain etc…why are we all so hard on own selves , yet not on others…why can’t we take our OWN advice? Jeesh.

        I amm worried that eating so much at nighttime will make me gain all this weight “wrong”…but gaining weight and stuff has to be somewhat better than this crap existence I have now.

        I am really different than you (you seem really into the AN realm, BUT I dislike labels too and put none on you). Regardless, I think that we are similar in that we’ve done this for YEARS ( up and down, playing around, and not getting it DONE). So, it’s time to get it done!!

      • CJ, you are great and so incredibly classy and kind. The PERSON you are is so admirable. Do this for you… so that the beautiful person you are can truly LOVE and be fulfilled in this world and continue to touch the lives of many. Way to take another step. And way to show us all that it is possible.

      • Seriously, you are the sweetest person on the planet. I was having such a difficult time with lunch because my husband brought me a sandwich that I ordered without cheese and it came with brie spread ALL over it! I had a mini freak out but your message was so positive and encouraging it totally turned around my mood 🙂 I hope you say these things right back to yourself, because you are one of the most kind and caring people I have ever “met.” Thank you so much for all your support ❤

  3. That’s hard, but it’s good that you recognize it’s necessary. Sometimes having those “threats” are what we need – mine was that I couldn’t go away to college.

    And yes this WILL NOT be comfortable. At all. But think about the outcome…a LIFETIME of comfort and fun and ease and normality! Trust me I’ve been on both sides and this one is better:)

  4. I am happy that your mother has shown you how much she cares by insisting on some changes in your attempts at recovery. I am very proud of your decreased time on the treadmill.
    I am going to go out on a limb, as an eating disorder professional, and say that well less than 50% of Primary Care Physicians have any kind of a working knowledge of eating disorders treatment. So I dare say, you found the answer that you wanted, after asking numerous sources for their opinion.
    Part of the reason I have leaned toward inpt. treatment, is to take the pressure off you to perhaps feel responsible to do what may be too difficult without external supports. And to decrease any extra friction between you and Ryan or you and mom as they play the role of the proverbial food police. Is it worth a try? sure, Anything is worth a try, but how long have you been attempting various forms of the same plan?
    I am not going to be a broken record on here about just what I feel you need. I am sure you know my thoughts. One thing for sure, I, as much as anyone, really want you to succeed at recovery! All of my reccomendations have been based on many years of experience, as well as an absolute love and concern for a girl I have known since she was playing on that tramboline next door….

    • As I have told you many times Mary, you are more like family to me than many of my own family members. Your care, compassion and concern are unwavering even when I am being my most difficult and stubborn. I feel like I am being unfair to my husband in many ways, but my mind is so torn some days in so many directions it is often hard for me to think rationally. I justify my desicion not to go with the fact that I am not my lowest weight and dont really have anything showing up poorly on my labs or in the exam room…crappy excuses I am sure, but you know me. thanks so much for always being honest with me. I hope to see you soon. i feel bad that i always lean on you for support but you have been so helpful and kind. i wish there was some way i could repay the favor.

  5. p.s…i DO think WALKING is enough.
    WALK SLOW>
    BE PROUD>

    Both us of ARE ENOUGH by walking one time slowly per day…And we can do this till we gain a TON of weight and FOREVER and STILL be ENOUGH.

    FAKE IT.
    BELIEVE IT>
    BE Proud. Regardless.

  6. I absolutely love this post. I am just starting to really make the changes I need to for my recovery to progress. It is hard because at times I feel like I don’t need to make them and I’m perfectly fine, but I honestly can not keep living this way or I will lead a sad life. It’s hard to change because of the fact that we keep such a “comfortable” routine but it has to be done! It will be really hard but so worth it! Keep up the good work.

    • YOU keep up the good work! We deserve a life way better than one with ED. It IS so uncomfortable but just keep reminding yourself it is temporary! You have my support and the support of so many others when you need it! Remember you are worth it! Every struggle, every bite! you are worth more than restriction and abuse!

  7. Pingback: Just A Few Things I’ve Learned « Healthy, Happy, Whole

  8. CJ, you are doing an amazing job of pushing the envelope! Good for you for letting your mom help… her idea was a pretty good one as far as rationalizing ED voices is concerned

  9. you can do this! i know it’s hard and you’re SO lucky you don’t have to have ensures- yuck they’re the worst!! i was having them daily for almost half my time here and it’s been awful. i’ll be thinking of you and praying for you ❤

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