Low fuel indicator

Today I peeked in my journal and saw a note that I was restricting my food intake back in the beginning of March.  So it’s been going on at least for a month.  I hadn’t remembered that.  I also have records of eating sparsely as far back as September.  Aren’t journals great?   Well, maybe.

I contacted another ED place.  When I called, a social worker answered the phone and asked me some basic questions, such as what my problem seems to be, and whether I am in treatment, and if I have ever been hospitalized, etc.  She told me that someone would call me to schedule an assessment appointment by the end of the day.  Within minutes, I received the call!  My appointment is on Friday.

Of course I am scared.  How could I not be?

The starvation continues

I do not know what to say.  I guess I’m scared.  I’m trying to get help for this.

I meet with my therapist every Friday.  Last Friday I brought up the fact that I’ve been starving myself and we talked about it some.  I left a message and she called me yesterday but we didn’t talk much.  I told her that I had struggled over the weekend but she didn’t want to talk about it.  She just said, “See you Friday.”  This is not working.

I called a local eating disorders place run by someone I used to know at McLean.  I actually talked to the director over the phone.  Of course she didn’t remember me, as she would be shocked to know that the ill person she knew 12 years ago actually got well and went on to college.  But at any rate, we did speak, and I told her about my circumstances, then suddenly she asked about my insurance.  “Medicaid and Medicare,” I told her.

“I am sorry, we are not a provider,” she replied.

“Do you offer a sliding scale?”

“No.”

“Then–”

“Then we really cannot help you.  Sorry and good luck.”

And that ended the conversation.

You can imagine how I felt at that moment.  I put in a call to my psychiatrist, who I assume will get back to me today, to see what she says.

I am afraid to be 100% honest with my therapist or psychiatrist.  They have the power to hospitalize me.  The hospital is not an appropriate treatment for me.  I’ve been out for three years (my anniversary was March 20, by the way) and I don’t want to go back in!

A little chapter I just wrote

1981
Family Therapy

“Julie’s not right with herself,” my mother put it during our first family session with Diana.

“Surely, Mrs. Greene,” Diana said, “that’s understating her condition.”

My mother waved her arms around dramatically.  “She doesn’t like herself, that’s all!”

“Erna,” said my father, “let the therapist talk.”

My mother went on, “Julie screams at us!  Throws things!  She raids the cookie bin when nobody’s around!”  My mother set her arms back into her lap and said quietly, “You know, I’ve had to lock up the hermit cookies, giant oatmeal-raisin cookies, and lemon squares in the liquor cabinet to keep her from eating them all!”

My father cleared his throat.  “She’s completely abandoned her studies.”

My mother said, “She hasn’t touched a piece of music composition paper–”

“–or her trumpet.”  My parents nodded in agreement.

My mother whined, “She doesn’t get any exercise!  She drinks coffee all day long!  Coffee!”

“Julie,” demanded my father, “when are you going to quit smoking?”  He turned to Diana, who had already held her hands out in a “T”–“time out.”  He ignored her.  “And she’s friends with this Irene!”

“Irene’s not a good influence on Julie,” said my mother, her hands on her hips.

”No, and I don’t think she’s Jewish, either,” my father muttered.

I had long since buried my face in my hands.  At last, Diana turned to me and said, “Julie, what would you like to say to your parents?”

I shook my head, and did not look up.

“Julie, you have this opportunity,” said Diana.  “What would you like to tell them?”

“Nothing,” I said.  “Nothing at all.”

Later, I sat with Diana in the Blue room.  I was crying softly.  “Now, I see what you mean,” Diana said.  “Have they always been like this?”

I nodded.

“Your parents don’t listen, do they?  Did they ever?”

I shook my head.

“They seem so closed-minded about Irene.   But I’ll bet you’re just glad to have a friend, aren’t you?  Someone you can talk to.  Someone who listens.  You know, a person only has a handful of really good friends in a lifetime, and I think you’ve found one of those people in Irene.  A true friend you can trust.”

1982
Family Therapy

Diana said, “Mr. and Mrs. Greene, this is our last family therapy session before Julie leaves for Vermont.  Is there anything you’d like to say to her?”

My father took a notebook out of his shirt pocket.  He always took notes at our sessions.  “Mr. Greene,” said Diana, “could you put that away, just this once?  We’re talking to Julie now.”

“Well,” said my mother, “I’d like to remind Julie to get her car tuned up before she leaves.”

“Tell Julie,” said Diana.  “She is sitting here, with us.”

“Erna,” said my father to my mother, “Ned will tune up Julie’s car.  You don’t have to remind her about that.”

My mother said, “Julie’s car still needs lots of repairs.  And she’s constantly borrowing mine.  And she smokes in there!  She’s still smoking!  It makes my car stink!”

My father said, “Julie has to quit smoking.”

“Alan,” my mother went on, “at least she’s got Irene.  She’s got a friend now.”

“Irene smokes!”

“Julie says Irene is a light smoker, Alan!  Julie will have a roommate in Vermont!  Isn’t that wonderful?”

My father said, “It’s this program that got Julie smoking!”

Diana held her hands in a “T.”  “Mr. and Mrs. Greene, we can easily get hung up on the smoking issue, but I don’t think that’s the point here.  We are saying goodbye to Julie.”

“Well,” said my mother, “I’ll be glad to have my car back, and I’ll put an air freshener in it, as soon as Julie’s gone.”
After the session, Diana took me aside and asked me what I thought.  I said, “I don’t really think the car is the issue.”  I wiped my nose with a tissue.

“No?” said Diana, smiling.  “I guess they didn’t choose the most appropriate way to say goodbye to you.”

“They didn’t say anything to me, Diana.”

Diana said softly, “No, but I have something to say to you.  Watch out for Irene.  She may not be the best roommate for you.”

I inhaled.  “What?”

“Just what I said.  I have seen the way she operates.  I have heard what she says to you.  I think you should get out while you can.  Tell her now.  Tell her you don’t want her coming up to Vermont with you.  Tell her. Your name is on the lease. I’m warning you–”

“What?  You’ve got to be kidding!  This is ridiculous!  I can’t just–”

“Yes, you can.”

“Diana, I want a better life for Irene.  With me.  I’m devoted to Irene.  She’s loves my dog.  She’s fun.  She listens.  She cares.  What more could I ask for in a friend?”

“There are plenty of other people out there who will love your dog, and are fun, and listen, and care.”

“But Irene is special,” I insisted.

“Julie, Irene is using you.”

“Irene needs me.  There’s a difference.”

“And you should be very careful,” Diana warned, “of needy people, because they can pull you downhill along with them–fast.”

Trouble which starts with T

…which rhymes with F which stands for food.  I have not been eating.  I feel sad and–empty.

I have taken my manuscript as far as it can go, that is, I have done as much as I can do given the instructions I have been given, and now I must wait for feedback from my advisor in the mail.  Maybe it’s the waiting that’s getting to me.

One way or the other, I haven’t been eating, and this is getting to be a problem.  It’s been going on for about a month, but is worsening this weekend, it seems.  I received one manuscript back on Monday, and I sat with it for two hours, too weak to open it or concentrate on its contents.  Sometimes, I fear that I will faint.

I lied (by omission) to my psychiatrist not once but twice about this.  For two appointments I told her everything was fine.  Everything but the eating, that is–I left that out.

Now I don’t know what to do.  It seems so simple: eat.  I don’t even want to lose weight.  It’s not that.  The problem seems to be that I tell myself, when it’s time to eat, “Why bother?  What’s the use?”

I don’t think I’m depressed.  I don’t know what it is.  I just want to be “normal” and happy again.

brooklyn-style-pizza-712w1

News

I may be moving the URL of this blog at some point, as GoDaddy has raised their rates.  In order to keep my spam settings at the level I want them, I have to “upgrade”!  Keep checking here and I’ll keep you posted.  If you come here and I’m not here, check at www.juliegreene.name, which I am keeping, and follow the link to my blog!  Don’t worry, the move won’t happen immediately.

I had to delete the entry with the link to the Breath and Shadow article, as it was getting spam comments by the bucketful.  Here’s the link again: <a href=”http://www.abilitymaine.org/breath/index.html.

Have”>www.abilitymaine.org/breath/index.html.

Have a nice day.  I’m trying.

Where I’ve been all this time

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve been….

I’ve been revising my creative thesis.  I’ve been working at a terrific pace.  I get up at 4:45am and go to bed at 8:30pm.  I start writing at 8:20am and don’t stop until around 7:30pm.

I do get the housework done.

I haven’t exactly been remembering to eat.  But I am getting better at it.

Of course I take excellent care of Puzzle.  Or, rather, she takes excellent care of me.  She reminds me to take my meds.  Without her, I would surely forget.

I do keep my appointments.  I get enough sleep.  I am not manic.

For some reason, I seem to be able to keep up this pace.  Why?  Someone pinch me–this couldn’t be real!

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I worry about what will happen after school ends.  I worry that I’ll lose the drive, the motivation, to keep going.  I worry that I won’t have the support I need.  I am really, really scared that I will go downhill.  I worry that my mother will push me into getting a “job,” something for which I am not mentally equipped.  The structure of a “job” is a lot different from sitting and writing all day.  She has already said, “Julie, I hope that after you graduate, you will be accepted into a ‘position,'” meaning, a teaching position.  Horrors!  I can’t do that kind of teaching!  What I am thinking about is possibly getting a scholarship to go to one of those writers’ retreats or artists’ colonies for a couple of weeks at some point.  I have asked my advisor what she thinks about this idea.

****************

I am so afraid of getting lost in the world. But for now, everything is okay.  I have goals.  I have a project I am working on.  I have started a new book to work on after school ends.  That plus I’ll still be revising my current project.  If all else fails, I have a sweater for Puzzle that I’m making….