Dr. P reads me the riot act

I did not have a good appointment with Dr. P today.  All she wanted to talk about was my weight and my eating.  Nothing else.  Nag nag nag.  I told her I had started eating again and apparently that wasn’t good enough for her.  She said I had to GAIN.

Well, I told her, at least I hadn’t lost.

This, apparently, was not good enough for her.  Not losing wasn’t enough.  I have to gain seven pounds, or else.  Seven.  I already panicked when I got to 99, I told her, and now she wants me at 105?

What’s so scary about 99, she asks.

It just is.

Well, see, Julie, that’s why you need a program.  I really feel that a program could help you–

No program.  I’m doing this on my own.

By “program,” she was referring to an eating disorders day program or evening program, where they serve you big meals and expect you to eat them.  They weigh you and give you nutrition counseling, and they have stupid groups and expect you to go to them.  Some people benefit from these programs, but I think I’d find it just babysitting for people with ED’s.

You say you’re doing it on your own, but you haven’t gained.  You can’t keep doing baby steps.  You have to eat regular meals.  It’s going to feel like too much for a while because you’ve been restricting, but you have to do it.  So I really think you should be in a program.

No program.

We went on like this for a while.  I flat out refused to go into a program, and there wasn’t a damn thing Dr. P could do about it.  You can’t be “sectioned” (court ordered) into a program, I don’t think, only into a hospital, and I don’t meet the criteria for hospitalization (or a “program,” for that matter, I don’t think).

I just plain and simple have no desire to gain weight or cooperate with Dr. P any further than I already have.  Dr. P wants me to throw out my scale, and I refuse to do this.  I have no desire to increase my calories back to where they were a week ago.  I have gained enough weight and I don’t want to gain any more.  So long as I don’t lose, she can’t hospitalize me.  And that should be good enough for everyone.

Laughing – the next day

I spent yesterday licking my wounds and recovering from what happened, yes, but I also spent time doing my writing assignment for the new adult education class I’m taking: Stand-up comedy with Bob Gatreau.  I wrote it about “family therapy” with my parents.  What a joke that was.  I’d post the text except the routine is full of gestures that can’t be seen when you read it.

I laughed at myself, and that helped some.  I noticed that in the scene, I was completely absent.  My parents did all the talking and the therapist mediated.  I didn’t talk at all or make any gestures or even appear present.  I am talked about as though I am not in the room.  The therapist has to remind my parents to address me and not each other.

In real life family therapy, I did talk and I was noticed, but my parents steamrollered over me.  They sometimes took up the entire session screaming about my smoking and drinking coffee.  The therapist had a hard time explaining to my parents that communication and listening were more important than my personal habits.

So yesterday, I made a joke of them.   I made a joke of myself.  I made myself laugh at them and myself and a past situation that shouldn’t have happened.  It helped me cope with the present situation that shouldn’t have happened, and laugh at it–but only for a little while.

What I did last night that I am ashamed of

A man did something rotten to me and I reacted badly.

I met a nice man and we hit it off well.  For two days, we conversed via e-mail and telephone in an excited manner, telling each other about ourselves, in hopes that we would continue to become closer and possibly meet.  Then late yesterday after I called him–he did not answer–he sent an e-mail explaining that an “old flame” had contacted him and he could not continue with me while he was “working things out” with her.

Typical “dear Jane” letter, I thought.  If he was being dishonest, it sucked.  Even if he was being honest, it sucked.  I was hurt, and wrote back telling him that I was “sad and disappointed,” and if he wanted to get rid of me, why didn’t he just come out and say it?  Then I wrote a PS saying “the door is always open.”  In a way, I question my judgment on the latter but I wrote in case there really was an “old flame” that didn’t work out.  He was, of course, a nice man, and it looks like my “single” status isn’t going to change anytime soon.

But the devastating part is what came afterward: I binged.  I haven’t done this in three years and it happened to me last night and I hate it.  I wanted to keep it very private, but my therapist told me to write about it, and if I’m going to write about it I might as well write about it here.

I am unable to purge.  I never learned how.  I hate myself for this.  I wish I could just get rid of what I ate so I wouldn’t have to live with the consequences of my actions, but instead, I must carry it around in my belly all day today and into the night.  In my history I don’t eat after a binge for a long time, and I feel guilty and ashamed of myself.  It feels like the whole world can tell by looking at me what I have done, by my belly, my disheveled look, and my bloated face, but in fact it doesn’t show.

My girlfriend called this morning and I didn’t have the heart to tell her what happened.  I wanted to, but I was so ashamed that I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth.  I did tell her I was devastated over the man, and perhaps I sounded a bit too shaken, as if he had ruined my life for the next several days, when in fact it was the binge that had taken over my thoughts.  He was incidental.  No man has that kind of power.

The truth is that I’m terrified.  If I go back to bingeing, my life will be ruined. If I gain weight again, they might as well not even bother putting me on suicide watch, but allow me to kill myself, because when I was grossly overweight, life was not worth living.

Of course, I am only stating my biggest terror.  I have only binged once, and I have no reason to assume it will ever happen again.  But the incident has frightened and shamed and shaken me so much that the taste of suicide is on my tongue, and all over my guilty body.

Progress on my next dog sweater

This is the sweater I started on the plane to graduation, and worked on while I was in Port Townsend.  I am basically finished except for the trim, but progress is slow because I don’t have long blocks of time to work on it.

I used the pattern I showed you in this post:


only I made the sweater out of knitted squares instead of granny squares.  Here are photos of my progress:

Sweater progress 2

Sweater progress 3

Sweater progress 4

Sweater progress 5

Sweater progress 6

Not shown is the collar I put on the sweater recently.  I have not yet put on the sleeves.  Those are next.  The trim and sleeves will be done in the darkish blue color.   Another thing I have to do is to trim the ends and weave them in.  That will be a big task.  And I plan to put the initials “PZ” on the back of the sweater in two of the squares.  You’ll see.

When I am finished with the sweater, I will post the results!


I have been eating now since I got home from graduation.  But now, I am sick of eating.  Every time I eat like a “normal” person, say, 1300 calories in a day, I feel like a blimp.  I feel overstuffed and uncomfortable.  The weird thing is that 1300 calories is what most people consider “on a diet”!  I am amazed at the increased energy I have from eating (I should say more about this) and I even joined a gym.  But now I am protesting.  I am sick of feeling like I’ve just eaten Thanksgiving dinner after every meal I eat.  No more.  This is it.  Finis.  I’m cutting back.

Dating service discriminates against the disabled

I just got a sales call from The Right One.  They are the dating service connected to watertownsingles.com that I mentioned before on here.  The fellow, who sounded like he was in his 20’s, asked me a few questions to make sure I was single, then asked me the “screening questions”:

“Do you own a motor vehicle?”

“Do you have a driver’s license?”

“Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

“Have you ever been arrested on drug or alcohol charges?”

“Do you have a mental or physical illness?”

At this question, I stopped him, and said, “I believe it’s illegal for you to ask that question.”

He said, “We are a private organization.  Your dates are going to want to know if you have a mental or physical illness, and these things are going to disqualify you from our program.  Do you have a mental or physical illness?”

“It’s illegal for you to ask that question.”

“It couldn’t be illegal, because it’s on my list of questions here.”

“Listen.  I talked to the disabilities officer at my school about this.  It’s against ADA ruling for you to discriminate or even ask this question.”

“Do you have a mental or physical illness?”

“It’s illegal–”

“Listen, have a nice day.”  He hung up.

I’m not sure what I’ll do about this one, but The Right One needs to be reported and prosecuted, I think.  They have broken the law.  In the meantime, boycott!

Eating again–one week later–and writing!

Yes, I have been writing.  It all started with an e-mail from my advisor from last semester, Darrah Cloud.  I wrote to her asking for help, because I was not writing and didn’t know what to do about it.  Well, she set me straight, telling me pretty much what I knew I needed to hear, that I should set aside a time to write each day like I used to, and make a schedule and stick to it.

Here’s what I did:  I decided that at that point all I could handle was 15 minutes at a time of writing.  So I planned four 15-minute writing sessions each day.  I planned these sessions for the periods before mealtimes and snack times.  For the times after eating, I decided I’d do a quick home cleanup for about five minutes or so.  I wrote my entire day’s schedule out on paper, including my usual morning and evening routine.  Here it is:


Wake up 4:45
Morning Coffee  Relax

Brush teeth Floss
Shower 6:30 Wash hair MWF
Clean bathroom daily
Dress becomingly
Walk Puzzle and feed her
Take meds and fold up bed
Clean one place in apt for two minutes


Laundry – Saturday

23-minute WRITING WORKOUT #1

Eat snack

5-minute home decluttering

Do something nice for myself

23-minute WRITING WORKOUT #2

11:15AM eat lunch

Brush Puzzle’s teeth

Clean floor Sun/Wed
Home scrubbing Mon/Thurs

Do something nice for myself

23-minute WRITING WORKOUT #3

Eat snack

5-minute home decluttering

Plan meals for tomorrow

Do something nice for myself

23-minute WRITING WORKOUT #4

4:45PM eat dinner

Prepare meals for tomorrow
Walk Puzzle and feed her
Clean one place in apt for two minutes
Wash dishes and wipe counter
Shine the kitchen sink
Take meds  Unfold bed
Set out meds for tomorrow
Wash up
Put ace bandage on knee
Write in journal

As you can see, I’ve now increased my time to 23 minutes.  This schedule keeps me far too busy!  Following it is very difficult!  But it is possible.  If I do all the writing sessions, I get an hour and a half of writing done.  That’s not much.  What I need to do is to combine sessions and write for longer periods.  This will come soon enough.

I am getting accustomed to eating again.  It is tough.  Sometimes I want to eat more than planned, but other times I feel very full, and I want to rebel.  At first, my weight climbed up, and I started to panic.  But my weight dropped again, which isn’t the best thing, but the ED in me thinks that’s just grand.  I believe I’ll be up to normal calorie range within a couple of weeks.  Scary.

Finally eating–bit by bit, bite by bite

Well, I’m doing it. This morning I reached into the caverns of my memory and retrieved to the best of my ability a meal plan I followed many years ago, and I’m going to try to follow a modified version of it.  Most sensible meal plans include all food groups.  Fad diets tend to leave out major food groups.  Low-carb followers: I know you think your diet is healthy, but it is not for me personally so I will stick to a plan that includes all food groups.

After eating my usual breakfast, and having a snack, I planned out the rest of my meals for the day.  I didn’t do too badly.  Total was three meals and two snacks.  I’ve included things like brown rice, which I am cooking now as we speak, and one of my favorite veggies, Brussels sprouts.

It all doesn’t add up to enough according to dietary standards, but for me, what I’m eating is a LOT of food.  So I’m taking baby steps here.  In a week, I’ll add a little more.

I left a message on my therapist’s voicemail and told her, very excitedly, what I was eating for the day.  Then I realized that I wasn’t doing this for her.  I’m not eating healthy to please her, or Dr. P, or Dr. K.  I’m doing this to stay alive, for myself–and for Puzzle.

Hey, this could be fun, too.  I might even cook up something elaborate someday.

Taking control of my eating and my life–???

My life feels out of control right now, and it is reflected in the state of mess in my apartment.  Knitting stuff is strewn everywhere.  My desk is disorganized.  The floor is filthy.  Puzzle’s blankets are rumpled.  My coffee table is covered with everything that shouldn’t be on it.  The kitchen is ready for the ants to move in.  The only clean room is the bathroom, which, thanks to flylady.net, I keep clean.  I need to follow FlyLady’s advice and keep the rest of this place clean, but I think I need to also get the rest of my life in order as well.  If you go to FlyLady’s site, take note that FlyLady states that if one’s house is in order, everything else will follow suit.

I have decided to increase how much food I eat, in small increments.  I tried eating a little bit more today.  I was surprised at how difficult it was.  I hadn’t eaten much earlier, so I had to eat a lot of my daily intake later in the day.  I felt as though I’d just eaten a huge Thanksgiving dinner, and I lay down and felt miserable.  I hope it isn’t always going to be like this, but I fear that it will be.

I have read that if you eat very little, and then suddenly eat what a “normal” person eats, you can get a heart attack after a few days.  This is called “refeeding syndrome.”  Even some doctors don’t know about this.  It’s very dangerous.  They first saw this in WWII POW’s in Japan (and probably Holocaust survivors as well).

The Holocaust survivors, when they came out of the camps, were given foods that they couldn’t handle because they’d been starved for so long, and some of them died of diarrhea.

My mother was supposed to visit Saturday, but I figured this was NOT what I need right now, so I canceled.  I gave her the excuse that I am “tied up” for the weekend and the following week, partially true.

I get weighed Monday.  Fun, fun.

The Poop Hits the Fan at My Appointment Today

I went to see Dr. P today, my psychiatrist.  I told her, “All is going well, couldn’t be better,” which was true, except for the glaring problem: my eating disorder.  I have lost eight pounds since the last time I saw her and that I couldn’t hide.  She let me have it.  And she made me tell her what I weigh on my scale at home when I weigh myself in the morning.  I asked her if I could “plead the fifth” and she said, “No, you can’t,” and I asked her again, “Can I plead the fifth?” and again, she said, “No.”  So I admitted to her what I weigh.

She told me, “If you get under 90 pounds, you’re looking at hospitalization.  And that’s not too far off.  At the rate you’re going, that’s right where you’re headed.  You keep saying you’re going to turn this around, but I don’t see you doing that.”

At that point I got a little sulky and told her that I don’t do well in hospitals, and that this would not be the best thing for me.

Dr. P said, “We may have no other choice.”  Bullshit.

She then talked about “programs” that I should consider; that is, “day programs,” “evening programs,” etc etc, none of which sound appealing whatsoever.

I thought about it later, and re-read my graduation speech (below) and realized NO WAY am I going to give in to “them”!  NO WAY am I going to go to any “program” or be hospitalized!  Somehow, I will do whatever I can to prove to these people that I don’t need their kind of “help,” their kind of “structure,” their “babysitting programs.”  Because that is all that their “help” is–babysitting.  I am not a baby and I will not be treated like one.

I found out just yesterday that I get food stamps now, so on my way home from Dr. P’s, I picked up loads of groceries and brought them home.  I actually ate, too–all the food groups in one meal.  It didn’t amount to much but it was a meal.   I’m going to try to eat more.

I get weighed next Monday.  Today is Wednesday.  If I can keep from losing between now and then I’ll be satisfied.  It’s a start.