Greetings from London

I’m at the hotel right now and it’s late.  It feels good, and not good to be back in London.  Good because I feel oddly at home here, and not so good for reasons I can’t explain.

The best part so far has been riding the tube.  I guess if you’ve been car-free as long as I have, you can deal with any public transportation okay.  No matter where you are, you can get to where you’re going.  I guess I wouldn’t be where I am today if this were not the case, and so it is with everyone.

All I can hear right now is the rain outside and the tap-tapping of the keyboard.  And the rumbling in my throat that I do all the time, my vocal tic that seems to be getting very vocal these days.

On the plane, I switched on Vertical Horizon’s album, Burning the Days.  It seems to be good airplane music, but this morning, VH wasn’t cutting it for me.  I thought of switching to Dave Matthews, but no, that’s dog-walking music.  I went through the listing of albums and Born to Run popped up?  Huh?  I didn’t even know I had that album.  I switched it on and Springsteen began wailing out the first track, “Thunder Road.”

It was all over.  I cry on buses all the time and I’ve cried on planes before, but since I’m not on a plane every day I can’t say it’s an everyday occurrence.  I now know why I ended up at a window seat last night.  The trick is to pretend you’re really fascinated with the cloud cover.  If you turn your head far enough, the people sitting in your row have no clue you’re crying.

I was really bawling, though, enough to take off my glasses, sniffle, and wipe my eyes with my sleeves.

It was my Joe who introduced me to Bruce Springsteen. We used to play this game over the phone, back in the days when the phone was used for conversation, called “Name that Group.”  Let me tell you, Joe knew right away that I was rock-music-challenged, so much so that half the time I guessed “Elvis” not really knowing who else it could be, having never heard of any of the current groups. He saw to it that I got good at this guessing game.

We loved Born to Run, but when Tunnel of Love came out, we had a hard time coming to consensus.  Either you loved that album or you hated it or you weren’t a Springsteen fan.  There’s one thing Joe and I agreed upon, though.  We liked the word “Love.”

We liked the word “love” so much that we rarely told each other that we loved each other.  It wasn’t nthecessary to state and re-state the obvious.  And right then, sitting on the plane, I guess a lot of stuff seemed obvious to me.  Like the passage of time, for one thing.  It’s been nine years since I saw him last, unless you count the times he appeared to me in dreams.

When we first started dating, one outing he took me on was a trip to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Around the beginning of the eighth, Joe said to me, “C’mon, Jules, let’s go.  Our guys are a disgrace today.”

“Huh?  Don’t you want to see the end of the game?”

“Naw, I’m too disgusted. They’re not cutting it today. Lazy fucks.”

Over the years, of course, the Red Sox continued to let us down and let us down.  It was kind of a Boston thing, this getting used to being let down.  You had to have kind of a tough loser skin if you were to spend any time at Fenway Park.

That is, until 2004. But Joe had been dead over a year then.

Here in London, folks aren’t baseball fans as a rule.  It’s a weird unscientific American game based on superstition and luck.  People here didn’t’ grow up on it the way I did in Boston.  They don’t have baseball summers in their backyards.  “Strike” doesn’t mean the same thing here.  But the Olympics are coming to town later this month, which seems to be the big buzz right now.  It’s a city full of anticipation.

This is summer in London.  This is daily rain and daily Changing of the Guard.  Somewhere in the middle of the city, in a little cheap hotel, an American writer sits and muses about this weird place she’s found herself at.  She writes, thinks, and remembers.  She asks herself what the future holds,if it holds anything at all or if it holds nothing and lets life slip through its fingers.

Maybe when I cry on buses, and last night on the plane, it’s cuz life is doing just that, slipping through.  I try to hold it but it is slippery and elusive.  It’s the same for all of us, just a game of superstition and luck.  If we’re lucky, we see a handful of winners in our lives.  I guess that’s asking enough.

 

Rant on friendship

I remember I had this one friend…I thought everything was okay, then suddenly I found out that this person never liked me in the first place.  I think she was only friends with me because she thought that no one else would be nice to me.  I think she took pity on me and hung out just as some form of charity.  She took it upon herself to put up with me, lying and pretending she was enjoying my company.  She shared a lot of her feelings with me, though, some of them probably genuine.  I did notice the “tap tap” quite a bit in the background of our phone conversations (the keyboard).  I think she thought she was doing some kind of self-sacrifice by being friends with me.  I think she is friends with a lot of people she doesn’t actually like, but feels sorry for and figures no one else will hang out with them so she is doing her “good deed.”  I noticed that when she talked about her other friends, saying she didn’t really enjoy them, and I wanted to ask her, “Why bother?”   It was just kind of a token “touch base” so she could say she did it, I guess.  Maybe she hangs out with people she can’t stand, seeing them once a month and then telling herself, “Well, I’ve gotten that over with.”  So she was holding in a lot, the fact that she really couldn’t stand me.  Then one day, poof!  She dumped me.  She let our her real feelings, told me she actually despised me (i.e. got out of her “charity” commitment cuz it got to be too inconvenient).  I had no clue.  She had been a good faker.  She had been lying all along.  Lying to herself, too.  Never mind that I felt completely devastated.

Why is it that when people dump me, it’s at the absolute worst time every time? Someone dumped me after she found out my dad died.  People told me that probably she couldn’t tolerate being friends with someone who had lost a parent, because she was so overly dependent on her own parents and could not accept their impermanence in her life.

One of my goals is to have real, lasting friendships.  But I wonder, is there such a thing?  The closest thing I’ve ever had to genuine friendship was at Goddard.  I felt accepted there…still do, as a matter of fact, still feel like I belong to a community.  It is now “Facebook only,” though, which truly sucks.  And now, I have my church.  I think church saved my life.  I am so thankful.

I wonder if It’s better to be part of a community than it is to have an individual friendship.  I figure that then, I am not a burden to any one person, but to an entire group, and any individual can “bow out” anytime they need a break from me.

I guess I am just a burden to everyone.  This is the message I get.

I get the message, too, that the reason I need a therapist supposedly is because I really don’t have anyone close to me that I can talk to.  I am such a rotten person that no one can stand to hang out with me, so I have to pay someone to do so for an hour a week.

I open up to my acupuncturist a fair amount.  This is a good thing, because then she can work her needle magic appropriately.  I like my acupuncturist.  She asks me a lot of questions, and then decides what action to take based on my answers.  The treatments are helpful.  Sometimes, I feel  immediate relief as soon as the needles go in.  The process, then, once the needle starts to work, is to tolerate “letting go” of the problem.  It is a physical sensation, this “letting go.”  It’s hard to explain if you’ve never experienced Chinese medicine.

When I think about it, the only people who have bothered with me lately are those who are paid to do so.  I suppose there are plenty of people who see a lot of professionals and have no friends.  Of course, many of these professionals think very little of their clients.  They get rich by faking it for an hour, for a bunch of hours a day.  Then, at the end of the day they are pretty damn tired of the game.  So they shut off their phone, go home, and enjoy their real lives.  Once a week, for two days they have this thing “weekend,” when they can pretend their fake lives don’t exist.  Then, Monday invariably comes and it completely sucks.

Do you think your therapist is glad to see you?  Of course your therapist is glad you showed up.  Many therapists are “fee for service.”  I think that’s what it’s called.  If you don’t show, they don’t get paid.  So they are damn glad you came.  Therapists who don’t “get their numbers up,” that is, attendance-wise, aren’t profitable for the agency to keep around.  A lot of therapists get fired from agencies for this reason.  If has nothing to do with the quality of their work.  Furthermore, it’s to the therapist’s advantage to avoid clients with health issues that might cause them to cancel a lot.  I don’t think it’s very profitable, for instance, to be a migraine specialist.  It’s not very profitable to see very sick people who can’t get out of bed half the time due to whatever their ailment is.  People with cancer.  People with AIDS.  People with eating disorders that have affected their physical health.  Anyone who is sick enough to be hospitalized.  Of course, it’s just plain stupid to take on anyone suicidal.  It looks pretty bad when they die.

One “partial” program I applied to regularly turned down anyone suicidal.  So when I did a phone intake, the guy asked me (I can practically quote you on this), “I’m going to ask you some questions.  Here’s the first: Do you ever have any thoughts whatsover about suicide?  Anything at all?”  I told him yes.  Then he stopped all the questions and said I was going to have to wait on going any further with the application process until he talked to Dr. P.  I asked him, “You said you had a series of questions for me.  Are these ‘screening questions’?”  He said that yes, they were.  I asked him what the rest of the questions were.  If memory serves me correctly, some of the other questions were about drug and alcohol use.  I’ll bet there was one on communicable diseases too.  I asked him if they asked these questions to weed out people who were going to be liability risks and he said, “Yes.”

This is why a lot of therapists who are eating disorders specialists won’t take on clients who have medical complications.  I was turned away from a couple of therapists for this reason.  So really, they only take on mild cases, or people who are so newly diagnosed that the medical consequences haven’t started yet.

Basically, the further along you are, the lesser the chances are of your recovery.  The statistics are right there staring us in the face.  The lesser the chances are of your recovery, the more therapists are going to refuse to take you on.

Therapists like this thing called “hope,” I guess, and when there isn’t any, then their work gets damn depressing.

I know this is hard to hear, but a lot of people end up so sick that the hospitals just let them go.  They “send them home to die.”  This is true in a lot of “Welfare cases.”  A lot of people who have AIDS are turned away from treatment.  With chronic eating disorders, people whose bodies are literally dying are sent home or turned away.  Some of these people have loved ones who take care of them at home.  Others have insurance and they go to nursing homes.  Some go to homeless shelters.  Some get incarcerated in the state hospital.  Many die at home alone.

It’s Sunday, and tomorrow night I’m flying to London.  I broke the bank back in the beginning of March to pay for this trip, or, rather, that’s when I put the charge on my credit card that will take two years to pay off.  I felt like it was something I HAD to do. So I’m doing it.

My friend sent me a link to a listing of free travel opportunities, saying that travel can be healing.  I mean, nothing else is working, right?

I fell asleep with my shoes on last night.  I went to pee, and then pulled down my socks a little.  All the skin underneath is discolored from edema.  The skin stretches when my feet, ankles, and calves expand to accommodate the excess tissue fluid.  I notice when I descend a staircase, my ankles bend a lot, and the skin stretches a bit too much, so I feel these little stings with each step when the skin breaks.  Sometimes, my skin stings a lot and the sensation keeps me awake, but not for long.  The edema is all over my legs now.  I can press anywhere on my legs, even up on my thigh with my finger, remove my finger, and a dent will remain.

I can’t imagine what my heart looks like right now.  I can’t imagine it isn’t surrounded by fluid, or has fluid in the tissues.  I hear that eventually the fluid has no place to go, so it fills your lungs.  Doctors spend a lot of time listening to my lungs, and then, finally, decide that I pass…for now.  But…there’s no point in going to doctors or hospitals anymore.  They decide, or we decide, that there’s really nothing they can do for me anyway.

Getting ready to go to London

Actually, I feel like this trip will be…well it will be what it will be.  The likelihood is high that it will be a disaster.  I really need treatment right now and it’s so damn hard to find.   So off I go to London, physically and mentally a wreck.

Some places do take Medicaid but not specifically from Massachusetts, they don’t contract with them.  My case manager knows, as I do, that these Medicaid people are nothing but clerks. They are uneducated.  I have phoned and this so-called case worker couldn’t even get into the computer to correct my address.  From what I have read, you have to speak with their supervisors.  I know this woman can’t access the computer, so obviously she can’t override a Medicaid refusal or create a “single-case exception” for me.

Who are the people who make these Medicaid decisions?  Are they educated about medicine?  Do they even have degrees?  Or are they secretaries, data entry people, and other kinds of clerks?  Are they lawyers, budget people, or politicians?

I don’t even want to think about all that stuff right now anyway.

I have an appointment with a new therapist as soon as I get back.  Maybe I can just hang onto that.  I’ll have someone to talk to, at least.  Lord knows I cry and cry and cry all the time and feel so damn alone in this.

I have no real close friends at this point, no intimacy in my life.  I used to have close friends but they are now gone or downsized. I do know a lot of people love me and care about me even though my family doesn’t.   But everyone keeps me at arm’s length.  Oh yeah, I recognize this.  I think someone calls to say “hello” maybe…not sure maybe once every other month.  It seems like I am always the one to initiate phone contact.  A lot of the time I call, leave a cheery message with my phone number, and the person doesn’t call back.

When was the last phone conversation?  I phoned someone to wish a happy birthday.  The person seemed complimented that I had remembered, but after a few minutes wasn’t even paying attention to the conversation.  I tried and tried to change the subject and inquire about what he was up to, asked about his life, his plans for the week, but it was no use, I couldn’t get the conversation going, and the person continued to indicate boredom, just no interest in being friends.

I don’t mind hearing “tap tap tap” of the keyboard while we are talking for a minute or so, but if it goes on for the entire conversation, then it’s obvious that the person doesn’t really want to be talking.  If this happens during every conversation, then hey, I get the hint.  Personally, I am unable to write an e-mail and carry on a conversation at the same time.  Just can’t multitask like that.  The exception is if we are discussing the e-mail that the person is writing.

Oh yes, and then there’s the TV, when the person shows no interest in talking and cares more about the TV program they’re watching.  The best thing to do is to reschedule the call for a time when their TV program isn’t on.

My brother calls about once a month.  The other one, the one that I think hates me, calls once every few months.  The one that calls more frequently has this tactic with me.  He calls while he’s nearing the end of making dinner.  I can hear pots and pans and sometimes even sizzling.  After about two minutes, he says his dinner is ready, and excuses himself.  I’ve noticed that every now and then, maybe twice a year, he calls when his wife and kid aren’t around and then we seem to have a longer conversation, like about ten minutes.

I have spoken about the other brother before.  I had a new thought about him.  He has stated that he hates our mother.  We used to have that connection, this understanding about how abusive she is and unhealthy to be around.

In February she developed a visible health problem, that is, she was suddenly unable to walk.  Somehow, my brother saw this as a reason to snap to it and go help her out.

Now, I suppose my illness is less visible (they are oblivious to weight loss) and therefore less real to him.  So when I phoned him from Mass General a year ago and told him I was hooked up to all sorts of medical machines, this somehow didn’t register with him.  He lived an hour away and did not see me once, and didn’t call for two months.

Then, again, in February I told him I might not even make it to the hospital alive.  He didn’t give a shit, just gave me a pat on the back, told me good luck, and wrote me off.  I heard from him again two months later but I don’t know why he bothered.  I guess that was sometime in April.  I haven’t heard from him since.

I hear he sees my mom two or three times a week.  She lives two towns over from me.  He supposedly hates her….What can I conclude about this?  I guess he despises me even more.

She has money and I don’t…does this have anything to do with it?  Is he suddenly paying attention to her to make sure she leaves him something in his will?  Probably.

I have a handful of nasty letters I plan to write before I leave town.  You may say it’s completely stupid, but how can I ruin what’s already gone to pot anyway?  It might actually give me a sense of satisfaction to tell my brother to go to hell.  I also plan to contact one or two people out of my past and tell them that what they did really hurt me.

One is C, someone I knew in 1982 and 1983.  This person has become a therapist.  Oh yes, it wasn’t hard to track her down.  I was kinda surprised cuz it wasn’t her major.  Oh, so understanding, such bullshit.  Maybe she doesn’t remember that she freaked out because of my mental illness and dumped me just like that, just when I needed a friend the most.  She was actually my best friend at the time.  Poof!  Out of my life.

I really think the only reason my abusive roommate kept on being my friend was so that she could have someone to verbally abuse and yell at and put down.  She really was crap.  She wanted me on meds just so that she could steal them from me.  I remember giving her a bottle of pills I no longer took.  I was on a benzo, and I noticed pills disappearing from the bottle.  Once, there was one capsule remaining.  It seemed suspicious.  I opened it and there was no powder in the capsule.  She was drunk all the time and destroyed a lot of my property in her drunken rages.  I think also she used me for the money, or, rather, my parents’ money.

Once, I was toying with the idea of spending half the week at home and half the week out of town at a rinky-dink halfway house, only I hadn’t yet found out how much the place sucked.  Well, the abusive roommate phoned me at the hospital and said she didn’t want me to go to the halfway house because then she couldn’t use my car.  I AM NOT KIDDING YOU!  After she hung up, I started crying and slammed the phone down.  The nurse started yelling at me for slamming the phone. I couldn’t talk to those staff people, so I told my psychologist (who came to the  hospital) and he said he would talk to the staff and explain that this roommate of mine is about as heartless as you can get.  I was so, so glad to be rid of her when she finally moved out!  And yet I sweet-talked and said how much I’d miss her, lying cuz I was afraid of incurring her wrath and setting off more abuse.  She and her husband were so happy when I went to Gould Farm and they had full use of my car.  They ruined my car, by the way.  I had to junk it after they were done with it, and my brother made me promise that I would never lend the new car to anyone or let anyone get their mitts on it.  Well, no, she is one person I am not sending a nasty e-mail to.  I wonder if she’s even figured out how to use a computer or write an e-mail, anyway. She wasn’t too bright.

Oh, I am just such an anger machine.  Just a bitch no one wants to hang out with.  I have no value as a person.  You can take this any way you want.

 

More about therapy

I have seen people after their upsetting therapy sessions curled in fetal position with their heads buried, completely unresponsive.  I suppose this is called “time out”?  What happens to these curled-up people?  Does the janitor sweep them up at the end of the day?

I have seen people leave therapy sessions saying that the topic of discussion was very upsetting and they can’t stand it anymore and it turns into a huge crisis situation and you can guess where they get shipped off.

Let us not forget all the therapists whose egos are tripled when they discover, upon return from vacation, that half their patients couldn’t cope on their own and hospitalized themselves.  Think how great it must feel for the therapist to be so needed and wanted and loved.

I have had therapists who have enjoyed this power.  When I suggested to these therapists that perhaps having power and control over me, and making claim that they and they alone had the amazing ability to cure me (but if it didn’t work, it was my fault and mine alone) was feeding into their already inflated egos, they invariably flew into a rage.

Those days are over.  I am outta here.

This madness

Although this madness is rather interesting, it is a  perfect waste of time.  I do wish to share it, to tell the world what it is like.  I wish I knew what it was.  It is like I am tripping on LSD, but I don’t know what LSD was like.  That is, I never took LSD.  Yes, I am 54 years old and was born in 1958 so was of that generation that took LSD, but I never took it.  So no, I am not having a “flashback.”  If such a thing exists.  They said people would have these flashbacks and re-live their trips.

But I am experiencing this madness.  This is the third time.  This Other.  I am not sure what it is.  I slept quite well last night, better than usual but was physically ill yesterday.  My stomach seems fine today, no diarrhea or nausea at all today.

There seems to be  no danger in it.  Except a bit ago, as I was returning home, it occurred to me that perhaps I may never, ever snap out of it.

How lonely.  This madness.   To never connect.  There seems no need.

Stark raving mad.  My thoughts are completely messed up.  I am in my own little world and I don’t need to connect with anyone, ever.

I went to see the minister.  Spoke with him briefly, tried to explain.

I really need to shower.  But I did brush my teeth and that feels good.  Real good.  Anyway, after I saw the minister I went and bought some plastic bags to pick up Puzzle’s poops.  I hope I bought the right kind.  It was really, really hard in the CVS, trying to shop and make sense of the products in the aisles, trying to pick out what I needed, the right kind of baggies, the sandwich baggies with the flip-tops.

Okay, now I feel a little better cuz I wrote some stuff I think was clear and cohesive.  I was in the CVS looking confused like a madwoman in a place where people are supposed to be organized.  You can imagine just how tough it was for me to use one of those self-checkouts.  Yeah.  I did it.

Came home and here I am.  Still haven’t showered.  I don’t know how long it’s been.

Trying to figure out what this is.

Stark raving mad.  Your guess is as good as mine.

Anyway.  Decided last night, right before I went to sleep, that therapy is doing me no good.  Figured I’d take a year off.  I’d just spend the time writing and working my way through all my madness.  I’d keep writing and writing.  I have no idea who is reading all this stuff.

My mind is just so precious.  It works so perfectly.  You can tell.  Absolutely perfectly.

Monday night

I see my therapist Thursday.  I kind of dread it.  She is not stupid.  She will ask me right away.  Whether she has heard about my ridiculous ER adventure or not she will ask about those dreaded topics of eating and weight.

I don’t know how many pounds I’m going to drop tonight, tomorrow, Wednesday night.  On Thursday I don’t know what I’ll weigh.  You just can’t predict these things.  She’s been away on vacation and I haven’t seen her since the 19th, a week ago.  I am four pounds less than I was then.

It feels so glorious.

Recently, I dropped four pounds overnight.  Then two more the next night.  I just didn’t want to be fat.

This is scary and I am losing my mind.

 

Winter Solstice Morning 2011

It is morning and I am awake and alive.  In my dream, I was in a cloud, floating.  I felt no pain.  I was lying on my back.  When I awoke, I sprung up.  I had strength, enough to know that I am okay.

I recall now that I prepared for bed very early.  I was tired.  I remembered to take my meds as usual.  Puzzle was confused that my schedule was altered.

I awoke at 12:30, peed, and went back to bed.  I recall saying to myself that I felt back to normal.  Or at least on my way to back to normal.  It felt like it does on many nights when I awake in the night to pee.

I fell asleep immediately.

I awoke at 4.  And now, it is past 6.  I have done a few things, not a lot.  It felt okay to have a cup of coffee today.  I savored it.

I am thinking about my body, each part.  God gave me so much strength.

My last therapy session…for a little while

My T is going on a vacation.  Never mind where she is going but I will tell you that she is looking forward to it.  I could tell.  She is leaving tomorrow and I think today’s Boston weather had her convinced that she needed a vacation.  This morning was even colder than yesterday morning.

I am cold.  I just finished a hot cup of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice herbal tea.  I have never had Bengal Spice before.  It’s rather good, and it helped warm me up.  I am wearing my Winter Classic 5k hat that I got exactly a year ago when I ran the race in Cambridge, MA.  This year, the race was held December 11th.

When I told my T that the race was exactly a year ago, that is, December 19th, that started her on this whole, “What have you accomplished in this past year?” rampage.  Which was fine with me because I didn’t want to talk about certain other things.

So a lot of bullshit got discussed.  She seems to think I have accomplished so many things.  I let her think this because it’s a nice way for her to start off her vacation.  Honestly, it’s been one fucked-up year.  It’s been the worst year of my life.  I kind of said this and shrugged off the “accomplishment” part.

I did tell her this:

I AM OKAY JUST THE WAY I AM.

That was all I said about that.

I told her I felt pretty good, that I was glad to be over that yucky virus I had.  I spoke a bit about the virus and the impact it had on me.

Change of subject: I told a lie last night and it is weighing heavily on my mind.  It is the lie I tell more than any other lie.  This is the lie:

“Julie, you’ve had something to eat, haven’t you?”

“Oh yes, I’ve had something.”

Of course, I hadn’t had anything.  I felt especially bad lying to this person last night.  It is really bothering me now, just getting on my conscience.  I made excuse after excuse not to have the pizza, saying that I had just gotten over a bug.  But there was other food there, too.  I made an excuse to have just water.  I saw water in a pitcher, and knowing it was just water, I asked if there was any alcohol in it.  I wanted to appear to be making sure that it was alcohol-free.  That way, it would look more “okay” to have just water.  Just more anorexic bullshit paranoia.

I smiled and had a good time and put the food and the lie out of my mind.

I smiled and had a good time in therapy, too.

I hope my T smiles and has a good time on her vacation.

I am having a vacation….

Cleaning up the complete mess I've made of my life over the past couple of weeks

Last night I finally, finally, finally got a decent night’s sleep.  Wow!  I have no explanation.

Frank reminded me last night, firmly, that I’ve got to stop this risk-taking nonsense.  What I’m doing is dangerous at any age and it’s doubly dangerous at my age.

I wanted to tell him that I’m not going to make it to 55 anyway.

Well, does that matter?  Why am I making myself completely miserable?  Isn’t it stupid to torture myself like this?

Frank is now 60 and is blessed to have come to his senses.  He says I will, too.  When he said this to me only a couple of days ago, I said to myself, believing every word in my head, that what he was telling me was untrue.  Not that he was lying.  He was mistaken, I told myself.  I can’t do it.  I am not strong.

I saw my T yesterday.  I told her I didn’t want her to have hope.  Again, she told me she had hope, and I was pissed.  She sees that I have a tiny sense of purpose in my life and will to live.  I don’t want to have a will to live.  I want to eradicate this will.  She totally gets this.  She is so smart.

She also thinks that I’m much, much better off than I was last summer, when there was so little of me that wanted life.  I guess she notices a much bigger part of me now that wants life.  Church.  My trip.  These are biggies.  The fact that I’m incredibly motivated to follow through with both is amazing.

All three Sundays that I’ve gone to church….Well, let me explain.  My life has been in shambles.  Night and day, day/night sleep/not sleep sun-up/sun-down binge/starve nothing in-between all the same and it’s an ordeal and very internal and tearing me apart and ripping my insides raw.  I’m not depressed but it’s torture to go on like this.  My body can’t take it and I can’t imagine what all this is doing to my organs.  I don’t know how much my heart can take the food/no food thing and my kidneys with the electrolyte/water, skipping meds/anticonvulsant spiking.  This comes to a head Sunday morning after torture all night long Saturday night and little or no sleep.  BUT….What happens amazes me.  9:50 and I’m out the door.  Showered.  Dressed.  I go straight to church.  I do this and right before, I am asking myself if I can really leave the house, but I do it.  I do it and I am blessed with the most awesome experience you can imagine.

(Oh damn I have just started to weep as I write these words.)

Well, I was considering stopping writing this entry and taking a break due to overwhelming outpouring of emotion, maybe letting it settle and doing some cleaning around here, but I think I’ll say something that just popped into my head:

Why spend my last days…however long I have…in misery?  What’s the point in torturing myself?  I should be–really–treating myself well.  Super well.  Keeping my body clean and making sure my apartment doesn’t get back into the filthy, disorganized state it’s gotten into at the moment.  And not letting myself get into the filthy, disorganized state I got myself into, either.

Okay, sudden extreme fatigue.  Ten-minute nap and I’ll be back.

Back.  Eight minutes of heavy, heavy sleep.  Dreams.  I don’t remember them.  We’re leaving for Puzzle’s day at Pooch Palace soon.  We’ve got a coupon for free day care along with her groom.

So.  For today.  Clean the house.  I’ve showered and all the clothes I’m wearing are clean.  Be patient with my body.  My stomach is doing okay.  Sticking out real bad, full of the food I stuffed myself with over the past three days, and I’m not going to let that embarrass me.  I’m just wearing clothes that hide it.  But no edema in my ankles or legs.  That chapter of my life…over?  Just a little puffiness in my face.  Kind of upsetting but it’ll go away in time and I’ll be patient.  The quantity of stuff that accumulated in my stomach is slowly, slowly emptying into my intestines.  There’s a lot still in my stomach but I’m surprised at how much has already emptied.  I guess it was the decent night’s sleep I had.  My intestines are another story altogether.  How they can hold this much is beyond me.  The temptation to take something to speed along the process is overwhelming.  I won’t do it.  I’ll be patient.  It’ll take a long, long time for my body to fully recover from this.   The money I spent on binge food….My budget, sadly, will never recover.  I spent money I don’t even have.

Except for the money part, I grossed you out I’ll bet.

I’m going off to Pooch Palace.  Oh, one more thing before I leave:

I’m calling Dr. P today.  I’m telling her…I’m telling her that I want to clear up what went on when I went to see her last week.  Last week when I walked into her office I wanted to tell her that I had no will to live.  And I want to tell her that as of today I’m going to clean up the mess and move on.  I’ll be honest with her.  I’ll tell her what my gut feeling is, that I won’t make it to 55, which is simply no big deal…it simply isn’t…and whether it’s true or not…who knows…I might not be right, after all…I probably am and it really makes no difference…no impact on the Here And Now…I’m doing what I’m doing…I have exciting plans that my T feels will give me a sense of purpose and be a real boost for me….

It’s Tuesday.  Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday.  Today and then four more days and then the next day I get to go to church again.

How do you like that!

I have anorexia nervosa.  I go to therapy with the best therapist on the planet.  I deal with it.  Well, dang.

An open letter to my T, my blog, and the world

I need to make this writing a priority this morning over a number of other activities because I need to get this off my chest.  It does not take priority over certain things that are vastly more important.  I have walked Puzzle.  I need to make sure she can get groomed tomorrow.  So I need to stop writing at some point and remember to call Pooch Palace to get her scheduled.  Hygiene–hers and mine: essential…but today I haven’t showered yet and writing takes precedence.  I’ll make time to brush my teeth again.  My hair…yeah, I gotta do something with this mop before I go to therapy.

I need to say some things.  I need to be straight with my T about certain things.  About a week ago I realized that I don’t have much time left on this planet.  I thought about things realistically and figured that my 54th birthday is in January and I’ll probably make it to that, but the chances of making it to 55 are next to nil.  My body won’t hold out.  I see the statistics and it’s amazing that I’m still alive.  The statistics are different depending on the source, but by far the majority of patients who end up with anorexia nervosa don’t make a full recovery.  A small portion do.  Many do, and deal with it for the rest of their lives.  A portion die.  A portion suffer a great deal for the rest of their lives.  A portion commit suicide by other means.  And so on.  The younger you get it, the worse your chances are.  The longer you’ve had it, the worse your chances are.  And so on.  You can interpret the data a number of ways but it’s a fatal illness no matter how you look at it and no matter how you look at it, it’s clear that this illness is the most lethal mental illness.

Dear T: The truth is that I want you to just go along with this.  Quit trying to stop me and quit trying to change me and quit your assumption that I am trying in any way to get better and change and grow.  It is useless.  I gave up on myself.  Just let me die and keep me company.  A week ago I decided to self-starve because I have no will to live.  I am not trying to make myself die I am just trying to lose weight.  If I die I don’t care.

Okay, I’m tired now and I’ll take a t0-minute nap and come back.

I’ve been permanently sleepy for a couple of days now.  Back.

As you know, I get these breakthrough binges (you I’m sure are bored of hearing about this) and I have binged a few times but get right back to starving and continuing to lose weight.  I don’t think I lost anything over the weekend and I haven’t been able to get anything like an accurate reading with a belly full of food.

I have had a couple of instances of drinking high amounts of zero-calorie liquid (water or zero-calorie sports drink, occasionally diet soda) very quickly and then peeing it all out.  I can’t seem to stop myself when I do this.  I’m not trying to hurt myself.  It is automatic.  Maybe I am just thirsty.  I drink to the point of physical discomfort.  I looked up on the Internet how much you have to drink to get a serious problem and I’m reasonably sure I’m not in the danger zone.  When this happens, my pee is bubbly afterward.

I believe the last couple of times that I binged, my food wouldn’t go down my throat.  It got caught there.  I got some water and pushed it down with the water.  I found that I was able to stuff food down faster than ever.  At 53? weird.  Maybe I’m just remembering wrong.   I have some junk food in the apartment right now that I should probably get rid of.

For a while, when I binged, it “showed.”  Oh, no, when I binge it shows anyway.  Duh.  Stomach and intestine overload.  I have heard that your stomach or intestines can burst from this.  A doctor once told me that this was the truth but I looked it up and there have been cases. Of course you don’t survive that at my age.  When I say that it showed, I meant that my ankles and legs and entire body swelled up.  As of sometime yesterday, this stopped happening.  They’re fine.  My torso is huge and full of food but the rest of me looks normal.  I have to wait until I poop it all out.

Okay, back to life.  But the body changes again.  I am making all kinds of spelling errors and am falling asleep…again.   Something’s horribly wrong that I have to sleep all the time.  Another ten-minute nap and I’ll be back.

I woke up two minutes before the alarm.

I sleep…I don’t sleep…well, duh…I play with food and it messes real bad with sleep.  Real bad.  Serves me right.

I don’t know why I do all the stuff I do but I can’t make it stop.  Losing weight…it is just ridiculous.

My DMH person seems to think everything’s hunky-dory with me.  Whatever.  It’s her job to make sure people shower and get to their appointments and fill their prescriptions.  I don’t think they have people with anorexia in their program much.   I dress with my shirt right-side out and she looks at me and figures I’m fine.  ADL’s.  That’s “Activities of Daily Living,” meaning, again, showering, taking meds, brushing teeth, getting to your job, cleaning the house, laundry, paying your bills, taking public transportation…I do everything but one: eat.  A big one.  I guess that one’s a given for most of her people.  And sleep.

I don’t even sleep responsibly anymore.  Night blends into day which blends into night.  All a blur.

There are things going on that are very good right now and I thought I’d mention them.  My relationship with Frank.  My relationship with L.  Puzzle.  Puzzle’s walks.   Puzzle’s walks have been a little crazy and driven because I think about death while I’m walking her.  I enjoy myself anyway.  I keep my appointments and that’s a good thing.  Church is just a fabulous addition to my life.  Absolutely a fantastic thing I’m doing.  I’m going to print out what I wrote yesterday and bring it into today’s session.

Okay, here’s another thing I haven’t made public but I will.  I ran it by my T Friday and she feels it’s a very positive step I’m doing to help myself.  I’m taking a trip to London to attend a seminar my publisher is putting on for its writers.  The trip will be in a month.  I can’t believe I’m doing this.  It will give me a sense of purpose and I don’t want a sense of purpose but it’s weird because at the same time I really want to meet my publisher and get to work with him, and I assume get to meet the other folks at the publishing house as well.   I won’t be gone long.  I made the plane reservations and hotel and am all signed up.

This was in fact very difficult to do.  My bank decided that whatever transaction I did was suspicious activity, and shut down my credit card after I made each purchase.  This started with the transaction with my publisher, because it was a UK transaction.  My bank doesn’t take chances.  I appreciate this.

I have been spending the month of October working on my outline for November’s National Novel Writing Month.  National Novel Writing Month probably won’t happen for me because of this trip.  I’ll be gone for four days but it’s going to zap much of my energy for November.  It was a sacrifice I had to make.  I will still create the outline.  Why?  I’m excited about the book.  I think Nano is doing another Nano later in the year.  Nano got so big that they do one in a month other than November now.  So I’ll have another opportunity maybe.  I haven’t talked much about this outline.  I will.

I’ve run out of energy and there’s more I wanted to say.   Later.