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Eating Disorder Diaries – April 29th, 2017

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I have made a large amount of progress in relevance to my physical being. I gained the necessary weight to make me appear healthy, I make it through my meals every single day and have overcome my fears of oil and salt (relatively). But I am not healthy.

Last Wednesday, I had my first appointment for the eating disorder program and it tugged at too many heartstrings that I wasn’t prepared to have touched.

I thought all the work I had left was loving myself, but that’s far from the truth.

I constantly avoided any conversation about weight or food or exercise to protect myself; to not get triggered; to avoid falling into the eating disorder habits because I knew I was one strand from falling apart and returning to the behaviours I had gotten so accustomed to. I knew I was fragile.

I may have been eating, but it didn’t mean I could go grocery shopping without crying or freaking out. I could keep my meal down, but it didn’t mean I wasn’t taking handfuls of laxatives. I could drink juice again, but it didn’t stop me from climbing on and off the scale to make sure that number was correct. I could have oil again, but it didn’t dismiss my ability to swallow a bag of chips in a sitting as punishment for having emotions.

I hadn’t truly realized how fragile I had gotten.

Just talking about weighing myself makes me frantic.

I never had issues in therapy; I was always very open in conversation and was honest about myself, but I never had to face my eating disorder like this. I shrivel up, my lips locked tight, my throat swelling on itself, tears streaming down my face.

I didn’t think this would be the hardest thing I would ever have to do, but it is. It will be.

I am terrified. I just want recovery.


Eating Disorder Diaries will be a series documenting my recovery with my eating disorder. It won’t be easy to read and may have triggering content. Read at your own discretion.

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What Suicide Has Taught Me

what suicide has taught me, sloth speed recovery, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com, suicidal, bpd, borderline personality disorder

I’ve watched my mother deal through the grief of my grandpa’s and aunt’s suicide; the constant pain she felt and the way she teared up on their birthdays or suicide anniversaries. She hadn’t told me these were suicides; I would’ve been too young to understand.

I remember standing on the main floor, hearing my mom huddle into a pillow over the death of her father and I couldn’t comprehend it. I was only a toddler.

Why is it that, the day after my birthday, Matante killed herself and my mom had to leave with no explanation? I wanted to come with, but she couldn’t bare to tell me.

To this day, she is wounded by these suicides, and it has left a void that is way too visible.

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Suicide was a part of the family genes, but I was lucky enough to have been a child and have no understanding of taking ones own life. Until I was 15 years old, and my brother’s friend jumped in front of a train. I didn’t know him the way my brother did, but I knew him better than anyone else from school did, and he chose to end his life.

I, too, was struggling with suicidal thoughts at the time and connected on a deeper level with him. He did what I didn’t have the guts to do, I thought.

Over the months, I developed PTSD symptoms. I could see him; the terror in his eyes as the train approached and that force dragging him to be hit. I could feel his body flinging in the air and studied the direction his body would go depending on how he chose to jump. My mind was a gruesome minefield and he was the picture etched into my skull.

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His suicide ripped me to shreds; I lost a good portion of my hair and was no longer functional. I declined in school and in my extracurricular activities, and I was more suicidal than I had ever been.

Since then, I’ve learned a lot about suicide, about myself, and how I truly feel about suicide.


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Life Is Worth Living. People say this all the time without true emotion behind it, but I know how true this statement is.

Everyday, I get to see the sunshine, the smiling faces of the people around me and watch myself grow into a beautiful young woman with all the capabilities in the world. I get to watch my brother who was supposed to pass at the age of 16, grow into his twenties, and join my family for some of the most memorable holidays.

I started my writing career, which has been my dream since I was a child, and I couldn’t imagine deceiving myself in that way. Had I gone ahead and ended my life, I wouldn’t be able to see my abilities convey themselves onto pieces of paper. Sure, my work isn’t perfect but it never had to be. It just has to be the best I can do, which is a reward in itself.

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You don’t get rid of pain; you pass it on. It isn’t right for anyone to guilt trip you when you’re considering suicide because, that shouldn’t be the reason you choose to stay. You should choose to stay because you deserve life and you are able to be great.

But, there is truth in the statement “you don’t end the pain, you pass it on.” I’ve witnessed and experienced it. You don’t need to be family to have an impact on someone through a suicide; being an acquaintance is enough to affect someone in abundance.

Your pain is molded and transferred in a tragic way to nearly everyone who has come into contact with you, and it’s distressing to see.

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No; no one would be happier if you died. When we experience suicidal feelings, we often feel unwanted or unloved because someone may be experiencing feelings of frustration or anger towards us, but this does not mean they would be happier if we were gone. Even if they claim they want you to kill yourself, they don’t mean it. In reality, there would be great amounts of guilt on their part and they would be distraught with themselves for ever mistreating you; questioning themselves regarding their involvement.

I’m sure my grandfather thought the same way; maybe he felt he was a burden to his family. But, because of his death, I have a forever mourning mother, and I have been robbed of an important relationship with him. He promised to take me fishing with him; leaving me behind at such a young age to go with my siblings. He was supposed to be present in my life, teach me lessons and watch me grow, but he absented himself.

I am not happier that he died, nor is my mom or any of his relatives. There is no bad he could’ve done to make us feel happier without him.

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It’s a thought that can be changed. Suicidal thoughts stem from trauma or a mental illness; we are so desperate to end the pain and grief that we search for a way out. It is often said that people commit suicide because they want the pain to stop.

When you commit suicide, that pain never gets a chance to stop or evolve into something beautiful. It’s only a thought, a feeling, and it can be changed with persistence and a desire to change. You must convince yourself otherwise and move towards a healthy lifestyle that strays you from suicidal urges.

It is possible to live a happy life, and we want you to see it.

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Nothing will change if we don’t try. Since my brother’s friend passed, my life has gone full circle. It was worse before it got better. I was homeless twice, went to a treatment center, completed high school, was in a bad relationship and got out of it, have gotten my own place and got so far in recovery that I can’t believe how far I’ve come.

Had I gone along and committed suicide, nothing would’ve gotten better. I would’ve never been able to see all the beautiful things I have now. I would’ve left during the worst time of my life, without giving myself a chance to become an adult and understand the world around me.

What a joy life is; and I am damn grateful I never succeeded during my suicide attempts.


If you are suicidal or experiencing crisis, please contact your local crisis line. 

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My Borderline; The Phone Call that Changed my Life

my borderline; the phone call that changed my life, bpd, borderline personality disorder, www.slothspeedrecovery.wordpress.com, sloth speed recovery

Maybe I called him because I was lonely, or maybe it was because of habit. I don’t remember why, but I was angry. Another Borderline episode, I thought (and chose not to fight). Horrendously tearing him apart limb from limb, I was somehow still surprised when he said he wanted to leave. The aggressive beast calmed down and regressed to a sweet and gentle voice with innocent intentions.

I softly begged him to stay.

“Please stay… I love you. I need you. I’m sorry.”

Anything I could say to make him stay; empty apologies and promises I probably couldn’t keep.

We discussed a life together and what that would look like. Pure dedication and devotion to one another in different ways. A possible promise to be together forever. But, how could I trust him when no else could be trusted in the past? I told him I loved him endlessly and that I was willing to sacrifice anything to be with him, which are serious, outrageous statements.

He could tell something was wrong, because he questioned the authenticity of my claims and feelings. He wasn’t sure if they were honest and genuine from a loving standpoint, or blurted to keep him around. I was just saying this to make him stay. To avoid another period of abandonment.

I retracted my statement and crumbled apart hysterically.

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My Borderline is a puppet mastermind with forceful grips around the reins. It lives inside of my head and I am but its puppet. It controls my movement and thoughts, creating a volatile beast I never thought I’d be. It has the control I will never obtain. I can fight as hard as I want, but my Borderline is always there, fighting harder than I ever could. It’s angry, ferocious and lets loose on the closest ones to me. And sometimes, I don’t want to fight it. It feels good to feed it.

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I remembered how I had read that Borderline is caused by the lack of emotional maturity. The emotional coping factors didn’t grow with time or puberty. Trauma and distress caused it to slow down, if not halt. I compared myself to a little girl, who keeps falling and scraping her knees and cries. It’s the same situation every time, but she still cries; it hurts all the same. That knee scrape is agonizing because it is all she knows. I experience angsty periods of instability like a teenager beginning puberty. I can be healthy and respond in adult ways, but the majority of the time, I don’t. I may embody a 18 year old girl on the surface, working a job and finding her independence, but my emotional range is between toddler and pre-teen.

I’ve been on autopilot for so many years to keep me away from trauma and stay in a safe environment. So much so that I haven’t realized all the time that’s passed. I am not awake. Not alive. Not whole. Everything I do is mindless, out of focus and done without knowledge. Things that take extra thought aren’t rationally thought through, and I barely realize when they’re over. Days go by without notice, and I try to escape to a better place I can barely recall. My emotions haven’t gotten to mature because they haven’t been in control. It’s on a reaction basis of a child.

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That instability can be incredibly addictive with an intense high. I can thrive on drama and out of the ordinary situations, and come out satisfied. I may not be entirely happy, but my Borderline is in euphoria. When I cry, my Borderline is ecstatic. When I’m having a fit and my lungs are rapidly  expanding, it’s on the edge of its seat, with roaring cheers. My Borderline lives within me, and it’s my drug.

My Borderline can’t get enough of the chaos, the crying, the tantrums and scars. “More!”, it cries out, despite my body being on the brink of exhaustion. It wants fire, water and earth; it wants the multiplications of forces. There is no gentle, there is only vulnerability. There is no sadness, there is only detrimental depression. There is no anger, there are only countless grudges and violent urges. There is no balance in my Borderline.

Fighting it isn’t satisfying. It never congratulates me, and I need its approval. It owns me, and controls everything about me. It has ruined who I once was, and I don’t know who I am anymore…

Crying out “Don’t leave me!” leaves a burning flame inside my chest. It stings; it hurts. But, for some reason, it holds comfort. I’ve been repeatedly exposed to abandonment that, crying that out feels like a warm blanket. It feels so good to moan that out, despite the burning and the tears streaming from my eyes. My Borderline is watching attentively and making it worse.

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Borderline stole the fundamental things that made me MJ, the most vital aspects of my personality. The real me loves dancing, music and writing. She is vocal, popular and loved. She is innocent, brave and confident. My Borderline has left me untrustworthy, despicable, pathetic and sad, turning to a blade at the first negative thought.

Anytime I’ve turned to suicide, I always thought that, even after death, I’d still be alive somehow. It was clear to me.

I realized that I never wanted to kill MJ… I was trying to kill the Borderline for killing who I was. MJ was perfectly fine, functional and was facing success; a bright future ahead of her. Somehow, she came in contact with Borderline, and maybe they fell in love. Borderline murdered her, and I don’t think I’ll ever find her again. Out for revenge, I tried to kill the Borderline, which happened to live inside of me…

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My Borderline is to me what a murderer is to a victim’s family. It is the ultimate portrayal of the devil; no good can come from it. Though, a murderer is a physical being that can be locked away in a prison; my Borderline is a rampant mental illness that cannot be seen, caged or taken down easily.

I wonder if my Borderline ever thought that it was strong enough to take me down. Maybe the countless suicide attempts was a war between the rest of me against the disorder. Brawling viciously, we tried to kill each other, all in one entity and body. I was the only victim.

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My Borderline is a control freak with skewed perceptions that it tries to implant into me. It swings puppet strings violently and thinks it can control me; a mastermind of instability. It feels unstoppable and invincible. It has no care in the world for repercussions or consequences, because they don’t negatively affect it. I can’t function in the simplest of situations. It’s erratic and frantic, always on the edge of panic attacks. It raises a hand at the ones I love, and swallows bottles of pills when it wants me gone.

I hate it. I hate how I’ve lost years of my life to this autopilot lifestyle. I didn’t realize the countless losses caused by this disorder and the force it had in my life. I knew it was awful, and made me sick, but not to that extent. I didn’t know it had killed me internally.

I cried like a baby, clinging to blankets and teddy bears. A vulnerable presentation of my life left me restless and exhausted, but I knew my disorder much better. I found its breaking point, the target to strike and where it hurts the most. With the raise of a closed fist, I will destroy my Borderline Personality Disorder.

I will recover.

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The Suicide Stalker

I’ll be entirely fine, having a decent day. I’m eating, taking care of hygiene, taking my medications, enjoying the sunshine… But something changes. A bad interaction, anxiety, my trichotillomania kicks in or I just end up too depressed for anything, and then everything changes…

I don’t understand how I can go from okay to just not okay. I’ll be having a grand day, but something has to be said to destroy me. I’m just trying to get by but I can’t shake the demonic thoughts that persuade me and encourage me to destroy myself. I’ll convince myself that I am cured, recovered and okay, but the next moment, I’m contemplating suicide. I just can’t get away from my suicidal thoughts, depression and Borderline.

I’m stuck in an never ending loop. The darkness is all around me and I am drowning, and nobody is there to save me. I feel so alone and lost, and like I could die off and the world would not be concerned.

I am trying with all of my heart and soul to keep my life going but it’s debilitating, and I’m really losing sight of my life and well being. It seems that I’m well on my way to being awful again, unable to function.

My inability to function is destroying opportunities, my relationships and my life and I just don’t know how to get a hold anymore. And when that sinks in, I always contemplate suicide… I am being stalked and followed by my own suicidal desires and my unstable mindset. I am fighting with all of my will power, but I am losing myself…

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Unofficial Support Systems

unofficial support systems so you're on the waiting list. crumbled paper. slothspeedrecovery

A support system is highly required in our recovery, when we are struggling, to help us feel less alone and have people we can be open with. We cannot carry all of our pain constantly without relief, but what if we don’t have the funds to get a therapist or we’re on a waiting list? We must build ourselves a support system in the mean time to keep things under control.

Before establishing ourselves with a system, we must first analyse what our problems are and how we interact with people. Personally, I have borderline personality disorder being my biggest struggle; I am overly emotional and can find struggles in everyday chores and activities, from showering to interacting with people. When I have found someone I trust in the past, I have relied on them intensely, which raised anxieties for both parties and evidently built a distance, not helping with a common BPD problem of abandonment issues. Thus, I am aware that relying on friends and close parties should not be a main part of my support system, and learning to deal with everyday struggles ON MY OWN is a requirement. Common everyday things shouldn’t be as hard to handle as I make them.

Once you’ve hashed this out, knowing what is best for you, though possibly uncomfortable, you can deem which forms of support are best for you.

Following will be different forms of support systems, their descriptions, their pros and cons.

 

Hotlines. Hotlines are a phone number, often toll free, which you can call to talk with a worker who will try to guide and assist you, sometimes offering resources in your area. They are often suggested by various forms of social workers and therapists when they cannot offer constant assistance and believe you need extra support, especially in crisis mode. They will request general information of you, such as your age, (possibly) gender, and current situation. Phone calls can be brief or intensive and the help they offer varies. Hotlines are highly recommended and are a great option, though sometimes, workers do not handle intense emotions properly.

Pros:

  • It is one of the quickest ways to receive assistance, especially in a crisis situation.
  • Majority of experiences are positive, helping the individual feel a better after the phone call.
  • They can provide resources around your area to better assist you for after care.
  • Since they are toll free, you do not require a functioning cell phone and can reach them with a pay phone or even an app when connected to the internet for the call.
  • It is a private experience where they are not allowed to share your information (unless you threaten harm to yourself or someone else)

Cons:

  • Some hotlines have a brief waiting period which can be a few seconds or several minutes, and in a crisis situation, this could be too much waiting time.
  • You will not be able to guarantee who you will be connecting to, and it is improbable you will connect with a worker you’ve talked to in the past. It is not a long term option.
  • If your situation is based on past events, you will be asked to explain it all or they may not understand your situation.
  • Some workers do not deal well with anger.
  • There will always be good and bad experiences.

 

Drop in therapists. Drop in therapists are skilled workers who can offer assistance when needed and are qualified to do so. They can be a temporary support and be someone able to listen to you and be of help.

Pros:

  • No waiting lists.
  • They can be an outsider to your situation, better able to view the situation without an emotional opinion.
  • There are plenty available (in North America).
  • It can be an easy option when in a slight crisis and in need of immediate support.

Cons:

  • They may ask a fee, though can be specified to your situation.
  • The line up may be long prior to you and could be a few hours of waiting time.
  • They will be lacking a profile of your history and may be offering very generalized help which may not be entirely helpful to your personal situation.
  • If you struggle with trust, you may find yourself able to open up.

 

Group therapy. Group therapy settings vary; some could be just chatting and others very structured and based on specific techniques. This form of support could be very beneficial in building friendships and trust relationships with others going through similar things, where you can depend on one another and be each other’s helpers, with assistance of a third party or professional. It would be an ideal environment to have structure and have the capability to share and open up, whilst learning coping mechanisms that could truly help.

Pros:

  • Other’s going through similar things in which you could relate to.
  • Often accompanied with a professional guiding the group and offering helpful coping techniques.
  • Getting out of the house and having your own activity you participate in.

Cons:

  • Could be deemed too public for some individuals who are more reserved and would prefer a private therapist.
  • Waiting lists and could be hard to get transportation to (including parking).

 

Family and friends. Having family and friends to depend on could be lovely; they are comprehensive of a good portion of your history and understand your needs in intricate situations. They may be more capable of deeming what would work and what wouldn’t for you, taking your emotions  and mental health into consideration.

Pros:

  • They are comprehensive to your personal needs.
  • True supportive friends and family members will do their best not to judge and try to be there for you as much as possible.
  • Most family and friends want to be of assistance to you.

Cons:

  • Getting too personal and dependent could jeopardize the relationship.
  • They are not able of providing professional advice.
  • Privacy is not guaranteed.

 

7 Cups of Tea. 7 Cups of Tea is a website where you can connect with “listeners” who are trained with a listener program to speak with you and offer assistance. They can be rated and will have a profile which you can view for more information on their capabilities to help you specifically. Though the traditional form of help on the website, you also have access to group chats, quizzes and courses you can take, all in pursuit of higher rankings and goals.

Pros:

  • Forms of a community.
  • Interactive with goals to achieve.
  • Listeners are everyday people with a specific training to be listeners on the website.
  • You can connect with a listener and reconnect with them at a later date if they were of help.
  • There are constant updates as they try to better the site, often requesting for your input.

Cons:

  • Some listeners are not as qualified or understanding of how to communicate in crisis situations.
  • Waiting time can go from a few minutes to several dozens, depending on the volume of listeners online.
  • I found it hard to get involved with the amount of available things to do and disinterest in tutorials.

 

Online Communities. Online communities can be formed from anywhere, be that Tumblr, Instagram, blogs and forums. People around the world are offering assistance to one another, especially in respects to mental health and how to cope with specific disorders and conditions.

Pros:

  • Relatable people to talk with.
  • Friendships easily form from these types of communities.
  • Trigger points in many of these communities (such as the depression and self harm side of tumblr)

Cons:

  • Other people may also be looking for support and can hinder on your recovery.
  • Though friendships and support systems can be made, getting personal with specific individuals is highly unrecommended. People have their own things going on and drama can arise, causing more stress.

 

Journal. A journal can be your own escape where you can share your thoughts and feelings without outside judgment or opinions. You can write freely about any topic you want, it’s your own free space and it’s inexpensive.

Pros:

  • Judgement free zone.
  • Innexpensive.
  • Customizable.

Cons:

  • No outside opinion; no third party assistance.
  • No thought guidance or suggestions.

 

Yourself. This one won’t have separate pros and cons, but will be contained in a paragraph. Depending on yourself can be freeing and teach you to cope with life in new ways. It will be trial and error and times will be tough, but you will know that you have your own back and that, whatever happens, you will be able to carry your weight. As time goes on, you will experience your true potential and become understanding that you are capable and, things that were harder before, have become much easier. You will be in charge of your recovery, looking for resources and being your own therapist; ultimately, you are the person who is most understanding of yourself. You know your limits and will become aware of your pace. You will never leave yourself.

 

It is best implemented to have several methods you use; having options in various situations. Things will require trial and error; learning to understand what will work for you and what just worsens your condition. But, eventually, you will have a method that works specifically for you, and hopefully, will hep until you are contacted or are ready to contact a long term therapist.