Month: June 2016

My Anorexia Recovery Today-Fighting the Deprivation Demons

It is Tuesday June  28, 2016 and I am struggling in the hot and humid weather with my anorexia recovery. I have yet to make my goal weight and the last two weeks I  have been on a major decline.

I think it is safe to say that a lot of people eat less in the summer with the heat. No excuses for sure but my ED therapist Pam who I still see weekly, thinks it is time to return to seeing the entire team weekly again. Its a bummer of a news flash. I was down to just my primary care and Pam. I had let go of my other therapist and Amber my nutritionist. As many of you know I am just now writing my story, The Illness of My Discontent-My Imperfect Storm in pieces here on my blog. I am as far as seeing Pam. Today I write about the fall out of the appointment and more unexpected health issues.

I have this pretty much under control except for when I have a strong gain in weight that seems too quick for me.  Then there is the issue of my inability to maintain weight and to gain weight to my goal of 110 pounds. Yeah I still am working on it. However with Radical Will I have not relapsed to the point of needing hospitalization for weight restoration. I think and feel that is good, and was one of my major points of Radical Will. I didn’t want to be a lifer or be readmitted for another feeding tube ever.

My mind has its demons. We all have demons. Mine in relationship to my anorexia are very busy at the moment. Thoughts of deprivation haunt me as a recourse for my misplaced agitation. I think often about restricting. I wonder and ponder could I ever be the perfect restrictor  I once was? I realize these are far from recovery on one hand but closer in another way to recovery. I am so far removed from the restricting that I have to now ponder it as a possibility.

I honestly tell you My Imperfect Storm last time was done with world class restriction. I did not eat, and kept myself alive. Barely yes, very ugly; truly. I am lost at the moment the attention I did not ever want in relationship to my disease has dissipated. Everyone just tells me I need to eat but everyone has relaxed, except me. I once in a blue moon go upstairs and look at the tiny clothes I could never get into again.at this moment. I think do I go for it one more time? The thrill and the ecstasy were such an adrenaline boost it was crazy. I have one pair of my smallest jeans, with perfect holes in them.  If I were to regress and head south those are the pants that would be my aspiration.

Probably not the best things to have in my house. I have yet to part with any of my  smaller clothes. The difference between when I was on ice but a tich better is a 17 pound weight difference than right now. I just realized it was 17 pounds and not 10 like I have thought. So in a year of Radical Will I have gained 27 pounds. No matter what anyone says about my mind still being not healthy I have achieved a lot in the weight gain department even if my mind has sick thoughts. I don’t act upon them at least I haven’t and it has been a year and a half since I first saw my ED therapist Pam.

I would ultimately like to loose that 17 pounds. I believe if I ate correctly and optimized my nutritional intake with the food I did eat I could be healthy. My goal weight is 110-112 at 68 inches tall. Before I got sick I was a slim and slender muscle machine at 130 pounds.

My biggest point I am trying to make is my body at least. adjusts to less over time and I am able to maintain better health at a weight which once made my homeostasis all off balance.

Today I am trying with my smoothie. It is just me at home with my dog Julia Bleu. We are on our own. Stephanie gets here by 6 pm everyday and we are finally a couple. Well sort of. We still are completely platonic but have plans to go away and change that. We are both so excited.

So how do I process my demons over deprivation? I am not sure what the answer is or if there is an answer. I know I am on a very slippery slope, I could post tomorrow and be in fact restricting. I think and feel confident that I can keep myself out of danger and out of the hospital. It is so energizing to think about the restriction routine and what it looks like and feels like to me.

Our lives are a cluster of continuous moments. How will I string together my moments today? I have to call the rest of my Radical Will team back and get appointments set up again. I am so in over my head at this moment, the demons are working me hard. I have had part of my smoothie today and will finish this morning. I think this fourth of July weekend is going to prove to be a turning point one way or the other.

Right now I am going to get working on the Clinton Campaign. Need to stay out of my head, and thinking getting out on this rainy day, might be in my best interest preservation wise. I send you all healthy wises, and will write the next post of my story today. I will do my best to be strong and mindful of how far I have come. The work has been excruciating at times, but I am happy I am still only pondering unhealthy thoughts. I am not acting on them thanks be to God.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

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Real Stay at Walden part 5

When I got the idea in my head, sitting in my room with this feeding tube running through my nose, I started thinking about my recovery. I thought I would make a plan to get a recovery plan through which I would get better.

I thought how I needed lots of different foods to eat, lots of choices for starters. Walden gave us no choices, it was either veggie or meat that is it.  I have to get a hold of the menu, I need to get a copy to my nutritionist.  I was eating but it wasn’t even making a dent. I am going to make these people squirm when I am done, collecting my information.

I thought about my Radical Will for anorexia and how I was going to go about it.  I knew I needed a group to buy into my idea, perhaps my doctors back home….Without buy in and my own voice, Radical Will was just destined for  the wayside. I had opted to do my best, and I tried to do the very best I could do, given the very limited  situation I have been given.  I thought about my angry thoughts, towards myself and my ravaged body.  I thought about my mean minded thoughts, which are setting me a part from all the others.

I refrained from getting back in the bathroom, I got myself a ski cap, and started by covering my head up.  I will not let my body be seen, it is train-wrecked with the saggy skin. What happened to me in the past two years, I wanted to be accountable for everything I was now feeling and experiencing?

“Corey?” “Yes, I am in my room.  Come on in Jane.” “Can we go down to my office for a minute, or we can meet in here if you would rather?”  “Oh can we meet in here?” “Sure Corey I need to get the rest of the team.”

I wondered what they wanted, or what new plan they had come up with.  My mind was racing and my heart was pounding, ..I couldn’t take it much more. I needed to get my shit together, and I needed to work real hard,  to formulate my thoughts about the therapeutic alliance, and how it wasn’t working at Walden. I also needed to do up an out-patient plan for myself, that would get me onto the path to healthy, before it was too late, and I would be just stuck here.  I nervously thought about bringing up Christmas, it was Thursday, and I had to be heading home by next Wednesday.  I had really changed myself around, from the last visit.  I hope they took that into account, and shared it with my family. I was choking the food back, despite how vile it tasted.  It made everyone so happy when I played by the rules.

“Corey, where are all here, can we just come in and sit on a bed?” “Sure move whatever stuff you need to move, I apologize fro being a pretty big slob. I never unpack no matter where I go.  “Corey, we need to discuss your lack of progress. I know you have been very complaint I can see.  Eating almost all of your meals, but Corey you have gained less than 3 pounds.  The average gain on a tube is 3-4 pounds a week, and without the tube its like from 2-3 pounds of weight gain a week.”

“Jane I have been very complaint, and I need to bring up my own pressing things. First, I have to go home by next Wednesday, I can not miss Christmas with Bella.”  “Corey that is why we are here, as we knew that would be a big one for you. We talked to your primacy care, and they are ready to receive you as soon as you get back to New Hampshire”  “Thank you Jane, and all of you. I wanted to talk about some thoughts I had on the therapeutic alliance.”  “Corey I would love to talk, but it can’t be now, could we schedule a phone conversation?” “Sure we can do that, I have some new ideas about treating people in recovery.” “Great we will get that phone call scheduled, and Merry Christmas to you.”

They all left as quickly as they arrived, and I got a feeling a really strong feeling, that they didn’t give a fuck about me. I would be a thorn in their side, and make them deal with me.

-Corey

Born THIS WAY-2016

Walden Real Stay part 4

I went through the motions of Walden, and did my best to eat every meal.  I knew this wasn’t  curing a thing, because when I got  home, I would be right back my old comforting routine.  All I was doing was choking food down. Walden’s way or answer to dealing with the deep seeded causes of anorexia.  I thought some more about my stay there, and I had been there three long weeks, and if I had gained any weight, it simply wasn’t close enough and this place was failing me this time.  We had only one daily group session, and that was the most helpful of all the groups.

We had so much to talk about, I bet we could have doubled our allotted time, and still not heard everyone speak.  It was a tragic situation, that Walden didn’t offer psychiatrists to all in patients on the floor. Everyone arrives anorexia from so many possibilities.  There is no one thing fits all, and Walden’s  eating plan was completely fucked.  They didn’t have a real kitchen when they were in fact an eating disorders hospital. The vendor of the food, was honestly not okay.  The food they served was usually uneatable, and the portions varied in size.  So no two people never got the same amount, and it appeared that the server gave you more if you were bigger. I made some better friends on this trip to Walden, the younger tween group was nearly gone.  it was nice to talk to real people, people like me who were worried about their kids, and people stressed out about jobs and school, it was nice to share that all in common. Coming up on week three, I realized I wasn’t making progress, although I was eating my food, and being almost 100% complaint.  I thought and I pondered what the hell would help me, and getting out of Walden was definitely part of the solution.

One night after dinner I was on my bed writing in my beloved journal.  I came across that quote I wrote down: “One day I decided I didn’t want to feel this way anymore.  So just like that I changed.”   This quote had been weighing heavy on my head since I came across it.  I started to wonder if there was a way, to do away with most of this coddling and bullshit that took place here at Walden.  Could there be a radical therapeutic alliance, that cut right down to the chase?  Putting on weight is just the start of figuring out how your not going to slip back. I knew for me, the in-patient setting was hurting me in more ways than one. I was taken away from my support team, and thrust into an institution whose major goal was just to stick weight on you, and never get the roots of your problems.  I needed to figure out why I got high when I was at home at losing weight.  That was never going to happen at Walden, as nobody ever spoke to me directly, about my history and story of anorexia and me.

I went to bed that night, feeling pretty blue.  Christmas was like a week away, and once again I would gone home for that, regardless of what Walden had to say….I hadn’t gained any weight, yet was much more stable than before.  Falling asleep, it just came to me, that quote I had been wrestling with, was a concept in anorexia, I deemed “Radical Will”  It meant just what it said, radical will was a will you pushed through even though your feelings weren’t there, you did it in spite of itself.  Wow, I flipped my bedroom light on, and wrote as quickly I could, in my journal and my concept of anorexic Radical Will.  Forget the long patient stays, and replace them psychiatrists for starters.  I couldn’t write anymore, the rest would have to wait until later, when I could journal a lot more, about this subject and how it would pertain to me, and  getting home for Christmas.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

 

Walden Real Stay part 3

I laid on my bed half comatose, wondering about my life….did I even have a future? Was it going to be in and out of places like Walden, where you might get stable?  However you will never get well, at a place like Walden.  For starters, you don’t even have your own counselor or psychiatrist. This is strange, and it begs to ask what is Walden basing all their protocols on?

Feeding tubes for instance are pretty much a thing of the past, not used at the elite eating disorders recovery centers.  Feeding tubes are just to augment weight restoration, and the details are sketchy as to whether they really do work. I have no idea how places like Walden continue to get paid, for patients who have been there 11 to 15 times before. Efficacious  is seldom used when speaking about treating eating disorders. It is a fact, the older your onset, the more treatment refractory you will be and the statistics of mortality rise with onset of age.

I laid on my bed, and thought what am I getting here, besides being baby-sat? I am strictly a restrictor so I needn’t be watched for the bathrooms, I just need to ensure I eat three healthy meals, or 6 little ones, which works better for me.  I was over come with this new self-loathing, I had never had these issues before. I was gross and disgusting, I covered my body and head in shame.  I thought about it, I hadn’t taken a selfie in months, and nor would I be anytime soon.  I jumped out of bed, and looked in the mirror, although they were made so we could hardly see ourselves. I was stricken with panic, what  happened to my looks, I used to be so young looking?  I started crying, and got so upset, I tossed my trash can against the wall. I have never acted out with any physicality, so this was all new, and I scared myself quite good.  Of course the staff come on waddling by, honestly you would think that working at an eating disorders hospital the staff would be on the healthier side.  Not for anything, I am not passing judgment, but I have such a phobia with being fat and out of shape, and these folks are very triggering…….So they wanted to know, what had happened.  I said, “I was moving my trash can and I dropped it hard on the floor. “I apologize, for the noise I made. I will make sure it wont happen again.”

They seemed skeptical but couldn’t do anything. I was finally left alone.  I went back into the mirror, my skin was saggy, I had lines I never had before on my face. I cried again, and this time I went and laid down on my bed, facing the wall with my back to the door. I thought how I actually starved myself, and actually ended up euphoric! I wondered incredulously how I could have gotten so mentally twisted up in my head.  Why hadn’t anybody told me how sick I really was?  I am such a kind and compassionate person, why hadn’t anybody sat me down and set me straight?  I am so far gone, and I question my mind, how could I , Corey Britton, ever get to this point?  I realized I needed to do something different, or else I would wind up just like all the other patients who come through here again and again and never sadly get better.

I decided to get out of my head, and walked down with my feeding tube pole, to the community room. There I sat with a new group of people.  I was quite chatty and asked lots of questions, all the 6 patients had been there many times before. I got to thinking there has to be a way, to break out of the insidious illness. It had a death grip on me, but I knew that Walden didn’t hold the magical key. I saw this girl’s journal, and on the cover it read, “I decided I didn’t want to feel like this anymore.  So one day I just stopped, just like that.”  I hurriedly wrote those words down in my very own journal. This was something I had to think about. This long term in patient paradigm was not the way to treat anorexics or bulimics.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Walden Real Stay part 2

I loathed myself in those minutes that turned to hours then to days, and finally weeks.  I couldn’t bare to look at the ugly creature I had become. I was not able to recognize myself from my enemy in the mirror.. My heart hurt, I was scared of really dying, and all this was pent up inside, just boiling venom in my veins.  How did this happen? I couldn’t remember getting to this point. My life, myself, everything I cared and loved had been left to be uncared for by me. My twisted mind filled with control, but not an ounce of gratitude or respect for the beautiful body and face I once had; that was me, Corey.

I got to the waiting room and just slumped in a chair. I waiting for whomever to come just drag me to the unit. I knew I was going to get the feeding tube right away, and that would be miserable. However I felt all the pain I felt emotionally and  physically, as well as all the pain to come was definitely due to come my way. I sat there for probably twenty minutes and finally a nurse came out to help me. I didn’t need to get weighed in, or registered, they were waiting for me upstairs.  We made our winding way through the maze of the building up to the unit.  “Welcome to Walden” it read on the door.  The nurse pushed open the door, and because I was so weak. I barely made it in by the close of the door, the nurse told me to step it up, and I stepped it up to the nurse’s station.  Jane the medical director, was  waiting right there.

“How are you, Corey?” Jane smiled and asked.  “Oh I have been better.”  “Ok we got your room already, so lets go drop your bags off, and then have a chat in my office.” We made our way to my bedroom and I just dropped all my things on the floor. I was too tired for anything more.  “Ok,” said Jane “Let’s head down to my office for a couple of minutes before we get the ball rolling.”  “Get the ball rolling what do you mean, I am here isn’t that enough?” I annoyingly replied.

“Come on in, Corey, and take a seat wherever you want.  Now we are so happy to have you back, with your commitment to follow compliance.  We are getting a feeding tube  placed in just a minute. However there have been a couple changes. Your last labs here, showed your blood sugar very low, when we had your blood taken very early in the morning. “Is that alright? I interrupted. “Well no, your level was dangerously low, and because you have such a high metabolism, the food and all that you get from the feeding tube, is not adequate.  We are going to get you up everyday like we normally do, for blood pressure and weight ins, then you are going to eat your first breakfast.” I said with a bit of panic, “Eat my first breakfast by myself and without anybody else there?” “Yes, your body can’t wait until 8 am to eat the breakfast with everyone else.  So you get to pick out now what you want for breakfast. Use this sheet to guide your choices.  It will be ready every morning for you in the community room.”

I took a look at the sheet, and looked where I had to pick from certain categories.  I picked oatmeal, with maple syrup, and apple  juice for my special meal.  “I won’t have to eat as much as at regular breakfast, right?”  ‘No Corey you still have to eat your regular sheet of food requirements.  These are just being added.” “So let me get this straight, you just got me back, and you are strapping me with more food?’ I continued as I  was pissed, “That is one of the problems with this facility, the punitive nature of the health care treatment.  I don’t need to tell you, you are not efficacious.  I have talked to people who have been here like twenty times.  This doesn’t work, it puts a Band-Aid on a large, gapping cut. I will let you know, I will be complaint, but I am not a fool, these dynamics they need to change. There is no therapeutic alliance between the medical team and the patient.”

Jane looked at me with a different look, “Corey so when did you become aware of a therapeutic alliance between the medical team and the patient.” “I know about it, and since I am getting treating for anorexia, I have done my homework.” “I caution you to be careful, with what you have read in the books. We are a world class institution, and have a very satisfactory reputation.”  “Listen Jane, the facts are the facts, the efficacy rates are less then 10 percent.  I promise you I am going to get through this, but you will not see me ever again. I  am not a lifer like the rest of them.”  “Ok Corey lets get your feeding tube in place.”

We left Jane’s office, and I followed two nurse’s to a procedure room.  I was so tired and exhausted, I couldn’t even worry about the feeding tube or anything else.  I just needed to go lay down. “Ok Corey, lay yourself back down…….”  Before I knew it I was again humiliated, but this time I wasn’t going to fight it.  There weren’t any other options. Unless I travelled far away, from my house to the Midwest, and I didn’t want to do that.  I made my way to my bedroom. Some of the patients were still the same, it wasn’t very comforting to me in the least.  I flopped on my bed, and hurt myself, the mattress was like an inch thick. I got out my journal and thought what to write. The tears welled up, and ended  in a constant stream.  I didn’t know if this was the beginning of my new life, or my life as I forever would know it now.  I cried, my pain was so deep, it took my breath away.  I longed to be home with my family and friends. I feared the worst; I had entered a pact, of the never ending treatment stays at Walden.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016

Walden REAL STAY part 1

Well I left Walden abruptly the first time the end of November, so I would get to be home for Thanksgiving.  My family and my primary care, laid out strict guidelines or I was going back, this time to stay.  I think I ended out for six days.  I went back the first few days of December, 2014.  When I arrived in admitting, I was really sick. My weight was almost at the lowest it would get.  I had no energy or smile on my face. Everything took all of my effort to just complete the simplest of tasks.  I had grown scared of my failing body.  Multiple trips to the Emergency Room for electrolyte imbalances, and dehydration had happened..  It was no fun, and long gone were the memories when all this seemed worth it, I had lost my control to this demon illness of mine.  I had once had seeming control over everything. Not anymore, I had no control over anything, it was like my best friend had turned against me.

I had everything in the palm of my hand and now as I waiting to enter Walden for a real stay. My life backed up on me, I felt a crushing feeling like nothing before:  It was HATE. Hate for myself and hate for what I did to myself……to be continued tomorrow

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY -2016

My Closet-My Recovery?

I have done quite a bit of writing on my former battle with anorexia, and touched on my recovery somewhat, but now it is time to talk about my closet.  For starters, I spend a great deal of time in my closet, covered by the half-truths of my recovery, and my still romantic, nostalgic relationship with getting sick at the beginning.

It is now exactly two years since I got sick, with summer semester starting tomorrow. Yes I have gained weight, enough where people aren’t worried I am going to have a heart attack, but fully knowing inside I am not progressing the way that I should or could. Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder before? They are quite common, and come in all makes and models. At Walden, the eating disorders hospital, I was strictly an anorexic: I just didn’t eat and restricted without any purging. There are lots of other variations, and I have been running into quite a few people who have the opposite of anorexia; they are over eaters or binge eaters.  When it is not your disease it is fascinating, but I will leave that alone.  If you are a person who suffers from body image, or any food issues, you need to know you are not alone.

I live in my closet because I can’t face the brutal truth that I, Corey, am not 100% better, and everyday this goes on, the statistics say I am less likely to recover. I am dead set on not being a statistic but I am not 100% committed to my recovery. I do not lie or tell falsehoods, actually quite the opposite. I tell the doctors when I go in for an appointment that I want to skip the weigh in. I know it seems inane but everything is relative. Compared to how sick I was, I am much better, but along ways from well. So the medical staff see me, I look a lot better, and I tell them that the scale would be triggering for me.  They say okay, and we move along.  The last time, just last week, I didn’t want to get on the scale because there was like a 7 pound loss between my visits, which would have set off the red flags.

I tell my family and friends when they ask about my eating, whether I have or haven’t been doing a good job. I don’t lie, and obviously it is much better to tell them I have been eating well, but I will not fib to my family and friends.  This is just a really triggering time, with my two year anniversary, and summer school starting tomorrow.  I would be lying if I didn’t admit in my closet is a desire to live those magical months again, when I wasn’t quite so sick.  The problem is now I don’t weigh enough to lose the weight, that would normally come off.  I haven’t blogged about my second stay in Walden, but I promised myself and the people there, I was not a lifer, and I wouldn’t be back.  I am steadfast on keeping my words.

So if you decided to join me in my closet, you would see things that weren’t quite right to be on recovery.  I have pictures of very skinny models, both male and female that I love to look at. Some people can get away with skinny, I am not one of them I am all skin and bones, and my frailty  bothers me to no end.  Having been a Division 1 full-scholarship athlete, it is hard for me now that I don’t have much strength.  You would also find a full-length mirror in my closet where I do my “body checks.”  I check out each part of my body, I have it just about memorized.. I look to see if I am gaining too much weight or need to think about hitting the gym.  The gym membership is another piece in my closet, nobody knows that I got it.  It would not go over well with my friends or my family. I used to use excessive exercising to augment my anorexia.  I haven’t gone yet so I haven’t had to fib, I would probably say it was for my knee….a little mistruth. I still live in a closet, and besides the things in there, like my anorexic food, there are many mixed emotions shelved all over the place.  They don’t coincide with a healthy recovery, so I have  kept them quiet and only deal with them in my closet.

Sometimes I fear, my closet will be found out.  For all I know my friends and family are already on it. It wouldn’t be the first time they didn’t say a word.  I have deep guilt about my closet that I can’t escape. Too many demons are pulling on me. I realize this is the time to seek more help, with school starting, and my closet over-flowing, I need some intervention. I can’t tell you how excited I am to start classes tomorrow morning.  I will get up at the maniac’s hour, get my coffee drink and pop an Adderall.  I already have the book for the class, so between blogging and studying for class, I will be in heaven I am sure.  I know this is not healthy, and my mind is still twisted by this disease.

I guess on this Sunday, I need to dig deep, and at least tell my girlfriend, Stephanie what is going on.  I can’t hurt her, not one little bit, or all my family and friends that have seen me through this insidious disease.  I will go tell Stephanie, I have to show her my closet.  She will be sad, but more so  glad that I shared with her.  There is no way I can battle this myself, and tomorrow school starts its not much time to fix anything. Hopefully being honest is the most important part.

-Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2016