Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy – The Body Issue

I know I usually do this on Friday, but I was a little, busy, yesterday ß—- Secret.

I like to think of my session on Thursday as I Hate Everything but I’ll do it anyways. And by everything, I really just mean my body.  I’ve been bumping up my workouts like mad, started a food journal again to track everything I’m taking in, and I’m still not seeing the results I want to see as fast as I want to see them. But let’s face it, if it didn’t happen yesterday it’s not going to be fast enough for me.

I’m freaking out about putting on weight because I’m trying to kick a really bad habit. Maybe habit isn’t really the word so much as addiction. I’ve been addicted to diet pills for longer than I care to remember. I hate them, I need them. I stopped taking them. They’re a major crutch for me. I don’t overdose on them, but I take the max possible. Every day. The same times every day. If I don’t, or I miss a dose, the panic starts. The thought of gaining weight is terrifying to me. The thought of taking these pills for the rest of my life disgusts me.

I hate talking about this stuff in real life. Guys don’t like to hear you obsess about your weight or pick apart your flaws, I don’t like to show that things like this bother me. When you see me in person I’m confident and I have a very “I am the way I am, if you don’t like it, get the hell out of my way” attitude. Which isn’t all an act. I don’t care what other people think of me (unless I’m very emotionally attached), I care what I, me, think of me. And I’m not happy.

Therapist wondered what triggered this because I don’t usually harp on about it. I talk about my bulimia often enough, but I don’t usually tear myself apart to her out loud. She actually thought that I didn’t have these thoughts very often. ::blinks:: I OBSESS about my body.  
I’m sick of it.

My health is really important to me. I am worried about the affect these things will have on my healt. I just got so disheartened when Psychiatrist put me on the drugs that made me gain weight. I won’t even see him anymore. I see his PA, and I like her a lot better. I worked so hard to get my body to a place where I was truly comfortable with myself and in ONE MONTH he destroyed that for me. I’ve been struggling ever since. 

And what’s ridiculous, is no one else sees it. Everyone tells me that I have a killer body, but it’s not what I want. Even when I got my tattoo, it took a lot for me to post the pics of my body, b/c to me, I am over weight in those.

Homework: Pull out my pencils, pens, and/or paint, and draw how I perceive my body to be.

I have a completely distorted view of myself and I’m not sure how to fix this. Therapist absolutely can not relate to this at all though. She’s the kind of person that’s always had to work to GAIN weight. Boo hoo. So she wants to get a better idea of the difference between what actually is and what I see in myself. 
Regardless of all this body image weight phobia I’m doing something that I need to do for me. I kicking this addiction.  It’s been about 3 weeks already. I think about it every day. Not opening up that bottle is still really difficult, but I’m doing it.

And despite all these bad thoughts, and these overwhelming feelings that I should be hiding myself away so no one can look at me, I’m still going out. I’m still working to put myself out there. Hell, I’m still dating! In fact I had a date with Tech Boy right after my session.

So, we haven’t had sex yet (not to be confused with not doing a lot of other stuff though haha). This actually freaks me out. He hasn’t pressured me for it at all. I don’t know if it’s because his ankle is still broken or what.  It makes me paranoid though. Even though he’s like super cuddly, eye contact, really into everything I say… wtf? I have to say, he is a Borderline’s dream to sleep with. Let me tell you how much I love waking up next to someone like him. If I even try rolling away from him he pulls me back and wraps his arms around me. And then says he could stay like that all day. So I guess all in all things are going relatively well there.

I’m still struggling with how much I can trust him with. I have such a hard time trusting anyone, especially men. I know there are some decent ones out there, they just haven’t been very prominent in my life. Sorry guys. I’m still struggling with how much I should invest too because I don’t know how right we are for each other. Then again, sometimes I think I could fall in love with anyone.

Alright I’m a little drugged up at the moment, so I honestly can’t think straight. I have no focus. Spin spin spin.

I think I’ll go make Honey Lavender Biscotti and Buttermilk waffles for Roommate.

I love food. I hate food. There is no in between. 

Lucid Analysis – Trials in Therapy

I can’t believe it’s been a month already. I’m starting to track them by my visits to Psychiatrist. Yeesh. Yesterday I saw Psychiatrist (really Psychiatrists PA). I like her a lot better than the actual resident Psych. I realized that I absolutely do not trust him because of the first med he had me on that made me gain weight. I know this is not entirely rational. He was more concerned with stopping my suicidal thoughts and cutting so he needed to put me on something that worked immediately, unfortunately that didn’t take into account my other issues. Which is my main problem with psychiatry. They don’t really spend enough time with you. They aren’t fully aware of your issues and your personalities because primarily they are drug pushers. This is why I believe therapy is so important. Therapy is where the real work on your core gets done. Ramble ramble. So I’m continuing on my 50mg of Pristiq for another month and we’ll see how it goes. Honestly, so far. I’ve had no issues with it at all. I’ve had a few days of mild depression, but my mood has definitely been better in general. Not swinging all over the place. Then again, I’ve also been secluding myself in my world of books and very minimum socializing which may also contribute to that.

I just want to be perfect

This was a pretty heavy day in therapy. I’m going to try to remember everything we discussed but it was a pretty intense session.
My body image is a disaster. I don’t even want to go out in public or wear normal clothes because I’d rather hide myself away. Therapist says I’m so incredibly hard on myself, she wishes I could take it easy on myself. I should just go out there and say, ‘anyone worth anything will love me the way that I am’. The problem is, I don’t love me the way that I am, so how can anyone else? Yeah, this is something I have to work on.
I’ve only had one bulimic episode in the last two weeks though. Last Saturday I went to Maker Faire with Friend and the wife. We did this last year too. Afterwards we went back to their place. I made cookies, we watched movies and hung out, I went home around 9 and had an all out binge. I didn’t plan on it, it just sort of happened. In working through it, the whole day was probably very triggering for me. Last year at this time Friend and I were very deeply involved. Physically and emotionally. When we were at the Faire with the wife and friends it was fun and exciting because just being near him was exciting and intense. We had this chemistry and bond that was intense and I was emotionally attached in a way that I finally felt like I had someone who truly understood and accepted me and appreciated me for all that I was. He was my best friend and an intimate partner. There was a completeness to how I felt with him and a trust that he shared the experience with me of doing something in. Knowing that part of us was together there. Well, all that is gone now. This year I was kind of bored, I wandered off alone. I felt like a passenger. It’s normal that I would compare the two experiences. The differences between them. But I’m not processing them in a healthy way. I’m shutting down and blocking out actually experiencing the emotions that should be bubbling to the surface. It would be normal to remember that time and feel sad, or hurt, or lonely. It would be normal to feel a welling of emotion, to cry, and miss what once was and isn’t there anymore. But I’m not. Instead of feeling the range of emotions that come with grieving a loss of happiness, I’m detaching from my emotions and suppressing them. Instead of dealing with them directly, they’re being expressed by bingeing and purging. I feel an aching emptiness that I’m trying to fill with the only thing I have, food. Food is a comfort, it’s nourishment. I’m lacking true emotional nourishment so I’m reaching for what I do have to fill the void and the empty time. It’s not what I really need though. And then of course, I feel guilty because I’ve eaten so much. Guilty that I lost control over my ability to control my impulses, disappointed and ashamed that I couldn’t control myself, and I have to get rid of it. Maddening. But it makes sense. I’m still grieving the loss of something that made me feel loved and accepted, but I’m not actually processing it. Therapist is concerned that I’m not dealing with my feelings towards Friend. Especially as I still talk to him everyday and hang out with him frequently. When we were first developing our friendship and later involved, I felt an intimate core emotional attachment to him in a way that made me feel like I was actually experiencing the world alongside someone. Now when I see him, he’s like a very familiar stranger who I’m experiencing the world next to, but not with. Does that make sense? I recognize it, I remember the history, but the feeling is like “who is this person and how does he know so much about me? Do I really know him? Does he really know me?” It’s very disconnected. Therapist wants me to try dealing with my feelings more directly.
Homework: She wants me to write him a letter. Not one to actually give him, but write it as if I were writing it to him. In it, I should express all the feelings, hopes, wishes and regrets that I had, have, and felt and feel towards him. I expect it will be rather painful, but she said I can take it slow and do a little bit at a time.
It just kills me. The wife always appears so put upon to show any kind of affection or make an effort to do anything, let alone anything warm and loving. I can’t imagine being so cold and reserved towards someone that I’m supposed to be in love with and married to. It’s actually painful to know what he wants and see him deprived of it, knowing that I am naturally the kind of person that could willingly give the sort of thing he always said he wanted. Especially when the wife has (even recently) said that she should probably care about what he feels but traditionally she only really thinks about herself. But hey, I don’t get to choose who anyone falls in love with, I don’t get to decide what’s best for anyone. Except me. If he wants reserved and unaffectionate, so be it, that’s not the kind of person I am so I guess he wouldn’t have really wanted someone like me anyways. Not nearly so painful as it used to be.
And that’s starting to touch on my progress. I’m letting go. I don’t need to talk to him. I don’t need to be near him. I don’t need him. In fact, I’m starting to want to get out and meet new people. I want to expand my circle of friends because how am I going to meet someone else, if I only ever see him?
Oh! I broke up with Lady Friend. Whoops. I sort of forgot to mention that a while ago. There was just no chemistry between us at all. Well, for me. I felt bad because she really liked me, but trying to hold a conversation with her was like a stop motion film. Choppy and strung together. I’m not an overly chatty person (not that you would know that from my ridiculous long rambling blogs), but she was even less chatty/social than me. There was no real balance, no real spark. I like more outgoing, aggressive people, she was incredibly passive. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a beautiful, sweet, wonderful woman, but there was just nothing there. She didn’t drive me crazy, and I think that’s part of the problem.  
I have hope though. From all of this Therapist thinks that it wasn’t all bad. Friend and I were highly, highly compatible. That wasn’t made up. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that I’ve had such a natural, easy connection with. While he might not be the one for me, at least I know that a connection like that can exist. I’m one step closer to knowing what it is that I want. Never again will I settle for another Boring-Ex.  I also know that I deserve someone who wants to be with me. Not someone that is willing to let go of something so intense without thinking about how it would affect me, without talking about it with me so that I could understand what was happening. Dick. He doesn’t deserve me. Therapist says that as long as I have hope, than she doesn’t really need to worry about me. I’ll get there. I’m slowly getting to a place where I’m actually ready to move forward and try something new. I’m still grieving. Greif doesn’t just go away overnight. I need to actively work through it though, not dissociate from it.
Therapist also doesn’t think my self-imposed seclusion is a bad thing either. All summer (especially all August) I was incredibly stressed out about vacations, doing everything for other people, that I finally just needed a break. And that’s ok. I’ve been reading a lot. And I mean, A LOT. It’s a complete and utter escape for me. My imagination is so vivid that reading a book is like watching a movie from an omniscient point of view. I’m totally immersed, totally out of my head, out of the world, away from my problems. I know it’s partially to avoid dealing with life but on the other hand, I’m allowed to take a break and take time for myself too. I shouldn’t feel guilty about this.
Homework: Following up from last week though, she did give me an additional homework assignment. It’s a completing sentences exercise. This specific set was designed more for the younger clientele, but trying to decipher and deal with emotions is universally human so she thinks it would be good to sit down and really work through. She wants me to stay in the present, mostly with respect to Friend and Roommate as they’re my immediate sphere of emotional attachment.
Work on the current stuff now. The past will always be in the past and there will always be time to deal with that later. There’s no time like the present to deal with right now though.

Pen to Paper…

Or ink to flesh, as the case may be.
Body modification. I appreciate all forms of it. It may not all be to my taste, but I understand the need for the expression.

I have 19-20 piercings (I have an industrial that is technically 2 pierce points but one bar).

3 tattoos (2 of which are very large).

And multitudes (read: an excess) of scars.  Especially towards my older years I’ve developed patterns to my cutting. Symmetry and numbers in groupings. I find my scars beautiful. I never hide them. A part of me and where I’ve been. The cause behind my need to do this may be ugly, but the effect conveyed as an expression of my victory over the cause, my survival, is beautiful. Harsh journey, but I’m still here to continue on it. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Back to the point. Going in for a tattoo consultation today! I’m very excited. I started drawing this almost a year ago but due to all the wackiness that is my world I haven’t been able to finish my concept or iterate it to the point of completion. I’m done now, and I want it on me. It is a highly symbolic piece (to me), representing the trials and tribulations, deaths and rebirths of my life. A reminder that no matter what, there is always the chance for something new, something different. No actual ink today. Just sitting down with the artist. This is going to be a very large piece so we’ll have to work on fitting it to my body (though I did draw it with this in mind), how, or if, various aspects can be done, etc. Of all my impulsive inclinations… tattoos are not one of them. Well, mostly. As soon as I have an idea for one I need I make the decision. My compulsions necessitate that I obsess over the details until it’s exactly what I want.

So today is the first step! (Again) I’m very excited =)

**Squee**!!! I am even more excited having talked to my artist! He sees no problems with my design. He’ll sit down with it in a couple days to refine it and then we’ll set up an appointment! So happy! I actually had those little nervous butterflies as I was sitting waiting to meet up with him. Good nervous. The kind that pump up your adrenaline just a little bit. Leaving the parlor I just keep going up. I have not been this up or this happy in a long, long time. So much energy. Went straight to the gym and had the best/longest run I’ve had in ages. Gah! I want to spin in circles I’m so stoked! ::bounce bounce:: I so love that adrenaline pop up. I feel so good right now =)

Body Dysmorphia

Lack of Control. Destruction of my sense of self. It all translates into a perceived physical manifestation. For me this is body dysmorphia. What you see, is not what I see. I’ve been told over and over what wonderful shape I’m in, how great my body is, how beautiful, how this, how that… and I smile politely and say ‘thank you’. If I’m having a particularly good day, I may even believe the compliment. Or I should say, I do believe that whomever is telling me these things believes it, I, however do not see it. If I’m not having a good day, the voice in the back of my head finds ulterior motives for such compliments. Especially if they come from men – as a means to get into my pants, or get something else from me. I know I don’t look so good, how could someone else really believe what they’re saying, they must want something. Maybe it’s a little paranoid.
You may see someone pretty. All I see are my flaws. I can’t see myself as a whole picture most days. I see pieces in a shattered mirror, amplified, multiplied until that’s all that is in focus. If everything isn’t perfect, the whole picture is flawed. And nothing is ever perfect unless I am in control. Control of my body, my body image, is key. If I can control what I eat, how good my work outs are, they manifest physically into a very lovely physical result. My hard work is rewarded with results I can see and I feel wonderful for the accomplishment. If I slip a little, indulge just a bit too much, I see it the next day, amplified grotesquely. All I can do is obsess over what I must do to correct what I’ve done to myself. All the while hiding from those around me so they won’t see my shame in what I’ve done as my anxiety rages out of control. How I’ve lost control.
Everything is about control.

Intolerance to aloneness…

I hate it. I need it. I constantly feel alone, cut off from the world around me. Being in close proximity to those that care about me is one of the few things that actually helps me feel connected. If I’m with people, in their physical presence, I know they haven’t forgotten about me because I’m right there with them. Of course, they don’t actually forget about me when I’m not with them, but this goes back to my problems with object constancy. Out of sight, out of mind.
One of my greatest weaknesses is simple, human, contact. Sitting close, holding hands, laying with someone, especially sex. It’s hard to feel alone when there is a physical connection between me and someone else. 
This doesn’t always help though. The problem is, even when I’m surrounded by good friends, I often can’t relax or connect. The worst feelings is being in a room a people, and still feeling alone.
Sometimes I seek out bigger and bigger crowds. I go to massive costuming events in the city. Allow myself to get swept up in the frenzy of masquerade and merriment, dancing and drinks. When I’m in costume I feel more comfortable in my own skin. So many strangers, I don’t have to pretend. The feeling of disconnection from the people around me is normal because I don’t actually know any of the people around me. Match. I can let go, release all inhibitions and act out. The noise and music so loud it drowns out the constant racing in my mind. Sheer, beautiful distraction from the mundane. 
It’s odd for me. Giant crowds of strangers don’t usually bother me as much as big groups of people I’m closer to. Strangers have no expectations of me. I can’t disappoint them because they have no preconceived thoughts of me. Groups of friends though, the pressure to not be melancholy or whatever I’m feeling can be oppressive.
Often I can’t face being with people at all. Too many people when I’m already in an anxious state can be overwhelming for me. I feel others emotions, constant volley of conversation, voices raised each a little louder to be heard over another, too much, too much, too much stimulus. I feel like I’m drowning in a crush of sensation. And then there are the eyes. When my body image isn’t perfect, I feel like every eye is gazed in judgment of my flaws. Every innocuous conversation directed at me is a way to focus everyone’s attention on me, malicious, drawing unwanted attention to my imperfections. I can’t stand to have everyone looking at me, I don’t want to be surrounded, but I can’t bring myself to leave. I sit there in a haze of conflicting thoughts, wanting to be unseen but not wanting to be left alone.
I often refuse to not be alone. If I haven’t already put myself in the position to be surrounded by people, the thought of that social pressure is too much. Just the thought of people looking at me, judging my body, it’s unbearable.
 If I could be with people blinded by burlap sacks I would feel infinitely better. I wouldn’t have to worry about my physical failings, because what you see, is not what I see….


Emergency appointment with my psychiatrist. Had to change meds. To give you an idea of me; I’m 5’3” and very athletic. I’ve always been what people consider thin. I work out 5-6 days a week and maintain a very good muscle tone. Also having been eating disordered since I was very young I am incredibly conscious of my body, and the changes in it. My body image is often unstable, a grasp I hold tenuously. The medication that my psych had me on made my weight skyrocket. Ok, so I only gained like 15 pounds, but for someone like me, it felt like my world had come crashing down. My body image is destroyed. All these years of hard work and careful maintenance, gone. I’d done a fair amount of research into this drug and weight gain is a very common side effect. On the one hand I’m incredibly pissed off that my dr. would put me on something that he knew was likely to make me gain weight when he also knew I was eating disordered. On the other hand, I also understand that he thought my problems were urgent enough that the side effects would be less an issue than the potential benefits of the medication. I stopped taking my medication. Cold. I was worried that I’d have a slew of bad withdrawal but so far, nothing, and it’s been almost a week.
I’ve been on Lexapro, which worked for my anxiety and depression but destroyed my sex drive. Correction, my libido was still incredibly high but I could no longer orgasm. Problem. I quit taking it.
I was on Zoloft which removed my anxiety but did nothing for my depression. Fail.
Symbyax, (combination anti-psychotic/SSRI) which stabilized my mood swings but still left me at a baseline of mild depression on the one hand, but in destroying my body image sent me spiraling down in a different direction. Also, did nothing for my anxiety. Not to mention, even after insurance Rx coverage, a months supply cost me over $300. Fail.
He also has me on Trazadone, which is technically a mild antidepressant but prescribed to help people sleep. The dose I was on, didn’t help me sleep, so he upped that. 
My new medication is Lamictal. Traditionally Lamictal is an anti-convulsant but with good results for bipolar II (which I’m not). Bipolar II is essentially chronic depression without the manic upswings, which is close enough to my problem. He said he expects no side effects. It will balance my mood AND my anxiety. Won’t effect my sex drive, bonus. And finally there has been next to no reported weight gain from it. Awesome. So here’s hoping this does more good then the meds I’ve tried before. I’m hopeful at least.
Oh the joys of the medication-go-round.