Ritual Sacrifice…. with Pie

“I love a ritual sacrifice. To commemorate a past event, you kill and eat an animal. It’s a ritual sacrifice. With pie.”
~Anya (Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Pangs”)

Would you like to wager what the most terrifying holiday for someone with a severe eating disorder is? Hint: It’s not Arbor Day.
 Personally? I hate Thanksgiving. If I were actually doing the cooking it’d be a different story. I could participate, contribute, and thereby alleviate my guilt and not wanting to join the festivities. I could easily hide the fact that I do not want to eat anything because of the appearance of business in the kitchen. But do I get to? Nope. Not even a little.
This is such a stressful holiday for me. First off, and the reason I couldn’t post yesterday, I drove approximately 500 miles to my parents house. Not that I don’t love spending 8 hours in my car, but, well, I don’t. On the plus side, my sister got home about an hour after I did and we broke out the wine. Double win. However coming back to my parents house is an instant trigger. All of my problems, all of my turbulence, all of my Borderline expressions, began here.
I come home and instantly gain 15 pounds. Oh, not literally. My tape measure tells me I haven’t gained even a fraction of an inch. But the mirror reflects all the fears I had growing up. This is something many people do not understand. I actually see something that may not be there. My brain translates the picture of myself into what I expect to see. Mind over matter. What matters is what my mind believes though.  
When I think of Thanksgiving I think: Obsession. Thanksgiving is a bulimics nightmare. It’s an entire day dedicated to food. Something that I spend way too much time pouring over, trying to avoid, punishing myself with, and purging my body of.
Most people are dreaming about turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and hot buttered rum. I’m contemplating diet pills, laxatives, diuretics, excessive exercising, vomiting. These are the tools of my trade today. All of which I have at my disposal. All of which I would love, with all of my heart, to not use.
I would give anything to be able to enjoy the day with my family. I actually have one of those families where my parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, on both my mother and father’s side of the family… all get along. All like each other. All spend every holiday together. It’s like we fell out of a 1950’s sitcom. I would love to be able to kick back, grab a glass of Bailey’s, gnosh on all the goodies while catching up with the people that watched me grow up, and not worry about a couple holiday pounds. Can I? Oh hell no.
Holidays are a time where my family hasn’t seen me in months so I become the center of attention. I live a very creative lifestyle. I have a high profile occupation in ground breaking experimental physics. Everyone wants to know what I’m up to. All eyes are on me. All eyes are on the body that isn’t perfect enough yet, that has flaws that I’m still flattening out. All I want to do is curl up in bed, with the blankets pulled up over my head enjoying a Trazadone hibernation until the sun sets on this fateful day of dieting damnation.
But no. I have to spend it getting all dolled up, plastering a pretty plastic smile onto my face, making small talk with people as I meticulously tick off all the calories that each and every one of them is consuming. The eyes, the food, the forced pleasantries, the pressure and expectations everyone has for me, is an incredible burden. I can feel the anxiety well up in my stomach ready to burst out of my throat.
Every year it’s the same thing. Every year I hope it will be different. Honestly, my goal is to eat as little as possible. Every year I overdose on diet pills and purge at least once if not twice. I Do. Not. Want. To do this.  I am going to try my damnedest to make this year different. To make this year better. To not lose the battle.
Food is the enemy. This time it’s war.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Body Dysmorphic Disorder

I actually started writing this with every intention of doing a Sunday post, but wouldn’t you know, I got distracted and ended up doing something entirely different. So here it is for Monday.  Since this is something that is constantly on my mind and has been the subject of my latest therapy session; let’s talk about Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I’ve talked about dysmorphia before but not about the extent of the disorder.

So what is it?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a kind of mental illness or somatoform disorder where a person is exclusively concerned with their body image. It manifests as excessive concern and preoccupation with a perceived defect of one or many physical features; or even vaguegly complains about appearance in general to the point where it causes psychological distress that (and this is important) impairs either occupational or social functioning, or both.

Snow White had it easy.
I’m going to reiterate this because as something that I’ve noticed a lot with self-diagnosing … you can run through the checklist of criteria for any disorder and say ‘yes’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘yes’, ‘yes’ to any number of qualifications and on the surface it may look like you’re a good candidate for the illness or disorder, BUT, and this is a big ‘but’, if the problems do not create a SIGNIFICANT problem of functionality in some form of your life for an EXTENDED period of time, you may not actually have the disorder or illness, just passing symptoms of it that may be something else entirely. Being generally self-consciousness does not mean you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder. Being a cutter with mood swings does not make you Borderline (Yeah, I’m looking at all the pre-teen emo attention whores out there).

For years, starting in middle school, high school, and college… I could not go out in public. I could not do anything in a crowd of people. I would lock myself away in my room, wear baggy clothes (fortunately skater goth was a look that worked with my sense of style), and refuse to see anyone because the thought of anyone looking at me, seeing the “flaws” that I perceived induced a paralyzing anxiety. And I do mean panic attack, hyperventilating, dissolving into a puddle of self loathing kind of social anxiety. I could make myself go to work and school, but I would bundle myself up in shapeless clothes, avoid any kind of social contact, and steal myself away as soon as it was done.

BDD can occur to a degree that causes severe emotional depression and anxiety, and even may lead to the development of other anxiety disorders, social withdrawal, or social isolation. It sucks.

I remember having plans for events that I’d been looking forward to for months. For weeks I’d be even more strict about my diet and exercise so I would feel in control enough of my body to go out and enjoy myself. I would get all dolled up and decked out. Then an  hour before I was suppose to leave I would freeze. Literally on the threshold of my house, incapable of moving another foot out of the door because the thought of going out in public where people could see me felt like the world would come crashing down around me. I’d cancel my plans at the last minute, disappoint my friends, disappoint myself, strip off all the pomp and fancy and hide in bed for the rest of the night.

Like many mental disorders it’s caused by a variety of different things and is different for each person; biological, psychological, and environmental factors can all contribute. Maybe you’re predisposed to this kind of mentality, have suffered mental or physical abuse, or emotional neglect can be the cause. As you’d probably suspect, dysmorphic symptoms usually begin in adolescence or early adulthood when it’s common for self-criticism of a persons appearance to begin. From here it goes further than just criticism to an atypical aesthetic standard created from some internal perception of beauty or perfection between the persons ‘actual self’ and the ‘idea self’. What a person actually sees versus what you want to see.

However, what a person actually sees may be entirely different from what actually is.

According to the DSM patients are so overly concerned, or convinced, that they are misshapen or deformed in some way, despite all evidence to the contrary. Patients are generally concerned about some aspect of their appearance or with the possibility that they have some deformity. The specific “deformity” depends completely on the person. Maybe their facial or scalp hair is not right, maybe their nose is too big, their breasts are uneven, or their eyes are too far apart. Seeking help is actually common, but not by a psychiatrist. Because the person is so convinced that this is a legitimate problem they’ll go to their primary physician, dermatologist or even eventually to a cosmetic plastic surgeon. After being examined the physician usually finds no abnormality at all, or if one is present, it’s so trivial that no one would ever notice it. Reassurance does nothing though.

“Only a small minority recognize the groundlessness of their concerns; the vast majority are more or less convinced, and in a significant proportion the conviction becomes a delusion. Patients are often in torment over their “defect,” and the majority repeatedly check themselves in mirrors: in some cases such “mirror-checkers” may be so distressed by what they see that they may avoid mirrors, or cover them up. Most patients avoid contact with others, and a minority become housebound; ideas or delusions of reference may appear.”

I’m a mirror checker. Oddly I often avoid looking at my face, but I constantly check other aspects of my body that I perceive as out of proportion or that need to be hid. Constantly. It’s a compulsion. With me it’s my upper arms, thighs, and jaw. I have a very specific idea of what I need to look like and any deviation from this is a monstrosity.

Therapist has commented on more than one occasion that I have a beautiful figure and that my clothes are very professional and flattering (I go to session straight from work). I’m a master of disguise. A chameleon. I know exactly what I need to do to hide my flaws, create the illusion that they aren’t there, and appear in a way that is acceptable to the environment that I am forced to interact in. I wear a very specific cut of pant, I wear tailored jackets that emphasize other features and draw the eye to other areas like my tiny waist. It’s all a matter of tricking the eye of the beholder into seeing what I want them to see. This is often how I manage my Borderline issues as well. I draw the eye to positive attributes that I want people to focus on and gloss over the areas that I need to keep in shadow.

When I was younger my dad used to accuse me of vanity. He would see me looking in the mirror and say something like ‘you’re beautiful, quit checking yourself out’. Sort of a compliment I suppose, but he never understood. It’s not vanity. It has nothing to do with being vain. I hated how I looked. I NEED to see what other people see though. I need to be prepared for how others will look at me. What they will see with their own eyes. I needed to make sure that I was taking care to only show them what I wanted them to see. I needed to make sure I was perfect so there would be nothing to criticize.

“People with BDD say that they wish that they could change or improve some aspect of their physical appearance even though they may generally be of normal or even highly attractive appearance. Body dysmorphic disorder causes sufferers to believe that they are so unspeakably hideous that they are unable to interact with others or function normally for fear of ridicule and humiliation about their appearance. This can cause those with this disorder to begin to seclude themselves or have trouble in social situations. More extreme cases may cause a person to develop love-shyness, a chronic avoidance of all intimate relationships. They can become secretive and reluctant to seek help because they fear that seeking help will force them to confront their insecurity. They feel too embarrassed and unwilling to accept hat others will tell the sufferer that he or she is suffering from a disorder. The sufferer believes that fixing the “deformity” is the only goal, and that if there is a disorder, it was caused by the deformity.” (Thanks, Wiki.)

This is certainly how I think. If I could just fix these 3 things, everything would be perfect. If this was just a little more streamlined, if that was just a little more toned, if that was just a little more concave, I could be the marble statue I’ve always wanted to be. Roommate doesn’t believe this. She thinks that even if these things were “fixed” then my focus would just shift to something else.

Last session Therapist asked me to name 5 words that described how I view myself. 1) Ugly, 2) fat, 3) uncomfortable. I couldn’t’ actually think of two other words. I’m 30 years old, though I look like I’m 22. I’m 5’3”. I have a 24.5” waist. I’m athletic. In college I would be stopped on the streets by modeling recruiters. Professional photographers routinely seek me out at the many costuming events I attend to post for them. No, I’m not bragging. But since I’m maintaining a relative anonymity and won’t post my pictures on this blog I’m relaying my experiences to give you an idea of the massive discrepancy of what I see and what others do. Therapist looked like I broke her heart when I told her those words. I just don’t understand how others can see me and see someone that is attractive.

Another important thing to note is my weight obsession. Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Eating Disorders are not interchangeable. In fact, a preoccupation with weight and the development of eating disorders is something that is specifically taken into consideration in diagnosis. If a persons symptoms are better accounted for by another disorder: weight concerns are usually more accurately attributed to eating disorders: then BDD may not be the problem.

My eating disorder is incredibly psychologically complicated. In regards to BDD it’s almost opposite. I developed this disorder as part of my attempt to control my flaws. But there are many other facets to it as well; like my need for structure and control, as an attempt to fill the void of loneliness that I can’t otherwise fill at the moment, etc. So I’m one of those with both.

In fact, co-morbidity is common with BDD.

         76% will experience major depressive disorder at some point
         36% may develop agoraphobia
         32% are affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder
         But the most common disorders found are Avoidant Personality Disorder, Social Phobia, Social Anxiety Disorder, and Dependent Personality Disorder
         Eating disorders are also sometimes found in people with BDD.
I’m curious about the Avoidant and Dependent Personality Disorders. It makes me wonder if there isn’t a higher ratio of Borderline Personality Disorder with Body Dysmorphic Disorder as well.
Here’s the part where I list the symptoms and expressions and see just how neurotic I am!


Common symptoms of BDD include:

         Obsessive thoughts about (a) perceived appearance defect(s). <~~~~ And how.
         Obsessive and compulsive behaviors related to (a) perceived appearance defect(s) (see section below). <~~~~ I can  hardly wait
         Major depressive disorder symptoms. <~~~~ Gee, let’s think…. Yeeeaaah.
         Delusional thoughts and beliefs related to (a) perceived appearance defect(s). <~~~~ So I’m told, of course it could just be that everyone else is wrong.
         Social and family withdrawal, social phobia, loneliness and self-imposed social isolation. <~~~ Years, and years of this. Though admittedly I’m working hard despite my ridiculous anxiety to push through this, it is still always in the background of my mind bullying the happy thoughts off the playground.
         Suicidal ideation. <~~~~ Been there, done that.
         Anxiety; possible panic attacks. <~~~~ Possible? Can you say understatement?
         Chronic low self-esteem. <~~~~ Not that I’d let anyone see this.
         Feeling self-conscious in social environments; thinking that others notice and mock their perceived defect(s). <~~~~ I wish I could be social without people looking at me.
         Strong feelings of shame. <~~~~ I just want to be perfect.
         Avoidant personality: avoiding leaving the home, or only leaving the home at certain times, for example, at night. <~~~~ When it’s harder to see me.
         Dependent personality: dependence on others, such as a partner, friend or family.
         Inability to work or an inability to focus at work due to preoccupation with appearance.
         Problems initiating and maintaining relationships (both intimate relationships and friendships). <~~~~ It’s hard to be close to someone when you don’t want them to look at you.
         Alcohol and/or drug abuse (often an attempt to self-medicate). <~~~~ You can’t worry when you’re passed out.
         Repetitive behavior (such as constantly (and heavily) applying make-up; regularly checking appearance in mirrors; see section below for more associated behavior). <~~~~ Mirror mirror on the wall ::SMASH::
         Seeing slightly varying image of self upon each instance of observing a mirror or reflective surface. <~~~~ This is maddening.
         Perfectionism (undergoing cosmetic surgery and behaviors such as excessive moisturizing and exercising with the aim to achieve an ideal body type and reduce anxiety). <~~~~ I just want to be perfect, and redundant.
Note: any kind of body modification may change one’s appearance. There are many types of body modification that do not include surgery/cosmetic surgery. Body modification (or related behavior) may seem compulsive, repetitive, or focused on one or more areas or features that the individual perceives to be defective.

Compulsive behaviors

Common compulsive behaviors associated with BDD include:
         Compulsive mirror checking, glancing in reflective doors, windows and other reflective surfaces. <~~~~ Vanity is its own problem, but has nothing to do with this.
         Alternatively, an inability to look at one’s own reflection or photographs of oneself; also, the removal of mirrors from the home. <~~~~ We literally have a hall of mirrors.
         Attempting to camouflage the imagined defect: for example, using cosmetic camouflage, wearing baggy clothing, maintaining specific body posture or wearing hats. <~~~~ It’s really not that hard.
         Use of distraction techniques: an attempt to divert attention away from the person’s perceived defect, e.g. wearing extravagant clothing or excessive jewelry. <~~~~ You can see what I want you to see.
         Excessive grooming behaviors: skin-picking, combing hair, plucking eyebrows, shaving, etc.
         Compulsive skin-touching, especially to measure or feel the perceived defect. <~~~~ Hey, maybe I just like how my jaw feels.
         Becoming hostile toward people for no known reason, especially those of the opposite sex, or same sex if homosexual. <~~~~ In my defense, my hostility towards other people is usually because they’re dicks. And I’m irrationally angry.
         Seeking reassurance from loved ones. <~~~~ If I sought reassurance they’d know there was something wrong.
         Excessive dieting or exercising, working on outside appearance. <~~~~ 6 days a week, 15 hours in the gym, constantly monitoring everything I eat… Excessive? Nah.
         Self-harm <~~~~ I like to think of it as keeping myself on track.
         Comparing appearance/body parts with that/those of others, or obsessive viewing of favorite celebrities or models whom the person suffering from BDD wishes to resemble. <~~~~ Who doesn’t compare themselves to others.
         Compulsive information-seeking: reading books, newspaper articles and websites that relate to the person’s perceived defect, e.g. hair lossor being overweight. <~~~~ Maybe I just like to be in the know.
         Obsession with plastic surgery or dermatological procedures, often with little satisfactory results (in the perception of the patient).
         In extreme cases, patients have attempted to perform plastic surgery on themselves, including liposuction and various implants with disastrous results. <~~~~ Holy crap, if I ever get this bad I’ll just have myself locked up.
         Excessive enema use (if obesity is the concern). <~~~~ Um, Ew. Just, ew.

Now I certainly recognize a lot of these symptoms in myself but I don’t know if I attribute them all to BDD. Some of clearly a byproduct of my Borderline Personality Disorder or aspects of other problems I have. Where’s the line though? Often these things overlap and collide like a maelstrom of emotional turmoil.

Surprisingly in my research I found that this actually affects men and women equally. It sounds like it would be another ‘female problem’, but apparently not. As many as 1-2% of the world’s population might even meet the diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of BDD.

My final thought: Not just in physical appearance but in every aspect, I’m obsessed with how people perceive me. Not because I have some need to be complimented or anything like that. But I need to know how others see me, what they think, so I can gauge how different it is from how I think of myself. 

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. 

Borderline Personality Disorder Facts and Statistics: Part 2

As promised I’m going to take a look at some of the more relevant facts and statistics concerning Borderline Personality Disorders. I’m only going to cover a few per post because there’s a lot of them. Don’t worry, there will be more.
– 2% of the general population are afflicted with BPD.
That’s a lot of people. That’s 1 in every 50.  In the United States alone this translates to approximately 5.4 million people. Perspective: this is the entire population of Tibet or Denmark (suppresses joke about ‘something is rotten in the state of Denmark’). That’s enough people to make our own country. Hah, that’s actually a pretty scary thought. We could have an emotional regulation tax. The government would be rich. The likelihood of finding better treatment would sky rocket though, or plummet, crash and burn depending on whether our universal health care coverage administration could manage their mood swings. Considering the massive amount of people that BPD affects, you would think there would be much more research into this disorder but to this day BPD remains one of the most misunderstood personality disorders. Often being considered a ‘catch all’ for a multitude of co-morbid symptoms (which it certainly has) instead of it’s own distinct disease. There has been some research, but not nearly as much as other personality and mood disorders. Most of this research has gone into assessing the symptoms, and understanding the causes, but it’s still a long ways from finding a cure or finding optimal treatment. Is there really a cure for personalities though? Part of me still resents the implication that there’s something wrong with my personality. I happen to like my personality. I’m pretty fantastic (on good days). Also, modest. On the other hand, I have a lot more bad days than good and I do recognize that I have a lot of defective tendencies that I am working to change.
Random: 1 in 50 people have digestive problems w/ daylilies. Gradually build up to eating them. WTF?!?
– 69% to 75% exhibit self-destructive behaviors such as self-mutilation, chemical dependency, eating disorders and suicide attempts.
I wonder if this is counted by individual people or by how many of each of these destructive behaviors present. I’ve had every single one of these self-destructive behaviors at some point + more. As mentioned before my thoughts of self-harm are slipping away. For one of the first times in my life I don’t need such an extreme reminder that I am, in fact, living in this world. This is such a surprising revelation for me because for almost 18 years these thoughts have been a constant companion. One I am not unhappy to be rid of. Chemical dependency for me was alcohol. I’ve never done drugs (except by Rx), nor will I. I have this thing where I actually like my brain functioning to it’s fullest potential. I’m still fighting with my eating disorder and my body image. This is one of the more insidious, less overt, of my problems because I hide it so well. I manage to come across as a health nut, but not problematic. I’ve been in recovery from this for years with only minor relapses. My body image is a completely different story though.
Instead of suicide attempts I would think this has more to do with suicidal gestures, thoughts, threats, as well as attempts. I threatened myself with suicide often when I was younger. I didn’t tell almost anyone about this, especially not anyone that would have done something about it. When things were so bad that I believed this was my only option, I didn’t want anyone to stop me. Telling people who would stop me is counterintuitive to the success of this plan. What’s the point of wanting to die and then telling people who will take away that necessary relief? I didn’t have hope for ‘a cure’. I didn’t have hope for anything. There was maybe one person that I can look back on that I think it was more a need for attention, a need to know that someone cared, more than anything. It was certainly a cry for help. I couldn’t hold onto the belief that anyone would remain in my life, that I wouldn’t always be alone. I needed the affirmation that there would be someone that stays. Ironically, I got rid of him years later and, surprise, my life has gone on and improved considerably.
– 8 – 10% die by suicide usually due to lack of impulse control over depression.
Lack of impulse control. Hm. I’m not sure most people consider suicide on a whim. It’s rarely a spontaneous decision. Suicide is a last result, when things have been so bad, for so long, it’s impossible to believe that things will get better. It’s a thought that is only toyed with at first. Creeping thoughts now and again that become pervasive over time as things don’t seem to ever get better. As happiness and hope become things so far lost to the past that a future including these elusive things can’t be seen. It’s not an impulse, it’s a cancer of the psyche that infects over time.
– Successful suicide rate doubles with a history of self-destructive behaviors and suicide attempts.
I can see how this would be true. Once you’ve thought about it for so long, made a couple attempts, the prospect of death can become less scary, more necessary because it becomes so ingrained in everyday thought. Personally? Suicide is my greatest failure. And by ‘greatest’ I mean one that I am most grateful for. Nothing makes you appreciate failure so much as looking back on the wonderful things I could have missed out on had I succeeded in ending my life when I was younger. Every now and again when I hit a low or things go wrong and I feel absolutely hopeless the thoughts creep back, but I no longer consider suicide an option. For as bad as things can seem sometimes I have lived enough, experienced enough, to know that things change. As long as there is a chance for change, there is a chance for things to get better.
My sense of humor is often inappropriate
– 10% of all mental health outpatients; 20% of psychiatric inpatients

I beat the stats on the inpatient thing, though probably I shouldn’t have. Other than one evening in the psych ER which was do to an overreaction from an ex {<~~~ bastard}, I’ve never seen the inside of a hospital for psych problems. Physical medical problems caused by mental problems (remind me to tell you about the sweet potato some time) yes, but not for being out of my mind in need of a ‘rest’. I am certainly an outpatient if you consider seeing talking to my PCP, my psychiatrist, and going to therapy twice a week outpatient.  What can I say, I’ve grown and matured a lot when it comes to my mental health. BPD is not easy to deal with. After more than 15 years trying to fight it on my own, finally I found assistance and it’s made so much difference. Ok, so maybe my learning curve isn’t so high but I’m getting help now.


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.

Left side of the menu: Bulimia – Criteria 4 / Impulsive Behavior Part 4

Hi. My name is Haven. I’m eating disordered, bulimic.

Food is my drug. My addiction.

The problem with having food as your drug though, is you can’t quit. You can’t give it up cold turkey to give yourself time to recover. That’s called starvation, which may put you back in control, but not for long before it kills you. Conundrum, indeed.
You can’t starve yourself, not when food is your comfort, something you can reach for to fill the void inside. Fill the void in your stomach and it’s like you’ve filled the void in your heart. Nourishing your stomach fills your hearts need for sustenance. Except it doesn’t last long. Usually only long enough to feel like you’ve destroyed any hold on control you had by denying yourself the fill of food. And then it becomes a desperate attempt to regain that control. Purging, exercising, punishment, painful reminders that you let slip the control that you value so rigidly.
Where does this need for control come from? It’s different for everyone. This is a deeper psychological delving than you may care to know but I remember the exact incident that sparked my downward spiral into self-consciousness. I was 12 years old, just starting puberty and beginning to fill out to the woman I would be today. As gently as they could, my parents sat me down and told me that I needed to watch what I was eating, I was getting heavier, which would reduce my performance for the multitude of sports I was involved in. I needed to weigh less to perform better.I was crushed. It was as if they couldn’t accept me, love me, if I didn’t meet their standard of physical perfection. Of course they didn’t know that this was normal because they’d never been through it before (my mom was always lanky and skinny unlike the women on my father’s side who are shorter and curvy), me being the first born and all. I felt like I had let them down, let me down. Putting on weight clearly meant disapproval. If it didn’t they wouldn’t be sitting there telling me this. If they loved me unconditionally, weight wouldn’t matter, but it did, so losing weight must translate into earning their approval. Their love. I was distraught. Because I was currently disappointing them. I left to cry quietly in my room. This was the night of my very first binge. I lashed out and railed against what they wanted. I wasn’t good enough?!? I’ll show them not good enough. Afterwards of course I felt like even more of a failure. I vowed never to let that happen again. Anorexia didn’t work for me. My relationship with food was too consuming to avoid it. About 6 months later I discovered how to purge.
Purging I finally felt a sense of control. I could eat whatever I wanted, and it wouldn’t affect my body. I could vomit up the things inside me that made me bad. Purge the evil from my body. I didn’t just purge though. I am still currently addicted to diet pills, I was a laxative/diuretic junkie, and I would/still exercise compulsively. Anything to maintain control of the thing that has such a hold over me. It works.  
I wouldn’t have to if I could control what I put in, in the first place, but that’s my addiction. I can’t stop. Just one of those please, Oh, maybe a bite here, a bit there. Well I’ve already eating this much, might as well have another, and another… until all control is lost and I’ve indulged in every decadence I can stuff into my stomach. I failed. Failed my self-control. I had to regain that control. So I purged the evil from my body and everything felt fine. Again. Until the next time.