Saturday, March 27, 2010

mind of a black crayon

Ultimately this life is all we have. As meaningless, as agony-ridden, as deeply ridiculous as it is, we have nothing else.

So why throw it away? Why not take some small pleasure in a little blossom shyly hovering to the ground?

This is your chance to rediscover yourself.

What a waste of time if you fritter it away.

-from Biting Anorexia by Lucy Howard-Taylor

I'm trying to keep this in my mind. I've frittered away so much time with the belief that getting as sick as possible is the most worthwhile and admirable quest, taking the most strength of mind and body.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Psychiatrists Are Evil

Okay, I realize that's kind of a blanket statement. But I have never met a psychiatrist who is a decent human being or not on a power trip. They are all condescending, emotionless, with poor interpersonal skills, and a seeming disklike for all people. They enjoy pathologizing every action and statement, and hand out prescriptions within five minutes of meeting me. I've had some really scary and damaging experiences with psychiatrists, particularly when I was sectioned at Bournewood.

The psychiatrist at McLean Hospital is slightly less horrible, but at the core really no different. His initial appearance says it all: hair so slicked-back it's all wet and comb-marked. He wears silk ties, and these obnoxious dress shoes that are like little ankle boots with zippers on the side. Definitely the mark of a despicable human being. He is so cold and condescending, and just acts disinterested. At one point he asked me why eating is so difficult, and I tried to explain that I feel like I don't deserve to eat. He asked me if I feel like that about other people, and of course I said no. Then he says, "What makes you so special and unique that it only applies to you?" Really? As if I don't eat because I think so highly of myself. And there's just no need to talk to someone like that, especially someone so clearly struggling and at your mercy.

I met with him again yesterday. More of the same, saying things in his bored monotone voice, "mhm, so you work in a liquor store? Does that mean you drink all the time?" Wow, so insightful. Like that's the most logical conclusion. Yeah, I drink all the time because I'm a cashier at a liquor store. And you work with crazy people. Does that mean you're crazy? He then asked why I worked there, but apparently he doesn't know what it's like to have to work a shit job you hate just to pay the bills.

I would really love to know how his title makes him an expert on me and people in general when he doesn't seem to even like them or know how to interact decently. I guess he's great at reading the DSM and assigning arbitrary labels. Apparently that's all it takes to have power over someone else and have instant respect.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Girl, With No Life to Interrupt

I started the behavioral partial program at McLean Hospital about a week ago. It's actually kind of cool being there, in a weird way; the buildings are so beautiful and historic, and it's where Sylvia Plath and Susanna Kaysen (of Girl, Interrupted) were hospitalized.

It took a bunch of meetings before they would accept me, as they were worried about my low intake and whether I would be medically stable and get enough out of the program. But after a medical exam the doctor deemed me stable enough, so they let me give it a try. It's been okay so far. Mostly it's a place to go where I have structure and feel safe. But I can't really say it's been helpful. It's like, there are no emotions involved in groups at all. It's kind of freaky. Everyone actually refers to groups as classes. A psychologist stands at the front and writes on the white board; practically everyone takes notes. Words are defined. Diagrams are made. They're huge on "scheduling," planning out your time. One of the groups is called Positive Events Scheduling. Does it get anymore emotionless? It's like, do this, this, and this. Nevermind if you're too depressed to do anything. Just remember MEDS: medication, exercise, diet, sleep. Instant prescription for mental health. As if you can rationalize and schedule yourself out of trauma and suicidal ideation, as if everyone's "illness" is the same. They are very heavy on the disease model of mental illness, which I don't agree with and find very unempowering.

I'm on the mood disorder and Borderline personality disorder "track," which determines the groups I go to each day. They are mostly DBT and CBT-based, which are more basic, condescending versions of the psych classes I've taken, and I find them extremely frustrating. As if it were as simple as learning the triangle of emotions-thoughts-behaviors. There is one cool group called "Self Group," which focuses on feelings of emptiness and lack of self that go along with BPD. I also meet with my case manager and a skills therapist a couple times a week. I just wish there were more support groups, and chances to actually talk about feelings and experiences.

Tomorrow may be my last day, unless insurance decides to be extremely generous and grant me a few more days. Not going to get my hopes up on that one. I will miss the routine of the program, though. The 1/2 mile walk from the bus stop to the hospital was a good way to start off the day. It was peaceful, and a chance to listen to my Ipod or just think. The last couple days were raining, and I ended up taking the shuttle. That experience is pretty entertaining in itself. I had to observe a few times before I knew what to do, as the whole process is kind of secretive. A big, white, van shows up every 15 or so minutes, and it doesn't say anything on the sides, presumably to save everyone the shame of riding in the crazy shuttle. It doesn't pull up to the bus stop, but goes through the parking lot, and suddenly everyone hiding shamefully in the bushes hurries over and crams in. Unlike most hospitals that house psych wards amidst medical floors, McLean is just a mental hospital. The first day there I had to take a cab, and I think the driver felt sorry for me as he refused to accept the tip! Ah, the benefits of being mentally ill. Pity and free cab rides.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

all apologies

I think I've stayed away from blogging lately because I feel bad at the tone my blog has taken. It's been pretty negative lately, and while this isn't a recovery blog, I don't want it to be all doom and gloom. I've just been in a really bad place, and with very little support.

After being denied ED treatment, and with the encouragement of my closest IP friend, I decided to increase my intake. It's still not a normal or healthy amount, but it's taken a huge amount of effort both physically and mentally. I would be lying if I said I was doing this for my health; the goal has really been to try to increase my metabolism, since eating next to nothing has had my weight stuck for months now. But I have noticed that I'm thinking more clearly, am less exhausted, and slightly less depressed.

I'm taking digestive enzymes, as food just sits like a rock in my stomach for hours, and they seem to be helping. I'm also sticking to a lot of gentler foods, like fat-free yogurts and cottage cheese, and Odwalla smoothies. I'm constantly fighting off panic at the amount I'm eating, and feeling out of control and scared of gaining. I also feel an enormous amount of guilt over spending money on food for myself, as well as the amount of time spent eating. Because I'm hypoglycemic, I keep eating throughout the day to keep my blood sugar from dropping too low. I constantly feel shakey and hot.

I know if I were in treatment I'd be eating at least twice this amount. But this is all I can handle right now, and honestly I don't want to recover right now. Or rather, I'd love to recover, but I can't let go and can't allow myself.