Friday, November 30, 2012

Doctor's Approval - Thumbs Up

Today is friday
Friday is one of my weigh-in days. 
Friday is the day where the doctor's round determines whether I get night-leave over the weekend.
Friday is a day that scares me - the fear of not knowing if I gained weight or not as well as the fear of possibly not receiving night-leave.
Friday is a day of happiness.

Friday to me symbolizes a lot of things, as listed above. Today was an excellent Friday. 

At the doctor's round, I was informed that I had gained 700 grams from last Friday - I couldn't be happier. Like one of my friends told me, gaining weight is gaining health, gaining life, gaining freedom, gaining happiness and so much more. I felt like a child at christmas when it stands in front of its huge pile of presents and is overcome with joy, glee and excitement. That big grin on that child's face is exactly what I looked like as well upon hearing those news. The doctor's are all proud of me, of how far I've come. Today, I got the thumbs up from the head doctor here and he said that I should simply keep doing what I'm doing - which is trying my hardest to become healthy again.

I can do this.

I got the thumbs up! That says it all.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Month and One Day

It's amazing how fast time passes in certain instances; it seems like just yesterday that I arrived at the 'new' station. No wonder that there's the saying time flies when you're having fun.

Although there's been rough days, such as the station lockdown, losing weight and the two times that I seriously considered leaving here before my planned date because I couldn't deal with the circumtances correctly, it's been a positive journey for the most part.

Let's just have a little recap of all the positive achievements that I have accomplished in the past month while being here:

  • Eating a wrong meal successfully; one that I didn't order in my meal plan
  • My first time being outside since August
  • My first overnight stay away from the hospital
  • My first eating out experience that wasn't in the hospital
  • My first time eating at a restaurant and ordering a proper meal from the menu without tweaking the dish to lessen the calorie content
  • Consuming both additional food as well as liquid calories
  • Gaining weight
  • Staring to enjoy food
I think that the list goes to show just how successful I have been and how much I was able to execute. Now I just need to remember that not everyday can be completely positive, that setbacks will occur. In those moments, it will be key to not give in to those anorexic thoughts but to keep going - even stronger.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exhausted - Busy Day Comes To An End

Today was unbelievable; I had not a minute to spare or the time to relax even the slightest. It was all hectic, stressful, chaotic - the whole nine yards. Like I said, there was no room for de-stressing and unwinding as I was on the move the whole day because of my heel.

My right heel has been aching whenever I walk and come in contact with it through the movement. All of last week the doctor's tried to get me an appointment at the orthopaedic station here at the hospital but it is incredibly difficult to get one - just like it is almost impossible to find a four leaf clover in a vast grass field. As this debacle did nothing to help heal my heel or ease the pain, the doctor's decided on Monday that it would be best for me to go to the acute emergency ward as they would take several X-rays and hopefully figure out what is wrong.

Well, turns out that the wait at the emergency ward, that started at 8 am, and the resulting X-rays that I took did nothing to help my situation. The doctor simply told me that there is nothing visible on the X-ray and that I need to go to the orthopaedic station. Great, I thought, that'll take forever as it was impossible to set up an appointment. Luckily, as a nurse went with me, in the hope that it would help us get through the wait quicker, the wait was bearable.

Shortly after 11 am, after three hours of running around in the hospital for my heel, I was informed that I have a calcaneal spur on my right heel, which is nothing different than a heel spur. The doctor said that it is still in the early stages and can be regulated with insoles, a specific cream and distinct stretching exercises for the strained muscle.

Arriving at the station around noon, lunch was already here and I had no time to have a quick breather. After lunch I was told that the orthopaedic specialist would arrive at 1 pm to conform my insoles. Well, he never came at 1 pm and I was forced to wait as it was crucial for me to get these specialized insoles to ensure that my heel spur wouldn't worsen. I waited for him to arrive until 6 pm - which is when he finally showed up without an apology or a simple sorry; nothing of that sort.

I spent the entire day running around and completing tasks for my heel. At least now I know what to do to help ease the pain and hopefully, with time, the heel spur will lessen and go away completely.

And now it's time to relax with a bath - I deserve that after all the stress that was caused by my heel tonight.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

"You look better"

Those three words you look better, or any other form that brings across the same message, such as you look healthier, has taken up a whole new meaning ever since my arrival down at the intensive station. I no longer dread those words.

Last year when I tried to recover on my own, with the help of my parents through the Maudsley Method, I couldn't bare those words. Hearing them - hearing that I was getting healthier; getting my life back in a sense - was pure torture because it meant that I was distancing myself from the anorexic thoughts, behaviors, etc. Back then I was still so intertwined in my eating disorder that the thought that I was slowly returning back to my old self was anything but pleasant news. Everytime I heard a remark such as "you look better" my world shattered into a million pieces - just like that of a little child when it discovers that Santa Claus and the Toothfairy don't exist - and the negative thoughts started racing in my mind. Comments like "You're a failure for gaining weight", "See, you heard them, you're getting fat" and "Don't listen to them, they don't know what's good for you. But I do, stop eating; you don't deserve it" would circulate in my mind for hours on end after a comment regarding my eating disorder was made that was supposed to be positive.

Now, everything is completely different.

When I hear those words now, instead of being in shock and pure hatred at the person who delivered those news, I am thrilled as it means that others can physically tell that I am getting better. Like I said before, I no longer dread those words; on the contrary, I am overcome with joy when hearing them. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Art of Doing Nothing

Since coming to the hospital, I have worked a lot on myself - all for the better. In the past few weeks so much has happened both physically and mentally that I could fill several novels with every minor victory and positive aspect of my recovery. 

Tonight I want to highlight and focus on the art of doing nothing; the art of taking a break and how difficult that actually is - for me at least. Ever since coming to the hospital, I have been successfully busying myself every second of every day, mainly creatively, because of all the negative thoughts I have had in regards to my eating disorder as well as all the anxiety that builds up within me everyday. By keeping myself occupied, those thoughts, that stress, that anxiety - all of that - diminishes and slowly fades away into non-existence again; just like a negative dream comes to an end and all of a sudden, everything is peaceful once more.

Yet it isn't normal for someone to be constantly working; to be persistently constructing something through creativity; to be perpetually busy. Everyone takes breaks where they have time to collect themselves, to gather their thoughts and just relax. This is something that  I struggle with immensely as it gives my thoughts free flow and I am never sure what to expect.

For the past few days, my ergotherapist has given me homework - to simply do nothing and 'hang loose', as you can say. Throughout the week, I managed a few short breaks with success, but never for a longer period of time. Tonight was different - with no visitors after 5 pm, I had plenty of time to unwind and gather myself and my thoughts; I was able to relax

To my surprise, my thoughts did not turn negative in any way and I was really able to let go and simply do nothing.

First Night at Home Since August

Last weekend, I was given the option of going on night-leave and so I, credulous me, thought that it would be no different this time - that the choice of going on night-leave would be there. Well, I was wrong. This week was eventful to say the least. From the station lockdown on Wednesday to the consumption of both additional eadible calories and liquid calories on top of my meal plan and my first real dining out experience for the past 1.5 years, it's safe to say that a lot has happened with regards to my recovery in the past few days.

On Friday, during the doctor's round, the head doctor presented his case regarding his decision not to give me the option of night-leave and my world shattered into a million little pieces, just like a mirror does when it is dropped. Then again, broken pieces of glass are supposed to give you luck - just a thought. He wanted to give me two day passes that are valid for the entire day, which means that I had the possibility to eat lunch outside in a restaurant or at home on both Saturday and Sunday. His reason behind this, and I quote, "we do not want to rush into anything like last time and take on too much at once." 

Anger-ridden me, because of the situation and his belief, started to argue with him. For 10 minutes I sat there and pleaded my case, trying to successfully convince him and the rest of the team that night-leave would be good for me. With the day passes, I would have two meals in total that wouldn't be at the hospital; I used that as my main point. Thankfully, we came to a consensus - that I would be allowed to go home on Saturday after lunch as long as I returned for lunch on Sunday; which also comes down to having two meals outside. I was overjoyed and full of excitement and my mood altered immediately to a much healthier state.

...I just woke up from my first night at home of sleeping in my bed, with my sheets, in my room. Might I just say that I haven't slept this good since going to the hospital at the end of August - this night was pure bliss.

An amazing good night's sleep after an extraordinary afternoon and evening at home was simply beyond my wildest expectations of what would occur. Yesterday afternoon was spent with my mom and together with her, I organized my room and tried to tidy up my closet - which we achieved. The night was spent with my best friend, who came to look at our newly furnished and bought apartment, and we had a lovely time together - catching up and watching movies.

Having gone on night-leave was definitely the right option for me, as it has given me the incentive to try even harder in terms of my recovery because I want to lead a normal life again. And having a taste of that for the first time was, like I said, beyond my wildest expectations.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Additional Liquid Calories? Check.

As I mentioned in this post, consuming anything that isn't in my meal plan, whether it be a quick nibble at something or a drink that isn't tea or water, is a fear of mine. It is still an irrational fear of mine that I will gain x pounds because of one small extra add-on.

In the link above, I conquered additional eadible calories, and tonight I successfully gulped down extra calories that weren't incorporated in my three daily supplementary drinks.

Tonight in the afternoon, I went to the closest Christkindlmarkt - a traditional christmas market - with friends from the neighboring station. There, with the support of them, and the joyous and jolly spirit of the surroundings - all that christmas charm - I was able to have another major recovery win. Like yesterday, where I was surrounded by people I care for, I was able to enjoy those liquid calories in the form of a Kinderpunsch, which is non-alcoholic glögg. 

No second thoughts; no negative behaviors; nothing out of the ordinary. It was all completely normal, and that's what I love. I'm slowly becoming myself again and am able to deal with issues besides calories and food.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Italian, Anyone?

For the last 1.5 years, I have not ordered a proper meal at a restaurant.
For the last 1.5 years, I have always stuck to ordering soups or the lowest calorie options when dining out.
For the last 1.5 years, I have dreaded restaurants - all the people and social stress, the overwhelming array of meals and trying to decipher which one is safest to consume.
For the last 1.5 years, I have not been myself when being at a restaurant as my thoughts simply revolved solely around the meal.

All that changed tonight.

I went to dinner being myself for the first time in god knows how long. I met up with two of my best friends at 6 pm at my favorite restaurant in Vienna, which coincidentally, is an Italian restaurant that belongs to my great cousin. The food there is to die for and I had always loved going there; so I thought, why not start there? And so it was.

Looking at the menu, I instantly knew I wanted a pizza. I ordered a pizza funghi and didn't have second thoughts. I knew there'd be a lot of cheese on it and that the pizza would be made from white flour and not whole wheat flour, but did that stop me from eating the whole lot (except for the crust, because I've never been a fan of that)? No. That's right, I ate the entire pizza.

While elegantly dining out and enjoying our food, I did not second guess myself at all. I held normal, everyday conversations with my friends and there was no time for negative thoughts.  It was amazing; the whole experience.

And to finish off this amazing blog post, might I just say that the pizza was delicious and exceeded my expectations. I'm so proud of what I've achieved today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Station Lockdown

I'd be lying to myself if I were to say that today was a good day. On the contrary, it was anything but. It might have started out great - I had an excellent night of sleep, ate my favorite breakfast and finished my acryllic piece in ergotherapy - but there's an end to my exuberance, and that came with the doctor's round.

I lost a teensy amount of weight from Monday until today, something that seems insignificant to me as it is such a small number, that I received the worst news to date. For today, I was on house lockdown you can say, as I am not allowed to leave the station at all for whatever reason. That did not play well with me at all. I had plans for today, for tomorrow; and all those got shattered because of that stupid little number. Hearing the news for me was horrendous; I felt like a little child does when it finds out that Santa Claus doesn't exist - completely shattered and full of anger at the world.

That miniscule amount of weight that I had lost can be influenced by so many things - my bowel movement, the cold I had gotten and the extra calories the body now requires to heal that aspect, etc. In any case, it is something that I have no control over and just need to accept. Rationally, I know that the doctor's are only looking out for me; trying to do what's best for my recovery and general wellbeing. It's just hard to embrace the news as it is such a drastic constraint in regards to what I had planned for the following days.

Thankfully my mom was here tonight to cheer me up and reassure me that this is just another minor speed bump on my journey through recovery and won't be significant in the long run. Simply having her here beside me instantly brightens my mood and her advice and knowledge is something I cherish and really take to heart.

I genuinely hope that tomorrow is a day where I feel more stable and am in a healthier state mentally.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Benefits of Ergotherapy

Ergotherapy is the treatment of disease, in my case anorexia nervosa, by physical work and recreation. It is therapeutic physical training in a sense that you do something creative. The aim of ergotherapy is to help people design their everyday life and to increase the quality of their life by finding coping mechanisms and ways to deal with one's struggles and problems.

Here in the hospital, I have ergotherapy for 1.5 hours every Monday through Thursday. The amount of options one has to be creative is unimaginable; that's how much there is. There is always something new to try and something to lay one's hands on. There is weaving, knitting, felting, drawing, painting, clay work, creating braided baskets and silk scarves, book binding, etc. Like I said, the choices are endless.

I have already created silk scarves, two woven pieces, a clay bowl for the new kitchen, and this acryllic trial piece below - that I finished today. I am looking forward to tomorrow's session as I started on my acryllic canvas piece and am continuing with it tomorrow.

My acryllic paint trial
Right now, ergotherapy is my favorite therapy session as it allows me to be creative and is a good outlet for me in regards to my thoughts and negative rituals or behaviors that still surface from time to time. Whenever I am down, I focus on the task at hand and start to enjoy myself and what I am doing; completely putting me off my negative thoughts. That's why I am in love with ergotherapy. That and the fact that it allows me to be even more creative.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Just Because I Felt Like It

Eating is what I fear most. The fact that I am now capable of eating three full meals on top of the three supplement drinks that I consume without hesitation is beyond my wildest imagination. Back in August this would have been impossible. But now, I have accepted that my body needs all the nutrients it can get to rebuild itself and I keep telling myself that food is fuel - that's what keeps me going.

Although I am now used to eating in this structured and orderly way, and without hesitation may I add, it is still incredibly difficult for me to eat anything else in addition. Whenever someone here offers me something, no matter how good it looks or smells like, I always decline. It is still an irrational fear of mine that I will gain x kilograms because of that one bite or one small nibble of something if it isn't already in my given meal plan.

Today was different in that aspect though, and I am glad that it's finally happened. One of the other patients came back from an outing with a bunch of honey roasted peanuts. I loved them before my eating disorder developed and have been successfully avoiding anything with peanuts ever since; until today. The patient asked everyone if they wanted some, and I, without even taking another second to process my behavior, I grabbed a handful and ate them; all of them. And that's that.

I ate them because I felt like it; just because. They tasted as good as I remember and I don't regret eating them one bit. I hope times like this start to happen more often - where I am able to let go and where my eating disorder has no say in guilt-tripping me, making me feel fat, unwanted, etc.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gaining Independence

Although I notified the doctor's yesterday during their visit that I would not be going on night-leave, I had the option today as a letter was prepared for me to allow me to go on leave as well as all my medication, including my caloric drink supplements.

I told the nurses this morning that I would not be going on night-leave, but they gave me all my meds and the supplement drinks anyway and said that I was fully responsible regarding my health both today and tomorrow.

It was up to me to turn up to the main meals, that I said I would eat here at the station as well as take my medication at the appropriate times while also making sure that I would take my three supplement drinks. Everything is up to me over the weekend although I am not going on night-leave.

Although I was gone in the afternoon with my mom and my best friend, visiting a 'Christkindlmarkt' to soak up some holiday spirit, I managed to drink my supplement drink in public; amongst other people. It's a huge fear of mine, being judged by others, and being able to simply consume my drink amongst a crowd was remarkable. It was so hard to overcome this irrational fear, and I was shaking throughout the process as I was so taken by the people around me. But I managed to drink everything, and that's what counts.

I'm so proud of myself today, of managing everything by myself. I enjoyed today so far. I'm learning how to become independent again - in small steps.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's All Going Uphill

Today has been a day of laughter, of rejoice, of joy, of happiness. I woke up feeling great after a good nights sleep and my mood hasn't deteriorated in the slightest. On the contrary, it's only gotten better.

As today is friday, it was another weigh-in morning. Only this time, I didn't dread it. I was pleased to see that the number had gone up again. I couldn't hold this excitement in and keep this important piece of information to myself, so I immediately called my mom and told her the great news.

At the doctor's round, there was nothing but positive news as well. This weekend, I had received the permission to go on night-leave from Saturday to Sunday because my weight has been increasing progressively for the past couple of days with no setbacks. I, however, after having been on lockdown in the hospital the last weekend and not being able to leave the premises this week, I thought that night-leave would be too much for me right now. And that's what I told the doctor's. We came to an agreement that I am able to leave the premises in accompaniment both on Saturday and Sunday throughout the day as long as I am there for the three main meals. 

I think that that's a good stepping stone and that it's important that I don't rush into things and take on too much at once. Night-leave is something that I have in sight for the following weekend if everything goes as planned. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Deja Vu

So far, today is a good day. My mom was here the whole afternoon, and it was simply lovely - time always flies by when we are together. Whether we are playing cards, doing something artsy, playing table tennis outside or just gossiping about anything and everything, it always brightens my mood instantaneously.

Today is also a day of reflection, of how far I have come. Back when I was down at the intensive station, I remember the times I still had the nasogastric tube and was unable to eat meals because my organs were all not functioning correctly anymore. The very first real meal  that I had to force myself to eat, was half a portion of a cabbage-and-noodle casserole. I managed then, but only just. It was horrible - the thoughts were so strong back then; it scares me just thinking of how hard eating was back then.

Anyway, today for lunch I also had the cabbage-and-noodle casserole. This time I had the full meal plan though; and I ate it all, down to the last crumb. Yum. That's all I can say. As scay as it is to admit, I enjoyed my lunch. It reminds me of my elementary school days as it is something that I ate on a weekly basis back then.

It's things like this that make me realize just how far I have come. That meal that I finished today is a symbol of my progress - of my endurance and strength to continue. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Good News!

I awaited today so anxiously since Monday. This morning, upon waking up, I was tense all over because of what lay ahead - the weigh-in that would determine everything (at least that's what it felt like). Weigh-ins are always Monday, Wednesday and Friday - which are, coincidentally, the days I dread the most. Seeing that number on the scale go either up, down or stay the same is always a terrifying process. I never know how to react.

But this time, this time I was really hoping that I had gained enough from Monday so that I could leave the station by myself again and walk around the premises without accompaniment.

Although I gained weight over the weekend, the doctor's believed that it was still for the best to have me on lockdown at the station if I wasn't with someone else. They promised me that if I gained x grams by Wednesday, that that would change. So since Monday, thoughts regarding today's weigh-in were circulating in my brain non-stop; non-stop I tell you. After every meal, I thought to myself: were those enough calories to help me reach my goal? 

I'm currently incapable of describing just how tense I've been feeling these past two days.

So anyway, stepping onto the scale this morning was different than the previous times. Carefully placing first my right, and then my left foot onto the scale, I waited. And waited. Waited for what seemed like hours, eons even. Then, the number appeared and a huge sense of relief spread all over my body. I was able to feel again. I gained enough.

For now, it feels like I have a sense of freedom back; that I'm not tied down to the station or other people anymore. I have a bit of breathing space again. And I love that.

Hopefully the setback last week won't hinder my recovery any further. It's all upwards from here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Today, I decided it was time to visit one of my good friends down in 4C, the intensive station. I hadn't been in a while and thought that an exchange between us was overdue - it's been six days since I had last been there; six long days where I have grown a lot mentally.

As I am still not allowed to leave the station by myself, I had to come up with a plan on how to get to 4C. Thankfully, another friend of mine from the neighboring station, who was down at 4C the same time as me, wanted to visit the station as well and decided to join me on my adventure.

On our way 'downtown', back to our old home in a sense, we encountered the leading doctor from 4C, who is responsible for saving my life and my fresh start. I owe him so much for all that he has done for me. He was overcome with happiness to see both of us. I hadn't seen him since my dismissal nearly two weeks ago and the changes that I have been through both mentally and physically were clearly visible to him.

His smile today is a symbol of his satisfaction; seeing how well we both adjusted to the new stations and how we are doing. His smile reassured me that I am doing the correct thing and that I need to keep going in this direction.

It's amazing just how much a smile can influence a person. He left me with hope, courage, perseverance and strength to fight on.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Wrong Meal - Don't Care

Tonight was a day like any other. I had the correct breakfast (the one I chose last week), same with lunch. But then, here comes the twist to the day, a different dinner awaited me; one that I didn't chose.

I told one of the nurses and she checked my meal plan. At first she thought I was lying so that I could get out of eating. But, to her surprise, I was correct. I had gotten a meal that I didn't order.

Did I care? Yes. Did my thoughts go all over the place, telling me that it's a good excuse not to eat. Yes. Did I listen to those thoughts? Did I act on them? Did I succumb to them? NO.

Even though I wasn't pleased with the meal that I was faced with - with what was in front of me - I ate everything on that plate, down to the last crumb. Although it didn't taste delicious, I didn't give in to my thoughts. I'm stronger than them.

I kept telling myself that my body needs those nutrients, those calories, regardless of whether it is something that I enjoy eating - something that I actually chose for my meal plan - or not. Like the saying goes, yolo:

You only live once.

Time to make the best of it.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Reunion with Daddy

Finally; I saw my father again for the first time since September 30th. Quoting Nelly, a hip-hop artist, whose song I sang at graduation with the rest of my grade, "Today is the day; Is the day that I have always dreamed of."

Cambodia two and a half years ago.
Seeing my dad walk into my room at 1 pm today instantly brought tears to my eyes, and his, if I remember correctly. Not tears of sadness, but tears of joy - of happiness. We were finally reunited after having been apart for what seems like eons to me.

The last time he saw me, my condition was a lot worse than now; although my mindset had already changed and I was already tackling my disorder head-on. He had already seen the fighting spirit in me, but now, he could tell how much I've changed; how much I've developed and gotten healthier - although I am still nowhere near healthy, if you know what I mean.

Back in September, I was unable to move - I was on strict bed rest and still had my daily "kitty wash" on the bed as I was too weak to take a shower and my circulation was still too bad. I still had regular infusions back then because my body wasn't able to provide the sufficient nutrients. I also had the two blood transfusions while he was with me. Also, I weighed a lot less than I do now.

Therefore, the tears of joy from him are also a symbol of relief. Now he knows and can see for himself, that I've been successful so far. That I want to live; to return to normality.

I love my dad to death and value his opinion greatly. I had a blast with him today. Seeing my mom and him together for the first time since summer was just the icing on the cake. I loved every minute of today.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Operation: Keeping Myself Busy

On the weekend, with no therapy sessions and most people gone on night leave, it is extremely hard to stay away from all the negativity. Trying to occupy myself all day from seven in the morning until nine at night without any distractions is hard work.

But I managed.

The operation keeping myself busy on the weekend focuses on decorating the station with christmas spirit is successful. I have been creating window colors, paper cranes and christmas lights all day today, and tomorrow I am putting everything up in the station.

I'm proud of myself for managing so well today - without having left the station and being successful in occupying myself.

Today was a good day.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rough Times

Today is just not my day. I lost weight from my last weigh-in on Wednesday. Shit happens. And now I need to deal with the consequences in a more positive way.

Although I've been following my meal plan, finishing each meal down to the last crumb successfully, and drinking all three high-calorie supplement drinks without hesitation because I know my body needs it, I lost weight. How did this happen? Why, I don't understand. Why me? I've been giving it my all for so long, why punish me like this? The answer is simple - I don't understand; it's not rational - it just doesn't make sense.

Yes, weight fluctuates but I don't understand why the doctor's need to punish me for this since I've been giving it my all. Maybe my drop in weight also has to do with the fact that i had a stomach virus yesterday.

Anyway, regardless of the reason behind this shit result, the consequences are unjust - or so I believe. I am no longer allowed to walk around the premises by myself, only with visitors. And I can no longer leave the premises at all. This, of course, ruined all of my plans for the weekend.

I had several talks with the doctor's today regarding this topic, but no one listened to me. They said that there is nothing I can do to change their mind for this weekend until the next weigh-in, that I'll be having on Monday. Hopefully everything will go as planned and I will not have lost any more weight, but will have gained a bit back. I need this and I hope that my body realizes this.

Sometimes are bodies function irrationally, and I need to be fine with it. Not everything always goes as planned.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friendships - Support & Encouragement

Ever since coming to the hospital in September, I have built up my repertoire of friends successfully. Due to the constant moving around and never being in Vienna except for the summer, it's been tough staying in touch with friends from kindergarten, elementary school, or even earlier - back when I was a baby. At the beginning of summer upon my arrival in Vienna, I only had contact to maybe three people that weren't part of my family.

But now, all of that is different; I have built up connections and friendships with so many friends from earlier again. I can honestly say that I value every single relationship like it were the most precious jewel the world has to offer - that much. All of them have my back, are encouraging, caring and show their support by making room in their busy schedules to come and visit me here. I can't say this enough, but thank you for making my stay here so much more bearable. I don't know where I'd be without all of my friends. They give me so much strength and encouragement that I know I can do it; perseverance and patience are all it takes from this point on. I just have to keep going; with the amazing support. 

I don't know where I'd be without you all, you are all part of my rock, my foundation.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"A Tiger Doesn't Lose Sleep Over the Opinion of Sheep"

I was browsing the web earlier on today and stumbled upon this picture with the quote "A tiger doesn't lose sleep over the opinion of sheep." I agree with the saying full on. A tiger simply does not waste any of his energy worrying about his prey because he has better things to do in his time, such as taking a stroll through their territory in the jungle, spending time with their cubs, etc. It's safe to say that tigers have better things to do to occupy their time with.
Words of wisdom
And that got me thinking about where I am at with my thoughts, especially in terms of eating. Just like the tiger, I shouldn't waste any spare moment thinking about food, calories, weight; the list goes on. I should enjoy myself, just like the tiger. 

This is one of the goals I have for my stay here at the station: to be able to think and worry about matters that are not related to food and my disorder. I want to become one of these fierce, ferocious tigers. I know I can become one, slowly and over time - requiring lots of patience. It has greatly improved already, with the thoughts diminishing, yet they are still there and I know that with time, even those little thoughts will start to disappear and fade into the background, transforming me into a tiger.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

No blog post tonight, as I am tired and worn out; drained from all the activity that I went through. Just know that it was a good day, I ate all my meals, drank every supplement drink down to the last drop, went to all therapy sessions with the right attitude and enjoyed talking to the other patients here.

If I have time, I will update more on today in the morning, when I am fresh and awake, unlike now. My eyelids keep shutting, which is a sign that I should go to bed. So, on that note, goodnight!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Food is Fuel

This station, 6B, is specifically for people with eating disorders, sleeping disorders and those with anxiety stares. Because of this, there is a broad range of people here. Out of the 16 people currently here, only two others suffer from anorexia nervosa. Like me, they are trying their hardest to gain weight and become healthy

I am expected to finish all of my meals and drink all of my supplement drinks by the doctors, just as I was down in the intensive station. I can honestly say that I have achieved this every day since coming here as I have not given in to my eating disorder that far; the only thing that's been bringing me down is the thoughts. They've been stronger lately.

But that's beside the point, what I'm trying to say is that it's hard to finish meal after meal, making sure that every little crumb is taken care of by my tummy while I sit across from others at the table who barely touch their food. I know that they aren't here to gain weight like me, but it just makes it so much more difficult and agonizing to eat, knowing that there is people here who do not need to eat that much. This, of course, makes me feel guilty for eating. But do I give in to my eating disorder? Do I listen to those thoughts? Do I use my anorexic rituals? The answer is quite simple - No. I am stronger. I choose life. 

I keep telling myself that the food I eat is fuel for my body, that my body needs the nutrients to become healthy once again. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

It's Not Always as Topsy-Turvy as it Appears

My posts on this blog here tend to be quite positive, which in no way means that recovery is a smooth and easy-going process and that there is no negative thoughts or rituals involved. I do still have daily moments in which my anorexic tendencies surface in one way, shape or form. Just because I do not document it, does not mean that my recovery is easy going in any way.

Eating is still hard, I still struggle with every bite. But I am learning to deal with it by trying to enjoy what I take in. I hope to be able to fully enjoy food again soon. Moments still occur in which I regret taking that last bite, or finishing off a particular scary meal that contains several fear foods. Thoughts that come up on occasion involve: Why did you eat that, you already had enough; You don't need that; You're disgusting and don't deserve to treat yourself. I still have these thoughts, but I try not to dwell and listen to them.

I created this blog to have an outlet. On here, I document the positive things that occur during each day so that when I'm feeling down and not well - having anorexic thoughts - that I have a place to turn to and see just how far I have come. Documenting the negative aspects of my recovery would not do me any good as I don't want to be reminded of them, but rather of all the positives and all the successes I've achieved.

On a positive, I believe that I'm past that point in recovery where I'd contemplate ever going fully back to my disorder or try to lose weight. I'm coming to value my mental state more than my physical state and appearance these days which makes gaining weight easier to deal with. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

First Breaths of Fresh Air Since August

Although today is a Saturday, which means that there is no therapy sessions, no doctor's appointments - everything is still, dull and boring pretty much. Additionally, as is common at the station, patients are allowed to have weekend leave and stay at home from Saturday to Sunday. This meant that hardly anyone was here at all during the day.

But that didn't matter to me. Today was extraordinary; it couldn't have gone any better. With the doctor's yesterday, during their daily round, we decided that although it is still too early for me to have a weekend leave, I am allowed to leave the premises in accompaniment with someone else. And today marks that day. That very special day.

Today is the first time since the end of August that I inhaled fresh air. I was able to feel the cool, misty breeze brush gently across my face while I tried to stay hidden from the cold with my eskimo hat and fluffy scarf. What a relief it was to finally be outside again. It feels like a part of me that I haven't had since coming here has returned - now that I am able to go outside without fainting, freezing, or whatever other problem there might occur.

It was only fitting that today's outing would have to be extra special just because. So I went to go see the new James Bond movie Skyfall that aired three days ago here with one of my really close friends. To say it was fabulous and fantastic is an understatement. It was beyond anything I could imagine. It was sublime.

I loved every minute of today and will continue to do so tonight. Thankfully there is two other patients who decided not to take their night leave - even though they could've gone - and we are going to play board games soon. I'm excited for that as well.

Goodnight everyone, I hope you've all had a splendid day; just like me.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Begin of My Therapy Sessions

As yesterday was a holiday, meaning that absolutely nothing happened yesterday in terms of therapy and the program, and the day before was the day I arrived at the station and settled in, I haven't had any proper therapy until today.

Today marks that day. And I didn't start out slow or with just one therapy unit. I had three today. Three - group therapy; individual therapy and the activity group. All three were very interesting and have left me anxious and wanting to see what else there is to offer here. I am now fully open and committed to trying my hardest at these therapy sessions.

I was the only new person in group therapy, but that didn't scare me to death like it usually does, I was okay with it. I felt at ease. The therapist who led the group was very welcoming, as were all the members, and I had no problem opening up all the way down to the core -  pouring my heart and soul out regarding my story. The other six members then went on and introduced themselves to me with a short account as to why they are here as well, seeing as it is only fair. Group therapy went by as quickly as it arrived, which is a good sign. I can't wait to discuss certain aspects in more depth with these people next week.

In regards to the individual therapy, today was the interview phase. Normally, psychologists in training, or those who are doing their internship, take over the individual therapy with the people at this station. But lucky for me, I received the actual therapist who also leads my group therapy. We had an instant connection and just as for group therapy, I am excited to see what awaits me.

Activity group is different than the other two as it is organized by the patients themselves. Here, we discuss what are plans are for the weekend and talk about whether they are good or bad, and what we could change to make things easier and less anxious for us. Everything is documented on a piece of paper for each individual that is then handed in to the doctors. And then, on sunday evening, there is a reflection group in which we reflect on what we actually went about doing and achieved. It was nice that there was a group that wasn't lead by a doctor or a therapist, but by us. We could move along at our own pace.

Overall, today was a good day filled with a lot of incredible first impressions of the therapy that is available here at the station. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

New Impressions

Being one of the newbies of any station is always scary, at least for me. It consistently causes me anxiety attacks because I am so terrified of what the others think of me: Will they like me? Will they think I'm funny? Will I fit in? Will I stand out because of my international background? Will they like me? 

These questions have been running around inside my head for the last day non-stop. No matter who I talk to, I'm shy and awkward - at least I think I am. I'm deathly afraid of being judged by them; by not living up to certain expectations. I think the reason I am so self-conscious is because I'm still not used to myself and that I can't accept others until I've fully accepted myself for all that I am.

Anyway, today was filled with meeting new people, some of which turn out to be pretty amazing individuals once I got talking. As people know, I'm only very shy, timid and withholding at the beginning when I don't know the person well.

I talked to almost everyone that was here at the station today, exchanging at least a phrase with them - I am so proud of myself for this because I would never approach strangers and say good morning or bon appetit! in the past. I even played a board game with three others: A, B and C. Along with D and E, they are my closest friends here right now - the people I hang out with. It feels good to know that you have others close by that are there for you. For example, one of them promised me that whenever I need something or someone to help cheer me up, that he's here to listen to my problems and play boardgames/do puzzles with me. 

It's people like this that make my stay here more enjoyable :)

** I'm keeping names anonymous for obvious reasons - their privacy; hence the letters.