Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bye-Bye Renegade?

I'm just throwing it out there that I've been thinking about letting Renegade Recovery go. I'm thinking its purpose might be done with. I'm still toiling over it in my mind, but I will let you know what I decide to do.

Thank you for reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How My Disorder Began


Well, I suppose it's time to stop beating around the bush and tell you how my disorder started. I'm not quite sure why I've been avoiding this for so long. I suppose it's because I'm doing so much work right now trying to recover from it that I didn't really want to revisit when it began. I feel it's only fair to you, so let's do this.

Now, obviously, it's not from just one cause. What the eating disorder was was a coping mechanism. It started when I was 14. Like a lot of people, I thought how great it was that I could eat whatever I wanted and throw it up and not gain anything. Sounded good to me. I had no problem vomiting. The way I explained it to people was....when you're sick, you've got the nausea. When it's self-induced, there's no nausea. Not for me anyway. And, so, I did that. Every meal. I was never one of the bingers and purgers that would stick to certain foods to binge on. It was whatever entered my body. I even used ipecac syrup a few times.

Two years after that fun excitement began (yah, I'm laying on the sarcasm THICK), I had an endoscopy done. Abdominal problems. They found that I had "an abnormally thin stomach lining." Hey, makes sense. I disrupted the acid in there every day. Did I stop purging? Oh no, no, no. I just switched methods. Enter the world of laxative abuse. I did that for a long, long, long time. There came a point when I felt so out of control with bulimia that I threatened to kill myself. I cut, too. A lot. I am just grateful today that you can't see the scars. Anyway, some girls from school told the principal, and I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for the typical 72-hour hold that California has. That was the end of any kind of good reputation for me.

For the next 2 1/2 years of high school, I got called "crazy" or the "crazy girl". I had, like, two friends. But, mostly I just hung out in the office where I knew the staff let me stay. I stayed in there because I knew they wouldn't call me crazy. I was safe there. And how did I cope with all this? I purged. And began starving. And popped diet pills and laxatives like crazy with  occasional ipecac use.

I did all this out of habit. I did it because it was my way to deal with other issues in my life that consumed me. I reached my lowest weight at age 19. Nope, I'm not telling you.

I'm 32 now and still deal with this crap. The hardest part is dealing with food. Eating on a schedule. Trying like hell to get 3 meals and 2 snacks in a day. I have alarms go off. I've got specialists I work with. I'm on meds to help me control the compulsions. Sometimes I want to break down and cry. I'm 32 and still dealing.


As I literally force myself to eat, I notice things changing. I know I am doing the right thing even if it feels wrong. My recovery is progressing fairly well at this point. As I said, it's just the schedule with the food that's my hardest thing to deal with. I suffer from chronic constipation as a consequence of all the years of laxative abuse. I cannot eat in front of people very well. Only a select few.

Sound glamorous? Still wanna be stick thin? It sucks, people. I have a treatment team that I have been working with for two years. I just recently got a dietitian that specializes in these disorders. My doctors are absolutely incredible. I love them to death.

Would I change things if I could? Hell no. It's contributed to who I am today. And I really don't hate myself all that much anymore. I love people, and I want to learn all about them - - - as I continue to learn about myself.

Thank you for reading!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hitching Up the Big Girl Panties

So I decided to hitch up my big girl panties and tell my dietitian, Rhonda, that I will eat with her. When she first mentioned even just having a snack in her office, I was just ..."NO WAY!" I have serious issues eating outside of my immediate family. Even some of my closest friends.

Just in the last year, I have been ridiculed and totally made fun of for some of the habits I have with my food. It's extremely hurtful and certainly doesn't encourage anyone to want to eat on a social level, you know? I never know who is watching me, what they're thinking or if I may totally mess up in one way or another. Some things just really, really bother me.

I trust Rhonda. There's no pressure - all in my own time. Just in her office. Chat and eat. This will be the second time I have shared a meal with one of my providers. I'm kinda nervous, kinda excited, kinda wondering what I was thinking.
It'll go fine, I'm sure.

Thank you for reading!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Damn Hard Part

When I lost my job in June, I had no idea what to do. I would lose my insurance in 2 weeks. Granted, I would be put on my husband's, but insurance is messy. I flirted with the idea about stopping working on my recovery all together. What the f*** was the point now? I thought. If all of a sudden going from two incomes to one with a mortgage, car payment, bills, MY medical bills, etc. wasn't a big enough stressor or trigger, I had no idea what was. I actually punched my Ford Escape and busted a couple fingers. I hadn't even made the first payment yet.

I didn't know what to do. Go find a job or work on my recovery. My recovery was suffering greatly right then. When I expressed these frustrations to my my husband, he told me "Just pick one and do it." Despite needing the extra income to make the mortgage and other bills, he gave me the choice to solely focus on my recovery. I could not believe that. I thought recovery would totally be a jaunt down easy street with no work stress. Oh my heavens, how I was wrong.

To get a basic idea of how my life goes right now, here is an example of a typical 2 week period for me:
Aug 11 - Rhonda, my dietitian.
Aug 16 - Dr. Skinner
Aug 22 - Dr. Ashaye
Aug 23 - Kristin, my therapist.

Those are all actual appointments coming up. They are spaced very close together. My providers call each other if concerns arise or if I have a special request. They're all very good to me. Very loyal. But, and this is a big but, there are agreements. For example, if I ever tell Kristin I am actively suicidal (no, I'm not) and go and do something regardless of the help she's offered, she will drop me. End of relationship. And I totally understand.
In addition to my appointments, I keep daily food logs. Everything that passes my lips needs to be logged. Many times I forget to do this. It just needs to become a habit. This information is very informative for my dietitian, Rhonda. She can see what my weaknesses are and where I had good, strong days. On the days I forget to log, or the log is sparse, I must explain. That I don't like to do. As always in every regard, honesty is the best policy.

No, my kids don't come to these appointments. I'm not ready to tell them about my disorder yet. Later. I must find daycare. My sister, Hollie, and mother in law, Doris, have been absolutely astounding in working with me so I can go to my appointments. My family takes care of me very well. I am one lucky chick.

After all appointments are done for the week, I am absolutely floored with exhaustion. But I must continue on. I have my household and family to help take care of. Thank goodness I get lots of hug therapy at home. Cause, you know, sometimes I just want to kick my feet up and relax. Knit. Zone. Rest my head on my hubby's shoulder.

It's damn hard. But blogging my struggle publicly has produced an insane amount of rewards. Each time I see the count go up, I am so very hopeful that someone realizes they are not alone. I totally encourage emails. Whether you've got anorexia, bulimia, ED-NOS (that's me), binge eating disorder, or others, you are not the only one and not alone. There is nothing anyone can tell me that I don't know. However, I can be scared. Dr. Skinner told me one time that if I continue down this road there's a good chance I'll never recover. That stung.
That's the kind of stuff that needs to be told to people. Some of us may never recover. Some of us may die. But we need the truth told to us, and for us to get better, we must tell the truth.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Breaking the Piggy Bank

So while it's fact that eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, they are also one of the most costly to treat.

I thought it would be interesting today to gather monetary records from my providers on how much money I and my insurance has paid out so far. I first went to Kristin, my therapist. Her bookkeeper emailed me an Excel spreadsheet with every single transaction dating back to my very first visit with Kristin, 4/27/2009. So.....as of 7/26/11, $4601.91 has been paid to my therapist. That's my insurance and my out of pocket amounts.


I haven't even inquired with my medical providers and dietitian yet! I'll tell you though, after much laxative abuse, a colonoscopy came to a final bill amount of approximately $5300.00.

I was in an inpatient facility for eating disorder treatment that cost over $1200.00 a day.

My treatment is far from over. Progress is being made, but sometimes it kills the fighting spirit. Donations, anyone? Ha...just kidding!

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Sometimes there isn't much to say. Other times you feel like screaming everything to the world. It's really kind of a unique feeling to read a post that someone writes about you. And that I just did.

If she was in front of me right now, I'd hug her to pieces and apologize for worrying her so much. Sometimes when we're together, the looks she gives me breaks my heart. Sometimes I can't answer questions that I don't know the answer to. She wants to help me so bad......

I'm so lucky  to have her for a friend. This disorder has cost me a lot of people. She sticks by.

Thanks. I love you.

Be Coolio