Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Letter to Saxon

I need to tell you some stuff, just get it off my chest, throw it to the wind, and let it be done. And don't worry, I'm being totally faithful and have no intentions of breaking up with you. So, you don't have to think this is anything bad. I also want you to know that I'm not expecting anything from you, except maybe a hug. I just need to vent.

I'm still depressed. It probably doesn't seem like I am when I'm with you, and that's because for a while, I can actually forget that it's there. On the plus side, it's not nearly as bad as when I first started seeing my therapist, but nevertheless, it is still there. I still have the occasional day where I just want to cocoon myself in my bed, and never leave it. Lately, my moods seem to fluctuate a lot, I don't have much energy, and I crave all kinds of sugary junk food. And because I've been depressed for quite a few months now, maybe even a year, I've become indecisive. When you're depressed, nothing really seems that appealing. It's just easier to let someone else make the decision for you. So, I don't want you to get frustrated if I can't decide on a movie to see, or I don't want to make plans for anything, or I really don't have any opinions on what we eat. It's not that I don't care, or that I want you to decide everything... it's just a habit I need to break. And I'm only bringing this up because I feel that I've been avoiding any sort of decisions a lot in the last couple of weeks.

I also want to tell you that I'm falling in love with you, and that scares the hell out of me. You see, I've only fallen in love twice before. The first time, the relationship ended with me gaining 100lbs and enduring emotional abuse that still has me scarred about sex. Every now and then, the thought that I might not get turned on or I might not be able to perform pops into my head, and makes everything so much more difficult. Fortunately, the more we have sex and I don't have issues, the less those thoughts occur. Anyway, the second time I fell in love, the relationship became totally sexless, my bulimia returned, and it ended with rape. So, all things considered, it's not really surprising that I'm feeling scared at the moment.

The problem with me being scared is that I turn to the one thing that makes me feel like I'm in control - food. I have been eating a lot more in the last month, especially processed sugar-filled foods, and so I've gained some weight. I have no idea how much because I don't weigh myself anymore, and I'm not going to start again. Numbers make me obsessive. But yeah, I haven't been exercising consistently (and I notice that my sexual endurance isn't quite the same), and my clothes are fitting differently. And, I don't want this to be a big thing (no pun intended), but in my head, I start to worry that you'll find me unattractive and you won't want to stick around. So, I just need a little reassurance that you aren't going anywhere, and that you do find me attractive.

I know this all probably sounds a little crazy, but I want you to know that it won't always be like this. Because I'm choosing not to take anti-depressants, it's gonna take a little while for me to overcome this depression. But that's what therapy is for. I'm learning to love myself, all of me, for who I am. And when I finally get there, and I know I will, I won't have all these crazy insecurities or this reliance on emotional eating. Until then, I'm just gonna be unintentionally indecisive, a little bigger than I want to be, and fearful of something I should be excited about (falling in love). At the end of the day, all I'd like from you is big hugs and to occasionally know how you feel about things.

Oh, and to end this, I'm cutting out sugar for the next 30 days. That doesn't apply to eating out, but I won't be buying any foods with sugar. This should actually help with my moods to stop them changing so erratically. Plus, I always feel better about myself when I'm keeping the processed stuff to a minimum.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Food/Exercise Log: 02/14/10 - 02/16/10

I woke up and did 36 minutes of hills on the elliptical. It was really tough as I kept having a hard time breathing. My allergies have been acting up for the last week or so.

I ran some errands and enjoyed a juicy organic pear and a green smoothie (blueberries, coconut milk, hemp protein powder, bananas and spinach). I spent the afternoon baking chocolate chocolate-chip scones and whipping up a hazelnut chocolate creme for a sinful take on strawberry shortcake for the evening. I snacked on one of the scones.

In the evening, Saxon and I cooked dinner together - pasta with a white wine mushroom sauce. It was actually a little disappointing. We also snacked on some french bread with a green olive tapenade. Delish! Then we each enjoyed one of my strawberry shortcakes. Totally divine. We also had some amazing sex! That definitely counts as exercise.

When I got home late that night, I was hungry. I ate more of the bread and olive tapenade when I should have just gone to bed.

Woke up with a sore lower back, and it get steadily worse throughout the day, even though I was just sitting at my desk all day. I just stretched a little, and decided to skip a workout. I didn't wanna aggravate it any more.

Started out my morning with a bunch of sliced strawberries, and a couple hours later, I ate the last chocolate scone from Sunday. Lunch was a Clif bar, and in the afternoon, I had a serving size of cashews.

When I got home, I was craving tons of veggies, so I threw a soup together. The base was vegan sour cream, veggie broth, and red curry paste. I threw in tons of mushrooms, 2 crowns of broccoli, half a bunch of kale, and half a bunch of mustard greens. Omg, good! I dipped the last quarter of the french baguette in it. Just what I needed. Before bed, sweet tooth was raging again, so I had a few handfuls of pumpkin seed granola.

My back is still pretty sore, so I'm holding off on working out. Breakfast was a banana, lunch was a vegetarian fajita burrito bowl from Chipotle, and dinner was a big bowl of leftover soup from last night. I'll probably finish it off tomorrow. I also baked some mint chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, and had 4 or 5 small ones. Soooo good, but nothing crazy. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Food/Exercise Log: 02/12/10 - 02/13/10

Yesterday it snowed, so I left work early to make sure I could get over to Saxon's before I got snowed in at home for the weekend. I thought to bring some food with me, so in the evening (after eating normally all day), I cobbled together assorted veggies and greens in a creamy sauce, served with crackers. It actually ended up being pretty damn tasty.

Our original plans for the evening were ruined by the snow, so I wasn't able to squeeze in a workout like planned. Sex counts though, right?

Today, we've been ridiculously lazy. We talk a brief walk with Kirby in the snow, and that's about it. I've spent the afternoon reading, while Saxon plays his newest videogame. Our laziness is complimentary. I haven't eaten much today - granola and coconut milk for breakfast, crackers for lunch, and an apple as a snack. I'm really not all the hungry, on account that I'm being lazier than usual.

We took a longer walk in the evening, and played in the snow a bit. Well, I huddled in my coat, scarf and hat while Saxon played with Kirby in the snow. It was cold!

Dinner was ridiculously greasy Indian take out. Definitely not my favorite place to get Indian food, but it worked. By stomach was kinda upset by all the oil though. :(

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Food/Exercise Log: 02/11/10

Exercise - 50 minutes of power yoga. I really wasn't feeling this today, but I knew I needed a good stretch, so I pushed my way through it. There were times I could have held the poses longer, but as soon as my head said stop, I did. I find that sometimes when I work out, I have to fight my head every step of the way, even if I know I can do it. And other times, I'm all pumped up and push myself as hard as I possibly can. I prefer the latter, but today wasn't one of those times. I still figure that pushing through the workout is still better than not exercising at all.

Food was weird today. Since my bro is moving back, I had to move all my stuff from "office" back into my bedroom. I was complaining about not having enough space, so my mum helped me reorganize my entire closet. I was kinda weird, more than anything. Unsettling, I suppose. Anyway, I didn't have much hunger all day. Breakfast/lunch was a Clif bar around 3pm, and then I had some hummus and crackers, followed by mashed potatoes and sauteed greens and veggies for dinner at 7pm. My sweet tooth flared up later, so I made a half-batch of vegan cookie dough... and ate one half of it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Food/Exercise Log: 02/09/10 - 02/10/10

My therapist has asked me to keep a food/exercise journal, so this shall suffice for now.

I suppose I'll start with yesterday:

I was healthy up until I got home from work. During the week, when I have time in the morning, my food looks like this:

Breakfast smoothie - 2 bananas, 1 cup unsweetened "milk" (usually hemp or coconut), 1 scoop of hemp protein powder, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1 tbsp greens powder, blueberries and 3 handfuls of fresh spinach. Water to thin.

Lunch - hummus and sprouts/romaine on sprouted rye bread. Healthy fruit-sweetened whole grain homemade muffin.

Afternoon snack - 1 serving size of nuts. Lately, dry roasted cashews.

Afternoon snack 2/pre-workout snack - piece of fruit

Dinner - usually some kind of combo of protein (beans, tofu or tempeh), greens, veggies, and grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, etc.)

Yesterday, I followed that plan until I got home. My new rat cage arrived and I was beyond eager to start constructing it. So, when I should have been cooking dinner, I started the building the cage instead. I got hungry really quickly, and ended up eating half a bag of root veggie chips. I followed that with half a box of nutter butters because my sweet tooth kicked in. That, and my energy has been low lately due to sleeping poorly. I did enjoy the nutter butters, but I'm paying the price today. Lots of gas and bloating, blech.

Today has been better. I should have made my lunch last night, like I usually do on workdays, but I didn't have the energy. Then I way overslept this morning, so I had to dash around the kitchen. I didn't have time to make my usual sandwich or smoothie, so I grabbed a Clif bar and a bunch of fruit. I ate the Clif bar for breakfast. It doesn't keep me full as long as the smoothie, and I don't feel quite as fabulous when I start my day out with one, but it's better than a lot of other options out there, and convenient.

I was ravenous at lunch, and I hadn't been to Chipotle in forever, so I decided to grab a Vegetarian Fajita Burrito Bowl. That's actually very healthy, and would have been the perfect lunch, only I had to order a bag of chips with it. I knew I wouldn't need the chips, but I craved the salt and lime. So yeah, I ate the burrito bowl AND the chips. I started to get hungry towards the end of the day, but I skipped my usual snacks because lunch was so big, I finished on a high note tonight though with a fresh veggie stir fry (tempeh, bok choy, red pepper, baby bella mushrooms, and broccoli sauteed with some oil, tamari and a couple of squeezes of orange juice). I served it with some leftover brown rice. Delicious!

My energy has perked up a little, so even though it's kinda late, I'm gonna do one of my kickboxing DVDs.

I feel so much better after doing that! I love the cardio kickboxing. Not only is a great way to get my heart pumping, but I get to punch and kick to my heart's content. Now I just hope that I'll get some decent sleep for a change. Gonna try some sleepytime tea again.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I don't expect anyone to stumble across this journal, and I'm not putting this out there for anyone else. I need a place to vent, ramble incoherently, and explore the origins of my thoughts and feelings. I'm creating this space as a gift to myself.

Recovery is a bitch. Sometimes it feels like I'm never going to get to a point in my life when I'm free of this emotional weight. We recently discovered the cause of all my issues in therapy. I was born six weeks early, and 25 years ago in England, healthcare wasn't quite as advanced as today. My mum was also a nanny, and had learned all about premature babies. So, when I was born, she was convinced I was going to die, especially when they had to move me into the ICU because of jaundice. For the two weeks I was in the hospital, she did not bond with me.

Two weeks is all it took to leave me with intense abandonment issues that I didn't even realize I had until a couple of months ago in therapy. Two weeks is all it took for me to learn that food is love, leaving me with low self-esteem, food compulsion issues, and bulimic patterns when I feel like everything is out of control.

Two little weeks fucked up my whole life. I didn't even have a chance from the beginning. And it makes me so sad and so angry at the same time. I'm sad because I think about how scared my mum must have been as a young new mother, knowing too much about the horrors of premature babies. I'm sad to think of myself as a helpless 5-lb baby, kept alive by tubes and wires, with the only human interaction I received being fed every two hours. To be this tiny, helpless girl with no one to hold me and want me and love me. To have no one believing I would actually live.

And I'm angry because I didn't deserve this. I did nothing wrong, and yet I've had to live for 25 years with all these insecurities, fucking up every relationship - plutonic and romantic - I've ever had. I'm angry because I went through all these dark moments, not knowing why I felt like I did or acted like I did, not knowing that the first two weeks of my life were the cause of everything. I'm angry at all the punishment I've inflicted on my body because it was the only way I ever learned to deal with my problems. I'm angry at myself for all the abusive relationships I didn't have the courage to leave, because the thought of being alone was so much worse than physical and/or emotional pain. I'm angry at myself for bottling everything up instead of asking for help, for fear of being seen as weak. I'm angry for all the self-doubt and self-hatred I've felt over the years, for belittling my own accomplishments and believing that because I accomplished them, they weren't things worth accomplishing anyway. I'm angry for letting someone I loved rape me, and even worse, to pretend that it wasn't rape at all. And I'm angry for the times when I thought I was in recovery of my eating disorder, but I was still just as caught up in my compulsions, mistaking restrictive diets and obsessions with exercise as a healthy frame of mind.

And now I know what caused this whole mess I've been trying to live with and overcome. And I should feel relief, but knowing doesn't make it any easier. I still feel like I'm a crazy person. I get ridiculously upset at Saxon visiting his parents in South Carolina for a week, because I feel like the little girl that's being abandoned. I know he's coming back home soon, but I'm still so afraid that he won't. I'm scared to share half of my emotions with him because I don't want to scare him off with all my craziness. I get attached so easily, and then I'm holding on for dear life, as if that person walking out would be the end of the world. How can I not get attached when I'm receiving attention, affection, and incredible sex? I long for moments of intimacy where there's nothing else in the world but the two of us. My inner child feels loved, wanted, needed, and safe then. It's just me filling that void in one more way.

I don't want to lose my intensity. But I also can't keep living the same way. My therapist gave me a new mantra: "living in shades of gray". I have to drop the all-or-nothing attitude, and learn to enjoy the subtleties of moderation. I've been practicing moderation, not always successfully, over the last couple of months. I'm avoiding the usual triggers for my compulsions - following a specific exercise plan, cutting out/avoiding certain foods, especially sweets, and setting unrealistic goals for myself. I'm finally able to keep a jar of peanut butter in the house without eating the whole thing in 2 days straight. I don't say I need to workout everyday. Instead, I know that 30-60 mins of exercise 4-5 times a week is healthy, and if I do feel like working out, I'll decide that day what workout I would like to do, whether it be high-intensity cardio, intervals on the elliptical, running outside, or strength training. I find having a plan just causes me stress, anxiety, and obsession, so I'm learning to trust my instincts. My career is the only exception to this rule because I want to be financially successful this year, and that does take a little planning.

I'm telling myself to back-off on my new relationship, and just enjoy it for what it is. As my therapist told me, boys come and go. I don't need to rely on them to be my lifesaver. So, I'm just going to enjoy the time I get to spend with Saxon and revel in the fact that I love sex for the first time in years, and whatever happens, happens. There are no expectations for a long-term relationship, marriage, kids, whatever.

Although my maternal instincts are kicking into overdrive at the moment. I remember wanting kids when I was young, but since I was a teenager, I've always said I don't want kids. Didn't think I'd change my mind. But now I can't stop thinking about having one. Part of that comes with being in a sane healthy relationship, my first one of that kind. I've never been with someone that would have been great father material until now. And part of it comes with the recent revelations about my own birth. I can't go back in time and fix those two weeks of abandonment, so I want to give to someone else what wasn't given to me.

I know that one day I will fill that void. One day I will accept everything I've been through. And one day, I won't be afraid of being alone, of being abandoned and unloved and unneeded. Until then, I'm going through a grieving process. I'm grieving for the innocent, carefree childhood I'll never have. I'm grieving for everytime I put someone else's needs ahead of my own, and thought that was the only way to feel truly happy. I'm grieving for the little girl that was abandoned. And I'm grieving for all the pain I've caused myself. I'm slowly letting go of all the pain so I can let the happiness in.