Anatomy of Recovery


Pro-Recovery
I'm Jules, a 22 year old recent college graduate. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa when I was 14. I'm 100% committed to recovery because I know how amazing it can be. This blog is about my journey and any help and inspiration I can offer others on their own journeys.
I tag all my personal pics "julespic" so that you can block the tag if you find them triggering. I also tag all photos of food with the "food" tag in case they are triggering to you.

Email Me at anatomy.of.recovery@gmail.com

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Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh

(Source: fightffyrdmns)

I wandered around Anthropologie for an hour yesterday looking for something “self-care-y” to get with my gift card.  I eventually settled on this matte red lipstick which makes me feel like a badass.  I feel pretty crappy right now.  Gaining weight feels bad.  My therapist and I decided that it wouldn’t be good for me to go back to that nutritionist and I don’t feel ready to try and find yet another new one right now.  She wants me to go inpatient for depression/ed but doesn’t trust that there is anywhere that will give me the care that she wants me to have.  She also said I could go home for a while.  Neither of these things are actually options.  I’m an adult with a job and an apartment and rent.  I can’t just disappear for however long.  My weight is okay and my insurance would never cover things without “medical need”.  I’m not using symptoms— I’m just feeling crappy about the fact that I’m not using symptoms.  Anyway, I guess I’m fine because I’m always fine.

B likes my weight gain a WHOLE LOT.  Sometimes that helps and sometimes it makes me feel worse.

I wandered around Anthropologie for an hour yesterday looking for something “self-care-y” to get with my gift card.  I eventually settled on this matte red lipstick which makes me feel like a badass.  I feel pretty crappy right now.  Gaining weight feels bad.  My therapist and I decided that it wouldn’t be good for me to go back to that nutritionist and I don’t feel ready to try and find yet another new one right now.  She wants me to go inpatient for depression/ed but doesn’t trust that there is anywhere that will give me the care that she wants me to have.  She also said I could go home for a while.  Neither of these things are actually options.  I’m an adult with a job and an apartment and rent.  I can’t just disappear for however long.  My weight is okay and my insurance would never cover things without “medical need”.  I’m not using symptoms— I’m just feeling crappy about the fact that I’m not using symptoms.  Anyway, I guess I’m fine because I’m always fine.

B likes my weight gain a WHOLE LOT.  Sometimes that helps and sometimes it makes me feel worse.

Boy & Bear, Back Down The Black
"what is hypomania and what does it have to do with spending money? i don't mean this in a rude way." With love, Anonymous.

I’m not offended!  So, for people who have bipolar 2 rather than bipolar 1, they have cycles between depression and hypomania rather than full-blown mania.  Hypomania is a less severe form of mania and does not include hallucinations, delusions, or paranoia, which may be present in full mania.  Generally, people who are in hypomanic states appear to be really productive, pretty happy, and in touch with reality.  However, it can be really disruptive and lead to bad choices and damage to relationships.  To be honest, I’m still pretty new to understanding the bipolar 2 diagnosis.

Here are some symptoms of mania:

Mood Changes

  • Abnormally elevated or expansive mood
  • Extreme and abnormal irritability
  • Easily excited to enthusiasm, anger, agitation or another emotion
  • Unusual hostility

Increased Energy

  • Decreased need for sleep with little fatigue
  • An increase in goal-directed activities
  • Restlessness

Speech Disruptions

  • Rapid, pressured speech
  • Incoherent speech
  • Clang associations (which can also occur in schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and other psychotic disorders)

Impaired Judgment

  • Inappropriate humor and behaviors
  • Unusual impulsiveness
  • Lack of insight
  • Financial extravagance and/or recklessness/impulsivity
  • Hypersexuality

Changes in Thought Patterns

  • Unusual distractibility
  • Enhanced creative thinking and/or behaviors
  • Flight of ideas
  • Disorientation
  • Disjointed thinking
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased focus on religion or religious activities

Psychosis (these are not present in hypomania)

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia

Increased and impulsive spending is often part of a manic or hypomanic episode because your inhibitions and judgements are different from how they would normally be.

"What you spent seems like a normal amount of things you actually need and are practical that you would have to buy eventually" With love, Anonymous.

Yeah, I’m trying to realize that and not freak out but it was just like very sudden after months of not spending anything at all and then I always worry that I’ll just keep spending and won’t stop.  :/

Maybe the hypomania is coming back a bit because I’ve been spending a lot of money in the past week.

  • $100 on pants and skirts for work in the summer at H&M
  • $15 on sale tights and makeup stuff I didn’t need at Urban Outfitters
  • $50 on two GRE prep books
  • $40 including shipping on 5 of the ModCloth Stylish Surprise items

I feel like this is a lot but I haven’t bought anything at all in a while.  I know it’s not a totally absurd amount either.  I’m nervous that I’ve spent so much and know that hypomania isn’t a good thing, but I’m hoping for a reprieve from the depression.  Idk.

"(1/2) Hi, may I ask a question (or advice, really)? I've maintained my weight since July, but in December I started having a relapse into my depression and was continuously having very low moods. About a month ago I started running as exercise is said to ease depression, and I did notice that I've felt better moodwise. Even so, it's simultaneously made a major increase in ED thoughts, and I have so many urges to restrict. I've cut back on calories a bit in hopes of losing a few pounds, but" With love, Anonymous.

(2/2) in the past this has been the pattern of the beginning of a relapse. Food has just been on my mind 24/7 and I’ve been getting anxiety about strict healthy eating as well as wanting to relapse, but I don’t know what to do? Because if I eat more and stop exercising I might just fall back into depression, but if I continue, despite my best efforts to fight off my urges, it’s mentally taxing and I fear I’ll slip up. It would be easier if I didn’t have to pick between one or the other…

I think that it’s probably not a good idea to be exercising if you’re decreasing rather than increasing your calories to account for it.  You need to be eating more to support your increased activity rather than less.  Eating less and having your mind on food all the time are signs that this behavior is opening up the door for eating disorder thoughts and behaviors.  It’s important to stop this in its tracks by reaching out to someone so you don’t slide farther.  Relapsing will certainly not help with your depression.

Exercise can be something that really helps with depression for a lot of people.  It’s always a little tricky in ED recovery.  I’ve found a few things that can help.

  1. Get active with a friend to help keep you from obsessing.  Maybe you could both go on a fun bike ride together.
  2. Do something fun rather than something designed to burn calories.  If you’re usually doing machines at the gym that tell you your calories, try going rock climbing or attend a salsa class.
  3. Avoid the exercises that were associated with your disorder.  At least right now, it can be very triggering.
  4. Talk to any doctors, nutritionists, or therapists you may be working with about setting a limit for the number of hours a week or times a week that you can exercise, as well as the types of exercise that are appropriate.
  5. Keep the focus on loving your body by exercising rather than controlling your body by exercising.  If you can’t do it in an emotionally nourishing way, it’s not time to be doing it.  If you’re doing it to improve your mood, keep the focus on that.  It has to be about self care rather than control.

You might not be ready to do any of these things at the current moment until you get these behaviors and thoughts to be better.  Hope this helps!

I can’t wait until this current bout of depression lifts.  I know it’s going to pass but I hate the waiting and not knowing how long it will be before I can resume my regularly scheduled emotional life.

Sometimes I just feel like a black hole of negative energy in the lives of the people who I know. I want to bring positivity but I feel like I’m not capable right now.

Ken Kesey in a letter to Allen Ginsberg (August 1993)

(Source: the-barnsley-prince, via fuckyeahbeatgeneration)


(Source: nicoleeenatalia, via bruisedbutbeautiful-deactivated)

"Hey there, I am about to start seeing a new therapist and I am very anxious about it. I think what is bothering me the most is having to retell all my details to a new person, almost like starting from scratch or bringing up all the pain again. I was wondering if you ever had to switch therapists or start seeing someone new, and how did you deal with it?" With love, Anonymous.

I definitely understand feeling this way.  It’s always hard to bring everything back out for a new person, no matter if they’re a different therapist or just a new member of your treatment team.  It can seem overwhelming and unpleasant to bring these things back up.  To start, you don’t have to get through everything in the first session.  I find that it’s helpful to first establish a timeline for someone.  I’ll actually write down my story in bullet form from “beginning” to now in order.  This gets my thoughts in order before the appointment and helps me get through it without becoming too emotionally involved.  You can think of this first visit as the beginning of an outline; one that you’ll be filling in with this new therapist for a long time in the future.  You also don’t need to get too much into the emotional stuff if you don’t want to.  If you’d prefer to outline things in a more matter-of-fact way and then get to the hard feelings later, that’s perfectly okay.  It’s impossible to convey the complexity of your experiences in a session or a few sessions.  However, working with someone new can help you to reframe a lot of your past experiences in a new way, which can be very helpful.  

You can also tell your new therapist about how you’re feeling.  Some people won’t want you to retell all your details right away.  You can start with where you’re at right now and go from there as you’re comfortable.  If you have the opportunity, you can have someone else, like your old therapist or someone who has treated you, provide this therapist with a history so you won’t have to re-tell so much.  

Hope this helps and best wishes with the new therapist!

Charles Bukowski (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

(via tofucado)


someinstances:

Someone at ERC used to tell me this all the time. Thank you, universe, for the reminder.

someinstances:

Someone at ERC used to tell me this all the time. Thank you, universe, for the reminder.

(via kitestrings)