Sunday, February 28, 2010


Goals for this week:

1. I will not hurt myself.
2. I will destroy my midterm tomorrow.
3. I will spend 28 hours in the lab, being productive and maybe making something cool.
4. I will get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. 8 would be better, but I'll start with 7, it's better than my usual.
5. I will not throw up. It might mean I spend an hour at the gym every day and stick mainly to eating vegetables, but I will not throw up.
6. I will give myself a pedicure, because I like the number 6 better than 5, and I want something relaxing to look forward to.

still hidden

Crisis averted. I made it through the weekend boyfriend visit without him noticing what I'd done. It's easier to hide it from him during the week, and it'll be healed over by next weekend. He'll never have to know. I'll never have to explain.

Part of me wonders if I should be hiding this at all. The rest of me is sure I can somehow stop doing this on my own, without anyone's knowledge or help, and then I'll never have to hurt anyone by telling them about it.

And now off to studying. I have a midterm tomorrow, I have no idea what to expect from it in terms of difficulty, no idea what I should focus on while I'm studying. At least this will keep me busy for the rest of today.

This week will go better. I'll make sure of it.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


I don't know how to hide my wrist.

It's mostly him that I want to hide it from. When his wrist is sore, he wraps a bandanna around it, so I did that. I figured it was a plausible explanation for why it was covered.

Then my brother saw it.

"What happened to your wrist?" "I hurt it." "Hurt it how?" "Sprain."

At this point, he raises his eyebrow. "Are you lying?"

I look away. He caught me off-guard, I don't know what to do, I hesitate, and then he picks up on it and he knows.

Well that stayed hidden about all of 5 seconds from my brother. I wonder how long it will hold up against him?

Please, please, please let him think my wrist is sore, in a muscular-ache kind of way...

Friday, February 26, 2010


I've realized some things.

1. I'm afraid to be too honest with people. I'm afraid to let them know when they've hurt me, afraid my speaking up will make them feel badly. I would rather be the one feeling badly, and the more I care about someone, the more effort I will put into keeping them from ever feeling bad.

2. I don't react well to people being upset or angry or sad because of something I did (or didn't do). It means I've failed to keep them happy, that I'm useless, that I'm not good enough for them. If I were better, then I could keep them happy all the time.

3. I don't think much of myself. I sort of treat myself as expendable. I think that's why I have problems expressing negative emotions. If I feel sad or angry or upset in any way, most people around me would never know it - I'll pretend, I'll lie, I'll hide. I won't express it, not in front of someone; their happiness is worth more than mine and I don't want to upset them. If I do express anything negative, I seem to only be able to do it in self-destructive ways. I'll starve myself, or purge, or hurt myself. And then I'll feel better. Problem solved - it's a way of getting rid of something really negative without hurting anyone I care about.

Now that I re-read those three things, there's actually a lot of overlap between them. I'm only just starting to sort these things out. But the overlap's not important here.

What's important, is what these things mean. I think this explains my tendency to freak out and hurt myself.

Going back to what happened on Tuesday.... My boyfriend was angry (or strongly annoyed, as he rephrased more recently) about something I did. I felt horrible for doing something that made him unhappy. I didn't want to express that I was feeling horrible, because I was worried that would make him feel bad for being angry, and that would be counter-productive to my goal of making him happy again. So I kept it inside, went to the pub, laughed, pretended I was ok. When I was alone again, I still felt bad, and didn't know what to do with those emotions. So I hurt myself, stopped eating properly, and just generally did not take care of my body until I was feeling better again.

Normally, that would have been the end of it. Everything back to normal, no harm done to anyone I consider important. Except that the cuts on my wrist are still there, and are obviously self-inflicted. They won't leave scars - I never go deep enough for that - but I'm worried that he'll see them, guess at the cause of them, and feel bad about that. Luckily it's winter and I can keep them covered most of the time by wearing long sleeves, but because of our relationship, I can't hide them forever without it becoming suspicious. I'm just hoping they'll heal before he does notice.

Obviously, his being upset at my self-harm is not good, especially because of how much I want to keep the people I love happy at all costs. I've been trying to figure out why I reacted the way I did, and how I might have been able to do things differently, more 'healthily.' I think the healthy way to deal with it, would have been to simply ask him why he was angry. Then I'd understand what happened and maybe be able to prevent it from happening in the future. I was afraid to talk about it because I was afraid of upsetting him.

And here's the point where my psychiatrist's influence has started to help me make changes. I asked myself why I was afraid of upsetting him. When I'm afraid of doing something, she suggested I ask myself, "what's the worst thing that could happen?" And I realized I was actually afraid that he would react the way I reacted - that he would blame himself, get angry at himself, possibly hurt himself. But most people don't react that way. I do sometimes, and my ex would have sometimes, but despite me knowing two people that react that way, I realize that most people don't. On the other hand, if I had just talked to him about the whole situation, then there's the possibility of actually resolving it and even preventing it from happening again.

It took me until last night to figure all of that out. I took a deep breath, called him, and asked him what I'd done to make him angry. That wasn't the first thing I said when he picked up the phone, since I didn't want to jump right into that, but eventually I worked it into the conversation.

And you know what?

It wasn't so bad.

He said he didn't mind spending time with me, but that it annoyed him when I tried to plan our days out (or parts of them anyway) just to spend a couple extra minutes together. That if I want to spend time with him, just tell him, and he'll come over for an hour or an evening or whatever.

Then he asked if it had upset me. I knew he would figure that part out - otherwise why would I ask about it two days later? So I said yes, a little. He said sorry for that. He also said he over-reacted, that he wasn't really angry at me, more so annoyed at the time, and he didn't realize it would affect me so much.

I even asked if he thought I was too needy, and we talked about that too. He said he didn't think I was too needy, and that it was ok for me to want to spend time with him when I'm feeling down, but that I need to tell him that's why I want to spend the extra few minutes with him, otherwise he doesn't realize that on his own.

I'm kind of proud that I got up the courage to talk to him about that. We're getting along fine today. We saw each other this morning, and we're going out for dinner tonight. I'm even going to eat normal amounts of food.

I'm still going to try to keep him from seeing my wrist until it's healed though.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

still too

I'm feeling somewhat better today (then again I am also drunk as I type this, at 6 in the morning, as I struggle with my insomnia).

I still think I'm too needy and dependent. I treasure my time with him and will go out of my way to plan my day around catching a few moments with him, even if it's just walking him to class. But he will not do the same for me. That much has become clear. I don't know whether I've suddenly become better at reading his negative emotions lately, or if he's just becoming more annoyed by my neediness lately. It doesn't really matter I guess; either way, it means I have to stop being so pathetically dependent on those moments.

There was a time when I wasn't dependent on anyone for anything. Now I'm wishing I'd stayed that way.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

inconsistency is...

using vitamin E gel on my face to heal scars, less than 30 minutes after making new ones on my arm


too needy
too selfish
too sensitive
too damaged
too inconvenient
too worthless
too greedy
too slow
too fat

I wanted to spend time with him. The only reason I wanted to go to the pub at all was to spend time with him. He's the only thing that makes me feel ok sometimes, and I didn't see much of him today, and I wanted to walk with him to the pub instead of just meeting him there. And for some reason that made him angry. And then I regretted wanting to spend the time walking with him.

We walked. We didn't touch the entire time. Our eyes didn't meet. Our footsteps, normally in sync with each other, were awkwardly mismatched. I wanted to crawl into a hole and cry. I didn't. Not then anyway.

I'm back in the lab, alone. Wanted to throw up; realized there's nothing in me except booze and coffee. Wanted to cut; realized I don't have any razors here; remembered my pocketknife.

There's so much about me I hate, I can't stand someone else being angry at me.

New goal: let's see how long I can go on nothing but coffee.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

through the looking glass

Yesterday was wonderful. Something of a break through.

I woke up at 2:42 a.m. Thursday night (Friday morning?), convinced I heard my alarm going off and that I needed to hurry up and get dressed. I stared at the clock in confusion for a few moments, finally realizing that I should still be asleep.

Despite my not-so-restful night, I still woke up at 5:30 when my alarm went off for real. A girl I work with is really into sports and fitness (in a healthy way, I'm trying to learn from her), and we've become gym buddies.We both like going to this "total muscle conditioning" class that starts at 7 a.m. on Friday mornings, so we've made a deal that we'll go together. That way, when my alarm wakes me up at 5:30, I'm less likely to say "screw it, I want to sleep some more," because I'll know that my friend will be waiting at the gym for me.

Except she wasn't there; she'd slept in. But I went. And it was great. The class itself was good - we mostly worked on upper body muscles, arms and back stuff, and my shoulders are still sore today. But I like doing this on Friday mornings for more than just the gym class. I love walking around the city when most people are still asleep, when the sun is just coming up. It's calm and peaceful and an absolutely amazing way to start a day.

I didn't worry too much about calories yesterday. I had all-you-can-eat sushi for lunch. And even ate some things that were fried, like the tempura and the spring rolls. Then finished it off with a mango ice cream. 

I went to a cirque show on campus at night. It was based on Alice in Wonderland. The Mad Hatter was the host, complete with green and purple clothes, wild hair and make-up. He introduced the three acrobatic acts: Alice falling 'through the rabbit hole' (and twirling around a suspended hoop); the White Rabbit 'late for a very important date' and twisting around two black straps hanging from the ceiling; and the Queen of Hearts (played by the same girl as Alice) who did an amazing routine with red silks.

They were serving finger food, beer, wine and cocktails at the show. And there was a table of chocolate too. I sampled all 3 types of solid chocolate, and even had a shot of the iced 'drinking chocolate'. It was delicious. It's been so long since I ate chocolate just like a normal person would, without turning it into a binge.

I got home a little before midnight, slightly drunk and in a great mood. I realized I was still a little hungry, so I had a sandwich with cheese, something else I don't normally let myself eat.

This morning I weighed myself; I still do that every day, I can't help it. And despite all the food I had that I normally don't let myself eat, I hadn't gained any weight. It was something of a revelation. It's possible to eat those things without getting 'fat.' I don't think I'm ready yet to stop counting calories everyday, but maybe I'll be able to handle some of that 'unplanned' food without freaking out so easily.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

i am a tangled web

...and I need to start unwinding my knots.

I'm starting a second blog to help me with doing that. This blog will stay focused on the present. The other blog will be where I sort through my past. There's a lot of stuff that I don't think I ever really faced and dealt with, and I blame that for the panic attacks and general "I'm losing it" feelings I get. I want the panic attacks to stop; I want to treat myself better; I want to be free of the things that sneak up on my mind and haunt me at times. So I'm going to write about them, and analyze them, and figure out what still bothers me about them, and then (hopefully) figure out what to do about it.

It's going to hurt at times, I know it, but I also know that I need to do this.

I also don't want to hold anything back in the new blog. I'm going to use details, real names, real places. And so that second blog won't be made 'public', because if anyone I see in real life were to stumble upon it, it might give me away. But it doesn't have to stay completely private either. If anyone following me here wants to follow that one too, let me know.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I don't know why I called them. I wouldn't have under normal circumstances. If Mom hadn't been in the hospital, if Dad and I hadn't fought (but then, we nearly always fight), if I hadn't temporarily run away from home, if I hadn't seemed upset enough for a friend to recommend a place at school I could go to talk to someone. "Yeah, I might need to talk to someone by the time all this stuff is over with." "Why not now? You're going through a lot, it might help." "Yeah, maybe I will..."

And so I made an appointment for a phone interview. I found a semi-quiet place at school for the phone call; I didn't have a 'home' at the time, nowhere that was really private. A lady with a nice voice asked me questions, I answered them. I told her I was upset because my parents were sick, that I fought a lot with my Dad, that I had panic attacks I couldn't control unless I hurt myself to make them end. That I'd been hospitalized for being suicidal when I was 16, but that I wasn't like that anymore; I hurt myself sometimes but I don't want to die anymore.

Our half hour was up. She said there was a waiting list, but that she would try to rush me through a little bit, to expect an in-person appointment in 3 to 4 weeks.

I saw my new doctor for the first time the next day.

I was confused. Why did they want to see me so soon? I'd told them I wasn't suicidal anymore. By that point Mom was finally home from the hospital, Dad was acting as if nothing had ever happened to drive me out, there was a fragile sort of peace in the air and I moved back home. Life had returned to its usual state of somewhere between bad and good. I was starting to wonder why I'd felt like I needed to talk to someone at all, and yet they thought I needed to talk to someone right away. Why?

I kept the appointment. Why? What did I want help with? What did I want to work on, to change, to deal with? I didn't know. I still don't. I don't usually admit I'm not fine, even to myself.

If something hurts, I ignore it. If something hurts so much I think it might break me, I tell myself it happened to someone else. I distract myself from it. I've had a phobia of boredom since I was 15. If I don't have something I need to do, if my mind is quiet instead of racing, then my mind can turn to things I don't want it to think about. So I don't let myself slow down or stop. I keep myself so sleep-deprived that by the time I do sleep, I'm out right away, there's no time for my thoughts to haunt me in the space between waking and sleeping. No quiet time, no boredom, no unwanted thoughts, no pain. I go on.

I've seen the new doctor 5 times; I've cried during 3 of those times. I don't think I cry easily, but there I was, crying about things that weren't even recent and sometimes not even knowing why I was crying. I was angry at myself for being so weak, for wasting time crying, for letting things that happened so long ago still hold power over me.

Maybe I never really dealt with them. Maybe they're what I still run from, in my too-busy, perfection-driven schedule. Maybe they're what catches up to me when I have a panic attack and feel like I'm losing it.

Maybe I need to, somehow, deal with them. Maybe that's why I called.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I lasted 3 days.

Didn't throw up Monday night, though it was really, really, really hard. I was fine until I got home from school...then my family's left-over dinner was still out on the counters in the kitchen. I picked up a plate. Lifted it, started walking away with it. Stopped myself. Forced the plate back down. Stared at the food. Breathed in and out, in and out, in and out. Walked away, empty-handed, and went to bed. I almost caved. I almost promised myself "just this one last time." But I walked away.

Tuesday and Wednesday were easier. I planned ahead of time what I would eat and when, and avoided foods that I know usually trigger binges.

Thursday...caught me by surprise. There was a lunch party at school I'd forgotten about. Couldn't avoid. Couldn't control. And there mia was, waiting. I didn't eat as much as most of the people there did, but I felt like it was too much and I couldn't keep it.

Even though I only lasted 3 days, this, in itself, is an accomplishment. For some reason I thought I've been fighting this for 3 years. But no, now that I stop and think about when it all began, it actually started in November 2005. So it's now been over 4 years. And since it started, I haven't been able to last a week without mia unless I was on vacation with friends and surrounded by people nearly all the time. And even then, sometimes we've managed to sneak away, me and mia, in the midst of a party or a restaurant in a city I don't even live in.

So I'll consider those 3 days as a starting point, as the first signs of change. And I'll last longer this time. And I'll try harder to avoid surprises.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

so a psychiatrist and a girl with low self esteem and control issues sit down in a room...

How much do you weigh now?

And how tall are you?

And how do you see yourself? Do you think you're fat? Obviously your body wasn't happy being 120 lbs if you're back here. It's amazing how hard our bodies will try to correct themselves...
I'd say ... I'm...average I guess...

Yes, so would I.

...but I've never been one to be happy with being average.