Relapse

I’m posting this poignant slam poem here because I’m trying to avoid posting this on my FB wall to express this to everyone in my life who knows about ED, but thinks it is all over…again.

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Unremarkable Week, Still Mentally Ill

I WANT TO CUT RIGHT NOW.

1.) I took off work tomorrow (approved a month ago) and my boss wants to come in because we’re short staffed tomorrow since 3 other people are out too. Therefore, I feel guilty. Today I was with Cory by myself. He has been great recently, but he is staffed 2:1 because his behaviors are dangerous and uncontrollable without restraint. The Quiet Room often is not adequate to keep him from hurting himself. I’m mad because my work often staffs kids whose school districts’ pay for 2:1 staffing as 1:1 when we’re short staffed. We used to have subs, but my work is too fucking cheap and let them all go. I don’t know where all their money goes! It costs $80 k to send a kid to the school; it costs even more if the student needs 2:1. I make less than $14/hour. The majority of the employees are people like me. There are only 2 full time therapists. My boss, the other people like her, and the BCaBA don’t make $80 k. That leaves a handful of office staff, 2 administrators, the head of the company, an HR person, the BCBAs, and rent. We have 30+ students.

2.) Ginny disagreed with me on something (minor, not even specifically concerning our jobs). She disagreed that short staffing a 2:1 is unethical. She said keeping a student a 2:1 when their behavior no longer warrants it is unethical. I agree. However, I also think when the school district pays over 80 fucking thousand dollars a year for the student’s education and treatment, we should fucking pay a few subs $10/hour.

3.) WHY DID I WANT MY PARENTS’ ATTENTION AGAIN?!?? They are SO annoying about food and weight gain. I hate myself. They’re asking me over and over AND OVER what I ate and when. They mentioned weight gain. OMFG.

4.) I feel guilty for my behaviors.

5.) I agreed to go to a murder mystery party at Heather’s house, but I really, REALLY don’t want to.

6.) I have a doctor’s appointment for my eyes tomorrow, but I don’t know where it is.

7.) I’m procrastinating on studying.

On one hand, I’m telling myself I’ll study tonight if I don’t go to Heather’s party. On the other hand, I told myself I’d study before my appointment today and I haven’t started studying yet. In my position, would you go to the murder mystery party?

Alternatives to Self-Injury and ED

one-dayh-you-will-be-better-at-coping-on-day-you-wont-have-to-self-destruct

I made a chart to try to help myself think of things I can instead of eating disorder or self-injury behaviors. I’m not done with this chart. I still need to add antecedents (the specific event that causes behavior, Ex. my friend criticizes my clothes) and setting events (any physical, social, environmental, or physiological event that increases the likelihood an antecedent will trigger behavior, Ex. having a cold, being in a crowded room, feeling overheated).

However, I finished the function of behaviors (what the behavior does for me) and replacement behaviors (things I can do instead of ED or SI) sections of my chart. It is still important to identify the setting events and antecedents because that can help me use coping skills before I start feeling upset.

 

What coping skills or replacement behaviors help you? Do you have any thoughts on what I wrote? Thanks!

 

Setting Event Antecedent Function Replacement Behavior
    Concern/ caring from others ???
    Pushing people away Just stop talking to them, depression makes you do that anyway. Plus, people seem to drift away even when you don’t want them to. Therefore, you don’t need behaviors to separate the wheat from the chaff. What you really mean is testing loyalty. You want to see who stays, but those who aren’t true friends will eventually leave anyway, why torture yourself to test the people who love you?
    Keeping others close Make an effort to do specific things with people you care about at regular intervals, show them you care, basically, be a friend to have friends
    Distraction This is similar to the boredom ideas, but use things that specifically take your mind away like reading or a movie or an opposite emotion (ex. Comedy) TV show.
    Self-punishment/ Guilt ???
    Expressing anger ???
    Self-esteem Measurable success is part of self-esteem. However, there are other reasons. One way ED, SI, and BDSM give me self-esteem is that I can endure things that are considered torture by civilized societies (starvation, whipping, cutting, burning, and stress positions). This also ties into strength and power. Part of the issue is I KNOW I am good at these things. Ever since I was little my parents remarked on my pain tolerance. My dad and I used to play games to see who (my brother or I) could withstand pain or cold the longest. One time I passed out. Another time, I started bleeding. I KNOW I am good at weight loss. I don’t know if I’m good at anything else.
    Measurable success Lots of things are measurable! How fast or far you can run, how much weight you can lift, etc. Don’t use things that are dependent on others’ evaluation like grades in school or performance evaluations at work. Those aren’t objective.
    Emotional stability Work on emotional regulation techniques in DBT workbook? However, behaviors are more effective because I don’t have to feel things as strongly in the first place! Emotional regulation requires experiencing the full force of my emotion and dealing with them better. With ED especially, I don’t have to feel in the first place. Restricting blunts all my emotions. How can healthy emotional regulation be preferable?
    Strength/ Power/ Control (superiority to others) Most of the time, I feel weak and pathetic. When I use behaviors or endure pain to give someone else pleasure, I show strength and willpower and self-control. Exercising through pain or to exhaustion might have the same effect.
    Alleviates Boredom Incorporate fun things into your daily life, so boredom isn’t a problem. Relearn knitting, horseback riding, reading, etc.
    Alleviates Loneliness Do things on a regular basis with friends. Try meetup.com, go to classes like art classes at Michaels, go to support groups. However, this requires more effort then behaviors. I KNOW behaviors. Also, how do I know anything other than the first idea will actually work? I don’t, but I guess I should try. I lose nothing by trying. I can’t do things on a regular basis with friends because they don’t actually want to do anything with me. I try to set things up and it never works out.
       

 

Flip the Eating Disorder Switch

You know you have a problem when the thought of eating with acquaintances, after realizing you haven’t lost weight since yesterday, makes you cry.

I decided it isn’t the size of the group that bothers me. I’m upset that I don’t know everyone well.

It is like there is a tripwire in my brain. For the past few weeks, I haven’t really used eating disorder behaviors because I’ve been self-injuring instead. However, once I skip 2 meals in a day, a switch flips in my brain and I start weighing  myself. I worry about fat. All these thoughts flood my mind. “You don’t deserve food. You’re weak. If you don’t eat, you’re strong and superior to others. Look at their weakness. You’re pathetic, but at least, you can do this. If you were nicer and prettier and a better person, you’d be worthy of food. But you’re a terrible person. All you do is hurt people. You don’t deserve to eat. You’re a waste of space. I want you to disappear.”

The Procrastination Begins

It didn’t take long for me to start procrastinating. I hope I’m only lazy because I slept fitfully last night. I need to manage my time! I can’t fall behind and get overwhelmed yet!! If I fall apart this early, I’ll never make it.

Work was okay. I wanted to cut a few times because my boss experimented with John’s plan. I think they aren’t giving the new yelling area a fair try. They’re continuing to move backwards. I didn’t eat lunch. I am weak. My mom is out tonight and I ate 4 cookies. Before eating stupid chocolate chip cookies, I hadn’t eaten in over 24 hours. I am a failure.

Last night I wanted to cut on my way home and with horror, I realized I wanted to cut because I was anxious about sitting down for a meal with my mom. I hadn’t eaten a proper meal with anyone for a week and a half.

 

Edit: I ended up working and it is a good thing because some of it was due today! I figured it was due before the class meeting. It is also good I ate those stupid cookies because it will make eating with the group easier.