Home again, home again. Home again, now!

I had a wonderful two week (almost) visit back to Wisconsin to be with my parents for Christmas. I was also able to see and catch up with a lot of friends and previous colleagues. Seeing my elderly father settling into a daily routine, in his independent living apartment community, and stick to it despite having company, gave me a good feeling. He and my mother are comfortable there and have made a lot of friends. My dad gets out of the apartment for a coffee hour and lunch every day – which means that he is seeing and interacting with people other than my mother. When they were still in their house, he would often go for a week or more seeing only her (or me when I went over.) That was stressful for both of them! We all know what it’s like when you spend too much time with only one other person. Even the best relationships can get ouchy! Although my mom has been able to come and visit me here in California, and will again, I doubt my dad will be able to due to physical limitations. That was why it was so important for me to go see them over Christmas.

my son, dad, mom and me

Peter, Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

Dad, Mom and me

father and daughter

father and daughter

I also was able to have Christmas with my sisters-in-law and their families. A long tradition on Christmas day, of rotating homes, will no longer include our house unless they all decide to come out here one Christmas! It was a long day starting with picking my son up at the airport after his overnight flight from San Francisco. Then it was back to Grandma and Grandpa’s for a belated Christmas Eve time (when my family usually does Christmas) before we headed down to the in-laws.

My niece and her husband

My niece and her husband

Anxiety always plagues me over the holidays. I know that the get togethers are all about family, but the eating disorder part of my history and mentalness always kicks in and can’t quite do the food thing very well. I don’t purge, but I do over eat and eat to cope with anxiety, little depressions and any little thing I harbor. I’ve never felt able to talk to others very much about my food issues. And there are so many issues that touch upon it!

Peter and his second cousin  (I think that's what his cousin's son would be?!)

Peter and his second cousin (I think that’s what his cousin’s son would be)

drummer boys!

drummer boys!

Spending all that time away from home also drastically impacted my ability to get any exercise or spend time meditating. The weather didn’t make me feel like walking (cold, snow, gray, wind – all the reasons I moved away from Wisconsin winters!) as well as being in my parents small apartment. LOTS of just sitting occurred. I can feel in throughout my body – like a slug. I desperately tried to meditate every day. I think I was successful only once. Every other time, either the phone would ring, someone would walk in or, if I tried before bed, I would fall asleep.

But I am home now. It was a wonderful visit, but it was time to come home. Seven hours of flight time (2 legs) and a mad dash through the Houston airport have gotten me : home again, home again. Home again, now!

Time to go meditate then go for a much needed walk!

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and a little anxiety crept about …

English: Christmas food of Poland, Sanok

The holidays are hard for me though. In addition to the general stress of them and family and trying to be on my best behavior and not argue at all, there’s the food, food, FOOD! It triggers the eating disorder part of me that I’ve also struggled with – failingly – since I managed to stay pretty thin until I went into treatment for bulimia at age 29, but it’s been a downhill battle and increasing weight gain ever since then and my weight is now up about 80 pounds from when I when into treatment! That does a ceaseless number on my self esteem and really makes being around boundless quantities of food distracting. I learned this summer that my bulimia was actually another form of self harm. Unfortunately, my body got to the point that throwing up felt like my chest was being ripped wide open, with no purging results, so I’m left stuck with ingesting food that becomes extra weight.  Sometimes I can kind of forget about my body image … until I see myself in a picture or mirror. And then the self loathing returns. And I want to purge … but I can’t. And I haven’t been self harming (burning or cutting), and know I should keep away from that but would really really really like to – so here I go into the remainder of Christmas Eve and onto Christmas Day with more food, food, food and smiling and not telling. I feel like the size of the Abominable Snowman. I can feel my anxiety bubbling up and ready to seep out or every crevice as if my body was made of porous  building blocks.

I do love my family, every one of them!

Old Habits – Bad Coping Techniques

 

Friday was a challenge. All during therapy sessions, I kept wondering if insurance would cover me for any more days or if it was my last day. Finally, right before I left, I found out that I can have 3 more days, but they want them split up (MWF) rather than MTW. A step-down plan. Anyways, I was anxious about that and other general things on my mind.

Once that part of the day was over, I went to spend the evening with my parents. My dad (I’m sure he’s undiagnosed bipolar)  was in a down phase. It had obviously been a difficult week for my mom. Within minutes, I had made myself a stiff drink. It was the first drink I’d had in 2 weeks. I did make it last 2 hours, but it was still a break in abstinence. I was having a hard time being with them because of my dad’s mood, but decided to push through for a few hours, putting on my happy face.

This morning was a session with my psychiatrist to check on meds and fill out long-term disability paperwork. When I got home, I saw that no medical records had been attached, and now I’m worried about that. My appointment started and ended late, and then it took about 45 minutes to get my script filled because the didn’t realize I was waiting for it for about a half hour! All of thins had my morning off to a very late start. I was suppose to help with testing at my dojo, but was now unable to get there in time. It would have been almost done by the time I got there. So … more anxiety. Time to go back to my parents’ to pick up my son. Started off well enough, but then he and I started arguing. Partly 16 year old “I know everything and you don’t) attitude, partly my impulsive anger acting up.

I tried really hard to turn the afternoon around. I stopped myself from yelling or judging. I laughed and talked. I worked in the yard. We decided to spend some family time together doing errands and going out to supper. All went well. I didn’t have anything to drink with supper. We then went for frozen custard. It was really good! I thought I had succeeded. As we got closer to home, I started to feel very full. The custard topped it off and felt cool in my stomach.

I had decided by the time we got home. Into the bathroom I went. I haven’t been able to purge for a long time (possibly years) because of shooting chest pains I get when I try. But ice cream can be different. Slickery. And the coldness helps, I think. Anyway, I did it. I puked up all the frozen custard. I stopped before the burger I’d had for supper started coming up. I’m afraid that would have initiated the chest pains.

Now I have the shame of breaking abstinence in two areas. And no one knows except those who might read it here. Why? Why? I think I have a clue … the last two days  have been comparatively quiet. Calm has become difficult for me to tolerate. I sabotage it, returning to chaos. Or was it the conversation with Dave just before we left the house … what WAS it about? I remember holding in tears as I left. But, for the life of me, I can’t remember what he said! If I remember, I’ll add it in.

So, was it the calm or the comment? It may have been either, both, or possibly neither and something completely different. Here I am, at the close of Saturday, having coped in unhealthy ways twice in 24 hours. And the weekend is only half over.  I did find a poem that I wrote almost exactly 3 years ago …

Image

A poem I wrote on 3-29-09 that I came across tonight. It is something I needed to find.