Monday, August 31, 2015

Asking for help

Why is it so god damn hard? I need help, why do I feel so guilty asking for it.
I'm having a tough week. I thought that being a science rep for Welcome Week at my university would really help improve my mood, but I spend all day overly excited and putting up a happy front, that I crash right after. My ED voice is being extremely loud and I can't be starving or purging while running around trying to help first year students. And it seems like the second my 12-15hr days are over my suicidal ideations hit me full force.
I emailed my therapist asking for an extra session this week. I felt guilty. I felt like I wasn't bad enough, that I was fine, that nothing was wrong and that I would be wasting her time.
Sometimes I think that if I'm well enough to ask for help, I'm not sick enough to need it. How did I come up with that idea?
Sorry for this post being so down, I have a more uplifting post planned for tomorrow to start off September well.
-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, August 28, 2015

8 tips for university

I'm currently going into my third year of university, studying Math and Stats with a specialization in Origins research. Here are some of the things I wish I new/learned over the past two years/advice I have for anyone entering or in university. These are mostly social/academic based tips, I'll be publishing another post regarding battling mental illness while in University shortly.

1. Keep an Agenda. You are NEVER too old for an agenda. Get a little one that fits in your purse and carry it absolutely everywhere. You never know when someone is going to invite you out, and you need to check if that's the Friday night before or after your econ exam.

2. Don't worry about your notes being perfect. In fact, your notes should have pencil or a different colored pen notes scribbled all around the margin. When a prof mentions a concept is quite important, or clarifies something, or you ask a question, it's good to scribble down what he said that made you understand the lecture at the time.

3. Go to lecture. I think this is obvious, and you've probably all heard it a thousand times.

4. Don't be afraid of your professors. Nine out of ten times, your prof will want to help. If you are trying to get your practice problems done, and attending lecture, your prof will most likely be more than willing to help you out. Or if you miss a few lectures, because you're sick, go to them for help catching up.

5. Don't be afraid of the upper years. Who better to ask for help then the students who took the same course only a year ago?

6. Get involved. Whether your getting involved with a sports team, the alcohol awareness club, or are a regular at your local bar's Karaoke night. Try doing something, on a semi regular basis, with people who have similar interests.  

7. Sleep. There is a myth that you can't have a social life, good grades, and a decent sleep schedule. It's a lie. University is very good at glamorizing the under slept, over caffeinated, all nighters being pulled a the library one night, followed by a drunken late night out the day after. You'll hear people saying that 'they'll sleep when they're dead' or 'no pain no gain' all around the school. It's a lie. They probably sleep more than you think. People don't brag about their regular 7-8hrs a night sleep schedules. They brag about the week they only slept for a total of 15 hours. Ignore it. Sleep.

8. Don't forget why you came. Did you come to university because you're a curious person who  loves to learn? Or did you come because you want the training you need for a job? There's a reason your spending this much money on education. If you have a dream job, do your best to get summer internships. If you'r here for pure knowledge, go sit in public lectures. Always keep your goal in mind.

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Coffee

As most of you know, I have a severe coffee obsession. I love it iced, freshly brewed, espresso shots, lattes, mochas and fraps. I'll even drink day old coffee if its there. I'm actually a coffee snob and really appreciate good quality coffee, but I'll take whatever I can get my hands on.

When I'm at school all day, I  don't have the ability to make myself coffee and I don't like spending money on black coffee. I also wasted a lot of my money on coffee and am now on quite a tight budget. I love making iced coffee and taking it with me in a water bottle!

I have two ways if making it.

I make a cold brew, which is made very similarly to the Starbucks cold brew, however I can't compare taste wise because I haven't had the Starbucks cold brew. Here's the recipe:
- pour water into a pitcher
- put the appropriate amount of fine grind coffee for the amount of water you have (~1tbsp/cup) into the pitcher.
- stir
- seal the pitcher, either with a lid or cling wrap
- let sit for at least 12 hours in the fridge (I go for 18 or even 24)
- pour the coffee through a coffee filter into a new pitcher
- enjoy!
This is a great way to have good quality coffee even if you don't have a coffee machine or are in residence and aren't supposed to make coffee in your room (which I did anyways, but that's a different story).

I also like to make a big pot of coffee drink 2-4 cups and throw the remaining 2-4 cups in the fridge to have iced the next day!

I definitely take a lot of beverages with me to school.. My bag is always quite heavy 🙈

I like to have a water bottle with iced coffee or cold brew, my thermal mug with tea (and extra tea on the side, my office has a kettle), and a water bottle with either crystal light or mio lemonade drops. Staying hydrated and caffeinated is important!

Tomorrow's and Friday's posts are going to be me giving advice regarding university. One will be mental health related, one will be more general. If you have anything you'd like me to address please send me an email, leave me a comment, or tweet at me!

-Niqi
xoxo

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's not about the food

Or is it?

I've been thinking a lot about all the work I've done this past year with regards to working on relationships, dealing with distress, and emotion regulation which are the three main pillars of DBT.
So I kind of figured, okay now I have to focus on the food. I want to lose weight and at times I genuinely enjoy binging and purging. So maybe it is about the food.
I told this to my therapist today. I had plans upon plans of things I could do to reduce binging and purging. She mentioned that plans were good but was I going to follow them. And for some reason, I couldn't honestly reply yes. I also couldn't tell her my plan was to get me to stop binging and purging. It was only to reduce it.

My therapist asked me to describe my ideal life.
I decided to be brutally honest. Here it is.
I would be maintaining my UGW
I would be exercising daily (which I genuinely do enjoy disorder aside)
I would b/p once a week to relax
I would go to ball games often and chat with friends over a cooler.
I would be a mathematician.
I would liquid diet 1/week to cleanse
I would take long walks on the beach
I'd own a cat (or cats)
I'd learn to surf

Some aspects of this life are wonderful. But my eating disorder is still there. In the best life I can imagine for myself I still have an eating disorder. Which my therapist pointed out to me today, that clearly part of me can't let go of the control. I've been going through the motions and not taking DBT completely seriously. And maybe I need to.

But I guess the point is, it's clearly not about the food. If it was, I could easily imagine a life without it. But since I can't do that, there is a much deeper underlying issue.

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rest day

I honestly have no idea what this means.

I'm supposed to be resting mentally this week. I already have a huge to-do list of things to do. I decided to sit down and enjoy my coffee, so I'm sitting in Starbucks sipping my vanilla latte.

I'm going to go home and make my bed, then watch the chamber of secrets while coloring in the new coloring book my mother got me.

I'm tutoring at 1pm, so I'll be heading out right after my movie ends. Tutoring is actually quite relaxing for me as I have him read to me "Le petit prince" which is one of my favorite books.

Following tutoring I think I'll go for a nice stretch, and then head out to Burlington, where I'm going to a group for the first time. I might just go for a lovely walk and listen to a book on tape (either looking for Alaska or the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy) around the pretty city, eat dinner in a park, and then head to group. After group in going to catch the last gymnastics practice and be home at 10:30.

How is it that my rest day seems so incredibly busy?

Well, I'm working on it at least. I'm learning how to relax.

-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Giving back

My eating disorder started in grade 9. The summer after my grade 12 year, I still hadn't admitted to having a problem. I guess I knew I had a problem, but I didn't know I needed help. I was convinced I could go on telling no one about my bulimia and pretending that everything was okay. I thought that I could become a new person when I entered university. I wouldn't be bulimic anymore.
Of course, this didn't happen. I managed to stay clean all of September, but as midterms approached, I ended up binging and purging. It was on of my first year reps during Welcome Week who had told me about the peer support that was available on campus.

This wonderful upper year student made a MASSIVE difference in my university life. I was able to confide in her and have her support in finding help. I want to be able to make that type of difference in another students life.

This year I am a science representative (we're called SCIclones and we take the campus by storm). I'm nervous about making it through the week, because it is nine days of constant socializing and being enthusiastic. However, I really want to help out other students that may be in similar situations. I really want to help first years be more aware of the services available and to end the stigma of mental illnesses. It's is possible to have a successful university journey even while struggling with a mental illness. I really hope to find a few students that I can really help throughout the year.

-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, August 21, 2015

Words to live by

I'm feeling extremely un-creative today. One of those days where I'm incredibly numb because my emotions are too overwhelming for me to deal with. It's a rough time of year for me, and classes starting up again has been getting to me.

I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes, those words and affirmations that keep me going on days like today.

"No amount of guilt can change the past
No amount of anxiety can change the future"

"Discipline is choosing what you want most over what you want now"

"Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten"
-GK Chesterton

"Binge on life
Purge negativity
Starve guilty feelings"

"You aren't a bad person for the ways you tried to kill your sadness"

"Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength . Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you."
-George RR Martin

I hope you're all having a better day than I am, stay strong everyone.

-Niqi
xoxo

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Why recover?

I often ask myself this question. I trap myself in many negative thought cycles and manage to convince myself that recovery isn't worth it. But this isn't what this post is about.

I stumbled across a Marya Hornbacher quote the other day:
"Bear in mind she's trying to kill you. Bear in mind you have a life to live."

Is easy to forget both of these things. When running around in starvation induced mania, feeling high after purging, and using your eating disorder to get through all the struggles in life, it's easy to forget that it's actually killing you. I actually find it extremely easy to convince myself that this is how I keep myself alive. I can go for a good month or so pretending everything is fine before it hits me, the intense stomach pain sets in, the heartburn gets bad again and I realize that this disease is killing me.

It's also easy to forget that I have a life to live. It's easy to convince myself that this is my life, watching Netflix, blogging, studying, and of course, obsessing over my weight, food, and exercise. I do have dreams and goals. I want to be a professor, preferably in California. I want to spend my weekends reading and working out. I want a cat and a comfortable couch to relax on. I want a beautiful kitchen to make beautiful meals filled with local fruits and vegetables. I can't have this if I die.

Since I fell upon this quote I've been trying to ask myself what I'm forgetting when I'm trying to binge and purge. Sometimes I forget I have a life to live. I forget I have hobbies, friends, work and school. I have extra time so I might was well binge and purge. I figure I won't miss out on much if I die so I binge and purge. Other times though, I forgot that my bulimia is trying to kill me. I trick myself into thinking I can live a long healthy life binging and purging every few days, and liquid fasting on other days. I want to live my life, but I forget that I can't actually live my life with my eating disorder.

When I remind myself of these things, recovery seems like a very good idea.

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ignorance is bliss

I used to be a girl
I don't know what happened
But I'm more than that now

I'm half an adult, and half a girl
And half possessed by a demon
I'm often just a walking shell

I used to skip through life
With a smile and sparkly eyes
Eating icecream and skipping rope

I used to wake up at 7am
And watch morning cartoons
With my bowl of chocolate cereal

I used to dance around my house
Pretending to be a ballerina
I'd fall and burst out in laughter

I used to wear my cutest bathing suit 
And run under the sprinklers
Singing songs at the top of my lungs

But now when I skip I'm burning off
The icecream I ate earlier that day
And I'm smiling but my eyes are empty

But now my alarm jerks me awake 
And I reach for black coffee and a pile of pills
And wash off yesterday's mistakes

But now I leap around my house
Wishing I had a ballerina's grace
And collapsing to the floor in tears

But now I wear a dress
To cover the scars 
My bathing suit reveals

They say growing up is great
And that knowledge is power
But damn was ignorance bliss

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, August 17, 2015

Healthy

They smiled and told me I looked healthy.
That I must be doing well.
Your mother told me you were having a hard time.
That food was a challenge.
But you look good they said.

Did I?

Well good for me.

Because little did they know that I had my head in the toilet three times that day.
That the reason I was gaining weight was that I was binging so much I would fall asleep and those 10000 calories were what I kept in.
Little did they know that what I ate in front of them that night was going to cause so much self hatred that I would binge and purge an extra five times the next day.

See, I'm a bulimic.
I'm currently 10 pounds heavier than I was at this time last week.
And no I'm not bloated and it's not that time of the month, but I had a hard time and I gained ten pounds in a single week.
People have been congratulating me.
I opened up about my eating disorder, and people just thought I should eat a little more.
What they didn't understand is that I don't restrict.
I cut food out of my life because my bulimia makes me binge and purge it.
And when I restrict I'm restricting to purge because I binged the day before.
And people are quick to push aside the first four years of my suffering because I only purged via laxatives and over-exercising and I wasn't puking so I was fine right?
Who cares about the fact that my bowels are so lazy it takes up to a week for that safe lentil salad I ate to go through my system.
Who cares that I spent my weekends crying in the bathroom instead of going out.
My weight was fine. I wasn't puking.

Lately I've spent my days binging then purging then binging then purging then binging then purging then binging until I'm too exhausted to purge and I fall asleep
I've been gaining weight so quickly it's ridiculous. And people seem to think this is okay, because at least at the end of the day I ate and kept food down.
And I'm staying within my natural BMI range.
What you don't understand is that it's not healthy to gain so much weight in so little time.
It's not healthy to binge until you're in such physical pain that you can barely move.
I'm not healthy whether or not I look like it.

How bad I am doing has little to do with my weight.
If my weight goes up I could be nourishing my body, or I could be binging on tens of thousands of calories.
If my weight goes down I could be purging everything, or I could have reduced my binges.
Looking at the size of my thighs and feeling my bones as you hug me will never give you an accurate read of my health
because my mental illnesses has to do with so much more than just my weight

So next time you look at me and tell me I look healthy
Ask me how I'm doing.
Because my BMI has never been unhealthy, and you're probably thinking I could use those ten pounds that I gained
But never have I felt so close to death.

-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, August 16, 2015

My dad met my boyfriend

And I have to say,
It went pretty well.
We played my favorite board game -
Settlers of Catan
And they both had a beer.

When your dad
Is a physicist,
And your boyfriend's
A math major,
There is a lot
Of common ground.

My dad approved,
And told me he was a keeper,
Which was quite a confidence
Boost for me.

Being reassured
That I've found someone good,
And I'm not just being
Overly attached,
Is a really good feeling,
Because I'm so used
To my relationships failing.

I guess all I'm saying
Is that I'm really happy with him
And past the approval
Of all those I care about.

-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, August 14, 2015

I want vodka

A conversation between me and my esophagus.

Me: it's Friday night, and I'm quite stressed. I'd like to pour some vodka into my lemonade.

My esophagus: I'm already in pain from the stomach acid you forces back up half an hour ago.

Me: I'm sorry I hurt you, but I won't do that tomorrow.

My esophagus: but you did it today. And you did it twice. And I just want to rest.

Me: at least I took my reflux meds though. Why can't that calm you down?

My esophagus: maybe if you took your meds consistently it would help. But you've skipped your meds a lot this month. And you've been purging a lot. Can you please just let me rest.

Me: I've been trying so hard this week though and now I just want a break.

My esophagus: I know you've been trying, but the less stomach acid I endure, the more coffee I endure and that hurts me as well.

Me: you're making it pretty impossible for me to win.

My esophagus: well maybe if you recovered we wouldn't have to go through this.

Me: but this disorder helps me in so many ways.

My esophagus: you're forgetting about how much it's killing you.

Me: I know. But I just want a drink.

My esophagus: I can't stop you but I sure as hell will yell.

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Binging and Purging

I didn't binge or purge yesterday. This was the first day in quite a long time. I had a really hard time falling asleep, but hey I did right?

Of course, now I want to binge and purge in order to reward myself for not binging and purging yesterday. Because that makes sense right? Oh eating disorder logic.

I'm thinking I'm going to aim for every other day for a bit. This weekend will be difficult as my dad will be arriving... He arrives Friday night, and leaves Sunday morning. So I could have a session today, one Friday and one Sunday. Which would be a HUGE improvement over what I've been doing..

Wishing you all the best

-Niqi
xoxo

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We accept the love we think we deserve

This is one of my all time favorite quotes.

I'm not going to lie, I didn't fully understand the meaning at first. Not until I knew what it was like to be in a toxic relationship. And even then, I only really realized what was going on when I got out of the relationship(s).

(trigger warning - sexually explicit)
I spent several months this year dressing up and going on 'dates' with guys I met on tinder. I'd usually get them to buy me a coffee, and then go sleep with them. I was impulsive, and they would see my scars. They'd make up sweet nothings and tell me I was pretty. I'd get undressed and sleep with them. They were using me for sex. I guess I was using them for reassurance that I was pretty. I'd never talk to these boys again.

I also put a lot of effort into one sided friendships, and trying to connect with family members that did not accept me. 99% of my friends and family are very supportive. But there have been a few friendships and relationships that I've let go of.

I'm in a a few really positive relationships right now. I have a few of the most amazing friends one could ever ask for, a great boyfriend, and I'm becoming more comfortable being open and honest with my parents. I feel strange about sometimes. I wonder why I'm not being taken advantage of. I wonder why my boyfriend doesn't insist I 'get better for him' or use my impulsivity to do things with me I wouldn't normally do. I wonder why my friends don't talk about how crazy I am behind my back. I wonder my parents don't see me as a lost cause, and why they still support me financially. I just don't feel like I deserve it.

However, I am trying to accept the love I am receiving. I may not feel like I deserve it, but the people giving me the love think I do. So why should I argue?  I'm known for not giving myself full credit. So I'm no longer questioning the wonderful support and love I'm receiving. And honestly, I feel a lot better then I did before.

Accept love. Accept real love. Accept support, compassion and empathy. Accept help. Don't accept fake love from those who are secretly plotting against you, hitting you or backstabbing you. You all deserve it, no matter what you may think.

-Niqi
xoxo

Something strange happened

Something strange happened

Something strange happened
When I was seventeen and a half
Everything with beauty
Suddenly seemed so sad

I thought of my little sister
A smiling three year old girl
Who would grow up to see
Too many reasons to frown

The bus ride back
From my week at home
Reminded me how dark
The world gets after sunset

And that lighter I used
To light candles and relax
Starting making marks
On my upper right thigh

The cheesecake that I
Would eat after a very long day
Became the first food
I saw mixed with acid

My smooth legs that I loved
And would moisturize daily
Were scared by the same
Pink razor that shaved them

It was all very sudden
How everything seemed
To turn into a method
Of self-destruction

All I know now
At nineteen years old
Is that I wish I could be
Smiling for real

-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Binging

I've been binging my life away. I wish I could say I was being dramatic. But it's true. The purging is taking a toll on my body, I'm in constant stomach pain, dehydrated, and my reflux is ridiculous. Not only can I see my life expectancy dropping, my weight is going up. And up. And up. I'm at my newest high weight. I'm so disgusted with myself that I just keep on eating, and eating, and eating. And my suicidal ideations are getting stronger, and stronger, and stronger.

I'm waiting for my breadsticks and funnel cake to be delivered. I'm just hoping that tomorrow is better..

-Niqi
xoxo

Back in the gym

I meant to post this a while ago, but I've been so very busy this past week with my exam and work!

I got back in the gym for the first time in a while on Wednesday. Not only did it feel great to get back into the gym, I did some partner work with my friend who's a circus artist. I'm very pleased with how these poses turned out.

Being in the gym really helps with my body image. Being in a tight leotard can be tough, however it reminds me of how many amazing things my body can do. Here are some of the pictures from practice - I'm the one on the right.

I hope you all have a nice weekend,

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, August 3, 2015

Food diary - Aug 2nd - lunch and dinner

Hello lovelies,

I meant to keep on blogging my food yesterday, but a friend of mine ended up coming over to get away from her family for a little bit. This friend of mine is in recovery from her eating disorder at the moment and is a HUGE inspiration for me.

Here is the rest of the food I had yesterday:
For lunch, I had a big latte that didn't fit into one mug, and a salad with sunflower seeds.
I didn't follow my meal plan for dinner, and went to timmies with my friend. Having her there made it possible for me to try the new Reese doughnut without purging. I also had a pretzel bagel toasted with butter (!!), which is unfortunately unpictured. 

My binge/purge free day was successful. I feel really good this morning, not super dehydrated and ready to attack today. 

Have a great Monday everyone! If today isn't a holiday for you, I hope your first day work day of the week goes well. For all you Canadians, have a fantastic day off!

-Niqi
xoxo 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Food Diary - Aug 2nd - am snack

I definitely procrastinated on having my morning snack, but alas, I ate it :)

I had cinnamon apple sauce which is my favorite because it tastes exactly like apple pie, and a chocolate almond espresso Popsicle while watching That 70s Show. Time for a power nap and then back to work and studying!

-Niqi
xoxo

Food diary - Aug 2nd - breakfast

Good morning,

As promised, I decided to post a food diary for today, to keep me accountable and stop me from binging!

Here is my breakfast:
- watermelon strawberry smoothie
- coffee!

I was too cold to have a espresso popsicle this morning, but I'll probably have one once the sun rises.

I have so much work and studying to do today, so I'm really glad I got a good night's sleep with no nightmares.

Have a great day lovelies

-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Circus

I've been having a pretty bad day, but I finally got myself dressed and to Starbucks to study. 

I don't want to start August off with a negative post, so I thought I would share this picture with you guys. As most of you know, I am a gymnast, and gymnastics has really helped me keep myself in check and grounded throughout my life. I haven't been able to train much lately due to my night course, but I can now get fully back in the swing of things, as lectures are over. I also went to safety for a friend of mind who is a circus artist, and had an amazing time. I played around on the silks a little, and really really enjoyed it. 

I didn't want to post this earlier because I've been stuck in a terrible binging and purging cycle at my high weight lately. I don't hate my body at my set point weight, and I actually had pretty decent body confidence at my low weight. Although there is only a 10 pound difference between my high and low weight it feels like massive amounts to me. 

I hope you all had a better start to August then I did. I'm going to post a food diary tomorrow in order to keep me accountable to not binging and purging. I have to get out of this cycle somehoww. 

-Niqi
xoxo