Sunday, February 28, 2016

Addict mind

It's so easy to slip into the addiction. Ignore what logic tells you and just submerge yourself completely into the bulimia, allow it to define you, and become nothing more than a corpse with a beating heart, a zombie that lives purely to self destruct.

I got bad news on Tuesday. I didn't get the summer research position that I had applied for. Thoughts of inadequacy flood my mind. It's easy to be adequate when I define myself with bulimia. All I have to do is binge and purge and binge and purge and binge and purge until I fall asleep. All self loathing thoughts masked by the carbs and flushed down the toilet.

I tried to see this as a blessing, and get a referral to treatment for the summer. Turns out I can't afford to be in school if I'm not working. And I can't work if I'm in treatment.

If I'm not going to treatment why even try to keep my head above water? I know that I need to, I just can't find the motivation.

I'm losing reasons as to why not to disappear.

-Niqi
xoxo

Treatment

So today I decided to tell my mom that I was considering residential/inpatient treatment. It's a three month program a couple hours away from where I live. It would be covered by insurance, but means I wouldn't be able to work over the summer.

I mentioned that it would mean that I wouldn't make enough money to pay for tuition or rent next year, and I only mentioned to pay my own way for three months this year, and not at all last year. I owe my parents thousands of dollars. I don't want to owe them more money.

I guess I was expecting my mom to tell me not to worry, as I was going to treatment. That money would sort itself out. That it would be okay.

Instead, she told me she'd get back to me in a week. I know I'm an adult and need to learn to take responsibility. I put myself in this situation. If I want to stay in school, I need to work. If I really wanted to, I could take time off school to do treatment, and then to work and pay back everything I owe. My parents are already doing so much for me. I know I shouldn't feel angry, but I do.


-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Another day

Another day
Another step
Another skipped meal
Another day less

Another dinner
Another fight
Another tear was shed
From your mother's eyes

Another failure
Another binge
Another day spent
Getting everything out

Another friend
Another hope
Another person
To help and support

Another slip
Another relapse
Another relationship
Bites the dust

Another day
Another bed
Another hospital
That you're lying in

Another lie
Another secret
Another way
To hide your destruction

Another day
Another step
Another skipped meal
Another day less


-Niqi
xoxo

NEDA awareness week photo challenge 7

It's the last day of NEDA week!

Here is today's challenge:
















I'm very lucky, and have quite a large support system. However, the person I'm highlighting today has made a huge difference in my journey over the past 6 months. My roommate/best friend/person has recovered from anorexia and is such a supportive, understanding person to have around the house. It really inspires me to keep on working towards getting better, and it I don't find it triggering at all as we suffer from different disorders.














(I'm the awkward one on the left, she's the gorgeous one on the right)

I hope you all had a wonderful NEDA week.

-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, February 26, 2016

NEDA Week Photo Challenge 2-6

I got just a lot behind with this photo challenge. But here goes!!

Challenge #2


My favorite coping skill is by far coloring!!! This little coloring book is my fav, and markers most definitely my favorite coloring medium. I don't like using colored pencils, as you need to sharpen them, and I find those blades super triggering. 
















Challenge #3

As a Canadian, our eating disorder awareness week was at the beginning of February, but here is the post I made!










Challenge #4

Instead of making a positive sticky note (which I often make and throw into my notebook), I thought I would share a picture of my magnetic wall that's on my desk!




Challenge #5
This was remarkably more difficult than I was expecting it to be, and I felt very odd taking the picture, and I think the picture is weird. But I guess that's the point. There is nothing wrong with hugging yourself and pushing my comfort zone is good for me!


Challenge #6
One of my biggest recovery goals is to be able to plan meals and go grocery shopping without getting extremely anxious or triggered. Yesterday, I took a step towards this and did a small trip to the groceries and bought some safe food. Yes, it was all safe food, but I'm really proud of myself for getting real food into the house and not just living off of protein shakes and oats, and then binging and purging on literally everything else. So, this trip isn't my final goal as to how I'd like all grocery trips to go, but it was a step in the right direction.



That;s it!! I did all the weekday challenge, you can find challenge 1 a few posts back, and challenge 7 will be posted tomorrow!


-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Doctors appt

I really like my doctor. She's supportive, helpful and non judgemental. She's also understanding of where I am in my recovery journey and knows to not push me too hard.

I'm nervous about seeing her today though. I had my overdose on Friday since I last saw her, and yesterday was pretty rough as well.
I didn't get the summer research grant I applied for and it hit me really hard. I shouldn't have expected to get it, but it was really helping me push forward and continue to fight knowing I might get this opportunity over the summer.

I spent most of yesterday crying. I did manage to go to class, tutor two clients, and get my meds without overdosing. I also didn't binge or purge. For me these are huge wins. I just need to remind myself if that. It's hard to be proud of doing those things when I know I have to do so much more to reach my goals.

I'm trying to remember though. Goals don't have expire. Maybe I'll get my PhD at thirty instead of 25. Does it really matter?

I'm in much higher spirits today after having the time for this news to sink in. I'm going to be okay.

I'm just really not in the mood to do my two week recap with my doctor and tell her all these things. I don't wan to get a lecture on safely taking ativan and drinking, or talk about the voices. I'm in a good mood today and I don't want to ruin it by talking about how I was in a bad mood recently.

I promise I'll get my photo challenge pictures out soon! I know I missed yesterday but they'll be posted later today.

Happy hump day

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, February 22, 2016

I often write poetry

I often write poetry
About my loneliness
And suffering
But let me tell you
That there is nothing
Poetic
About the hell
I go through

I often write poetry
About my anxiety
And sadness
But it's just because
I have no other way
To let out
The demons
Controlling my mind

I often write poetry
About my anger
And rage
But flowery words
Don't change the fact
That sometimes I
Can't help
Exploding

I often write poetry
About my binging
And purging
But that doesn't change
The fatality of this
Awful illness or
The hell
I go through


-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, February 21, 2016

NEDA Week photo challenge 1

Being Canadian, I partook in eating disorder awareness a couple weeks ago, during the NEDIC ED awareness week.

However, NEDA week is this week, and one of my favorite tumblr blogs, 100 reasons to recover, is doing a photo challenge this week.

















I'm a huge believer in wear whatever the hell you are, and if you want to wear makeup, wear makeup. My slam poem Days Weeks Months Years discusses this. However, I do believe that everyone is beautiful naturally, so here is a no makeup/no filter picture of me, in my natural state (in a onsie),












-Niqi
xoxo

Work

I should be working, I need to start paying my parents back for everything they've done for me and all the shit they've pulled me out of.

I got a few new tutoring clients lined up. That will help for sure, and I just need to make sure to save this money. I CAN'T spend it on binge food. I just can't. I've done that too much, and it's getting me nowhere.

I've also found a two week long summer school that I would absolutely LOVE to go out west. It's a women in mathematics school and held in Vancouver. The cost of the school is only $50, but the flight will be expensive. I already have a poster prepared for the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematical Conference, but that conference is always out west, meaning I need to afford the flight, once again.

I've started using some online websites to work while I watch Netflix. I can get some amazon gift cards here, which at the very least will help me afford things I currently don't have the money for. It's nice to have something to boost my income as I'm too sick to have a "real" job. I really don't think I could go back to working at a cafe or store where I have to deal with a lot of people all day.

I hate how the world revolves around money, especially when school is so expensive. Add in the addiction and saving just becomes so much harder.

How do you guys save money? My parents are currently paying rent for me, and I'm very grateful, but also know I need to start paying again. Any tips you could share with me?


-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, February 20, 2016

(re)lapse

I don't know
if this was a one time slip
or the beginning of a lapse
but last night was bad
It started with a weigh in
Which I should have waited
Until morning to do
The number was high
So I decided to purge
But had very little success.

So I did what I used to do
What I shouldn't have done
And took a few too many
Of my sleeping pills
Along with a handful
Of caffeine pills for their
Diuretic effect.

I don't remember much
Of much of what happened
But I woke up in bed
With my boyfriend by side
And an empty bottle of vodka
As well as an empty
Bottle of Ativan.

Like I said
Last night wasn't good
But the scariest part is that
I don't remember
Taking any Ativan or alcohol
Who knows what will happen
Tonight when I try
To kill my demons
And get some sleep.


-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, February 19, 2016

Depression

Sometimes, I think small things will fix all my problems. Like getting away for a few days and going to another province will fix all my problems. The worst is when I get back and realize that none of my problems are fixed.

I'm still the same broken girl I was before. Mental illness isn't fixed by me going on a road trip. I spent the two days I was there lying in bed.

But I get back and real life hit me. I binged a lot and barely purged. I gained weight. My dress doesn't fit. I can't go to a show.

My boyfreind wanted to take us to a show and I bailed because I was way too fat in clothing.

I'm a terrible girlfriend. But I don't decided what triggers me,. All I wanted was to wear a pretty dress and now the night is ruined.

He's going to break up with me.

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#eatittobeatit

I see this hashtag everywhere in the instagram recovery community. And there's nothing really wrong with that. Except for one thing.

Now, this could just be me being misinterpreting things, or me being a bitter bulimic.

But the instagram eating disorder recovery community seems to be revolved around recovering anorexics. Not only recovering anorexics, but recovering anorexics who have spent X days in the hospital, been tube feed X times, had a super underweight BMI, and are still on a high calorie diet in order to achieve weight restoration.

It's great that these people are getting support. Weight restoration sucks. But, not all of us need weight restoration. For some of us, resisting binging and purging is the focus of our recovery. Some of us need to lose weight, or maintain weight, not gain.

The reason this frustrates me is that I find it perpetuates the idea that all people with eating disorders are anorexic. Or that all people with eating disorders go to hospital. Or that all people with eating disorders are underweight. Or that all people with eating disorders "Just need to eat".

NOT everyone with an eating disorder restricts
NOT everyone with an eating disorder goes to hospital
NOT everyone with an eating disorder is underweight

And eating disorders are not cured by eating.

That's my real problem with the eat it to beat it hashtag. Eating does not beat an eating disorder. Yes you're beating your restricting behaviors, but eating disorders are a complex mental disorder. Eating does not cure this.


-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Deep breaths and list making

Yesterday was tough. Not only did I have the post drinking bloat, I also had the "I've been eating shitty food to get through exams bloat", and all I wanted to do was hide in my blankets and sleep. However, my boyfriend wanted to take me out to brunch for valentine's day, and I was determined to not let my eating disorder ruin this holiday.

I went out and faced my fears. I had a lovely omelette with hash browns and rye toast (with butter!!). I could taste the grease but my goodness was it delicious. I started to binge after I got home, on leftover valentines day cookies and chocolate, but I didn't purge. I stopped eating, and slept.

I then woke up, and had an argument with my father. We aren't on the same page when it comes to my treatment. I was so incredibly triggered and wanted to binge and purge, as well as smoke. I wanted a smoke so god damn badly. I've only smoked a couple of times in my life, but I find that when I'm really stressed, I just want that warm smoke to be inhaled into my lungs and the burning of the nicotine against my throat.

I knew this wasn't the right thing to do. But my god was it difficult to not give in to any of my urges. I started by coloring and watching some netflix. Distraction wasn't enough though, so I turned on collegiate gymnastics.It immediately sparked something in me. My sense of purpose.  It reminded me why I love gymnastics, and healthy living and being as tough and strong as I can be. I'm going to beat this bulimia with long workouts and protein shakes and reach goals that I know I can achieve.

I then did one of the most therapeutic things I've learned over the years. List making. I made list after list, meal plan after meal plan, schedule after schedule. I put some order into my life. I made sense of things. I can control my grades, and I can control my fitness. And I will. And they will be the best.


-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I'm not gonna lie. I'm very angry with my entire treatment situation right now. 

The one person who believed in me, let me work at my own pace, while still pushing my boundaries is still on leave. We're hoping she'll be back in a few weeks but everything is up in the air. 

I'm a gymnast. I haven't given up on gymnastics being part of my career. I do see a long future for me in the sport, weather as a fitness competitor, college gymnast or circus artist. 

I'm not going to give up gymnastics for eating disorder treatment. Everyone seems to be telling me that that is what I have to do. No it's not. I use my gymnastics as motivation to get better. I'm doing better food wise now than I have in a very long time. So don't fucking tell me I can't be an athlete. 

I really do think that athletes with eating disorders don't have enough support. Competitive sports teams don't like taking athletes with eating disorders, and most treatments start with stop exercising. 

I use my gymnastics to motivate me to get better. It's impossible to train properly when I'm dehydrated and bloated and my levels are off. As corny as it sounds, food is fuel. I do need food to get through workouts. But I need good wholesome nutrients, not piles of calories because all people seem to care about is whether or not you eat. 

Sorry for the rant, not in the greatest place right now. But I'm going to use my DBT skills and do my favorite mindfulness activity (coloring!) as I watch Once. 


-Niqi
xoxo

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Constipation

I know, I know, we don't like talking about poop. But when you have an eating disorder, it can be tough to do. All eating disorder behaviors will have an effect on your digestive system, especially laxative abuse.

Here are some healthier ways to get that colon moving:

  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Lots and lots of water (make sure to include electrolytes in your diet as well though to not induce water intoxication)
  • Fiber supplements (This one can be mixed into smoothies, has no flavor and is vegan! Use Locksley Maclean as your independent consultant)
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies
  • Eat 'easier to digest foods' such as nutrient packed smoothies and soups
  • Go for a walk if you haven't moved in a while
  • Chew gum, the sorbitol will help get things going!
  • Try a colon self massage! I started doing this almost a year ago, and it helps so much! Here is a YouTube tutorial. 

I can not stress this enough though! Talk to your doctor. I know it's embarrassing, and walking in to your doctor and saying "Hi I haven't pooped in 10 days" may not be the greatest moment of your day but is super important! You can get blockages which can cause bigger issues, and your doctor can help you adjust your intake to make your bowels work better. 

Hang in there everyone!

-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, February 8, 2016

Radical acceptance

In DBT group, one of the distress tolerance skills we learned was Radical Acceptance:

For those of you who haven't done DBT, here's the idea:
Some thing you have no control over. Sometimes bad things happen and you can't do anything about it. But you can choose how to react. And that doesn't mean choosing your emotions. Your emotions will be what they will be. But what we can work on, is how we think and behave about the situation.
This is a bit of a stupid example, but here's an example:
Say you were supposed to go on a three day road trip with your friend. She bails. You have every right to be upset with her, and you don't want to suppress or ignore that. But you have no control over the situation. You can choose to be miserable for three days, sulk, and get nothing done. Or, you can accept what happened as a fact. You can't change it, so how do you make the most out of the situation. Maybe this is the perfect time to go on a solo road trip, or maybe you really needed the weekend to catch up on work. Radical acceptance is accepting what happened as a fact, it isn't something you can change, and then deciding to act according to this fact, and not be miserable or try to change it.

Last night, I found out that my parents won't pay for private therapy. Yes, I am mad at them. Yes, I'm upset, and thinking about them makes me want to cry.

But I still have to get through my life. If they won't pay for private therapy, I need to find other ways I can get better. I need to accept this. I can't make my parents pay for me to go therapy.

So here is a list, of things I can do instead:

  • ask my doctor to see a student therapist at the school
  • use peer support available on campus more often
  • work very hard to save and make money - in order to be able to afford my own therapy
  • keep on doing the work I've been doing individually


Yes, I'm still upset about the situation. And I radical acceptance is my least favorite skill, especially when it comes to things I have some control over. I am capable of manipulating my parents. I could just start charging things on my stepdads credit card. But that's not going to make me feel better, and may not even change the situation. My parents may not give in, and my stepdad can cancel his card. As much as I like to think I do, I do not have full control over this situation.

I need to learn to deal with that.


-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Insurance

Medical insurance needs to start covering therapy.

Don't tell me my illness isn't real.
I've spent my evening in tremendous pain, unable to think straight, barely able to breathe. I had to tell my boyfriend to call the cops on me if I don't get out of bed tomorrow morning, because it means I overdosed.

I'm in too much pain to sleep, but can't stand staying awake. I can't talk to anyone without bursting into tears. I'm alone.

I know that the help I need exists. The only problem is, I can't afford it. There are treatments for athletes with eating disorders. There are inpatient non-substance addiction treatments. They aren't cheap. And I can't afford them. I can't even afford a private therapist, and the therapist covered by my school got sick. I'm hoping to get a student therapist tomorrow. They'd be covered by my school, but wouldn't be specialized in eating disorders, and have very little, if any, borderline personality disorder experience.

At least it's something.

This weekend has been rough.

Off to bed with me,


-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, February 6, 2016

EDAW

As Eating Disorder Awareness Week comes to a close, I thought I would share the experience I had when I went to go see a survivor, who's now a counselor, speak. 

The event was amazing. She didn't go into details about how much she restricted, or how much she lost or how many of her organs almost failed. Which was much appreciated. It's always hard when sharing your story. You want to properly explain how bad it was, how it wasn't just a phase, something you could grow out of. But at the same time, you don't want to trigger anyone. 

It's totally possible that the only reason I think this is because I personally suffer from bulimia. However, I sometimes find it frustrating when I eating disorder awareness week arrives, and many anorexia survivors come out and share their stories, but very few bulimia survivors do. Again, I do not want to generalize in any way, or take away from those suffering from anorexia, and I would love your opinions on this, but it seems as though anorexia is more socially acceptable than bulimia.

When I try to share my story, and express how sick I am, it's very hard to so without being blunt about the puking and the laxative abuse. I'm lucky to have an amazing support system and friends. Friends that don't judge me for my disorder. But I still find it hard to share my story. Because it's so 'disgusting' compared to other stories. 


-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, February 5, 2016

On the ledge

I’m lying down in bed
Feeling my pulse beat
At exactly 60 beats per minute
The ticking of a clock
The time that’s running out
As I hover on the ledge between
A healthy heart rhythm
And bradiacardia

I’m staring at the mirror
Looking at the skin
Covering my fat, muscle and bone
The metal of the scale
The flashing number on the screen
As I hover on the ledge between
Being a healthy weight
And underweight

People tell me I look good
Some even dare to use
The word healthy to describe me
As though they can look
Right through me and tell
Me the state of my internal organs
As I fake a smile
And hide the tears

I ate a cupcake in front of you today
As desert after my ‘normal looking’ lunch
And I went to the bathroom
For an appropriate amount of time
But that doesn’t mean I’m better
Please don’t believe that
I’m getting better, I’m not
Getting better

I wish I could tell you
That lunch was my only meal
And I’ve gotten quicker at purging
The bags under my eyes
Have only disappeared
With new makeup
And that maybe
I can’t do this alone

But I’m not sick enough
Not just yet, you see
My labs come back clean
My heart rate is within range
And my bmi is within range
So no one takes me seriously
Because how can one who seems

So healthy be sick?

-Niqi
xoxo 

Dying from depression

It's always very upsetting when someone struggling from a mental illnesses passes. Even if I didn't know the person, it seems incredibly difficult. It seems terrible how everyone can go on about their day to day lives, worrying about the little things, like making a good impression upon others and getting good grades. People are dying from depression, Should that not take precedent? How can we focus on all the little things happening in the world, when people are suffering from so many fatal illnesses, not only depression, but eating disorders, personality disorders, as well as cancers, heart diseases and infections. There are so many things killing so many young innocent people.

A student at my university committed suicide a week ago. I didn't know the man, but it was quite devastating to hear. I wish I could have known him, maybe I would have been someone who could have understood. Someone on Facebook said that the university should be held responsible for his death, with the stress of midterms and pressure to get good grades. But universities don't cause mental illnesses. The stress of university can definitely make someone's mental health worsen, but by no means can they be held responsible.

Times like this are very difficult for me, especially when I've been having strong suicidal ideations lately. I'm still fighting. I want to beat this, but I'm just so tired. I want to sleep for years. I want to sleep until the thoughts, the voices, the overwhelming anxiety and depression all go away. But it doesn't work like that.

Rest in peace fellow Marauder. You're in my thoughts.

-Niqi
xoxo

Thursday, February 4, 2016

envy

I see the way they look at me
And I know it's the way I've looked
At so many others in the past.

I know rationally
That I look the way
Many would like too.
I'm society's idea of
'thin, fit and pretty'.

I can see it in others eyes
When they look me up and down
While I walk to class

The way I seem to have
My life together
With my preppy
Kate Spade agenda
And color coded notes.

If only I really was
All put together like I seem
If only I could see
What others see in me


-Niqi
xoxo

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Relationship

It's past 10pm on a Tuesday night and my boyfriend is lying on my bed across from me working. It's strange to think that I'm at a point in a relationship where this is normal. For us to spend Tuesday night together, studying and working. We're about to turn on Harry Potter and cuddle and I guess he might spend the night.

I have things to do tomorrow. Breakfast to eat, life to be had. It's strange being this open. Letting someone this much into my life. Allowing myself to be me, while he's around.

It's nice, don't get me wrong. Just puts me at ease. What if he doesn't leave until 9am tomorrow morning? Then I'll have to have breakfast tomorrow morning when he's still here. What will he think of the way I measure my protein powder and oats, and down 5 cups of coffee. Will he watch me stare at myself naked in front of my full length mirror body checking? It's not like he hasn't spent the night before. He has. It's just different I think when it's in the middle of the week and we have our own lives to live.

If this were a Friday night it'd be different. Or if he were both doing the same thing tomorrow. But here we are, each living our lives, but intertwining them. I guess this is what happens in healthy relationships. It still seems odd to me. Maybe odd is the wrong word. It's scary, and new and my borderline is yelling at me. But I like it.


-Niqi
xoxo

Monday, February 1, 2016

Exposed

This is the post I've put up on my facebook for Eating Disorder Awareness Week.


Today is February 1st, the first week of Eating Disorder Awareness Week (EDAW). As most of you now know, I have been suffering from an eating disorder, specifically Bulimia Nervosa, for 6 years now (almost to the day). This is a very stigmatized mental illness, and I hope to break some of that stigma today.

The average lifetime duration of Bulimia Nervosa is approximately 8.3 years.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.
Eating disorders can affect any gender, race and age (It's not a "teenage white girl" disease).
A 2002 survey reported that 1.5% of Canadian women aged 15-24 had an eating disorder.
Men also develop eating disorders, but are often not diagnosed either because of the lack of education by health care professionals, or the stigma causing many males not to seek help.
Transgender and non-binary gender individuals are also susceptible to eating disorders, and lack a lot of support.
Eating disorders are not a phase, diet, lifestyle, or something someone can just 'get over'.
Poor body image may be a cause as to why one develops an eating disorder, but is not the only reason. Experiencing a trauma, depression, bullying, family struggles and many more factors may play into ones eating disorder.
The amount to which one is struggling is not at all relevant to ones weight. Individuals of all shapes and sizes may have an eating disorder.

I would just like to address one last issue, as it is a one of my greatest pet peeves. I've often heard people say "I could never be bulimic, I hate throwing up". Firstly, not all bulimics throw up. There are many forms of purging, including but not limited to, laxative abuse, diet pill abuse, over exercising, restricting or fasting. I personally did not purge through vomiting until four years into my eating disorder. Secondly, I don't want to make any sort of generalization, but I've never once heard someone suffering from bulimia state that they enjoy throwing up. I personally hate it, and not once before developing my eating disorder did I think to myself "throwing up is fun, I should do this more often".

I realize that this post is incredibly long, but I am also taking this opportunity to announce the release of my chapbook, Counting Down. It is a collection of poems that I've written over the past year regarding my struggles with my eating disorder as well as other mental illnesses. The PDF version can be bought here http://www.lulu.com/shop/dominique-dupont-jillings/counting-down/ebook/product-22547675.html, or send me a message if you're interested in the printed copy.












-Niqi
xoxo