Ana Stops by For a Visit & First Day of IOP


Warning – Potentially Triggering Especially for Those With an ED

Seems my dear old friend Ana (short for anorexia for those not familiar with eating disorder slang) has returned for a visit yet again; like I didn’t already have enough on my plate with my borderline personality disorder (BPD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, suicidal tendencies, and starting intensive outpatient program (IOP) today. Then again I should have expected a visit from Ana as she always seems to stop by when I’m at my worst and likes to add to the mess. Since a lot of her symptoms mimic those of the other things I’m currently battling, I didn’t realize she’d stopped by.

It wasn’t until last night that I even realized Ana had slipped back into my life for a visit; the realization hit when I was sending my daily food diary to my sister Casz. As I was going through my food log for yesterday and looked back at my log for the past few weeks (those days I bothered to keep one that is) I spotted a trend in my eating. First it was 1,200 calories per day which is technically all I need to eat to maintain my weight. A recent trip to the doctor’s and having to weigh myself is the exact date I can track Ana’s return to my life and that’s when the 1,200 calories a day started. Now technically 1,200 calories per day isn’t unhealthy, it’s what most people eat to lose weight, and is about the number of calories needed to maintain 120 pounds at my age. The problem, as it usually is when Ana is visiting, 1,200 calories isn’t where my calorie goal stayed; rather my calorie goal continued to slip downwards (so has my goal weight, another typical Ana trick).

I lost 20 pounds in two weeks, which when you are already thin isn’t healthy. While most people wouldn’t think much about that and since it’s above the minimum weight I agreed to maintain with my boyfriend no alarm bells went off. That’s when the daily calorie goal dipped down to 800 calories per day and off came another 5 pounds in a little over a week. Again, I’m still 15 pounds over the minimum weight I promised my boyfriend and 25 pounds over where my previous therapist would threaten to have me hospitalized. Then the daily calorie goal slipped down to 500 calories per day. That’s where it was last night as I was writing my sister with my food log. Once I realized what’s been going on I did mention to both my sister Casz and my boyfriend Rick:

Here is my food log for today. I did manage to eat 580 calories today, which is about my normal daily intake. I won’t lie to you that my anorexia is back and in control of my eating at the moment. With everything I’m going through at the moment I’m not prepared to fight Ana and everything else right now, so please don’t ask me to eat more than what I have. I’ve given myself 500 calories per day max right now and to me that’s a lot. My weight is still in the healthy range and it will be awhile before it get’s below the healthy range.

With everything else I’m battling right now, I just don’t have the bandwidth to battle Ana at the moment too. Hopefully as I progress through therapy it will also become easier to deal with Ana once again; at least until we get back to the uneasy truce since Ana never really goes away (at least for me). Today at IOP we had to fill out a daily report card and one part of that is setting a goal for the day; mine was…to eat something.

First Day of IOP

Today was my first day of IOP and to be honest I wasn’t really sure just what to expect. It’s been a long time since I last went through anything resembling IOP and since they continually change things I was nervous. My IOP runs five days a week from 9am till noon, so it’s a big commitment to make, but if it will help me to get my life back into some type order it’s worth the time and effort it’s going to take.

I currently don’t have a car, so the community mental health services arranged transportation for me so I don’t have to worry about driving to therapy everyday. The only problem is that it puts me at the mercy of someone else when it comes to getting to therapy on time and I have this thing about being late to things. So of course this morning the time I was told to expect the van came and went and I was getting a little nervous about things, which combined with my being nervous about the whole IOP thing to begin with led to a full-blown panic attack. Nothing like starting your day off with a panic attack either. Luckily the panic attack didn’t last long, and I wasn’t driving since driving + panic attack = bad idea for me.

With my ride being late I got to IOP late and had to walk into the room 10 minutes after it had started, which of course meant everyone in the room stopping what they were doing to look at me. Ya, lets just say my frazzled nerves didn’t like that, but luckily my therapist was the one running this mornings session so that did help a bit.

With this being the first day of IOP I’m going to reserve judgement as to whether or not it’s going to be helpful for some future date. You really can’t judge from one 3-hour session…

Peace, love, and contentment,

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