Monthly Archives: May 2010

I don’t know what to do

I don’t know what to do.  I am not having any overt symptoms of starvation.  I don’t know why.  I appear in every way to be fine.   I am not dizzy.  I am happy.  I don’t have palpitations.  I am not confused.  I can concentrate just fine.  I don’t get headaches.  I have not fainted.  I don’t feel particularly weak.  I do many things and have a full life.

Tonight, some of my friends suggested that I go to the emergency room.  Any of you who take psych meds know that you are not respected in ER’s if you take them.  They either poo-poo what you tell them, or think you’re attention-seeking, or med-seeking, or they automatically  admit you to a psych ward.  Besides, I have no symptoms.  What complaints can I present?  That I am starving?  What kind of sense does that make?

Well, I’m not eating enough, and I’m scared about what I’m doing to myself.

I did have a breakthrough recently.  I decided to be honest with my therapist.  This is something new!  She is hopeful.  She sees this as a turning point.  I told her I’d been lying to stay out of the ED hospital, and that I’ve been restricting and that I hadn’t followed my meal plan, not for a single day since I’d gotten out of there.  I had been lying.  Big lies.  And now she knows.  So therapy isn’t a big waste anymore.  But I don’t know.  She’s more hopeful than I am at this point.

Toward the end of our session yesterday, there was something I wanted to tell her, but was unable.  I wanted to tell her how much I weighed.  She hadn’t asked me.  I’d been weighed at the doctor’s when I’d been seen the day before.  She forgot to ask.  I don’t know if the number is important, but I weigh less than she thinks.  When she asked me how my eating was going, which of course we discussed for a while, she only believed what she wanted to believe: that I had improved since this “big breakthrough.”  I haven’t.  I have got to tell her this, because as we have established, “Every day is ‘Honesty Day’ at my T’s office.

So, “Ed.” take that.


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Book acceptance–Day Two

Well, I am basking in it.  It still feels fantastic that my book will be published.  I believe in this book.  It is my master’s thesis, after all!  It is about my life.

It is also far from all of my life.  For instance, among the many things that I completely left out, there was Joe, my boyfriend, whom I adored.  We knew each other for 17 years.  He died of a heart attack in 2003.  I was devastated.  At the time that I wrote this book, I was not ready to express and share my grief.  So I left him out, but I did dedicate the book to him.

I know that at some point there will be a letdown.  I will not always be this elated.  It will be like postpartum depression.  We’ll see.

My anorexia is the worst it’s ever been

It’s never been this bad.  Ever.  My weight has been lower than this, but the obsession has never been this intense.  Two days ago I believe I stepped on the scale about 20 times over the course of the day.  That’s stupid.  All the planning, scheming, counting calories, changing my mind over and over about what I’m going to eat or not eat, challenging myself to go longer and longer without eating…this is going to get me killed.

This month has been the worst.  At the beginning of the month, I made a promise to myself, and have kept that promise.  This has gotten me into a pattern that only worsens as time goes on.

A week ago, I decided to be honest with my therapist.  I told her everything.  Well, not everything, but I told her, in a letter–two letters, fairly long letters–that I’d been lying to her and my entire treatment team.  I told them that I hadn’t followed my meal plan for a single day since getting out of the ED hospital in March, and that I didn’t weigh what they thought I weighed.  I told her I had lied really bad lies to stay out of the ED hospital.  I told her I needed her help, and that the hospital was not the answer, given that I had been there twice and it hadn’t worked either time.

It was scary being honest, but I had to do it.  The scale had dipped under 90 pounds and I was really worried about what I was doing to myself.  I know that when the body is starving, it eats itself.  When it has no more fat to eat, it eats its own organs.   The scale is still going down rapidly and I’m terrified.

I’m not getting heart palpitations.  My concentration is fantastic.  I’m not dizzy.  I’m steady on my feet.  I don’t get confused or disoriented.  I think my thinking is clear.  I’m definitely not depressed and I’m not manic.  Mentally, except for the ED obsession, I’m stable.  I have no trace of schizoaffective disorder whatsoever.  Yet if you knew how little I am eating, you’d think I’d have fainted once or twice by now, and that my meds weren’t even working.  How can a person exist on so little food?

Well, I’m fine.  I’m happy.  Worried, but happy.  This sucks.

This Hunger Is Secret has been accepted for publication

Well, it happened.  This Hunger Is Secret: My Journeys Through Mental Illness and Wellness has been accepted for publication by Chipmunka Publishing.

At first, I was skeptical.  Why would a publisher want to publish my book?  Editors are peculiar in their tastes.  I just wasn’t sure how my manuscript would be received.  Chipmunka was recommended to me by a friend who told me that my book would fit in well with what they are looking for.

Well, I looked over their website.  At first, I was skeptical, but I read on, and then I said to myself, “Wow!”  Chipmunka is a nonprofit based in England, partially funded by the British government.  Their mission is to give people with mental illnesses a voice.  The CEO got out of the hospital, saw a need, and then created Chipmunka, just like that.  The company is basically run by two guys, with other part-timers and a large group of volunteers.  I looked over the books that they were selling–they produce about 100 e-books a year, 70 paperbacks–and was impressed with the quality of the excerpts.  Mostly, I believed in the cause, and wanted to be part of it.

So I lived at the library for a month revising.  It felt like final semester all over again!  Poor Puzzle!  My head was somewhere deep in the manuscript all day long.  The manuscript!  The manuscript!  Finally, it was done.  Believe me, it took a long time before I dared press that SEND button.

I received word today at 6am Eastern time, 11am London time.  The waiting, the obsessive e-mail checking, was over.  I looked at Puzzle.  She looked at me.  We were happy.

Later, I told people.  Not everyone I knew, and not all at once.  I posted to Facebook, e-mailed some people, and called some people.

The only reaction that truly disappointed and hurt me was my brother’s.  He said, “Chipmunka, eh?  How do you spell that?  Like chipmunk?  I’ve never heard of that.  Are you sure this isn’t some crackpot organization?  Some vanity publisher?  How do you know they even read your book?  Huh?”

The reason I was hurt by this was because I don’t believe he was saying it to be protective.  I don’t think he was concerned that I was being ripped off.  I think he thought I was doing it the easy way, choosing a softer publisher that might be more likely to publish my book just for the sake of getting published sooner.  And this truly insulted me.  Chipmunka is not a softer publisher.  They are a specialty publisher looking for certain types of manuscripts.  And if you don’t fall into their specifications, they don’t publish you.  That is true of any publisher.

But if you buy my book–forgive me here for self-promoting for a minute–you are not only reading my work and allowing me to share with you my experience of mental illness (and a lot more), but you are supporting my publisher, folks dedicated to giving people with mental illnesses a voice.  What could be a better cause?

Thanks everyone.  The e-book, in .pdf form, will come out in one to three months.  The paperback will come out in nine months to a year at most.  Yes, I’ll be giving readings.  Hope to see you then.

Puzzle’s Varsity Sweater Completed!

Puzzle’s striped “Varsity” Dog Sweater for Female Dog nearly complete

I only have to add the sleeves now!  Here is a photograph:

A minor change to the Lamb’s Pride Dog Sweater for Female Dog

I made a tiny change.  Click here:

If you have knitted this sweater, I’m sure you have already located the error.  It was very minor, just a psso where there shouldn’t have been one.

This Hunger Is Secret is almost ready to be sent off to a publisher!

Hello everyone!  I am finishing Draft Five of This Hunger Is Secret: My Journeys Through Mental Illness and Wellness.  I am so proud of myself.  I had Staples print out Draft Four (the draft that was my master’s thesis) and I found I had to make changes before I DARED send it off to the publisher I’ve got my eye on.  The short–I mean very short–chapters needed work.  And the chapter called Walking the Line, perhaps the most experimental chapter of the book, had a middle section that was a disgrace.  I plan to do one more printing to check for typos and more goofs, and then the manuscript will be ready to be sent off.

This publisher, a non-profit based in Great Britain, specializes in books on mental illness.  Because my manuscript falls within that genre, I believe (and have been told by an “insider”) that they will be very interested in my book!  But I want the manuscript to be in tip-top shape before I send it off, for obvious reasons.

I did do my homework.  Their books are sold by Amazon and printed in the US and UK both.  They sell a lot of e-books.  I bought John W Arndt’s Magickal Thinking from this publisher, and I believe the book is better than most murder mysteries out there.  I’ll post a full review when I finish the book, and you can bet it will be a positive one!

I have been spending six hours a day at the library, revising.  What a lot of work.

Meanwhile, still lowering my Thorazine.  I’m down from 600 mgs a day to 300.  No symptoms.  I’m not even feeling it.  No insomnia even.  I feel alive and alert.  My concentration is great (of course, or I wouldn’t be revising at all).  I have enough energy.   I remember lowering my Thorazine when I first got on Lithium.  It felt similar.  Like my head was finally clearing out.  Like coming out of a big fog.

I haven’t talked about my eating disorder lately.  I don’t feel like it.  Sorry.

But life has been good.

Have a nice day.

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