I have referred to my parents house as “home” ever since I was born. It has always been the address I write down when asked for a home address. Even while at college “home” was an hour a way in Hutchinson. This is about to change. On the fifteenth I will be moving into my very own apartment. For the first time in my life I will have my own home. It will be all mine (and Shona’s of course). I can decorate it how I like. I can do laundry whenever I want. I can go to bed without worrying if my music will bother anyone. I can walk around in my underwear if I choose (don’t worry, I won’t). I can do ANYTHING. Because it’s mine. It will be my very own home with my very own address.
I have wanted to find an apartment in Wichita for awhile now especially after getting my job (which is going very well by the way) but I didn’t not expect pieces to fall together this quickly. Last weekend my parents and I went to Wichita to look at apartments but instead we ended up putting down a deposit. The apartment complex is just perfect. It honestly has to have God involved because it is everything I need in a beautiful place, good location and friendly people. Also, the apartment buildings are yellow! It looks so cute I love it.
Moving is going to be a big test of my recovery skills. I will have to do meals on my own. I will have to shop for myself. I will have to learn to manage my time and remember to take my meds. I think I am up to the challenge but I would be lieing if I didn’t say I was a little scared. But I think that’s a good thing. Going into things with caution is always a good idea and I think it helps me see scenarios that could create relapse and problem solve them before they happen. Beth doesn’t know yet which could be an interesting conversation but I think she will be supportive.
I’m excited. Scared but excited. Stay tuned for pictures!!!
p.s. they is also an indoor hot tub/pool! How cool is that?
Being sick let’s you check out of life. Getting well means you have to check back in.” – Portia De Rossi
The quote I have written above is from Unbearable Lightness, a memoir, by Portia De Rossi and her struggle with Anorexia. I don’t normally read autobiographical accounts of eating disorder suffers but I had heard good enough reviews about the book that I was willing to read it. Thankful it was not another Wasted, which is known as the relapse book of the eating disorder world. Portia had surprisingly deep insights into her illness and the way it affects all of it’s suffers. For me I was primarily hit by the quote above.
When I got sick life stopped. It moved on for everyone else but I stood in a time warp where all I did was starve, exercise, count calories repeat. It’s strange but when I tell someone I am twenty-two, almost twenty-three, it feels very wrong. I spent two years very ill and in treatment and to me it still sometimes seems like I should be nineteen. I was checked out of life during those two years. In many ways time did stop for me.
Now as I am home again and filling my life with meaningful activities (not disordered ones) life has come back. I have “checked back in”. I have talked a lot about how exciting this is, how it means I’m growing up and moving forward and how it is a symbol of the recovery I have worked towards but I have left out how hard this has been.
I have been so used to not being fully present in life with a brain numbed by anxiety, depression or starvation that at times being checked into life seems so painful that I wander if it’s worth it. I always answer yes but I struggle with this question a lot. I love my new job. I love the fact I will have an apartment soon. I love that my life is changing. However, I’m still getting used to the other parts of being checked back into life. The parts that aren’t so fun such as emotions.
Being checked into life means I have to feel. I have to feel pain again. I have to feel worry again. Anger. Sadness. Irriation. Insecurity. Doubt and the list goes on. These feelings were by and large gone when I was sick and by living I have to confront them again. I know I get to experience happiness. Joy. Peace. Hope. Love etc. but I also have to feel the hard feelings again. No longer can I just “check out” from them. And that is very new and a very foreign feeling to me. I know it’s right. I know it is huge progress but I cannot deny the struggle I have on a day to day basis to remember that this life is so much better than my old “checked out” one. But I do remind myself and I do go on.
And so, life goes forward. I go forward. I get to have a real birthday. And I’ll be happy as I blow out the candles. But I’ll also feel some sadness as I remember previous birthdays in which I felt nothing at all. The point is is that I’ll be feeling. And that signifies that I’m living. I’m checked in again.
Well it’s the day before I start my job at Heartland Play and Stay. I’m a combination of excited and nervous. I spent the weekend freaking out because my boss had scheduled me during a time I had an appointment with Beth I could not change. I had let her know that I couldn’t work that afternoon but she had gotten the days mixed up. After several round and round conversastions with my mother in which I determined I could not miss the appointment (it couldn’t be rescheduled) and several paniced emails to Beth about how I was sure I was not cut out for the real world I called the clinic this morning and heard “sure no problem at all. Sorry about that”. Okay I overreacted.
This was the first challenge that had come up in which I had to make a decision about which comes first – job versus recovery? I couldn’t miss this week’s appointment. It just wouldn’t work. Beth is gone next week and with me starting a job, spending time away from home for the first time since well, treatment, it just was not an option to skip. The reality is though that this situation is going to come up again. Sure, not the same one but situations in which I have to find a way to make recovery come first. I have already decided this and I am I determined to keep to this. If the job starts interferring with my recovery (I start using symptoms, can’t make appointments, moods sink etc. etc. etc.) I quit the job. My recovery is too previous to loose. Loosing a job is nothing compared to loosing weeks, months, years of my life again.
I really am proud of myself for being so determined to make recovery work. A year ago when I was home for those two months between treatments my attitude was much different. At the time I was going to school and my mantra was school no matter what. This meant when I started sliding downhill I couldn’t care less. I’m in such a different place. And somehow I think with this attitude I am setting myself up for success. I’m letting it be okay if the job doesn’t work but something tells me by having the attitude that recovery comes first things are going to work out. I think that by putting recovery as my first prioty it shows that I am ready for a job. I’m comitted to recovery, to staying alive and really living. It’s been two years since I walked into Laureate and a year since I was drug (not literally but I might as well have been) into CFC. I still marvel at the changes. Sometimes I think I’m going to wake up and see that I dreamed everything. But I’m not. This is my reality now. This is my life. And oh how sweet it is (no pun intended).
I’m feeling a lot better than when I wrote my last posts. Recovery can be very up and down. And this last week I experienced some of the downs but things are changing (as I’ve learned they always do) and I am feeling better. I start work officially on Tuesday and I am experiencing some scheduling problems but I’m trying not to panic as I am pretty sure they can be worked out tomorrow. Anyways, I chose the song “Time to Smile” by Xavier Rudd for the Sunday song. It is on my ‘happy’ playlist and I hope it brings a little bit of happiness to your day. Enjoy your Sunday!
I have a job! Today I went to observe at the Heartland Animal Clinic Play and Stay. Last week I had an interview there and they invited me to come back and observe to see if I wanted the job. Well, at a very, very early hour (6:45 ouch!) I arrived at the facility and preceded to spend the next 3 1/2 hours learning about my new job. I am going to be a doggy day care attendant (okay basically a dog babysitter). I loved every minute of it. Even though when I left I was covered in gross things and smelled to high heaven. I will be working around 15 hours a week in the daycare and also in their boarding facilities attached to the daycare.
I loved interacting with the various dogs. From the teeny-tiny Yorkie to the huge Great Dane I loved watching them play and interact. It’s going to be challenging. You have to be constantly aware of what the dogs moods are like and if you need to be on alert for potential conflicts. I am a little ashamed to admit I’m pretty sore. The dogs liked to bounce especially a mastiff named Romeo and they would bounce into me and hit my sides. It wasn’t aggressive – just excitement but apparently it does eventually cause soreness. One other note from the day (I could fill this whole page with stories of the dogs and I promise you’ll hear more!) Cooper, a boxer kept coming up behind me and grabing the seat of my pants. I was just sure my underwear was going to be showing through a gaping hole at the end of the day. Thank goodness I tamed him with a few well aimed water bottle squirts.
Honestly, this is a dream job for me. It symbolizes so much. A childhood dream coming true, moving onto another phase of my life, a step towards independence, a chance to “try out” the “real” world and for the first time work at a job which (I am pretty sure) I will love. Change. A theme that has been constant in the last few months of my life. It’s finally here. And I’m ready.
p.s. make sure to click on the link to check out their website! It’s pretty cool. 🙂
Whew. It’s been a long week. The start of my week was somewhat odd to say the least and that combined with a job interview. many trips to the State Fair, appointments in Wichita, the start of agility and some other things out of the ordinary I could have sworn this week was at least twice as long as it was.
This coming week also ushers in some new changes. Tomorrow I go to observe at the doggy day care before I am officially hired. I have to be there at 6:45 tomorrow. It’s in Wichita and luckily Aunt Vicki is graciously allowing me to spend the night at her house. I have to get very serious about preparing Shona for the dog show since we only have 2 weeks left. I also think my dietician appointments will be either disappearing or at least decreasing. That’s a whole different story but that is for another post. So, some more changes exist on the horizons. I feel ready for them and am actually looking forward to starting some new things in life.
Another thing that is going to be happening is the return of my favorite T.V. shows.! I am an avid watcher of Glee and Modern Family. For that reason I chose the Sunday Song to be one of my favorite Glee tunes. Enjoy and have a wonderful Sunday!
“One Love/People Get Ready”
I have known for quite awhile that life can change in an instant. The last two September’s have proved this to me. For the last two years I have gone to a simple appointment and ended up leaving with treatment center’s numbers in my pocket and a plan to depart for another state. Well yesterday I went to my appointment as normal but I did not come out with treatment numbers but with a number for a job to apply for.
I am beginning to look for jobs. And in Wichita as of yesterday. I went with a friend to her appartment yesterday and was immedentialy jealous. I want to have my own place. I love my parents but a part of me really wants to decorate, move into a place and just live on my own (with Shona of course). I want to have a job and be living a normal life. And for the first time since I have returned home I am in a position to start making that happen.
I’m excited but also scared. Those are big changes. I won’t be making them all at once but slowly I will. First will come to job and as long as it is going well then will come the apartment. There are so many variables. Money is a huge one (as it always is), part-time vs. full-time job, where to live, who to live with, appointment schedules and more…This is when all of my skills, coping mechnasism and everything I have learned in the past two years start to become more and more important. This is the true test of whether they work or not and if I can adapt and change if they don’t.
I believe I can do this. I’m going to need a lot of prayers but I am 100% sure I can do this. It’s time.