Saturday, June 04, 2005

The three "little" boulders!

Today the title is "The three little boulders" because it's a monumental day in my re-making of Erica. I am currently seeing a therapist and I am very proud of this. This is my life's goal to be a therapist so I am aware of the deep need all of us sometimes have to talk to someone and strategize about our problems or issues. Today I had an appointment with my therapist and we have come to the next 3 boulders or issues in my walk to health that really need dealt with. I will share these with you today because I am proud of how far I have come and not ashamed in any way about the things I need to work on.

The boulders...

1. The first boulder in my life is an issue that stems from birth. My family has been a crazy mess since the day (and before) I stepped onto the planet. Basically it goes like this. My family is a family that is covered in molestation, divorce, chronic illness, sibling rivalry, verbal abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, infidelity, financial issues, substance abuse, eating disorders, obesity and beyond.

If I was to write my life story, I don't think anyone would truly believe the barriers that were laying in front of me shielding me from success. In retrospect, I am completely lucky to have survived this childhood, adolesence, and now adulthood. I am almost 25 years old and I have truly done a lot with my life. I have changed things about me that are insurmountable to other members of my family. I have moved out of the state of Indiana and live on my own in California. I have graduated college with my Bachelor's degree in PSYCHOLOGY no less! I escaped high school without having sex, children, or getting married. I got through college without having sex, children, or getting married. I truly overcame a lot of my past. This boulder is that I would truly accept what my past is...and let it be what it is. I need to come to the realization that my past DOES NOT define me and doesn't decide my future. I don't want to embrace the problems that my life gave me, I just want to acknowledge and accept what is. That is boulder #1!!

2. The second boulder started a little later than the first but has a lot to do with the first as does the third. My second boulder is my extreme need for attention. I am sure this stems from not having my father around, being neglected for other people, etc... There is a lot to this problem and although I haven't really grown to understand exactly where it started or how to stop it, I know it's real. I know it has a lot to do with my need for control in a world that is very scary to me. I know that it pushes people away more than it draws them to me and it's something that could destroy my chances at a meaningful relationship with a man.

This problem is going to be interesting to work on because it involves me allowing myself to depend on ...myself. I am going to have to be the things that I need and be healthy in my relationships with others. I know that we each need people in our lives and totally need to be connected, however, we also need to have time alone and understand that we are enough for us! We also need to make others a priority in our relationships with them instead of always needing the attention. I really have to work on this so that I can love people correctly!

3. Boulder # 3 is the hardest one for me to be honest about. It is my weight problem/eating disorder/health. These three go hand in hand and encompass the same boulder. The weight problem started a long time ago and has been a huge issue. I got so overweight that my top weight was 350 lbs. Since then I have lost a total of 130 lbs and now weigh in at 220 lbs. I am proud of the progress that I have made. I believe in myself that I can reach my goal weight of 125 lbs someday but I have no idea the steps I need to take to get there. I am aware that this coicides with my eating disorder and health so here goes those two. My eating disorder is multi-faceted. I am a compulsive overeater and emotional eater with symptoms of bulimia and anorexia. The gist of this is that I love food and the way it makes me feel along with loving control and the way that makes me feel. I usually have symptoms of the first two mentioned. I usually overeat because I am afraid of not getting enough of anything. I also emotionally eat because food can be very medicinal.

Food makes me feel better when I am lonely and bored. I usually don't eat a whole lot when I am extremely happy or extremely sad because those emotions are not my trigger emotions. Mine is usually lonliness. When I realize my lot in life I usually want to eat. I want to eat because food is my friend/boyfriend/family etc... I know this doesn't make sense to anyone who doesn't have the problem but I am just speaking out for once. I like to get alone with food and allow it to heal me or at least make me feel better for a while. The symptoms I have of anorexia and builimia are that I binge and exercise entirely too much afterward or that I starve myself for a few days in order to get over a binge. That being said, obviously my health is affected.

I am an insulin dependent diabetic who is supposed to take two shots a day and eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. Ask me how many of those things I actually do on a daily basis. NONE OF THEM! I have a serious problem with taking care of my health. My eating disorder and weight problem get in the way of all of this. I eat so poorly with my eating disorder that taking shots seems counterproductive. I obviously don't have a healthy diet with binging. I can't exercise as much as I would like to because of the way I feel due to not taking care of myself and the way I easily tire from being 100 lbs overweight.

As you can see, this problem is so huge and is going to be the biggest victory. I am very proud of how far I have come but I can see a long road ahead of me in this battle. Hopefully I can keep my perspective with this one and the main goals here are to lose the 100 lbs, take care of my health, and live each day beating the eating disorder!

Now, you may ask yourself why I chose to share this today! Well, I want a milestone marker that I can look back at and say this is where I started on these three boulders and today ..I am this much better. I believe in myself that these three won't always be issues. They might always create a backdrop for my life but they will one day be victories as well. I am going to keep the blog updated on how I am doing and set small goals to try to reach my destination in these. I have no timetable for my life that says I have to beat these things or else. I think that would be detrimental to my success. I did not start having these problems overnight and they certainly aren't going to be solved overnight. I am going to commit today to giving myself a grace period and plenty of time to do this. I am going to commit to working hard and when I get tired, allowing myself to take a "pit stop" and look back at the great work I have done!

Today's update is this...

I am working very hard to accept my family. I love my family very much and can't imagine life without them. They, after all, helped create who I am today. I know that I am beyond the damage that has been done. I know that I have the power to turn my life around and do things that my family didn't do. My next step is to accept that I am intelligent and I can get into grad school. Getting into grad school is very important to me and the first boulder keeps me from feeling confident enough to embrace this time in my life. I am very excited about grad school and the opportunities it will open up to me. I am aware that I am usually very good at school and should be able to get into the program I would like to go to. My family past really affects me in that our family has never gone beyond an associates degree within my immediate family. This is horrifying as I am challenging all of my own schemas. My goal is to spend next week researching graduate schools and the GRE in order to get going on my dream. I believe that I CAN go to grad school..despite my family history. I am Erica and I am not my family and I am intelligent, able, motivated, and I have a world of support around me!

I am also working on the attention issue. I am currently spending a lot of time alone. I am learning that time with me can be very satisfying. I am also learning the difference between positive attention and negative attention. Because my need for attention is so great, I will settle for either kind usually. Just recently I did a bit of housekeeping and swept away all of the bad relationships in my life. These are, in my opinion, relationships where I fill up on negative attention. This means sexual attention, codependency, using me, etc... I am very happy to have cleaned my life out and I am exceedingly pleased with the fact that I have a great support group around me that is full of people who don't feed the bad parts of me! These are the steps I would like to continue with this issue.

Last but not least, I am again starting over on my health goals. I relapsed very badly recently with my eating disorder and have been struggling very much the last week or so with how badly I have done. It's time to get real with myself and reach out and get a sponsor with OA. I am hoping to make some calls this coming week and find someone who can support me in my quest to get healthy. I also would like to get back into working out this week. I haven't worked out in about 2 months or so. My body desperately needs to get some endorphins and cardiovascular exercise. I also want to make a weekly goal this week to take my shots every day from M-F. I don't want to jump the gun and act like I can make a goal for any longer than that. I really just want to feel better and taking my shots is not optional for that. I am very scared about this problem as it effects me so greatly. I would appreciate prayers surrounding this problem!

Overall, I feel really good knowing that I shared this problem with the blog and at least a few people will know the struggle I am going through and how to pray. I appreciate all of you that read the blog to stay up on my life and it's been fun. I really need prayers and support right now and I am asking each of you for that. I need support in all three boulders so please pray for God to lead you regarding that. I want to say a special thank you in the blog today although the people who are involved will get a more personal thank you from me. I have been supported so greatly recently in the huge struggles I have been enduring. I have had people in my life send me large sums of money as well as take care of me health-wise, do things on my car, pray with me, pray for me, and listen to me through all of that. I love you all and thank you from the bottom of my very own heart! You all will hear from me personally but corporately ..thanks for being a great team of people in my life. I truly have a family that loves me very much that might not be blood...but is everything I have ever wanted in a family. I love you all so much! Much love to my favorite boy know who you are!


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