Impatient: (Re)Learning Emotion

im·pa·tient

adjective

1. not patient; not accepting delay, opposition, pain, etc., withcalm or patience.
2. indicating lack of patience: an impatient answer.
3. restless in desire or expectation; eagerly desirous.

Idioms

4. impatient of, intolerant of: impatient of any interruptions.
       Today I am choosing to blog on relearning the feeling of impatience. So why today? Well, you guessed it, I am feeling IMPATIENT! I recently ordered myself my first apply IPad. It is sitting at FedEx, and I am stuck in my office. Waiting.
      There are many things in life that cause us to feel impatient: the excitement of something new, the wait before an upcoming vacation, or when an ending of something dreadful is nowhere near sight.
     This last example is the one that I frequently hear from individuals in recovery (and from myself when I am faced with a change). Impatience is often expressed in the midst of recovery towards people. For example:
I am impatient towards my therapist who just wont answer my question or refuses to push me further.
I am impatient with my dietitian who just doesn’t understand that I cannot and will not do (fill in the blank).
I am impatient that my team is not listening to me or considering my point of view on a situation.
and the real biggy
I am impatient with myself. Why is my recovery not happening, right, NOW?
I know it is frustrating to sit with this feeling but it shows incredible growth and progress! It shows that you are willing to push forward, that you are not content in your disorder or negative coping behaviors, you are MOVING FORWARD!
So, instead of allowing these feeling of impatience towards yourself or others aiding in your recovery, embrace the feeling (cliche I know) and yet it is true. Embrace the feeling that accompanies change, and growth, and new experiences. This to shall pass.

Rejected : (RE)Learning Emotions

re·ject

verb (used with object)

1. to refuse to have, take, recognize, etc.: to reject the offer of a better job.
2. to refuse to grant (a request, demand, etc.).
3. to refuse to accept (someone or something); rebuff: The other children rejected him. The publisher rejectedthe author’s latest novel.
4.to discard as useless or unsatisfactory: The mind rejects painful memories.
5.to cast out or eject; vomit.
Feeling rejected is probably one of the most common emotions felt by those in recovery. Rejected by our friends, our families, our co-workers, our peers, even ourselves. We all have those memories of waiting to someone to come around, and they simply do not.
So let us break rejection down:
Who: friends, peers, co-workers, family, ourselves
How:  a) intentionally- although we like to believe that others would treat us fairly and not internally reject us, it does happen. Sometimes it is circumstances we are prepared for such as a rejection of a job position and other times it is just bullying or somewhere in between the two.
        b) unintentionally- sometimes (and most often) our rejection or feelings of rejection were not intentional. For instance, you waited for hours for you friend to call you back, you felt rejected when he/she did not call you, and yet in reality, your friend had a family crisis and simply could not get in touch with you. **This does not make you feeling of rejection any less real or valid**
We all feel rejected from time to time- the question is: how do we handle this emotion? how do we react? or respond? what self-talk do we use?
Feel free to comment on your own rejection stories, how you responded/reacted, and what helped you get through it.

Authenticity and Boundaries

I have been thinking a lot lately about being authentic.

What does it mean to be authentic?

So, I turn to webster (big surprise) to be authentic is to be genuine, or true to origin. I could probably write several blogs about what it means to be authentic, accepting yourself, and embracing your ED. But my thoughts have been more focused on recovery and the aspect of setting boundaries, in order to get the help you need.

“How do boundaries correlate with authenticity”

Boundaries are set in order to 1. protect ourselves 2. guard ourselves 3.keep ourselves healthy 4.get the help we need ext.. (there are a multitude of reasons).  I keep thinking about recovery, and relationships with friends/family that have to have limits set with them, in order for recovery to happen.

In setting a boundary there first has to be the understanding that a boundary is needed. This implies that “I must be authentic enough with myself to know that what currently exists, is not working for me, and I accept that I need a safe guard or boundary to protect myself.” This also invokes some mindfulness techniques (just to throw that out there)

The second part of setting a boundary is defining what the boundary needs to be. This implies that “I am authentic enough with myself to know my limits, and yes, I have limits.” Trust me, we all have limits. We all can only handle so much of certain things, certain people, certain environments and we ALL have to set limits in order to take care of ourselves.

The third part of setting a boundary is letting those effected by the boundary know it has been set. This implies that “I am authentic enough to let others know that I am not okay right now, and I need a boundary, which may effect my relational dynamics with them, and I am okay with that. And I am aware that their reactions/response to this boundary is not my issue, but theirs.”

The fourth part of setting a boundary is actually adhering to the boundary (which in my opinion, is the hardest part).

Level of Care?

Are you getting the level of care that you should be receiving?

The level of care you DESERVE to be getting?

The American Psychological Association has published 5 levels of care for those with an eating disorder. They are as follows:

Level 1: Outpatient (above 85% of a healthy body weight)

Level 2: Intensive Outpatient Program (above 80% of healthy body weight)

Level 3: Partial hospitalization or full-day outpatient care (above 75% of healthy body weight)

Level 4: Residential treatment center (for those who have suicidal thoughts, with no plan)

Level 5: Inpatient Hospitalization (less than 75% of healthy body weight, medically unstable, or suicidal)

What are your thoughts on these levels? What are your experiences with these levels?

“An Unquiet Mind”

I recently read the book “An Unquiet Mind” By Kay Redfield Jamison for a psychopathology class. Kay is a practicing psychiatrist with manic-depressive disorder (MDD) and her book is an autobiography of her struggles with MDD, her education and relationships.

I highly recommend this book to anyone working in the health care profession, it is truly a fantastic read.

The first of my reflection paper on the book is such:

Towards the end of the book, Kay writes a few lines that truly summarize this book, her experiences, my experiences, my thoughts towards counseling and change, and my thoughts in regard to mental illness:

“We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces with our minds. In whatever way we do this- through love, work, family, faith, friends, finial, alcohol, drugs or medication- we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime. One of the most difficult problems is to construct these barriers of such a higher and strength that one has a true harbor, a sanctuary away from crippling turmoil and pain, but yet low enough and permeable enough, to let in fresh seawater that will fend of the inevitable blackness.” “It is, at the end of the day, the individual moments of restlessness, of bleakness, of strong persuasions and maddened enthusiasms that inform one’s life, change the nature and direction of one’s work, and give final meaning and color to one’s loves and friendships.”

I truly believe that one of the hardest parts in life is finding the balance between protecting ourselves, our thoughts, beliefs and emotions while at the same time allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open to other people’s thoughts, beliefs and emotions. It is a tricky balance that many never find and one that I believe as a key to healthy and happy living. I also believe, as Kay says, that is the individual moments when life seems to fall apart that we learn who we are, what our strengths are, what our life looks like, what we want it to look like, and how to change it. I also believe that it is in the moments, that we are more likely to take the steps needed to make those changes.

Another point that I loved about reading this book was that it put a face and experience to what it is like to live with a mental illness. It paints a picture of life with a mental illness that is more real and life altering; As opposed to just a set of criteria to check off in order to categorize, or neatly organize, a person into a diagnosis.

Consequences

One of the scariest moments in the life of someone who struggles with an Eating Disorder is when a doctor, or health care professional, finds out because something in your physiology is wrong or not working. Yet, very rarely, does that stop someone in the midst of a binge or purge.

Most of you probably know what you are doing to your body but a reminder of everything you are doing, is always warranted.

Depression, seizures, addiction, swollen glands, tooth decay, sore throats, esophageal tares, irregular heart beats, electrolyte imbalances, stomach ulcers, liver damage, kidney damage, muscle weakness, constant bloating, abdominal pain, scar tissue, loss of menstrual cycles and kid barring abilities, bowel muscle damage, dehydration… I could go on but I think you get it.

Sometimes, knowledge creates fear and fear creates behavior. Hopefully, this knowledge leads to a healthy fear that can lead to healthy behaviors.