2 October 2016: I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I'm really just trying to survive.

I'm sorry I haven't been blogging. I'm really just trying to survive. I will try to help you understand:

I make treatment center trips 4 days a week for 3-6 hours at a time. I'm not visiting people for fun. Trips are for me. For treatment.

Until further notice, I will, on a good day, ingest about 13 pill capsules and 2 gummy medicines.

A nurse checks my vitals 4 days a week. There is also routine blood work.

On average, I eat maybe twice a day. I didn't say 2 meals... I said I maybe eat twice. When I'm checked into the hospital and do not eat, I consume meal replacements (i.e. Ensure). How is this possible? Because it "feels" okay. I'm losing my hunger and fullness cues. What does that mean? I just don't get hungry anymore. Those God-given, animal instincts that tell us to eat? I don't have those much anymore. No rumbling tummy, aches and pains. If I have them, I'm able to ignore them for extensive periods of time.

I can't sleep or I sleep way too much. So, I sleep either 4-6 hours/day or 10-14 hours/day. Today, I missed my meeting with my new mentor because I was on the couch fast asleep. Awesome first impression. I set an alarm, but I hardly remember it.

When I sleep, I have nightmares, wake up talking, crying, yelling, or soaked in sweat. My hair scrunches up really tight when it gets wet. This morning when I woke up, my head was full of knots.

I vehemently hate my body and compare myself to just about every woman I see. I feel like they are all prettier and/or better than me.

My weight is still shifting. I know because I am many pants sizes bigger now than before I entered the hospital last May. If that doesn't help you out, let me provide numbers: I've gained about 40 pounds in the past year. (My doctors tell me I needed these pounds.) And I'm still gaining. Obviously, this has further exacerbated my self-esteem, body image, body dysmorphia, etc.

I am gifted with several gastrointestinal issues: stomach cramps, constipation or diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, etc. Today, my roommate did a supported grocery shopping trip with me. I threw up in the car on the way home. Talk about attractive.

My hair stylist cut my hair again yesterday because it's thinning out in certain areas, breaking at ends, and just altogether weaker. People have told me my hair cut is really cute. What they don't know is it wasn't a choice.

I STILL have high blood pressure. And the doctors don't believe my excuses anymore. So I take blood pressure medication twice daily. It's a great part of the pill count.

My migraines are ROCKING me. I'm averaging 2-4 a week now. I'll help you with the math: that's like every other day.

I think that's enough. You get the picture.

On the bright side, when I haven't been crying the past 2 weeks, I've self-advocated for a higher level of care. Remember this summer when I tried to make intensive outpatient (IOP), partial hospitalization (PHP), or residential (hospital 24/7) happen? Well, I've finally found a way. For real. (No. Unfortunately my family did not have a change of heart.) I had to fight tooth-and-nail, axe-to-the-grind, super duper hard to get it. And there are still a lot of moving pieces. It's extremely hard to convince people that when you're mentally sick, you are, indeed, actually sick. But I started IOP at my new treatment center yesterday. It felt like home. I think it's a great fit. It wasn't fun, and I certainly did not enjoy myself. "Process was GREAT today!" said no eating disorder patient ever. Just like no cancer patient says, "Wow! That chemo was fabulous! Good thing I'm signed up for some more!" I'm at my new center because I realize these labels will destroy me without immediate help. I'm grateful to be there.