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Thread: How am I supposed to deal with all this stress?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Herning (soon Århus), Denmark

    How am I supposed to deal with all this stress?

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    Yo... you may have noticed me in other thread, talking about my ED and stuff.
    Let me just give you the whole story, and then I'm anxious to see what you all have to comment

    Childhood, happy - nothing to complain about, lots of friends, blabla.
    Age 13: Classes split and I got separated from the best ones I had (same school, but they made other friends). I didn't develop as much as many others - they all started drinking, going to parties etc., and I didn't. Isolation began to kick in. Depression started occuring, and I wouldn't listen to people (teachers and family) who suggested I should see someone about it (i.e. psychologist).
    Three years passed, and I was still not treated for my depression. I also got moderate/severe acne, which didn't help me the least!

    I also had to face the fact that we had to move from the house I'd connected to very much. I was born and raised in that house, and had a very hard time leaving it. This is around age 15.
    To top it off, I furthermore had to deal with my father being seriously ill from his long-time disease(Polycythaemia Vera, quite rare). His body was messing up, and after research, checkups etc., the doctors finally told us (my family and I) "he's not likely to live much longer... Maybe 3-5 years." *SLAM!* Did it help my depression? Take a guess...

    Around this time also, I started thinking "oh, I've gotten chubby... I should lose some weight; if I can't have perfect skin, I want a perfect body!". Acne was a BIG part of the development of my eating disorder.
    So it began, and I lost weight... and more weight, and more weight. I'm 5'6" and was down to 95lbs/43kg. Nothing extreme, but I had lost too much weight too fast. Had my mother not taken action, I would have continued. She has a past of EDs as well, so she knew all the signs but was also scared to confront me.

    Started in youth phychiatry department and it went faaaiirly well. I reached what they saw as a good weight. Menstruation was fine and all that, except for one tiny thing. Because of my acne, I had a prescription for birth control pills, and as long as you take those, you menstruate!
    I got acne under control with antibiotics and stopped taking the birth control - guess what, no period = screwed hormones!

    I'm not done yet...

    My dad's disease has developed in strange ways, but it's a problem in his bone marrow not producing enough blood. He didn't, however, die within those 3-5 years, but his situation got vey critical about a year ago. His body started eating up his muscle, he was de-hydrated, no energy, shaking, no strength etc. Horrible, horrible thing to watch.
    He was offered a stem cell transplant - but they gave no guarantees. December 2010, he received stem cells from his sister with the hope that they would give him a new bone marrow. He went through loads of radiation and chemo, felt shit for months. He's not feeling QUITE as shitty now, but he still doesn't seem to be producing any blood by himself, and only a tiny bit with help from EPO.

    On a side note, my mother's father died after a long, painful course of sickness, and the my mother was there the night before his death, which was pretty dramatic and left her with months of sleepless nights, blaming herself for the pain he was in. She, by the way, has been on-off antidepressants for years as well since her youth. Main culprits: my father's condition and mine.
    For the past year's time, she's also been drinking, although she won't admit it to us (family). My sister once caught her drinking before breakfast, I once met her in the morning with a bottle of snaps (that's 80% alcohol!) in her hand, quickly covering it up when I saw me. I'm the only of four children still living with our parents, as I'm the youngest and haven't begun my university studies yet. My father and I are never in doubt when she's been drinking and/or taken her antidepressants (which make her sleepy/groggy/high).

    MY hormones are out of whack, and I'm told to get my stress levels under control... My ED is getting better; I'm trying not to worry about weight gain, and try to eat from hunger etc. I'm really doing my best. The last year has been binging+purging, but since going primal, I've had maybe 3 small binges (that being 85% chocolate and nuts, not crap!). I've also stopped forcing exercise onto myself.

    Of course, I've spoken to my siblings (I have 3) about my mother, but the times we've suggested her to seek help, she's gotten offended/angry - we are to make another attempt soon, though.

    Can someone PLEASE tell me, or just give advice on how to deal with all this? I eat fish for the O3's every day (salmon or herring for fatty fish, mostly), zink, 6000IU vitamin-D and am to begin magnesium tonight. Needless to say, I eat primal. No fruit, leafy veggies, coconut oil/milk, fat from game meat (although there's not a lot...), grass-fed butter (not that you feed butter any grass, but you know what I mean, lol).

    A little bonus is that my horse has severe laminitis, occuring from my lack of attention, and may have to be put down if she doesn't heal somewhat.

    That's it, I'm done. I'm surprised if you read all/any of it, but advice, comments, questions - anything is very much welcome and appreciated. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Tucson, Arizona
    Sounds like you need a way to help your mind relax. EFT is really helpful in relieving stress.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Is there something like Al-Anon in Denmark? I think it might help to have support of others dealing with a family member with a drinking problem. I'm not familiar with EFT but I highly recommend finding some kind of help in dealing with the stress which sounds absolutely overwhelming. I recently went through, am still feeling the effects of an incredibly stressful period. I saw a therapist and see a psychiatrist now (other issues) and it helped me immensely. Online support groups can help a lot if there's no one you can talk to in your life. Aside from that, light exercise, I like walking. Others swear by yoga.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Alberta Canada
    Bissen, I am sorry to hear about your issues. Anyone would feel pretty stressed out with all that stuff happening. With all the bad stuff, sometimes it is easy to only see bad stuff and not see any of the good stuff that is happening too. I know that happens to me, and then it makes everything worse. I think you have done a great job surviving all this stress, and you are working hard at taking care of your body and getting healed up from your ED. I have a couple of things you might consider to help you through this.

    Feel free to have a really good cry whenever you need one. It will release stress hormones and rebalance you. Sometimes that is all I need.
    Keep on talking to your siblings and friends - you need whatever support you can get right now.
    Not only are you dealing with serious illness in your family, you are also dealing with addiction issues. If there is a counsellor or psychologist you could see now for support, it may be helpful.
    Keep taking good care of your body, it will help you have the strength for getting through this.
    Have fun - it sounds hard to, but you need to give yourself some time where it is OK to let go thinking about it and just relax and enjoy doing stuff you like.
    Realize that this will not last forever. I have had times in my life where I felt like I was living in the middle of a nightmare. They were atrocious, and sometimes they went on for a few years, however, they did come to an end, and something better came to me after that. In the process, I know I am a much stronger person than I would have been without them. I would not have wished them on myself, but I have survived them.
    Cherish your time with your dad. How wonderful that he has survived so much longer than they thought he would. I lost my brother to violence when he was 23, and I can't have that time back. Every day you have your dad past that first 3-5 years is a gift.
    Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.

    The terrible but wonderful thing about human beings is that we can handle way more stress and pain than we have any idea we could, but we can emerge out of it with the ability to help others at the exact place where we were hurt so badly ourselves.

    (((HUGS))), if that helps at all, too.

    A joyful heart is good medicine

    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliot

    Mmmmm. Real food is good.

    My Journal:

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Newark, Delaware USA
    I saw a therapist for awhile when I was going through family issues - dealing with teenagers, a second husband who didn't get along with the teenagers, depression, job issues and no friends to talk to. It did help a lot. And yes, the forest....where it's green, with birds singing...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Cambridge, UK
    that sounds incredibly tough Bissen, I cant imagine how you're coping as well as you are at the moment.

    how honest have you been with your brothers and sisters? Sounds like they could be taking more of the load than they are? It's not fair if you're taking all the crap because you're the only one still at home. Even if you go and stay with them occasionally it gives you a bit of a break.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Herning (soon Århus), Denmark
    [/B]Dragonfly: I have actually thought of seeing an EFT expert once, but that was for my ED - haven't thought about it for stress! Thanks!

    Blackcatbone: I'm not sure my mum is "far out enough" to join al-anon. She's not addicted to the stuff, but she definitely misuses it. I do walk a lot - at least ½ hour with out 3 dogs every day, and I spend time with my four horses as well. They do help me thinking of other things; always honest and sooo nosey, they won't leave you alone I have also thought about yoga or tai chi, but haven't found a place nearby offering it

    JKC: Sometimes, although not very often, I just collapse and cry. Cry my heart out, and yes that does indeed help. I did it about a month ago, letting out frustration. I was with a friend, and I think I kinda took him by surprise, although he knows about many of my issues.
    I'm not too happy about talking to my friends about my mum, as I don't want them to see her the wrong way/spread rumours. I do speak about my father quite a lot though.
    I also still see a psychologist, but I am about to break with her as I won't accept the way she and her team (doctor and dietician) want me to eat, and I can't convince them to let me be without their direction. It's sad, cos I do like my psychologist... I've seen for the past 3 years or so, on almost weekly basis.
    I am usually pretty good at taking everything one day at a time, and not think to myself "oh f'in no, my dad's gonna die, my mum's gonna drink herself to death and it's all gonna be ass for the rest of my life!" - atm, I'm thinking of beginning my studies, although that's actually another stressor. I don't thrive at home, but I also don't reeeally like the thought of just leaving the house - I don't know what would happen to my mum; if she'd continue etc. Also, my dad is a man of action, and has a lot of stuff he'd like to be done, but is himself unable to, which is where I come at hand. I'm taking too much responsibility, aren't I?
    Thanks for the hugs ^^

    Lynna: Yeah, walking in nature is the best - walking in the city doesn't do much for me, but luckily I live in the countryside (at least, sort of - town is expanding) so I have a lot of green around me!

    Mikeyt: I've never been really close with my siblings, and I often don't even think of them all that much, meaning I also don't really tell them about it all. My sister did ask me/tell me to do so in the future though, so I'll try harder to. It's not at all because they want me to take all the crap, but they all live pretty far away (as far as you can get in Denmark, which is like 3-4 hours, lol), so we don't see them too often. They do want to be part of it, and are also gonna stick their heads together and perhaps come up with an idea of how to talk with our mum.
    They have also invited me to come stay with them occasionally, but I'm having a hard time taking that offer, as I like to spend time all to myself, and I also have a very varying work schedule... Another thing is managing to eat primal.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    you dont 'deal' with everything life throws at you- you take it and you accept it.
    not everyone is handed the same set of cards, its how well you accept the hand your dealt.

    do you need to stand up for your own feelings? yes

    but you also need to take what life has given you and accept it. you cant do/change/goback/undo anything that has happened so dont dwell on it. i was an acne infested depressed mess as well. i developed an ED, could share some hideous shit i am pissed happen or i didnt deserve to happen to me, and tell you about the close-to-dying health of my own father and my 2 selfish brothers. but what i do is accept what is going on around me and act on it. dont expect bad things to happen but accept they will happen, thats part of life. youll never to be able to handle what goes on around you if you cant handle your own mind. it starts with you, then should dissipate accordingly.

    you will realize real quick that things calm down, and take their place when you are confident with yourself, your own skin and your own mind. its not so much the food but how you allow yourself to handle stress

    cherish your daddy time too

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    There is no easy answer. Things like "be accepting of what life throws at you", "don't worry about what you can't control", "try to calm down and distance yourself from negative feelings", yoga, EFT, etc are good and all but these are coping mechanisms and not ultimate solutions. So give anything a shot but also be looking for what will solve the anxiety issue for good.

    Acne and less than perfect body composition that are keeping you from looking your best is by no means trivial to a young lady and shouldn't be treated as such. Everyone deserves to be able to look their best without having to stress too much and it is hard to be resilient when those things are still an issue, so ultimately feeling good about yourself, whatever that takes, is the goal and the path to more resilience. When we feel good about our Selves, that is when we are most resilient to anxiety since a less than perfect self-concept undermines the self that is supposed to be in charge of being strong and resilient. It helps to have something to work toward, but it looks like you have plenty of that so that's probably not it. What would absolutely make you feel great about yourself?

    The magnesium will help big-time, by the way. Just from our one exchange in your journal I don't think that you are eating enough. Magnesium improves the metabolism, so maybe from now on make an effort to eat more starting soon. Eating disorders are truly nasty because they throw off our energy regulation systems. If your brain thinks that you are a "famine" mode it will be hard to get out of it unless you do something to make it think that you're in feast mode (eat lots). When we're constantly wrestling with our hypothalamus we have less energy to put into living our lives and being resilient to all of their vicissitudes, so an important thing to do is to make peace with one's own appetite and metabolism. You may not have settled that battle yet. Winning that battle will make future battles easier.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

    Anyone who wants to talk nutrition should PM me!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Herning (soon Århus), Denmark
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    Mal: As I wrote in the previous post, I luckily am just taking it day by day. When my psych asks me how I feel about my dad, I realise I usually don't even think about it on a daily basis! I think I'm actually pretty good at taking it all laid-back, so that's a good thing. My mum is a lot worse, worrying her brains out (uuuh, yeah, I made that saying up). I guess it's an ability I got from my dad - he's also always "oh well, it'll work out" even to the point where it pisses my mum off, lol.

    IF this treatment that my dad got, he's getting a "new" bone marrow, and he'll live a pretty good life. Doctors said he'd probably not make it to have grandchildren, but he at least got one, and he's adorable, taking after his granddaddy with blooond hair! ^^

    Stabby: I'm luckily over my acne (and I MAY have seen improvement since going primal...)
    I usually get weighed at my psych (tried talking her out of it, didn't work), but since it's been holidays, I haven't been on the scale for well about 2 weeks in which time I have eaten as I liked (primal, of course). Some days I ate a lot, some days not so much - yesterday I had pretty much no appetite, today is was enormous, and I tried eating accordingly. I don't count calories or macros anymore - in fact I have no idea how much energy I consume!
    What would absolutely make you feel great about yourself?
    Strength. I've always been super impressed by strength (got my first dumbbells when I was about 6?) and I love the fact that I am actually, relatively seen, stronger than many guys. I want o grow strong, and it makes me feel good to get stronger. I also loooove fighting, and am thinking of taking up MMA-classes! I know Mal is gonna smack my head for it, though...

    About the eating, I'm trying to figure out where I feel good. I think I've been slightly low the last few days, reason being I've been snacking a lot (not content with fewer meals) and slight lack of energy, especially today. Getting a coconut milk drink helped though! I'm a little anxious to see the weight tomorrow... unfortunately, I can't just avoid it Atm though, I wouldn't care if I gained weight. I can't guarantee however, that it won't mess my mind in some way, but I'll try not to let it get its nasty claws on me! I'm'a fight them off with all I've got!!!

    Oh, and I'm glad to hear about the Mg. My dad actually takes it too, since the transplant
    Last edited by Bissen; 04-26-2011 at 01:08 PM.

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