It's official...

I'm now a student. All over again.

I have my ID card, I'm registered, I've navigated the bureaucracy as successfully as any. I have yet to meet my advisor, but the five of us in the program are being fĂȘted at a "faculty reception" tomorrow evening. I've heard it's all fancy-schmancy, which means I will have to once again read the directions on the back of the make-up bottle so I remember what to do. Normally I might not bother, but it's TTOM and I'm zitty.*

I'm slowly (s.l.o.w.l.y.) getting settled in. I have papers all over the place for my class, so I think that's a good sign. It's a new mess rather than an extension of the moving-in mess, so we're getting somewhere. Being here, on my own, after living at home (in the bosom of my family, as the Victorians would say...but no one in my immediate family is busty enough to make that literally possible) is a HUGE shock. I have music on all the freaking time to keep from flipping out from the quiet. It's nice to hear CDs I haven't heard for years. On the other hand, I'm afraid I'm going to tire of my stuff sooner rather than later. That is one of the benefits of OCD- repetition is good.

Repetition is good.
Repetition is good.
Repetition is good.

In my teaching class, we had to comment upon essays written by students in years past. I sounded like quite a jackass. I stuttered and stumbled all over myself. I was also horrified at the sheer lack of writing ability from most students. I don't want Nobel Prize winner wannabes. That would just...suck. But something to work with would be nice. The upside of today's embarrassment is that I know better now of what problems you can work with and what basically leave your hands tied except for saying "Um, well, start over." Pat on the back, send you on your way.

What in the bloody hell did I get myself into?

Overwhelmed. That's what I'm feeling right now. Just over-freaking-whelmed.** If "whelmed" is at sea level, I'm cresting Mt. Everest, about 10 feet from packing myself into Sputnik and orbiting earth.

My appetite is totally disregulated because of a chaotic schedule, and nervousness always makes me lose my appetite. I don't know if I'm eating enough. Probably. I have a meal plan, and I think it's pretty close to what I'm eating. I keep telling myself that I need to focus on all this other stuff to get my anxiety levels down from Mt. Everest to at least K2, but that won't do me a whole lot of good if the anorexia starts to get out of hand.

Crap. Just crap.

There are about four orientations before the official start of classes. I intend to skip two of them because they seem to be fairly pointless. Our science writing orientation has a special visit from the counseling center. I almost want to tell her not to come that I'll be able to recognize symptoms of every major psychiatric disorder and give them referrals and suggestions for proper medications. One thing I found out that sounds good is a weekly mindfulness/meditation session on campus every week- and it's FREE!

But I have to get up early tomorrow morning and then spend all afternoon in orientation, followed by faculty reception. It's bedtime for me. I'm whipped.

*I learned last night that if a little pimple cream is good, a lot isn't necessarily better. I had to wash it off because it was burny and tingly. Needless to say, my ID photo was less than ideal, though I don't know of anyone who has an ideal ID card. I used to have hair (with bangs!) that was halfway down my back when I was 16 and got my licence. I had to get my picture re-taken at 21 when I renewed because my hair was short and no one recognized me. Not good at airport security. I don't look like a Yeti, so I'm satisfied. It's only for a year, though I do intend to squeeze student movie theater tickets out of the damn thing for years to come.

**I would love to know what "underwhelmed" is. I don't think I've ever experienced it.

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Hope said...

Keep using your voice and reaching out. Don't give ED a chance to become an unwanted roommate. I know he'd be glad to help you launch into that earthly orbit.

You have a lot going on right now. It's no wonder that things feel so overwhelming. What can you do to make things feel more manageable? Who can you reach out to? What about that little boost that Alex suggested?

Don't forget how "TTOM" affects you and your emotions. Breathe and slow down those thoughts.

That weekly mindfulness/meditation session sounds good, especially being FREE! Perhaps those other orientations will inform you of other resources that are out there. You never know what you might learn. And if they really are pointless, you can duck out early.

You know I'm here for you...anytime.
Transitions just suck. It's so hard, I know.

Love and Snorgles to You.

Libby said...

I'm sure you are overwhelmed... I mean, who wouldn't be. You've got a ton of stuff going on! But from where I sit, you do sound pretty positive and hopeful... despite all the stress. I hope that's the case!

So cool about the meditation sessions. What a great way to take care of you. Keep finding ways to make yourself a priority... and that should help keep ED at bay.

And TTOM sucks. Period. (Ha, ha!)

mary said...

Hi Carrie,

The meditation/mindfulness is worth it even if it cost a few dollars! You are worth it. Free is good too! : )
Tai chi is another one to look really can balance the energy around you if you use it.
Picture yourself at home, because you are at home with yourself, when you eat. Eat well. You are burning more calories running around and being anxious. If you have to, choose a richer snack to help compensate but trust your doubts. If you aren't sure you are eating enough then it's a concern.
Keep using the music, keep using the music, keep using the music!

mary said...


: )

disordered girl said...

Starting a new program is extremely overwhelming! I'd be worried about you if you didn't feel that way, quite frankly!

Hang in there!

Sarah said...

transitions are sooo tough, and here you are taking on two of the hardest -- new career path, moving -- in the midst of recovery. sounds pretty overwhelming to me, too. for what it's worth, I think that the way you're able to see and analyze what's going on, really will help you get through it.

hang in there.


Kirsten said...

Ah, this takes me back to my first weeks in my grad program. Stressful indeed. But you'll develop a new routine which will help. The free meditation sessions sound like a good option.

Tracy said...


I've got an ED of my own (overweight rather than under) I eat for the same reasons you lose your appetite....two sides of the same coin. I have OCD (big suprise there) and I struggle with alcohol cravings daily. In a nutshell....I can relate.

mindfulness/meditation has been a salvation for me whenever I feel overwhelmed.

A good visual I use is the "monster in the closet". The shadow looks much bigger and scarier than the dust bunny that's casting it.

lauren said...

I think hope said it all today carrie, great words hope!!!!
Carrie keep doing what you are doing and just simple remember when all else fails, BREATHE!!
Love to you Lauren

carrie said...

Thank you for all your support. I totally don't deserve it, but thank you nonetheless.


Hope said...

You are totally deserving...and that's "official", too.

Sending hugs and love across the miles!

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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