Into the crystal ball

I went to my psychiatrist today, largely because I've been having a really hard time sleeping. I increased my evening snack, which helped. For a day or two. And then it was back to tossing and turning and waking at 4 am.

So I went and we discussed many things, exploring options, and settled on a plan that we both feel comfortable with. I'm adding one new anti-anxiety med because it's been sky-high due to moving, no job coming up, etc. And, seeing as my psychiatrist works out of an outpatient eating disorders clinic, we discussed the ED.

I've been eating well, though I still really have to push myself to eat enough calories, and get a good balance of fat and protein. My long days have caused my energy needs to go up even more, and so grocery bills aren't pretty (though inflation is a lot of it). I haven't used laxatives since I got back to school this spring. I still have lots of body image issues. I like my exercise.

BUT. And this is a large "but"- I've been essentially symptom free. Not 100% always, but quite a bit.

And my psychiatrist said something that has never been said to me before, ever. "You have a really good prognosis for a full recovery, Carrie." She said that being able to go six months symptom free is the biggest and best sign they have. She also warned that anorexia would always be my Achilles heel, and would need close monitoring to prevent a relapse.

No one has ever told me I had a good prognosis before. They would say I was doing good, making progress, etc, but never "Heh- it looks like you might make it." I know my team back home had faith in me. I never doubted it. But the praise and hopes were very short-term.

The struggle isn't over. The eating disorder isn't past-tense, and neither is recovery. I'm still trying to successfully manage my depression and anxiety, with the former going much better than the latter. Yet I just might be able to say that the worst of this is finally behind me.

And damn doesn't that feel good.

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Libby said...

That is fantastic. Very happy for you!

Lisa said...

This is great news for you and encouragement for a lot of your readers (myself included).

Hope said...

"And damn doesn't that feel good."

You bet that does!!! I'm so thrilled that you got such a vote of confidence from someone who knows what recovery looks like. All that hard work is really paying off. The light you see in the distance isn't that train heading your way anymore. It's the light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes when you're in the thick of the battle, you can't really see how much progress you've made.

Keep up the brave, hard work.

Love and hugs your way!!

Ai Lu said...

Yes! There CAN be recovery from eating disorders, and it looks like you're well on your way to that point. I admire your candor, too, in admitting that there are still things to be dealt with.

The best thing about "recovery" is that the more time that you spend in the "recovered" state, the more it feels normal -- and the more distant you feel from your eating disordered self. The old adage about time healing all is true, I think -- I've been symptom-free for four years, and every year just gets better and better.

Here's to new beginnings!

mary said...

Sorry the anxiety was getting bad but so glad you addressed it with the P.
Gotta watch those meds and make sure they are working right for you.
The best part is that it can get better. Believe in yourself Carrie!Your determination to stand up for yourself is a large part of why this has worked. /*****

Tiptoe said...

Carrie, I can imagine how wonderful it must have felt to hear this from your Pdoc. It really is encouraging. Just remember, that the reason why you are where you are right now is due to you and your hard work and continuing to trudge along even when the chips have been down.

Something that your post made me remember was a Dr. in college whom I saw for my first physical there. When I told her about the ED, she had told me that she knew I was going to make it, recover, etc. At the time, I shrugged it off. For many years after, I just believed I'd be Ed'd forever. It's taken me a long time to think that I could actually recover, but it is happening, slowly but surely.

Carrie Arnold said...

Thanks for all of your support. Many things have played a role in my recovery (not the least of them cupcakes!) but this blog and community have been a source of hope and comfort on those dark days.

IrishUp said...

What a touching, and brave post.
Brava, Bellissima!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yay, Carrie!

Jeanne said...

Awesome news, Carrie!!

Rock on!

lots of love,

A:) said...

Awesome Carrie!

:) It is great inspiration to me and your readers!

The postive comments didn't trigger you? (Just curious -- positivity sometimes triggers me depending on what mood I am in)


Carrie Arnold said...


No, I don't find them triggering. I feel...odd...and guilty, strangely. For doing well. For blogging about it. For not being perfect at recovery (translation: still read food labels, etc).

But I guess this is why they call it a process, no?

Laura Collins said...

You are SO AMAZING at articulating your thinking process and context.

Cheering and caring,

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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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