27 December, 2008

Moderate improvements to the financial state... Well, minor, really, but I'm not and have never been one to give in. We scraped by for December and now it's a matter of figuring out next month... I'm pretty sure we'll be okay but am DEFINITELY still taking commissions because things are still really shaky.

If anyone would like to commission a scarf or plate or, I dunno, anything, you can just email me with a request. My paypal account is novareproject@gmail.com and that's the same email by which to reach me. For those who have me on facebook I've got several scarf pictures posted there. I'd also be happy to email them. Unfortunately I can't post photos to my blog directly from the blackberry, which is still my only source of internet accessibility.

Thank you guys for being there... I'm sorry for the craptacular lack of posts the past months.

05 December, 2008

something of an emergency

So. Since last posting I've switched to a new job at nordstrom's which, overall, is going well... But the last two weeks were absolute bullshit and since at Nordstrom we make comission I'm screwed.

The rent check will be cashed any day now and my account is $250 short.

I have scarves and gorgeous plates and art to sell... They'd make good
Christmas presents for people....

I hate calling on charity. I've never not worked my ass off for the things I need, the past two weeks included. But right now I really need help.

07 October, 2008

Semi-temporary computer!

Crystal's mom has given us her laptop so that she can get papers done more effectively... She's been typing them out on her QWERTY keyboard on the Blackberry. Rather inefficient.

I'm kind of just sitting around sick today... Not horribly, dreadfully ill, just a cold. Enough to knock me on my ass a bit, though. There are not many new developments out here. Crystal's worried because I've been cutting back on food again... It's really not a hundred percent intentional, though - we just can't afford any groceries. Right now I have in my cupboards: cereal, oatmeal, some flour, canned fruit, and a couple half-empty boxes of 99 cent pasta. I eat when I'm at work but otherwise it's tough to do much with what I've got in stock.

To compound matters, through a series of events I'd rather not detail, we no longer have a car and likely will not have one for quite some time. The grocery store is not walking distance from here, nor is it on a bus route. Sooo... still trying to figure out how that one's going to play out.

In the mean time rent is paid for another month. In an odd stroke of luck, our apartment is close enough to the main offices that we can piggy-back off their internet, so that's one other worry diminished. One positive thing about having a computer with internet access again is that I can once more put out job apps. I sent out sixteen last week, three of which were to head-hunter sites. I have yet to hear back from anyone but please, please put in a good word for me with the saints upstairs.

Hours and sales and business are so horrific right now that I'm lucky if I can procure twenty hours a week. In those twenty hours, I'm even luckier if I can walk with $200. By doing the math, I've figured out that in order to simply break even with just a $50/week grocery budget, I need to pull in about $500 a month. Right now this is simply not happening. We're overstaffed and under-businessed (yes, that is now a word) and the GM we've had since last August is running the place into the ground. If worse comes to worse, I'm about to start looking for a different restaurant job just to help pay the bills better while I continue to search for something office-y.

To supplement income, I've started busking. I'm actually loving it quite a bit more than I thought I would and am trying to head downtown at least several times a week to perform. After finishing this post I plan on working on setting up a busking blog, so keep an eye out for that one.

So in conclusion... I'm still alive, still scraping by, and still flipping a bird to The Man. It'll take more than this financial crap to stop me!

21 August, 2008

so will it work to update from my blackberry?

Life's kinda weird right now. In some ways it's better than ever, but in others it's at a nerve-wracking level akin to my dog food days that first summer in DC.

The reason I'm updating from my blackberry is that my computer died and I can't afford to get or even finance a new one, and aside from that had my cable/internet service shut off recently because I can't afford to pay the bill. I've got lots of plates and art projects that I want to list on Etsy to try to bring in some cash on the side while I continue my ongoing quest for a job that will actually be adequate for my bills and needs but have no way to get the pictures up.if it weren't enough that I have no computer and no internet service, my worthless ex-roommate stole my digital camera (and iPod) as a parting gift when we moved out. So I have no way to take the pictures which I have no computer to load them onto and no internet to use Etsy anyway. Mom and dad... I'm sorry. I feel fucking terrible about the digital camera and it's one of the best presents you've ever given me and I feel like losing it is somehow my fault for not protecting it well enough.

Wow, I'm an overflowing bucket of cheer.

On the plus side, I'm making rent on time each month, not getting evicted, still have a job and gas for my car, I'm in a great relationship and have two beautiful, healthy cats, I've got some great friends and my best friend is expecting her first in a week and i'll be an "aunt" so... Things could always be worse. It's kind of a best of times, worst of times scenario at present.

I don't see my financial status improving any time in the near future, barring a deus ex machina, but I'm getting used to it. I'm reading obsessively again and doing lots of art even if I have no way to sell it. So it's all good, in its own way.

Well, one obnoxious thing about updating via blackberry keyboard is that a qwerty is much more time-consuming than a reggae, so my thumbs are getting tired. On the plus side I do have this option available to me, so when I have the patience for it I'll be more likely and able to update, if only in brief.

Hope life is still bright for all my readers! Siri, if you're still around can you e-mail me your current address? You've been on my mind a lot lately and i'd love to write sometime. Peace!

25 July, 2008

A moment of minor mourning

For my computer. ::hangs head::

Over the past year or so it has slowly succumbed to old age and decay... Or something... It started with spiderweb cracks on the screen which spread until only the bottom left quarter was still visible... Those lines were joined by white bands... The touch pad started to go... The speed slowed to I-25 at rush hour... Then yesterday I opened it up to find this odd tartan of a screen, red and black and blue with spider cracks and nothing resembling words or icons remaining.

Yes, the screen is the worst part of the current problem, but the computer itself is also so far gone that it doesn't seem worth buying a new screen to tack on to the computer. Probably I'll find some way to hook it up to a screen for at least long enough to download all my data, though. (I know, shame shame SHAME on me that I have never made data backups in all the years I've owned computers. Yes, I truly know better than this. No, even multiple losses have not made me shape up.) Crystal's school rents iBooks for fifty bucks a semester so what I'm thinking is that we'll rent one of those when school starts in a few weeks then buy a CPU when we can afford it then eventually a new laptop. Jeez.

So I bring all this to the table to say that my computer access will be even more limited than it has been, at least until school starts. The computer has been such a pain to use over the last few months (try blocking out three-quarters of your screen then putting a dark mesh over the rest) that I haven't even wanted to bother, hence the sparce updates and all. At least that should change once there is a new computer! Hopefully!

Well, the library computer is about to time me out. Sooo peace out my dears. I'm leaving to go camping on Sunday and should be back late next week; otherwise I'll be in the middle of nowhere and pretty much unable to communicate. I doubt there will be cell phone reception but I could always be surprised. Tchao!

10 July, 2008

Crystal and I tried to have a "house"-warming party today... Only problem was a grand total of four people showed up over the course of six hours. Many more had said they would come but I hadn't really counted on them, anyway... Servers are really damn flaky people. Still, I thought the promise of pizza and beer might have helped.

So, basically, Crystal and I need to find some more lesbian/straight friends in the Denver area. It's sad, I posted an ad on Craigslist just for the hell of it, but not a single person responded... There is no love for the me. Ah well.

In other news, I'm finally starting to get up to a therapeutic dose on the Lamictal. I'm only at 50mgs right now but I've noticed a slight difference at least. I've been keeping a mood journal, tracking my ups and downs in particular, and they're starting to even out. I meet with Dr C again in a couple weeks and that should determine what I'll be taking regularly. We'll see!

Umm... Blah, I'm a bit zoned out and am having a hard time thinking of anything to write, so I suppose I'll cut this off. Peace!

26 June, 2008

I'd like to buy a diagnosis, Pat.

So where have I been? MOVING. Honestly, that's been the biggest, busiest thing lately... Between April and May it was all about looking for a place to move into once our lease expired in June. From May to the middle of June I was packing and working and cleaning constantly so that we'd be ready to make the shift on June 13th.

And now we're here!

The new place is absolutely freaking gorgeous and I love it. You know that place where you walk inand just know that you're home? It was kinda like that. Not sure why, but even entering the furniture-free, blank apartment just felt right. It's a bit pricier than our last place (and it's just the two of us paying this time, no help from the mostly-worthless roommate) and because of all the security deposits and fees and costs of moving it's been a huge, constant financial scramble. Particularly seeing as we moved in on the 13th, which is mid month and therefore left us with only two weeks to gather the entire next month's rent.

In addition to the constant working, my depression has been worse worse worse. I doubt it could be picked up too well from the sparse updates I've been giving, but my meds started giving up the ghost about a month and a half ago... Conveniently coincident with moving and financial stress... Go life. Isn't it just lovely like that?

I was able to save up for an appointment to my psychiatrist two weeks ago and up came that old freaking label I can never manage to escape: Bipolar. I've been given this diagnosis by pretty much every psychiatrist I've ever had, given familial evidence and personal instability, but continue to balk at it. Granted, I have had one certifiably manic episode. No one, not even myself, can deny that. It was full-blown mania with psychotic delusional symptoms and all. However, this episode was also one hundred percent chemically induced. I started on Lexapro and within three days was delusional, unable to sleep, suffering paranoid hallucinations (inanimate objects seemed to be conspiring and attacking, for one thing), talking my head off and incapable of maintaining a single train of thought. I wasn't out buying snake bite kits or trans-European vacations but it wasn't that far off.

Reasons I've used in defense of my non-bipolar-ness:
-Chemically induced, and the only true manic episode I've ever had. There have been hypomanic episodes but never anything close to the Lexapro incident.
-Similarities between DID patients and Bipolar patients, due to instability within the self and conflicting displays by alters.
-Lack of true manic episodes or strict demarcation between highs and lows.
-The fact that Bipolar is the diagnosis en vogue right now. Twenty, thirty years ago, I probably would have been labeled borderline. Fifty years ago, schizophrenic or schizotypal. And now: Bipolar. How should I feel about this? Accept it as accurate or refute it because of the commonality?

A couple factors have lately made me start to reconsider the label. For one thing, every doctor I've ever worked with, even from the very beginning, has thrown it at me. Yes, Bipolar may be the favorite label these days, but does that mean it is always illegitimate? The very fact that I deny it so much makes me think I should reconsider... After all, strongh denial always seems to be characteristic of those people who truly deserve any particular label.

One other consideration is that I trust Dr. Christensen more than any psychiatrist I've ever worked with, perhaps excepting the doctor I had in DC. He really does know his shit. When I told him about the diagnosis in the first place and that my manic episode was purely chemical in origin, he nodded and said, "All right." Then we moved on. "Now, though, he's been working with me pretty intensely for about six months and, very carefully, brought the issue up again at our last appointment. After this amount of time, I know that he knows me as more than a case file. When he gently said that he didn't want us to "fully dismiss the possibility" I don't think it was because he just wants me to have another label to add to my list.

Additionally, I have been on mood stabilizers more than once before, and they have helped me significantly. Previously I've attributed this to it helping with controlling the DID (mood stabilizers have been known to help ballance multiples out) but it's possible I'm just trying to explain away evidence because I don't want Bipolar added to everything else. Depression, anorexia, even DID can eventually be cured in many cases, but bipolar stays with you forever because of its physiological foundations. I can't stand the idea of being medicated the rest of my life.

Soooo... Not sure what my opinions are on this matter, but I'm back on mood stabilizers. Lamictal helped me a lot before and the only reason I stopped taking it was that I hit my prescription cap with insurance. This time Lamictal is just about to become available in a generic form so I'll actually be able to afford it long-term! The brand name is an extremely expensive medication so it's a relief to know I'll have the generic available.

Lamictal has to be increased really slowly because of risks of complications with the body's tolerance, and I've only been on it a week now, so I'll let you know. I should be at a therapeutic dose in another three or four weeks.

So that's what's going on right now. Yay.

In other news, GO OBAMA!!!

16 May, 2008

I'm not sure how to begin an entry of this nature... Probably, even if you haven't been following all the news reels you're still aware of the earthquake that took place in China on Monday. It's four days later and they're still dealing with aftershocks and, increasingly, with an extraordinary lack of fresh food and water for the survivors. Cleanup and continued excavation to search for bodies and any survivors is probably going to last months.

Please, I don't usually try to recruit anyone for personal causes, but if there's any way you can afford just TEN DOLLARS you can make a donation to the Red Cross international disaster relief fund. (It's the first choice on the site provided.) I'm broke as hell right now but somehow this still feels more important than my rent money or bills. Skip Starbucks three times over the next week and there's your ten dollar donation.

I mean, I'd give anything to be in China right now, working hands on to help as many people as I could... But I can't. Thank god for the internet, though, right? An instant donation to go directly toward helping all these hundreds of thousands of people. That's a pretty huge fucking deal. I don't know what all ten dollars can buy, but I'm thinking it's at least a few cases of bottled water or antiseptics or, hell, even gas money for the guys working the excavation equipment.

Please, please, please, if there's any way you can make a donation, do.

http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_main That takes you directly to their donation page if the link above doesn't work.

08 May, 2008


No exciting news about my trip to Fascinations yet, or about my job hunt, or sundry other things... Just a brief picture post before I have to head out. If I can ever get my ass back in gear I'll supply you all with a decent update sometime on the near future. >.<

Not sure if I mentioned it in the blog, but recently we purchased a dining room table and chairs set which Crystal had the brilliant idea to turn into a recovery project. After all, isn't the dining table the 'center of healing' and all those other cliches? Anywho, I've been working on this project for a few weeks now and it is turning out to be a pretty fantastic deal. The other day we purchased a set of clear glass dishware which we have also been working on decorating so that our new apartment (move in on June 13th!) will be all snazzy and crazy and bohemian.

"Before" pics -

And after!
Walking around the table clockwise, starting in the front, it looks like this up close:

At left is a close-up on one of the two chairs.
Here are the cups and plates which have been made so far... (Crystal decorated the beer stein on the left; the rest are things I made.) I also have four more large plates, four small, two coffee mugs, and four bowls left to do. :-D I plan on listing some of them on Etsy to see if anyone would be interested in buying some, because they just are turning out to be so damn cool! I haven't been this proud of my art in a while.
You can't quite tell in the picture, but the left-hand plate is covered with song lyrics from a Northstar album. The center print says "I am the piano that nobody plays when everybody's home."
I'll keep posting with pics as more of the project is finished.

14 April, 2008

Therapist #30869054

Well, I did make it to see the new therapist today. It's so frustrating seeing someone at the school counselling center, though... I can't develop any sort of rapport before they move on to a new internship! I'll only be seeing this one for four weeks, when the semester ends and she goes off to somewhere.

Actually, I'm rather peeved with them in the first place... The head of the counselling center told me that I'd be seeing a practicing clinician, not an intern, since I really need more intensive help than a grad could offer me. That and I have a tendency to intimidate interns. I mean, think about it: I've probably been in therapy far longer than they've been studying it! And of course there's also the little factor that I'm quite a bit crazier than the finals stress, break-up grief, homesickness, that most of the students at the school come in for.

The biggest problem I have with new therapists is called ACTIVE LISTENING. It's the therapy practice in vogue (I thought Jung started it but Crystal tells me it's way more recent) and it's a load of crap. No other way to put it. Basically, active listening looks something like this:

Me: Basically, I'm just having a really hard time adjusting back to real life. I feel guilty when I eat because I feel like I'm betraying an old friend but I feel guilty if I don't eat because then I'm betraying myself and everyone who's been supporting me.
Carol (therapist): I'm hearing that you're dealing with a lot of conflicting thoughts... That must be a very stressful thing for you.
Me: Yeah... It's like either way I can't win. It's so much easier to fall back on ED patterns because they're so familiar and simpler. I don't have to think about it to act on my anorexia but it takes constant effort to pursue health.
Carol: It sounds like you're pretty discouraged. I can see how it would be tempting to revert to the old, familiar habits.
Me: ....Yeah.

Me: Blah blah blah, something about the work I've already done in therapy.
Carol: I just wanted to say how very impressed I am by the amount of work you've done... You have so much insight into your thought processes and struggles! It seems like you have been working really hard to be serious about recovery.

Sigh. Active listening just pisses me right the hell off. If that was what I was needing from a therapist, I could just go talk to one of the empathetic robots that AI scientists are working on now... Active listening is easy enough that ROBOTS CAN AND DO PRACTICE IT.

If I'm paying a therapist to help me, I'd like a little more participation than an echo plzkthx.

That said, tune in next time for a discussion of my latest trip to the sex store and why I feel American society is hypocritical, prudish, and operating on out-moded Puritanical ideals! (Because I'm never on a high horse or anything.)

08 April, 2008

A dingy little window in

I'm having a Bad Day.

Yesterday was supposed to be my first appointment with my new therapist through the UCD counselling center. I've already done my intake and everything but because of spring break and some trip or other the therapist had last week yesterday was the earliest we could schedule an appointment. When the alarm went off at 8:30 I looked it over, thought about how desperately I wanted to sleep, and disabled the alarm.

Lora called me later that day and left a message since I looked at the phone, saw who it was, and ignored the call. In the gentle, unaccusatory therapist tone, she said how her schedule had me down for ten and it was now noon and she wondered where I was. She made sure to preface any sort of admonishment with an, "I know we haven't talked for a few weeks, so I'm sure you must have forgotten or something came up." Yeah, my anorexia came up. And it says it doesn't want any more therapy.

I woke up around 12:45, meaning I should have gotten my first meal around one. I finally decided to prepare something around 2:30. According to the clock on my cell phone it is now 2:51 and my two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and glass of milk are barely touched.

Every time I pick the first sandwich up for a nip (bite wouldn't be accurate today) I think about the list of "behaviors" I'm engaging in... Small bites, check. Excessive chewing, check. Eating in order, check. I've got a couple of sandwich rituals which aren't on EDC's list but those certainly fall under the behaviors category for me, too. Eat in a spiral until the crust is gone, avoiding any actual bread content if humanly possible. Once completed, eat back and forth from top to bottom. Rest sandwich on the back of the hand instead of holding it.

One of the few big annoyances I found at EDC was their list of behaviors, complimented by a thoroughly unhelpful list of ways to counteract those behaviors. Instead of taking miniscule bites, take normal bites. Instead of chewing too much, only chew necessary number of times before swallowing. Vary order of foods instead of eating safe foods first. Etc.

I feel like it's been forever that I've been doing this damn recovery thing. I'm bored with food and eating. I feel like I eat the same things over and over and even if I vary the way it's presented it's still the same basic food. Really, there are only so many choices. I don't know whether it's worse that I've been maintaining or worse that I'm supposed to be gaining weight... Every time I go in to see the nutritionist she does her little blind weigh-in with the somehow muted old scale, purses her lips and tells me that I'm not losing weight but I'm really not gaining it either. Really, though I feel like my body has exploded from its acceptable confines, I'm only about back to my pre-relapse-that-put-me-in-the-hospital weight.

As always, one of the biggest things holding me in check is the fear of financial detriment. I've got such a tenuous grasp on finances right now and if I start to hard-core relapse again my quality of work will be down, my energy and hours will be down, my medical expenses will be up. Aside from that, so much has been invested in my treatment over the last few months that it feels like a betrayal of the basest kind to just jump back in to my eating disorder.

Has it really only been two and a half months since I started up again with recovery? Crap. And I'm supposed to stick with this thing for the rest of my freaking life?

I miss the excitement of dying. That sounds ridiculous and counter-intuitive but it's true. As boring as starvation is, there is still a strong element of danger and thrill at the fact that I'm a few inches from death at any given moment. For one thing, when there's no food in my system I'm basically living off whatever adrenaline I can muster to get me on my feet. I don't know why it feels like such a testament to the will to be able to say, "I'm starving myself to death but I'm not going to actually die! Just you watch!" but it does. I guess in its own way self-imposed starvation is a David Blaine type of performance art.

3:06 and I'm almost halfway through sandwich number one.

My head hurts. I miss feeling invincible by being able to go without anything resembling food all day, for several days or weeks or whatever. Now I start to get tetchy and dizzy after maybe two hours. I feel weak, depending on food like this. I'm disgusted with myself for making this lunch in the first place and, moreover, for eating it despite all my convictions to the contrary.

Every time someone at work tells me they're proud of me I alternately want to sob or punch them in the face. I don't look "good". I don't look "better". Can't they see that I'm betraying myself to the weakness of 'health'? Why can't they understand the power and beauty of starvation? Why do they look at me like I'm crazy when I say that no, I'm really not happy with how my body is changing? The worst part of it all is that my metabolism is so revved since it's in organ repair mode that I have to eat twice as often and significantly more than normal, healthy people, so all these coworkers who knew I was going in for treatment for my anorexia now look at me eating a meal or large snack every two hours and think I must have been faking. Every time we make eye contact their expressions say, how can you possibly be anorexic if you eat so damn much?

It seems like all I do is grocery shop and eat. And then go back to work to earn more money for more groceries.

I saw Annie last week as I was leaving EDC from the nutritionist's, and she looks awful. My heart broke for her but I was insanely jealous at the same time. Erin and Crystal and I had dinner together at Red Lobster a few nights ago, the first time Erin and I have seen each other since we were in program together... It felt like all we did was watch the other one eat to see who had more and who ate faster and who showed better "self control". I desperately miss all my friends from EDC but what I'd been afraid would happen is exactly what's taking place: our biggest connection to each other was the program and now that we're out the bonds are broken.

Recovery is a bitch.

01 April, 2008

Is she alive? Or is this just an April Fool's prank...

Why has it been so hard to write? I don't know. Primarily, life lately has been work, work, work, work, AAAAH WORK WORK WORK!!! It's amazing what six weeks out of work will do to your financial stability, even with outside help. Actually, at this moment I'm having a mild freak out because our paychecks just came and they were (combined) a couple hundred less than I was expecting.

How do I begin describing life at present?

I miss the security of program, for one thing. I'd never been able to fathom Munchaussen before spending so much time under the care of others but now the appeal is pretty easy to recognize. If for no other reason than I didn't have to worry about planning, purchasing, and preparing each of my six meals a day the idea of PHP has a somewhat dream-like quality. I've probably said this a thousand times already but I had completely forgotten how damn expensive it is to eat as much as a normal person is supposed to (and then some, in my case). I honestly used to see food as a sort of guilty commodity, purchased only when my basest animal impulses could no longer be ignored. It's still hard to not look at the hundreds of dollars I spend as frivolous expenditures. I'm late on my car payment and will have to be a few days later still because I have no groceries left in the cupboard. One example among many.

Another struggle is that I'm once again facing the feeling of being absolutely bored with eating. I suppose that when one consumes as much as I do on as little a budget as I have it may be an inevitable thing... Or perhaps I'm short on recipes and ideas. (Hint, hint, dear readers! Lolz.) Or, as a third option, maybe I'm just weird. Either way, it's to the point that I open up fridge and cabinet and just stare at it all with distaste despite the hunger I'm feeling again now. My current staples are chicken, rice, potatoes, PBJ, cheese, yogurt, milk, and ritz crackers. Factor those out to six meals a day, every day, and it gets highly repetitive.

Okay, technically I probably shouldn't say six meals. It's three meals, three snacks. However, the snacks to me seem like meals... They've given me a snack list to choose from, and it'll have options like: 1 yogurt, one slice bread, two tblsp peanut butter or two servings fruit, 1 1/2 c. cottage cheese, one serving cereal. These, to me, are more than 'snacks'. When I think 'snack' I think a handful of crackers or a yogurt or a serving of fruit... Not this AND this AND this.

On the happy side of things, I am really working at this thing with an intensity and seriousness previously unseen. Crystal even admitted that I'm surprising her and surpassing the expectations she had for me and EDCD. Not that she was expecting me to fail or whatever, just that she hadn't anticipated I'd really try to get healthy and not just less sick.

Because I am who I am, artsy fartsy crap is a big part of this. We just purchased a dining room table and chairs a couple days ago (yay craigslist, fifty bucks for all!) and Crystal had the idea to turn it into a really recovery-oriented project... Since the dining room table is the main battleground for healing and all that schmaltz, she had the idea to collage over the top of it with encouraging images and words and such. I'd already stated from the get-go that I wanted to make the table all crazy and bohemian and absolutely insane looking but Crystal really gave it a direction.

Haven't started on the table yet but I started work on a couple of chairs yesterday... One I'm just painting and haven't got much direction on yet, but the other I've taken a bunch of my 'sick' jeans and cut them to pieces which I'm wrapping and gluing to the chair. It's pretty freaking awesome, much neater than the haphazard picture it suggests. Very Soho/Greenwich Village/Dupont/Eastern Market/San Fran/etc. I'll post pictures and progress pics as things come along. ^.^

Speaking of sick clothes, the things that fit are falling away slowly but surely. It's getting so that I hate going into my closet to pick something out... Much easier to keep one or two outfits readily accessible to avoid any possibility of pulling something on only to realize it fits like Spandex. I'm holding out for a while as the weather gets warmer, though, both to hopefully help stabilize moolah and wait to purchase clothes that will last me the season instead of a few remaining weeks or months. Mostly I alternate between work uniform and sweatpants.

Despite this, I'm still not gaining the way EDCD wants. I can tell my body is changing and am royally freaked out by it but whenever I go in to meet with the nutritionist she purses her lips a little and asks what I'd be willing to add to my meal plan. I'm not losing, she'll say after the blind weigh-in, but I'm really not gaining, either. Apparently I have the metabolism of a hummingbird.

The nutritionist's comments about my not gaining aren't enough to thwart mirror melt-downs on a regular basis. Any lingering BDD seems magnified now that my body actually is changing. Depending on the moment I'll be in tears because I think I've surpassed the girth of an aircraft carrier or because I see no change and think I'm a failure at recovery and shouldn't be bothering. There appears to be no win. Pulling on too-tight clothes which fit yesterday is not in the least helpful. Similarly, the day I pulled on a pair of jeans and realized they stayed up without a belt now caused one of the worst relapse-y days yet.

Well, I need to go find food for the day. I've yet to put something in... But then again I didn't get up until 1:30. (Restaurant closer schedule.) Blaaaah food. Why is something so banal such a complex, pain in the ass issue? I may never figure that one out.

Love and hope to all y'all. I'll try to be less negligent in the future!

27 February, 2008

A weeebsite, a weeeebsite!

Hey hey hey!

Oh, so much excitement... Squee!

Yesterday was my last official day in program. I'm gradumacated! Hopefully as I start to slide back in to real life I'll start dutifully recording my experiences in the partial hospitalization program, reporting on my epiphanes and heart-wrenching confrontations and whateverthehell else... For now, I'm STILL on my back with the flu. And on Nyquil. Nyquil is not very conducive to writing long, musing, introspective tracts.

However, an exciting bit of news is that I just officially put up the first Novare Project website prototype!!!!! Being the computer genius I am it only took me three days to figure out how to actually publish the site once I'd finished creating it. Go me. It's still quite raw and bare-bones, but you can order shirts more easily and directly than through Etsy, as well as being able to see the new designs that I've got all purtied up! I want to say there are two completely new designs and I've made a couple of modifications to the old ones. So, please, go take a look!



There is where you will find me and all the other interesting bits of crap. Yay!

Naptime now... Nyquil make me goofy.

23 February, 2008

Wow, what nonsense

Good god, can't I be healthy yet? Breathing.... Oh how I miss it.

I've worked a little on the website and still hope to have it up by Monday but I'm on hiatus from site work for now. Because my brain is on hiatus from me. PROFOUND.


Crap, I really have absolutely no idea what I want to say. I have this big compulsion to write blog entries, quite probably because I can't speak, but the thoughts to create those entries are just not anywhere to be found. So I think I'll go back to bed.

This has been the most pointless entry ever, courtesy of me.

21 February, 2008

Quick way to purchase t'shirts!

At long last, I've found a site builder which is free and can actually be fathomed by my feeble, flu-addled brain. (Go figure, I get over the stomach bug to come down with full blown influenza or something really damn like it.) I was supposed to have my graduation from PHP today but because I'm so ill we've had to reschedule my last two days in program for Monday and Tuesday.

Sooo I've got the whole weekend left bare to work on a website! A new shipment of t'shirts arrived and I've finalized work on two new designs, revamped a couple of the old ones, and, damn! I'm especially happy with the new shirts.

Also, eating disorder awareness week is coming up incredibly soon! (By which I mean Monday, I think.) I hope to have the site up and running with all the new designs and ordering options ready to go by the start of ED Awareness.

Take care! I'm off to find my lungs... they went flying out somewhere in the course of this update.

11 February, 2008

Very brief update

I've got about two minutes before breakfast starts, but a lot of drama has been happening which I should update you all on... So, bullet style.

-Daniel came home a couple weeks ago, strung out on something, totally irate and irascible. We had a big conflict, in which he outright refused to pay back any of the four months' utilities that he owes me, as well as to pay this month's rent. Talked to the office and, despite a bunch of different points in our lease, they insisted that if Daniel didn't pay Crystal and I were responsible for it and they were going to proceed with eviction if we didn't come up with the money. I scrounged and got together the $560 which Daniel owed, between rent and late fees. We have less than a hundred left in our account, but at least we're not getting evicted.

-Last month, as a birthday present to Crystal, I put unlimited text messaging on our cell phones. When I got the bill a week ago, it was almost three hundred dollars because it didn't reflect that the change had been made. I got in contact with them, because the salesman had assured me the plan would be enacted that day and backdated twenty-four hours as well. According to a TMobile customer service rep, the guy lied to me. According to customer service dude, the charges are valid because our billing cycle ended that day and, as such, no change could be enacted until the next cycle. So now I have to find out a way to come up with $276.

-I haven't even LOOKED at utility bills this month.

-I'm beginning my last week in program. This means I've still got about two weeks before I get back to work.

-Daniel is refusing to move out, but also refusing to pay. Again violating points in the lease, the office refuses to do anything, saying it's a "roomate problem and therefore a personal settlement". Which is bull. He's on the lease, and the lease states we're responsible jointly AND singly. We're trying to find a new roommate because how the hell are we going to pay next month's rent? But we can't move someone in because Daniel won't leave.

-For a bunch of reasons I don't have time to discuss, terminating the lease is really impractical right now and we really have no option but to stick it out until june.

Blah, breakfast. Got to run.

29 January, 2008

100th post!

--Day Eight--

This has been a helluva lot harder than I anticipated, which is primarily responsible for my lack of updates. Every day I resolve to blog/journal more, because the last thing I want to do is end this and look back knowing I have no record of it, but every day the emotional and mental strain leave me so exhausted that I can't even think of writing an entry. You'd think that having been in therapy as long as I have I would have better anticipated the labor involved in eleven hours a day, seven days a week.

Speaking of, I've only got about five minutes for this entry before another group starts.

My moods are all over the place through the course of a day. I feel like all my nerves are constantly on the surface here... I may be doing fine one minute but then something comes up in group or session or meal and it's as though someone's broken through my calm as easily as the skin which covers scalded milk. Often, my primary emotions are anxiety and disorientation, as even after a week I can't get the hang of what comes next or whose names are whose.

Meredith is my primary therapist, and I love her already. We've only had three sessions (God, that few?), one Mondays, one Thursdays, and I've been doing my best to dive right in, covering the basics as quickly and openly as possible, so that we could start actually working on some of the issues which have brought me here. My primary care physician is Dr Ross, medical physician Dr Rooney, and psychiatrist Dr Christensen. I love all but one of them, with whom I had a really bad conflict last Thursday and for which I've still not forgiven her. April is my dietician, Stephanie is my so-far best friend here, and there are about 4359879487221 bajillion other millieu therapists who lead groups and I can't for the life of me remember all their freaking names. (Oh yeah, and there's Pam, family therapist, Trish, program director, Shae, interview and initial coordinator, Ricky, financial lady, Laura, art therapist, Sue, psychodrama.... Seriously, SO MANY PEOPLE.)

Crap, group's getting started. I really will do my best to be less negligent!

22 January, 2008

Today is my day

PHP - Day 2

I've got about twenty minutes before lunch, so let's see what sort of an entry I can shape here... By the time I left yesterday, I was too overwhelmed and reeling to make sense of anything that had happened or form a cohesive entry, so I didn't bother trying. Today I've not got much time, but I'll give it a shot.

The rooms and halls are rapidly, gratefully, growing familiar to me. Each face is no longer a complete stranger - I've eaten meals with them, seen them cry, heard them expose quiet fears and secret hopes. It's amazing how a program like this can bond you together so quickly... I mean, for nothing more than sheer numbers, you're spending a good eleven hours together each day, eating all your meals together, and when not doing that, engaging in deep, serious, heartfelt conversation. I guess it'd bond any group quickly.

....God, that was about the shmaltziest thing I've ever written. I'm gagging on the saccharine.

I'm in our little breakroom/cubby/coat room, on the computer (duh) while Courtney and Erica perch on facing couches behind me. My group let out a little early, which is why I have this long break; half the patients are still in a different group. (Aggravatingly enough, the sack which has my chapstick is in that closed room with all of the others. It's driving me batshit.)

My morning's been a little scatter-brained, as I took the light rail for the first time today and it took quite a bit longer than I'd anticipated... I got here a half hour late, right as breakfast was about to start. I ate %100 of my breakfast, even though I seriously didn't think there was any way I'd be able to do it... A cup and a half of raisin bran, a cup of milk, and one carton of yogurt. It was more of a breakfast than I've eaten (barring special occasion brunches) in years. But I did it!

As an interjected aside on meals, we prepare our own breakfasts but have lists from which to choose things. Everything has to be portioned out, left in the cup measures for the millieu therapists to verify, before we can eat. Lunch and dinner are brought to us pre-prepared and pre-portioned; all we have to do is reheat them and select a fruit and a drink. I successfully ate %100 of my dinner last night, too, but yesterday's lunch (my first meal at the center) was a lot harder than I'd anticipated. I uncovered the plate to find half of it mounded in pasta, the other half portioned by a chicken breast and some mixed vegetables. Those I was fine with. Pasta... Not so bueno. I only managed about %75 of that meal, and ended it in tears unable to choke down another noodle because I was so overwhelmed and ashamed and fearful.

Back to today.

After breakfast, I was bundled off into a cap to St. Somebody-or-other's Presbyterian Hospital for labs. Normally they would have done them yesterday, I was told, but since it was MLK Jr day the offices were closed. My arm got stabbed, I oozed three vials, I pissed in a cup, and all was well. I meet with the doctor this afternoon to discuss the lab results.

When I got back, I went in for the last fifteen minutes or so of group. The title of today's entry came from that: we talked about how making the distinction between our own thoughts and desires and those of the eating disorder can make a huge difference. One girl, Stephanie, mentioned her wedding day and how she was pretty much free from the disorder for just that one day. When asked why, she answered, "Well, I guess because I just woke up that morning and said, this is MY day - not my eating disorder's."

That kinda resonated with me. We also talked about eating disorder-imposed "deadlines" (lose this much by this date, eat this little by tonight, do this many crunches in this amounth of time) and how they never can be met, only expanded. When one deadline arrives, none of the qualifiers seem to make it good enough and there's just another, harder one put in place.

That made me think about the fact that claiming the day as my own, purposing to be more present-minded, can help both those aspects: if I'm in the present, deadlines lose importance, and if the day belongs to me and not the disorder, its demands mean nothing anyway.

Aaaand have to go in for lunch now.

I'll see if I can update again later; otherwise, peace!

18 January, 2008


Sorry for the lack of posts... I'm at a constant level of baseline panic as the days until inpatient narrow to hours. It's making things really difficult at home, at work, online. My words are all stunted as my fingers freeze in anxiety and... whatever else I'm too freaked out to think to say right now. I'm treating Crystal and my friends horribly, snapping and mouthing off way more than is even usual. I can't concentrate at work for perhaps obvious reasons.

All I can think about is how scared I am to do this, how badly I want to back out, how desperate I am to be healthy. I obsess over every detail of the things I'll miss about my anorexia. This obsession makes me think I 'like' my eating disorder a lot better than I know I do... But there are still many things I'm going to miss about it. It's strange how integral grieving is to recovering from an eating disorder.

That's all I can think to say right now, guys, I'm sorry. I'm sure that once this thing actually starts I'll be so much calmer and better able to function... I know from experience that nine and a half times out of ten the dread is so much more insufferable than the event itself.

15 January, 2008

Where things stand

Well, I never thought it'd actually happen, but... Unless something weird and sudden comes up, I start PHP Monday morning.

The assessment went really well this morning. I loved everyone whom I met at the center, and their facilities were pretty awesome. I was expecting them to have their own building(s), but they're actually just on the tenth floor of a big, fancy executive complex thingy. I think they have pretty much the entire tenth floor of the building, though, as their offices certainly weren't cramped.

I met a few of the girls who will be in PHP with me, although sort of indirectly. Since PHP runs seven days a week, they were obviously there for their standard treatment days and I ran into a few of them on session breaks. The place was really laid back and the girls seemed nice; the extent of our conversation was nonetheless limited to sympathetic smiles.

.... Kinda running out of things to say. I'm still a bit overwhelmed by all this, particularly in light of the fact that it's actually going to happen. Hypothetical PHP stays are scary but still easier to handle than real ones.

As a slight aside and final note, I cried today for the first time in any therapy session to ever have taken place over the past five, six years of outpatient care.

13 January, 2008

A quick note from work

I love that there's a Comcast kiosk in the mall lobby, right outside Cheesecake Factory... I'm blogging while on my half hour break. ^.^

I'm starting both to align myself to the idea of PHP and, in some ways, get excited about it. (I usually refer to it as 'inpatient' in my head and to others, since PHP is too lengthy to explain and it is essentially inpatient anyway. Inpatient without the hospital bed at night.)

I've been writing obsessively, to the extent that when I was stranded yesterday without a notebook while waiting for Crystal to get off work I went out and bought a new one. When I'm this stressed and anxious I can't function without writing. Urban Outfitters is my favorite store and happens to be right down the hall from Cheesecake, so I go there a LOT. When I put my purchases on the counter yesterday, the girl knda pursed her lips, looked at me, and said, "You know, I swear to god you're in this store every other day and every time you're here you're buying more notebooks." Hee.

The newest notebook acquisition is probably going to serve as a recovery journal dealie, to be filled in the hospital and out of it. I'm sure that I'll put parts of it in here at some point.

Word is starting to get around at work about me leaving to go inpatient. Servers are some of the most notorious gossips in the working world, so once one person found out it was a matter of hours before eveyone knew. It's not that I mind this, per se... I mind the way people react to the news. Most of them don't have a decent concept of what anorexia is or how it manifests. Maybe I'm the first person they've known who has and ED and is open about it, I don't know.

To this end, every time I put a morself of food in my mouth now, I'll catch some coworker or another giving me this sideways expression. You know the one: How can you be anorexic? You're eating right now! Several people have come up to me and said as much, ignorantly declaring, "You aren't really anorexic. I've seen you eat before."

God, if being healthy were really as simple as eating that one meal that someone happens to witness. It would certainly make my life a lot easier!

I wish I were as fluent in conversation as I am in my writing. Believe it or not, I'm a pretty damn awkward conversationalist. I write well, I'm great at speeches, have good poise, but only when it's rehearsed. If I'm put on the spot about something uncomfortable, like anorexia, I stammer like Jimmy on South Park. Okay, not quite. But I blush, utter far too many 'um's and 'uh's, and more often than not will totally evade the question in a string of nonsense, however unintentionally. It makes explaining something like why-I'm-eating-if-I'm-supposed-to-be-anorexic incredibly arduous.

Aaand it's just about time for me to head back in. Hi, my name is Tina, how are you guys doing, I'm going to be your server today, just to let you know a little about tonight's specials....

09 January, 2008

To expound upon earlier thoughts...verbosely.

Ex post facto, as is so often the case, I'm thinking yesterday's post may have been made a bit rashly. By which of course I mean that yesterday I was basically freaking the f-k out and somehow had the misfortune of getting my fingers onto a keyboard, thereby spilling a noxious pile of disjointed, jumbled, frenetic words. Contrary to popular belief the best writing is made with a level head, not one stressed and emotionally charged.

My initial shock at the Drs' assessment of my case is still pretty much the same as ever. I still fail to understand how I need inpatient care; to some extent, I'm still questioning whether or not my level of health or illness requires something so extreme as intensive outpatient. Okay, that's a bit of a lie: I know I could do with some outpatient treatment. But inpatient still does seem over the top.

However, since yesterday's phone call with Drs Roberts and ...a woman whose name I forgot... the general consensus among friends and relations seems to be that inpatient care might not be such a bad thing for me.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around this.

For the reasons I listed yesterday, I still believe myself to be in a fairly healthy place. Particularly when I compare myself today to myself two years ago (or even one year ago), today's self looks a world healthier than I was previously. Water and hundred calorie fasts are no longer a routine thing for me. For that matter, I haven't intentionally fasted in quite some time. My periods are regular, my fatigue has lessened; although labs haven't been run for me in well over a year my body feels like everything is working well. When I eat, I don't do well making sure my meals are healthy and ballanced and supplying all necessary nutrition, but neither are they comprised solely of high fiber vegetables and...more vegetables.

My question about what health should look like that proves I'm so far from it still stands. I'm beginning to ask myself if the main reason I think I'm healthy is that I'm comparing myself to a prior, sicker version of myself - not to a normal, healthy standard of existence. Granted, I'm much healthier than I used to be. My life is not in immediate danger from any starvation consequences. But does that mean that I'm to the standard of health that is the goal of recovery? If not, how far away am I really?

Following are my principal objections to the partial hospitalization program:

-FINANCES. Call me a jew if you will, but worries about finances are still the number one concern about this program.
-->Aside from the fact that the program itself will likely cost far more than EIOP, it will be an eleven hour a day, seven day a week commitment. This, simply and unavoidably, will not allow for me to work. Even if I were able to get my work to allow me to come in at 8 each night to help close, that would leave me with a potential for six hours sleep per night. Therapy is hard work in and of itself, even a one or two hour session once a week. Realistically, there is no way I'd be able to go from eleven hours of therapy to four hours of work to six hours of sleep to start over again.
-->Crystal and I work hard to meet the bills each month as it is. She's going to have a much tougher course load this semester, meaning she'll have to work less. If I'm completely out of work (or even on a greatly diminished schedule) there is no way we'd be able to make ends meet. (Although, as Crystal pointed out, our food budget will go down since the center'd be feeding me five times a day. Somehow this seems ironic.)

-Triggers. This may seem silly at first glance, but think about it this way... It's been a long time since I was fully immersed in my disorder, seeking out thin pics, thinking about eating and not eating constantly, obsessing about the possibility of breathing in calories or the calories contained in chapstick.
-->Visually, I'm afraid that being in an inpatient facility would present me with a whole lot of girls who are seriously ill. I'm not to a place yet where this seems unattractive to me - contrarily, it'd definitely make me extremely jealous.
-->Verbally, I know that many girls get some of their best tricks from staying inpatient for a while. I know that this does depend some on 'you get out what you put in', but that doesn't mean there won't be tons of conversation about how to tongue pills or wipe butter off on your slacks or slip food into sleeves/purse/shoes. Even if I'm seriously trying not to pay attention to this, it is probably going to be triggering to be surrounded by it.
-->PHP feels to me like I'd be re-devoting my life to my eating disorder. Crystal says this is stupid and she's probably right, but... Like I said, it's been a long time since I was thinking ED thoughts every second of the day and to jump into such a rigid, complete schedule of treatment feels like I'd be backsliding. Crystal pointed out that it'd be devoting twenty-four hours of my day to recovery thoughts, not anorexic ones, but in my head it doesn't feel that way.

-Perhaps most stupid of all my concerns, I'm terrified to go into the PHP program because I feel like I'd have absolutely no control over...anything. Myself, my time, my recovery. (When I told this to Crystal she shrieked, "EXACTLY!!!" But.. Meh.) I suppose some part of me feels like recovery is a way to teach me self control in a healthy way, and therefore I want to retain control over the recovery process. I feel like I'd be okay with three days a week because then most of my time would still be my own, like I'd have certain time devoted to therapy and the rest of the time devoted to whatever else I felt needed to be done.

Even the times I have been inpatient before, I never relinquished control. Granted, I was in a really worthless facility, but while inpatient I found ways to skip meals, self-injure, avoid any participation in group activities; hell, when I was finally fed up with inpatient I found a way to lie so completely and extensively that I got them to release me long before they should have.

I feel as though, historically speaking, every time I've let go and done as I was told by people who cared about me, it only made things worse. Why should I give up my life to total strangers?


So there's where things stand. I suppose nothing will really be known for certain until I talk to them again and then set up the actual intake exam. I'll be sure to keep you all posted.

08 January, 2008

Does... not... compute...

As I mentioned recently, I've gotten to a place that I'm seriously pursuing recovery. For myself, no one else, I want to be healthy and experience what life healthy looks like. To this end, I did some research into area treatment centers and finally contacted the Eating Disorders Center at Denver, since its programs seemed to offer best what I was looking for. Yesterday, I got my first call back from them. I spoke with one of the doctors over the phone, doing a basic clinical assessment thingy, then discussing the extended intensive outpatient program they offer.

My biggest concern was that they'd say I was too healthy for the program and should probably look into just weekly outpatient therapy or perhaps some of the group programs. After all, I've been maintaining pretty well, I eat on a daily basis, I don't really count calories at all anymore, and on and on and on. From my perspective (and historically speaking, given my case), I feel like I'm pretty much recovered. I just need help to get there all the way.

About an hour ago I had another call from them, this time a conference call between the assessment clinician and the EIOP program head. My initial response was a sinking, oh crap, feeling. They said they'd been discussing my case and given what Dr. Roberts and I had talked about yesterday, they didn't feel the EIOP program is going to be appropriate for me. Damnit. I knew that was going to happen. Crap.

What I didn't in a thousand years see coming was that they said the EIOP won't be enough for me.

They think I need to do the partial hospitalization program. Sdsogiherh?? Geh?? The program is seven days a week, eleven hours a day. I'm not sure how many weeks long it is.

How the hell do they think I need that level of care? Crystal agrees. Wtf?? I can't even get this to enter my schema. I really, honestly, truly, cannot understand what they are saying. I was sure I'd get turned away for being too healthy, not get told I needed partial inpatient!

Reasons I think I'm healthy:
-I've got a good fifteen, twenty pounds on my low weight. I've been maintaining this pretty well for the last year or so.
-I eat every day, usually twice, sometimes with a snack. When I'm hungry, I detect that, respond to it, and don't ignore it.
-I drink regular soda now. I drink 2% milk. I even eat red meat again! I eat butter, cheese, pasta, all those horrible horrible evils I wouldn't allow to enter my lips.
-I've even eaten McDonald's more than once in the past year. For the longest time I wouldn't even set foot on the premises of a McD's for fear that I'd somehow breathe in the calories. And now I've eaten it! Willingly!
-I eat Chipotle. On a regular basis. (And I always get extra sour cream on my burrito, and I like it!)
-I don't visit pro-ana trigger sites nearly as frequently as I used to. I'm no longer a member of the ana elitist comms. I'm not a member of any pro-ED comms, for that matter.
-Did I mention I eat pasta? And cheesecake? And butter? And that I can enjoy them?
-And that I don't calorie count? (Usually..)

What is health supposed to look like that I'm so far from it? I haven't been amennhorhaeic in a good year and a half, and even then my menses were only irregular, even when I was clinically emaciated. I don't exercise obsessively, I don't purge, I don't abuse laxatives anymore, I eat salad dressing... I cannot understand this. I seriously cannot get it to enter my head. I can't wrap my mind around it.

Am I really still so crazy?

Aside from that whole level of cognitive dissonance, let's just stop to look at some logistics right now.


I've talked to my family and my dad has said he will help pay for the EIOP, which is incredible and the only way I'd be able to afford to do that in the first place. And with that, I'd still be working full-time so that I could afford rent and loans and bills and crap. I wouldn't be able to work if I was in the hospital eleven hours a day! And I wouldn't be able to afford to live if I wasn't working!

I'm really in an effing pickle here, bitches. First, do I really need this? And second, if I do, how the hell can I pull it off?!?

03 January, 2008

To sum up the year

Since I graduated from my livejournal days I've avoided doing all those surveys and memes that so thouroughly infiltrated all my LJs... But screw it, I still love those things. Here goes!

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before? Wow, quite a bit. I dropped out of school, I moved across the country, bought a car, leased an apartment, got baby cats, read an unabridged copy of Les Miserables (a long-time goal of mine), went a whole year without weighing myself daily (which technically has been done before, but not for quite some time), came out to more than just therapists/really, really close friends about my multiplicity, gotten slightly tipsy, gotten blazed, driven to the Rocky Mountains, hand-sewn a stuffed animal... I guess it's been a bit of a bang-up year!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? You know, I don't really remember making any resolutions last year. I was a bit too depressed to think of much that optimistic. My official resolution this year is to get a better job, one not in the service industry and with more regular hours. Any other resolutions are currently pending.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A few co-workers have had babies, but they're not particularly close to me.

4. Did anyone close to you die? My grandmother, but she was more close relationally than close personally... She was kinda distant toward her grandkids.

5. What countries did you visit? None. Le sigh. Perhaps that should be another resolution...

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? A solid, well-paying job with great benefits. My own pair of skis. A good treatment team who can finally help me to kick this freaking eating disorder. And pet mice!

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Hmm... April 7th, when we bought our first car, and June 19th, when we moved into our apartment. Oh, and July 5th, the day we got our baby cats!!! It's really nice that this year I don't have any calamitous events to remember! Prior to 2007, many memorable dates involved suicide attempts, hospitalizations, major injuries, surgeries, getting kicked out of places.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Dorky, but probably the table cloth which I finally finished crocheting.

9. What was your biggest failure? Failure to truly devote myself to finding a kickass treatment team. I gave sporadic efforts, but by not committing myself to the search I didn't ever accomplish much of anything.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not really. 2007 was more about recuperating from mental illness and shoulder injury than acquiring anything new. God, what an awesome thing to be able to say!

11. What was the best thing you bought? Baby cats!!! Although, the car is pretty damn cool, too. ^.^

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Crystal's, for her courageous work at overcoming some serious social anxiety.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Nicole Richie. I will never, ever forgive that witch for the Labor Day crap she pulled. Various politicians. My soon to be EX roommate, Daniel, for way too many reasons to bother with right now.

14. Where did most of your money go? Rent, student loans, and bills. Boring!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Recovery. Nothing's really happened with that excitement yet, but at least it's here!

16. What song will always remind you of 2007? Hey There Delilah, by Plain White Tees. Primarily because it was overplayed so goddamn much.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Infinitely happier. Still fighting depression quite a bit, but much improved.
b) thinner or fatter? This time last year... Crap, I'm not sure. I think slightly thinner, but it goes up and down and up and down.
c) richer or poorer? Much better off! Not fantastic, but not flat broke and relying on charity anymore.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Exploring Colorado, actually. I was pretty sedentary at least as far as tourist-y crap goes. There's so much lame, neat stuff here and I haven't looked at any of it.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Nervous breakdowns. Good god, but when the MDEs hit in 2007 they knocked me flat on my face. Usually literally.

20. How did you spend Christmas? With Crystal's family. It was my best Christmas in YEARS.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007? Hopelessly, with two fuzzy little balls of yowling fluff.

22. What was your favorite TV program? South Park, yet again. House, briefly. American Idol, sometimes.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Daniel. Ugh.

24. What was the best book you read? Undoubtedly The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers. Oh man, but the final Harry Potter ranks waaaay highly up there, too....

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? You know what? It's kinda been a musically stagnant year. I still love Decemberists and Bright Eyes and Rilo Kiley (although their new album sucked dismally and shockingly), briefly enjoyed Paramour, wondered about Tegan and Sara (only to discover I really didn't like them as much as I thought I would), and lost interest in Rainer Maria and Brand New. Otherwise, lack of money has greatly limited any musical acquisitions. Oh, actually, I guess you could say I became really interested in The Shins. However, I lost the cd promptly after buying it, so I didn't get to appreciate it much.

26. What did you want and get? Baby cats! (Theme? What?) Car! Apartment! Megan got a new stuffed animal (a giant purple unicorn), Katie got her easel, Claire got...something..., The City of Dreaming Books, Harry Potter book 7, HP-OOTP the movie, psych meds. :-P

27. What did you want and not get? "Nothing in particular comes to mind, other than “a new president”." Hee. I really like the former surveyer's answer. However, I can also add skis, my own apartment (though that's coming soon), a really good job.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Possibly HP-OOTP, actually. No, I'm not a nerd. Seriously though, I was a bit disappointed in this year's crop of new movies.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? Drove to Boulder for the day, which was simple but super fun. After that I went out to dinner with my girlfriend and best from from MD, who flew out for the occasion! Oh, and the number would be twenty-one.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? A magical windfall of $100,000 or more. I spent more time worrying about finances this year than... Okay, no, metaphors are dangerous here.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Briefest way would be to say "Urban Outfitters". Alternative answers would be: hippie chic, urban, bizarre freaky crazy person, tights/leggings/big sweaters (eighties throwback?), and a Cheesecake Factory uniform. The last was the most frequently worn fashion.

32. What kept you sane? Wellbutrin. South Park. Baby cats. Snow. Crystal.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Angelina Jolie, as always. Scarlett Johannsen, Barrack Obama, and Edward Norton.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage/gay rights. Unsurprisingly enough.

35. Who did you miss? My baby brother. This lonliness for him hasn't stopped since I left my parents house, and probably will never stop until I move into the house next door to him or something.

36. Who was the best new person you met? Either Marque, who has become my best friend in CO, or my manager Kory, who has become something of a surrogate dad to me. Either way, pretty cool.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007. While it may seem like you should save every penny in every way possible when you're hard-up for cash, the little treats and splurges are the only things which keep you going until times get better.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. On The Bus Mall, by the Decemberists.

In matching blue raincoats, our shoes were our show boats
We kicked around. From stairway to station
We made a sensation with the gadabout crowd.

And oh, what a bargain, we're two easy targets
For the old men at the off-tracks,
Who've paid in palaver and crumpled old dollars,
Which we squirreled away
In our rat trap hotel by the freeway.
And we slept-in Sundays.

Your parents were anxious,
Your cool was contagious at the old school.
You left without leaving
A note for your grieving sweet mother, while
Your brother was so cruel.

And here in the alleys
Your spirits were rallied
As you learned quick to make a fast buck.
In bathrooms and barrooms,
On dumpsters and heirlooms,
We bit our tongues.
Sucked our lips into our lungs 'til we were falling.
Such was our calling.

And here in our hollow we fuse like a family,
But I will not mourn for you.
So take up your makeup
And pocket your pills away.
We're kings among runaways on the bus mall.
We're down on the bus mall.

Among all the urchins and old Chinese merchants
Of the old town,
We reigned at the pool hall with one iron cue ball
And we never let the bastards get us down.
And we laughed off the quick tricks-- The old men with limp dicks--
On the colonnades of the waterfront park.
As 4 in the morning came on, cold and boring,
We huddled close in the bus stop enclosure enfolding.
Our hands tightly holding.

But here in our hollow we fuse like a family,
But I will not mourn for you.
So take up your makeup and pocket your pills away.
We're kings among runaways on the bus mall.
We're down and out on the bus mall.