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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween: A Weird Day

October 31, 2012
Happy Halloween

Today has been a really weird day.
It started at breakfast. I had eggs. “I don’t like eggs.” That’s always been my mantra, but I went into breakfast with an open mind. And then my eggs were covered in maple syrup. Even if you are an egg-lover, that’s just gross. It was all I could do to get through breakfast without being nauseated. But I did it.

Sometimes at meals I have arguments with Frank and my food. Frank tells me that I shouldn’t eat. My food tries to convince me it’s delicious.
            Frank: Camilla, don’t do it. This isn’t even food that you typically enjoy, it’s not  worth the calories. Have you seen some of the people here? You’re going to look like that. They’re trying to make you fat. This is bad.
            Food: Don’t listen to Frank. I’m delicious. I’m the best thing you’ve ever seen. I’m so good you’re not going to want to stop eating me. I might look like boring cafeteria food but really I’m delicious.
            Me: *stares blankly at food*
            Frank: Camilla, you and I go way back. With me, you get to be skinny. And                       skinny=control. Skinny=lovable. Skinny=successful and powerful.
            Me: Frank, I have to eat or they’re going to put a tube in my nose. I’d rather taste                           my food then have it inserted into my stomach all day. It’s not fun that way and I’ll never learn what I like and what I don’t.
            Food: That’s right. I win. I have power over you. You need me to live, which       
              means I’m in control. If I want to make you fat, I will. You have no say.
            Me: *totally numb, eats food robotically and tries not to think*

            Somewhere in there I just numb out and do what I know I’m supposed to do. Anything is better than going to the hospital and having a tube inserted into my nose. No thank you. I’m too prideful for that.

Anyway . . .

A weird day. . .
I had a meeting with my therapist that overlapped with snack, so I had to eat my snack in our living area. Alone. Which feels very strange. I don’t like eating alone because that’s what I did with my eating disorder, so it felt like a step backward.

It’s Halloween so they had us do some festive activities. We had a little carnival, like we did back in Elementary School. I tried to really participate and get into it, but it made me feel a little silly. You know how when you go to a retirement home and they have silly little activities for the residents, but it’s just kind of sad? It felt like that.

After that we decorated cookies for snack. All the joy of cookie-decorating is removed when you know you have to eat the finished product. The hardest part is that you have to eat everything they give you. A tablespoon of icing was WAY too much icing for the cookie we were given. I felt like I had icing with a small side of cookie. I cried, which was embarrassing. It hurt to eat it. One of the Care Techs told me I didn’t have to finish it and that I could “Boost” instead. (Boosting means drinking a meal supplement instead of whatever the snack is). But I told myself on day one that I wouldn’t Boost. It tastes weird anyway. So I finished my cookie. It was really hard.
            We trick-or-treated for “positive affirmations” (“you are amazing,” “you are beautiful,” you know, really personalized stuff.). It was like parade of the mental patients. It made me feel remedial and pathetic and broken and childish. I think my time would have been better spent reading or working on some of my assignments. Or even taking a nap. It really made me feel bad about myself and being here. I’m not exactly sure why.
            Dinner was really uncomfortable. I think we all felt strange after the “parade of the mental patients.”
            I’m trying really hard to feel my feelings and right now I’m feeling overwhelmingly sad. I feel very bad about myself. I feel bad that I got myself in this mess and that I’m here. I’m sad. I want to go home and just sleep.

Camilla On Seattle TV - KOMO4 News

This is the link to the Seattle news station (KOMO 4) that aired her eating disorder story Oct. 30-31.
Camilla's eating disorder story was aired. If you want to donate to her treatment, please click on the "Donate" button at the top of her blog.
And, (as you'll see in some of the comments), if you want to be "hating", insulting, criticizing, or judgemental, I hope you'll keep your comments and thoughts to yourself.
Camilla's Dad

PS: Update from ABC News. In the midst of Hurricane Sandy, ABC's web reporter in the East, Liz, called me on Friday. ABC plans (she said) on putting the story on its website on Monday, and possibly running the story nationally. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Camilla (and Frank) Are On TV In Seattle!

Camilla's story is previewed on KOMONews.com. On Tuesday, October 30th at 11 p.m., and Wednesday, October 31th at 6 p.m., watch KOMO 4 News in Seattle for a special on Camilla's battle with her eating disorder, her fight for survival, and how you can help!
A similar story is expected to be aired in late November on KSL-TV in Salt Lake City.
Thanks for your support! -- Camilla's dad

Weight Restoration

October 30, 2012
Weight Restoration.

Like I said, I thought they’d already started me on weight restoration, but apparently not. I lost weight when I got here. Now I’m the same weight I was when I admitted.

This whole “restoration” thing makes me super nervous. How do they know what my ideal weight is? What weight am I being “restored” to? I have no idea. I’m really really scared. I’ve been numbing out all day, avoiding thinking about it. I don’t know exactly why I want to be this skinny. I feel safe and in control. Or I did before today.

Today was hard. Really hard. We just finished evening snack and I’m pretty sure I’m never going to be hungry again. This was my day:

Breakfast:
            Blueberry Frosted Mini Wheats
            1 cup milk
            ½ banana
            1 slice white toast with peanut butter
Snack:
            Coffee Cake
            1 cup milk
Lunch:
            1 cup pasta with cream sauce
            Steamed broccoli
            Bread stick
            Confetti cake (with frosting. ugh)
Snack:
            8 Wheat Thins
            1 string cheese
Dinner:
            Broccoli
            Breaded Chicken (4 oz)
            1 cup Cous Cous
Snack:
            4 Oreos

Now you have to remember that I’m not “exercise approved” yet so other than walking to groups and appointments I’m not getting any exercise. My constant prayer is that I’ll be able to trust my treatment team; especially my dietician and the diet tech.

I’m so uncomfortable.

Sometimes it seems like we get too much junk food here. I’m trying to learn that anything in moderation is fine. And I’m trying to relearn what I actually LIKE. I’ve spent so long saying “I don’t like cheese. I don’t like brownies. I don’t like cream sauce,” but I don’t actually know if I actually dislike those things, or if I just didn’t feel “safe” eating them. I’m relearning to taste (REALLY taste) my food. It’s a little overwhelming to do that when I’m just trying to get through the meal.

In addition to being uncomfortably full, there are some things I’m not allowed to do here that make me feel even uglier. Like shaving. And plucking my eyebrows. I’ll be allowed to eventually, but they like to wait until you’ve been here a while to make sure you’re not going to hurt yourself intentionally. I understand why the rules are here, but this is probably the worst time for me to feel so ugly. If I have to gain weight and eat like a man I wish I could at least feel put together.

I feel guilty writing this. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I don’t want to eat. I certainly don’t want to eat this much. I don’t want to gain weight. I don’t want to have a period. I don’t want to have curves.

The worst part is this was just the first increase in my “weight restoration” process. They’re increasing my meals AGAIN on Thursday.

My stomach hurts.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Heart Breaker

October 29, 2012
 Heart Breaker

The thing about brothers is that they are very protective. I have two. A big bro and a little bro. A thing about little bros is they grow up to be bigger than you are. Much bigger. 7 inches and 100 pounds bigger. So yes, I have two protectors and they’ve always said that anyone who breaks my heart is in big trouble.

So Frank, you should know that the Kuhns brothers are going to hunt you down and SLAUGHTER you.

Last Friday, the nurse here told me that the swelling around my legs needed to be monitored and that if it didn’t go down it could be indicative of swelling around my heart. She told me if I felt anything strange that I should be aware and let whichever nurse was on the unit know. All day yesterday my chest felt a little strange. I couldn’t tell what exactly it was, but it felt off.  There were a few palpitations and a couple times I felt like it was skipping or beating really hard. Then last night I got a bad leg cramp. Later while I was lying in bed my chest felt very tight, my left arm and fingers started cramping and tingling. I was actually scared, so I went and talked to the nurse.

My heart rate was the lowest it’s been since I got here. The EKG showed that my heart wasn’t “polarizing” the way it should. The visual they gave me is this: your heart is your hand. When your hand is open it’s like your heart releasing everything out into your body, when you make a fist it’s like your heart drawing in everything it needs. So my heart right now isn’t making a fist, it’s only making a half fist. It doesn’t constrict all the way. It’s very uncomfortable. The nurse told me I have to be very careful because it can lead to a heart attack. I think the nurse overemphasized the danger to make sure I’m extra careful. But it’s still scary.

I’ve said before that this was like a break up. And Frank really broke my heart a little. Poo on him.

ALSO: I’m starting weight restoration tomorrow. I thought I’d already started, but apparently I have not. So that’s scary. . .
Stay tuned. . .

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Other Half of My Soul

The Other Half of My Soul

“. . . their spirits uniting with their bodies, never to be divided; thus the whole becoming spiritual and immortal, that they can no more see corruption.” Book of Mormon, Alma 11:45

“And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.” Doctrine & Covenants 88:15

I have been fighting my body since I was 11. So I’m not going to think of it as “my body” right now. I’m going to think of it as “The Other Half of My Soul.” (TOHMS)

Last night there were some serious health problems in the unit. Our bodies are healing and we’ve been beating them up for so long that they’re not always working right. Some of the girls here are really struggling just to get healthy. I feel so blessed. TOHMS is healing without too much discomfort. My heart rate is up, my blood pressure is more normal, and I’m not as dizzy.

I come from strong pioneer stock, and I’m really grateful. TOHMS has a history of being resilient and healing quickly. After my car accident I should’ve been dead or at least been more beat up. I’ve never really been sick. I’ve never broken a bone. And now that I’m eating, TOHMS is being very forgiving. I’m so grateful, because I feel like it’s being kinder to me than I’ve ever been to it.

Plus I’m part German and Norwegian.

I have a favor to ask, dear reader. A lot of the girls here are really struggling with being here. It’s hard to have all your comforts and have all your control taken away. Many of the girls here are far from home and don’t get family or friends visiting them. If anyone would feel inclined to send care packages, it would make all of us so excited! We can have things like soft hair ties, lotion, blankets, chap stick (oh my goodness it’s dry here!!), stickers, crossword books. Simple things like that. No pressure, it just gets kind of depressing here sometimes and the little things really make a big difference. Just mark it c/o Camilla Kuhns.
The address here is:

Center for Change
1790 N State Street
Orem, UT. 84057

Also just a eminder that if you send me an e-mail, please include your physical mailing address so I can write back to you (because I can't send emails)!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Processing. . . Processing. . .

Processing. . . Processing. . .

Today I was talking to Therapist about feeling my feelings. That might sound weird, but I usually numb out with exercise or restricting. I said I was feeling frustrated and afraid because at lunch today I had a dessert. And I NEVER get dessert. I thought the diet tech messed up.

I was also upset from our Body Image group. We watched a video that talked about online sites that “rate” people’s attractiveness. I told her how my X, while we were married, posted a topless picture of me online to be rated, and how he expected that I’d be flattered because I got a good rating. I told her how shocked I was and Therapist asked, “What did you feel about that?”

And I just sat there.

I tried to answer,
“I guess I felt . . . I don’t know. . . I was kind of hurt I guess . . . I was just in shock.”
She asked how I feel about it now, and my answer is the same with the addition of "This proves he didn’t love me.”
I realized that I’ve never processed what he did and never thought about my feelings about it. That’s ridiculous. I’ve thought a million times about how much I must suck to have my own husband think so little of me, but I’ve never thought about how him doing that made me feel.

I guess I feel unsafe. Exposed. Angry?

But at the time I just numbed out. And I don’t think I should have done that.

I’ve spent the last 2 years trying to be androgynous. Unsexual. Ugly. If my own husband could objectify me in that way, then what is the rest of the world doing?

Being skinny is my protection.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH! Also: I hate ice cream cups

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARAH!
Also I hate ice cream cups.

            Today is my little sister’s Golden Birthday. She’s turning 25. I miss her. When I get home, no matter what month it is, she and I are going to get mani-pedi’s, massages, and sushi to celebrate the quarter century of Sarah Jean Kuhns.
            Let me tell you about Sarah. She is my favorite sister of my heart. I don’t think two people could be any different then we are, but before I became entrenched in this dysfunctional relationship with Frank, she and I were actually becoming friends. I miss that. She is so many things I want to be. She is creative. She is honest. She is very very forthright. She is a vigilante of justice. She is beautiful. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and family. She kills it at karaoke. She is HYSTERICAL. And she doesn’t know it, which is even better. I’m very glad she’s mine. And I can’t wait to have a million babies because she’s going to be the best Aunty and spoil them rotten so I won’t have to.
            Birthdays usually mean cake and ice cream, so it’s crazy that on her birthday I have to face the dreaded ice cream cup.
            I think my refeeding has ended and weight restoration has begun. Scary. At morning snack I had to eat two ice cream cups. TWO. I feel sick. At afternoon snack I had to eat two more. AAAGGGHG. To quote one of my friends here, “Too much lactose, not enough Lactaid.” Just to clarify: Thursdays are “challenge days," which means that every snack is going to be someone’s “fear food.” I guess today’s “fear food” is ice cream.
            I’m so anxious. Frank is yelling that I’m fat and need to exercise. Frank is pissed that my clothes won’t fit. Frank is reminding me that I’m going to have nothing to wear when I get out of here. Yes I can get more, but they won’t look good.
            One of our “assignments” is to have a conversation and try to distinguish our own voice from the voice of our eating disorder. So here’s my attempt:
            Frank: You are fat. You need to exercise. 4 hours at least. You’ve missed 6 days. SIX. You are a disgusting lazy cow. And you need to restrict. Don’t eat.
            Me: I agree that I’m fat. But I won’t exercise and I will eat. Because I need to trust this program. And I need to trust that I’ll be happier on the other side.

When I try to separate myself from Frank I’ve found that I don’t know my own voice. I don’t know what I like. I don’t know my taste preferences. I don’t know who I am very well.
I know Frank more than I know me.
I need to fix that.
And for once, I’m really glad I’m here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Frank Accidently Killed Himself

How Frank Accidently Killed Himself.

We have a bunch of assignments to do while we’re here. It’s nice actually. I love school. I was great at school. And this keeps me feeling productive and busy. One of the assignments is to read “Psycho Educational Principles in the Treatment of Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa.” It’s a very interesting article that talks about the effects of semi-starvation, dieting as “treatment” for obesity and why it doesn’t work, set point weight, etc. I highly recommend reading it if you have a few hours.

Anyway, there was a study done on 36 healthy young men at the University of Minnesota. They were studied for three months while eating normally, then served a diet which restricted their caloric intake by half, then given three months of rehabilitation when they were re-fed. I thought the results were super interesting. And here are some key points I wanted to share about their physical, emotional, and psychological changes:

  • Attitudes and Behavior Related to Eating: Increased preoccupation with food, hoarding, excessive gum chewing (Hello! They call me Sister Gum…)
  • Physical Changes: GI discomfort, decreased need for sleep, reduced strength, poor motor control, dizziness, etc.
  • Bulimia: When the men were presented with greater amounts of food during the rehabilitation phase many of them lost control of their appetites. Weekend splurges would commonly range between 8,000-10,000 calories.
  • Emotional Changes: Subjects were psychologically healthy prior to the experiment. Most experienced emotional changes, including more irritability, anger, apathy, and anxiety. They were depressed and disorganized.
  • Social and Sexual changes: They became progressively withdrawn and isolated.
  • Cognitive changes: The subjects reported poor concentration, comprehension and judgment when they were semi-starved, although testing showed that their intellectual capacity wasn’t changed.
The biggest takeaway was that when the body is starved a person will become more oriented toward food, and other pursuits that aren’t vital to life (like social and sexual functioning) kind of fall away.

I thought the study was interesting because it kind of shows why I “night bake.” It’s a weird obsession with food combined with an inability to sleep. Both of which are products of my eating disorder . . .
So if you think about it, by becoming the Night Baker, I was using Frank (food obsession and inability to sleep) to fight Frank (raising money for treatment).
Haha, my nemesis. Good job contributing to your own demise.

(Note: Frank is Camilla's name for her eating disorder.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

FIGHT

FIGHT

I don’t feel safe here. I’m sure this blog will piss people off, but I don’t care. I don’t feel safe. I should be allowed to say that.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad (For your present, I’m not running out of here)

Happy Birthday Dad (for your present, I’m not running out of here)

I think I’ve found the reason why treatment doesn’t “work” for some people — It’s because they get kicked out of treatment after they’re medically “stable”, which could be two days. So none of the actual issues have been addressed and they fall back into a comfortable “Frank” routine. And nothing gets fixed.

Today I’m trying to focus on what foods I actually like. Breakfast was hard. We had muffins. There were four kinds. I wanted a certain muffin, but they made me eat a different one. I think if I have to eat the calories it might as well be a food I like. Right? In the real world I’d be able to pick my own muffin, but not here. They’re trying to keep us away from only choosing our “safe” foods, trying to expose us to new foods, etc. So we can’t be picky. Which I understand. I just can’t believe the reaction I had to a muffin. Something in me is terrified of having my choices taken away.

Anyway . . . At snack we had mozzarella sticks—I don’t like those, but I went into snack and really thought about what I was tasting. And I realized that mozzarella sticks actually aren’t terrible. I don’t think they’ll ever be my appetizer of choice, but I like crunchy texture on the outside, I like marinara sauce . . . they’re not terrible, like I said. I don’t like the inside. The cheese wasn’t melted and it was SUPER salty, but maybe another brand would be worth trying.

(I realize that last paragraph sounds really simple and probably silly, but it’s a big deal to realize that I might actually like some foods I thought I didn’t like . . . maybe I’ll try eggs next.)

I want everyone to know that I’m trying. I’m doing everything that’s asked and more. I’m trying so hard to trust this process.

BUT

I’m incredibly fearful that this won’t work, or that I’ll relapse at some point. And the anxiety I feel from that is almost debilitating. What does everyone expect if that happens? I can’t pay the money back. . . how am I going to live with myself if I fail, or relapse, or feel like I failed??

For the record, I don’t plan to relapse, but with recovery from any addiction it’s possible, especially when you have to interact with your addiction to survive. I can’t live without food (I’ve tried . . . that’s the problem). I’m so scared of letting everyone down.

The fear is exhausting. It’s 8:57 and I’m ready for bed.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

On Wanting Recovery

On Wanting Recovery

I’m hoping that if I just stay, I’ll become ready at some point. And this will all make sense. I’m willing to do the work. I’ve been 100% compliant for my meals and I’m doing every “assignment” that’s asked of me. I’m giving it 100% so no one can say I’m not doing it.

I’m sad. It’s ok to be sad, right?
I have this crazy urge to binge. I feel empty and alone and eating helps me feel something. Food loves me back. I want chocolate and cereal and cauliflower and nuts. I want ketchup. Since I can’t choose my food and I can’t restrict, I want to eat everything in sight.

I want to go on a walk. I want to exercise. I think I sleep too much.

I’m not cleared for exercise. I have to wear this bright yellow bracelet that says “FALL RISK” because my heart rate and blood pressure are low. But I’ve never fallen. Oh well. I don’t mind wearing it. I don’t mind them being very careful. I just feel really really broken.

I’m glad I’m here so I don’t have the choice to exercise. If I don’t eat, they’d put me on a feeding tube. If I don’t eat not only will they tube me, but it will take me longer to get through the program because of “non-compliance.” And that’s not ok with me. So I figure the more compliant I am, the faster I can leave.

I’m still re-feeding. I think I’m actually losing weight. “Re-feeding Syndrome” is dangerous I guess, which is why the portions are so small. Refeeding is preferable to “weight restoration.” Ugh. I’m dreading that. Last night we had mini donuts for snack. I had two chocolate ones. One of the girls who is on weight restoration (she’s not in inpatient with me, but I saw her plate) had a PILE of mini donuts. At least 8 I’m sure. So scary. I don’t think I have THAT much weight to gain so I hope they don’t do that to me.

I’m so sad right now. I feel so lonely.
I want to sleep.
Forever.
I dream of Frank and I feel safer. I wake up in Hell.

I’m sorry if this sounds ungrateful. Someday I’ll feel thankful that I’m here but today is not that day. I’m in hell. I could lie but I don’t want to do that. Because this is real. No one here is happy all the time. We all want to leave. But we are all pushing through it and we all have our reasons.

This blows. I’m miserable. I want my eating disorder back.

Someone I don’t know left me a letter. She reads my blog. Her words were so kind and encouraging.
I’m so happy to have any connection to the outside. I have missed my friends and family so much. You know how when you have a bad break up you suddenly have more time for your friends? And you need them more? It’s sad, but I think everyone feels that way a little. Anyway, that’s how I feel. If I don’t have Frank I need people to fill that space until I’m ok being alone. Truly alone. With just me. I’m not even close to being there. . .

Saturday, October 20, 2012

It's Physically Painful

10/20
 It’s Physically Painful

I can only compare this to how it feels to have a bad bad breakup. A divorce. I love Frank. I had no idea how much I loved him until I came here. I don’t want this to end yet.

I feel so alone. I want letters or something. I need my friends and family now that Frank has left me. Or rather, I’ve left him.

It’s family week here; people have siblings and spouses and parents and cousins coming and going and I’m alone. I try to distract myself with reading and writing and playing Scrabble. I’ve been sleeping whenever I can. I’m still certain that starting Monday would’ve been a better choice. Monday isn’t family week. And there’s too much free time on the weekends.

Tonight was a little traumatic at dinner. I’m still “refeeding” so my portion was tiny. I was still hungry, so I asked for more. They said I could have a little extra so I got a little extra and planned to just eat a few bites until the hunger pangs subsided… I didn’t know that I’d have to finish EVERYTHING that was on my plate. I wouldn’t finish it because I ran out of time, so I had to drink a supplement. What bothered me was that I wasn’t told that if I asked for extra that I had to eat EVERYTHING THAT WAS GIVEN TO ME.

All I learned there was that asking for extra food is stupid, even if you think you’re hungry.

Now that I think about it I was probably just thirsty. My water is “plated” (plated means that the dieticians tell you exactly how much of something you can have and it’s served to you. It’s nice because you don’t have to think about it, but it sucks because you can’t have extra water.) So I only get 8 oz of water at meals and snacks. My head is throbbing and I think it’s from being dehydrated. I know they have to be careful because I’m malnourished, but that seems excessive.
I thought I was ready to be here and I’m definitely not. Which terrifies me. I don’t want to do this twice—it’s a waste of money. And if I’m here and doing the work but not ready, what if I relapse? And I can’t MAKE myself be ready.
I’m angry and feeling forced. Everyone wants me to be ready NOW and gives me all these reasons why I should be and . . . .I’m just NOT.
All I can think about is getting out and reuniting with my love, my lovely Frank.
I’m so alone. I’m so angry.

She's Gone In! - From Her Dad

With Camilla's permission, here is an update about her treatment for her eating disorder:
She went in to a treatment center in central Utah at 2:30 p.m. Thursday (late). 4 hours later, after taking the luggage from the room back out to the van and sitting in the van for 1/2 hour, she finally went in and signed the papers saying she would stay (usually it takes about 1/2 hour). The doctors were very kind and patient. I took the luggage back out of the van and had it waiting by the front door, hoping that a staff member would open the door and say she wanted to stay, and take the luggage in. And at about 6:40 p.m., that is what happened.
   At 9:30 p.m. she called me saying she wanted to leave. Frank is NOT going quietly. I told her I loved her but could not/would not come and get her. Hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
The next day (Friday) she called several times saying she wanted to leave. I did not answer the phone, but listened to the messages. I called the nurse back, and told her to tell Camilla "She's been wanting to have control. She's been saying that her parents are forcing her to do things. She now has control. If she wants to leave, I will not help her. In fact, I have gone out of town because I knew this would happen, and I knew if I was in town, I would help her."
Saturday (today) the Center called again. They said Camilla was asking for a blanket, slippers and some other items to be sent to her!  It sounds like she's staying in and getting the help she needs.
Please continue to pray for her ... and donate. This is NOT a scam. Every day she is in there she gets closer to being better ... but it does cost real money to stay in there. Thank you! - Dave Kuhns

Friday, October 19, 2012

The First Day SUUUUCKS...

Note: Camilla is still in treatment. Her father gets to visit her on weekends. He collects her blog writings for the week, and posts them on her blog, as she writes them during treatment.

Blog: 10/19/2012
The First Day SUUUUCKS..

I came here yesterday. Oh the trauma. . . I went on a short tour with my parents and then we sat down to sign a huge stack of paper work and I froze. I wanted to leave. Many things didn’t go as smoothly as I’d wanted leading up to admission and I felt rushed, confused, lost, pushed. Forced. Not ready.

After three hours of discussion I convinced myself that I could leave and come back on Monday. Mom had left the room earlier. When dad and I walked out of the center and put my luggage in the car, my mom walked away and said she would not get in the car with me. I felt manipulated. But I didn’t want to let her down. . . but not in a good way. In a “I’m afraid of what will happen to me if I don’t go in right now because everyone will be mad.” So I walked back inside and swiftly signed the last two blank lines which made me an official patient here. That was it. I was admitted. I fell apart.

They took my vitals and started my labs. I asked for some food because I hadn’t eaten since noon and it was about 6:30. I didn’t get any. I asked 3 times before I was actually fed, around 8:30pm. Talk about MESSING WITH MY HEAD. When I did get food it was the smallest portion I’d ever seen and 8 oz of water. I fell apart again. I didn’t even get extra water when I asked for it. I was terrified that I wouldn’t get enough to eat. I know that sounds backwards for someone with anorexia to say, but if I’m going to be here I thought I’d at least be fed.

I said I wanted to leave. Dad and mom wouldn’t come get me and they couldn’t medically clear me until the next afternoon. So I was stuck. The only way they’d release me is in an ambulance to the ER. And there was no way I was doing that. I have never felt so alone. I think I only made it because I thought I could leave the next morning after being medically cleared, but that didn’t happen.

This afternoon I was cleared to leave if I had someone pick me up—no one would. (note: I was still planning to come back on Monday, I just wanted extra time). My dad wouldn’t even answer his phone. He called the center saying he’s screening his calls and that he’ll call back if a nurse calls, but not if it’s me. He told the nurse who got in touch with him that he actually left town so he wouldn’t be tempted to pick me up when I called sobbing.

I want to leave and I don’t. I want out. I feel imprisoned.

I think the problem (in part) is that I’m not ready. I started raising money and I didn’t think I would raise so much so fast. I said October, but I BELIEVED it would be more like January. So here I am with news people taking interest in my story and my friends being so supportive and I’ve painted myself into this corner where if I don’t do it now, I look like a big fat lying loser. But I’m not ready.
I want recovery but I’m NOT READY to let go of Frank.
I thought we’d have more time.
I don’t feel like I have any power. My mom and family and Doctor basically said: “This is when you’re going.” And since we have enough money for me to get in the door, I’ve run out of excuses. I’ve lost control of my life. I’ve lost control.

I miss Frank.

It’s weird how hungry I am. The portions they give me are tiny because I’m “refeeding.”
For lunch I got 5 grapes, ¼ slice of pineapple, ½ of a plain hamburger. Actually now that I’ve written that out it seems like a lot. So never mind.

I feel like I’m going to be here Forever. -------


Thursday, October 18, 2012

I'M GOING IN. . .

If you'd like to write to me, please send e-mails to clients@centerforchange.com with "Camilla Kuhns" in the subject line. If you e-mail me make sure you include your address so I can write back to you! I won't be able to email back but I will write!

If you live in Utah, visiting hours are most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. (NOTE from Camilla's Dad: She requested that potential visitors first please e-mail Camilla to see when and if she is accepting visitors).

PLEASE continue to fund raise! Contact my parents or siblings for more information. You can find them on my facebook page or e-mail my dad: dgkuhns_writer at msn dot com.
I will try to update this blog as much as possible.

PLEASE continue to donate and share my blog and fundraise. We're paying as we go; having faith that the Lord will provide and money will come as needed.

Thank you times a million.

Love, Milla The Night Baker

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

LOSING CONTROL.

I feel like I'm losing control. I'm going to a place where I won't be able to exercise any time I want. I won't be able to chose all my food. I won't be able to get online or text or go where I want to. I won't be able to restrict. I won't be able to purge by fasting or exercising or . . .

I'm trying to remind myself that the control I'm relinquishing is actually a counterfeit control. It's not real.

Real Control is asking for help. Going voluntarily into treatment. Walking through the doors. Getting off the treadmill at a reasonable time. Feeding my body.

But right now it just feels like I'm going to die. I'm terrified.

Frank's Last Day.

I'm going in. Tomorrow.

Frank will not go quietly. I doubt I'll sleep tonight. I feel so sick. I feel so afraid.

AND FRANK IS PISSSSSED

Sidebar:
I'm not sure I believe that you can be addicted to food/behaviors. But I've seen "Intervention" and "Addiction." And I see (in lucid moments) how I behave and HOW I FEEL. The racing pulse. The feeling that your heart will stop or explode. The inability to focus or even know what's happening around you. The blatant disregard for your safety or the feelings of others. . . I've experienced all of the above. And it only goes away when Frank is appeased. Sounds like an addiction. But how can you be addicted to behavior? I don't know.

So yes. Afraid . . .
But I also feel relieved. I'm relieved that the options to over exercise, restrict, purge will not be available for a while. Or at least they won't be easy. Or comfortable.

I tried to stay busy today so I wouldn't think about it too much. I walked around downtown, took pictures of random things.
I sat in starbucks and read a magazine.
I hung out with my dad. We watched some of the Sounders/Real game. Sounders til I die.

My mom surprised me with 6 Nordstrom Notes so I was able to get the tennis shoes I wanted. That was fun.

A maybe a little allegorical. I give you the parable of the running shoes.

My current running shoes are a mere 5.5 months old. But they've been used so much they are already full of holes and blood from too much use. . . They hurt me. They hurt badly. Wearing them is torturous becasue they don't support me anymore. They don't do their job.

These shoes are shiny and new, and my favorite color. Green. (well, technically they're yellow but they look green to me.)
These shoes represent a fresh start. They will be used an appropriate amount. They will be used to joyful movement, not compulsive exercise.
And they will fit.
They fit now. They will fit when I'm 30 pounds heavier.

Ok so it's not a parable, but it's a nice thought anyway. . . At least to me.

Dear God,
Please help me. If I am needed in Heaven, please let me come home. I'll gladly come. But if there is something for me to do here, please help me to push through this even if though it hurts. Even when it's hard. Please please don't leave my side. And help me to not leave Thine.
Love,
Camilla

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Fundraising Must Go On.

I go into treatment on Wednesday. Today is Monday. I have about a day and a half left. I've been angry and moody all day. My family is trying to be happy and have fun and I can't. I told my parents it's like trying to have fun with someone who's on their way to the guillotine. My eating disorder knows it's about to die, and it's not happy. Not even a little.

I. Am. Terrified.

Dear reader, thank you so much for your love and support. Emotional and financial. I have to admit that I still need financial help. I have enough to get in the door, but I don't have enough to stay for very long.

Getting in the door is a huge triumph and a huge blessing, but I need to stay long enough to do the work. Please continue to donate if you can. If you can't, please pray and send out positive thoughts that those who are able to contribute financially with find my blog.

I'm so afraid that I'll get into treatment and have to leave before I'm ready. Before I'm done working. I'm so afraid. I'm trying to have faith that the money will come. Somehow. I have to believe it can happen.
 
I'm simultaneously proud and horrified by that number. 98.2. Maybe the scale is wrong.
I need help.
I haven't been blogging because I'm so terrified and writing about this forces me to think about it.. Saying goodbye to my siblings was horrible. I miss them already. I'm in Utah. So scared I can hardly breathe. I have to relinquish control. I have to relearn how to eat. I have to face an ugly past that I've worked sohard to hide and beat down. This is so painfully uncomfortable I'm actually having physical reactions to it and it hurts. Plus I'm sleep deprived, which just exacerbates every other issue. I'm scared.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dear Camilla,

Yes, I called you dear. I don't like you most days. But today is Kristian's wedding day and I'm a big ball of love. I just read this, and I want you to try to remember it next time you get dressed or see a magazine,

"The problem isn’t with [your] body, it’s with a dress that only looks good on a woman who is 5’11 and a size zero.

That little girl who is going to become a 5’4, size 12 woman can’t just become a 5’11, size 0 woman when she wants to fit into a dress that was designed by someone who couldn't be bothered to make a dress that looks good on someone who is not a model."

You are supposed to be 5'8" and whatever size you are. The dress is meant to cover you, you're not meant to accommodate it.

Truth.
Love,
Camilla

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Don't Want Another Birthday.

I really didn't want to write about this, but I can't claim to be totally honest and then not include the really embarrassing ugly bits.

Today I convinced myself it was ok to eat. Because it's my birthday AND Kristian's rehearsal dinner. And that is going to happen again NEVER. And I didn't want to miss the rehearsal dinner. . .
I didn't eat all day. I just didn't think about it. I wasn't hungry. And then came dinner . . .
I couldn't even be at the restaurant, so I asked Seth to text me when dinner was mostly over and people started making toasts. I went back to the restaurant later. People made lovely toasts. Then  . . . dessert. Dun dun duuuuun. Big bad cookies and ice cream.
UGH
I allowed myself a bite of cookie. That bite turned into 80 billion bites.
When I got home, I ate two pieces of pizza and some salad.
In my room.
Because I can't eat in front of people.
Because it's hard for me to swallow.

There. I said it.
I'm disgusting.

There I was, sitting in my room crying with a cup of masticated food in front of me. I could hear my family laughing downstairs. My big brother, so happy, celebrating his upcoming marriage. There should be so much joy, and I'm ruining it.

And it's my birthday. I keep forgetting.
It's my birthday and I hate my parents for having me.
I didn't ask to be born. I didn't want this. It's not fair that two people can just up and decide to have a child. What if that child is equally unhappy and USELESS their whole life?

I have never felt so disgusting and ugly and sick and small. I have never wanted to die as much as I did in that moment.

In that moment I hear someone laughing at me. And I'm scared to death because I know no one else can hear it.

You are ugly
You are NOTHING
You are a stupid, filthy, wicked bitch and you CONTRIBUTE NOTHING.
Less than pond scum. More worthless than a speck of dust.

I am so ashamed. I wanted to cut. I kept thinking "This is my life. This will always be my life. I can't even swallow food."

There was a sharp tool near me and I stared at it. Then I got a text.

"How's the warm weather?"

And it pulled me out of my slump enough for me to tell my brother I needed help. My mom came upstairs and sat with me while I cried over spit food.

#firstworldproblems
I think I suck. 

(This picture is irrelevant to the post other then it happened today . . . How pretty is my future sister!)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

The First of Many 29th Birthdays.

Tonight I had a birthday/going away party at Mexico in Seattle. I don't know what I was thinking trying to go to a restaurant. I'm so glad people came, but it was a disaster. I cried most of the night and kept having to leave. I didn't feel present. I'm pretty sure everyone was speaking in tongues because I have no clue what anyone said. Also I ate chip. Not chipS, CHIP. . Honestly I wanted to leave the minute I got there. But I didn't. So that's something.

 I feel so lost right now I don't really want to blog about it, but there's something I need to get out.

I'm in mourning. I'm mourning the loss of my eating disorder. Or the impending loss of my eating disorder.

I imagine this is how it would feel if I'd had my leg amputated at a young age and been given a very bad, dysfunctional crutch to help me walk. Now, I'm being told that I can have my leg back! Fully functional and healthy, but only if I give up my crutch first. I can't remember how to walk without my crutch, and it's scary, uncomfortable, and awkward. So i want the crutch back, even though in the long term it's not the best thing for me.

Maybe that's a terrible analogy, but there it is.

I'm so afraid.
I'm afraid I'll fail.
I'm afraid I'll ruin Kristian's wedding.
I'm afraid I'll be fat.

Honestly at this moment I wish I would die because this hurts so much and it's only going to get harder.

Please pray for every person who struggles with this because it is very real and very painful. It kills me to know that other people out there feel this way. If you're one of them please know that I'm innundating heaven with prayers for you. And I wish I could tell you it will be ok, but I know that sometimes all you need to hear is that someone else is feeling it too. And that it SUCKS.

I can be that person. THIS SUCKS. EATING DISORDERS SUCK!

(Sidebar: I know that NO ONE who runs a pro-anorexia site actually has an eating disorder because I can't imagine ANYONE who has one would ever want anyone to feel like this. I don't even wish this feeling on Satan.)

Anyway. . . That was my evening. And here is proof that pictures don't always tell the truth . . . Because don't we all look so happy.





Thursday, October 4, 2012

Camilla: 102

I am 5'8" Last time I went to my doctor I weighed 102, with my clothes on.

I'm not actively trying, but I'd like to be thinner.

One day, years ago, I came home and found a topless picture of myself on the Internet. Posted by my ex husband. And we were still married.

I would rather look scary and emaciated then be objectified and degraded that way again. I would rather look like a teenage boy. I would rather not have a body. Having someone who is supposed to protect you and love you betray you in such a humiliating, belittling way should kill you. He turned me into pornography. I don't want that to be a possibility ever again.

I'm so sad. I don't want a body anymore.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Smells Like FALL!

I wrote this yesterday, but accidently forgot to publish it. . . so imagine it's 2pm yesterday. . .

Fall. Is there anything better?
Nope.
Ok maybe that's a little untrue. But just barely.
Fall means sunny crisp days, sweaters, boots, football, beautiful turning leaves, MY BIRTHDAY, apples . . .

Mmmm apples.

I'm in the kitchen making Applesauce Cookies with homemade applesauce... I'm so excited about it I had to write this while it's happening.


Look at this gorgeous homegrown, homemade applesauce.

This beautiful little jar of love is from the Olsens, who I've known since I was a little girl. They are so wonderful and so supportive. They even gave me a key to their house incase I ever need to get away, or want to use their double oven. And they provide me with wonderful fresh ingredients.

So take this applesauce.
Add cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg. And Voila. Fall in a bowl.

Top with caramel frosting, and die of happiness.  
 
Also. . . please laugh at this terrible picture and my funny shirt.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Meet the Poppes.

Last night I wanted to make cookies for my second family, the Poppes. I love them. I can't even tell you.

Nic is my BFF.

We met through our angel Lindsey in 2005.

Our friendship was immediate. It was like finding a soul mate. I think my spirit recognized hers. We have been through so many things together. . .

The birth of her son, Kolter. My godson.
My wedding. . .
Her wedding. . .


My divorce, 
The births of her babies Teenie:
And Kenny


Linds' unexpected death. . .  


she has been a constant and a rock during some of the worst times and best times of my life. She is patient and understanding and generous. I'm so thankful for her. "She is my family. My insides . . . that's how important she is to me."
I don't know what I'd do without her, or her family.

For the last two weeks they've been letting me use one of their cars because mine dies at random times. I've had a billion things to do: doctor appointents, meetings with SS, etc. Using that car has been a lifesaver. Plus it's Lindsey's old car, and I'm flooded with good memories when I drive it. (two words: Airheads Roadtrip).


 . . . but that's a story for another blog.  .

So I wanted to make them SOMETHING. They're hard to bake for sometimes, not because they're picky, but because they eat SUPER healthy 99.999999% of the time. . .  So I decided (since they're not huge into sweets, and they're close friends who will forgive me if I give them something gross) to try something new. A shortbread dough pressed into mini-muffin cups, with a custard-type filling, chocolate and peanut butter chips, and topped with the same. VOILA. Peanut Butter and Chocolate cookie cups.
AKA pop-over cookies.

Because they're like pop-overs . .  . Pop-Overs for the Poppe's . . . see what I did there?

I just hope they tasted ok. . . Seth the taster was in Canada.

So thank you times a million to the Poppes. I love you.