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Old 07-29-2015, 03:37 PM   #1
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And now for something completely different

Mods, please lock this if it isn't appropriate. I won't be offended. Promise.

I debated for a long while on whether to post this at all, and even after I decided I would post it, I didn't know the best place where it might fit. I ultimately decided to put it here because I think that I'll have the best shot of finding someone who can relate or understand in this forum as opposed to, say, health & fitness.

Anyway, here goes...

My name is HiFi. I'm a 31-year-old live PLO grinder living in the mid Atlantic region (so if you've played much PLO anywhere between AC and Charles Town, WV, you probably know me). I have some of the greatest friends a girl could ask for, a cute apartment, a talking bird, and a healthy bankroll. I like to swim, play and write music, and play old school video games. I sleep until noon every day. On the outside, my life rocks.

But the truth is rather different. I have bipolar disorder. And an eating disorder. I am seeing a psychiatrist, and I take my meds, but often that doesn't quite cut it. I'm still miserable.

The bipolar disorder is mostly, thank god, under control. I've suffered with it a lot in the past, but I now haven't had much in the way of symptoms for several years. So that's important, but it isn't really what I want to talk about.

It all started innocently enough. I had been put on a mood stabilizer for my bipolar disorder that made me gain a ton of weight, so I started a weight loss log on 2p2 in health & fitness (I posted it under a different username so don't go looking for it because you won't find it). Depakote is one hell of a drug. I ballooned to 257 lbs. For reference, I'm 5'11" and have a medium bone structure. At that weight, I was wearing a size 18 or 20. I stopped posting in my weight loss log because was ashamed. I was ashamed first of how big I'd gotten, and later, at the lengths that I was going to to lose weight. Today, suffice to say, I'm much much smaller, but my self-image is 100000x worse. I eat one meal per day at the most, and when I do eat, I always work out later to get rid of the calories. The really messed up part is that one of the meds I take for my bipolar disorder has to be taken with food. I have to eat at least 350 calories when I take it. So on the days that I eat less than 350 calories, I don't take it. How dangerous. How very stupid.

Just by looking at me, you'd never know that anything was wrong. My weight is still within the normal range, so I'm classified as having EDNOS (an eating disorder not otherwise specified) as opposed to anorexia. My friends and family all think I look great; they're all so proud that I've managed to shed the depakote weight and they have no idea what I'm really dealing with.

Everything is backwards. When I'm playing cards, I used to look forward to taking my dinner break with friends to share stories of giant pots scooped and terrible beats alike, but now I dread getting those "hey HiFi, time for dinner!" texts because I don't want to have to force myself to eat or be asked questions about why I'm not eating. I just tell my friends that the game is too good to leave (even if it's really not), and that I'll be eating tableside. Last week I ordered a mac and cheese, took one bite of it, and "accidentally" dropped it on the floor. Oops, guess I can't eat it now. It used to be that whenever I was hungry, I'd HAVE to stand up to eat or I'd start making worse decisions and tilting more easily, but now it's the opposite. If I eat, and I don't feel that emptiness in my stomach, all I can think about is how awful of a person I am and how could I have let myself eat that much and when can I get to the gym or the pool to work it off and then SURE WHY NOT CALL OFF HALF MY STACK WITH THE BOTTOM END OF THE STRAIGHT (bear in mind that I play PLO) and it's just a disaster.

I don't know what to do. I want to reach out for help, but I'm scared that I won't be taken seriously because I don't look so bad on the outside. I can't imagine how I can possibly keep living like this, but the thought of having to change terrifies me too.

I'm not even really sure what the point of this post is. I think I just really needed to talk about it, but I haven't been able to share it with anyone I know irl because I'm too scared. So if anyone has any words of wisdom, kindness, encouragement, or inspiration, they would be very welcome.

And if you think you recognize me, send me a PM. Maybe we can take a dinner break together sometime.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:08 PM   #2
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Re: And now for something completely different

This is going out on a limb but perhaps your mental disorder was misdiagnosed? Eating disorders are known to affect your mood. Good luck. Get a 2nd or third doctor's opinion.
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Old 07-30-2015, 07:13 PM   #3
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Re: And now for something completely different

Are you just seeing the psychiatrist? You also need a therapist. The pysch only prescribes meds, the therapist will help you with the rest; they work hand in hand. You may also need a med change.

You know you need help and you said you wanted to reach out for it; find the strength inside yourself to do it. You’re worth something, whether you believe it or not, and you shouldn’t have to live like this.

I believe that any therapist worth their salt would know the issue is about what’s going on the inside, not the outside, and sometimes strength is more about doing what you need to do, even though you think you don’t have any strength left.

I know if you were ever in San Francisco, I’d love to have a dinner break with you.

The best of luck to you. I’ll keep checking back for updates.
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Old 07-31-2015, 06:03 AM   #4
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Re: And now for something completely different

You have a lot going on in your life right now. Your age is a time when women get a lot of pressure from society and their parents especially to make some pretty big life benchmarks. Big jobs, big relationships, children... and that's just the things you can measure. Women also have added stress because they need to fit the physical confines of western beauty- which is tough.

Doesn't sound to me like you're overly (and I don't mean that in a sarcastic way, I mean sincerely... you're not TOO worried to the point where it's hurting yourself) worried about being beautiful. So that's good.

Sounds like you're punishing yourself for where you're at in life (bipolar, weight gain, failure, general depression). You're judging yourself, and we are usually our own toughest critics.

I was in a similar situation and I quit poker for a long time. I remember this one night playing 5/10NLHE at a local casino there was this crumply Asian man that bought in for the minimum every time. He only ever played the nuts, and any pressure would make him fold 2nd nut. Like he wouldn't call a half pot bet on the river with a king high flush. I played here a lot and I learned his whole story. He mortgaged his house, lost his wife because she refused to feed his gambling addiction, lost his job because he couldn't perform and gamble, he was a problem gambler. I'm telling you this because I ended up in a hand against him.

He raised preflop, which meant aces or kings. Not even QQ. Guaranteed 2 hand range. I was on the button so of course I called- there were also like 4 other callers. I think I had some suited connector... I don't remember the hand that well, but it's not important. Board came out and I hit my bottom pair, but he bet again. I thought to myself, "well, this is perfect... if I hit just anything I can get a lot of money off of this guy... and if I miss I can raise and push him off his hand."

Keep in mind what I said before about him not putting a dime into the pot without the stonecold nuts.

Turn comes and it's an ace. I tell myself, "Well, that does it. Only 3 aces left in the deck and I'm gonna believe he has 2 of them? No way. He doesn't have this."

He bet another big bet and I called with little hesitation.

River bricked and missed any draws.

He bet pot again. I didn't hesitate, I shoved. He looked at the board again and called. He had the aces, of course. If you've played live-poker for any duration, you realize that some players really are that translucent. You know their hand before they turn up the cards- almost every time.

I lost over $1000 to this crumply Asian hobo... and I wondered why. It was because I felt sorry for him. He never won. Everyone knew how to play him. This night, somehow, he was winning. It had been a long time since I saw him smile. Of course, after I lost this hand with some of the poorest poker playing you can imagine- I left the casino (and he remained there, probably for the next 72 hours until he lost everything).

This was the start of a downward spiral. I started to peel cards on flops and turns just because "if I hit, that'd be awesome." There was no math involved. No pot odds, and no attempt to outplay anyone. My plays were random and poorly thought out. I couldn't play poker.

It was because I had believed that I was the rich one (and I wasn't, I was lower-middle class on a good day), and the rest of the poker world was just there for me to have fun with. Just gamble a little.

When I caught myself doing this, I quit. This wasn't profitable anymore. I wasn't making money. I talked to WCGRider about it on these forums and made a post a long time ago. He helped me get through it. He probably doesn't remember me or what we talked about... but I quit.

3 years later and I'm back now- at least at the micros for now. We'll see what happens in my near future.

Why did I assault you with this wall of text? Well, I hope that you realize that people care about you. Even strangers that you don't know. Whatever you're going through sucks... but everyone goes through ****ty periods. We all get sad sometimes. There's nothing wrong with you... it's just a phase. Like all things, it will pass with time and work.

For what it's worth this is my first time in this section of these forums, and I was looking for the secret kinky sex chats I know all the poker-girls have. Unfortunately after browsing a few pages, there are no sex chats to be found .

Last edited by Kuval; 07-31-2015 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:08 PM   #5
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Re: And now for something completely different

You might be surprised what people who know and like you will forgive. Many of us understand that most of the social world is a thin veneer of politesse and normality over a giant vortex of neurosis and vice. I've never met you and have no understanding at all of the disorder you're working with, but I can guarantee you that your friends and family will not consider your issues to be ones that corrode or challenge their affection for you.
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Old 09-22-2015, 07:48 AM   #6
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Re: And now for something completely different

Bump with update.

I was hospitalized last month and put on a strict food plan. I have gained some weight and am doing well. I have left the full-time grinder life to pursue a career as a writer (I was offered a job as a staff writer for an up and coming Internet, social, and pop culture news media site without even applying for it and snapaccepted). I still play a couple times a week, butt life is overall much less stressful. I'm a lot less obsessive. I love grilled cheese again.
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Old 09-23-2015, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: And now for something completely different

Great to hear

My dinner offer still stands if you ever make it out this way.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:42 PM   #8
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Re: And now for something completely different

Bump for doing poorly and backsliding a lot.

I am doing things I thought I'd never do. A lot of people have given up on me. I have successfully single-handedly alienated just about everyone who has ever cared about me.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:43 PM   #9
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Re: And now for something completely different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Treesong View Post
You might be surprised what people who know and like you will forgive. Many of us understand that most of the social world is a thin veneer of politesse and normality over a giant vortex of neurosis and vice. I've never met you and have no understanding at all of the disorder you're working with, but I can guarantee you that your friends and family will not consider your issues to be ones that corrode or challenge their affection for you.
Unfortunately this has proved to be false.
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Old 10-29-2015, 09:37 PM   #10
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Re: And now for something completely different

I hesitate to ask, but details on backsliding please.

Seems to me your awareness that your behavior alienates everyone ought to be the first step in correcting that behavior, but I actually do understand how naďve my view is.
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Old 10-29-2015, 10:38 PM   #11
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Re: And now for something completely different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Treesong View Post
I hesitate to ask, but details on backsliding please.

Seems to me your awareness that your behavior alienates everyone ought to be the first step in correcting that behavior, but I actually do understand how naďve my view is.
I will send you a PM.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:35 PM   #12
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Re: And now for something completely different

Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFi View Post
Bump for doing poorly and backsliding a lot.

I am doing things I thought I'd never do. A lot of people have given up on me. I have successfully single-handedly alienated just about everyone who has ever cared about me.
When people get into a whirlwind, such as you have, it is difficult to see this from any viewpoint other than your own. From everything I've read in this thread, as much as you might want to avoid it, it sounds to me like the best course of action for you right now is in-patient treatment. If you cannot go that route for whatever reason, you should be in an out-patient treatment program with LOTS of additional support - group therapy, support groups, etc. You are responsible for you. Pick yourself up, or crawl, or drag yourself to a facility that can help you. It all has to start with you.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:47 PM   #13
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Re: And now for something completely different

Inpatient already happened. Went to one of the top hospitals in the country. I was better for like 5 or 6 weeks.
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Old 11-01-2015, 01:24 AM   #14
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Re: And now for something completely different

So this might seem odd but can you afford a caregiver/sober companion person? Someone to help you every day. A life coach daily, so to speak.
Someone who understands your feelings and dilemma. Someone who will show up, cheer you on, scream at you when you screw things up, make you laugh. A sounding board, someone to push you thru the harder times. Someone to high five you over the little things, and push you thru the hard stuff. It's not a forever thing, but maybe just a time frame until you get back on your feet.
(I actually do this for a living and it takes a different type of person but it helps.)
I know it sounds weird but what do you have to lose? If you can afford it that is.
Good luck!!!
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Old 11-01-2015, 08:25 AM   #15
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Re: And now for something completely different

I almost want to completely ignore that post, but since you appear to be trying to help I'll tell you exactly why I would never do that.

I would rather spend the next year under lock and key with a feeding tube shoved up my nose (not required this past hospitalization since I was meal plan compliant) than have a "life coach" for even 2 weeks.

From a brief googling, it appears that there is no recognized governing body that regulates exactly who can do this, so pretty much anyone can hang out a shingle and change $300/hr (which is more than I pay per hour session with a psychiatrist at a real hospital with an actual degree). Although some of them appear to be LCSWs which is definitely respectable, most of them don't have any academic credentials.

I read one article about a skeptical woman who agreed to see a life coach anyway. This person said things to her like "your body is a template on which you can learn to manage your mind" which is a direct quote and unfortunately not the only one like it. And this appears to be form a life coach who is respected in her field. If she's a good one, I can't imagine what the bad ones are like. I would actually pay good money if I could guarantee that I'd never hear stuff like this again.

The problem isn't that I'm bad at life. Therefore, I don't need life coaching. I have an illness and it requires treatment. Listening to an overpriced hack spout canned slogans seems like it wouldn't help.
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:21 PM   #16
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Re: And now for something completely different

Ha! I'm not talking about a $300/hr person. Good Lord! Frankly I make between $15/20 an hour. I'm not talking about some idiot who tells you about body imagine and what you should or shouldn't eat or how to live.
Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "life coach"It has a weird connotation. lately I'm a sober companion. Titles are stupid.
And actually I'm quite serious.
I realize you have an illness. I have worked with many people who do.
I suggested you find someone to help you through the good and bad things daily. Because it works.
Someone with charisma, someone to cheer for you, someone to help you make decisions, someone who is always in your corner with your best interest in mind. Someone who says maybe you shouldn't do... but then talks you thru things.
You'd be surprised.
Someone every single day.
I don't know you, you don't know me. I'm not trolling nor am I looking for a job.
I'm just suggesting you find someone to help. An unbiased helper. Someone who doesn't know you. Someone who is not your friend. Someone non judgemental.
Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:43 PM   #17
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Re: And now for something completely different

Thank you for your suggestion. I will take it into consideration.

I found out that there's a Renfrew outpatient center in my area. Going there is probably the best play.
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Old 11-03-2015, 02:38 AM   #18
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Re: And now for something completely different

Renfrew not happening for insurance reasons. Have an eval tomorrow somewhere else.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:05 AM   #19
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Re: And now for something completely different

I've been able to work with the staff of the place that was already treating me and have come to an arrangement. I'm going to be getting weekly care there on an outpatient basis.

Other good news:

I've told my family and they've been great about it
I'm tracking all my emotions/behaviors/meals/meds on this awesome app which has this neat trick where you can select a range of dates and export the data to a pdf and send it to whoever is on your treatment team so that they always know what's going on with you
I have eaten enough to take my antipsychotic every day this week so far

Bad news:

They ran some bloodwork and an ekg and the results weren't good. I'm hypokalemic (low potassium) and I seem to have some cardiac damage. It is likely reversible if I do everything right, but I might not be able to do it and even if I do I could still have serious complications from refeeding syndrome.

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Old 11-08-2015, 05:08 PM   #20
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Re: And now for something completely different

Hifi:
You will definitely get through all this and come out better for it. It'll take a lot of work and you'll need the support of your family and friends and hopefully this thread will give you an outlet and some support and advice.

If you can survive the ups and downs of PLO I like your chances of meeting any challenge.
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Old 11-09-2015, 09:00 PM   #21
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Re: And now for something completely different

Thanks baudib.

And thanks everyone else. It means a lot.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:16 AM   #22
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Re: And now for something completely different

Refeeding a bit better now. More tests today so we'll see.
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Old 11-11-2015, 10:19 PM   #23
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Re: And now for something completely different

Got some not horrible results today. Heart showed no improvement but my electrolytes are significantly less ****ed.
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:58 AM   #24
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Re: And now for something completely different

Ugh.

Some **** people say to those with eating disorders, and their translations into what the patient hears:

"You look great" = "it's working. Don't stop"

"You're not too thin" = "it isn't working. Do more."

"I'm worried" = "I can't be trusted"

"You seem fine" = "I don't think you're suffering"

"Come over for dinner" = "you should kill yourself"

"I don't own a scale" = "I don't have this problem and therefore I'm better than you"

"You have so much potential" = "you're a failure"

"I understand" = "I'm trying to appear helpful so that I can make myself feel like I'm doing something for you without actually being helpful or doing anything for you."

"I'm scared" = "good job!"

"You're beautiful at any size" = "you could starve to death and still be fat and ugly"

"I don't understand. I can't understand because I've never been there. I realize that I can't help you, but I wish that weren't so. Tell me if there's something, anything, I can do." = "I love you"
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Old 11-17-2015, 10:54 AM   #25
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Re: And now for something completely different

I'm going into day treatment/sort of a PHP. They gave me their next available spot.

It's in 7 weeks.
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