“No, I Don’t Want Any F-ing Ice Cream”: Camping With An Eating Disorder

This weekend was a holiday.

Here I am, 27 years old – about to start a bomb job tomorrow – the stress of my past 2 unemployed months lifted from my shoulders –

And yet this weekend I went camping – in the happiest of Ralph Walo Emerson places- and was still consumed by the inevitable eating disorder panic.

That moment that everyone in a car shouts “Let’s get ice cream!”

And you sit in the back, slinking into your Marmot jacket – trying to disappear from your reality in the back of a Colorado Suburu SUV.

Annoyed by the people asking – and then annoyed at yourself for feeling flustered in the first place.

June- fire
Camping grounds!

Continue reading ““No, I Don’t Want Any F-ing Ice Cream”: Camping With An Eating Disorder”

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The (Secret) Life Of Eating Disorders And Dating

Let’s talk about sex, bay-bee. Let’s talk about you and me.

salt n pepper

JK Mom, let’s not.

This is the hardest post I have ever written, so forgive me as I deflect with weak humor.

I don’t write about my intimate relationships very often because it’s like opening up Pandora’s Box of emotional destruction.

Like we’re talking on a scale of Jim and Pam to Bella and Edward codependency – I’m at like a Romeo and Juliet (cause I mean when you think about it, both those fools ended it all over each other after WHAT, like TWO days? Shakespeare; the master u-hauler)

The truth is my relationship history is such a disaster that I cherry pick the romantic relationships I have chosen to talk about and portray in my writing. I do it with my friends and family, my blog, everywhere.

In other words, I’ve never been 100% honest about my ongoing relationship status because I’m always shielding something from someone.

Oh my God – I just said it. Wave goodbye to all the dates I would’ve had before this post.

hary met sally

Continue reading “The (Secret) Life Of Eating Disorders And Dating”

8 Tips To Cope With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorder Dayze

…Cause literally Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphia are a daze – ammirite? You walk around trying to exist; put on your work face; your social face; your public face – and inside you just feel all this guilt and shame for being so self-absorbed.

Now, don’t jump down my throat. You’re not necessarily self-absorbed. But, BDD and EDs do make you seem that way. When you can’t be present in a conversation, when you’re flaky as hell on all social engagements, or when you realize you can’t pass a glass window on a New York street without turning to observe whether or not your ass grew from the block before – it just gets exhausting. And honestly, embarrassing.

I have no joke run right into someone while distracted by my thighs in a window reflection.

“You’re lookin fine, gorgeous,” he said sarcastically as he bristled past me.

I wanted to be like ”I DON’T THINK I’M HOT A-HOLE. I THINK MY THIGHS ARE BIGGER IN THIS REFLECTION THAN THEY WERE IN THE DUANE REEDE REFLECTION- DON’T YOU GET IT?!”

2 years into recovery, you can still catch me doing that it’s true- but in treatment, my team and I developed coping mechanisms for dealing with the bad days. Some are helpful; some might be cornier than others. It just kinda depends on what type of person you are in terms of what will work for you.

Feel free to share your own. As always, I’m just a girl with an ED – no more special or wise than the rest of you. Continue reading “8 Tips To Cope With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorder Dayze”

Recovery Truth: Loving and Leaving New York

Leaving NYC

My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they’re misunderstood. I don’t think people realize how kind New York people are. – Bill Murray

Came to this city 3 years ago hoping it’d “fix” me. “HELP ME,” I pleaded. “Help me live again. I don’t know how.”

Little did I know back then that while no one can save you; no place can fix you; you CAN use both to help yourself.

Recovery is not easy- no- you stumble all the time. But I have found that with it, you can truly exist- you can simply just live. And that’s been enough for me.

Came here with nothin’- leaving with everything.

Watched the sun come up this morning; chomped on a Girl Scout Caramel Delite cookie – and all I could think about were the people who helped make all this possible.

I am lucky today – thankful today- and forever indebted to the people I met along the way.

Not a goodbye, just a C YA L8R, my forever city. ❤️

#ColoradoBound

first pic in NYC.jpg

What To Do If Your Homie “Halfway Relapses”

Half a relapse- is there such a thing? I don’t know. I coined it tonight so bear with me.

Relapse is relapse, right? No excuses, no bullshit.

But, like, is it really? Isn’t recovery grey and murky? When do we draw the line? I never know. I have 10-years of eating disorders and 2 years of recovery, so I’m not even going to pretend like I can talk definitively.

There are times however I know I push it in terms of relapsing; times I conveniently put myself in situations where I won’t have the chance to eat for several hours and “can’t” get to food (i.e. the airport- always a prime example. Boarding an 11:50am flight from Dallas back to New York and conveniently not getting in till 5pm eastern time.)

“Oh,” I think to myself. “WHOOPSIE, guess I just skipped lunch!”

oops my bad

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Eating Disorder Regret: Remembering My Best Friend On His Birthday*

 

The last night I ever saw my best friend alive-it was 9pm at a fraternity party at The University of Arkansas, and I was standing there in the front yard backing away from him because I needed to finish a run.

18-years old- my first week of college- he was visiting with his parents on his way to University of Mississippi.

Linds, he pleaded, reaching out for my shoulder. Just stay. Christ, you don’t need to run so much.

I’ll be back, I’d laughed – windshorts hitting my leg. I’ll run home and change and I’ll come back.

But it’s my only night here, he sputtered– yelling down the hill with a red solo cup in his hand– his shorts hanging at the knee. Promise you’ll come back?

Maybe, I’d waved, smiling. I’ll call Riley.

But I was gone before he answered–running. Running because I’d eaten 3 bowls of Special K Fruit N’ Yogurt. Running because I was scared and the ED voice was screeching– And in the end, I didn’t go back.

Scared of calories, scared of loss of control, scared of losing my underweight frame- I texted him.

Goodnight, I wrote, Have fun with Riley–

I met him in the morning– a letter in hand. I love you, I whispered, pulling him close.

Love you too, he mumbled– Because he didn’t know how to be mad.

Don’t be upset, I grinned. I wrote you a letter, didn’t I?

He took it from my hand. I wish you had come back, he said, before turning to get into his parents car.

See you later- drive safe, I waved as he and his parents pulled out of the parking lot– my best friend in the middle seat– his backpack with my letter.

I’ll see him soon–I thought- I’ll make it up later.

And then you– my best friend– who carried me to bed when I fell asleep on the couch.

One month later– you pretty little boy– You fell from a tree, and you died.

8 years later I will always regret not spending that night with you.

Happy 27th Birthday Bradley Jameson- You are so loved and missed! Made that video above 6 years ago, and the only thing I’d change is some of my weak grammar. Love to you, your fam, and our friends that made this video (and the hours of film I still have somewhere in my parents house) possible.

Eating disorders kill, it’s true; but they kill your memories before they ever kill you.

BMJ
8/16/2007, the last morning I saw my BMJ (Left of me)

Rehab Truth: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause My Whole Life- And I Was Lucky

2 Christmas’ ago, I was sitting in rehab when my parents called to say they had bought plane tickets, reserved a last minute subpar Coconut Creek, Florida hotel, and were rearranging their holiday plans -all to spend a sanctioned 2 hours with me on Christmas Day.

While time has passed in waves since that year, I was standing here holiday shopping in New York City tonight when someone close to me called from that familiar rehab pay phone:

nyc skyline
Highlines

Continue reading “Rehab Truth: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause My Whole Life- And I Was Lucky”

Rehab Reminder: Food Is Meant To Be Enjoyed

Coworker cookin

ED recovery pushes you to re-learn foods that you like; it requires that you try and explore and cook and prepare what makes your body feel full- mentally and physically.

2 years ago I would never eat Chicken Parmesan for lunch. I had a stringent, unyielding routine of minimal tuna, 6 raspberries, 3 strawberries, a handful of blueberries, 6 almonds, spinach, and half a banana. I didn’t budge. I ate alone. I avoided office lunches. I barely focused at my desk- scowering the internet for “acceptable” vegan, raw, obsolete recipes. I counted down every day to 4pm when I “allowed” myself an Apple to soothe hunger pains.

I’m writing this post on a whim today- because 2 years into recovery, I stood in my office kitchen this afternoon- eagerly unloading Tupperware to prepare lunch for my coworker and myself, and I finally felt that sense of community that food is meant to represent in our culture. The love that food can symbolize between people.

“Now I’m not a big fan of the sauce,” I said to her, a bit insecure (and always a perfectionist). “I’ve done better but it’s fine. Do you like fruity salads?” I asked, jumping around the kitchen. “This is a bit fruitier- maybe too much dressing- but the croutons even it out.”

“Linds,” she said finally- touching my shoulder. “Chill- It’s wonderful. Look at you,” she smiled. “Who knew you could cook?”

I smiled then, I calmed. It’s true. And it was nice to take a moment to realize that I’m at a point where I can prepare foods and judge them based on taste and not calorie count.

I will always be a bit of a perfectionist, tis true, but I win ED today, you sour lil’ bastard.

💛🍴

5 Reasons To Take A Solo Recovery Trip (Or, Ya Know, Just A Solo Trip)

… ‘Cause not everything *really* has to be about your eating disorder.

Likely, we are all recovering from something.

A bad break up, alcohol addiction, divorce, death, loss of job, 20s changes, mid-life crisis, parents aging, you name it.

But after my recent self-proclaimed “recovery trip” to Colorado, here are 5 reasons I will continue to advocate for that total EatPrayLove adventure, and that Wild hike experience:

      Continue reading “5 Reasons To Take A Solo Recovery Trip (Or, Ya Know, Just A Solo Trip)”

4 Truths About Dating After Rehab

Dating in 2015 is hard.

Dating in 2015 in NYC is hard.

Dating in 2015 in NYC while recovering from an eating disorder… even harder.

I could write short stories over the love affairs I’ve had in my life. Spain- Ireland- Germany- UK- Camping- Work Office- Subways- you name it, if I’ve set foot there- I likely have some tale of love and heartache that accompanied that experience.

Airports around the world have been covered in my tears as I’ve stood countlessly in the security line- waving goodbye to the 8-week “love of my life” that was standing on the other end.

2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years- doesn’t matter, I’m a love whore at whatever length of time. *Cringe, sorry Ma*

To be fair, it’s not actually love. It’s idealization, because duh, that’s the best part, right? It’s the non-commital. The daydreaming at your desk, pretending to know the future actions of a person when all you’ve ever spent with them is a night on a tarp.

I crave the heart-pattering, smile-inducing, neuro-transmitting 2am talks. The mutual friends who wink when they pass you talking. It is my personal heroin when I realize that another person is committing their night to being nearby me. I crave the instant attraction- the game of locking eyes till one gives in and comes over.

I love the moment you know it’s something.

And I love the feeling that you are free to leave if it changes.

In other words, I love the beginning of things.

 

The long-term commitment of relationships are often lost on me. It’s not on purpose (much to the popular belief of my family), but it is sub-conscious.

BUT….BUT… THE VALIDATION* My mind whirls when things get serious. ONE PERSON TO VALIDATE MY EVERY NEED. IMPOSSIBLE, my brain has always panicked.

Recovery is a lifelong process, sure, but what they don’t reiterate is that you’re still going to be the same person once you’re out of rehab. You are not cured of fundamental habits; but more you are  just now made aware of them… and it’s your choice how you choose to learn from it.

I’m still not an ideal partner yet- it’s true. But, I also countless times set myself up for emotional tantalizing and torture by becoming involved with someone who I know isn’t going to treat me the way I want.

Some might call it karma (no doubt some exes of mine call it this), but I frankly think it’s me ignoring the reality of the situation… which is almost always ”THEY JUST AREN’T THAT INTO YOU AND YOU CAN’T ACCEPT IT.”

That being stated, here are 4 truths I’ve learned about dating in recovery… They’re honest, blunt, and my mother will likely hate reading this, but recovery is owning your truths and then learning from them. And these are mine:

Continue reading “4 Truths About Dating After Rehab”