I officially live in Denver, y’all.
Scratch that. I officially live in a Jungle. Just call me Tarzan, or Jane. Whichever floats your boat.
As I lay here this afternoon, feeling both nostalgic for NYC as well as overwhelmed, terrified, and elated about everything else going on in my new life in Denver:
I’ve realized that I’m now living the exact mantra my therapist quoted at me 100x before I made this move:
“Wherever you go, there you are.”
In 5 years, I’ve lived in 5 places:
Fayetteville, Arkansas (c. 2007- 2011)
Seville, Spain (c. 2011- 2012)
Fort Worth, Texas (c. 2012 -2013)
New York, New York (c. 2013- 2016)
Denver, Colorado (c. 4 DAYS)
I’ve lived in about the most conservative state in the US – to the most liberal. I’ve lived in the state that thinks it IS its own country, and I’ve lived in a country that prides itself on siestas (can you even imagine if NYC were to implement such a thing. LOLZ. Does nodding off on the subway count?)
I’m idealistic to a fault; every place is better than the last. I’ve experienced American “life” at many different angles; in many different perspectives – but hey, GUESS WHAT?
At the end of the day, none of it “fixed me.” I still have my bloody eating disorder.
Moving – again – does not change that I have to maintain my ED, and that’s a reality I’m coping with today.
It doesn’t streamline recovery, or evaporate the habits you created over the years. I don’t get to walk into a new apartment and say “Hi Ms. Denver, here’s the trash from my eating disorder – could you toss it please? Thx!”
Changing environments doesn’t mute the voice in your head. I will always be in recovery; and no matter what stigma I surround myself with, my environment will not “cure” me.
I have to choose to cure me every day, and right now it’s a struggle to center myself because I’m vulnerable and antsy and out of place and over-stigmatized.
I’ve always had this quirky idealism about moving (lies- okay about everything).
OH MOUNTAINS, I thought before I moved, through rose-tinted goggles. MOUNTAINS AND INCLINES AND BIKE PATHS GALORE. DENVER- I’M IN HEAVEN. DENVER – YOU’LL CURE ME. THIS IS WHAT I’VE ALWAYS NEEDED. DENVER- YOU’RE MY NEXT LOVER. TAKE ME IN.
I’m like a stage 5 clinger to cities. (Insert mental image of me wrapping myself around a New York skyline, planting sloppy kisses on the wall of the Drumpf Tower… )
I’ve shuffled through cities about as quickly as I’ve shuffled through partners – and in the past, I’ve always inevitably felt deflated when one or the other didn’t just “fix me.”
It should qualify as a skill set.
I was revamping my resume the other day (for my big ole move to Denver tomorrow! P.S. HIRE ME PLZ) and as I was modifying my skills I actually had a moment ((while eating Greek Yogurt and a handful of almonds)), that I smirked to myself and considered including:
- Fluency in Calorie Counting
- Sharp cache for all sugar, carb, fat, and sodium grams
- Extensive fieldwork into the calorie counts of all processed and baked goods
- Well-versed to all sugar in fruit juices, caffeine, and alcohol
Eating disorders are amazing lil boogers. I was completely focused on perfecting the language of my resume and yet as I glanced down at the yogurt, I caught a SMIDGEN of the label and my brain went all “Beautiful Mind” and added the calories of the almonds and yogurt quicker than I could stop myself.
Not to brag, but I am like the Speedy Gonzalez of calorie counting. My brain doesn’t really retain historical info, or anything actually pertinent or useful- but bloody hell, I can count calories on a plate of food about as quick as Kobayashi can choke down a hot dog.
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. ❤️
Could not be more appreciative of all the support as this article runs. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a mixed bag of feelings to look down and see your name associated with the word “suicide.” To clarify: it’d be sensationalizing my eating disorder to state that I ever tried to end my life, but there were plenty of times that I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “this will be how I die. I’ll never get past it.”
Glad to be an example of recovery; what it is, what it entails, and all the beautiful ups and downs. Feeling so much gratitude and love as I leave this big apple city.
And of course, thank you to my friend Chase Williams for his sexy cameo. Don’t be surprised if the ladies of Cosmo come knockin’ my friend
A couple days ago, I was asked to submit a “before” and “after” pic for an interview I did about eating disorders.
Spent about an hour scrolling through old pictures trying to determine where I “looked sicker” vs now.
“Dude I never even looked that thin- people are gonna say mean comments about how I didn’t have an ED,” I complained to my best friend, to which she immediately backhanded me (👊) over gchat and said “Yo- Why do you give a shit about that!? You’re the one always writing that weight doesn’t define an eating disorder so no offense but like practice what you preach Linds.”
Thought about it for awhile… And realized she was right- ED got the best of me. I wasn’t being authentic at all. In the picture to the left I am about 11 pounds less than my weight in recovery on the right. 11 measly pounds guys.
Spent 8 years to look like that. Missed life for 8 years so that I could get my clavicle to stick out a lil more than it should- 8 years with stress fractures and binges and purging over a toilet trying to feel good- and yet I still remember taking that picture on the left and wearing shorts with that bikini because I was horrified by my legs.
A reminder that eating disorders are NOT about who can look “more sick” than another, or about what your weight is when you’re suffering.
I weigh 11lbs (sometimes 12-13-14) more than I did 2 years ago, and frankly I don’t look all that different- but I FEEL different. I eat different- and I live different. And no one gets to tell me otherwise 💛
Eh okay- I kinda lied. I’m not THAT terrified of public speaking… but I am a lot better at expressing myself via the written word in my humble opinion.
Couldn’t help but see the flyer today and giggle to myself. Here I am going to be speaking beside Dietitians, Doctors, and Entrepreneurs and all I got is “I Haven’t Shaved in Six Weeks.”
LOL- just makes me realize I’m luckier than I comprehend sometimes to have ANY opportunities to speak on eating disorders and recovery.
At the end of the day, I’m just another girl with an ED story to share.There are plenty of people like me out there who could probably do 10x the job I’m doing when talking about recovery and struggle, so it’s a nice reminder to look at that flyer and remember that 2 years ago I was also just another girl who wasn’t allowed to shave her legs for 6 weeks.
Thankful for everything in my life- every chance to talk about it, because it’s truly what keeps me in recovery (hence, the panel discussion topic!)
My eating disorder amazes me.
I legit have the Flu people- THE FLU….yet yesterday at around 6pm I still thought as I rode the bus home “Am I sick enough yet to miss a work out?”
Inevitably, mother nature answered for me. In the 45 minutes it took me to ride the bus, get home and eat dinner (which my taste buds were already rejecting) I could feel the fever flame through me.
Ugh, fine- I thought, feeling the weakness fever brings. GUESS I CAN’T WORK OUT.
If felt like failure.
Huddled in my bed last night- teeth chattering- running a 102.3 fever and crying at Undercover Boss (because apparently fever makes me HIGHLY emotional)… I find I still have that little voice in my ear.
Wax on; Wax Off; Cuz I got dark hair and a lil peach fuzz.
The truth about body dysmorphia? It’s so bloody hard to manage.