The other day, I saw a Facebook picture of a person I will forever define as “a lifetime love affair.”
… Okay. That’s a lie. I went purposely creeping through his Facebook page, dug past his borderline-conspiracy-theorist-Facebook-belief private settings – and ended up clicking over to his current girlfriend’s page – ogled over her natural European thinness – and tried to find remote evidence of her ‘plain’ personality via a couple pics.
We all have a few of these people – sprinkled throughout our lives – like quicksand dissolving through our fingers.
She seems ‘right’ for him. I said it aloud.
We ended as we were meant to, I reminded myself.
She loves him. I don’t wanna know.
You don’t know that person anymore.
As I laid back on my pillow, there was a picture I noticed on her notably less privacy-clad page (she must be strong-willed, I decided, to ignore his constant conspiracy rants) – and it was the two of them on a Scandinavian mountainside. A black spaghetti strap falling down her tan shoulder, a black t-shirt clinging to his stomach from wind-blow. They had backpacks on, surrounded by friends who seemed equally as attractive and ‘mountain-approved’ by an REI commercial.
A flicker of angst: “A life that could’ve been mine, and wasn’t.”
As I stood up there, cold as hell, nervous, adrenaline-infused (as I always am before any public speaking), I had a momentary wave of peace.
There are times that what I do feels like a hashtag blessing. And there are times that I am truly conscious of that blessing. This was one of them – leading a crowd of people , and helping to hold a banner of awareness for a sickness many suffer from in some shape or form.
Stood next to a group of young ladies after the walk. We chatted for a bit; I pet their puppy:
“Your blog helped us,” one of them said. “You make people feel like they can talk about this stuff and it’s not a big deal. Thank you.”
I teared up (my tears likely freezing into icicles cause IT WAS FRIGID): my words may make a momentary impact, sure, but choosing life outside of an ED is a powerful, intimate decision. And having a support group of friends who are doing it with you – how rad. These ladies inspired me.
Cheers to days like this.
How lucky I’ve been to take my experience – and magnify it to the point that it is no longer a shame for me to speak to, and about. How lucky I’ve been to find purpose and meaning in my life at 28-years old.
Thank you to all of you who have ever read a word I’ve posted.
Posted the following message on Instagram, but felt like sharing here:
Had one of those nights last night where I had to sit at my kitchen table, moments before heading to the hot tub, and remind myself that damnit, it’s not your “back fat” you’re worried about – it’s the Denver NEDA walk speech you’re giving on Sunday.
It’s not your lack of working out this week – it’s the expectation that you would, and didn’t.
It’s not that you ate Qdoba for lunch and – OH CHRIST – the calories from a salad bowl () – it’s that my ex read my blog post the other day about relationships, and was hurt. And now I’ve sat here the past 72 hours trying to reconcile the pain I’ve caused him for my misguided – at times – interpretations online. I’m dealing with guilt and a facepalm to my own face.
Happy 2017 y’all! My fingers have finally found their way to the keyboard again and I couldn’t be more relieved. (Always have this mass blind anxiety that after each blog post I’ll suddenly run out of subjects and dive into a deep writers block and lose my voice and never write again and and… well, you get the picture.)
Anyway, I’d say my resolution is to write more consistently – but hey, I think resolutions are bullshit – and I don’t like writing unless I have a subject to delve into.
SO, with that being said, lez’ talk about cooking and eating disorders ’cause LORD – I gots some venting to do.
The other night my roommate walks into our apartment right? And there I am leaned over on the kitchen counter – squinting at a laptop screen.
She halts in the doorway. “Are you cooking?”
I look up from said laptop, brow furrowed – a dripping colander of black beans, a pan full of burnt rice, and reading some eye-rollingly beautiful blonde bloggers “easy, earth shattering sweet potato and grains bowl” recipe.
“I dunno what the hell I’m doing,” I say – turning back to the sink and pushing sweaty hair off my forehead.
SUCK IT BLOG LADY, I think. I hope all your cabbage rots and fumigates your 10,000$ oven.
“Well, this is interesting,” my roommate grins.
I make a face. “I’m on a budget.”
“Lemme know if you need anything,” she says – walking back towards her room (likely with deliberate stride).
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, NewYork (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.”
I’m booked, completely scattered, and have spent about half my paycheck at the REI store-
But committing to this solo hike/bike trip is one of the more invigorating choices I’ve made since embarking down the recovery road.
Am I scared? Hell yeah. I’m hesitant. I know the fundamentals of who I am- and I’m incredibly good at getting lost and incredibly terrible at being vulnerable.
I know on this trip I’m going to have to accept the fact that things won’t always go smoothly. I’m hiking a 14er and coping with the knowledge that – hey- I may get altitude sickness and go slower than anticipated.
I’m wrestling with the struggle that food will be completely out of my control.
I’m biking 66 miles round-trip from Denver to Boulder and no doubt I’ll start out thinking I’m the fitness queen of the universe (YAS, KWEEN) only to discover I’ve, in fact, drank too much wine and ran too few times over the past couple months.
I’m going to feel lonely – and that’ll be hard because there’s nothing that can soothe loneliness except yourself.
I’m going to feel like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and that’ll put me in a panic at some point- Yet I understand sitting here at my desk chair- that I’ll get through it and eventually there will be a day I’ll sit around with friends laughing about ‘that time I got a flat tire and had to wait 7 hours for someone to help.’
I’ve traveled my whole life with an eating disorder and as I reflect on the landmarks and cultures I wasted – I think, in part, I’m choosing to take this trip now as a step to forgive myself for the places I’ve seen but didn’t really truly ‘experience’.
The life I missed these past 8 years.
Maybe I don’t really know at all- and this is all just babble. Maybe I won’t know while it’s happening. And maybe I still won’t be able to place it 6 months from now,
But I do know there’s a reason I’m doing this solo trip, and it’ll be worth it.
And I’m oh so anxious to explore it.
Denver –> Red Rocks –> Golden –> Breckenridge –> Crestone –> Boulder