Eat Dessert For Breakfast Because #Recovery

It’s dat simple.

Dessert for Breakfast:


…Because 4 years ago on 11/22/11 I was a lil girl I can no longer recognize, and I’m going to enjoy 3 cookies.

“I’m tired of living like this,” I wrote then. “Can’t stand drowning in food. Just want to be a person; To enjoy a meal. To not rape myself for eating a candy bar. Need help Bradley, where are you? My god come help me. I’m tired and just want to be okay. When I look into a field I don’t see grass anymore. Don’t see the scenery. I just see a long treadmill made to run off what I ate this morning. I’ve made everything I do a way to burn calories, and the joy of life has left me in so many ways. Nothing is interesting if I can’t make it about weight. I’m 22 years old and lived like this for so long I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a meal; the last time I sat down and felt hungry. So far in and don’t know how to get out. Afraid I can’t. Can’t remember what’s enjoyable, only in theory. Was given so much, and am wasting it. Given looks and I cut them away; given a brain and am using it on everything senseless. Given morals and forgot how to abide. Can’t remember how to be apart of anything.”

Belly Button Cookie

One Month Sober Sally

 

1 month sobaaa!

You never know how much wine is a part of your life till you let it go. In 31 days, I’ve gone to a wedding, baby shower, client meeting(s), office party, bar (x3), Halloween, had bad days, good days, happy hour, meetups, brunch, a 3-hour ex “what went wrong” phone call, and multiple Friday night Netflix reruns:

And the truth is I don’t regret any of them. It’s hard to not drink, and it’s hard to eat sober in public with an eating disorder – I thought after a month my skin would look superb and my growing crows feet less rigid- but alas, neither has happened thus far. Assumed that perhaps all the clarity I ever needed about life would come as well- but looks like I’m still working on that too. The beautiful part, however, is that I feel good. I feel healthy when I run. I feel talented right now and productive and mostly, honest.

Working on my eating disorder in the most active way I’ve ever known. I’m pushing myself to be uncomfortable- truly uncomfortable- being sober at times is handling discomfort, and I’m learnin’ how to sit with it.

Got no time limit on sobriety- but for now, I’m incredibly pleased and thankful to be doing this <3

Rehab Reminder: Food Is Meant To Be Enjoyed

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.

💛🍴

7 Things People Say About Eating Disorders That You ”Can’t Even”

1. (Said while eating a meal) “It’s such a relief to see you eating again…. (pause)… You look so healthy.”

*Clammers Fork onto Plate*

…Never eats again.

2. “Was it the media? IT WAS THE MEDIA.  Don’t believe the media – they’re airbrushed you know?! Those models aren’t even real.” 

… Yes thank you, we too know about Photoshop. Continue reading “7 Things People Say About Eating Disorders That You ”Can’t Even””

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… bleh.

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 security lines – 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 is it? It’s idealization, because duh, that’s the best part, right? 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 2:00am 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 near 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 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.

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’re not cured of fundamental habits; you’re 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. On the flip side, I also countless times have 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”

MindBodyGreen Article: My Body’s Not “Perfect,” But Here’s Why I’m Wearing A Bikini

My Body’s Not “Perfect,” But Here’s Why I’m Wearing A Bikini

Let’s talk about that “itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini.” Like so many others, I have struggled for more than eight years to wear a swimsuit comfortably.For the better half of my adolescence and early 20s, I was consumed by eating disorders and body dysmorphia. After seeking residential treatment in 2013, I am now recovering remarkably well. Yet, this summer I found myself thinking I’m not toned enough to wear a swimsuit.

While I’ve made great strides in learning how to communicate and assert my negative emotions, body image continues to take work.

In the past, I would never — repeat NEVER — wear a bikini and walk around in public. All summer, I told myself I was going to break this milestone — slowly. Setting realistic goals for recovery has been a big part of keeping me on the “straight and narrow,” and I knew that allowing myself to finally “be free” and wear a bikini in public was going to help me move forward.

While I enjoy a good run, I don’t lift weights consistently. While I love a good kale salad, I also enjoy a slice of red velvet cake. I’m human, and after two years in recovery, I’m finally learning it’s okay to be just that.

I did what I set out to do recently and it wasn’t easy (and it didn’t last long) but it was incredibly liberating. That being said, here are the eight stages of wearing a swimsuit even though you aren’t perfect:

1. Invest in the perfect suit.

Don’t settle. Choose the swimsuit that makes you feel like a trendsetter. The one that will allow you to strut around with Marilyn Monroe glam. One-piece, tankini, bikini — whichever will invoke that little feeling inside that says, ‘’This is me.”

2. Ask someone you trust for a little support.

Someone who will smile with you and understand that this experience is a vulnerable one for anyone recovering from disordered eating and body-image dysmorphia. Go with a person who makes you feel human and who can help you laugh at the anxiety a swimsuit can cause in people.

3. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish from this experience.

Do you want to swim in the ocean? Lay on a float in the pool? Water ski behind a boat on a lake? You don’t have to wear a swimsuit to do these things, but for so many years you probably let your anxiety take away from the experience of going to the beach, a pool party, or a lake event. Embrace who you are today and what you’re going to do in your new swimsuit.

4. Get there and commit.

You’re at the beach now. You’ve committed, but you’re unsteady. You’re not ready. You’re hanging out for a while — towel around your waist, cover-up button-down hanging off your shoulders.

You’re thinking: Are they looking at me? Are they wondering why I’m not getting in the water? I should, but I can’t. They’ll stare. They’ll see cellulite. My stomach isn’t as flat as they might think it is. Does my butt jiggle more than I can see in the mirror?

You understand today that you’re putting yourself out there in order to stop living under the blanket of fear of your own body.

5. Focus on feeling confident in your bathing suit.

You know what you came to do. You’re taking the plunge, but it doesn’t mean it’s not scary. You’re standing there with your confidante as he or she encourages you to remember what is it you want from this. The sense of vulnerability hasn’t left you.

6. Push through the panic.

You drop your towel and think there’s no going back now. Your legs are exposed. You can’t remember the last time you let the world see this much of your body.

7. Accept the vulnerable feeling.

You’ve wanted this. You’re almost there. All summer long you’ve worn athletic shorts over your swimsuit bottom so that you’re skimming the line of baring it all. You’re recovering, and recovering means pushing. You remind yourself you want to swim in that ocean today. You’ve watched people do this for so many years — the ease with which they wade in completely untethered to the social anxiety of what their body looks like.

8. Bare it and own it.

You’re standing there and you’re exposed. You notice that no one is stopping and staring at you — the world keeps moving. No one is shielding their eyes from your stretch marks. Now the entire world can see your skin as it was fashioned to be.

Be proud and embrace yourself for getting outside of your comfort zone. You don’t have to hide your skin from anyone.

A Note On Thin-Shaming*

Recently, I had an article run about wearing a bikini freely for the first time in 8 years. I wrote about the process of it and tips for someone if they wish to wear a swimsuit but are suffering with the same body image dysmorphia that continue to plague my daily existence- 2 years in recovery from an eating disorder.

People, I’ve found, are often not honest enough about this process- that there’s this long, snaking route in recovery in which you have to learn to respect your body after you’ve done heinous things to it. The years of fighting and learning to accept this body- the time you’ve spent growing weary of your own self-hatred.

Anyway, this article ran with my body on display. It’s liberating. Now that my half naked bikini bod is out there on the web, it allows me to stop hiding behind the self-absorbed “fear” of what people *might* think about my shape and figure.

It’s been mostly well-received with the audience- however, there’s a notable amount of “thin-shaming” comments and it continues to plague me. Why? Shouldn’t I be relieved that people aren’t saying cruel remarks about my body? The truth is I am to some extent. But it’s incredibly shorthanded and discouraging to read people’s notion of what “can” and “cannot be” body image struggle.

One commenter wrote “How disappointing. This girl is skinny,” and a slew of comments she’d wished to see in a ‘real’ bikini woman instead of me. Another commenter wrote that I was “seeking attention,” and another said “This is gross. She’s thin.”

Fat-shaming is not acceptable, but I must reiterate tonight that neither is Thin-shame. It is NOT acceptable as women to put “standards” on eating disorders. It is hypocritical and culturally fucked up- and yet on it happens everywhere.

I spent 8 years on the side-lines of my life. 8 years sitting on boats sweating through my clothes with my legs sticking to leather seats because I was too anxious to live. These comments are firstly shallow, but also strive to discredit my 8-year struggle in and out of treatment as though it isn’t a “valid” enough experience with eating disorders.

Do women realize the hypocrisy of their words when they do this? That when a commenter writes “but this girl is thin, show me a real woman” what she really is saying is that larger people should, in fact, be the ones to worry about wearing their bare skin on a beach. It perplexes me and it is a slight on all bodies.

Is it easier to be “thin-shamed”? Sure. Culturally, it is. But it’s unacceptable that people feel like it’s okay to comment freely about a persons weight in ANY circumstance. I didn’t write that article for people to comment on my weight (though of course I knew it’d happen), I didn’t write this article for reassurance. Yes, my naked-ish body is out there- but nobody reading that article knows the crevices of it like I do. None of them can see the stretch marks I continue to manage, the acne scars around my chin, or the skin I wish I could heal from sun damage.

I wrote that article for the millions of women/men who are also sitting on the sidelines of their own existence. For the people that hide behind towels and miss out on their lives just as I have missed out on mine. I am biologically thinner, yes, but that does not make me tone. I am a “real woman” too with the same body insecurity as anyone else, and I write honestly and openly in order to weave others together through the same experiences- not to have other women turn on each other and discredit that experience- and I will continue to take the podium for ALL women- of ALL types- who have suffered with eating disorders and the struggle to recover from them.

*Mic Drop*

A Play-By-Play To Wearing A Bikini For The First Time

So, you’ve committed. You’re doing it. You’re going to walk around in a bikini for the first time in 8 years. You’re nervous; you’re vulnerable; and mostly you’re scared.

In a series of pictures, here’s how it goes:

Commit. Pause. You’re doing it.  So, now what?
Uh, Spin?
Make a face?
Moment of panic. Scream at friend “WAIT, WTF AM I DOING.” I can’t. I “can’t even.”
But you did. You dropped towel. Oh SHIT, GRAB WINE. TOWEL REMOVED. Man down. Legs revealed.

Continue reading “A Play-By-Play To Wearing A Bikini For The First Time”

The 7 People You Meet In Rehab

1.) The Girl, Interrupted

Insert {Lindsey Lohan/Britney/Amanda}

This is your hot mess. Your James Frey memoir.

This is the girl your counselors warn you about; the one who has been there for so long that she has her own room.

This is the patient who wears the same outfit for 3 days in a row, and when sitting on the couch, puts her head in your lap as you run your fingers through her mated hair.

This is the patient whose clothes are streaked with paint because when she’s healthy- she’s a brilliant artist-  and she often spends her free time  in the art room when she can convince a counselor to accompany her.

This patient is the type to give herself a tattoo from a safety pin and ink while you’re at snack one day.

Is that the word DIRT, you say- eyeballs bugging out of your head-  when she shows you her fingers. Dirt, you say again- running your hand over each of them. You’ve got to be kidding.

It’s a song, she says- her hair hanging in pieces near her face. It’s a good song.

You hold back when you see that she’s serious.

This is the girl who is delicately beautiful- you find yourself eerily drawn to- but know to remain cognizant and weary of her mood when she’s near.

You will spend hours with on her good days only to forget that she’ll turn the next and set fire to her bedsheets.

Did you take your meds, the nurses will ask her every morning.

Sure did, she’ll say- smiling at you as she drops the pills in the secret pocket of her skirt.

Take it, you hiss at her.

They’re trying to change me, she’ll say- on the days where everything is a conspiracy.

This is the patient who greets her parents with a “Fuck You” as they walk in for visiting hours- but minutes later is on the ground sobbing as she holds her mother’s skirt in the fists of her hands.

She is completely predictable in her unpredictability and often you wonder if it’s on purpose.

She is dangerous, uneasy, and charming.

There will always be one of these- though you’ll lose track of her the moment she’s gone.

2.)  The Debbie + Penelope

SNL- Debbie Downer

Okay, so I combined them… but who doesn’t love a good SNL reference?

This type of patient is your Debbie Downer; the one who has no intention of getting better. Who sits in the corner with her hood over her head and when called upon to talk- gives the finger.

This is your patient who talks in group and everyone sighs because they know it’s about to be a rambling vile of negativity.

Penelope

This patient makes it known when they don’t receive mail, consistently reminds everyone that she’s been in rehab more times than she can count, says ”shit” when asked how her day is going- and often chooses to sit alone in the community room.

This person is exhausting. Tiring to the point that you start to keep a daily tally of the negativity for no other reason than to drive yourself mad.

This is the person that all new patients make their mission to “fix” while you watch- smirking- from the other side of the room.

Sure, go ahead- you think- you were once innocent to Debbie’s ways too, but eventually you lost hope.

Sulky betch, you think when she slinks by in the hallway.

But then one-upper Penelope rounds the corner and you are suddenly stuck – frozen in place- deciding which is worse.

You see, rehab is a club all in its own. A sorority hierarchy of sorts where one is- at times- competing with another.

One-upper Penelope is just shit at playing into the blanketed social subtlety.

This is the girl who lets you know that her anorexia is more severe than yours. Her physical health in worse repair, and her bulimia more efficient.

This is the patient that walks down the hall while you’re waiting- wrapped in your medical gown- for your 6am morning vitals. Shivering in the hallway as the dew rests on the grass- you’re rubbing crusty sleep out of your eye as she tells you animatedly- borderline excitedly- that her heart rate is worse today than yesterday.

This is the girl you nod at and say ”oh shit” when she tells you- but are secretly signaling to your friend across from you to add this to the list of annoying crap this girl has said.

This is the girl you grow weary of quickly, but then feel bad later because you realize that eating disorders, in fact, make you bat shit cray.

This is the girl who revels in being sick, and in the end, you feel sorry for her.

3. ) The Cool Hand Luke:

Continue reading “The 7 People You Meet In Rehab”