Living With Body Dysmorphic Disorder

The truth about body dysmorphia? It’s so bloody hard to manage.

string game.jpg
String Test: What my thigh actually is vs what I thought in rehab.

Continue reading “Living With Body Dysmorphic Disorder”

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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.”

lay off me im starving gif

*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.” 

colbert facepalm

… 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… 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”

The 7 People You Meet In Rehab

girl interrupted

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
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.

kristin wiig
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.

cool hand luke

3. ) The Cool Hand Luke:

Continue reading “The 7 People You Meet In Rehab”

7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery

7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery:

(Because there ain’t no sense lying about it) Continue reading “7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery”

I Haven’t Shaved in 6 Weeks Day 5: 11 Truths About That ‘One Time In Rehab’

Well- I did it again. It’s been 3 days, but to be honest- Truth #4 took a lot out of me so I need some time before diving back into another-

Was going through diaries trying to put together what will be the rest of my little Rehab series- and while I’m not really in the place to write about anything candid today- I’ve put together entries from my 2011-2014 diaries in hopes that they could  do some of the talking for me.

These are hard to read- even for me- will probably be harder for my parents, and in a way, more vulnerable because they’re really my words.

My  words- not stories I’ve taken and manipulated to some degree as I write this.

But-aye- in order to stay true to what I’m doing- I feel they need to be shared.

And as my darling Kimmy said (cause I make her proofread all of my posts beforehand):

oh, this is so beautiful
made me cry
i just remember picking you up at the airport…how incredibly happy you were how healthy you looked how excited you were for your future with your little putty in your hands and your binder full of letters
you were so strong in that moment. so confident. i wanted to bottle that feeling up and give you little sips for whenever you felt lost. i wish so much that you could always be in that space-
And so do I, my beautiful best friend- I’m well on my way.

Diary Pages

 

Truth 5: The (Lack-of-Actual) Prozac Diaries

_______________________________________________________________________________________

December 28, 2011

Did well with food today.

Did well with my finger till after the food was over.

Then it became compulsory.

Same with last night- chewed off skin around my pinky and now I have a band aid on because I can’t bend.

Did well hiking with my family and not only thinking of food

Did well playing card games and Clue without desiring food

had only 2 bites of brownies- don’t feel guilty

Had 3 crackers after lunch- felt guilty

Counted how much time we hiked, tried to compare with calories

Wish I could remember anything we talked about

feel better not being too full

How do you love yourself despite imperfection?

I cant stand feeling full. I hate it.

How do you learn to love what you hate?

When I see fat, I see judgment

Dislike

Not in control

It’s so vain- all of this.

How can I not care about others bodies and care so much about mine?

Wish it was easier than it is

pity myself a little, for putting myself in this kind of situation

for letting it get to this kind of point

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

January 23-29, 2012 Running Schedule

Monday, 23-

Morning- Ran 6.5

2 mile walk to school

Afternoon- Ran 4.5

11 miles running, 2 miles walking

Calories~ 900

Tuesday, 24-  

Morning- Ran 3.5

Afternoon- Ran 3.5

7 miles running, 1 mile walking

Walked to and from Raul’s, the kids school, my school- 4.3 miles+

Calories~ 700

Wednesday, 25

Morning- 47 minutes- ran 27, walked 13

Afternoon- 33 minutes – Ran 28, Walked 5

5.3 miles running, 1.6miles walking

Walked to and from Raul’s, the kids school, my school- 4.3 miles+

Calories~ 700

Thursday, 26

Morning- 67 minutes- ran 60, walked 7

Afternoon- 40 minutes- ran 25, walked 15

10.6 miles running, 1.7 miles walk

Walked to school, Raul’s, the kids school- 4.3 miles+

Friday, 27- Need 5 more miles! Back hurting, knee problem. 

Morning- Walked 4 miles on the treadmill

Afternoon- Ran 1 mile

Walked 1 mile to Raul’s

Saturday, 28- 

Morning- Ran 35, walked 10

Afternoon- Ran 4.5 miles

Ran 8 miles

Sunday, 29- Nothing

Walked 6 miles

Total: 44 Running miles

_______________________________________________________________________________________

September 8, 2012

Unhappy living like this. I cannot continue this way.

I CANT.

I’m going to lose everything.

I’m going to lose myself.

I have to make my life better.

I HAVE TO DO WHAT I NEED TO DO TO MAKE LIFE MANAGEABLE.

LINDSEY, stop living like this.

YOU ARE BETTER THAN THIS.

YOU ARE BETTER THAN ALL THIS.

DO WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO TO MAKE IT BETTER

WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOUR LIFE.

NAME IT

-Eating well, having a lunch pre-made

-Working out- in the morning and right after work

-Not drinking

-Drinking a coffee

-Having a clean room

-Dinners at home

-going to bed before 1

-Being outside

Not feeling disciplined makes me feel like I’m losing my mind

Losing control of my life

Losing everything

LOSING EVERYTHING

I have to find the discipline in my life 

I have to feel ok.

I have to be in control.

Lindsey, you have to be in control.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

MONDAY- Food Journal

Breakfast

Greek Yogurt- 100 calories

3 Strawberries/9 bluberries/10 grapes/ 1/2 banana

Piece of Toast- 90 calories

1 tbsp. Jelly- 45 calories

Coffee w/ hazelnut

~300-325 cals

Lunch

1/2 banana- 60 calories

3 strawberries/9 blueberries/10 grapes

Apple- 90 calories

10 almonds- 110 calories

Water Bottle

~400 calories

Dinner

1 bread- 90

chickpea tuna- 130

apple-60

peach-100

grapes-50

=470

Snack

3 Triscuits-70

3 Pita chips- 40

=110

___________________________________________________________________________________

July 5, 2013

Don’t remember anything about last night.

Spent the whole night with my family-

Hiding food- Sneaking it into my clothes

I ate 5,000 calories.

And now here I am, 5:00am

bile hanging from my mouth

Because my body rejected it.

____________________________________________________________________________________

July 22, 2013

I am moving to New York today.

Scared, and excited, and nervous, and unhealthy, and my throat hurts from throwing up, and my cheeks are bloated because I can’t stop eating- and when I’m nervous, I binge.

Dave has a heroin problem- I’m terrified. I’ve never known heroin, never seen it. Never understood it. And there he was, smoking it in front of me. The foil streaked- Standing in the door of his bathroom, watching his eyes turn to glass, his sad, shamed, way of looking at me and not looking at me at all. The tar moving around the foil, I remember thinking ‘This is what it does? This is what happens.” It rolls around the paper, and he chased it with his rolled up parking ticket, blackened at the edged, he chased it with his mouth the tar streaking the foil, the foil crinkling as it passed.

It was very silent, standing there. My eyes bearing into his head. I wondered what it’d be like if he died then. If he fell in front of me. Would I hate myself for letting him do it?

Do I hate myself now because I know and I’m leaving?

He looked so sad though, standing there. How lonely a drug can be. How lonely throwing up is.

I ate a whole bag of white chocolate pretzels while I sat outside his room, hearing him suck in, hearing the locusts, I wondered if I’d catch a whiff. I wondered if the smoke from heroin travels.

We slept in the same bed that night, my head on his shoulder. Interchanging the shoulders, the frame, the unique way in which people breathe as they sleep.

I wondered if he would die that night. I wondered if his heart would stop, while I laid on it. If he’d drift off and not come back. If his lungs would collapse, if his cough would ever go away, I wondered how he got here.

How do you get to this point?

And then I look at myself, and I wonder how I’ve let myself get to this. Why am I throwing up in a bathroom twice in one day. Why do my teeth hurt, why does my stomach bloat because I hurt it. Why do I hurt myself.

Why does anyone hurt themselves?

Why can’t we do what animals do, and protect?

Isn’t that the point?

And we get off on all these tangents

and we’re so fucked up for knowing they hurt.

Is there any other way to word this?

It’s so fucked.

I looked at him, and his immaculate life, and his freshly-shaven face, his ironed clothes, pressed and folded, his new house, his nice car, and Jesus, what happened to you.

How can you have this whole other existence?

When did I lose you?

When did you lose me?

When did we stop being kids, where did we lose those people?

Cause if we stuck those two people in front of each other, I don’t know that they’d recognize each other.

I sat there that night, watching him smoke heroin in his bathroom, and all I could see was a little boy, with bushy hair, taking the stairs two at a time, a Smoothie King in his hand, a cut off shirt, muscles full and healthy and vibrant, his way of entering the room grinning and sweaty and tackling me into the couch, my arms around his neck, smelling his work out. Feeling his muscles through his shorts, his hairy legs colliding with mine. His little-boy happiness to be there on top of me, on a couch that was too short for him, his feet dangling off the ends, my feet tucked under the crevices of his knees. Blissfully unaware of everything we would be, and could do to destroy ourselves, unfazed by drugs, and death, and bulimia.

I watched him smoke that heroin, and all I could see was that little boy in a big truck.

And I’m so sad that little boy grew up.

And I hope that little boy finds his soul.

I just know this isn’t the person he is. If it doesn’t kill him, he’ll be better.

But, isn’t that what we say about everyone? Isn’t that what we say to avoid facing the reality. Aye, look to the future mate, look so far ahead you cant feel the presence, and only what you’ve created in your head. 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 20, 2013

So disgusted by myself it makes it hard to shower at night.

Hard to look in the mirror

Hard to get dressed.

Trying not to throw up.

I can’t- it has to stop.

And I’ll just get fatter and fatter-

and it’ll never stop

and one day, I won’t be able to do the things I want to do.

I’ll hate myself.

But I have to stop.

_________________________________________________________________________

December 16, 2013

I’m going to Rehab tomorrow.

__________________________________________________________________________

December 17, 2013 2:00pm

So now what do I do?- Just waiting around for a Tums.

Waiting around for a Tums because we’re not allowed gum.

You’re here Linds- you made it. Where you always wanted to be- Having someone else tell you how to live your life.

You got what you wanted- you’re here.

And what the hell do you do with yourself?

____________________________________________________________________________

December 17, 2013 10:00pm

Kimmy-baby,

Of course I choose you to write my first letter-

Laying here in a bed surrounded by floral pink print comforter and beginning to have what people refer to as

“the reality check.”

I’m sick Kimmy, ya know? I’m really sick and what wasted time I’ve spent getting to this point.

_____________________________________________________________________

I cried tonight-finally. I cried at dinner. Over a cup of yogurt with 150 calories and 27g of sugar.

Has it gotten to this point?- Appears so.

A girl with cuts all over her arms and scars to the tips of her shoulders- she sat with me.

I tried not to cry Kim, I tried not to do it. But with each bite, tears rolled down my face- and this girl-

this beautiful little girl- she looked at me and she told me jokes.

And I cried and laughed and other girls sat next to me and I ate that meal for an hour.

It took me an hour to finish Broccoli, Tofu, Veggies, Rice, and the Yogurt.

-And none of those girls left me.

They just sat there and talked to me- knowing I suppose- as they all had been there too.

None of them had to stay- they were done. But they let me take my time anyway.

It was really nice.

It was surreal.

And I wonder, sitting here, what am I actually crying about that is more than 27g of sugar?

________________________________________________________

Being here is hard- harder than anticipated.

I’ve never seen such sick people in my life.

Feeding tubes, and wheelchairs, women who look deformed from anorexia.

Scars- and hair loss

Baggy T-shirts and tired eyes.

_________________________________________________________

This little girl-

This little little girl

with cuts and scars.

She spoke to me first.

Had no idea she was 14.

Cuts everywhere. All over her legs- in little horizontal lines on her thighs.

On her arm.

At medicine time, she puts scar tissue cream on her body. 14 years old-

_____________________________________________________________

There is this lady- she’s lovely.

Quiet, contemplative, nice to me.

– late 30s, a mother, a wife-

And Kim she weighs no more than 80lbs.

She is attached to an IV. She is never allowed to do anything without supervision.

And she’s so lovely-

She’s someones mother.

_____________________________________________________________

I worry how long I’ll be here. I thought this would be fast but frankly- the more I come to terms with the severity of my body dysmorphia

I fear it could be longer.

I don’t want to be here long.

But, it’s weird sitting here with nothing to eat.

Oh Kim, I’ve binged for so long I don’t remember how to go to sleep with the feeling of being dinner-full.

I’ll get to do some exercise. Once I’m off level 1, I’ll start exploring my relationship with exercise which will be nice.

Right now, I’m not allowed to use the bathroom for 2 hours after meals unless someone stands outside.

It’s degrading- But I get it.

I do.

______________________________________________________

I need to go to bed, now.

Love you always,

Linds

_______________________________________________________________________________-

 January 14, 2014

Losing track of days and dates-

But I think that’s okay.

Tired of feeling guilty about my life

Tired of unreal expectations.

It’s gotta end- Linds.

It has to end.

Just want to feel comfortable in my skin.

I hope that can happen-

Cause it feels like it’s starting to.

And that’s a nice feeling.

______________________________________________________________________________

January 16, 2014

Did you know that turtles mate for life?

This woman just told me that her husband bought her a turtle bracelet-

to remind her she was his turtle.

And I wish everyone had someone to love them.

I wish everyone was truly loved by one human-

That we could just know.

Remember to remember what you saw when Lilly’s mother held her face in her hands.

That be the real deal, yo-

I love everyone here-

And I miss my life.

I hope I never forget what it felt like tonight,

sitting with these girls

and watching Aladdin.

I deserve a happy life, I think.

_________________________________________________________________________

FREEDOM*- Buying Bananagrams- the best game ever.
FREEDOM*- Buying Bananagrams- the best game ever.

This is Rehab: Truth #5