Anorexia: Everyone’s Favorite Eating Disorder

A few weekends ago, I sat around a campfire talking to a boy.

Get enough to eat? He asked, peering down at the paper plate of leftovers in my lap.

So full, I moaned – tossing it to the side in that disgusted way eating disorder brains have when they want to show everyone that they “know” how full and gross they are for, ya know, eating.

((I’M SORRY I ATE SO MUCH AND AM SUBJECTING YOU TO IT, we want to scream.))

Oh, ED brain.

You sure? he asked – scoping my plate.

I nodded, catching his eye. Why you askin’?

He shook his head, but I already knew.

Ah – my blog, I guessed. Took a gander?

I’m sorry, he said. I know I promised I wouldn’t, but I wanted to make sure you’d be okay.

I shrugged. You’re not the first, but I hope it didn’t overwhelm you.

He shook his head; his mouth opening slightly, then closing.

What? I asked.

I just, he trailed off. It was hard to read.

I’m sorry, I said. But hey, 80% truths. I write 80% truths about 80% truths.

He shook his head. It wasn’t your writing.

I quieted.

He fingered the lid of a beer with his forefinger.

I just- I went through this before Linds, he paused – catching my eye again. Brought back that time I guess.

I mentally slapped my forehead. Of course, I thought.

Someone close?

Close, he repeated – breaking eye contact. Yes.

He mumbled his relation to her, and then he looked at the ground. She’s not really, he paused again. She never got better. Nothing I did ever helped, he said. I worry about that with you. If one day you’ll just fade.

You can’t fix her, I said, realizing how stupid it was as it came out.

((I HATE WHEN PEOPLE SAY THAT. Like DUH, we KNOW we can’t fix people.))

I didn’t want that, he said. I just, I wanted her to be better I guess. I thought she’d grow out of it or something. I didn’t know it could get so bad.

No one does, I suggested. Everyone thinks eating disorders are a cry for attention.

He tightened his mouth.

I opened mine; nothing came out.

Sometimes saying nothing at all, I realized, relates more.

He leaned over; grabbed my hand. We changed the subject.


Continue reading “Anorexia: Everyone’s Favorite Eating Disorder”

“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.

Camping grounds!

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Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia

UGH, it’s crop top season.

Alright guys, so I’ve been pretty MIA the past month and a half (unless you wanna count my previous red-faced emoji rant about the UK coverage as “blogging”) and I haven’t really been writing because truthfully, I’m like a lizard changing its stripes (is that even the idiom??)

Moving is a huge change- goes without saying – and I haven’t really wanted to write until I felt more settled, or at least more genuine, about what I’m even writing about.

Some days I wake up overlooking those Colorado mountains and think “This is where I was always meant to be,” and other days I wake up with this incessant loneliness, longing, and nostalgia for my life in New York.

The world is a playground and I can barely figure out where the slide is (also, I’m directionally challenged). Yes, I’m meeting people. Yes, I’ve gone on a few dates (post on that to come soon ’cause my GOD my relationship life is always a hot mess) and yes, I’m interviewing quite often for jobs, but it’s been over a month and I haven’t yet found that “comfort” of the familiar, and I find that theres always tis feeling of insecurity when meeting new people.

Sometimes, I think because I was sick for so long that I literally just didn’t learn basic human skills and abilities. I was so obsessed with food and being thin that like I missed the college lectures on how to balance a checkbook, or even the cultural staples of my generation.

I will never really be a girl that has “seen that movie,” “heard that song,” or “read that article.” I can tell you how many calories are in that banana by weight and size, but I have zero idea what Games of Thrones is, or what band sang that song – and that reality comes out when I’m meeting new people and like trying to relate to them in a basic millennial way. Therefore, I feel more insecure than usual.

I know I’m not meant to yet, but it is hard some days to not wake up and go straight to g-chatting my former co-workers as I lay in bed picturing them in their offices. Picturing the sounds of the office, knowing who’s always late to work, who is getting their 8th coffee –

Co-workers! (one of the few times I wore a dress)

I miss my familiar. I miss my work husband walking into my office every morning, happy hours with my female coworkers at the wine bar across the street – knowing which subway line will be delayed – and even the comfort of “the crazies” who roam the subway trains spouting off about religion, and how we’re all going to hell.

I miss my banana waiting for me on my desk, and a granola bar in my office desk for breakfast.

I miss New York – yet I know it’s over. Funny how people do that, yah? How when we lose something, we have this human ability to only remember the good, and negate all the negative.

Anyway, I know in my heart I made the right decision – but you leave pieces of your soul wherever you roam.

Continue reading “Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia”

When Your Eating Disorder Looks Like A Freak Show

Feelin’ about 50 shades of WTF.
Haven’t posted in a hot minute because I’ve been struggling a bit in this transition to Denver (love the city, love my life here – but just having some control issues that OF COURSE manifest into weight loss) and I’m working through them with daily OA meetings. (Post to come on OA soon.)
However, I’m coming out of the woodwork because I am all sorts of emoji red face P.O’ed
Everything in that picture above is what I loathe about the portrayal of eating disorders.
Yesterday, I woke up and these article headlines about me ran on the UK Daily Mail, Sun, and Mirror.
YEP GUYS -there I am – the two-headed eating disorder freak show splattered across UK media.
My agenda every day is to represent recovery in a way that relates to ALL yet time and time again the world has a tendency to portray people with eating disorders as though we are some fictitious character straight outta American Horror Story.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful every single day for the opportunity to write about this shiz. It’s kept me connected with the community as well as find an outlet of accountability, but the problem with this kind of portrayal is that it sends the message to people that you have to be “that” sick to really have an eating disorder.
It discourages people from voicing their struggle because they look at horror headlines like that and think to themselves “Oh, well I’m not vomm’ing blood into a toilet – I guess I’m not really that bad.”
The truth is, am I proud of those articles content? Yes. The journalist was respectful and asked real, human questions about my recovery and ED experience. She does not choose headlines, and I have nothing but kind words to say about our interview process.
However, when I read these headlines, I absolutely bloody cringe. Not only because it’s grossly and salaciously manifesting as cheap click bait, but because the headlines heighten my experience with body dysmorphia and eating disorders in a glorified one-of-a-kind manner.
Did I feel and do all those things? Yes. I did have trouble sitting on a subway. I passed people on the SIDEWALK (not street) and had moments that I panicked. “WHAT IF I RUN INTO THEM WITH MY THIGHS.”
I was very sick. I’d never deny that and I’ve got a whole helluva lot of war stories- we all do in recovery, as I’m learning through my resurgence of OA meetings.
Half of recovery is letting those “war stories” go and moving forward.
I just want to reiterate today that I was still a real person back when I was sick. I went to work like anyone else (albeit not fully present), and I functioned as best as i could.  At the end of the day my experience is really no more extreme than anyone else out there struggling with BDD and ED.
PLEASE REMEMBER — You don’t have to have “bloody vomit” and “fear of walking down the street” to quality for an ED or BDD, just as you don’t need to have a salacious bikini pic to qualify as “recovered.”
I hurt myself a lot over the years, and I am still learning what it means to be healthy of mind. However, I want to continue to reiterate that you don’t have to look, act, or be any certain way to suffer from ED.
Ignore those headlines – not everyone’s experience with mental illness has these glorified extremes that they imply.
If you are sick, you know. You know because your life is passing – one day after the other- and you’re missing it, and it’s sad.

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder

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.”

Continue reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder”

Recovery Truth: Loving and Leaving New York

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

“But Trix Are For Kids?”: Life As A Cereal Killer

Saturday, I texted my mom at 1:25pm.

“I’m not eating well today. Idk what my deal is I’m so bingey. All I want is all the cereal in the world.”

She called soon after and asked if I’d like to “talk it out,” but the truth I didn’t tell her, and only admitted to  my best friend later- is that I’d already devoured 2 boxes of cereal over the past 2 days.

…Even writing just that, I almost lied and put 3 days instead of 2 so that whoever reading this wouldn’t think it was as bad as the reality is for me and cereal, even now 2 years into recovery.

This last week or so has not been stellar in terms of my binge eating. I go months and months without touching trigger foods, but what inevitably happens is that I convince myself I’m “fine” (like Ross in Friends when Rachel and Joey start dating “fine”) and fall right back down the rabbit hole of my own ED delusion.

Continue reading ““But Trix Are For Kids?”: Life As A Cereal Killer”

2 Years Later: The Night I Asked For Help

 

Two years ago, I went to a wedding, drank 6 glasses of wine, and wouldn’t take off my coat.

Earlier that day, I binge ate 2 boxes of cereal, threw up- and went straight to the gym with my dad.

I ran for 45 minutes- analyzing how many calories I’d likely thrown up and how many I could continue to burn.

It wasn’t enough.

When my dad came over to the treadmill, he signaled he was ready to go and I hopped off and followed him out of the gym.

We chatted in the car that day, giggled about the latest Bachelorette (because, yes, my father watches The Bachelorette), and when we got home I lurked till he was back in his room before I grabbed the keys and yelled out I was going to “run errands.”

My brother, I was later told, watched me pull out of the driveway and went back to my parents room to let them know I still had my tennis shoes on.

30 minutes later, as I ran cemented to the treadmill, I looked up to find my Dad standing there at the gym entrance- his eyes watching me.

Filled with shame, I stared back as he walked discreetly over to my treadmill.

“Linds” he whispered. “C’mon.”

We didn’t talk much that afternoon. I stayed upstairs with a bottle of wine avoiding my family and getting dressed for the wedding.

Anxious because I hadn’t finished running 12 miles, I hated the way I looked in that dress. I hated how much tighter it felt, I hated my thighs, I hated my arms, I hated my stomach and I wore Spanx that sucked in what was already bloated from purging.

At the wedding, I lingered near the bar.

Please take off your coat, my Mom whispered at some point when I’d gone out on the dance floor with my winter coat zipped to the neck.

I’m cold, I lied.

That night, I got absolutely hammered. I spoke with people I don’t remember talking to but have pictures with, I spent the last hour finding ways to sneak the grilled cheese appetizers in my coat pocket to ”eat later,” and I danced with sweat pilfering through my coat because I wouldn’t take it off.

Wine-dazed and dehydrated, someone drove me home that night and as I walked in the door I heard my Dad call me into the living room.

Shit, I sighed drunkenly. I just wanted my bed and the Cheez Its I’d hidden in the bathroom.

As I walked into the living room, I immediately noticed the two empty boxes of cereal on the coffee table.

Lindsey, he said calmly. What happened to the cereal?

Dunno, I slurred, my face reddening.

Lindsey, he said again- softer. Mom and I counted before you got here and we had 6 boxes of cereal and now we have 4.

I stared at him.

Honey, he whispered. We just love you.

Tears welled in my eyes.

We know, he said. Lindsey we know you need help.

I’m sorry, I heard myself whimper. I’m so sorry.

Did you throw it up? He asked.

I nodded.

My mom shook her head. We have to get help, she said. Lindsey you can’t keep living like this. We can’t live like this.

I don’t want to, I mumbled. I just can’t stop.

Let us help, my dad pleaded. Let us get you help.

I nodded. I didn’t care anymore.

I was done.
Continue reading “2 Years Later: The Night I Asked For Help”

Holidaze: Surviving The #Blessed Season With An Eating Disorder

…Because, likely, if you have an eating disorder you love Thanksgiving- but hate Thanksgiving food.

Personally, I have no problem admitting I am the scrooge of Thanksgiving (okay, fine. And Halloween… Costumes and Body Dysmorphia just DO NOT fly with me no matter if I dress like a slutty nurse or a Pentecostal nun.)

Anyways…

Give me your pilgrims, your Indians, your Thanksgiving Charlie Brown VHS, The corporate Vacation Days, Family small talk, The sweet smell of doughy rolls-

But my God, keep your stuffing, your pecan pie, your cranberry sides, your corn pudding like 1000 feet away from me.

There are times I wish I could use a get-out-of-jail-free card on my eating disorder; Thanksgiving is one of them.

If it were up to me, I’d sit at the ”kid table” far far away from the buffet of food and play airplane while someone feeds me a spoonful of carrot mash alongside my cousin’s 1-year old.

Alas, recovery- however- doesn’t exactly approve of carrot mash (although it might just  be the ONE food item I actually don’t know the calorie count on…)

Anywho, despite my silent protesting- Thanksgiving feast occurs again- as it did last year and the year before etc., etc.

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