My Eating Disorder Documentary Went Live This Morning!

YouTube Poster

 

This morning, a lil mini-documentary about my eating disorder, and recovery aired on Barcroft TV, and what a unique moment in life.

There’s always something to note (like LOLZ on all the “looking into the distance” shots or HEY check out some of the laughable YouTube comments), but I’ll keep it simple.

A reminder today that:

Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. My story is common because I am a white, small, cisgender female who grew up engulfed by “diet and beauty” culture, and the insecurity and expectation that it breeds. That is not to be ignored, but there are millions out there who do not have the same background. Men, women, ethnicities, nationalities, class. I am not the sole representation of what an eating disorder looks like, and will never pretend that I could be or am.

You will never be “sick enough.” You deserve help, no matter your circumstances, religion, shame, or weight.

I had a strong support system when I went to treatment. Most don’t (or they do) and it still means that sometimes they go back to rehab a few times before they get their shit straight. I am still working on what that means in my own life.

Recovery is ever-changing, ever-evolving. That’s why it’s flexible.

It is okay to live with an eating disorder. Recovery is accepting its presence in your life, not ignoring it as “fixed.”

Thank you to my best friend Kim Dyer for being in this, and Kristina Doelling for watching it from her apt in Brooklyn. Thank you to my parents Joanna Byers Hall for putting themselves out there, and being vulnerable to millions as parents of someone with an eating disorder. Thank you to The Renfrew Center for inclusion in the documentary, and taking time out of their lives to participate. Thank you to the camera crew and the producer for not making this salacious. Thank you Bradley’s parents for raising a beautiful child. His life has been the inspiration for so much of my recovery. Shout out to my partner for helping me get through that day, and waking up at 6am.

I am feeling many things, as one does when they see their sniffling face on film. Mostly, I am grateful for the life I have led – in all its ups and downs and side doors and mirrors.

This Is Why Your Eating Disorder Is Boring

My partner and I have been arguing lately.

Likely because we’re at that point in a relationship where our “quirky” personality traits have lost their lusty splendor, and humanized into regular, every day irritations –

I was clearing the table after dinner last night.

In my view (which is, of course, the only one), I’d been helpful. The loving, easygoing girlfriend.

“Shit, did you clean this pan with soap?” I hear from the far side of the kitchen.

The aforementioned monologue in mind, I gripped down on the white plates that now peculiarly resembled killer frisbees:

“Yes.”

An exasperated sigh. “Damn, okay. This one can’t be cleaned with soap or it ruins the bottom.”

He stared at it like a child grieving ice cream that just fell out of the cone.

I lost it in that beautiful way people sometimes do. Slowly, subtly, and then with a rip-roaring bang.

It’s always easy to consider ourselves even-tempered, until we’re not.

Continue reading “This Is Why Your Eating Disorder Is Boring”

“Ew… She Sent Me A Sick Pic”: Why We Lust Over Anorexia

Alright, first thing’s first:

Smirk at my headline.

IT’S FUNNY.

And took me all day to think of. (Partner currently shaking his head; don’t think he found it as amusing as I did when I snorted into the coffee.)

Anywho, shifting away from PornHub vibes, (gotta watch what I write otherwise pervs on the internet end up finding my blog from “unshaven fetish” google searches)…

Let’s dive in.

We all do it – this lusting over anorexia – so let’s call a spade a spade.

Pondering this post from a plane (God bless the lady next to me: likely reading over my shoulder thinking ‘’what the hell is this woman writing about?”) – and I’m on my way back from a wedding. My dead best friend’s sisters wedding, to be candid – so maybe I’m not much in the mood for bullshitting, and the words pour.

Who knows. It’s beside the point, but I want you to know where I’m coming from so you’re not all like ”whatta asshole.”

Truth is: I’m about to make you uncomfortable… because I’m making myself uncomfortable.

However, four years into this recovery business, I can assert with sincerity that being uncomfortable is half of the process – and in order to navigate this murky world – we have to let it exist.

So, face it with me. And if this post pushes your boundaries, sit with it. You’re making progress. Continue reading ““Ew… She Sent Me A Sick Pic”: Why We Lust Over Anorexia”

This Is Why You Relapse

Heavy-hearted, I write today.

Truth is, this headline is declarative. I have no idea why you relapse.

As I sit here in a coffee shop – mulling through this post – I got a call from a close friend.

“Have you talked to X lately?”

“No… He dropped off a couple months ago and stopped answering me, so I assume he’s relapsed.”

“Linds, it’s bad. Just feel you should know before you hear from anyone else. His liver and kidneys are failing. Was in ICU for 13 days. Respiratory failure. Got out and got back on the painkillers. Sister found him slumped over a coffee table. He’s going to die if he doesn’t get help… and I don’t know if you want to reach back out – but we’re trying anything.”

I stared at my phone.

Stomach sinks. Not because it’s unexpected – but because it’s so expected and yet, no matter how much you can prepare for anything – you never know when the day will just come.

My ex might very likely die, which is two of my exes that I am waiting for that call.

“He’s gone.”

I received it once already – when my best friend fell out of a tree.

And I know it’s only a matter of time these days, before I get it again.

Being a messy person creates a messy life. And I have always held a love for messy people.

Continue reading “This Is Why You Relapse”

Eating Disorder Community Responds: What’s The Hardest Part Of Holiday Season & How Can A Loved One Help You?

Thought it might be a helpful post, this time of holiday year, to remind everyone struggling with eating disorders and recovery and this and that mental illness –

That there is a wide ole’ community in the world that is struggling with you.

That every few people you pass in an airport or on the street, one of them has thought or felt the same way that you have felt. To some degree. In whatever way their reality shapes for them.

I posted a question on Instagram: “What’s the hardest part of holiday season & how has a loved one helped you?”

The responses are varied, but the sentiments are similar.

Continue reading “Eating Disorder Community Responds: What’s The Hardest Part Of Holiday Season & How Can A Loved One Help You?”

A Reminder: It’s Okay To Be Utterly Scared Of Recovery

Made a choice this time 4 years ago — full of fear – walking into rehab:

Perhaps I’ll run around forever — healing my brain and my body — perhaps I’ll fail — and perhaps I’ll never know all of the answers — but maybe I’d never want to, anyway.

S’pose that’s all we need sometimes — the freedom to reshape and believe whatever the hell we need to believe to get on with life.

Spent this morning and night on a roof — only to remember that I’m pretty far from knowing anything — but recognizing  a couple things: what I want and how I’m gonna get it.

Laughed with a best friend.

“Get used to your destiny babe,” he said. “Writing – recovery – all that stuff you talk about – it’s part of your life — forever. Accept it and blossom with it.”

We stared at the full moon.

Continue reading “A Reminder: It’s Okay To Be Utterly Scared Of Recovery”

“I’ll Never Let Go, Jack… Er, ED”: Is Anorexia Your Forever Love Affair?

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.”

Continue reading ““I’ll Never Let Go, Jack… Er, ED”: Is Anorexia Your Forever Love Affair?”

When You Miss Anorexia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before A Relapse

Last Sunday, I gave the keynote speech at the Denver NEDA walk.

It was meaningful, full of women and men I got to meet in person versus online.

I felt a lot of connection and intimacy – and an environment where people understand each other.

I also felt lonely.

Continue reading “When You Miss Anorexia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before A Relapse”

“BUT… You Can’t Eat Chipotle For Breakfast?”: The Truth About Food Rituals

I’m uncomfortable today, as I write.

It is 11:07am on a Wednesday morning – Afternoon? Brunch? Can’t we millennials just coin the 11-1:00pm timeframe as “brunch hours?” It seems much more distinguishable.

Afternoon always sounds late. The 1-4:00pm day-drag hours.

Anyway, it’s 11:09 now – And my white jeans are currently feeling snug around my waist, increases near my bellybutton from hours of wear, and I am sitting in my office swivel chair on a lunch break, pounding furiously on a keyboard.

It’s distracting – these jeans. My legs are Indian style in an attempt to combat the tightness – I am breathing more shallow to provide less stomach movement, and I’m preoccupied, right now, by whether or not what I ate for breakfast will make me gain weight – as though weight can now magically be defined by one meal.

Fucking Chipotle.

Isn’t it interesting – and morbidly fascinating – what we carry around of our eating disorders.

Last night, I hung out with a person I’m dating and my best friend from college. They happen to be roommates. Hungry, as thin men always seem to be (sorry for the stereotype but seriously. It’s like all thin dudes could eat a person and shit it out by the end of the day – never gaining an ounce.)

Anyway, we went to Chipotle. I ordered a burrito bowl. Light on the sour cream. In retrospect, what does that even mean – ‘light on the sour’? Isn’t it really just a justification for getting sour cream at all? I wonder at times. I think I just like saying the words “light on the ____,” so it symbolizes to the bored-looking high school burrito-maker that “I care about my weight. I know I’ve been gaining lately – you can probably tell – but, I’m in control of it.”

I ate half my bowl, the three of us nestled around a wrought-iron black table. Snorting through giggles, sneaking bites of the others. Listening to my best friend moan about being single again. In one sentence – excited for the prospective women. In the next – moping over how his ex is Satan’s love-child.

The guy I’m seeing squeezes my thigh under the table – giving knowing smirks to one another as my best friend announces he’s going to “take up dancing lessons” in the wake of this break up. In another declaration, “fly to Brazil and make love to beautiful foreign women.”

Sex was born in Brazil, he announces.

Continue reading ““BUT… You Can’t Eat Chipotle For Breakfast?”: The Truth About Food Rituals”