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.

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“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.”

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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”

“OMG My Vacay Is Perfect”: The Problem With Instagram And Vacation Filters

 

Oye – vacations. 3 days in and I’m sitting here in Hawaii, already scanning for that perfect filtered beach pic.

What is it about social media that makes us wanna pull the veil over reality.

Having a great trip – content. But, I still have those eating disorder thoughts and I still have body image hiccups, so in an effort to accept that and move da’ fuq on this week: here’s reality of vacation vs Instagram:

First pic: hair tie got tangled up during sunrise hike. Pulled like 70 hairs outta my head – grimaced through pain. Grimaced at that side shot. Wore backpack strategically.

Second pic: filtered for that “sunrise bright and alert” look. Sent it to the person I’m dating so as to remind them how “outdoorsy attractive” I am.

Third pic: left pic I posed strategically “casual” because I always feel like I have a tendency to pose with my legs spread eagle.

Fourth pic: soaking up sun with a beer in hand, big- grinning. Reality: it was freezing and raining n’ my brother and I sat perched on that rock for a solid 30 minutes. Drank 2 beers, felt like I was being vacuumed into my swimsuit. Worried about my cousin in Houston, stuck  in the midst of Harvey.

Fifth pic: paddle-boarded yesterday for the first time… with one of the boat crew helping. Also, flirted with him because I seek instant validation in swimsuits. He was 8 years younger than I am. My family made fun of me. Captain yelled “you’re not even paddling Cinderella.”

Sixth pic: scowled at my stomach n’ made my brother take another round of pics. I was not “in mid walk” I was literally just standing there.

I’m hiking without shirts, wearing bikinis. I’m eating coconut shrimps and calamari and fruity cocktails and beers.

Just confirmed to speak during the Denver NEDA walk.

I’m thinking about my cousin and his wife in Houston. They’re safe, but man that storm’s devastating.

I’m good and content. And I’m flexibly okay and pushing.

We’re all human. So the next time you’re scanning through “vacay pics” demanding a redo or a “different angle” – remember you’re not alone. We all do this shit

“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.

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Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?

… I don’t know. And maybe, that’s okay.

Hear me out:

Calorie counting. If you struggle with it, you relate to Lily Collins in Netflix’s “To The Bone” scene when her sister refers to her calorie counting as ‘calories aspergers’, and if you don’t – I can only beg that you never attempt to. ((Also, I originally entitled this post Calorie Asperger’s in light of this scene – but it is insensitive to co-opt the two, so I changed it.))

To The Bone

Coming off a weekend in Texas. Ate a lot – drank some wine. Went to my 10-year high school reunion and visited family. Feeling uncomfortably full as I write this – sipping a vanilla latte; ordered it and forgot to ask for nonfat milk, which made me laugh a little because I immediately thought to myself “Wonder how many calories that adds on?”

Some things never change.

You know that scene in Good Will Hunting? The 1997 movie about Matt Damon as this poverty-stricken Boston math genius. Beautifully written (RIP Robin Williams). But, there’s that scene where Matt Damon is told he has this ‘ability’ to solve math equations faster than anyone ever. He’s the best in the world – has a unique brain that rattles off numbers.

There’s a parallelism that resonates here with calorie counting for me, which leads me to this post.

 

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“But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia

“But, I’m like, fine now.”

The other day I’m on the phone with my therapist.

“How’s your eating?” She asked – after we covered the mundane and I had no other drama to manipulatively fill the time.

“Better,” I said. “I’m diggin’ outta anorexia part 2. I weigh XXX. Put on some pounds in Mexico on that bachelorette.”

I hear her *harumph* on the phone. (And if you don’t know that sound – familiarize yourself with it immediately.)

“That’s not enough.”

I feel that growing flicker of annoyance in the pit of my stomach. “It’s fine.”

It’s FINE. LEAVE ME ALONE. ALL OF YOU – LEAVE ME ALONE.

“And you were …. how much did you weigh when you were in treatment?”

I tell her. “I don’t want to still be that though. I wasn’t even active then. They wouldn’t let me do shit so it wasn’t fair to say that’s accurate – I knew I’d lose a little. That was 3 years ago.”

“Regardless,” she says. “You’re still xxx off.”

“Yep,” I agree – ornery as eating disorders can be. “Yep, maybe. You might just be damn right.”

WHATCHU GONNA DO ABOUT IT, I want to say.

Instead, I wait.

A chess play. Always a chess play with eating disorders.

“So, what are you gonna do about your meals this week, now that you’re not on vacation?” She asks – which irks me.

WAIT, thought I was CONTROLLING this dialogue.

“Dunno,” I say, nonchalantly. “Do what I’m doing.”

“Skip meals?”

“I’m not. I’m gaining weight. I’m figuring it out.”

“But you’re not making it a priority.”

“That’s fair,” I said. “I don’t care if I gain weight or not. I’d be fine if I stayed this forever.”

“But you know you can’t sustain that?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe,” she says. “Maybe isn’t good enough.”

“Maybe is all that I got sometimes.”

Mexico!

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“If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder

Oh, Exercise. The ultimate double-edged sword of an eating disorder.

 

^BUT MY GOD, HOW CUTE IS THAT?

People ask me every so often “What was the hardest part of rehab?”

Depending on my mood, the answer varies.

“The food, the confinement, the emotion overload, the disparity of sick people… the exercise.”

Ah, the exercise, I always land on – or lack thereof.

3 years ago, I was escorted into rehab (yes, escorted. Two people at each side in the case that I bolted… and ran to the highway? I don’t know where the hell they expected me to go.)

Anyway, I remember looking around the vast expanse of my prison-like surroundings, and spotting what looked like a runner’s path.

Circular, brown dirted and perfectly suited to run on during what I assumed would be many hard days ahead, I was relieved to see this silver lining.

“YOU CAN TAKE MY BODY, BUT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM (TO EXERCISE)” – the William Wallace inside of me screamed. (Side note: Braveheart, oddly enough, happened to be a fan favorite to watch while in rehab. We were banned from all trash television, as well as any movie baring nudity of any sort – but yet, somehow, Braveheart slipped the radar.)

As it goes.

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The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

This sentence helped take away 8 years and 40lbs of my life – and I’m reposting it here today because in light of NEDA week, I think it’s a reminder to anybody searching for resources on the internet.

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

Such a simple few words. We say it all the time.

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