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”

8 Tips To Cope With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorder Dayze

…Cause literally Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphia are a daze – ammirite? You walk around trying to exist; put on your work face; your social face; your public face – and inside you just feel all this guilt and shame for being so self-absorbed.

Now, don’t jump down my throat. You’re not necessarily self-absorbed. But, BDD and EDs do make you seem that way. When you can’t be present in a conversation, when you’re flaky as hell on all social engagements, or when you realize you can’t pass a glass window on a New York street without turning to observe whether or not your ass grew from the block before – it just gets exhausting. And honestly, embarrassing.

I have no joke run right into someone while distracted by my thighs in a window reflection.

“You’re lookin fine, gorgeous,” he said sarcastically as he bristled past me.

I wanted to be like ”I DON’T THINK I’M HOT A-HOLE. I THINK MY THIGHS ARE BIGGER IN THIS REFLECTION THAN THEY WERE IN THE DUANE REEDE REFLECTION- DON’T YOU GET IT?!”

2 years into recovery, you can still catch me doing that it’s true- but in treatment, my team and I developed coping mechanisms for dealing with the bad days. Some are helpful; some might be cornier than others. It just kinda depends on what type of person you are in terms of what will work for you.

Feel free to share your own. As always, I’m just a girl with an ED – no more special or wise than the rest of you. Continue reading “8 Tips To Cope With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorder Dayze”

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

Eek That One Time I Had A Cosmopolitan.com Article

Could not be more appreciative of all the support as this article runs. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a mixed bag of feelings to look down and see your name associated with the word “suicide.” To clarify: it’d be sensationalizing my eating disorder to state that I ever tried to end my life, but there were plenty of times that I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “this will be how I die. I’ll never get past it.”

Glad to be an example of recovery; what it is, what it entails, and all the beautiful ups and downs. Feeling so much gratitude and love as I leave this big apple city.

And of course, thank you to my friend Chase Williams for his sexy cameo. Don’t be surprised if the ladies of Cosmo come knockin’ my friend

Continue reading “Eek That One Time I Had A Cosmopolitan.com Article”

When You Have The Flu But Still Have An Eating Disorder

 

My eating disorder amazes me.

I legit have the Flu people- THE FLU….yet yesterday at around 6pm I still thought as I rode the bus home “Am I sick enough yet to miss a work out?”

Inevitably, mother nature answered for me. In the 45 minutes it took me to ride the bus, get home and eat dinner (which my taste buds were already rejecting) I could feel the fever flame through me.

Ugh, fine- I thought, feeling the weakness fever brings. GUESS I CAN’T WORK OUT.

If felt like failure.

Huddled in my bed last night- teeth chattering- running a 102.3 fever and crying at Undercover Boss (because apparently fever makes me HIGHLY emotional)… I find I still have that little voice in my ear.

Feelin’ Like.

Continue reading “When You Have The Flu But Still Have An Eating Disorder”

Eating Disorder Regret: Remembering My Best Friend On His Birthday*

 

The last night I ever saw my best friend alive-it was 9pm at a fraternity party at The University of Arkansas, and I was standing there in the front yard backing away from him because I needed to finish a run.

18-years old- my first week of college- he was visiting with his parents on his way to University of Mississippi.

Linds, he pleaded, reaching out for my shoulder. Just stay. Christ, you don’t need to run so much.

I’ll be back, I’d laughed – windshorts hitting my leg. I’ll run home and change and I’ll come back.

But it’s my only night here, he sputtered– yelling down the hill with a red solo cup in his hand– his shorts hanging at the knee. Promise you’ll come back?

Maybe, I’d waved, smiling. I’ll call Riley.

But I was gone before he answered–running. Running because I’d eaten 3 bowls of Special K Fruit N’ Yogurt. Running because I was scared and the ED voice was screeching– And in the end, I didn’t go back.

Scared of calories, scared of loss of control, scared of losing my underweight frame- I texted him.

Goodnight, I wrote, Have fun with Riley–

I met him in the morning– a letter in hand. I love you, I whispered, pulling him close.

Love you too, he mumbled– Because he didn’t know how to be mad.

Don’t be upset, I grinned. I wrote you a letter, didn’t I?

He took it from my hand. I wish you had come back, he said, before turning to get into his parents car.

See you later- drive safe, I waved as he and his parents pulled out of the parking lot– my best friend in the middle seat– his backpack with my letter.

I’ll see him soon–I thought- I’ll make it up later.

And then you– my best friend– who carried me to bed when I fell asleep on the couch.

One month later– you pretty little boy– You fell from a tree, and you died.

8 years later I will always regret not spending that night with you.

Happy 27th Birthday Bradley Jameson- You are so loved and missed! Made that video above 6 years ago, and the only thing I’d change is some of my weak grammar. Love to you, your fam, and our friends that made this video (and the hours of film I still have somewhere in my parents house) possible.

Eating disorders kill, it’s true; but they kill your memories before they ever kill you.

8/16/2007, the last morning I saw my BMJ (Left of me)

Rehab Truth: Why Orthorexia and Exercise Go Hand-In-Hand

As so often happens, “weekend Orthorexia” creeps into me after I’ve worked out. What is it about that voice in your head?

Had a nice, 6-mile run and then immediately came home and couldn’t decide what to eat.

“If I just DON’T eat, well then those calories will be saved,” I always initially (and gleefully) think. “Whatever I eat will make me bigger. NOTHING is safe.” My Braveheart chant sings.

I’ve always had a little bit of an issue with working out and then eating. Somehow, it feels like when I work out- my appetite tends to dissipate for awhile afterwards; Even though I know I need to be eating. Does anyone else feel that way?

Anyway, I went to the little grocery store by my apartment and found myself doing what I always do when I’m in this position; walking up and down- and up and down- back down and elsewhere- into the store unable to decide what is “acceptable” to my ED to eat.

But alas, at the end of the day it’s a choice to hurt yourself- and I’m enough in recovery to understand that. It’s a choice to live by your ED and a choice to weigh your healthy voice over what your weird, instinct desire is telling you.

Fruit? Do I need the (natural) sugar? Cheese? Do I need the protein and fat. Bagel chips? Do I need the carbs?

Yup. I do. Cause I can’t live my whole life being scared of food.

I spent years of my life researching food; memorizing calories.

Years of my life google searching until my eyes felt like they were burning out of my head.

I’m tired of it.

I deserve better.

Flaming Self-Respect-

And it just ain’t no life at all.

Happy Saturday!

“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”