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 Reminder: Food Is Meant To Be Enjoyed

ED recovery pushes you to re-learn foods that you like; it requires that you try and explore and cook and prepare what makes your body feel full- mentally and physically.

2 years ago I would never eat Chicken Parmesan for lunch. I had a stringent, unyielding routine of minimal tuna, 6 raspberries, 3 strawberries, a handful of blueberries, 6 almonds, spinach, and half a banana. I didn’t budge. I ate alone. I avoided office lunches. I barely focused at my desk- scowering the internet for “acceptable” vegan, raw, obsolete recipes. I counted down every day to 4pm when I “allowed” myself an Apple to soothe hunger pains.

I’m writing this post on a whim today- because 2 years into recovery, I stood in my office kitchen this afternoon- eagerly unloading Tupperware to prepare lunch for my coworker and myself, and I finally felt that sense of community that food is meant to represent in our culture. The love that food can symbolize between people.

“Now I’m not a big fan of the sauce,” I said to her, a bit insecure (and always a perfectionist). “I’ve done better but it’s fine. Do you like fruity salads?” I asked, jumping around the kitchen. “This is a bit fruitier- maybe too much dressing- but the croutons even it out.”

“Linds,” she said finally- touching my shoulder. “Chill- It’s wonderful. Look at you,” she smiled. “Who knew you could cook?”

I smiled then, I calmed. It’s true. And it was nice to take a moment to realize that I’m at a point where I can prepare foods and judge them based on taste and not calorie count.

I will always be a bit of a perfectionist, tis true, but I win ED today, you sour lil’ bastard.

5 Reasons To Take A Solo Recovery Trip (Or, Ya Know, Just A Solo Trip)

… ‘Cause not everything *really* has to be about your eating disorder.

Likely, we are all recovering from something.

A bad break up, alcohol addiction, divorce, death, loss of job, 20s changes, mid-life crisis, parents aging, you name it.

But after my recent self-proclaimed “recovery trip” to Colorado, here are 5 reasons I will continue to advocate for that total EatPrayLove adventure, and that Wild hike experience:

      Continue reading “5 Reasons To Take A Solo Recovery Trip (Or, Ya Know, Just A Solo Trip)”

Recovery Tip: Body Image String Game

Rehab Truth: A year ago I was given a yarn of string and asked to cut a calculated guess on how “big” I thought my waist was (buttocks included). The following image encases reality vs dysmorphia- the outer string- my guess, the inner string- reality.

Calculating at nearly twice the actual size of my waist, we were asked to again do this with our thighs and our chest. All of which every girl in that room measured with incredible inaccuracy.

RecoveryTip: I carry those strings in my purse everyday- not because I need to feel “thin” but because I need to be reminded of sane.

Body dysmorphia is real folks, and it’s a growing epidemic. Feel free to try- I bet you’ll be amazed.