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.
As we wrap up the first month of 2018, the cliche remains: “Where did the time go?”
How are we so shocked when we look down at the screens of our phones and realize we’re 31 days into a new year.
Where were we the last 31 days? Did we go into a mindless Instagram vortex and disappear?
OR… do I just tell myself that because right now, in this moment, I’m feeling that way.
ANYWAY. I detract.
I know it’s “new year, new you” and all that crap, and many of us are off starving ourselves or worshipping new gym memberships or trying to stick to the belief that are bodies “are fine as is” even when we want to act out… regardless where you’re at, there’s an aspect of these “life changes” that doesn’t get acknowledged or valued enough. And that’s the loss.
The loss of the life you were leading. I know we’re supposed to be all like “YAY recovery life. I don’t want that old life back.”
But, as Mark Manson says, you can’t change or grow without losing a part of yourself. And that loss, even when it happens for a good reason, it hurts. It shapes.
And that’s not even getting into losing something or someone for a bad reason.
Out of the hundreds of emails I read each month seeking recovery or ‘what next’ advice, I’d say nearly 50% relate to loss in some way. Loss of an eating disorder. Loss of a relationship. Loss of family. Loss of career. Loss of friendships. Loss of identity. “Who the hell am I without X?”
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.
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.
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.”
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
Been seeing this Netflix movie ‘To The Bone’ anorexia debate flood my social media feed + inbox the past couple weeks, so I watched it yesterday and thought I’d type up a few thoughts.
I liked it.
As unpopular of an opinion as this might be for some, it’s easy to shit on eating disorder movies because there’s so many reasons why they occur. Not all can be covered in 2 hours. What I will say, though, is that I felt. And I appreciated the following attempts:
They cast a lead male with an eating disorder in treatment. This would not have been done 10 years ago. Thank you.
Predominately showcased Caucasian females, yes, but they cast at least two minorities (one who identifies with LGBT) as leads with an ED. Thank you.
While I would’ve preferred better dialogue on ‘drunkorexia’ or exercise addiction outside of sit ups, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they cast a pregnant girl dealing with pregorexia, a binge eater, and showcased ‘chewing and spitting’. Thank you.
Miscarriage scene. Horrifying. It happens. Thank you.
They included reference to social media pro-anorexia sites. More people need to understand that they exist in masses, and their kids could be on them. Thank you.
”Calorie Aspergers” may not be PC, but if you have a type of anorexia, you know what they’re talking about. Thank you.
They inserted a frustrated sister. Cliche, sure. But, many of us have heard the same from members of our family or friends. Thank you.
The movie depicts insurance issues. And the recidivism rate of eating disorders + treatment. Thank you.
They showed a group of family members fighting over what to do. Scared. Selfish. Tired of her. Feeling like they did this to their child. Tis’ life. It’s not true. But yes, it’s relatable. Thank you.
They exposed manipulations with food. The diet cokes. The smoking. Laxatives. The bags under beds, the sit ups, the arm ring, the cutting off of bread from the fried chicken. Sure, there’s plenty more they could’ve done, but it’s a movie and there isn’t time. Thank you.
The stubbornness of these disorders. The habits we create and repeat time and time again. The locked circle. Thank you.