“But Red Wine Has Antioxidants”: Navigating Alcohol And Anorexia In Today’s World

Every time I sit down to write about eating disorders, I ask myself “what needs to be said, that most are unwilling to share?”

Sometimes, that leads me down a rabbit hole with an unclear end. Occasionally, a seed of perspective develops.

More frequently, a truth emerges (or reemerges) that I’m conveniently escaping.

This share is one of those, and took me two months to write.

Continue reading ““But Red Wine Has Antioxidants”: Navigating Alcohol And Anorexia In Today’s World”

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Thanksgiving Recovery Reminder: Diet Talk

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Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder

I officially live in Denver, y’all.

Garden Life

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:

Blog LH 3.jpg    Blog LH 5.jpg  Blog LH 4  blog LH 1

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.”

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What To Do If Your Homie “Halfway Relapses”

Half a relapse- is there such a thing? I don’t know. I coined it tonight so bear with me.

Relapse is relapse, right? No excuses, no bullshit.

But, like, is it really? Isn’t recovery grey and murky? When do we draw the line? I never know. I have 10-years of eating disorders and 2 years of recovery, so I’m not even going to pretend like I can talk definitively.

There are times however I know I push it in terms of relapsing; times I conveniently put myself in situations where I won’t have the chance to eat for several hours and “can’t” get to food (i.e. the airport- always a prime example. Boarding an 11:50am flight from Dallas back to New York and conveniently not getting in till 5pm eastern time.)

“Oh,” I think to myself. “WHOOPSIE, guess I just skipped lunch!”

oops my bad

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“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.”

mom text

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.

i'm fine

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2 Years Later: The Night I Asked For Help

 

sainty's wedding

Two years ago, I went to a wedding, drank 6 glasses of wine, and wouldn’t take off my coat.

Earlier that day, I binge ate 2 boxes of cereal, threw up- and went straight to the gym with my dad.

I ran for 45 minutes- analyzing how many calories I’d likely thrown up and how many I could continue to burn.

It wasn’t enough.

When my dad came over to the treadmill, he signaled he was ready to go and I hopped off and followed him out of the gym.

We chatted in the car that day, giggled about the latest Bachelorette (because, yes, my father watches The Bachelorette), and when we got home I lurked till he was back in his room before I grabbed the keys and yelled out I was going to “run errands.”

My brother, I was later told, watched me pull out of the driveway and went back to my parents room to let them know I still had my tennis shoes on.

30 minutes later, as I ran cemented to the treadmill, I looked up to find my Dad standing there at the gym entrance- his eyes watching me.

Filled with shame, I stared back as he walked discreetly over to my treadmill.

“Linds” he whispered. “C’mon.”

We didn’t talk much that afternoon. I stayed upstairs with a bottle of wine avoiding my family and getting dressed for the wedding.

Anxious because I hadn’t finished running 12 miles, I hated the way I looked in that dress. I hated how much tighter it felt, I hated my thighs, I hated my arms, I hated my stomach and I wore Spanx that sucked in what was already bloated from purging.

At the wedding, I lingered near the bar.

Please take off your coat, my Mom whispered at some point when I’d gone out on the dance floor with my winter coat zipped to the neck.

I’m cold, I lied.

That night, I got absolutely hammered. I spoke with people I don’t remember talking to but have pictures with, I spent the last hour finding ways to sneak the grilled cheese appetizers in my coat pocket to ”eat later,” and I danced with sweat pilfering through my coat because I wouldn’t take it off.

Wine-dazed and dehydrated, someone drove me home that night and as I walked in the door I heard my Dad call me into the living room.

Shit, I sighed drunkenly. I just wanted my bed and the Cheez Its I’d hidden in the bathroom.

As I walked into the living room, I immediately noticed the two empty boxes of cereal on the coffee table.

Lindsey, he said calmly. What happened to the cereal?

Dunno, I slurred, my face reddening.

Lindsey, he said again- softer. Mom and I counted before you got here and we had 6 boxes of cereal and now we have 4.

I stared at him.

Honey, he whispered. We just love you.

Tears welled in my eyes.

We know, he said. Lindsey we know you need help.

I’m sorry, I heard myself whimper. I’m so sorry.

Did you throw it up? He asked.

I nodded.

My mom shook her head. We have to get help, she said. Lindsey you can’t keep living like this. We can’t live like this.

I don’t want to, I mumbled. I just can’t stop.

Let us help, my dad pleaded. Let us get you help.

I nodded. I didn’t care anymore.

I was done.
Continue reading “2 Years Later: The Night I Asked For Help”

Holidaze: Surviving The #Blessed Season With An Eating Disorder

gifffff tgiving

…Because, likely, if you have an eating disorder you love Thanksgiving- but hate Thanksgiving food.

Personally, I have no problem admitting I am the scrooge of Thanksgiving (okay, fine. And Halloween… Costumes and Body Dysmorphia just DO NOT fly with me no matter if I dress like a slutty nurse or a Pentecostal nun.)

Anyways…

Give me your pilgrims, your Indians, your Thanksgiving Charlie Brown VHS, The corporate Vacation Days, Family small talk, The sweet smell of doughy rolls-

But my God, keep your stuffing, your pecan pie, your cranberry sides, your corn pudding like 1000 feet away from me.

thanksgiving 21

There are times I wish I could use a get-out-of-jail-free card on my eating disorder; Thanksgiving is one of them.

If it were up to me, I’d sit at the ”kid table” far far away from the buffet of food and play airplane while someone feeds me a spoonful of carrot mash alongside my cousin’s 1-year old.

airpline food

Alas, recovery- however- doesn’t exactly approve of carrot mash (although it might just  be the ONE food item I actually don’t know the calorie count on…)

Anywho, despite my silent protesting- Thanksgiving feast occurs again- as it did last year and the year before etc., etc.

Continue reading “Holidaze: Surviving The #Blessed Season With An Eating Disorder”

Rehab Truth: See Ya Orthorexia

Remembering tonight that 2 years ago pineapples had “too much sugar,” strawberries had “too many pesticides.” iceberg lettuce held “not enough nutrients,” soy sauce had “too much sodium,” cashews had “too much fat,” and quinoa salmon patties held “too much olive oil and breadcrumbs.”

2 years ago I ate like a rabbit- I picked and sorted and moved and analyzed. I could binge eat a box of cereal yet not eat a sweet potato because “carbs.” I wouldn’t eat a bowl of fruit because “natural sugar” but would binge drink a bottle of wine at happy hour. My orthorexia was a mad woman in my brain- and I was miserable.

2 years later, I’m sober; I’m cooking every meal- and I’m realizing that I enjoy it (something I never thought possible). I’m googling what sounds interesting and coming up with Asian lettuce chicken wraps and quinoa patties and homemade yogurt parfaits.

Im feeling useful to myself and I’m taking care of my body. I’m eating foods that I once deemed inedible and finding myself full and content on a level that doesn’t give me massive anxiety (I.e. My mind screaming: run it off you lazy bitch)

In short, I’m waving goodbye to the pieces of orthorexia that still remain as I enter this sober side of my life. I didn’t comprehend how much of me was still skewed by this ridiculous logic of my eating disorder brain.

Orthorexia is a real deal. People discredit it because our culture is unhealthy in nature, but taking clean eating too far is real. It’s obsessiveness and habit-forming in the same way bulimia and anorexia are. It carries the same warped values and illogical patterns.

As I continue down my sober epitome, I find myself waving goodbye to a part of my existence that just didn’t make sense, and thankful to be cooking- even if it means I’m not necessarily the girl with the most “fun” stories from the weekend anymore.

I’m content living this way lately. I’m content cooking- sometimes successfully, other times not so much (my potatoes are always undercooked-ugh) but hey- I’m learning. And I’m sober. And I’m finding a happiness that’s consistent- and that’s all I could ask for tonight.

Cheers-

One Month Sober Sally

 

sober linds

1 month sobaaa!

You never know how much wine is a part of your life till you let it go. In 31 days, I’ve gone to a wedding, baby shower, client meeting(s), office party, bar (x3), Halloween, had bad days, good days, happy hour, meetups, brunch, a 3-hour ex “what went wrong” phone call, and multiple Friday night Netflix reruns:

And the truth is I don’t regret any of them. It’s hard to not drink, and it’s hard to eat sober in public with an eating disorder – I thought after a month my skin would look superb and my growing crows feet less rigid- but alas, neither has happened thus far. Assumed that perhaps all the clarity I ever needed about life would come as well- but looks like I’m still working on that too. The beautiful part, however, is that I feel good. I feel healthy when I run. I feel talented right now and productive and mostly, honest.

Working on my eating disorder in the most active way I’ve ever known. I’m pushing myself to be uncomfortable- truly uncomfortable- being sober at times is handling discomfort, and I’m learnin’ how to sit with it.

Got no time limit on sobriety- but for now, I’m incredibly pleased and thankful to be doing this <3

The Truth About Being A Millennial Drunkorexic

This is Rehab Day 15:

And you’re sitting on the Renfrew community couch writing your best friend a letter when Lilly comes in and lays down beside you.

I’m bored, she mumbles- her limp hair falling in her face.

Got a book? You ask, barely looking over.

Read them all.

Wanna play a game?

God no. She makes a face. But I do wanna get drunk.

You grin. Me too.

Like stupid drunk, she says. Like blow some shit up drunk.

You put down your letter. Okay, well that escalated, you pause. But yes, I’d love a Pinot Noir.

She scoffs. You and your rich girl sorority shit. She sticks out her pinky and pretends to hold a champagne flute. Oh yes sir, she mimics. I’ll have a touch of the Rosé if you could ever be so kind.

You can’t help but smile. It’s not really like that, you know. I drink the same way you do, Lil.

Out of a bag?

You snort. Okay well no, not usually. But it’s happened.

You think back to college frat parties. Slapping the Franzia bags.

It’s all the same, you say. Everyone just trying to reach some place they can forget.

She waves her hand at this. I just mean you don’t really strike me as the type to get all that drunk.

You’d be surprised, you admit. Got myself a DWI a few years ago. Bet ya didn’t know that?

Her eyebrows raise. That’s actually pretty shocking- yeah.

Was for my parents too.

So you’re a drunk then?

No, you say. Not conventionally anyway.

Ah- more like a desperate housewife?

Something like that.

One too many glasses of wine a night?

A medicinal drunk, I’d call it. I don’t really need it; just prefer it.

A medicinal drunk. Nice, she grins lazily. I’ll use that in our next AA.

Go for it, you say. I’m taking a break from it once I’m out anyway.

From AA, she asks. Or alcohol?

Both, you say- scratching your head.

God, you think to yourself. You’re almost positive this couch has lice. You just know it.

I need to anyway, you say- trying to forget about the lice.  I drink to not eat so it’s not really something I should keep doing.

She rolls her eyes. Yeah- alright then, she says- plopping her hairy legs in your lap.

You look down. Have they literally not let you shave since you got here?

3 months, she says. But yeah, we’ll see about that no alcohol thing.

What do you mean?

I’m just saying it’s hard, she pauses. I’ve been in and out of treatment more times than I can count and it’s hard to give up all your vices. You’re already dealing with your eating shit, she says. And you’re doing a good job with that- so just go with it.

And I’m not smoking, you add in smugly.

Yeah well, she pauses. Don’t get all holier than thou. She lays her head back on a pillow- her tangled headphones on her chest. I just think it’s harder than you know, to be back in the world and sober. She nestles one of the earbuds in her ear. Even if you are some yuppy bitch from Dallas, you’ll want to go out with your friends.

You smile. Thanks for the advice.

But she’s already lost in her world of Wu Tang Clan.

Leaning your head against the wall that day, you wonder if she’s right.

You wonder if you even mean it:

It takes you 2 years to realize, you didn’t.

Continue reading “The Truth About Being A Millennial Drunkorexic”