Tell me hunny

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Throw up my life into a paper cup
Tell me hunny, do I look good enough?
Hit the ground, I’m never getting up
Tell me hunny, how’s my makeup look?

Shatterred in pieces but I’m doing fine
I’ll take a drag and ill walk that line
Between who I am and who I’m becoming
This isn’t the end but it feels like it’s coming

I’m hiding myself from no one but me
Crimson red paint that’s dripping around me
Down on me knees, looking up at the sky
Is it raining tonight or is it the tears in my eyes?
I’m hiding myself from no one but me
Turn off all the lights I dont want to see
The girl in the mirror she’s screaming at me
Saying she’s sorry, I’m sorry, to me.

 

 

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There is more to life…

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There’s more to life than striving for a specific body type. There’s more to life than waking up every morning and immediately thinking about what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner…or if you’ll even eat any of those meals at all. There’s more to life than standing in front of a mirror and picking apart your body until all you see are flaws and abnormalities that truly are not there. There’s more to life than knowing how many calories are in a cup of black beans or if that apple has more than 100 calories in since it’s a little bigger than the palm of your hand. There’s more to life than pinching your skin and telling yourself how unattractive you are. There’s more to life than compulsively exercising and jumping on the latest fad diet. There’s more to life than weight loss supplements and dietary restrictions. There’s more to life than changing your outfit 5 times before you leave the house only to still hate yourself when you leave. There’s more to life than taking 75 selfies just to pick one to post on social media that really…you’re settling for because there’s something off about your hair, or shirt, or skin, or whatever it is you’re analyzing that minute. There’s more to life than being afraid to eat a doughnut or a cupcake. There’s more to life than tracking the amount of carbs, protein, fat, and sugar are in every meal you eat. There’s more to life than making sure everything you just ate, comes back out on your time despite the negative side effects that maybe you are overlooking. There’s more to life than looking down and hating that your stomach protrudes out a little bit when you lean forward, which is a totally normal and healthy thing for your body to do. There’s more to life than having a damn thigh gap. There is more to life than fear.

There is more to life than anorexia.

Blogmas day 14: Listening to my gut

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Tonight I got offered to spend the night at my friend’s house. I have done this before seeing as he and I are exes and still very good friends. There was no hidden intent behind the invite, he and I are just very close and there’s still some unresolved feelings, but we’re in a good place. I really wanted to say yes, I really did. I like sleeping at his house and waking up with him. It has never failed to make me happy.

I had this nagging feeling to say no though. I tried ignoring it, tried figuring out why I was having that gut feeling, but I couldn’t figure it out. I try very hard to listen to those feelings though so I did opt out and he was happy to take me home. It was ultimately my choice so he was fine with whatever I chose.

On our way out the door though, it hit me. The last time I had slept at his house was the night I got put into a very uncomfortable, still unidentifiable, situation with a guy I had just met. A lot happened that night and I think my mind was trying to protect me from likely having a nightmare. My friend’s house is now associated with that night, not entirely, and often it doesn’t even cross my mind anymore, but it did right then. I’m glad it did, because had it not, I would have spent the night and potentially had a nightmare.

I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. I am very ready to spend the night with him. He’s someone I trust and am comfortable with, but mentally I don’t think I am ready to be vulnerable again. I don’t think I’m ready to sleep there again yet. He is not a bad memory. He is not a bad thing of any sort. He is my safe place. He is my comfort zone. Mentally, I just don’t think I’m ready to sleep there again yet.

It sucks, it really does, but I’m working on it. I have goals. I have counseling. I will be okay. He is so supportive and so patient with me. He is too understanding and kind to me and I am so grateful for him. I hope he sticks around through all of this because he is someone I don’t want to lose because of something someone else did to me.

Blogmas Day 10: The struggle between looking “too skinny” and looking “too fat”

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So here’s the thing…

I look back on old photos of myself, old videos, read old documents I wrote and saved to a hidden file on my computer, and I think to myself, that girl was so damn broken. She was so hurt. So fucked up. I found videos of me singing and I looked so skinny. So underweight, but nobody saw. Nobody noticed. Likely because I hid it well, but still. I found old documents that listed everything I wanted to change about me physically.Β  That entire list was nothing but me saying I wanted every single part of my body to be free of fat and to be trimmed and toned. I remember being scared of an apple. An apple. They have, what, 100 calories in them? I was such a mess. I was so broken.

When other people think of someone in recovery, they assume it means that person wants to be skinny. That person looks back on old photos and misses that body. That is not true for me, and probably for a lot of people in recover.Β When I think of that time period, I get sad. I get upset that I was that girl. I get upset that part of me still behaves in that way and part of me does not want to let go of the eating disorder because I identify with it.

Being in recovery for me is so confusing. The reason being, my brain is not completely healed, it may never be. So, while part of me wants to be skinny, is afraid of gaining weight, the other part of me is also terrified of looking too skinny again, of looking underweight again. There’s also this part of me that is just as scared about looking too heavy, overweight, etc. I am very confused and lost and this is a daily battle that I will likely face on and off for the rest of my life. If I manage to be a lucky one who fully recovers, great, but that’s rare. I get that, but I want to be further in recovery than I am and for the life of me, I can’t wait until the day comes when I can just be comfortable in my damn skin and see things in a way that goes beyond calories, image, social acceptance, etc.

I just want to be done with this, even though being done with this is one of the most terrifying things I have ever had to face.

First day of treatment: Blogmas Day 5

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Today was my first day of “official” eating disorder treatment. I wasn’t going to blog much about today because I felt like this was a very personal topic that doesn’t belong in a Blogmas post, but screw it.

I have been battling with anorexia/bulimia since I was 12. I started treatment for that and some other issues when I was 19, but for whatever reason the ED was overlooked and left untreated. That is, until today.

I started seeing a new psychologist about a year ago (on and off, not consistently for a year) for some completely unrelated issues I was having. At that time, the ED was completely in check and I was good. Recently though, a lot of my old ED behaviors and though patterns have come back and seeing as I never really went into ED treatment, I never learned about the ED. I never learned coping skills or the why of it all. I just kind of taught myself how to live with it and go about my life.

Due to my recent slipping back into the ED, my new psychologist has decided to do ED treatment, which is about a 20 session program. Today was session 1 of that treatment, as I did very well. I learned how the process will work, why it has to work that way, and was told what things we will be targeting throughout the treatment. I’ll be learning about nutrition, coping skills, how to properly handle any strong urges I have. We’re going to target my anxiety over food/body image and talk through my thoughts. I’m actually quite excited for this process because I’m going to learn so much about myself and how to go about my life happier and healthier.

So far, I am doing very well. I am a very motivated patient and I am already eating a wide variety of foods. A lot of my problems lie in the visual aspect of food, partial restriction, and the urges I get to purge when I feel full or stressed out in general. So, as the treatment progresses we will target those areas along with others and I will continue to grow and do well because that’s my only choice. There is no option B, there is only Option A.

How I get through Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It’s full of love, laughter, family, and of course…food. The word many of us genuinely fear going into that third Thursday of November. I think Thanksgiving will always cause a little bit of a spike in my anxiety, but I also know a few ways to get through that day and end it with a smile and a mind full of peace instead of fear.

For me, the part of Thanksgiving that caused me the most anxiety was actually the variety of food and the build up of my mom cooking everything and laying it all out on the table. I wasn’t so much scared by the visual of the food, but the anticipation leading up to it and the idea that I would be putting so many calories into my body. Keep in mind though, “so many calories” for me meant consuming maybe 200 calories as my meal.

That being said, this is how I make it through Thanksgiving.

  1. I remain aware of how much I am eating. However, I do not mean this in the sense of caloric intake, but rather the physical amount of food and how my body feels while eating it. I remain intuitive to when I feel like I am getting full or when I know I am full and I put the fork down there and say I’m done. I respect my body and I do not worry about other people may be thinking.
  2. I am also aware of when my anxiety is telling me I’m full and when my body is actually physically full. They are two very different feelings. The anxiety based feelings are more thought based. For example, I’ll be thinking “That’s a lot of food” or “There has to be a lot of calories in this Turkey, I think I can be done”. When I’m actually physically full though, it’s less of a mental thought process and more of a feeling in my stomach. A feeling that I finished my plate of food and my body feels satisfied. It takes time to learn the difference, and I still struggle with it sometimes to be honest, but that is something that has really helped me get through my family meal.
  3. I eat slowly. This is probably the most important part for me. I used to rush through my Thanksgiving meal because I just wanted to get it in my body without thinking about it. I wanted to show my family that I was totally fine, there were no problems, I was eating and smiling, but IΒ HATEDΒ that I was eating “so much food”. So instead of savoring it, I shoved it down and either forced it back up or got very depressed and anxious over it. So now, I purposely take my time with my food. I put a little bit of everything I want on my plate and I eat it slowly. I savor it. This gives my body time to process what I’m putting into it and time for my brain to tell me “hey you’re full”. It gives me time and when I eat slower, I actually end up eating better because I’m much more engaged in conversation and paying less attention to getting the food from the plate to my mouth, which in turn reduced my anxiety and ED related thoughts.
  4. I remind myself when I am finished eating that all I did tonight was nourish my body. I gave it what it needs to fuel my brain, my muscles, my organs, to keep me alive and healthy. I remind myself that I ate a normal amount of food and I pride myself on staying calm. If I start to have thoughts of purging, I again remind myself that all I did tonight was eat. I did what everyone does on Thanksgiving and that is perfectly okay. Throwing up will hurt the body that works so hard to keep me alive and I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to hurt the thing that keeps me going. I want to protect it. If I start to feel worried that “everyone’s going to see how much I ate”, I remind myself that you don’t gain 10 pounds over night and your body doesn’t change over night. I will look no different the next morning, and if I do, it’s probably just bloating and that is natural occurrence of the human body.

So, that is how I get through Thanksgiving. I hope this helps someone and if you have any tips for me or want to share how you personally get through Thanksgiving while in recovery/post recovery, I’d love to hear what you have to say. πŸ™‚

We’re approaching Thanksgiving

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When everyone is excited for Thanksgiving and you’re just sitting there like…uuhh…nope.

I like Thanksgiving. I really do like the holiday. I think it’s a day to cherish your family and friends, to be grateful for what you have and not dwell on the things you don’t. I think Thanksgiving is about so much more than stuffing your face with so much food that you physically feel like you’re going to throw up. I always liked Thanksgiving, just not every part of it.

Coming together over food is really just a cultural thing. It’s something we as humans enjoy doing, chatting and eating, eating and chatting, it’s a great time to catch up and to laugh and to reminisce on good times. For me though, coming together over food was always anxiety inducing. I was always very scared of ordering the wrong thing at a restaurant or having food stuck in my teeth or eating sloppily or dropping/spilling something. That was the social anxiety in me.

The eating disorder came about when I was around 12, and Thanksgiving just got harder and harder as the years progressed. I remember seeing all of the food on the table and thinking “okay, I just need to eat a little bit and nobody will think anything”. So that’s what I did. I ate some turkey, some potatoes, some corn, and a bit of cranberry sauce. And every bite I took lead to the thought of “am I full yet?”. Then, when I felt full, I felt gross and I would go throw up my food or I’d curl up in my bed with my knees to my chest and think about everything I ate and how my body has changed and what I look like now. I was very scared of those very low calorie foods. I was very involved with the eating disorder as well as some body dysmorphia.

So, Thanksgiving has really never beenΒ easyΒ orΒ excitingΒ for me. At least, it hasn’t in a while. I’ve gotten so much better over the past few years. This will be my 3rd Thanksgiving where I feel less afraid of the food that my mom will make for my little family of 4. I know that last Thanksgiving I ate an entire plate of food and two pieces of pie. I felt some guilt immediately after and the following day I definitely felt those body dysmorphia symptoms, but overall I had very little urges to throw up, very few urges to restrict the following day. I was able to tell myself that what I’m feeling is the ED talking and the anxiety talking. I was able to push through those feelings and really enjoy my Thanksgiving, the food my mom made, and know that it was going to be okay. I knew I wasn’t going to gain ten pounds over night or thatΒ  my body was going to suddenly look ten pounds heavier in the mirror.

I did very well last Thanksgiving, so here’s to having an even better holiday this year.