come visit over there as recovery moves forward!
it’s been a long time since an update.
what beautiful, beautiful things blogs are.
they are like a one stop shop for tracking the progress of our own evolution. i wouldn’t have been able to recall the details of all those painful moments within the last year if it weren’t for being able to sit down in a single sitting and read them all over again.
this quote from a previous post hit home extremely hard:
“i want to be free. i want to have conversations with people and hear what they are saying. i want to do physical activity because it makes me feel good not because i think my body is a problem that needs solving. i want to get in touch with my emotions and stop shutting people out.”
i remember feeling like that girl. locked in a cage. looking for every way out (except the front door). i also remember the girl that posted on august 24th – with all of her hair on the bathroom floor and not a clue in the world as to what was happening and why.
something that lacks from a person suffering with addiction and anxiety (btw – eating disorders lie at the place where these two meet) is that they lose their ability for compassion and empathy. they become disconnected from the world and live only within the painful prison of their mind.
when i sit here today – one year later – i can feel more pain and compassion for my younger, sicker self than i could have ever felt at that moment in time. when i was really living in the painful hell of bulimia – i wouldn’t have been able to cry for someone else. there was me and ed. and that was it.
god has come into my life and set me free. i have absolute faith in that. too many miraculous moments of healing to count or explain. the fact that i am sitting here today, with the state of my current life is an absolute blessing. the fact that i CAN hear when people are talking. the fact that i do move because it feels good. i LOVE my new life and coming home to myself daily is what makes it all worth it. by coming home to myself it means remembering things i like: magenta, the forest, tea, brisk air, baking, FRIENDS, time alone, my puppy, jokes about raccoons. all of the beautiful things life has to offer.
the process of healing – which is still currently taking place and probably always will be – is one of many steps. steps even sound too linear to properly symbolize what recovery feels like.
recovery for me feels like … random moments in time of utter freedom.
– looking into the mirror naked and feeling curvy and womanly rather then disgusted by excess body fat.
– walking down the street with neo, breathing fresh air, looking at the leaves, feeling present and alive.
– skipping a work out to have wine and dinner with a friend
– having a autumn morning pumpkin spice latte – sans guilt.
these seem like small wins. they may even seem unhealthy. but for me they are utter breakthroughs that help me get closer and closer to the people in my life and to knowing the nature of my soul’s desires.
we all have the areas in our life where we are looking for constant external approval. we also have aspects of our character that we condemn or judge. but in reality every single molecule in your body is exactly the way it is supposed to be. everything you love or desire is meant for you.
the farther we can get from the concept of fixing ourselves – the more we lean into gratitude and acceptance and become who we truly are.
you can’t hear your hearts desires if there is too much noise.
peel back the onion.
let go of who you think you should be.
and be gentle and loving to yourself in the process.
that is what recovery feels like to me. like truth and love.
i thank odin, krishna, shanti, buddah and jesus for every second i moment of freedom i breathe in.
don’t give up.
running around, expending energy, gathering it
people that make my heart sing.
it so hard to say good bye.
the key is to feel
let it wash over
fall to your knees if you must.
cry, breathe, mourn
let go – open your eyes.
the sun is shining!
can’t you see?
girl, there in the back
head hung low. shrinking so small
so meek, so quiet.
can’t you see your beautiful?
lift your chest, gaze up
remember that you are stars.
everything is going to be ok
focus on your breath, roll your shoulders down, reach just a bit higher
you are perfect
i see you.
painful amounts of love,
ok so its mid-april. big whoop. it’s been busy and crazy. and amazing. and intense.
i’ve been riding around on a magical carpet of life, love and kombucha since we spoke last.
doing backflips and floating in a sea of cash while simultaneously feeding homeless children.
ok we’ll maybe it hasn’t been quite that dramatic. or even remotely as inspiring. but there has been progress… and that is what is important.
i’d like to thank a special lady for inspiring this post. i got to talk her through her dancers pose on a sunny rooftop in overlooking all of seattle today, read her blog after and felt compelled to come back home to return to my writing roots. so hi, hows it going?
i know this blog turned into a bit of an eating disorder tale as i used it as a means of journaling throughout treatment.
and as much as that was a part of where i was – it isn’t where i am or how i define myself now. i am more aware than i have been in a long time and realize that wherever i choose to put my focus is exactly what i will create. with that in mind: i am more healthy, strong, and accepting of myself than ever before. ED is reminding me that i must point out that through this journey of recovery i have put on a good … 30 lbs…. since returning home, going to treatment and rediscovering my love for chocolate (and even pizza !!?!). does that mean i am at my healthiest? well much healthier than i was when all my hair was falling out. does that mean that i have healed my relationship with food, body or weight? nope. but it means that i am where i need to be and i am going to love the shit out of where ever i just so happen to be. this goes for whichever demon of a number that chooses to show itself on silver scale that determines my worth on the bathroom floor (sarcasm) or whether it be that silly number in my bank account that tells me just exactly how much i have been spending on yoga/pants/training and coffee. i am ok with all of it. and im not sure why.
i wanted to check in and say that – i love strong, funny women with a passion for pursuing life. i love late nights with myself, wine and ram dass movies. and that i graduate yoga teacher training tomorrow. im not exactly sure what that means. i am growing roots. getting to know myself. and learning to love myself and others a little more each day.
till the next time.
it’s been a while.
and a while it’s been.
not sure where we last left off. probably about a month and half ago and 10 lbs lighter ago?
not that the latter information is pertinent whatsoever. well, unless your name is Ed. then it is very pertinent.
“she asked me a lot of very pertinent questions”)
so that would be the major shift that has taken place recently on my eating disorder recovery journey – acknowledging that I have one and then starting to distinguish between my healthy voice and my annoying, abusive roommate that lives in my head – Ed.
Ed is freaking nuts. Ed sold my car, flew me across the planet, locked me in a gym and continuously tries to convince me that my worth is determined by the size of my thighs. He is also the one that tells me I can’t function or think unless I do two hours of intense yoga, kickbox or run my ass off. He also finds it quite amusing to make the majority of my thoughts, feelings and habits focus around food – namely food I am not allowed to have. No wonder my self esteem has plummeted and I lost all drive, focus and creativity in my life – I’ve been in an extremely abusive relationship which has smashed my spirit and starved my soul.
Luckily, I have some amazing friends and therapists that have been trying their hardest to turn on the light in the dark room of my mind and point out all of the betrayal and lies the sick side of my mind has been feeding me. Turns out I do deserve to live a full life and that I do not need to be rail thin in order to be loved.
So details – Although I have yet to go a full week without exercising I have managed to reintroduce “scary foods” and because my metabolism was so run down with my body being in semi-starvation mode I was able to pack on the pounds quite quickly. This is good because it means I can get back in the gym soon! (pretty sure that was Ed speaking there). My dietician and therapist have been slowly picking apart my “religion of thinness” and bringing my twisted world-view into my awareness.
I felt the need to write today because now that I am at a “healthy weight” (although still dealing with amenorrhea and bradycardia), I still deal with a lot of anxiety at meal time, my thoughts are still consumed by food and exercise and I still feel like I am in a prison I can’t escape. Today I was working at the yoga studio – even though my dietician thinks its like a recovering alcoholic working in a bar (side note: i did apply for a job at a bakery, welcome to the black and white thinking of a bulimic) – and I was going to take the 9 am Hatha Flow class (probably punishment for last nights first glass of egg nog in years) but it was full so I decided to lock up the studio and go on a quick run around Petaluma while the class was in session. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a run and now that my thighs are jiggling again, I am sure it won’t do much harm – regardless to the fact that the people in charge of restoring my weight strongly advise against any cardio whatsoever. Anywho, I decide it won’t hurt and it will help distract me from my compulsive thinking about muffins at above mentioned bakery – so I get on my headphones, rocking tunes and bright pink tennies and hit pavement. Awwwww. The familiar release of seratonin, the brisk cold Northern California winter wind upon my face, the beautiful blue heron on the town center lake and that beautiful, bright shiny sun beaming down. Finally, I feel free again. I try my best not to look at my chubby tummy in the town shop windows as I pass by feeling light and beautiful.
This is what recovery is, running.
It is also impromptu yoga sessions on walks at Lake Ralphine after delicious, energizing lunches:
Unfortunately, as my body is getting healthier and stronger my desire to push it physically increases simultaneously.
I say unfortunately because after that brief moment of freedom – running with my music – my heart began to ache.
Literally. I felt its weak beat trying to keep up with my over zealous attempt to push it once again.
My disorientation returned, I felt scared lost and “ill”. 25 minutes. That was all it took to put myself back in that scary, familiar detached reality of a body struggling to keep up with a manic mind and restricted eating.
Recovery is a tricky, tricky path. My eating disorder continuously psyches me out. I am certain I look well and feel well enough to jump back on the pavement and begin to cut out carbs again – but obviously I am not there yet. I need to figure out how to find the feeling of lightness, freedom and peace without the destruction of my bodily temple.
Anyway. That was my day. I ate a tempeh sandwich and finally started feeling less “out of it”. But the battle continues.
Off to support group with the girls that can help me to keep my butt in the chair and chin up.
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
ain’t that the truth.
mkay, i guess if i’m going to do this blogging thing during this whole recovery process – should do it in a consistent manner rather than just once in a while in a low mood.
a low mood is a good way to describe what diving into the depths of an eating disorder feels like.
the reason i don’t want to blog or begin to blog is because there is way too much to say / explain.
not to mention that to even begin to explain the complex mental and physical side affects that imbalances like eating disorders cause would take a year. but man are they interesting. luckily, im no longer doing things for other people.
im writing this for me. and maybe for the slight chance that it will help enlighten or guide someone else to finding their own journey to recovery and healing. from what to where are both variable – they all lead from hell to home and that is what matters. or something?
i read a cool blog yesterday (beginning of every lame conversation ever) that laid out a semi simple digestible intro – http://learningtoloveimperfection.wordpress.com/articles-essays/
so if you ( reader) can do the background research to get a slight idea as to where i ( & the amazing girls i am recovering beside) are coming from it would help motivate me to open up on here and journal about this journey.
or not. either way.
today was mostly crying, rolling around on tennis balls and chatting with semi-gurus.
family therapy with mom is always interesting. i started crying as they ganged up on me and tried to justify the reasoning behind their fears for my new job. in my quest for recovery from bulimia i had found yoga and started practicing ridiculous amounts. to the point of death actually. the mat had become the only safe place from my mind and i slammed it hard with my body day in and day out in the search for salvation and inner peace but came out weak, confused and nearly dead.
it wasn’t just from yoga obviously. it was in combination with an orthorexic diet, additional hours of cardio, weights and an isolated lifestyle. but ANYWAY. i guess that was why my treatment center wasn’t super stoked when they cut down my hours because my pulse had raised out of it’s prior state of bear hibernation and told me that i could look for some part time work and i came back with a karmic work trade agreement with a yoga studio. they shouldn’t be worried though. they have done a damn good job of getting me out of starvation mode by packing the fat quickly and efficiently onto my slowly metabolizing body and it would be virtually impossible to return to my previous level of anorexic fitness just through yoga. and anyway im just sitting behind the desk checking in other happy yogis and earning hours toward a teaching certification course.
the main reason they don’t want me there is because for the first time in my life i have set apart 3 months of self analyzation immersion and actually have a chance to break the destructive cycle of my past through sitting with difficult emotions and not numbing them with anything. THAT is why they force me to eat entire plates of “bad” food, not just so that my body returns to “normal” but so that it takes away the power of distraction that i have allowed food, body image and exercise to consume. i want to be free. i want to have conversations with people and hear what they are saying. i want to do physical activity because it makes me feel good not because i think my body is a problem that needs solving. i want to get in touch with my emotions and stop shutting people out.
anyway, i’m not sure where i was going with all this or who i am even writing it to but the journey to freedom from addiction is a dark one. i don’t know if i can let go of the salvation that i still feel yoga can offer – in a balanced and much more beautiful way. maybe that is the point though, to get to the place where we don’t need “saving” but just in accepting and being where we are. even if that place and space happens to be taken up for less then perfect thighs.
these are all symbols by the way. food, exercise, obsession – they are all symbols of things like nourishment, self love, worth and more importantly they serve as a poignantly beautiful shield meant to keep the world out.
it isn’t working and the only way out is through true and utter surrender. either that or death.
on a lighter note: here is an article about nothing.
hopefully these posts will get better as they go but if not im pretty sure there are some other websites out there.
hugs, love and hips –