holy batman.

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.

all love,
carissa

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“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

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/

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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.

http://yoganonymous.com/how-yoga-changes-your-body-starting-the-day-you-begin-infographic/

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 –

c

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even if.

even if this post sucks and rambles or is non existent and lacking in its quality or substance – i have to say – something.

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treatment and recovery are hell.

it is brutal, depressing, confusing, unnecessary and awful and i am always full, sad, anxious and getting fat.

i don’t want to do it anymore. i want to do yoga. i want to be skinny. i want to purge. i don’t want to “die to my old self”. i want to be free.

i want to be alone.

it is all i care about for some reason. and i need to figure out why.

but in order to figure that out i have to put life, happiness, flat abs, human interaction, distractions of all forms and freedom on hold.

eating disorders are like pac men of the soul (and body).

get me out of here.

the end.

sincerely,

Ed

what in the …

hi guys,

so some of you have been following along on my journeying around the west coast, to finland, back again then recent unexpected sudden return home. its been a very interesting last couple of years to say the least. although there have been some truly good times with absolutely unbelievable people and events – the truth is that i have trying to outrun a debilitating eating disorder.

i’m just starting to come to terms with the severity of the disease by starting to take a step back and looking at the wreckage and path of reckless destruction it has left in its wake. it is a long, interesting tale that varies between anorexic behaviors, incredibly lonely periods of bulimia and more recently a close call with reaching the brink of permanently destroying my body and mind through excessive exercise and restriction.

my irrational and fearful mind has been trying very hard to break free from the daily mental hell by moving, running and fighting to get back to the days of clear thinking bliss. it has been nothing short of confusing, scary and sad.

after finally being fed up, i went to finland on a quest for healing – to get back to my regular, happy, healthy self.

i found my peace through the power of exercise and the mental salvation of yoga.

unfortunately, people affected with this disease often have a tendency for excess which resulted in losing 20 lbs in 6 months. (they also have been known to crack their knuckles, have social anxiety and a history of escaping to europe, burning out and coming back – seriously).

all my hair started falling out, i lost my period but i was under the illusion that it was to do with something other than my eating disorder. I had thought that I had made a lot of progress by leaving my self destructive behaviors behind in the States and was just incredibly active and ate incredibly healthy now, right? wrong.

although, i tried to start gaining weight so that i could keep up with my new found love yoga (and have a pair of pants that fit) the weight loss continued and with it the deterioration of my mind and choices. i started got the chance to start working as a kindergarten teacher and absolutely loved it however i had become so underweight that my cognitive abilities and focus were (and still are) significantly diminished.

it became so hard to focus at work (took me 10 minutes to wipe down a table) yet i couldn’t stop utilizing the gym as a way to break free from the constant stress, worry and anxiety about food and weight. my life was a constant state of shakey nervousness and obsession – it was incredibly difficult to be social or be anywhere other than my church – aka the gym.

things spun more and more out of control but i couldn’t see clearly that i was killing myself. thankfully to a few amazing friends that saw my illness, physical and mental state decreasing – i finally looked into getting help and decided to come home where health care and family would hopefully help me to understand what was happening.

upon my arrival (really not sure how i even made it on my own) my phenomenal family was waiting with open arms – even after years of horrible, impulsive decisions impacting us all.

since being home I have thankfully been checked into a partial hospitalization outpatient eating disorder treatment program and finally don’t have to be alone in fighting this demon anymore. i am more grateful than words could say.

currently weighing in at 94 lbs (up a few lbs from my worse state), my resting pulse is 48 (a male athletes should be around 60), can wrap my hand around my bicep, barely able to focus for even a short conversation, am incredibly nervous and obsessive around food and am in constant state of feeling like im on a spaceship. there is nothing funny or cool about this. i have been so disorientated and the only thing i have been able to think about or focus on is food. i haven’t even really been able to listen to music anymore which is probably the saddest thing in the world.

the effects of semi-starvation are incredibly real and the doctors have helped to explain some of my weird behaviors through a study that was done in WWII on a group of men:  http://matchstickmolly.tumblr.com/post/3261188113/starvation

although today was my first day of recovery, i am already feeling extremely hopeful. it will be a very long journey before my health and mind restored – but being in amazing hands with an incredibly supportive family around me makes it finally clear that i don’t have to move, run or fight this demon in my head on my own anymore ( but that suddenly clear thinking might just be from all the food they are feeding me).

eating disorders have nothing to do with food or weight. they are tools of control that usually mask something much bigger and deeper and often help guide us to finding our purpose and what we are truly here to do. Exercise (even though I am banned from doing any right now), yoga and meditation have already shown me that there is a part of me that is untouched by all this, a part of me that is infinite, perfect and beautiful (and guess what, it is within you guys too! 🙂 ).

sorry if this bums any of you out that like to think that my life is rainbows and sunshine, but i find it far more important and fulfilling to be real since i am certain now that i am not alone in having this internal sadness and emotional hunger that is creates an inability to deal with reality. if any of this rings true with any of you, or if you have struggled with this or any other type of mental suffering and pain – know that you aren’t alone. the moment you surrender and let others in is the moment you can finally get the tools you need to break free and find the inner peace you so seriously deserve.

back to work at crazy girl camp. see you guys in saneland soon ❤

love, peace and joy –

c

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illusion.

the beauty of obsession is that it takes you away from being in the now.

“in obsession your life becomes a movie where you are the star, the director, the producer and everyone else is just a stand in. cardboard props.”

this is what happened to my mind. it became to more difficult to cope with my reality then to be at war with my body so I cheerfully donated 90 – 100% of my thoughts and energy to that.

needless to say, it got exhausting. and boring. and sad.

i was so used to being the happy, life loving girl of my past and knew something had to change.

i couldn’t bare the mental cage i had built and fled. there were a couple people that had come into my life in L.A. that i had let into the hallway of my life rather then immediately shutting the door. one of them was actually pretty perfect – smart, cute, talented, into swords. I probably could have been quite happy with him if I wasn’t already in a deep committed relationship with my sadness and eating disorder.

the other one wasn’t right for me at all but provided interesting enough distraction to push me into making a big change. as i struggled daily, i started to plan my escape. on one of my “better weekends”, i was introduced to an immigration consultant by a lovely friend from overseas. i became desperate to change my hellish reality and get back to “where i was happy” so i was incredibly intrigued with the proposal to marry for a european passport.

i was already down there with the goal of saving up for my student resident permit (requiring 8k in the bank) but was going through such trauma and depression that I started being unable to comprehend sticking it out to save that up.

in my diseased state of mind i thought: yaay! the answer to my prayers! an italian gucci model that i can marry for citizenship so i can get back to happyhealthy land! he would get to live in LA, become a star and i would get my ticket to freedom. it was perfect!

fortunately (/unfortunately), i found out after already getting the paperwork and looking up local chapels that it wouldn’t really work since we would both be required to live in the same country. shit.

so instead, i started dating Fabio. maybe because he was different from the LA types, had the fire and passion for life that I used to have or maybe it was because he barely spoke English. anyway, it was brief relief and made it seem like LA was a bit more bearable. however when you start off a new relationship confused, then date someone so incredibly different from yourself – you are bound to look in the mirror one day to the realization that you have a spray tan, fake nails and hair extensions and are everything you ever hated… so that fell apart.

i had finally had enough. i knew that i was capable of happiness, just not there. with the inspiration of the italian star-to-be who came over without a plan, i packed up for somewhere more me. i had loved living in europe, minus the whole being an immigrant thing, and thought that perhaps there was somewhere in the US that I could try to be happy in before jetting back across the pacific. i was so desperate for a “sign” of where to go that when i encountered an amazing band with rad, real girls and they told me that Portland was “much more my style” I decided to go try there.

i convinced my landlord to let me out of my lease a month early. i stopped going to work. i went to the doctor to try to get some sort of medical leave so i would have some sort of income but just ended up bawling the entire time and leaving with no help. the end of my days in L.A. were incredibly dark.

it seemed so strange at the time because even though i was excited about my departure and the happiness that awaited me up north, my anxiety (and correlating disorder) was worsening. my brain felt like molasses. i could barely gather the energy to pack and clean my studio/hell. this just reassured me that i need to get out of there – faster!

thankfully my ex of 7 years/eternal savior/former roommate/life partner helped me hold it together enough to manage to dump all my furniture on the curb and fill my car with all i owned.

needless to say, my parents were concerned. my mom had been along for the ride with my struggles, listened to me cry, called the police when she thought i was dead, tried to help by telling me to be an actress and had finally given in to my idea that moving would make me happy. i gave my dad just enough information to justify my erratic behavior  “well i don’t know dad, i’m just going to move to portland because i hate L.A.” “well, ok i’ve been depressed.” “well, ok i’ve been REALLY depressed and been having eating issues.” “it’s fine, i’m excited. i’ll find a job” “no i don’t really know anybody there but i don’t have any friends here anyway.”

they of course persuaded me to take a break on my way up, be home for a bit. but honestly i was so embarrassed of my mental state that i didn’t want to burden anyone with the unbearability of my presence. even more though i thought they would judge my body and not believe me because i wasn’t even very skinny. the nature of the disorder i had been plagued with by is periods of restriction followed by anxiety induced exces so most people affected with it either normal or 5 – 10 lbs overweight. interesting stuff, huh?

so i passed right by any comfort or support from my family and friends in northern california, headed directly for my “temporary salvation” determined to make myself well. or in retrospect: fall deeper into my black hole.