Tag Archives: determination

This Girl

10 Oct

This girl is crying. And it hurts, but feels so damn good.

This girl is unbearably sad. But somehow believably hopeful.

This girl is caught between being scared of the darkness, yet feeling terror at walking into light.

This girl wants to run again.  Into the light. Feel the road beneath her feet, know the wind will carry her through, allow the caress of the deep blue sky to settle upon her rhythmic pounding. How she misses that…

This girl needs to heal first. To go deep again, make up for the months of just surviving on the surface. The months of starving her life away. The months of forgetting loved ones and consuming herself in her own self destruction.

This girl wants to dance. Even more. With and without people. Dance while sitting perfectly still. Shake her soul through life.

This girl wants to feel joy. That feeling of security, that nothing could possibly go wrong.

This girl wants to feel comfort again. To wrap up in fluffy blankets, settle down with mugs of tea, be okay with silence. To stand on the edge and know that there will be no fall. To allow warmth of hugs to bind her soul tighter and remind her of the goodness wrapped inside her chest.

This girl wants to give love again. And her list includes herself.

This girl wants to know her spirit is beautiful and her mind is at peace. That life will be okay no matter what.

This girl doesn’t want these things stolen again. There is a monster that lurks inside.

This girl won’t let them be stolen again.

This girl is strong. This girl will fight. This girl will cry. This girl will remember. This girl will change. This girl will breathe. This girl will eat. This girl will pray. This girl will learn. This girl will feel. This girl will give.

This girl… has too much to live for.

Yellow Brick Recovery Road

26 Sep

As I read my daily meditation for mindful eating this morning, it had a wonderful quote that has really helped me pull back from the struggle I’ve been having for the past several weeks and I thought I’d share it.

“What saves man is to take a step. Then another step. It is always the same step, but you have to take it.”

           – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and poet

 What words of wisdom. Often times, when I’m struggling with my eating disorder, I feel overwhelmed and helpless. Through the tears, I beg someone to save me, give me some way out of the constant mental struggle. But deep down, I know another can never bring me out the anorexia- only I can. I know the step I need to take in order to keep going on the recovery path better than anyone else. My support team can help me along the road, but they can’t pull me along– I have to take the steps to walk there.

 I often picture the recovery path similar to the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz. Just like Dorothy, I have to battle my anorexia, like the Wicked Witch of the West, but I wish it was as simple as a pail of water. Too bad EDs can’t just melt… that would solve a lot. Instead of flying monkeys, I daily fight off tears, anxiety, and self-negativity. And don’t get me started on the Dark Forest metaphors I have… scales, and calories, and fat… OH MY!!!

 My ED  screeches, “I’ll get you my pretty and your little happiness, too! Hahahaha!” It offers me an escape from the pressure and anxiety of reality- for a few days I’m transported to a Technicolor world filled with fantasy, but also much danger, until I realize, all I really want to do is return to my happy, little Kansas life.

 At the end of these hard periods, though, I find like Dorothy, that the solution was with me all along. Although you could say tapping two ruby slippers together is easier than recovery, the concept is the same. There is no wizard to set you free from self-hatred and body bashing- it’s only an illusion of powerlessness. You can choose to keep walking on the Yellow Brick Recovery Road, like I did this week- reach out to your Glendas, fight your Wicked Witches, and find who you really are.

“Pay no attention to the ED behind the curtain”… the power to walk on is in you alone.

 

Suck on This!

19 Jul

Do not be alarmed by the title of this post. Don’t you fret:

THE FOLLOWING POST HAS BEEN APPROVED FOR

ALL AUDIENCES

BY THE MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, INC.

THE POST HAS BEEN RATED

G

And to start off my perfectly-safe-for-children post, I’m calling the weather in Austin, TX B.S. 

And we all know what B.S. stands for, right?

That’s right…. today(and every other day) is blistery, baking, burning, broiling, blazing and boiling. With a side of sticky, sweaty, sweltering, scalding, scorching, steaming, sizzling, searing, and smoking.

Yes, it’s HOT AS HELL  … I mean “hot as h-e-double hockey sticks.” Come on, we’re keeping it G-rated here.

So with sweat pouring down my back, even in the AC, I thought, “Hoover Dam! It’s a great day for something icy, frosty and cool to drink! ….What’s that ED? Too much sugar you say?

Well, it’s time to be defiant! I don’t care if I die two tablespoons of sugar today. At least I’ll have fun doing it. So shut your piehole! Oh, wait… I forgot pie has too many calories for you. So shut your rice-cake, iceburg lettuce, Splenda hole and go away!”

Striding confidently into the kitchen, I gathered my glass, blender and ice. But then, in my moment of freedom, I had to decide, “Which frozen, frigid concoction to make?” Hmmm…. Oooh, what about Sugar-Honey Iced Tea?


No? Why not? Ugh, ok… G-rated… I get it…

Let’s settle on some nice, mellow Strawberry Lemonade:

Slurpable Strawberry Lemonade (for two!):

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/8 cup turbinado sugar

8 large strawberries

5 1/4 cups water

ice cubes

Combine lemon juice, sugar, strawberries, and 1/4 cup water in blender. Puree until smooth. Fill two glasses with plenty of ice and remaining water. Pour puree into glasses, splitting evenly. Garnish with more strawberries. Slurp! And enjoy!

Yes, that’s real honest-to-God goodness sugar in there, which my eating disorder kicked and screamed at. But, I sucked the whole glass down… and it was delicious. Ha, ED…

I win this time! You can suck my…. uhhh…uhhh…

majic trick?

chick flick?

carrot stick?

oil slick?

adobe brick?

neck crick?

realpolitik?

Fiddlesticks. There’s really no way out of that one….

Defying the Closet Dictator

1 Jul

Yesterday, I was pissed.

It was the first time I got really mad, truly angry, towards my eating disorder. For weeks, I’ve struggled with the familiar feeling of my clothes being too tiny. When sitting, I couldn’t concentrate on a conversation; instead all I heard was the familiar, sinister voice whispering, “Feel that waistband, see how tight is now… you’ve really let yourself go, Erin.”  And in yoga class, my “Ommms” turned into “Ummm…armsaretooflabby.”  I was constantly tugging and readjusting, yet failing to be comfortable. I didn’t feel like me- it felt like someone had kidnapped my body and overnight replaced it with someone 50 lbs. heavier. My already poor body image and fat attacks escalated into tearful breakdowns every few days.

Yet my eating disorder wouldn’t permit me to let go of the anorexic clothes, buy a new wardrobe, and wear sizes that are comfortable. I refused to stop eating and let the eating disorder pull me back into the hellish cycle of restricting, bingeing, and purging. But I also felt FAT, FAT, FAT. I was paralyzed by the dictatorship the ED had over my closet, yet still defiant enough to keep plugging away at my meal plan. I couldn’t move forward in recovery, but I recoiled at the idea of going back.

I felt the creepy, sickening, repulsive voice murmer and breathe down my neck every time I looked in the mirror, opened the closet door, or dressed for the day. It was torture.

And yesterday I finally realized how psychotic my eating disorder is. It was trying to make me fit my body to my clothes, instead of my clothes to my body. It didn’t matter to my ED whether or not in 20 years my bones would be so brittle I couldn’t walk, that I would never have had children because I never got my period again, that my heart would give out after so many years of abuse. It didn’t matter that losing weight to keep my anorexia attire would also mean bringing back the blackouts, the hair loss, the dry skin, the sunken eyes, the hunger pangs, the low pulse, and the hypothermia. My eating disorder is willing to sacrifice my health for the satisfaction of fitting in a size zero.

I won’t deny I still crave to be stick-thin. I look at magazines and envy the models’ slim physiques. Walking down the street, I still constantly compare myself to other girls and wish my legs were longer, my arms were smaller, and my stomach was flatter. But now I understand that my eating disorder skews my view. They probably look at me and think the same thing. I just can’t see it myself.

So I refuse to compromise my health for the insane ideal. My body simply cannot be healthy at a size zero. I can still be thin and a healthy weight, just not emaciated.

In a surge of courage, I silently declared:

I am not nothing. I am not a nobody. I am not a zero.

You will not make me a zero.

And before my eating disorder could recover from the defiant stance I dealt it, I was already gone. Left the ED at home, did not pass GO, did not collect $200, and took the direct route to Goodwill:

I’ll Be There

23 Apr

I saved someone’s life today. Literally.

I was on my way to Barnes and Noble, one of my favorite places to sit and blog. Surrounded by others thinking contemplatively with a Starbucks coffee in their hands, leisurely reading magazines or newspapers, or simply gazing quietly at the amazing selection of books, I feel comforted and tapping out  just feels right. I think there are some places that just have an air of inspiration and I often find I reflect most deeply cradled in the collective written work of so many authors before me.

Today, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. Earlier today, I had mulled around a few thoughts- body image, the struggle of giving up the “size zero ideal,” the feeling of isolation with an eating disorder, a book review… But when I sat down to write, that all seemed unimportant today. Yes, there are huge issues for me and anyone with an eating disorder. But what happened today, changed my perspective and my obsession with staving myself seems silly. Something “clicked” and for right now, I am not in the iron strong grip of the eating disorder voice.

Two minutes after pulling out of the apartment complex, I reached the first stoplight on my drive to the bookstore and I was in a line of several cars. When the light turned green, the line didn’t move. I couldn’t see who was in front, but I figured there was a stall or the driver wasn’t paying attention. Because this particular light is pretty short, people started honking after about 30 seconds of standing still. The entire light cycle went through without any of us moving an inch. Then another light cycle. On the third, the cars in front of me angrily swerved around the first car and I got a glimpse. No flashers on. Hmmm… I thought, that’s sure strange. Slowly, I followed the other cars around the left of the car, but because I wasn’t flying away in anger, I stole a glance to my left to see if anyone was still in the car…

There was.  A young man- at the prime of life. Eyes closed, head slumped over the steering wheel, and no reaction to the loud horns before… OH MY GOD!

I couldn’t stop in the lane going the opposite direction, so I completed my turn, rushed to pull over on the side of the highway and whipped out my cell phone. I dialed 911 and within a minute or so, the squealing siren and flashing lights of a firetruck were at the scene. Some of the firemen came over to talk to me, asked me a few questions about when I had first seen the car, what the driver had looked like when I passed, etc. They thanked me for reporting the incident and then (probably because I looked so shaken up), they gently told me I had done all I could and that I could leave. Back in my car, I took a deep breath and turned the key in the ignition, prepared to go about the rest of my day. I didn’t see what happened to the man; when I turned and the firetruck came, my view was blocked, but the local hospital is on the way to Barnes and Noble. On my way, another firetruck and an ambulance with their sirens blaring passed me going the opposite direction about two minutes after I started driving again. I sincerely hope the man is okay tonight. Whether he was just passed out from exhaustion, had a seizure, or something worse, my heart goes out to him.

The event changed something inside of me. It touched me deeply. I was meant to be there today, I know it. Even though it may not always seem like it, life has a way of making sure we are in the right place at the right time.

What would have happened if I hadn’t been there? What if I had just decided to work or blog from home today? How many cars had angrily passed this man without pulling over and calling 911? How come people are more worried about five minutes, going-going-going, and their own anger than another human life? And maybe most importantly:

If I had given into the pull of anorexia a few months ago instead of bravely trying to battle the obsession, I would probably be dead or at least not capable of driving by now. Who would have been there to save that young man’s life then???

No one.

And how many more lives will I unknowingly save in the future? How many people will need me?

My eating disorder could have claimed more than one life after today, if I had never shown up. This recovery is for more than me now. It’s for all those who won’t have anyone else to take the time to care, who will be forgotten by the self-centered society, who will have no one to stand up for them, who will be too tired to continue, who feel as though they can no longer carry on, who will need to be saved.

I promise I’ll be there.

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