Tag Archives: happiness

Rhythm

27 Oct

Every morning

I watch the dark

recede,

gracefully

moving into light.

I’ll be soaking in the sunrise

for the rest

of my

life.

Every evening

I look up at the

dark night sky,

and watch

ever so gratefully

it sparkle for all of us.

I’ll be counting the stars

for the rest

of my

life.

Every moment

I feel the rhythm,

the breath,

the pulse

seeping through my skin.

It is the heart

that keeps

the life. It is the life

that keeps the heart.

I’ll be dancing.

For the rest 

of my 

life.

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23 Dec

“Some girls are just born with glitter in their veins.”

Paris Hilton

Though I don’t necessarily think Paris Hilton is the best role model, this quote made me smile. Deep down, I have a wild spirit, glitter pulsing through my veins. This holiday season, I feel giddy, happy, light; sometimes I find myself grinning for absolutely no reason at all. I am happy. I am happy! FINALLY.

And I know a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed I could be here. You might think similarly- that you will never escape from the constant struggle, the enveloping hopelessness, compounded by the rest of the world celebrating. I’ve been there.

And when I think about sparkles, I always think of wishes. I wish for you.

May you be happy. May you peaceful. May you be loved. May you have tranquility permeate your holidays. May you know you aren’t alone. May you be compassionate and patient with yourself. May you take time to just be. May you find some glitter in your own veins. May you know that you shine, gleam, glimmer in your own beauty. May you hold on to the hope that one day things will all work out and life will just sparkle.

 May you have a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, and a fulfilling New Year!

May you find all the sparkle of the season!

 

 

 

 

Replacing “Shoulds” with “Coulds”

15 Oct

I hate body bashing, yet like so many other women on this planet, I can’t seem to stop. It’s such a WASTE OF MY TIME… While I spend hours thinking about thinner thighs and agonizing over that chocolate chip cookie I ate, precious time slips away and I’m no thinner, no happier, no more at peace with myself than before. And then I feel guilty… for buying into the body bashing trap and wasting so much time! What a vicious cycle!

Instead of berating yourself and thinking of what you SHOULD NOT be doing, think of how many wonderful things you COULD be doing.

You could be shimmying to music blaring from the radio when no one’s home.

You could be cuddled up on the couch with a mug of steaming tea, a good novel, and the company of the patter of rain outside the fogged up window.

You could be calling one of those friends you never seem to have time to call.

You could be singing, laughing, basking in the delight of living.

You could be outside, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin. You could be out digging in the dirt, planting new seeds, and starting new life. You could be smelling the sweetness of flowers and admiring the beauty of nature.

You could be hiking, breathing in the crisp morning air, so fresh it’s better than Pine-Sol.

You could be writing, pouring your soul out onto paper, leaving a tangible mark that yes, you were there.

You could be walking in your favorite clothes store, feeling the vast myriad of soft fabrics and wistfully creating a wishlist in your mind. You could be having an retro adventure in a vintage store, trying on the gaudiest 80’s dresses available. You could be testing in the shoe department of Macy’s, seeing what it’s like to strut in the highest stilettos they sell. *

You could be buried in the stacks at your local library, seeking out the classics and feeling smarter for just being amongst all the works of such great authors. You could be spending an afternoon at Barnes and Nobles, losing yourself in the allure of crisp, new books, full of such potential, waiting to be read. You could be browsing the nearest used bookstore, selecting the bindings that look most broken, because truly, that is the sign of a book well loved.

You could be lounging in your PJs on Saturday morning, doing nothing but enjoying doing nothing…

You could be baking cookies, brownies, cupcakes as sweet little reminders to give to others that you think about them often. That you care.

You could be walking in the park, admiring the leaves changing colors and cascading back down to the earth in fall. You could be rolling a snowman with friends or your kids, lost in the moment, not minding how frosty your fingers are because really, it’s all about fun. You could be laying at the beach, allowing the warm months to soak over you. Or in my case, you could be slathered in sunscreen at the beach, trying to stay under the umbrella with a good magazine for fear of looking like a lobster.

You could be flying a kite, allowing the breeze to blow away your worries.

You could be declaring it movie night, picking out your favorite, or a new one from the Redbox, letting yourself get lost in the fantasy, romance, or action of filmed fiction.

You could be plopped in one of those comfy armchairs little coffee shops always seem to have, whittling away the number of emails you have left to build up while sipping a fragrant vanilla latte. Ahh…

You could be getting a pedicure, allowing yourself a small luxury. You could be giving your friends pedicures, in hope that they will return the favor. You could be hosting a spa day… how fun would that be?

You could be napping, restoring your body and resting for the many, many things you will have to do in the times that will come.

You could be playing a long board game with family on the weekends, complete with rivalry and the little ones inevitably cheating. You could pretend to not notice, it’d be the right thing to do…

You could be feeding your soul, building yourself up, and tearing down the negativity. You could be creating a new path for yourself, moment by moment. You could be making memories with loved ones, so that down the line, you won’t regret all that time you wasted. You could be enjoying the finite moments you are given.

 You could be doing so much in the same time you would have spent wallowing, worrying, obsessing

You could be living.

 

 

 

 

 

Limitless Pinterests

28 Aug

As I wrote about in my Creating as a Cure post, I am a deeply creative individual, but repressed my imagination, feelings, and desires for years with my eating disorder. I could almost say I became ashamed of being creative because those around me(aka. high schoolers) scorned the creative types, labeling them as childish, art nerds, and “gay.” On top of that, I excelled at math and science and was very clearly expected to be the rational, logical, even infallible student at those subjects, instead of being encouraged to keep a right-left brain balance. Oh, the woes of the public education system…

But now, in recovery, I’ve rediscovered my love for art and yes, “wasting time” looking for abstract things like peace, love, and beauty. I believe everyone has an artistic mind, whether or not they believe it, and each mind is unique. You can ask scornfully, “Oh, I am no good at drawing, so how the heck can I be artistic?” but really, that just means you aren’t a sketcher. It’s not your passion.

But maybe your a painter, maybe your a play-dough sculptor, maybe you do really fantastic doodles during chemistry class. Maybe you think up magical tales for your child when you tuck them under the warm covers at night, or know how to make the meanest, gooiest chocolate chip cookie of all the moms at pre-school. Maybe you can lip-sing on the subway better than the old man sitting next to you or write your wife the sappiest anniversary cards in the world. Maybe your camera has 10,000 photos on the full memory card, even if half have thumbs in the frames. Maybe you organize the most relaxing girls night, giving pedicures so professional, your girlfriends swear you’re part Asian.(And in case someone comments on this, I think Asian women give THE best mani-pedis. Take it as a compliment- I wouldn’t trust my toes with anyone else.) Maybe you make people laugh more than Seinfeld, or broadcast your life on Youtube.

Even if you don’t know it yet, you have an artist deep down, waiting to burst forth. Find her.

In the world of math and science, answers are always defined. It’s either correct or incorrect, there is no room for variation and there is always the possibility of “error.” Error doesn’t exist in art- there are no wrong answers. For once, everything you do is right. Art is limitless, and through art, I have discovered that I am limitless, too.

So I don’t define myself in artistic terms. There are no bounds on what I can do. I don’t say, “I can’t sculpt because I’m a photographer.” I’m so much more than that. Words are a false parameter on how I see the world through artistic eyes- I just can’t narrate the beauty I see because rediscovering art has allowed me a deeper, more profound view that can’t be described with words. That’s a very abstract thought, so let me give you an example:

When it comes to clothes, I don’t prescribe to one “style.” My outfits don’t say, “bohemian,” or “shabby chic,” or “punk.” Rather, I just have “my style” and I know when I see something that I like it. The design, color, and details all resonate with me on a deeper level than its style “label.” So the total of my closet cannot be described in words. The clothes represent something much deeper in me- what I find beautiful and appealing.

Because I can’t describe the way I see the world in words, I’ll just have to show you. A few weeks back, I discovered a fantastic site called Pinterest, where you can compile photographs of just about anything and arrange them on “boards” similar to how people would make vision boards before the internet. I have several boards and I highly suggest anyone struggling with an eating disorder, or who needs to discover their inner artist, check out Pinterest and consider starting an account. Check out my boards, especially if you need inspiration, are having a bad day, or just want to discover what beauty I see since I’ve escaped the darkness of my ED:

Inspiration: Browse this board when you are feeling shaky in recovery, want to be inspired throughout your entire day, or simply looking to uplift your spirit. I often look through this board when I am feeling ambivalent about recovery and need a boost. It helps to read inspiring quotes and be reminded of how beautiful life is.

Need a Cheering Up?: This board is for those terrible, no good, very bad days. I often turn to this board when nothing seems to be going my way, I’ve spent more time that day holding back tears than breathing, or I’m struggling in recovery. See for yourself, but I guarantee you can’t look through the entire board without smiling.

My Style: Fashion is a part of art that I’m just discovering because with the ED, it was all about numbers. I’d rather wear something ugly and ill-fitting in a size 0 than put on a cute, flattering size four in another brand. Well no more. My style is undefined but these are the inspiration for outfits I’d love to wear.

Art to Do: This is a collection of art I find appealing and makes me want to sit down to create- whether it be painting, drawing, cooking, writing, etc. Everything here is very varied in terms of art “style,” but I’m limitless and these examples of art just drew me in on a deeper level than “oh, that’s pretty.” They really held meaning for me in some way and are things I don’t want to copy, but that inspire me.

Photography Ideas: I love this board because it is the most undefined out of them all. I can’t pinpoint why I like a photo, but there’s just something that makes it beautiful. See for yourself and find your passions, your pinterests.

I will be adding more to my pinterest boards as time goes on, so always check back for more inspiration and of course, smiles, when your rough day needs a little smoothing along the edges.

Life is Beautiful. Pin it.

Even with an ED, You Belong

18 Aug

My treatment team has always emphasized the importance of community and fostering social relationships in my recovery because, for so long, I isolated completely. Not too long ago, the only person I saw was my Mom when she came home from work. The rest of the day I spent with my eating disorder. I was lonely and the loneliness felt dark, enveloping, a huge gaping hole swallowing me from the inside out. I feared I’d never be able to fill that void I felt so intensely- that I was unlovable because of my eating disorder, so I should stay away from everyone. It was easier to hide in the apartment than face a world where I would inevitably sometimes get hurt, be afraid, or, perhaps most frightening of all, have to eat in public.

But the eating disorder said it’d keep me company. It wrapped me in a blanket of despair that provided security from the uncertain world and held my cold, spindly hand in its iron, death grip. Though I felt I could trust no one, the ED was different- it was constant, stable and predictable. Even if the rest of my life felt shattered, the ED gave me one thing to hold onto: “At least, at least you are still THIN.” 

As I’ve grown in recovery, I’ve found, however, that the desire to live and feel connected outweighs the fear that once kept me alone.

Today, I visited some of the teachers at my old high school. They were, of course, shocked to see me and from the look on their faces, they didn’t seem to think they’d ever see me like this. Over and over again, in each classroom, I heard the same phrase uttered, “You look so good!” And while a few months ago, the ED would have sensored their words before they reached my ear, twisting them into, “You look so fat,” today, I felt proud. They wanted to know how I came so far and pulled through; they sensed the magnitude and strength it takes to overcome an eating disorder. It was a radically different visit than the one I had taken a few months ago when I was near my all-time lowest weight.

Seeing me months ago, after I took medical leave from my freshman year of college, I saw concern written across their faces at the dramatic amount of weight I lost so soon after leaving inpatient “weight restored.” Most of them seemed doubtful then that I would ever reach the height of success they once expected from me. They saw me as someone to be pitied- someone who had everything going for her, but lost that in the grips of a wretched medical illness.

The visit today was inspiring for both me, and I hope for them as well. After hearing how healthy, good, well, beautiful, strong, and pretty I looked, I left feeling like I was on top of the world. For once, I didn’t have to lie about what was happening at home and outside of the classroom door. It was a whole new dynamic because I am not a sufferer anymore. I danced through each concrete hallway with my head up, confidence blaring, a bounce in my step and eyes sparkling. I refuse to let my ED make me suffer so much anymore. I don’t deserve it- I’ve done enough suffering for a lifetime. Two years ago, I hid behind a mask of perfection, pretending I was confident and put together, pushing through the pain inside. But that’s no longer: chatting with my AP Government teacher, I told her, “Honestly, I have not felt this good in a very long, long time.” She responded simply, “I know… you’re smiling.”

Most of all, today I felt connected, like I belonged, and that I was always remembered, always loved.

Recovery means risking hurt, rejection, rumors, criticisms and all the mess that comes along with relationships. But it’s worth it. Take a poll. Go see old friends, old coworkers, old teachers. And if you have none of those, I’ll tell you. Let this message flood your pores, ricochet in your ears, and sink into every part of yourself:

You deserve. You are loved.

You belong here.

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