Tag Archives: stress
Aside

“Yes, butting…”

8 Nov

ImageYes, but what about your bones? What about the four fractures you’ve already had? What about the D, K2, calcium, magnesium, zinc, boron cluttering the refrigerator door?

Yes, but what about Osteoporosis screaming from the bottom of the bone density results form?

Yes, but what about when you want to still dance when you’re 90?

Yes. I know… but what about your brain? What about your future, college, your dreams? Yes, those will all go down the toilet, too.

Yes, but what about your potential? What about all the time you’ve wasted? What about differential equations, and calculus problems, long novels, research, and psychology? What about brain chemicals and alternative therapies? What about creativity, art, crossword puzzles, and KenKens?

Yes, but what about all the kids that depend on you? What about giving and teaching? What about them? What about saying, “You don’t really matter that much to me?”

Yes, but what about your skin? What about glowing? What about being beautiful, alive, vibrant?

What about those clumps of hair on the shower floor? Will you go back to that?

Yes, but what about your eyes? Sunken and hollow, a thin connection between the living outside and the dead inside…

Yes, you can do that… but do you want to?

Yes, but what about your heart? But the body doesn’t shrink disproportionally… the heart shrinks, too.

Yes, in more ways than one.

But what about your loved ones? What about the mother who worked so hard to care for you so many years and now must watch you self-destruct, helpless to do anything? What do you think you are putting HER through?

What about the aunt who took you in when you needed a home? What about all the teachers who’ve helped you along, both in school and out? What about the treatment team that has always believed in you, even when you haven’t believed in yourself?

What about all the people who love you?

Yes, but get real… you ARE choosing it over them. Yes, but do you value starving more than them?

Yes but what about all you’ve lost? But how much more will you let it rob you of?

Yes, but what about all you have? All the joy recovery brought?

Yes, but what about all you’ve gained? All that you’ve worked for? All the dreams to come?

Yes, you can choose the eating disorder again.

But it will never be worth it.

A Love that Pulls You Through

5 Nov

Have you ever had to lose someone you loved? You love them, yet you know it’s best to let them go. With tears streaming down my face, I am writing this post because I am going to lose someone I love soon– my precious, adorable, sweet old dog, Freckles.

She is old… 14 years. I knew this was coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier. 

This morning she seemed fine. I mean she’s been sleeping a lot lately, but that’s to be expected of an old dog. Nothing out of the ordinary… it became our routine. Her laying at my feet as I typed away on my computer, the click of the keyboard a lullaby to her doggy dreams of endless kibble and long, drawn-out walks.

And again, she lays at my feet, but this time, not sleeping peacefully but in a painful slump. As though just breathing and being here is an effort. She’s had an arduous day- no appetite, listless, and unwilling to walk much further than around our apartment building. Her eyes are unfocused, dull and half-closed as her legs twitch convulsively. I think this is the first day she’s ever NOT eaten, especially chicken, and I hadn’t noticed how many ribs I could feel until this afternoon. It seemed to sneak up on me… how could she go downhill this fast?

I wonder what I will do… how many days I cried into her fur, my sobs saturating her coat. She listened better than any human and gave the appropriate paw for “more petting please” as I grappled with the difficulties of life, my hands grasping the only thing in the apartment that reminded me life was soft, warm, and pretty darn cute.

So many days she kept me safe. Freckles has saved me so many starve-days or purge episodes. Simply because she loves, like all dogs, unconditionally. It didn’t matter if I royally messed up that day, how my pants fit, what number was on the scale, or whether or not I ate the “right” foods. To her, it was only me.

And now, I am no longer numb from the eating disorder, so I feel the pain of losing her. How hard it is to watch suffering. And how many times I have asked myself the past few hours, why does it have to be this way? Why must she ache and bruise, stumble and forget, starve and waste away? Yes, it’s part of life, but who designed that?

Yes, as a life is reblooming, so many opportunities restored to my horizon, another is closing. What will I do without her? I can’t fathom it yet. I have no idea how I will ever say goodbye. But I do know one thing… her love has been a tipping factor in my recovery.

Though she may leave me soon, I will keep her in my heart always.

Because it was her love that pulled me through.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

To Smile through the Struggle

12 Sep

Over the past few days, I’ve really struggled with my eating disorder. I’m at a pivotal point, where I am grappling with the desire to be healthy from my genuine self and the desire the eating disorder has for me to pursue thinness above anything else. Clothes need to be replaced and a new, more feminine shape needs adjusting to.

But I am trying to stay positive. There have been many “down” days this week, but tonight, this made me smile through the tears. That is going to be my goal for the next few days… that despite the inner turmoil I am experiencing on my recovery path,

 I’m still going to smile through the struggle.

In the hardest of times, we all need something to go “aww” at.

Seven Steps to a Good Day

9 Aug

Do you ever feel like an Alexander? You know the one. Yep, I do. I hate those Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days. And entrenched in my eating disorder, I used to have a lot of them. Life wasn’t fun… at all. It seemed like I couldn’t do anything right- that no matter how hard I tried, the only thing I succeeded at was being thin. But I wasn’t happy.

Don’t get me wrong- Life still seems to think my name is Alexander sometimes. Recovery is not easy-it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done- and I have my share of breakdowns, anxiety attacks, and “fat phases.” But the hard days become less and less frequent and I’ve slowly started figuring out that a “bad” day isn’t a product of fate alone. We have the ability to create a good day and avoid those ones filled with lima beans, no cereal prize, and soap in your eyes. Here are the ten steps I have come up with to ensure my day is as good as it can be, whether in recovery from an ED or not:

1. Pack the night before. Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you I love to travel and HATE to pack. Packing suitcases, packing lunch, packing boxes- doesn’t matter. Even though I’m an organization freak, there’s something about packing that I absolutely dread. So to avoid feeling anxious in the morning, I have made it a habit to pack everything I need for the next day, including my computer, materials for work, book, lunch, etc. the night before. It’s nice to wake up and not have such a sour chore to ruin my morning.

2. Stick with Structure. For months after I left inpatient treatment for my ED, I struggled immensely. Looking back now, I realize I falsely believed then that there was nothing to fill my time. The over-exercising, starving, bingeing, purging became a game to occupy my underused mind. Now, I have many appointments and work to go to that occupy most of my days, but I still add to my schedule to create more structure for myself. Even on days off and weekends, I still pencil activities in on my calendar. That way, if the ED pipes up with a suggestion, I can counter with, “Oh, that’s really too bad. I’d love to [insert: starve, binge, purge, run fifteen miles, crunch to exhaustion] but I’m too busy today. See? My calendar is filled up. We’ll have to reschedule for another day when I have nothing written down to do.” Which will be never…

It doesn’t mean that I have to fill every single second of the day; it simply means if I have large blocks of time, I pre-plan what I’m going to do, even if it’s just read, take a nap, or watch something on TV. And I don’t stick to the schedule rigorously, but it’s a fall back plan if I feel the anxiety of empty time beginning to rise or the ED starting to whine.

3. ” A Teaspoon of Sugar helps the medicine go down…” Life is stressful and a little bit like Robitussin, my least favorite medicine- sometimes the best thing you can do is accept it and swallow as quick as you can. Oh, and follow it with Mary Poppin’s famous remedy. In my case, I always plan one thing that makes me excited, that’s just for me, when I’m scheduling everything on my calendar for the following day. That way, when I wake up, I don’t think about what I’m going to have to swallow and endure that day, but rather the sweetness that will follow. Today, my “teaspoon of sugar” was going to photography class, but in the past I’ve also planned:

  • an early morning yoga class
  • coffee with a friend
  • eating a packed lunch in a different location(outside on a bench, at a park on the grass, on the porch…)
  • window shopping after work
  • renting a Redbox movie Continue reading
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